Feedback: Please improve/ update the video tutorials!

Dear Toon Boom team,

I have been trying to learn Toon Boom Animate Pro for months now, but it’s not as easy for me as Flash was. I remember all the issues I had with it, which is why I switched over to TB Animate Pro.

I feel that the software is so high powered, but a LOT of the examples online seem to be lacking quality and it just puts me off learning the tool. The users that are really good simply don’t have time to teach, as they are busy working - guys like the Arj and Poopy creator and Adam Philips.

There are a million tutorials, videos and books on Flash animation, but nothing of good quality out there for Animate pro. I would buy a detailed step by step instructional DVD if you produced it, as I’m sure many others would too.

One big issue that I am having at the moment is that the videos that Toon Boom Animate comes with seem to be rushed, many detailed steps are missing and one chapter is not linked to the previous one.

I would love for you to release tutorials from start to finish of a simple project. For example: Showing how to create and set up background, props, cameras and then draw, rig and animate a cut-out (flash style) puppet including turnaround, but ALL tutorials should be with ONE model and not Limpa, who nobody would ever want to draw - most people would draw a model that is more humanoid and not a round head-body monster… he’s just not a good example! lol

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not the only one that feels this way. My studio has many Flash animators who are trying to switch over to Toon Boom Animate Pro and are all experiencing the same learning curve as me.

I totally agree with you on this one. I currently use Animate and storyboard and cannot seem to find very good tutorials on either one.

Toon Boom people. As you can see, I’m not alone on this. I have many animator friends who are chomping at the bit to get stuck into Toon Boom animate, but there’s just nobody out there willing to teach or make decent tutorials.

Since the launch of Toon Boom Animate, there’s been a massive push from Toon Boom to get Flash animators onbaord - I’m sure you’ve seen the banner ads on various animation websites - they’re obviously taking this campaign very seriously.

However, it seems like they’ve overlooked the very basic thing- "how can we learn if there’s nothing out there to learn from?"

The examples online (youtube) and provided lessons look horrendous and put off a lot of people. As I said earlier, all the good animators that use Toon Boom Animate Pro are busy with paying jobs to show the rest of the potential new users how things are done.

My suggestion is, why doesn’t Toon Boom pay Adam Phillips to create a tutorial series - those should be the videos that are provided to us. I would even buy the DVD if you sold it. Adam is a big name in the world of online animation and that alone would bring more attention to this great product. It would also help people migrate from Flash to Animate.

It’s a very frustrating feeling being in this position, because we all know how powerful this software is, but the tutorials an examples it comes with are very poor.

I beg of the Toon Boom team, please provide better training material for the Toon Boom Animate [Pro] users!!!

I hear you and understand your plight. When it comes to the training materials, including the videos and the documentation, I know that from our point of view it’s difficult to strike a good balance between how detailed we can be and how long the document/video is. What happens is that there are some people that will find that the documentation is too long, and goes into too much detail, and there are other people that think it’s not detailed enough.

That being said, I think we can definitely work on improving our materials. Also, perhaps we could look at getting more detailed video tutorials for people who are ready to go to the next step beyond the Kick-Start videos.

I will pass on your comments to our training materials team. Thank you for your continued dedication to learning our product.

Toon Boom Support

LillyV, I understand what you’re saying.

The people at Toon Boom tried to strike a balance between length and detail, but in my opinion… this was a mistake, because the middle ground isolates people on both ends of the spectrum (the beginners like me and the advanced).

As with many complex programs (think 3D applications and After Effects), there is training for beginners, intermediate and advanced, usually a series with volume 1,2 and 3 etc.

My suggestion is that the video lessons don’t skip from one model to another and have disjointed lessons, but to release a series that will show the creation of a simple (But nice looking) background, draw the cut out puppet, rig and bone, animate and show the camera techniques as well as a LOT more details about the network view. A project that shows everything from beginning to end.

I am still after the more detailed video tutorials, that don’t skip over things o or assume you already know. If they are not included in the kick-start videos. then perhaps they could be made available on the website or sold as DVD’s and you can get somebody like Adam Phillips to create them.

Believe me when I tell you that there is a LOT of interest in Animate from the Flash community (my friends, colleagues and message boards I frequently post on), but the lack of decent training videos and books has puts them off from even trying Animate.

I really don’t think Toon Boom has anything to lose by catering to us… but has everything to gain.

Why not start a poll on the forums or ask around? You will see that there will be a lot of interest from users wanting more detailed videos, with better quality examples.


we were in this thread;action=display;threadid=1557

just discussing the need for more training :slight_smile:

Nabz I completely feel you on this one. I hope ToonBoom or anyone out there who is proficient with the program and wants to make some bank teaching us this thing, you better go for it now before the web becomes over saturated with Animate Tuts.

TheRaider has expressed the possibility of making some video Tuts, so there is hope in the horizon.

nabz, thank you for articulating this need so well. I, too, add my voice to the chorus and I especially like the idea of a tutorial that takes a project from start to finish.

