Animation software can be an intimidating world to enter, but it’s even harder when you’re deciding between two similar programs. For example Toon Boom Harmony vs OpenToonz? What features should I look for in my new animation program? and why does one application have more appeal than another (or equivalently = which is better)?
The answer depends on the type of project that needs fulfillment; however, there are many reasons why certain products might indeed suit your needs much better than others do – such as adequacy or easier workflow management.
In this article, we will compare and review each one of them to help you choose the one that suits your needs best.
Toon Boom Harmony vs OpenToonz: is it a matter of price?
Now imagine if this was written by someone who knows nothing about how these things really work! It would sound like total nonsense.
A decision of this magnitude can be very difficult and should be left to us “experts”! We have compiled some information that may help. For one thing, it is important to keep in mind the similarities between each tool and feature set so as not to make a mistake when choosing which software best suits your needs!
If you’ve ever visited Toon Boom Harmony’s main site, this is a question you’re probably asking yourself now. The eye-catching animations on the first page are sure to catch your attention. You’ll quickly catch a glimpse of something else: the PRICE tag. Now that we are looking at things from OpenToonz’s perspective, well… shocker! The product is free.
As the “free” advantage is given to one of the two, it seems obvious who would win the face-off: OpenToonz!! Still, let’s not forget that this face-off should be entirely about what they can offer.
What is Toon Boom Harmony?
Developed by Toon Boom Company, Harmony is a powerful and versatile 2D software which has users all over the world. It is also compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux making it more flexible and efficient.
In addition to vectors, Harmony is also able to work with bitmaps. With its many and advanced features, it is one of the leading animation programs. In addition to cross-platform integration, it provides exporting and importing methods, especially when the software is used with game engines. It is a powerful drawing and animation tool that delivers high-quality results while offering an enjoyable animation process.
We compared it before with other software if you want to have a deeper understanding of its tools:
The OpenToonz software lets you create 2D animations. The software is based on “Toonz”, developed by Digital Video S.P.A. in Italy, and customized by Studio Ghibli. This software has been used by them for many years for creating their works.
Almost anyone can use it, for commercial and non-commercial projects alike. The program can be adapted for use in professional, amateur, and educational settings.
To make this comparison thorough, we’ll compare Toon Boom Harmony vs Opentoonz from 6 different aspects: interface/learning curve, use cases, drawing tools, animation tools, compositing tools and pricing. Let’s get to it!
1. Interface & learning curve
Here, we’ll look at these tools from a professional perspective. Consequently, getting a grasp of the basics first might take a bit of time if you’re a beginner.
- Toon Boom Harmony: In terms of ease-of-use, it’s not the easiest software out there, but still offers a good learning curve. The problem is not that it’s difficult to get used to, but rather that it requires a lot of time because of its wide range of tools. Harmony animators must gain an understanding of the wide range of tools available to them and use them to their advantage if they wish to become advanced. Aside from the rigging features and the compositing system, the UI is also not the most intuitive, which might require additional time and effort.
- OpenToonz: Many of Studio Ghibli’s works are composed with OpenToonz. The original version of which was first used for the ink, paint and color design processes of Princess Mononoke. Following “Arrietty/The Secret World of Arrietty,” it evolved within the company, and to become more usable according to its production style.
2. What are the use cases of Toon Boon Harmony vs Opentoonz?
Nearly all industries can use animation, and choosing which industry benefits from these tools is entirely up to the animator. There is some software that might be more popular in a certain industry than in another.
During the third and final phase of the project, namely Invisible, OpenToonz and GTS were used for scanning, color designing, ink-and-painting, and compositing.
For the purpose of depicting a scene seen over a main character’s glasses, a new visual effect for reproducing lens distortion was developed. “Kanini & Kanino” and “Life ain’t gonna lose” were two other short films that utilized OpenToonz for pencil testing.
Toon Boom Harmony, meanwhile, has managed to prove itself as an extremely versatile animation tool. In spite of this and among all the use cases of Harmony, it is still most popular for large-scale productions such as animated movies.
