MASTER CONTROLLER - Only useful if you can script

The Webinars are a poor substitute for adequate documentation. Instead, prepare something with forethought not afterthought. They are impractical and drag on offering little for the effort.

The feature needs a user-friendly front end. This is animation not programming. Businesses have separate departments for artists and programmers/IT. I can do many things, although animation is a hobby. I am a visual artist and can write words and music and create pictures in paint and other mediums using the same awareness of inherent rhythm. However programming and scripting is couter-intuitive. Offering the potential for expansion would be wonderful. Presenting it as the only door to the feature is deceiving when you showed it off like it was so accessible and something which would make everything easier. It would be if everyone could get to that point but most wont be able to unless you change it.

As for plans to provide things making this easier like scripts we could cut and paste or whatever…what happened to all of the rigs Toon Boom claimed they would be offering to users? I have seen only one.

I agree. It would be nice if the Toonboom team would provide good example rigs - with each release of Moho, multiple advanced rigs demonstrating the new features are included by default. They even load up a random fully animated character the first time the user starts the program.

Now, I am not saying TB ought to go that far, but at least a couple of prerigged characters showcasing Harmony’s capabilities would be nice to delve into and examine.

Most animators that I know have no inclination at all to learn scripting or programming. While I understand the need for scripting when more in-depth rigging is required, a simple intuitive GUI ought to have been added at least to help animators create basic to medium complex rigs in Harmony.

If I can create complex rigged 2d and 3d characters with simple-to-use on-screen controls in Blender (and Moho in 2d) without the need for scripting, than I fail to understand why a 2d character rig in Harmony Premium still requires scripting to add those on-screen controllers. Isn’t Harmony supposed to make 2d animation more convenient, rather than over-complicate things needlessly?

Hopefully by the next version in 12-18 months time they will have added a nice interface.

And talking about nodes, why not expose those controllers to the nodes? That would have at least been a more visual approach (or is this possible?).

Historically, scripting has been inadequately covered in the documentation. It is not a matter of fear or laziness or being too bothered. It is like learning a foreign language. IF you have the time and energy available would you rather spend it on creating your art or learning how to read and write script so you can use something that is supposed to makes things easier?

There is a point where you can get hung up on the tools and lose track of the original objective. For instance, people get into modes of acquiring things for a purpose but never use them. An intuitive interface would keep you on track. Having to dig into script each time you need this function takes a lot of time and energy away from building the actual animation.

Is it even going to be worth it if you ever succeed? Not many people will have the opportunity to find out because most people don’t have that extra time and energy available and they would rather use whatever time and energy they do have getting down to animating.

Toon Boom Studio opened with a fully rigged and animated scene as long as you had a box checked/unchecked(?).

180 free rigs, that is thinking large. I read through these forums routinely. Still, I might have missed it but as far as I know nothing has been mentioned about them since September 2016 when 1 rig was presented in a forum post. Ideas for the future are just ideas unless they show up in reality.

Dec. 8, 2015

Dec. 18, 2015

Sept. 13, 2016 Nothing was announced or mentioned until someone inquired and received this response:

i have given this alot of thought already in the past, and there’s a really good reason why “scripting has been inadequately covered in the documentation”. that’s because it is an entirely different area of expertise. entire college courses are based coding and scripting. i cannot expect the User Doc of harmony to teach me how to code. its like saying why doesnt the User Doc in Harmony for the bitmap brushes teach me how to paint. its just unreasonable.

that said, i myself was also disappointed early in the BETA of Harmony 15 when I realized Master Controllers are highly dependent on coding. however, i began to see the larger picture as I used the 15 BETA. this version offers alot to all kinds of users. the vector brush update is fantastic, the nip-and-tucks in the timeline are great, the node view has some nice upgrades, the matte ports on all element nodes is sweet, the Matte Composite is super handy, the Animated Matte Gen is really cool (I used it for the first time in production yesterday) putting the masking ability of Harmony on par with After Effects, the Constraint nodes are really cool and solve a ton of issues for more advanced users, and at the top of this is the Master Controllers. H15 has something for everyone in it, and i think its a solid update.

i do feel that the MC system needs to be a bit more user-friendly to non-coders, and i’m thinking that this is the first step. i think the folks at TB are listening and i think its a matter of time to allow the MC system to grow.

This is obvious to me but it is not what I meant.

I was on my iPad and lost the WIFI connection. I was running out of time. I don’t know how to copy/save on the iPad so I had to rewrite a post and left out some key points including nodes which would have clarified my point.

I don’t expect Toon Boom to teach scripting. I expect them to adequately explain how the software works and I expect them to provide descriptions of the tools in practical application. Coverage of scripting has been weak. Other than your recent videos created for TB, utilizing scripts in a workflow has rarely been addressed. Common within the documentation are descriptions of what something does but they do not describe how to use it. Compounding the problem is TB’s inconsistent nomenclature. Logic does not apply.

I am especially annoyed by the suggestion that this forum would ever be utilized by users to share scripting advances as though it was a viable component of a solution. Historically this place has been a ghost town. Periodically TB claims it is going to ramp things up. It lasts a short while then it’s back to business as usual. That anyone at TB would believe this forum would serve this purpose only shows how little they pay attention.

