animating with bones tutorial?

i’ve been following the great tutorials on the toonboom site, however i’m quite surprised that there is no coverage of bones or IK in the rigging section. any reason this was omitted? seems like a major asset in the tool arsenal in animate/pro. the detailed video guidance of the the complicated process of setting up a pivoting rig system in the network view was very helpful (including the “real world” caveats), i would love to see that same attention given to the IK method.

I assume this is coming.

It was included in the old kickstart tutorials.

, I used to be a Digital Pro user , But the IK changed in Animate And it confused me .
was exacting they will set the IK for cartoon rabbit before saving it in the Library .
I can’t wait for more tutorial ,

Thanks For the free helpful Tutorials .

I agree with Raider, I think Marie mentioned before that all that stuff is coming soon. I never really had much interest in using Ik probably because I find the setup to tedious, and technical. In my opinion, Having a properly rigged character is far easier for posing and animating.

Although, I realize that having a good understanding of how to work with ik and fk probably has it’s benefits as well. Who knows may be when toonboom releases an ik tutorial I might change my mind a bit.

That is why I am eagerly waiting for the Animate rigging tutorial, although after watching the pro rigging tutorials that where released friday, I have a pretty good idea on the mixed rig setup. The mixed rig tecnique is, in my opinion, the key set up to master inside out, cause it’s the most difficult one to learrn and the one more commonly used by pro animation studios, because it gives you more animation freedom.

So what’s my point? … ahhh… I dont have one, just thinking outloud I guess:)


I just wanted to mention a couple things.

First, the IK is more of an Animation tool. It is not a rigging tool.
It also does not work with Bones (not the same way as the new TB Studio Bones feature anyway.)

The IK will have a set of videos all to itself in the Cut-out Animation pack.

First, to use the IK, you have to rig your character following the technique from either the User Guide or the Rigging videos (Pack 9).

In the User Guide, there is a quite detailed explanation of the new IK:

- Chapter 15: Animating Your Puppets > Animating using Inverse Kinematics on page 661. There are 15 pages of explanations.

Let me know if this helps!


i guess i am mostly interested in seeing it carried out and set up properly. the network rigging video tutorial showed some helpful procedures like using drawing elements as pegs and things like that. i’m assuming that seeing an experienced animate pro artist setting up and using the IK system would also provide some similar “real world” usage techniques.

I just purchased Animate for the rigging/bone aspect. I tried working with Studio and walked away under the impression that you couldn’t really do that there. I’m interested in seeing what kind of tutorials you guys have, but what “Bones” feature are you talking about in Studio? Maybe I missed something…

the latest version of studio has bones.

In animate when people say bones they are referring to IK which is very different to the bones in studio. I am sure bones will be part of animate 3.

Ah okay, so studio wouldn’t really benefit me if I’m looking to make a short film which involves a lot of animation. That’s good to know that I made the right choice then! I’ve seen several videos on the IK but which one would you guys recommend the most to a beginner in Animate like me who has mostly experience with Studio and wants to speed up their workflow?

ETA: Fixin’ up my post.

I bought Animate 2 before Toon Boom released the 7-9 training pack videos and was completely new to the software. Like you, one of the things that attracted me to the program was the possibility of using cut out animation and an IK system. Compared to 3D rigging the hierarchy system used in Animate 2 is a walk in the park.

The way I wrapped my head around the hierarchy system is that you break your character down into logical joint pieces; drag and drop each piece onto its parent piece; adjust the pivot points so that they bend properly and baam! Animate almost creates the IK, “puppet rig” for your cut out style character. There is a bit more to it than this as the videos will show you but that is the basic set up. It requires a bit of work and clean up but it’s nothing compared to the complex tedium of a 3D rig or a bones system. I love this simplified process.

One of the things that frustrated me was that I was anxious to learn more but the existing tutorials on the website at the time were more of an overview of the software and not a step by step. Therefore I searched for other videos and found some excellent learning resources at Specifically, the character design package was a great look at the author’s character production pipeline and was very easy to follow along.

I haven’t watched all the training pack 7-9 videos but it seems like they covered quite a bit. Those that I did watch used a slightly different pipeline to create the characters so it may be worth watching those first and then giving Cartoonsmart a try just to see an alternate method.

i should have said IK system, not bones.

bones that warp a shape can be very helpful for things like tails and tentacles. looking forward to seeing that integrated into animate. i haven’t looked at toon boom studio since i took the plunge with animate, looks nice.

another decent animation tool, anime studio pro 7, has a powerful bone system which includes an integrated physics simulation element (would love to see physics sim. in next animate pro version, btw).

+1 on the phyics!

That sounds like a pretty good idea. I have a character set up right now that I’m trying to animate, turned at a 45 degree angle. I basically have everything on their own Drawing Layers, with each limb parented to the part, so that I can collapse the layer and keep everything in place. I didn’t think about using Pivot points! Right now I’m playing around with it, and I’m starting to get the idea of how it works, even though my arm looks like it’s kind of coming apart :P, hopefully I’ll get the hang of setting it up with each limb.

Wow, I didn’t really know about this, but it’s cool that this exists! I’m looking at that CartoonSmart Preview right now on Vimeo. I like that they have the first four parts uploaded. I’m not sure if they cover the animating aspect in the free preview, but it seems pretty in depth. I’ve seen other videos on Youtube that seem to have different approaches but I’ll look into buying the rest so I can get into more complicated techniques with the program or bulk up on some new skills. Thank you so much for the link.

I’ve played around with the Bones in Flash CS4 and I think this would be pretty neat too.

I haven’t used Anime Studio Pro enough to form an opinion on it, but I like how you can give a 2D character a 3D look. It has an advanced look to it.


There are indeed quite a bit of good tutorials from other power users out there.

Toon Boom tried to gather them under the following link:

We will make sure that the cut-out animation pack will cover your questions about the IK feature. The pack should be available sometime after the Holidays.


Hi, Thank you for the link. I’ve set up the pivot points on my character and I’ve been curious as to how to make him move across the screen. Does the tutorial section cover that?
ETA: Sorry, just spotted some videos that answer this question! Great link, I’ve bookmarked it for the future!

I am happy to hear this :slight_smile:


There is a difference between the new Bones feature in Studio, and the IK tool in the Animate line.

With Studio’s bones, what you can do is you can set up a bone structure on a SINGLE drawing layer, and then animate it.

In Animate line, you will create a cutout character with drawings on separate layers then rig that cutout character into a hierarchy. With the IK tool, you would then be able to pose your character quickly by dragging on the end joints (hands, feet) to create the pose.

There will be a version of Studio’s Bones feature in the next version of Animate - however for most scenarios, I still prefer using a rigged cutout character. To me what the Bones feature would be the most useful for would be for advertisements on the web where you would like to manipulate an image, for example making a cat talk or some such.