Animate Pro= Capable of animating the anime style?

Can Toon Boom Animate Pro animate in the Japanese anime/manga style, as showcased in this video?


Animate Pro is a tool that will allow you to create pretty much any type of animation you would want. What really matters is the amount of time you want to spend on a project and the talent you have.



Hello everybody!

I purchased Animate Pro. Great software!

But i still have problems with inking to get my lines in anime-style.

It looks not natural at all.
I succeed to get an extremely good (and fast!) result with Manga Studio using the ‘curve-tool’ ( playing with stroke -in and stroke out option enabled/disabled) and an intuos tablet.
But it’s not an animation software.
What’s frustrating is that i am extremely happy with the other aspects of Animate (scanning, coloring, morphing, effects, …) .

Maybe there is an efficient alternative to get the same trace-result as with Manga Studio, but i didn’t succeed to find it.

Can you guys help me? Is there a good tracing/inking tutorial available somewhere on the internet?

Maybe are animate-tracing tools not optimised for anime-style?

(The example of Wolfclaw is perfect.
I add the anime-style vector- tracing i would like to achieve with toon-boom: )

It seems that a variable line thickness is what you’re looking for, Donbartolo.

Sad to say, but Animate (Pro or otherwise) doesn’t have that ability. You can, however use the brush tool and make shapes that could be used instead of centerline-type lines.

As far as inking goes, import your drawing into its own layer in Animate Pro, and create a new drawing layer. In the Draw window, turn on the Lightbox icon (it looks like a Light bulb) and you should be able to have a reference to ink from.

As a Manga Studio user, the vector lines/tools in MS are not at all like the ones in Animate.

To ‘fake’ the stroke in&out, use the centerline tool to rough in the lines you want. Then convert the centerlines to contour lines. Now you just need to curve out the ends (by clicking on the area between the two control points and dragging) and you should have a tapering line. Look in the User’s guide – the chapter about Drawing and animating.

Do keep in mind that you’ll have to reverse-engineer the Anime-Style-type elements you want to duplicate. So a lot of stuff (like textures for backgrounds, rusty locks, etc) will have to be made in a Bitmap program and then imported into Animate.

I’m currently too busy to do a tutorial, but don’t give up. Treat this like a Pizza – you’re not going to eat it in one bite, you have to slice it up and eat it slice by slice.

Break it down, in other words. Don’t worry about animating right away, work on just drawing to get the line quality you want. Then work on backgrounds. And then put them together and tweak until you get the results you’re looking for.

You completely understood my problem Mike ! ;D

You are also absolutely right. I need to take more time on practicing drawing than animating on Toon Boom Animate.

But i’m afraid “tweaking” takes time to get the same effect as in Manga Studio (or Retas HD).
This is less a problem when you work with symbols because you can re-use elements, but when you have to make animation going up to 8 (sometimes 12!) different frames/sec, you can’t permit to loose too much time.

The world of animation is surely more than only ‘anime’, so i can understand that’s not a priority for the Toon Boom Animate (pro) package. But it’s such a rich software, that it is a bit frustrating not to have a tool that can achieve that functionality in one single step.

But like you advised: i will practise slicing my pizza a lot, maybe i will learn to “tweak” fast.

Great thanks for your answer Mike! I really appreciate the way you explained it. :slight_smile:

To the Toon Boom team:
I am glad having purchased AnimatePro! ;D But i truely believe it would be a great improvement for anime-lovers to think about this problem. (= A tool which could emulate the line+ thickness + stroke in/out functionality without unnecessary haggling on ancherpoints . Like manga Studio or Retas bent-line tool.)

Here a link to a very interesting video. Concerning my problem, please watch from 8:14: 00 on. Please notice what’s been said about productivity and the BENT-LINE tool:

Hello Administrator Ugo.

What do you think about this video? Don’t you think that the bent-tool should be a nice tool for the Animate Package?


I will be sending a request to the product manager of the software. Basically if I understand correctly what you are looking for is a way to control line thickness with pencil line (rather then brush).

I can’t guarantee much there as I have a feeling we would need to recode the way the pencil line are working throughout the software to get such a feature, though it is an interesting tool that I could see being quite useful to speed up the tuning of animation done in pencil lines.

In the meantime, as it was described bellow you might want to convert your line to brush and do the modifications with the contour editor.

Best regards,


The advantage of this tool is to have in one single step the possibility to have a line to bent with thickness = boost up vector- productivity radically in a frame by frame drawing context

But i believe that the best exemple to provide to the technical team is the video link from my last mail:
(from 8:14: 00 on)

Great thx for your feedback Ugo!
And believe me except this (important to me ) problem, i l-o-v-e Animate ! :slight_smile:

Hi Honeypearle!

