Moho Pro 12
more mojo How successful is Smith Micro in revamping its mature animation software, the previously named Anime Studio?
Smith Micro has revamped the tools (and the name) of its previous hit animation software, Anime Studio. But how successful is the makeover?
The new Mesh Warp enables you to define areas of your art
The initial feeling when launching Moho Pro 12 is one of freshness. Although the updated interface will be familiar to users of previous versions, it’s much more in keeping with current interface trends and should be less intrusive as you work.
That said, you can adjust the brightness of menus, as well as colours of highlights. Similar adaptability is available for window placement and you can save workspaces, to aid efficiency. Elsewhere, there have been reworkings of two key areas. Both the Layers panel and the Content Library have been overhauled to make things easier to use – much-needed changes.
Although it’s an animation tool, Moho users spend a lot of time creating objects, and the developers have upped their game in this area. Version 12 has a revised vector system, which makes the task of drawing accurate curves easier than ever. New handles allow for fine tuning while keeping things clean, with as few points as possible to achieve best results. Vector import and export is better too, with full support for various stages of your creative process. If you like to create your assets in Illustrator for example, you no longer need to worry about what will make it through the transfer.
While the bones and onion-skinning tools have always been strong, it’s good to see Smith Micro adding to the features with some innovative ideas. The new Mesh Warp enables you to define areas of your art, either bitmap or vector, which can then be deformed and keyframed. Uses for this are endless, but it’s a good way of setting up selective squash and stretch as aids for lip-syncing, adding to facial expressions, or creating swaying foliage. It’s a deceptively simple implementation which, with a little planning, produces some great results.
Animators enjoy new goodies, too. Keyframing can be given separate channels, to make controlling, editing and navigating easier. There’s also a new IK (inverse kinematics) constraint to isolate defined bones, reducing the need for unwanted knock-on changes.
There are many, many more new features and tweaks, from real motion blur to batch exporting, all of which make Moho Pro 12 a worthy upgrade. It feels like a fresh app that sits well with other creative software, and has some excellent new innovations.
If hesitant about taking the plunge, you can trial the software, or purchase the cheaper Moho Debut 12 (£56), to get a good idea of what you can achieve with the program.
The new GUI is adaptable, but the defaults feel fresh and up-to-date with other art and design software.
Achieve better lip-sync results, with Moho’s new Mesh Warp tool.
Inverse kinematics gives greater control over bones.