Toon Boom Animation launched the latest update to Toon Boom Harmony, the industry-leading animation software for ‘tradigital’ paperless and cutout animation. Harmony 21 brings new tools to the table for delivering feature-quality, 2D animation to videogames, while adding new features to improve paperless animation and rigging workflows. To encourage artists to cook up their own projects with Harmony 21’s latest features, we prepared a new demo pack titled The Ingredients of Animation, with scenes created by six artists inspired by their favourite recipes.
Introducing the freshest new features:
Artists have more tools at their fingertips for inking and painting their animated scenes. In Harmony 21, users can now control how the pressure, tilt and speed of their stylus affects the size and opacity of their vector and bitmap brushes; or set consistent tapering on each stroke. With a new Overlay Brush mode, painted brush strokes can now apply non-destructive shading and highlights. Cleanup artists working with your team will enjoy the improved Cutter Tool, which now trims multiple pencil lines with a single swipe gesture.
This update also features significant workflow improvements for cutout animation and character rigs in Harmony Premium. With the Transform Tool’s new Mixed Manipulation mode, artists and animators can select and control multiple deformers and drawings simultaneously — allowing for faster and more intuitive posing. Harmony 21 Premium also includes a new Rigid Point Deformer for fine-tuning deformation of textures, and a Show Deformation Mesh toggle, which is particularly helpful for building and quality control on cutout characters.
“In addition to these new features, Harmony’s development team has been working behind-the-scenes to improve core technologies and performance,” said Francisco Del Cueto, Toon Boom Animation’s Co-President and Chief Technology Officer. “Artists will notice that Harmony 21 is up to twice as fast when working with complex cut-out scenes, compositing effects, and deformers — while studios will benefit from reduced batch render times.”
Harmony ups its game with a new SDK:
As the animation industry has grown alongside a new 18-34 demographic, the same trend is also true of videogames. The interactive entertainment industry is expected to be worth $138 billion in revenue by the end of 2021, and has been accelerating at a rapid pace over the past decade. With Harmony 21, artists working in games can create with the same tools and assets relied on in television and feature film production, allowing production teams to share more resources while avoiding duplication of effort.
Game developers around the world have already used Harmony to bring feature-quality animation into their projects, and Harmony 21 adds brand new tools and workflows with game development in mind. Developers will not only benefit from Harmony Premium’s Emmy Award-winning workflows for cut-out, paperless and hybrid animation techniques in their games — the latest update also includes posable Game Bone deformers, a Skin workflow for seamlessly swapping in alternate costumes and props, as well as an updated Gaming SDK for importing your assets directly into Unity.
“Harmony allows our artists to draw, rig and animate our characters, all in a single application. This speeds up the animation process and allows us to produce better results,” said Daniel Menard, CEO at Double Stallion Games. “Thanks to the efficient cutout and deformation tools in Harmony, we can fit far more animation into memory than we would be able to with frame-by-frame animation sheets. This translates to richer characters, smaller game files and faster loading times.”
The Ingredients of Animation:
To encourage animators to try out new tools and techniques, Toon Boom Animation assembled a demo pack titled The Ingredients of Animation, which features work from six artists participating in the Toon Boom Ambassador Program. Each artist hired for the project contributed scenes, made using a variety of cutout and tradigitial paperless techniques — and were inspired by recipes each artist has a personal connection to. The scenes include Matteo Ciompallini’s dumplings, Aria Dines’s deep dish pizza, Ryan Imm’s sundubu, Greg McMahon’s spaghetti, Mollie Ong’s liangpi and Lieke Wouters’ rijsttafel.
“It is possible to go to a restaurant without understanding all of the effort involved in preparing an elaborate dish, and viewers outside the animation industry are often unaware of the work that goes into a film or series,” said Stephanie Quinn, Head of Marketing at Toon Boom Animation. “As cooking videos reveal the preparation that goes into your meal, our goal with these clips was to spotlight the talent and craft that went into these scenes.”
In addition to in-depth interviews about these featured projects, Toon Boom Animation provides free video tutorials on our Learn Portal, introductory walkthroughs of Harmony and Storyboard Pro on YouTube, and offers instructor-led online training courses.
What’s new in Harmony 21:
- Bring feature-quality 2D animation to videogame productions, using Harmony’s all-new Gaming SDK and Unity plugin with support for Game Bones and alternate Skins.
- Control multiple deformers and drawings simultaneously with the Select Tool’s new Mixed Manipulation mode.
- Apply non-destructive shading and highlights over selected layers by painting with the Overlay Brush mode enabled.
- Set how pressure, tilt and speed of strokes affects the size and opacity of brushes, or even apply consistent tapering to each line, though the improved Brush Tool controls.
- Clean your drawings faster than before by trimming multiple lines using a single swipe gesture with the Cutter Tool.
Visit the Harmony product page for in-depth information on features, pricing and technical requirements.
Find helpful learning resources and join the conversation:
- Access free learning material and training resources at Toon Boom Learn
- Connect with Toon Boom on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram
- Join product and feature discussions on the Toon Boom Community
About Toon Boom Animation Inc:
Toon Boom Animation Inc.’s award-winning software is the global standard for animation, storyboarding and pipeline management. Storyboard Pro and Harmony solutions provide everyone from enthusiasts to professionals with the artistic freedom to create in any style and efficiently publish anywhere, while Producer provides real-time management for animated projects. Customers who chose Toon Boom animation software for the development and creation of their productions include Disney Television Animation, Amazon, Fox Television Animation, Nelvana, Toei Animation, The SPA Studios, Xilam and Boulder Media, to name a few. The technology is currently available in English, Spanish, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. For more information, visit: toonboom.com.
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