I have ZERO faith in Toon Boom’s talk about plans for the future. After a long delay H15 was finally released yet this “feature” is unfinished. Something really needs to be done right now. A few webinars are not going to resolve things for non-programmers.

a cool plugin/script for AE was just updated today, i have a license for this (quite inexpensive) and it is a nice toolset.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi-FHnjU5ds
(be sure to check out 5:35 in the video, this is a really killer feature!)

the update:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI6wKLECj2s

what do think of this riggin’ workflow? maybe some inspiration for toonboom about how to improve the master controller toolset, or other ideas for “how to” demonstrations in the webinars.

gotta toss in their slick promo video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMznIbcTZjc

Thanks everyone for all the feedback, we are indeed listening. Positive and negative feedback, even if sometimes it can be difficult, is important and needed to get all the angles of a story. All of the feedback is taken into account. It helps us improve our software and make our learning material better. As mentioned yesterday, we are working on the learning material and webinars, making sure to link them together to provide all the information required to create and use master controllers.

Thanks!

Marc-André

Hi @o0Ampy0o ,

I do agree that I do not expect them to teach scripting 101, scripting in general is very broad and without some form of explaining what scripts are being used and how the constraints for those scripts can be applied, even other programmers can have problems applying scripts for at least the rig features. I do hope that with the upcoming webinar they go over the scripts specifically to teach this basic outlines for applying scripts for the 360 rigs and how to fix the clipping issues if parts are not rotating right. Often times when TB releases a webinar, they will put the example rigs from the webinar in the downloadable files underneath the webinar video. My hope is if this is the case, that we will be getting an example rig of the 360 rig and we can study off of that on how they did use the scripts as well as taking in the tutorials of how they solve clipping issues and base creation of the 360 portion of rigs(not so much the creation of advanced rigs 101 just the 360 portion part for MC use).

Then we as the community can break that down and explain it better in community tutorials so those without scripting knowledge can pretty much follow the tuts and copy and paste scripts so it can be better streamlined for everyone. Cause the one thing about scripts is once you got the general template of codes, it is just frankensteining the rest to suit different rigs’ needs or adding more features to rigs. I do have a little faith in this concept if they can explain the set up in these upcoming webinars AND provide the example rigs, that will help us a lot more than our base 0 of understanding on MCs that we are currently at. Then in the future TB team can make a better UI for this, but that will require time for them to program that. It is unfortunate that it is not in with this release, but if they can fulfill what I hope they can do, we can have MCs functional to some extent rather sooner than waiting for the UI in a year or more’s next release.

I hope people at various levels of understanding bridge the gap. I doubt I will ever like having to use scripts. I much prefer a GUI to command line instructions. I don’t understand how After Effects has thrived but the results which can be achived with it are worth it.

I share the point of view of many people here. I was curious to see how “the most famous brand in the world” with “the most powerful software” would introduce this concept. It is very bad.

If my workflow is based on bones controllers, why will I waste my time learning code while Moho offers the same thing better, easier and cheaper. It does not make sense to me.

Logically, it would have been necessary to propose a concept easy to understand for everyone and then a script in complement for the studios on more advanced techniques. But it’s the opposite. The webinars will allow a better understanding but the concept will always be illogical.

In the end, I find this new harmony still disappointing. I was more curious for masters controllers but in the end I prefer the new and pretty timeline. Easy to understand and to take in hand.

Hello again,

The first webinars in the master controllers series will be held on November 2nd and the registration link will be posted next week. More webinars on the subject will be held every two weeks.

I hope you have all a great weekend!

Marc-André

I definitely think the flexibility of this will prove to be superior to some of the competitors, once the initial hurdle of accessibility is ironed out.

I’ve been able to get away with avoiding programming for a decade, I guess program for dummies is on my to-do list lol.

Lol, it’s like they’re telling us “You like this feature? Then go program it yourself! And maybe we’ll make it more user friendly in a following update that you’ll have to pay for again”.

I looked up the feature in MOHO that was mentioned here and wow! I can’t believe the user unfriendliness of the new Toon Boom feature has managed to make me consider buying somebody else’s product!
https://youtu.be/WP_BqVYtonM?t=2m29s

Yeah, and also the “learn” section is an unorganized mess now! They used to make a very organized list of video tutorials for each new release with introductions and every function explained from A to Z, but not anymore it seems. Now it’s like they randomly dropped every bunch of tutorials they had into a folder and called it a day.

It’s them who are getting paid and you’re saying the customers should do their job? You sound like they’re giving you the program for free.

I’m not saying for us to do TBs job, I’m saying that me and a group of friends are tinkering to figure out how to get it working. Regardless of how it was put together, we would still like to use it if we can. If not then that is another matter, but just trying to make use with what we got. It’s a shame to not use it if available, and for us older animators who were around in the days of javascripting in Flash for newgrounds videos and buttons, this is just part 2 of dipping into the unknown void again.

If I could, I would give a like to this poste. :slight_smile: