Anyone have experience with both Grease Pencil & Moho for 2D?

I’d like to get into 2D animation aside from 3D, and considering that Blender is a complete package for 3D, it obviously makes sense to consider using it for 2D as well. However, how does it compare feature-wise to something like Moho?

Some of the main questions I have:

• Is grease pencil vector or raster based (or both)?
• Does Blender offer the same types of animation styles (cut-out, cel, etc…)?
• What is the general workflow like between either program, how different (or similar) are they?

If I could do everything in Blender that would be great.

2D Animation with Grease Pencil is a relatively recent WIP.
The tool was used to make annotation and draw some lines.
Drawing experience was improved by adding brushes and sculpt mode in 2.77. In 2.78, layers and fills were improved with addition of color palettes and bones parenting. Support of interpolation between drawn frames was only supported in 2.79.
And the progress will continue in future 2.8. Grease Pencil will become a 3D object with modifiers and UI is completely redesigned by this change.
Currently, a grease pencil block is a data of a window.

What is the general workflow like between either program, how different (or similar) are they?

So, basically, in 2.79, the workflow is specific to Blender related to the fact that a tool not thought for that task grew up.
In 2.8, UI and workflow should be more fluent and designed with 2D animation using a 3D space in mind. But it is the future and currently, the greasepencil-object should be regarded as an experimental work-in-progress.

Is grease pencil vector or raster based (or both)?

Blender will render raster images of your Grease Pencil animation.
But inside blender, Grease Pencil strokes are made of points and segments like meshes without faces or curves without interpolated segments and control points handles. So, actually, editing of Grease Pencil strokes is a weird thing in-between editing a mesh and editing a curve ; but the ability to sculpt strokes is a great sensation that allows to overtake lacks that you can feel in edit mode. You can convert Grease Pencil Strokes to Meshes or Curves. But the reverse operation is only possible through addons and it is not supported, yet in 2.8 version.

Does Blender offer the same types of animation styles (cut-out, cel, etc…)?

Yes. But it will require using other tools than Grease Pencil, you will use same bones armature for 2D or 3D animation.
Lines can be Grease Pencil, an UVtexture on a Mesh plane or Curves. These things can be distorted by many ways or just rotated around a pivot by a bone.
Blender have several render engines supporting toon shaders and one NPR renderer called Freestyle to render 3D objects as stylized lines.
Through compositing node editor, you can give any style you like to your render.

To resume, as a 3D animation software suite, Blender has already a lot of tools. But the workflow to facilitate their use for a 2D style purpose is still in construction ; although 2D animations can be delivered with 2.79.

Thanks for the reply! This does answer some of my questions regarding Blender, but now I’m just wondering about the differences between its workflow and Moho’s? How similar (or different) is it, and would Blender be able to offer much of the same? I’m just trying to gauge if there’s actual justification in getting Moho in addition to using Blender for 2D.

I don’t know Moho. I just took a look to this page and some youtube videos.

It is a little bit hard to explain how workflow will be different. Because these softwares have lots of features.
I would say that as animation software, Blender is similar. Blender have same features (keyframes interpolations, motion blur, particles, masks, physics engine, etc…) and more (smoke,fluids, tracking…).
But all these features are thought with 3D in mind. So, to use them for a 2D purpose, you will have to restrict each tool, you will use.
For example, Bones that can rotate on 3 axis. You will have to lock 2 of their axis to make them rotate only one axis perpendicular to view plane.
Motion Blur is probably super easy to use in Moho. In Blender, it will work on solid faces of meshes rendered by a render engine.
You will have to create a duplicate mesh animation of your grease pencil animation if you want to add it through compositing nodes.
There is almost always a way to obtain desired result with Blender. But this way may required that you know Blender very well and it can be really complicated.
So, Blender is more powerful than Moho but it can be a labyrinthine system for 2D. If this power is not pertinent for your goal, it is just noise that will slow down your work.

If your goal is mainly to quickly learn and produce 2D animation with a little bit of 3D, only Blender is probably not the best choice.
Moho or Opentoonz or Synfig are probably more efficient choice.

Maybe in one or 2 years, it would be different.
When COATools addon will not be the only addon dedicated to 2D animation and templates for 2D would be more numerous ; maybe, there will be a direct to 2D way to learn Blender.

But if you want mainly to learn and pratice 3D and production of 2D animation is not an imperative for this year, you can take the time to learn basis of Blender and test its 2D tools. Anyways, Blender is free. Testing it will only cost time.