Vyond vs. Toonly: 10 Differences you Need to Know

review Feb 12, 2021
 

I’m gonna compare Toonly and Vyond and show you what each animation tool does better.

You can watch the video on Youtube right here.

I’ve chosen 10 essential points to compare - based on my 8 years of experience with different animation makers.

You can use the links below to navigate to the points you find most important in your decision on what tool to sign-up for.

If you read the whole blog post from start to end, you’re gonna get a solid overview of the pros and cons of each one, which will make it easy for you to decide on the one that fits your needs better.

1. Video Templates
2. Speed of Interface
3. Libraries
4. Character Creator
5. Lip Sync
6. Combining Actions
7. Video Import
8. Playhead vs. Motion Path
9. Aesthetics
10. Price

Let’s jump straight into this head-to-head comparison of Toonly vs. Vyond.

Vyond vs. Toonly

My name is Rued Riis, and I teach people how to create instructional videos.

Both Toonly and Vyond can be used for this, but there are some differences on core functionalities, you need to know before selecting your weapon of choice:

Video Templates

The reason why you use an online animation maker instead of learning a more advanced tool like Adobe afterEffects is to save time, right?
You want a tool that enables you to quickly turn an idea into a video, without much training and time-spend.
One of the keys to creating video fast is TEMPLATES.
A template allows you to get off to a good start and then make changes to the template, so it fits with the story you want to tell.
Toonly doesn’t have any video templates - and as you can read on their FAQ page that I’ve linked to in the description, this is because they want you to create your unique video.
That’s all very good, but for a beginner, the blank white canvas can be pretty daunting.
So, the fact the Vyond has 100+ video templates with a lot of contemporary themes like remote work, gender and race equality, covid, etc makes Vyond a better tool for anyone who wants to use a video template as their point of departure.
Toonly does have Scene Templates, and these are good for quickly creating individual scenes. But I miss the business contexts in those scene templates, where you’ll mostly find templates “at the beach” or “in the park”.
Like with the VIDEO templates, Vyond also has many more and much better SCENE templates to choose from.

One point goes to Vyond for their great video and scene libraries.


Speed of Interface

Even though online animation makers are time-savers in themselves, compared to traditional tools, you are still going to spend some time in either Toonly or Vyond.
Therefore, it’s important how fast they work, so you don’t get annoyed with waiting for things to load, for example.
Toonly does a great job here, and I love their instant Preview function. Hit space, and the scene you’re working on plays immediately.
In Vyond, you wait a few seconds every time you want to Preview a scene. This adds up over time - both in terms of frustration and actual time-spend.
On top of that, Toonly shows you exactly what happens in every frame of the scene if you move the Playhead back and forth.
Vyond only shows you what’s in the whole scene, so you have to wait for that Preview to load - every time you want to check that your timing is right.

One point goes to Toonly for the speed of their interface.


Libraries

All animation makers come with libraries of characters, backgrounds, and props to fill your scenes with. They act like the building blocks you build your scenes and ultimately, your whole video with.
So, the number and variation of building blocks become pretty important for the video you’ll end out with.
Vyond and Toonly do this in different ways. Toonly’s Standard license comes with a number of scenes, backgrounds, characters, and objects, but it’s not much to choose from. The model is that you then have to upgrade to Enterprise to expand all the libraries.
Vyond, on the other hand, offers all assets within certain styles in their cheapest plan. Then, if you upgrade to more expensive plans, you get an additional style called Contemporary and everything that goes with it in terms of templates, characters, Props, etc.
So Toonly only has one style and limits you in that style unless you upgrade.
Vyond has a couple of styles that are fully equipped with complete libraries, and if you want an additional animation style, you have to upgrade for that.
I personally believe that software services should charge you extra when you move from a complete service up to extra services.
I do not like when software charges extra to go from a limited service to a complete service - that’s not extra, that’s just complete.
You want to pay from good to great, not from bad to good, does it make sense?
I believe the Libraries in Toonly are too small to cover my creative needs. Too often am I left with an empty result after searching for something I need for a scene.
Vyond’s libraries are 10 times larger and are constantly being updated with contemporary stuff to fit the time we’re living in.

One point goes to Vyond for their large asset libraries.


Character Creator

Oftentimes, you want to include yourself, your colleagues, or a fictional person as a character in your video. In order to make a character look like yourself, for example, you need a character creator or at least some customization options to change the look of the standard characters.
Toonly doesn’t have that. Vyond has that.
Toonly only offers you about 30 characters to choose from on the Standard plan. So if you’re a female astronaut or a black president, the chances of finding a character that looks like you are 0%. You’re stuck with the selection in the Character Library. Even the titles of the characters in Toonly are pretty far off, I’d say.
Vyond has a Character Creator, where you can swap and customize any part of a person. This enables you to make unique characters that can be animated and used in your video.

One point goes to Vyond for their Character Creator.


Lip Sync

Both Toonly and Vyond do lip-sync; synchronizing the mouth of a Character to the sound of an imported voice-over.
In Toonly, Lip Sync is a Type, as they call character animations. This means that if you want a Toonly character to Lip Sync, it’s the only thing it does. No walking, no waving, just lip-sync.
In both tools, you apply it in the same way. Choose lip-sync and select the track you want to sync with.
Although in Vyond, Lip Sync is not a primary action. Vyond characters can do anything while Lip-Syncing at the same time. Present, for example. Or walk and talk.