Lilly, if ToonBoom is hesitant to develop more comprehensive training material for Animate for whatever reasons, perhaps you should chat with the folks at VTC or VTC already offers very good tutorials for TBStudio 3.5 and TBS 5 tutorials are in production as we speak. Just a suggestion. :wink:

I’ve already added Animate to VTC’s wishlist and encourage others here to submit their votes also.

Thanks for the support in this, my friends. :slight_smile:

Lilly, as you can see, I am not alone in feeling that the training is inadequate/ rushed/ missing steps/ missing details.

Bare in mind, these are the users who have registered on the forums and bothered to state their views. There are countless other users that I know, who have just given up due to the lack of decent training, gone back to Flash (even though it is horrible for animation compared to animate) and they’ve not bothered saying a word on these forums - they are not registered. They go back to Flash because there are many tutorials and books out there to support their learning.

Many of us are hobbiests and freelance animators, so we don’t have the ability to be taught the program directly by a master Animate user. I really feel horrible saying this and mean no offence by it, but the examples from Cartoon Smart are also very weak and lack quality - still not cut out animation tutorials from him either.

My suggestion (again): Please get your training team working on better training, that is more in-depth, doesn’t skip steps. Create a series for cut-out (Flash style) animation that shows background design, drawing, colouring the model, rigging and animating him… and by him, please use a human with a neck, head, separate body, hands, legs, feet etc. Limpa is not a good example to learn from.

The sort of animation examples I would like to see in the the training are things such as “Ruby Gloom” or “Grossology” ** which are both created in Toon Boom Digital Pro, which should be possible to achieve with Animate pro.

Toon Boom has nothing to lose by doing this and I believe the user base and popularity of the products will increase exponentially due to improved training materials that you make available. Many of your current and new users will be very grateful… we’ll probably even put you on our Christmas card list! ;D

** “Grossology” is an animation created with Toon Boom software, using cut-out puppets. I would like to see examples like this:

Also agree with you nabz. I think the ballerina should have been used throughout the training including lip sync, (Limpa is useless as is the big-jawed bloke), I wouldn’t mind if she even jumped on that skateboard… :-\

That’s what I found annoying as well… create one model and PLEASE STICK TO IT throughout the whole kick-start video!

Here is my experience… and my logic:

As a complete newbie user, I launch the Kick-Start guide and rather than have a series to follow or lessons that are actually linked, we start with drawing a ballerina (which I may add looked very nice) and see the line and brush tool - very nice, but then when it comes to colouring/ painting, we’re suddenly shown a Barney Rubble look-a-like character… WHAT THE?? Where is the ballerina we were drawing in the earlier chapter? :-[

OK, so now we’ve coloured in our Barney Rubble look-a-like… can we cut him up or create symbols out of him? What… NO? Instead, we’re shown a skatboard that has nothing to do with the earlier model… :-<br />
[Hand drawn animation is not related to my issue, so I will leave that topic]

It comes time to design a cut out puppet for animation and rather than show the ballerina, we’re shown the useless stumpy Limpa - a model that I would never want to draw and cannot learn from as he does not have a human body or jonts. I will NEVER understand why this was even done, because the ballerina is a COMPLETE cut-out puppet and she even has a full turn around created, which can be seen in the example file (she is drawn in all angles - front, three quarter, side and back).

OK, so we’ve made a cut-out puppet, we’ve made symbols out of his parts and stored him in the library. Great… can we animate him now please? What? NO? Instead, we go back to the ballerina, who has magically been coloured in, is completely cut-out, rigged/ boned and ready to go… why were we not shown how ANY of this was done? Where are the parts that show how she was coloured in, cut-out and symbols made from her?

OK, so now the ballerina is a complete cut-out puppet, ready to animate… can we see her talk? NO? Instead we’re shown another model that has nothing to do with the earlier ones.

Do we get to see any of these models actually walk, jump, interact with any props, how about a scene with a background and the character in the foreground? Nothing.

Don’t even get me started on the “Cut-out and Network” chapter… I thought I was learning rocket science, it was so rushed and missing steps

I don’t see what good could come from confusing new users like this! :-<br />
Please don’t be offended by my words. I am just a very frustrated user, who has been VERY loyal and tried hard (for months) to learn Toon Boom Animate Pro. I am just very frustrated and on the verge of giving up, due to the lack of decent training materials.

Wow, I thought I was bad ;D but I agree I would do almost anything for a chance to see how Grossology or any of those cutout animation shows that are on TV right now are done. There is another one with the kids that surf … what is it called? 6teen and Stoked. The Total Drama series is cool too. Not sure if those are done in TB software though. I think we need to call out to those that produce tuts.

Lili and eddie have some cool topics on there blog but you cab barely see what the heck they are doing. and it is short 30 sec videos. I think that the tuts is what made flash so popular.

I am just being honest my friend… I can’t sugar coat my frustration any longer… I am a quick learner with most software, but I just keep getting stuck with Toon Boom Animate, due to the reasons mentioned above. I know that I am not the only one that feels this way.

