This is one of the most inexpensive programs we evaluated, but it also doesn't do as much as other programs. It will feel frustrating for advanced users looking to do serious stop-motion projects, but it is great entry-level software for beginners and children. We contacted Caitlin Troughton, marketing content manager at Toon Boom Harmony to get more insights on this top-rated animation software. We also spoke with Tyrel Hanby, an artist with an animation degree, to learn more about his creative process and experiences.
Choosing 2D Animation Software When deciding on 2D animation software, you will need to consider your skill level and your willingness to learn. Experienced users will obviously want a variety of advanced tools and features. Beginners should determine whether they are willing to invest time in learning advanced tools or not.
As fun as it is to use, Animation software can be rather costly, especially if you're wanting to get a version that allows you to draw your own characters and use onion skinning and bone-rigging tools. Fortunately, the larger animation companies tend to offer different versions of their software so you can find a software that fits your price range and usage needs. Some animation programs, like Toon Boom Harmony, are subscription based so you will have to pay a monthly fee in order to have access to the software.
Some animation software offers student editions and pricing to make the software more affordable. If you aren't sure about spending your money, try to find a software that offers a free trial. If you plan on drawing your figures and backgrounds from scratch, then we recommend you invest in a drawing tablet. Most drawing tablets connect through USB or wireless connection and feature programmable buttons to speed up your drawing process without having to touch your keyboard too much.
Drawing tablets come in several sizes, from small 4-inch surfaces to upwards of 20 inches. We recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro if you are a beginning digital artist. This tablet is also a favorite device for many professional digital artists. It comes in three different sizes, which affects the price and drawing space. These monitors feature pen sensitivity so you can create thicker or thinner pen strokes by pressing harder or lighter on the screen.
When it comes to drawing tablets, Wacom is by far the best brand, but it also happens to be the most expensive. Wacom tablets are the standard for graphic designers, animators, illustrators and other digital artists. We recommend the Huion H Pro as a good entry level drawing tablet. Useful Tools to Look For More-advanced 2D animation programs allow you to create storyboards to visualize each shot of your project. The best storyboards help you add dialogue to each scene, apply sketches and figure out camera placement. Not all 2D animation programs come with storyboards, but if you simply want to have fun with the program, it isn't necessarily a needed feature.
The tools you use to create your characters can give them added depth. Some programs come with a variety of brush types to help you find the right style to match your visions. Example brushes include watercolor, pencil and felt tips. Layers are also useful in helping you design the perfect visual style. Advanced programs will help you add effects to various layers that can be altered independently of the other layers. When we contacted Troughton at Toon Boom Harmony, she told us that depending on your experience level, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks to become proficient in the software.
But it can be made easier with the help of an extensive learning center complete with forums and tutorials. Many professional-level companies will also offer learning courses on their website or on sites like Lynda. While you must pay to attend, you will better understand the software in less time.
Troughton also told us that Toon Boom has a huge community of users who "are creating content to help others learn [the] software. Defining Onion Skinning, Bone-Rigging and Tweening When it comes to animating your characters, there are a few advanced tools that can make your creations move more smoothly and believably. The onion skinning feature can be found in both advanced and beginner programs. This allows you to compare your current frame against the previous and upcoming frames in order to make sure your character moves fluidly.
Rigging is basically the same as puppeteering: It allows you to move your characters in the way you want. Bone-rigging is a more complex tool that basically allows you to create a skeleton within your characters that you can move.
Features of Toon Boom Harmony Premium 12.1 for Mac
This gives you more control so you can orchestrate more lifelike movements. Tweening is a term that refers to making transitional images between various character positions in order to create the illusion of movement. You bet they are. You can use a wide variety of bitmap and vector-editing tools to do all of your drawing in the app if you want to. Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash support make integrating it into your Creative Suite workflow a piece of cake.
Symbols, Pegs and 3D Scene Planning enabling you to plan your 2D action in 3D planes, eliminating the need for tweening to simulate distance are all fantastic tools. We can't really knock the Animate toolset. Toon Boom is the premier name in 2d animation software, whose products are used in companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros. So first on the list I have to put their Harmony software. But seriously, Harmony is THE best and most powerful commercially available 2d animation program you will find. Of course, such awesomeness comes at a price and as such it has been one of the most expensive programs on the list for a long time.
