Skip to main content

Should You Buy or Upgrade to MOHO 13? *Spoiler* Yes. Yes You Should!

MOHO 13's New Character Set.
Smith Micro released MOHO 13, their all in one, 2D animation studio, this week. The question is should you buy or upgrade to the latest version? Obviously I've already spoiled this in the title, so the actual question is why do I think you should buy or upgrade?

To be clear, I'm only talking about MOHO 13 Pro. If you're considering MOHO 13 Debut be aware that you're missing out on some of the new features, and a lot of existing features that are only available in the Pro version. Debut is fine if the budget doesn't stretch to Pro, but, if you never want to be disappointed about not having a feature, it's Pro or nothing!

The other thing I need to be transparent about is I'm not, by any stretch, a frequent MOHO user/animator. However I took the time to learn MOHO 12 Pro fairly extensively, blogging about my process and sorting out 104 free MOHO training videos into a logical viewing order in the process. I think I have more than enough insight to let you know if the upgrade is worth it.



MOHO 13 Pro has three core new features that Smith Micro is promoting.

  1. Bitmap Freehand Drawing Tools, Frame by Frame Capabilities (not all bitmap features available in Debut).
  2. Enhanced 3D Object Light Manipulation and Materials support (not available in Debut).
  3.  New 'Actions' Window Interface (not available in Debut).
(That list right there is reason enough to buy Pro over Debut if you can).

I'll talk about these from least to most interesting to me, beginning with number two, Enhanced 3D Object Light Manipulation and Materials support. For me Object Light Manipulation is a great inclusion. MOHO has a true 3D camera and can import 3D objects. It makes sense to add more control to how things are lit. If you like to create 3D environments that you render to look 2D like your characters this will be extremely useful.

That's not the only 3D new feature. You also get 3D Object Materials Support. If you know what that sentence means (and I do), I'm very excited for you if that's something you need.

Item three, the new 'Actions' Window is essentially a more organised UI specifically for creating a searchable library of reusable saved actions for whatever characters you're rigging. From what I can see from the demonstration video each character rig has its own Actions Window. That is, if you select a character rig and open the Action Window, only the actions for that character will be shown (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

Whether it shows just the actions for the selected character (or maybe it can show all actions in the current scene if no character is selected) it's definitely a welcome addition that will save you time.

For me, the number one reason you should buy or upgrade to MOHO 13 Pro is item one on the list, Bitmap Freehand Drawing Tools, Frame by Frame Capabilities. Previously MOHO has been almost entirely Vector based drawing, which is terrible for sketching characters and ideas.



Essentially this means you can literally create frame by frame, hand drawn animation right inside MOHO 13. In my view that truly makes MOHO 13 Pro worthy of the title, the All-In-One 2D Animation Software for Professionals.

You can pretty much do every type of 2D animation in MOHO 13 Pro from Traditional to 3D enhanced, 2D animation. The only way it could be more inclusive would be if you could actually build your 3D models in the studio as well.

Bitmap drawing support is what was missing from previous versions of MOHO. You even get support for freehand bitmap brushes. Previously if you wanted to do any kind of rough sketching you'd have to fire up a third party drawing app and import your images into MOHO. Now you can sketch and rough out ideas, create animatics, draw frame by frame animation, and use those bitmaps as a base for your vector drawings as well.

If MOHO 12 Pro had bitmap support I feel I may have stuck with it more simply because I'd be able to sketch ideas right in the studio itself.



To sum up. If you're completely new to digital animation MOHO 13 may not be the easiest place to start but persevere. If Smith Micro's history is anything to go by you'll still need those 104 free videos to learn the software completely (noting that some of those tutorials go as far back as MOHO 11 and were rebranded and sold in a combo video training course for MOHO 12 by Smith Micro - I know because I bought that combo course). Stick with it and you'll become a formidable (and probably very employable) animator.

If you're already in deep with MOHO 12 Pro, it really depends on how much you want these new features? The only thing stopping me upgrading right away - and I've continuously upgraded since version 11 despite not using the app all that much - is that I feel I'm in too deep with another animation app now, that better suits my needs, to warrant the upgrade this time.