WE WANT TO LEARN, but Toon Boom is not making it easy on us! lol

Regarding “Grossology”… I don’t mean that the video tutorials should teach us how to draw exactly like that (you cant teach artistic talent - not that fast anyway), but I want to be shown the technical side of it and a “how-two” guide.

You know how frustrating it is to know that all this power is under the hood, but you cant make head to tail of any of it?

Regarding Lili and eddie (FWAK animation), they were Flash animators for a LONG time, before Toon Boom had them sent over to Canada and trained them in Toon Boom software themselves - IF ONLY we were all so lucky! :smiley:

I have been reading their website and their Toon Boom blog. They don’t really give anything away as to HOW things were done. Everything is vague and you only ever see the final result… and why should they show us? They are a busy studio trying to launch their own shows. They (just like all the other talented Toon Boon users) don’t have any time to take out and make training videos, when they have paying clients and a living to make.

This leads me to my earlier point. I feel that Toon Boom should hire some of these talented artists to create videos for a cut-out animation training series.

I believe this is a genius idea… if I do say so myself! ;D

I am actually going to defend toonboom here.

In the kickstart videos I totally understand why they jump around.

A lot of people don’t realise it doubles (in fact probably more important than the training) as a promotional tool. When you watch that it gives you a great idea of what animate can do and simple is can(not always but can :)) be.

I 100% agree with the need for in depth training but the kickstart videos are great the way they are and it should be in addition because they would be real training videos as opposed to a promotional tool.

A lot of my learning was done by making mistakes because it was the only way i could learn because of how brief some things are.

You know I have been playing around with Animate since November. When I first started playing with it nothing I did was right. On top of that I had a piss poor graphix card so it would crash alot. I was furious with TB, and I was not nice about it. >:(

Since then I have upgraded my graphix card, and have turned to the Userguide.pdf that comes with the program (not the quick_start.PDF although it is good for quick reference)

Just about EVERYTHING you need is in that PDF. I have gotten much more comfortable with it as I go Chapter by Chapter Like Napoleon.

I know we are in the era of YouTube, Vimeo, ect ect. and We are used to just watching someone do it. In this case we have to revert to the old days of rolling up our sleeves and get to work! What’s the saying?, “when life gives you lemons?”

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you and fantasize about running into a set of Animate Video tuts. Your suggestion of TB hiring Talented individuals to teach us I think is Brilliant. I hope they do it. In the meantime, rough it out. You will not be the only one out there doing that BELIEVE ME.

Oh, I know I wrote how they are done in regards to the production side and how Animate was integrated into their work flow, not how to draw like that.

BTW - I just saw these tuts, it maybe to late to register but …

Thanks to Guitarist for mentioning them first.

I remember first seeingy Digital Pro. My first thoughts were OMG, there’s just wayy too many symbols and icons that look sorta similar I dont know where to start. Then Animate came out and the interface looked much better! Than I realize, this program isnt as complicated as it seems. If people can learn programs way more complicated like Maya, than why does it seem like Animate is so hard to get. It’s really not as bad as those programs, and its fairly simple for most things.

I do things frame by frame traditional, but for 2 scenes I use the puppet method to get the scenes done easier, and the puppet thing is “alittle” confusing, but other than that, the program is pretty straight forward.

The only thing that are confusing are the puppet animation and the EFX, but I prefer After Effects for effects anyway. But I do agree with Alex, we are in the video age, but you’d be suprised how pretty much all the animation software out there besides flash dont really have much video instruction for them because they have Less popularity/advertisement.

Drawing is ez,
coloring is ez,
camera is ez once you get the peg concept

If you go through each menu at top you realize theres not much up there as it seems. The program is simplier to use than it seems.

Well said Corey. However, I think the issues I have had with animate have been because I was so used to doing things a certain way with flash that I subconsciously assumed that things would be the same in Animate.

when you first work with Animate it seems like it immediately lets you know, “hey buddy, I am not flash”, or “nope not gonna nudge that bicep unless you have the stage selected with the select tool”.

As I use it more and more, I am starting to get used to the differences. I do not blame New comers to Animate for the frustrations because I felt the same way just days ago, and frankly I still do sometimes.

My reaction is not to lash out at TB like I did back then, but instead, I just go into that Userguide and look it up, or come here and hope TheRaider Bails me out,LOL.

The answers are in the Userguide, somewhere, just have to find it.
Just be patient and give yourself a chance to learn it.

but the userguide is more like a textbook. It really helps if you know what you are looking for.

Like you can learn math from a textbook but you go to class anyway cause it makes you learner faster.

It just shows a lack of videos because as been said there are so many flash tutorials people expect it to be the same.

Good point raider, videos are more like a waterdowned classroom, which is preferred to a textbook? But the materials there for you. We are often looking for the fastest way to learn things.

Alot of times when I see tutorials videos I wish they could just do it first so I can see the steps and not slowly explain everything so slowly. Maybe do it twice, the first time just do it really quickly so we can see the process, then the second run you can explain certain things that might not might sense.