Although I like the idea of combining Lip Sync with other actions, I want to give both tools a point for making it super easy to make your characters lip-sync to a voice-over.


Combining Actions

It’s very common to combine multiple actions for a Character. For example typing on a keyboard, stand up and walk out of the scene.
Toonly does this seamlessly - with perfect transitions from Action to Action. A Character can do as many Actions as you want in one scene, and it’s very easy to do (once I read the FAQ and understood their “Playhead” logic for making characters walk - I’ll come back to that.)
Vyond only allows one Action per scene. Students from my Vyond course often ask me how to combine Actions in Vyond, and the answer is maybe not so intuitive;
You have to either use “Continue Last Scene” and apply the next actions in a new scene.
Or, use multiple copies of the same Character in one scene, and make them appear and disappear for each new action.

Even though it’s doable and becomes easy once you get used to that workflow, I still want to give Toonly a point for how seamless they’ve made it to Combine Actions for Characters.


Video import

I love to combine real live footage recorded on a camera, with animations made in an animation tool.
This is only doable if the tool allows for video import. Toonly says no, Vyond says yes.
How it works is that you import a video clip, add it to a scene and animate on top of it. Or you use it as part of an animated scene, like on a computer screen.
I use the first method quite a lot - adding a layer of animation to my videos. Toonly can’t do this, but there’s a workaround that works in both Toony and Vyond:
If you make the background a color that’s not very different from the rest of the scene, most video editing software is able to recognize and remove that color. The classic choice is a strong green color that I then remove in iMovie or Screenflow. I’ve made a more detailed video on how to do it if you’re interested.
With that being said, it’s just so much easier to import your video clip into Vyond and animate on top of that.

So, one point goes to Vyond for supporting video import.


Playhead vs. Motion Path

When you want a thing or a person to move, you use a Playhead logic in Toonly and a Motion Path logic in Vyond.
Toonly’s Playhead logic takes some time to wrap your head around if you’re new to video making, but it actually follows the same idea that other tools like iMovie, Screenflow and Premiere use.
Explained simply, you add something to a scene, which is its starting position. Then you move the Playhead to where you want any movement to end, and position the thing at its end position.
Now, the thing will travel from point A to point B over the time, you’ve chosen with your Playhead.
Confusing? Then you’ll probably prefer Vyond’s Motion Paths.
In Vyond, you also add something to a scene, but now you click it and choose Motion Path.
This allows you to choose a Point A and B, then adjust the duration of that travel in the Timeline.

Two different methods, none is better than the other, so points to both tools for making Props and Characters move around our scenes.


Aesthetics

This might be a bit subjective, but there is a big difference in what Toonly-videos and Vyond-videos taste like.
The style of the characters and objects has a lot to say in relation to what context you’ll use it in.
If you have a business and you plan on using animation video to present or market yourself, I would never create it in Toonly. The look and feel is just too cartoonish and cheap, in a way.
Vyond’s three primary styles are all suited for business use, and you can customize all Props to match them to the colors of your brand. Not possible in Toonly.
So when choosing a tool, you also have to take a step back and look at what you see; do you want this to represent your brand, your idea or your story?

Again, it’s about personal and professional preference, but I’m much in favor of how Vyond has designed their styles.


Price

Last but not least, we have to talk about pricing.
In short, Vyond is more expensive. The monthly subscription is $49, $89, or $159, depending on what plan, you need.
The $49 one is with a Vyond watermark on exported videos, the $89 one is without it, but also without the Contemporary style, and the $159 is with everything they've got.
Toonly costs $39 or $69 per month. So about half the price.
And I’ve seen campaigns for Toonly where you get a lifetime Standard license for $67.
THAT’s a pretty good deal I’d say - but if you are going to invest in an animation tool, I’d still recommend paying a premium for Vyond.
But, if you’re on a budget, you want to make videos, and you manage to find the Facebook ad with the $67-lifetime license, then Toonly is the better option.

One last point to Toonly for their lifetime-deal.

Conclusion

With 7 points vs. 5 points, the winner of today’s head to head between Vyond and Toonly is…

VYOND!

In conclusion, I’ll say that Toonly is great for private use like birthday wishes, invitations, animated greetings and stuff like that.

But Vyond is the better tool for business owners, instructional designers and freelancers who use it professionally.

I do these comparisons from time to time - the last one I did compared Vyond and Videoscribe in terms of their whiteboard features.

Vyond also won that one - maybe it’s just the leading online animation tool out there? (Even though Toonly states that they are the “world's best cartoon explainer video creation tool.”)

Make sure to read over Toonly’s FAQs to know exactly what people are normally concerned about before and after purchasing Toonly.

There’s also a link to Vyond’s Video Template library that you use to get an idea of the aesthetics of Vyond, the different styles and if there’s any template for what you’re working with.

If you learned anything new in this post, leave a comment - and subscribe to my Youtube channel if you are generally interested in instructional video making.

Thanks for reading along, take care of yourself and those around you.

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