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As drawn in Flash by FinnieJr As drawn in Flash by FinnieJr
This is simply a test, after a recent post on "John K Stuff" giving a sneak peek at some new work he's doing, John said "of course you couldn't get line like this in Flash - not easily, anyway"

I appreciate the "not easily" part. I fully agree the brushes are difficult to work with in Flash. They require too much fixing as you go, and wind up taking too much time to get the drawings as you want them. Every now and then it gives you the line as you drew it, but most times in snaps into a weirdly rounded, muted version. It winds up being a combination of drawing and sculpting to get what you want from it.

Having been one of the early pioneers of Flash animation, John K's program of choice is now Toon Boom Harmony. I admit it looks good, and seems more geared to actual animation production, while Flash still shies away from marketing itself as more than a web tool. The problem is, it's all I've got. Unless I find the money tree, I can't afford any new software, especially not in the 4-figure range.

I just did this to see how close I could get to the look of his Harmony version. Of course it required a lot of fixing along the way. I also didn't have a sharp enough example of the original, so I could only come so close to the exact lines because I only had soft pixelated examples to work from.

I wish I could try the brushes in Harmony and see for myself how they compare. I sure would enjoy being able to work faster and get the results I'm looking for without the struggle. I certainly trust the opinion of John K when it comes to drawing tools, and I was disappointed when he dropped Flash in favor of Harmony, but only because I feel left behind with Flash now. I'm used to it's quirks and can work around most of them, but I liked it better when I was using the same program as a modern day master.
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Scunge Featured By Owner May 2, 2011
Toon Boom always has timely sales for Animate and Animate Pro. Just a few days ago on April 28th they had a one day sale where Animate was $299 (normally $699) and Animate Pro was $999 (normally $1999). I only have Animate and just a couple weeks ago they had a crossgrade special where I could have got Animate Pro for $589. So, while that $1999 price may look daunting and impossible, it is possible to get it for less than half that price if you take advantage of the specials and upgrades.These two programs are not Harmony and are built more for individual users, but they share the same features, drawing tools etc.
FinnieJr Featured By Owner May 2, 2011
I wonder if they have even deeper price cuts on older versions. What a treat it was to see some place advertising the Adobe CS4
Production Premium package for $99 less than 2 years after coughing up $1700 on it. I don't know if they were too reputable, though.

My problem at the moment is I couldn't afford new software right now even if it cost a buck-fifty (ok, maybe THAT I could swing...). Like many people out there, 2008 came along and gave my finances a major blow. I'm glad I got CS4 while I could, but right after it came out the bottom fell out of my income.

Sure would be a good time to make some money as an artist, but I guess winning the big lottery might be easier...
popyea Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011
I've always drawn and animated in flash and never really understood john's frustration with it.
If you check out my gallery, all the digital stuff is flash. You can judge yourself the line quality.
Though i admit, it's only due to some massive adjustment on my part, and i found after not having touched flash for about a year, i was having trouble again, i seemed to be less patient.
I still use flash for digital doodling and sketching though. My technique is too have the brush smoothness set to 0, have a medium sized brush and be zoomed in closer.

I'm with you in wanting to try out harmony. Flash is beginning to feel a bit clunky for those who just want freedom to draw.
FinnieJr Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011
I can understand the frustration he would have. There's no real way to get the exact lines you draw, no matter how steady and practiced you are. Flash's brushes "second guess" too much. You see a line that looks good as you draw it, but it makes too many errors plotting the vector points. I'd love to have it just give me what I see being drawn as I make each stroke. If Harmony does it better I can see why he prefers it. Personally, I hope it still has the rotating drawing board feature. Photoshop has this and it's a big help, but Flash doesn't. That requires some pretty awkward drawing positions sometimes.

I've tried the smoothing on 0, but the edges are then too chunky for me. I leave it at 50. It does a lot of rounding off, which I have to tug and push around to get what I want. At least I have an easier time than I have so far with Illustrator.

I've gotten used to the "line sculpting" part of drawing in Flash, using a tablet I just hold command and grab the edge and move it when it misses the mark. That and a lot of command+z and retrying. But I've tried drawing in ink on acetate like real cell animation and it's even harder to fix mistakes without an undo.
popyea Featured By Owner May 1, 2011
i'm not sure what you mean by, the edges are too chunky.
I find 50 unbearable, like i would be there for 5 minutes before i got a line i was happy with.
Where as with 0 smoothness, it's more like 80% of the time i get the line in one go.
Take a look at this [link]
Though it's got a tad more texture, the overall shape of the line is still what i intended. A slight roughness is a fair trade off for absolute control in my mind.

Line sculpting is a good idea for illustrations, but i wouldn't want to have to do that for animation!
FinnieJr Featured By Owner May 1, 2011
Yeah, that's the problem I have. I'm doing it for animated scenes. It takes forever. What I mean by "chunky" is the texture or roughness you mention. I like clean sharp lines, and lower settings just give me more kinks to iron out. I've found it's easier to fix edges with less detail.

That's why I'm intrigued by the way John describes Harmony's brush.
snowtrigger Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
You can download the demo from the ToonBoom website. Not sure about Harmony, but I know you can with Animate, and I'm pretty sure it's the same drawing tools.
FinnieJr Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011
They still have a 30 day demo? I downloaded one years ago on m old iMac, but I didn't get too far with it because I knew I couldn't afford to buy it. That's a factor again currently. It would be nice to try it, but I'd be out of luck if I liked it. Maybe I'll give it a go just to see, but I'll have to be content tweaking Flash's brush for now.
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Submitted on
April 30, 2011
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