Have you ever wanted to animate a project but didn’t have the time to waste trying to figure it out by yourself? Harmony software tools, controls and effects (i.e.: compositing and more) can help you create a professional project from the first line all the way to the final output, ready for broadcast. Toon Boom Harmony establishes itself as an A to Z software – from beginner enthusiast wanting to animate an idea, up to that studio producing a feature-length film that will be watched on the ”Big Screen.” Come along as I help you scratch the surface of what this software can bring to life with your imagination.
But, first, what is animation? It is the concept of bringing still images to produce the effect of movement, or as some, if not all, in the industry say, the illusion of life. Series of drawings, which when filmed in succession, and replayed, bring forth action. When creating this illusion, I will have to point out a book; some call THE book for helping to create animation. It is called Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, written by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. They were Two of Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” master animators who put together this great book that to this day is used as a reference and overall book to thumb through over and over. I know I wore out one copy and had to buy another as it almost fell apart in my hands from use. Okay, I got sidetracked. But I will add, if one is interested in doing digital animation all of the principles discussed in this book would be beneficial and should be on your shelf as a reference, regardless if doing 2D or 3D animation.
I have watched an impressive amount of hours of animation, and I am discovering more and more every day. With software, such as Harmony, and the help content online that can be found in this digital age, those hours increase, let’s me start with a thousandfold (Estimates could be much more). With a list of studios that utilize Harmony, it is mind boggling at the hours of content that they generate. The likes of FOX, Dreamworks, Film Roman, Nelvana, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Universal, Lucasfilm, Ltd. Cartoon Network and Disney, have integrated this software into their daily workflow. And with these names on the list of users, it rates highly as an “industry standard piece of software.”
Okay, it is time to be straight-forward with the readers of this article. For people who have read both INTRO articles for Storyboard Pro and Harmony, this is one particular paragraph where you might be experiencing deja vu. In this space would have been a couple of quotes from a talented animator/storyboard artist but he was called back to the drawing board. Literally. And he could not participate in this article at this time. But I am holding this spot when he will be available. I respect his abilities, time and talent. So, when he can and he will, I will update this article and place his thoughts here. Thank you for your patience in this matter, I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading on this subject.
Harmony, software that brings together all of these aspects of traditional animation plus a multitude and more digital features and puts it into one animation package that is powerful yet easy enough to use for any scale project.
Harmony has an elegant User Interface and Tools. Sketching is as if you had a traditional animation desk with peg board disks (which can be digitally rotated) like that at classic studios of Disney Animation or Warner Brothers. Draw in layers help you simulate the flipping of sheets in an onion-skin interface to animate. Multi-plane and Camera Moves create amazing sequences all done within the software. Effects can be applied, enhancing the look of animation once initial sequences are done, to give it that extra flair of design. Rendering in popular formats gives it that full professional quality your project deserves. You can export formats to all popular viewing standards. Pipeline Integration allows for movement through the entire project that won’t cause a backlog because one part can’t handle the output.
And with a package like this, the animator doesn’t have to worry about needing multiple software to complete their creation. Here is where I’ll be getting into a groove and getting the movement I need to bring #BRADYtheBETTA to life.
Okay. What I meant to say was to give #BRADYtheBETTA, the finesse he so deserves for his animation debut.
Well, I better get back to the drawing board. The digital drawing board and draw some life into this smart aleck fish.
So long for now.