Toon Boom Harmony 14
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Harmony is a software product family from Toon Boom Animation that provides customers with professional-quality 2D animation production capabilities. Harmony has been in continuous development since 2005 and has been used on productions like The Simpsons, the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of the Water, The Congress and April and the Extraordinary World, among many others. It is widely recognized as an industry favourite.
The Harmony product family includes 3 editions, each targeted for specific users who want to create specific styles of animation. The product family also includes Harmony Server, which provides additional capabilities for teams of animators using Harmony who want to share files from a central database.
1) Harmony Essentials
is designed for discovery with basic animation and vector as the primary drawing technology. It is designed for those who want basic capabilities to create both paperless and cut-out style animation.
2) Harmony Advanced
is for professionals and has all of the functionality of Harmony Essentials plus additional drawing and animation tools. Harmony Advanced supports both vector and bitmap for drawing.
3) Harmony Premium
is the most powerful, sophisticated and complete edition, letting users animate in any artistic style with both bitmap and vector drawing technologies. With the ability to create state-of-the-art character rigs, highly organic movement and unlimited special effects, Harmony Premium provides maximum flexibility so that any animation job can be accomplished with the tools at hand. It is the recommended animation solution for most artists and studios.
Harmony Server provides additional efficiencies for teams using Harmony who want to share production files in a central library that is located on a data server. It lets teams of Harmony users share files, and manage assets conveniently. It also includes production controls for managing rendering jobs and coordinating batch scanning of paper drawings. Harmony Server is a separately available add-on for users of Harmony Advanced and Harmony Premium.
Top Features of Harmony 14
Sketch, draw and paint
Harmony comes equipped with a full range of bitmap and vector drawing tools – and the ability to combine these styles to produce organic textured lines. Most artists prefer to draw inside of Harmony, although artwork can also be imported. The paint workflow allows artists to pick colors from a master model and quickly stroke regions to add color.
New in version 14: Sync Drawing Layers for the ability to sync unlimited drawing layers for more efficient rig animation. Outline mode for a faster way to work with drawings behind other layers in complex scenes.
Harmony supports all styles of animation from paperless to cut-out. Traditional ink and paper drawings can be scanned into Harmony and vectorized.
Highly efficient cut-out style animation is supported through the creation of sophisticated character rigs in Harmony. Rigs connect individual drawings to create a characters with moveable bones that can be posed with no seams at elbows or wrists.
Harmony includes the capability to analyze a sound file and automatically assign various mouth shapes to keyframes based on phonemes.
The Cutter effect cuts out a portion of an image using a matte drawing. This provides you with a mask that lets you reveal parts of your drawing as needed – such as an eyelid that closes over an eyeball.
Perspective and depth (3D)
Harmony includes a 3D camera and the ability to work in a multi-plane environment where background images are placed at different distances from the camera.
3D files can be imported in the FBX, Collada and Alembic 3D formats for unique 2D/3D hybrid productions. Harmony can also automatically trigger renderings in Maya and then load them into the Harmony scene for compositing.
New in version 14: Support for rendered images from Arnold and RenderMan for high-quality deep image compositing of 2D and 3D, and the ability to animate 3D models and their individual parts.
A node-based compositing system in Harmony called Node View provides the ability to incorporate special effects and to wire up complex character rigs.
Deformers are often mentioned by users as their favourite feature of Harmony. Deformation technology allows you to deform bitmap and vector drawings over a period of time. You can link deformers to create a hierarchy of deformation. Deformers act as a skeleton in which you can maneuver different articulations or make it act like rubber, letting you easily bend the arm of a character or alter the profile of a face when a character is turning his head.
This is a great example of some of the sophisticated technology inside of Harmony. Light shading lets you add depth to a drawing, automatically adding tones and highlights based on a light source. The light sources can be static or moving.
Harmony includes a built-in particle system to emit a stream of user-assignable drawings from a source (like a fountain). With this feature, you can easily animate blowing leaves, simulate rain or add a shower of sparks to the end of a magic wand.
Game engine compatible
The Harmony SDK provides the ability to transfer 2D assets and animation directly into the Unity game engine. Supported features include the ability to export multiple sprite sheets for specific devices, choose from multiple colliders in Unity and transfer multiple animation cycles via XML. A previewer lets artists see their Harmony animations play back in Unity prior to actual game creation.
Use existing artwork/media
Harmony is designed to integrate with other software in a production pipeline. While Harmony has strong sketching, drawing and paint tools, you can also import multilayer PSD and PSB files, Illustrator, PDF, bitmaps and audio.
Please visit Toon Boom for more product information.
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