In the April announcement Toon Boom said that from now on it would be focusing its efforts on Harmony and providing 3 different versions at different prices to meet the needs of every artist, whether a small freelancer or big established studio. Take a look at their full detailed pricing here. Want to learn how to animate in Toon Boom Harmony? Then try the following top course on BloopAnimation. Toon Boom Animation Course. You can also take a look at some of the other best Toon Boom Harmony courses out there.
Moho Pro v12 is a hugely popular and affordable 2d animation software primarily designed for the Flash-style animator, but with new tools that allow for frame-by-frame drawn animation as well.
Its bone system and in-betweening functions are some of the best out there, especially for the price. There is also an automatic lip-syncing function, a Smart Warp tool allowing easy manipulation of any image, as well as 3D cameras and physics for simulations and effects. There are two versions of the program, Moho Pro , and Moho Debut. The Pro version is the whole kaboodle and designed for the pro or budding amateur. Want to save money and buy an older version? Get Anime Studio Pro v11 from Amazon. It allows you to do traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation as you would normally do on a lightbox.
You can draw directly into the program or, if you prefer, do your drawings on paper first and then scan them in to do your clean up and ink and paint in FlipBook. Read our full review of v2 here. An interesting program from the makers Reallusion , CrazyTalk Animator 3 takes a slightly different approach to traditional 2d animation than you might be used to seeing.
Not only does it come with a large library of pre-made characters, designs and movements, but it also allows you to import 3d motions and add them onto your 2d characters. So, for example you could animate a character in a 3d program like Maya, or even get hold of some motion capture data, and then simply apply that to your 2d character in the CrazyTalk software, which produces some really interesting and quite unique results. You can also do South Park style animation really easily in it too. You can download a trial version here. We recommend their Harmony Essentials version.
Toon Boom Harmony Premium for Mac Free Download - All Mac World
To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 here. Back to Toon Boom again and their Studio software. You can use it in a traditional way drawing on paper first, then scanning your drawings into the software , or even to do Flash-style animations.
The bones feature of the software means you can create a simple skeleton for your characters and move their body parts individually, instead of having to make new drawings every frame. We recommend their Harmony Advanced version. To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 here The Animate software from Toon Boom builds on their Studio program and is really the next level up, designed for professionals or those looking for the high-end tools and effects. The 3D and multi-plane camera effects make this a great piece of software, but the price may be prohibitive to some.
We recommend their Harmony Premium version. To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 here As the name suggests Animate Pro is the super-high end professional version of the Animate software mentioned above.
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It does all that Animate can do as well as a number of other effects, more powerful cameras, compositing tools, as well as cinema size output, and 3D stereoscopic capabilities. This then is for the really serious professional or studio looking for specific tools. This is obviously reflected in the price. It is mostly used by professional studios and as such is comprised of four separate modules which reflects the different departments:.
This along with the organisation tools make it very easy to duplicate frames and creatively put together your animation. CelAction 2D is an animation software in the vein of Adobe Flash and Toon Boom Studio where you rig up a drawn character and animate its skeleton, rather than drawing individual frames. Either way, if Flash animation is your thing this software does contain many effects and tools to make your like easier like IK Inverse Kinematics and lip-syncing tools, as well as a large number of effects and a variety of output options all the way up to cinema size.
Geared towards professionals and studios, this is reflected in the price which, for the Studio version is based on a rental:.
Best 2D Animation Software – A Comprehensive List For 12222
Developed in France, TVPaint Animation is designed for the professional and hobbyist animator who wants to use the traditional techniques of hand drawn animation but with the added ability of using painterly effects. The drawing and paint tools are really extensive and allow you to do all sorts of styles including watercolour, gouache, and felt-tip.
It is however, quite expensive, so really will only be used by pros or those who have a decent budget to spend on their hobby. It was also known as Mirage at one point too. TVPaint Animation Course. They will continue to develop and market Toonz Premium as their flagship product, and I will update when I know more about the new version.
Toonz from Digital Video in Italy is used by a number of professional studios the most famous of course being Studio Ghibli in Japan. There used to be two different products — Toonz Harlequin and Toonz Bravo, but they have now merged into Toonz Premium , which is a top-end software designed for traditional and paperless workflows. They also sell a scaled-down Toonz LineTest program which is set up for scanning and testing your drawings before colouring. If anyone has used it please let me know in the comments below. There is a demo version to try out which you can request here the web page is a bit mids basic, but does the job :.
However, over the years other programs like some of those above Toon Boom, Moho Pro, and CelAction 2D have developed programs that are more animator-friendly and designed for film and tv output with more effective camera tools and effects, in some cases at a much lower price. Want to learn how to animate in Flash Adobe Animate?