couple questions...

General Moho topics.

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

Post Reply
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:34 pm

I am looking to create a south park style animation, and have been creating characters in Toon Boom Harmony. I ran into a road block using Toon Boom and was wondering how much easier it would be for me to do this in Moho 12. I have never used moho 12 and dont have it but am looking into it, my questions are, could I import my Toon Boom Harmony character files into Moho 12 while keeping all their layers seperated (keeping the layers for the characters seperated and not merged into one is where i ran into the problem of importing them into Adobe AE, and why i am now looking into Moho 12)? And if i can do the latter, does Moho 12 have any scripts or anything that create the south park stop-motion style animation automatically for me? I would rather not have to do frame by frame animation, that's what im trying to avoid by getting out of Toon Boom Harmony. TIA for all replies!
User avatar
jahnocli
Posts: 3343
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: couple questions...

Post by jahnocli » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi, and welcome. Lot of questions there. First off, it should be simple (that's not to say easy or quick...) to do South Park style animations in Moho. I don't know Toon Boom Harmony, but I would guess that Moho would not be able to load any files produced with that program. However, if you have the artwork - preferably as Photoshop files or separate PNG files - then you could easily re-use them in Moho.

I have to tell you though, there is no Make Animation button or script...ya just gotta do it.

Here are some free South Park style characters that have been made available, and there are lots of examples of animators using the program in this style. You can also download a free trial and go through some tutorials to see whether the program is right for you. The best advice I can give is try it for yourself. If you have any questions, you can ask them here. Good luck!
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:32 pm

The main problem I am facing here is that Im attempting to make full 30 minute episodes like a real TV show, and i had just got done wokring for almost 2 months on 30+ main characters and 70+ background characters, and i cant imagine having to redo almost 2 months worth of hard work :| Toon Boom Harmony can export the following files: TGA, SGI, PSD, YUV, PAL, PNG, BMP, OPT, TIF, dpx, PDF, SWF, and MOV. The problem with the PSD is that appearently Toon Boom utilizes EXR output instead of native PSD output, so I've been told... dont really know what that means. Of course theres no magic button to get this done lol or we would all use it, my question was more if i animated in a smooth 30FPS if there was any script that could keep it at 30FPS but make it look as if its 10FPS. This is the script im referring to, http://qubahq.com/2011/06/stop-motion-kit/ , if that gives any insight as to what im looking for. I will likely download the trial version tonight, just really dissapointed no one has been able to give me the answer im looking for and 2 months of work may have been for nothing :cry:
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7155
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by synthsin75 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:55 pm

fantasyrook1 wrote:Of course theres no magic button to get this done lol or we would all use it, my question was more if i animated in a smooth 30FPS if there was any script that could keep it at 30FPS but make it look as if its 10FPS. This is the script im referring to, http://qubahq.com/2011/06/stop-motion-kit/ , if that gives any insight as to what im looking for.
Yes, Moho has keyframe interval that can be set to make a smooth animation appear as a lower framerate. Very easy.
User avatar
jahnocli
Posts: 3343
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: couple questions...

Post by jahnocli » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:54 pm

fantasyrook1 wrote:Toon Boom Harmony can export the following files: TGA, SGI, PSD, YUV, PAL, PNG, BMP, OPT, TIF, dpx, PDF, SWF, and MOV. The problem with the PSD is that appearently Toon Boom utilizes EXR output instead of native PSD output, so I've been told... dont really know what that means.
Ah - I got the wrong end of the stick. I thought you were talking about Moho importing native Toon Boom Harmony files. I'd start with PSD -- at least then, if it works, you're preserving the layer structure...
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:23 am

Thank you guys for your replys, ive decided to buy moho 12
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4461
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:08 am

fantasyrook1 wrote:Toon Boom Harmony can export the following files: TGA, SGI, PSD, YUV, PAL, PNG, BMP, OPT, TIF, dpx, PDF, SWF, and MOV. The problem with the PSD is that appearently Toon Boom utilizes EXR output instead of native PSD output, so I've been told... dont really know what that means.
EXR is an image format, completely separate from PSD The main adavantage of EXR is that it's a high-dynamic range format and has multiple auxiliary data channels like object ID, material ID, motion, depth, etc. For example, I like to use EXR in my cg work because I can use the depth channel for depth of field effects or use the motion vector channel to apply motion blur as a post process in my compositing program, either of which is many, MANY times faster than rendering it directly in the scene. Object and Material ID is like getting instant masks for any elements in your scene for free. And HDR, of course, gives you extraordinary control over the looks you can achieve in the rendered image. Naturally, this is critical for photo-real cgi and visual effects, but there are many times when I wish had EXR as an option from Moho, especially now that many cartoon shows are broadcast in 16-bit color these days.

I believe PSD output from Toon Boom is just normal PSD. The PSD format can optionally contain HDR color, but I don't think Toon Boom forces you to output HDR.

Normally, we output PNG from Toon Boom. Although, TBH, I'm not sure Toon Boom supports 16-bit PNG though--probably. I'm pretty sure Moho does not but I would love it if they added support for 16-bit color. This would solve banding and other issues typical of 8-bit color.

I would suggest downloading the Moho 12 Pro demo and giving it a try. IMO, Moho is much easier to rig and animate cutout-style with than Toon Boom, and in many cases it's far more capable. This is because Moho has much better support for IK and target goals. I used to argue that Moho lacks Toon Boom's nice Curve Deformer but ever since Moho got its excellent Sketch Bones tool, I don't really miss the curve deformer any more.

