Moho enthusiast, veteran computer graphics instructor and Moho Official Influencer, Lester Banks weighs in on Moho 12's newest improvements and how they compare to 2d Animation program, After Effects. For more great Moho tutorial info head to his site, lesterbanks.com and be sure to follow him on twitter @lesterbanks.
Please Note: This article was originally published on lesterbanks.com on 10/01/16.
Chuck DeGroot is owner and lead animator for Illuminate, a motion design, animation and visual effects house. Chuck posts a look at some of the differences between Moho (formerly Anime Studio) and After Effects. This is especially helpful if you are already an After Effects user, and would like to add or switch to Moho. The tutorial covers the various ways the two applications deal with keyframe interpolation. Spoiler alert, Moho has some really well thought out interpolation presets, and workflow.
The Importance of Interpolation
Adding keyframes is only part of the equation. As artists, we can’t leave important decisions to the tool we happen to be using at the time. One such important decision is how the keyframes are being interpolated. Animation is all about timing and spacing, and directing the spacing is just as important as directing the timing.
Animators will have their own personal preference as to interpolation defaults. If you after working on the timing of your animation, most prefer stepped, pop-through, or none. If you are just making simple, quick and dirty motion, animators like to have a spline that makes some nice base-eases. After Effects default interpolation method is linear.
Jumping Around Interpolation Settings
While working, you will usually bounce between various keyframe /graph interpolation methods. You might start out stepped, and then change to curves, then maybe adjust those curves, and move to linear.
After Effects has a few simple “ease” settings that you can get to easily, under the keyframe assistant contextual menu. The thing is, it is really hard to bounce around to different keyframe interpolation settings. Making matters worse, is that the dialog where you can change all of that is modal, meaning you need to dismiss it when you want to do anything else with the application making it a massive workflow killer.
Keyframe Interpolation, Moho Makes it Ease-y
Silly puns aside, Moho makes it really simple to move from all the interpolation settings. There is a clear and easily accessible pull down menu that can change the default interpolation method, right on the timeline. Creating keys will use the interpolation method that is chosen in the dropdown. Make a few linear, make a few curved, make a few stepped.
Screenshot of Moho interpolation settings.
Moho also has a contextual menu that handles keyframe interpolation like Ae does, but there is more in there. You can easily choose between ease presets, bezier, step, stagger, hold, noisy, cycle, bounce elastic, and more.
What’s more, is that choosing one, will bring up a non-modal dialog. This lets you choose keyframes, and then change the settings in the panel for those keyframes.
Moho also reads the last keyframe as the end of the animation, no matter what the interpolation setting is. This differs from After Effects, if you create expressions, or use scripts that affect interpolation. Often, it is difficult to know when the animation will actually stop, as it often will go on beyond the last keyframe.
Better Workflow for Animators
Watching Chuck DeGroot walk through easing features in Moho, really makes it clear that the application has a real focus on workflow and ease-of-use for animators of all skill levels.