Dr. Mussey's Blog
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Harmony 10 is now 64-bit. Should you care?


Last year, I made an animation for CES about Steve Ballmer. Using all of the 3D features of Harmony 9, I added a stage, characters, and background. I also added rows and rows of people. The goal was to recreate the “drama” of the big event before making fun of it all.

As the scene was composited, I ran into trouble: Simply maneuvering around the elements made my machine pause and then crash. It became extremely difficult to work with the animation. If I rendered anything other than a 720 by 480 resolution frame, the program crashed. Even though I set my preferences in the program to reduce memory use, the program still stuttered. I was able to create the basic scene before frustration made me stop.

My assumption: Even my well-equipped Intel i7 machine was overwhelmed.

I was wrong. The problem was Harmony 9, which is a 32-bit program, could not handle the memory demands of my complex scene.

So, Harmony 10 is 64-bits and advertises faster and better scene handling. Would it perform as advertised? Is it REALLY better?

On that same machine, now running Harmony 10, I loaded up the Steve Ballmer animation. Would it crash? Could I render film resolution frames without the dreaded Windows 7 error message?

The result: The animation is easily handled by my computer and Harmony 10. The animation renders film quality frames with no difficulty. The difference is dramatic.

Harmony has a lot of features. Power users will quickly add complexity to their scenes. If you are stuck in 32-bit, these scenes become unmanageable, even on the fastest super-computer.

Switch to 64-bit and even my first generation Intel i7 runs like a sports car.

Harmony 10’s step upwards is 64-bits and it is a really big deal! Go for it!

Steven Mussey, M.D.

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