And don't feel you have to throw out your previously animated Toon Boom footage. If you're happy with it, just keep working in that style for the rest of the production. Moho is quite capable of matching the looks from other programs. At my workplace, I use Moho, Toon Boom, and After Effects in several TV shows, and I sometimes use all three in the same sequences of a show. This is because I may wish to re-use rigs and characters developed in a different program (like Toon Boom or AE) but I generally prefer using Moho for when rigging new characters and shows. So long as the looks and animation style is consistent between the output and it doesn't cause workflow problems for the production, that's all that really matters.

Hope this helps.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:56 am

thank you very much for the insight Greenlaw, I was thinking i would finish the first episode entirely in Toon Boom if Moho 12 does not allow me to import everything keeping their seperate layers, since i already have so much done. Then for episode 2 and future episodes i would switch to Moho 12. Would you say its worth keeping both Toon Boom and AE after getting Moho? If so what is it that those 2 programs could do that Moho cant?
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:00 am

Sorry for all the questions lol, I have never animated before in my life (other than using flash when i was 12) but am ready to take this head on and am trying to learn all that i can
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4461
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:49 am

fantasyrook1 wrote:Would you say its worth keeping both Toon Boom and AE after getting Moho? If so what is it that those 2 programs could do that Moho cant?
It depends on what you need the programs for.

For example, even though I think Moho's tools and workflow is much better for rigged character animation, Toon Boom is still stronger for frame by frame animation. Moho has recently seen a lot of improvements in its FBF tools but it has a way to go by comparison. I do occasionally use Moho's FBF tools for fx animations (fire, water, magma fx,) but it gets frustrating for anything more complicated than that. So if you intend to do a lot of FBF, you'll want to keep Toon Boom around. Also, if you already have assets and animations created in TB, you may want to be able to re-purpose that. And if you have After Effects, there's no reason you can't use both animation tools in a scene.

As for After Effects, I don't really consider it an 'character animation' program, not like Moho or Toon Boom anyway. AE is primarily a compositor and fx tool. If you add the DuIK plugin, it's possible to create similar 'Moho-style' rigged animations in AE but it's still not as easy, fast or as direct as animating in Moho.

Where AE shines is when you need to combine elements from various sources and add effects not available in Moho.

For example, I recently animated a couple of under water scenes which had waving water plants and seaweed. I animated one in Moho by rigging the plants and carefully animating wave cycles using the Sketch Bones tool. This worked fine but it did take more time than I wanted to spend. When the second scene came up, I created similar wave animations in AE by simply throwing a Wave filter on the elements, and it looked almost as nice as my hand animated ones in a fraction of the time and effort.

For other deformation effects, Smart Warp in Moho 12 has removed some of the need for Liquify and Puppet in AE. But I still use these AE warping tools from time to time, especially if the effect just a 'one-off' and not anything I really need to build into a rig.

Particle effects is another reason I use AE. Moho's particles tools are nice but they're also somewhat basic. I try to use them as much as I can but many times I have to turn to one of AE's particle systems. The one I usually turn to is Trapcode Particular. Trapcode is a third party particle system but, IMO, if you use AE, it's an essential add-on...it's that good! In recent years, it's one of the reasons I've been using AE more than Fusion for work. (I still prefer Fusion for cgi compositing though.)

In many ways, Moho and AE are made for each other. The Moho Exporter and Layer Comps tools let you easily break apart your scenes and do things with Moho animations in AE that would be difficult, if not impossible to do with Moho alone. Without Exporter and Layer Comps, the process would be tedious (and it actually was only a few versions ago!)

You just have to decide what you need to get your tasks done and how much you want to invest in cost and the time it takes to learn the tools. For me, saving time is important but, also, these happen to be the tools I use at work.

TBH, you don't really need all of these tools to do the job but having them can make it easier and give you a lot more creative options.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
fantasyrook1
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:11 am
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by fantasyrook1 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:07 am

I will most likely be keeping all three then as i could see the benefit of mixing and matching them. All i really need for the cartoon is a good feeling of depth, transparent objects, shadows underneath and behind the characters, very basic partical effects (smoke from a cigarette, a flour like powder dispering in the air), stop motion key framing, deformation tools, and a looping fire image (probably didnt say that correctly... having the fire in 3 dif. images in dif. positions looping to make it look animated), which is all do-able in Toon Boom as far as i can tell, it's just very time consuming. Thank you for all the knowledge, youve helped me a lot in deciding where to go from here! If you have any other advice, like as to which program is the quickest/easiest way to get the effects listed above done it would be greatly appreciated!
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4461
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: couple questions...

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:50 pm

All three programs have 3D environments, and they're all a little awkward to work in compared to working in an actual 3D program. But for the most part, they all work well enough for getting nice multi-plane effects and using particles. When I'm working in Moho, I'll typically separate my layers using Layer Comps. Then, in AE, I'll add DOF, motion blur, and sometimes shadow fx if it's appropriate. The HLF animated titles my wife and I made a couple of years ago has many examples of this throughout.

Sometimes, I need complex camera choreography that maybe too difficult for Moho or AE; in this case, I'll rig and animate the camera in an actual 3D program, send the camera to the compositing program and then assemble my output for the 2D programs. (As a matter of fact, I was doing that quite a lot at work last week using LightWave, which has a convenient Send To AE button.) Naturally, the 2D elements you create in Moho or TB should mostly be animated without camera motions so it doesn't conflict with the AE camera.

There is even a script to export the Moho camera to AE, so you can add more elements as 3D layer in AE. This can give you some added flexibility and options not available in Moho (like real lighting fx, for example.)
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
Post Reply