Cut-out questions

I want to do a simple cut-out animation using an imported photo. Is this possible? I’ve looked at the tutorial on cut-out animation, but it’s all about drawing your own elements/characters rather than using imported images. I’m assuming this can be done, but want to make sure I’m on the right track.

What I’ve done so far is this: I cut up a photo in Photoshop Elements to create a series of .jpg files, each containing an arm, hand, etc. Then I imported each image as a separate element in the TBS exposure sheet, and scaled it down so that the image fits within the camera view box.

I’m worried that this procedure won’t work because each body part is actually on a white background that will show when I attempt to put together all the images. Should I have made the background transparent? (Not that I remember how to do that!)

Is this the right approach for what I want to do?

Thanks for any help you all can offer!


Indeed it is possible to do cut-out animation with bitmap images. You are currently on the right track but you are missing 1 step which is to save your elements with an alpha channel in Photoshop. Doing so will prevent the problem of white background you were mentioning. Any type of files supported by Toon Boom Studio that contains alpha (transparency) would work so it is up to you depending on how much compression you want on your images.

As for the rest you were right on the track, once imported you will need to attach them to a peg to scale them down (since you can’t do transformations on bitmaps at the moment). Then position your elements and make a hierarchy of pegs with the pivot points positioned rightly.

If you need any further help make sure to let us know.

Best regards,



Have you noticed any difference in the image file types? We are using png images (all with alpha channels), and they seem to work well. Any advantage/disavantage to using bmp files instead of png?


Hi Jon,

By bitmap I usually mean bitmap type image (the opposite of vector). I did not actually intend to mention bmp(bitmap compression). Any type of bitmap image using an alpha channel should be working just fine. The compressor you use for your bitmap really depends on the use of the image you intend on having. Certain compressor do better job on certain colors then other so it really depends on the image and the use you will have of that image.

Hope this made things clearer for you.

Best regards,



PNG and TGA are excellent formats of to wok with TBS.