Thx for answering.
I know Tvpaint Pro very well. :slight_smile: I began working with it on amiga. Than when it was called aura, mirage… and then back again Tv Paint Pro.

It does a wonderful job, but just forget it for vector drawings. And i want to go full-vector. So, no bitmap drawings anymore… (Except for backgrounds :p)
It takes too much time to create (especially if you begin with paper to scan)

For making anime, Retas is the software to choose, but… Celsys didn’t update the software for the english release since … End 2006!!

A lot of things happened since then… (Watch the 2d>3d layers in Animate Pro! Just amazing!)

Animate Pro is capable of doing most thing Retas does… But some fundamental tools are missing for making productively anime. And as long as a tool like the bent-tool will not be integrated in this software… There will be a hole in the animation market that Animate could fill and that they just miss. (see reasons mentioned in the video related to the use of the bent-tool)

The only way i see to make great quality anime possible at the moment with Toon Boom Animate Pro is by working first on paper, and scan them in. (Once again : the scanning capabilities of TB Animate Pro are just Wonderful!)
But this is a long process… And actually a process that tends to be… Outdated! (Except for big Movies like Ponyo. But they got the money to take more time for making a movie)

ps: Nice “Sailor Moon” drawing. Keep up the good work. :slight_smile:

Have you tried using multiple software with Animate to achieve what you want? This is what I’m doing…

- Storyboard Pro (Pencil test)
- Animate Pro (Import everything into it)

- Photoshop (BG)
- Illustrator (Work on each frame/Cel)
- After Effects (Compositing)

- 3D Studio Max or Maya (3D CGI)

I find that this works well for me, since I’m going based off Production I.G. and how they handled the anime series, GANTZ.

Thx for answering Raven!

Interesting way of working! I never tried out Storybord Pro for pencil testing. I will surely give it a try! ;D

For the moment, this is how i do:

- Ruff animation (blue inking) : Toon Boom Animate Pro
- Ruff Animation cleaned in Manga Studio
( Sorry Toon Boom, but i am still not satisfied with the ‘ink’ simulation. Looks not natural at all for my purposes. )
- character coloring : photoshop or toon boom Animate Pro
- backgrounds: photoshop
- check animation/ compositing : Toon Boom Animate Pro
- further compositing: after effects

What i will change in the future: invest in STYLOS and maybe also in PAINTMAN from Retas (=animation version of Manga Studio).

ps: Did you see or read something about the way Gantz is made? Not easy to find real making-of’s from anime’s on the internet.

Hello Donbartolo,

In my opinion, doing “Anime” style animation is about drawing and designing within that style, correctly timing the action (usually beyond 2s) and blasting the whole thing with many effects.

In other words, you can do all of that in Animate Pro. There is no such software designed to make Manga / Anime style animation only. These are all animation software in which the chosen style is to do manga.

I would say there is no need to scan and import your drawings if you don’t want to. Simply draw them in the Camera View using the Wacom tablet of your choice. The Cintiqs are expensive, but will make your job easier. Use a Brush tool set between 1-5 or a Pencil tool set at 5 pixels to get that thin line you want in the linked video you supplied in the first post.

If you want to “bend” your line so much, use the Contour Editor tool to pull the points. However, I was under the impression that Mangas were drawn free hand.

Anyways, I hope these comments will help.

- Hans Solo

I suppose if i had never touched a computer before, wanted a condenced caricature of anime and didn’t played with this software,
this poste would be of great help. Thx Hans! ;D

So, i think i will stick to my plan and fill the gaps by investing in other software to use in combination with Animate.

Great thx for all you guys answers, and i hope the TB Animate -team will take a serious look to Retas/manga studio and try to find a way to develop and add ink-tools for a future release of Animate. That’s my only request concerning this topic.

I have the boxset for season 1 and 2 of Gantz, which comes with a featurette about how they made the show.

They use After Effects and Premiere for compositing and editing.

The animation software itself is either a in-house one or Retas! Pro.

Hi Raven!

Sounds interesting! i will look after that! :smiley:

Hey Monkeyrent!

I don’t know Digital Pro from Toon Boom, but one thing is sure:
the brush on Animate needs drastically to be improved.

Just like you i make hand-drawn animations, and i’m …still… not satisfied with the Animate brush -results.

My answer to this problem:
- Sketch lines in tv-paint
- cleaning (black/white) in Manga Studio
- Export and vectorisation (really good result!) in Animate Pro

The result is just what i am looking for. But it’s annoying and expensive to use so much different softwares just for a brush-matter -_-

Hopefully the Toon Boom Team is working heavily on this matter for the following update! They can’t shut their eyes for the most read topic from this forum! Or … Can they? :’(

I watched the video link you put up and it seems to me that the bent line tool that you want is just a bezier line tool. Toon Boom has one of those but it’s called the polyline tool.