Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Animate vs. Flash, part of Toon Boom Harmony Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Before going much further, let's take a look at the big competitor for Toon Boon Harmony which is Adobe Animate. And for a lot of people the choice might be: Which of these two programs should I use? What's the best fit for me? I'm going to make a list of pros and cons of each. I want you to bear in mind that Adobe Animate used to be known as Flash, and Toon Boon Harmony had a previous version called Animate. So (laughs) don't be too confused. Animate is Adobe Animate the program formerly known as Flash and we're comparing her with Toon Boon Harmony.
The pro of Adobe Animate is it's much easier to learn. There's a very wide user base, so it's more widely used I think even now than Harmony. It has a built-in actionscript, so if you want to do some programing stuff, you can do quite a bit with that. It has commands that are fairly easy to create, so you can create your own little codes and things. It's much easier to create large sequences of animation in a single Flash file or a single Animate file, and that file is self-contained.
Now the disadvantages are that the developments of this program historically has been slow and poor. It's pretty much the same program now that it was a long time ago, like 10 years ago, pretty much the same program. They are beginning to add new features though. The drawing tools are limited, because of the lack of development they're fairly old-fashioned. There are basic vector lines, you don't get nice texture brushes although they have begun to add them, they're still kind of difficult to use. To animate in Animate you have to do a lot of symbol tunneling.
You have to go into nested symbols. It's like a Russian doll so you're going inside a symbol, inside a symbol, that can be very difficult for some people. The program also, as of speaking, at the moment doesn't have an FK or an IK system, meaning you can't make an actual rig you have to do all the positioning of the layers of the character yourself, using pivots. It's not that bad, but a lot of people really like to have like a bone skeleton that they can pull around. Harmony is quite different in many respects.
It has really strong drawing tools, like nice texture brushes and pencil tools. It has a built-in IK/FK rig so you can make skeleton systems and just pull the skeleton and the whole character will move. It's relatively easy to use too. It has a nice palette where you can really have much more control over your colors. You can apply different color palettes to the same character in the click of a button. It also has zed depth or zee depth, and that allows you to move objects in 3D space, like a fake two and a half D space so you can do depth shots as a result of that, it has a multi-plane camera which is very sophisticated.
It has templates so you can save poses, and then re-use these poses very easily. You can do arc paths which are so very, very easy to use. They give you a great deal of control over curved animation paths. And it has a lot of built-in effects like blurs, motion blurs, that kind of thing. Now the problem with Harmony: Very, very steep learning curve. I found, there's a lot more to learn because it has a lot more features. The project structure is tricky because you're not saving to a single file, you're saving each scene is saved to a separate folder, so it's a little trickier if you're going to share files with people.
The interface is tricky, there's no way around it. There's many more buttons in the Harmony interface, and this is something I think they're working on, but historically the interface is a lot busier. And finally I find larger projects are harder in Harmony, because you have to save each scene really as a separate file, whereas in one Flash or Animate file you can save multiple scenes in one FLA file. So you could have 20, 30, 40 scenes in a single Flash Animate file.
Whereas I think doing it in Harmony might start causing serious problems or complexity issues. So that's it. That's the basic difference. Let me show you some examples of the kind of work that I think is best suited towards Flash. So this is a simple motion graphics scene. This kind of thing, if you're going to do this stick with Flash or Animate, and here's another scene which a very simple character animation. Animate is perfectly acceptable for this. You could do this in Harmony, but I don't know why you would go through the learning curve just to do something as basic as this.
Flash/Animate can also do really high-end character animation. So if you're doing high-end character animation, in each it could be a toss-up, but if you are going to use Flash/Animate to do that you might need to also export your work into After Effects if you want to get the nicer effects that basically that program just can't do. Harmony does come with those nice effects built-in, things like motion blurs and fog effects, and all that kind of thing. So that's it, that's a quick introduction comparison between the two big competitors.
One last note; if you are looking at a career path that's going to take you into an animation studio. Increasingly, studios are tending to use Harmony. So if that's your intention, you might need to factor that in. So if you're going to use Flash, there's a much wider user base of Flash animators out there working on smaller-scale projects. So that's it and I'm afraid I can't give you much more than that, you could be watching this in the future two, three, four, five years from now.
The situation might have changed, development's ongoing with Flash. Things might reverse again, so be sure that you do your own research whenever you're watching this. To make sure that you get the latest information about which of these two pieces of software's best for you.
- Creating scenes
- Transforming objects
- Applying color and ink
- Drawing keys, breakdowns, and in-betweens
- Easing in and out
- Nudging in 3D space
- Rigging a character
- Animating rigged characters
- Morph-tweening characters
- Animating cameras
- Adding sound and dialogue
- Exporting movies and images