Camera moves and layering in Flash vs. Toon Boom (newbie)

I am beginning my interest in animation and already have Flash 5 and have downloaded the trial to Toon Boom Studio. I am learning both programs from scratch to figure out the best workflow.

My main curiousity at this point is that, while I know they can overlap in productivity in many ways, such as motion tweening, layering, etc., I am wondering if you can achieve the same simulated camera movement in Flash as you can in Toon Boom. A video tutorial at suggests that you can, by locking symbols together and moving them together, in or out, or panning.

A more realistic and impressive zoom that I’ve demonstrated in a Toon Boom tutorial shows that as you zoom, items placed in different planes move accordingly, so you are not just zooming a static image. Can this sort of effect be achieved in Flash as well?

I appreciate advice.


wait for jk, he works with both programs.

Welcome to the TBS Forums Andrew,

As a fundamental answer to your question, there is almost nothing that can be done in Toon Boom Studio that can’t be done in Flash. But, there are two qualifications for that statement. First you need to have Flash 8 Professional, and second just because you can do it in Flash doesn’t mean that it is as easy to actually do as it is to do it inside Toon Boom Studio. Camera work is a prime example.

The main things that Flash has that Toon Boom Studio does not have are shape tweening and action scripting for interactivity.

Now based on your newness to each program, I’ll make some suggestions: (1) If you are primarily interested in making animation then learn TBS first. It is much more animator friendly and easier to use to learn traditional hand drawn animation. (2) If you are more interested in making games or doing website design which requires interactivity than learn Flash first as those are its strengths. (3) Pick one or the other, to try to learn both concurrently is not a good plan, as they have significant differences in the way you do similar tasks. If you saw a final movie you could not tell which program was used to make it, but the way the creator of that movie had to work was very different. Same results, different paths to getting those results.

Last observation, Flash has few if any disiplines in how you approach making a movie, this is a blessing and a curse. For some people they find this easy because they can stumble along and not need to really have any plan at all and eventually they will figure out how to get something done. For most people this is quicksand. Not only do they get totally lost and just stumble along aimlessly, but they learn a whole bunch of bad habits that they have to unlearn to ever be really successful in animating. Disipline is not a bad word in film making, having a logical organized and tried and true methodology is actually a real benefit. Serious Flash animators eventually adopt a disiplined approach similar to the way people use TBS but usually only after years of doing it the hard way. I hope this gives you some insight, we look forward to any other questions you might want to ask. -JK

Thank you for the nice reply. My main question, after reading it, is why do you say I need Flash 8 Pro? From what I gather, most of the animating techniques are present in Flash 5, which I own, and I’d prefer to avoid a costly upgrade at this point.


Sorry if that comment was confusing. What I was relating to was functionality. Flash 5 is more than OK as an animation application but it lacks many of the features that you get in TBS. If a person wanted to have things like function curve editing and custom easing they wouldn’t have that in Flash 5. Nor would they have many of the drawing features available in TBS and Flash 8. Also many of the Flash extention products that can be added to provide similar functionality to that found in TBS are only applicable to Flash 7 and Flash 8. I certainly wouldn’t advise you to purchase Flash 8 Professional if you already have Flash 5. You can certainly learn to animate using Flash 5 but it isn’t nearly as easy as using Toon Boom Studio. -JK