3. Tools for Drawing
With OpenToonz, you can use any touch-enabled device, even laptops, and drawing tablets, with its variety of tools. Here are some examples:
- Used for the input of the X-sheets.
- Modifying painted drawings is simple.
- As the production progresses, the scene could be created simultaneously with ink and paint.
- If any changes need to be made to any of the animation drawings, the changes can be easily handled in the same software tool.
OpenToonz is a time-saver in general.
Toon Boom Harmony
Toon Boom Harmony stands as a powerful competitor since it also comes with many tools and features for a fantastic drawing process.
Harmony has a wide range of brushes, painting, and pencil tools for effective drawing whether it be using a tablet or a mouse. The color within it comes in fabulous pallets and it also supports hand-drawn and scanned bases.
It belongs to the gang of vector animation software, but it’s actually more than just that: it’s a hybrid. It allows you to create vector art with high quality, which is perfect for screen animation videos. Besides that, it has bitmap support allowing you to make natural and highly immersive artworks.
4. Tools for Animation
This app has a powerful set of tools for vector graphics and bitmap drawing, advanced algorithms for scanning and cleaning scanned images, automatic vectorization, indexed color palettes, a wide array of effects and compositing tools, frame-by-frame animation tools, support for bones, IK/mapping tools, mesh deformation, automatic synchronization of 2D animation with video, and a complete library of particle filters..
Toon Boom Harmony
In comparison to OpenToonz, Harmony is also a frame-by-frame 2D animation software with powerful tools. You can add an attractive vibe and appearance to your work with the beautiful effects offered by this product. Also, it combines 2D and 3D animation into hybrid production.
5. Compositing Tools
OpenToonz ‘s user interface stays true to the traditional lines found in many other drawing and animation applications, making it easiest for both novices and professionals to learn how to operate its vast toolbox. In addition to a large drawing/animation canvas, the app has an array of tools on the right as well as a timeline control section at the bottom
On the other hand, Toon Boom Harmony comes with robust compositing tools and a Node System that allows you to use a virtual camera or to add special visual effects. This makes it one of the greatest VFX compositing software on the market.
6. Pricing plans
Harmony offers a free trial period of one month so that you can try without committing to anything. You can choose one of three options when you feel comfortable having it:
- Essentials: with advantages like Vector drawing tools, HD and 2K camera resolution.
- Advanced: with additional benefits like Bitmap drawing tools, Traditional Scan & Paint for TV Series and Film and more.
- Premium: with additional advantages like Effects Compositing, 8K+ Camera Resolution, Harmony Server and much more.
In terms of OpenToonz, it offers excellent animation software at a great price: NONE!!! It’s a no-strings-attached plan, so you can download it for free.
Toon Boom Harmony vs Opentoonz: The Verdict
This is the final act of the Toon Boom Harmony vs OpenToonz ultimate face-off! Overall, there isn’t much of a difference between the drawing and animation tools. OpenToonz can offer a lot of free software in terms of a learning curve, rigging, and compositing tools.
Compared to each other, each has different features and tools, but one can be superior to the other. For instance, if you are an artist who is more focused on the hand-drawn base, OpenToonz is probably the right option for you. Nevertheless, if you need more animation options then Harmony is the software for you. Therefore, your choice has to do with your needs as an animator.
As an alternative, OpenToonz is a free and open-source software application offering features such as mesh deformation with bones, ECMAScript support for automation, new effects, drawing cleanup, 3D stereoscopic rendering, among others.
Whenever you want to get into REAL 2D (frame by frame) animation, OpenToonz is a fantastic FREE option. With this software, you won’t have a simple time making silly potato heads that can talk or stickmen jumping over buildings as you do with other expensive software. Drawing, animating, and creating, ARTISTS are the target audience for this software.
When people believe they are buying something exceptional, they are more likely to download this software. If it sold for £500, it would probably get more downloads. Sadly, it does not. It’s assumed that since it’s FREE, it’s probably junk software.
In my experience, Moho and other tools are okay. I, however, love OpenToonz as an artist. Definitely a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it.
How about you? feel free to leave a comment telling us which one would you choose. If you have other pieces of software in your arsenal as an artists, you can also tell us about them.