ToonBoom Studio to Essentials: What am I getting there?

Got an e-mail $99 to upgrade from Studio to Harmony Essentials. After browsing through pages of commercial bullshit that does explain nothing, with description like “Introductory edition for students and enthusiasts.
Provides the fundamental drawing,
painting, and animation tools needed
to create outstanding animation.”
I am starting to get irritated.
What am I getting there? What are the features that are worth the price of upgrade? Don’t tell me to download and test the new version, and decide, I don’t have time for that stupid game…
How much it costs to go from Studio to Advanced or Premium? Do not send me to upgrade page, they ask me to enter essentials serial that I don’t have before providing me with info.
ToonBoom should put the price structure clearly to be seen on the price page. And the features comparison between new Harmony versions and also the Studio/Animate/Animate pro.

At this point I feel like I took a step in a used car lot and a sneaky salesman came to me with a smile on his face, ready to push me to buy a Ford car with a blown transmission for the price of a new Toyota…

Thanks for your answer. Is there an upgrade path to advanced or higher and what is the price?

But I have been looking for somebody to do my animates series and Harmony looks like what I want them to do it with. Can somebody point me in the right direction

Do you have an email address you don’t mind posting and subjecting it to possible SPAM so I can talk to you about this in private?

if you are ok with studio, just use studio, you don’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to.

As far as I know, Essentials have a better lines when drawing. (new engine) and Essentials is compatible with premium and advanced harmony too.

You also lose some features upgrading from Studio to Harmony Essentials. From what I have read from those who have done it you lose the stop motion feature in Studio and a few relatively minor things (IMO) like an option to have an object’s orientation always pointing toward the shape of a motion path, whatever that is called. (Note: this is only what I have read as I have not upgraded to Harmony). The Harmony software is more efficient than Studio which has always been sluggish at times. You need more computer muscle for Harmony but the same muscle doesn’t do as much to help Studio.

I fear I have made a rather rash decision to take advantage of the $99 uograde offer from Studio 8.1 to Harmony Essentials I’m left with a heavy heart.
It’s my own fault for not taking the time to check out the difference between the packages before I took up the offer. I opened Harmony and was instantly impressed with the new appearance and very professional UI. I began to explore and decided to open up Studio and see what I’m actually getting. This is where I found the exposure sheet, function editor and storyline gone!

Now I’m not very experienced with the software and I may be missing something but, as I see it I’ve just shelled out good money and would now be expected to pay another $600 to get back what I already had. Granted it looks nice and the software is finally now 64 bit but c’mon guys this really is a kick in the pants!

I tried all versions of Harmony, I had Animate Pro 3, and even Harmony Advanced was almost the same as Animate Pro 3, so I went all out with Premium

Did you have Studio and then upgrad to Harmony Essentials for $99? If so, did you have to give up your Studio license?

If you upgrade from Animate or Animate Pro to any level of Harmony 12 you keep your Animate license, which means you can have both programs installed and operational on your system.

Are there any other animation software programs you’ve tried?

Hey there, what exactly is the problem when exporting from SBPro? The main thing I could see be causing trouble here would be if your SBP project was in HDTV resolution while the Harmony 12 is set to HDTV “Vertical” hence causing some cropping of the frame.

If that’s the case you can easily change that by making sure both project have the same ration fit by going to scene-----.> project resolution.

You can find the price for all the upgrade here:

My mail is ocimpean at

I still don’t understand why we can not have an open discussion on the forums regarding the prices, this sneaky policy is bordering ridiculous.

Yea I upgraded as well and so far not that impressed. I hope they continue to add updates for people who bought harmony 12.

The software actually doesn’t seem outwardly as good as toonboom other than the bones and ik which I don’t even know how to use yet.

The kicker for me is the lack of drag and drop for image formats, bitmap drawing(which I was expecting to be there where tb studio hasn’t) and no backwards compatibility with toon boom studio for me to port over my previous animations from there.

On the plus side it is supposed to be a version of professional software right? So any experience with the pipeline there should port over right?

I had a big problem when i uploaded my scenes from Storyboard pro 4.1. After I uploaded the storyboard file was consumated by Harmony 12 stage! Its so irritating so i want not more buy Harmony 12 in the future if they not doing any adjustments or patch! I have posted out my question yesterday, how to export it back to storyboard, but no answer! When buing things they are very quick to answer!

The resoltion was good and no problem with Harmony 12 in that case. The project i did in storyboard 4.1 Pro was gone after i imported this to Harmony 12. for animation. There was no backup or copy and yes it may be my fould. But shouldnt it work the way back to export the Harmony 12 Project who was the storyboard Project back to storyboard if i need to make a few changes? Storyboard 4.1 is good at the point when you export iany project to pdf. Like its now you can not export a Project as a pdf .
This was the reason wile i want export my Project back to storyboard pro.

You don’t want your Storyboard projects to auto-open with Harmony 12 but to stay in Storyboard. I think you can click on a Storyboard file to highlight it, then use the Get Info command to dig into the file. There is a checkbox that says Opens In… and you can choose what app opens the file. And then tell it to use that app to open all files like this one.
I hope this helps.

Unlike other upgrade/crossgrades, Toon Boom did not take your Studio license in the Harmony crossgrade. Your TBS will still work!
If you hadn’t of taken the $99 crossgrade offer by mid month, it wouldn’t of been available to you!

The “Getting Started with Harmony (Essentials) Guide” pdf came over with the software download, but there is a full manual at
I haven’t found that the whole thing can be downloaded, so if you do please let me know.

Here’s the info on the X Sheet!

Here is where everything can be downloaded:

I am in the exact same boat. It’s odd that I feel grateful that for my $99 I get to keep my Toon Boom Studio license. Xsheets were a great tool and I can’t find the motivation to even tinker around in Harmony because of all the processes I’ve lost. The extra $600 to get Harmony Advanced is what you need, but is not what is going to be affordable. At least Harmony doesn’t take up too much space on my computer…