An animation of my original Alvin Owl
character that I did learning MOHO 12.
However, in an animation studio that has always had vector drawing tools (at least for as long as I've known about it), bitmap drawing tools are really an essential companion. The ability to sketch in bitmap and 'ink' in vector all in the one app is reason enough for me to upgrade if MOHO was my main animation app.

That's what it comes down to for me. Ever since I bought version 11 (then known as Anime Studio 11 Pro) I've maintained that MOHO is a really good animation studio, capable of quality animation. It's a steep learning curve because it is so feature packed, not because it's hard to learn. It's one of those studios that'll grow with you as you gain confidence with it.

 That's why I think you should buy or Upgrade to MOHO 13 Pro if it is something that you're looking at as your next investment in your animation journey.

MOHO 13 is available in both Windows and Mac versions. #NotSponsored


Related Udemy Affiliate Links

Popular posts from this blog

Featured Animator: Christian Haynes - 'Zack In Time' An Original, Independent, Animated Series on the Rise

Christian Haynes - Zack In Time.  If you've ever wanted to create an animated TV series staring your own original characters and stories then Los Angeles based writer, director, and animator, Christian Haynes is taking those next steps of putting together a team, developing a pitch/trailer for their series, Zack In Time. Featuring professional studio quality animation, they hope the show will get picked up by an animation studio for an official series. The path he and his team are taking is one you could easily follow as they deal with real life commitments, and building a following on Instagram and Tik-Tok showcasing their work behind the scenes. TET: Tell me a little about yourself. Who you are, and why you started animating? My name is Christian Haynes and I've loved animation ever since I was a kid. I would constantly be drawing cartoon characters from TV shows and movies and making my own little homemade comic strips.  As I got older, I became a lot more interested in st

Reallusion Releases Cartoon Animator 5 - One Version, More Features, Lower Price!

If you're serious about producing 2D animation as quickly as possible, while still achieving professional results, Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5 makes the most compelling case yet as your animation studio/tool of choice. Cartoon Animator's point of difference has always been its ease of use and accelerated workflow. Creating fast, 2D animation using puppet, bone rigged based characters and props, on a stage with 3D depth for easy scene parallax effects. As it has developed Reallusion has incorporated more advanced features like motion capture for both face and body as well as being able to export scenes to post production tools like After Effects with the addition of plugins. After moving away from Flash based vector image support for a few years, Reallusion is back with full .SVG (scalable vector graphics) support for resolution independent graphics. They've also added Spring Dynamic physics and Full Form Deformation tools, both of which make it ridiculously easy t

Shotcut - Free Open Source Video Editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Shotcut Open Source Video Editor. I've been on the hunt for a while now for the best, free, open source, video editing application out there. In Shotcut , by Meltytech , which has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, I think I may have found a real front runner. This won't be a feature filled review, rather it will be my first impressions after having used Shotcut on a few of my YouTube videos so far. One of my key criteria for a video editor is the ability to import any video format directly into the project. This may seem like an odd focus initially but having convert video to something your video editor can use is annoyingly time consuming, and it creates a new generation of footage, potentially with a loss in quality if you don't really know much about video format specs (that's this guy right here!). Shotcut will happily work with my OBS recordings (.FLV), and .MOV, .MP4 files that I get from two different cameras. Not only that but Shotcut doesn't hold me up

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

July 1992 Edition, CU Amiga Featuring Amy the Squirrel. American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz , (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney , Chuck Jones , Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer , a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter . This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did. There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this,

TimeBolt: Fast Video Editing for Anyone Creating Online Courses, Podcasts, or Vlogs.

I resisted making tutorial videos for a long time because I don't like editing. Specifically I don't like editing me teaching as I step students through a process during a screen record. I have a tendency to insert long pauses not just in the middle of sentences but between multiple words in the middle of sentences as my pace matches what I'm doing onscreen. This makes for very long and very slow paced video tutorials. To counteract this I have to edit out all the pauses. This can take hours, or even days on particularly long tutorials. For example, when I created my main course, The Lazy Animator Beginner's Guide to Cartoon Animator , I literally injured the thumb on my right hand, operating my mouse, as I spent weeks taking out all my pauses (seriously, I had to wear a thumb brace for a few weeks to fix the pain). Recently I came across TimeBolt , a very affordable, fast editing application with the featured purpose of removing all the pauses from your video (and even

Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar I've made of myself in any 3D application. Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from. Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro. Auto Mode Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model. I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I