Getting organized

Hi all. First off, I’m a newb to ToonBoom and I have been poking around and have several questions.

1. I would like to know how to get organized using Templates and Libraries but not have them stored or created on the C: drive?

2. Must the “Toon Boom Templates” always reside on the C: drive and why is it “locked”?

3. I have many character heads that have been created in Flash and I would like to import them into the Library or a Template and I would like to maintain the relationship of their elements (Group them) so that when I select the head it is moved as a group. How is this done? (I’m thinking that Pegs are the only way to accomplish this.)

You can locate the Global Library along the path of your choice. The path setting is done in Preferences on the General tab. Just copy your current Global Library to the new path location first and then write in the new path location to that Global Library in Preferences.

Moving multi-symbol or multi-layer assets from Flash to TBS is relatively easy. I have written some tips on doing this HERE. When working with multiple symbol assets or multi-layer assets, using a “grouping” peg is the way to keep the assets connected. -JK

I had a look at your tips but there must be something I’m doing wrong. I placed each symbol into it’s own frame on the single layer timeline in Flash, exported the SWF file, imported into Toonboom and it put each element on it’s own layer and gave each one a peg. Toonboom created a multi layered (pegged) timeline. Yuk! I was hoping to export my charcter form Flash to Toonboom and yet still maintain all the relationships of the characters elements to each other. It looks as though I have to reassemble all the parts in Toonboom to get my charcters put back to gether again. What a tediuos and time consuming process. Is ther a better way to do what I am looking for without having to reconstruct all the parts again. Humpty Dumpty needs to be put back together everytime? BLAH!

I’ve done this a couple of times and did some experimentation to get it right. Here’s a couple of things I’ve found:

As you say, when you import the .swf of a Flash character, it generates its own set of pegs and relationships that aren’t necessarily what you want.

Not only this, however, but it also makes all parts out of the same timeline: What I mean is that the arm also contains a timeline (use the Cells tab in Properties to check this out) containing every other part you imported.

An additional thing it does is make each element a clone of the first element, so that if you change the name of an element or delete frames, it affects all elements from that particular import.

This may sound bad, but it’s worth doing to get your already done characters into Toon Boom.

When you want to import a character from Flash without the pegs you have to utilize the main timeline in Flash differently when prepping your character. What I’ve done is set up the timeline with layer that respect the symbols (you could break apart the character symbol, then distribute to layers), then make a frame for each nested frame of each symbol. Then break apart any symbols remaining, further putting nested symbols on new layers if needed.

When you import these, you should get no pegs or fewer pegs. What I generally do at this point is Duplicate (not clone) the master element so that each element can actually be its own part with respect to name and timeline. Then you use the Cells tab in Properties to set up each Element with the part it should have until you have a complete character. I then use the library to delete the frames unneeded for each given element–so that the hand, for example, only has hand frames and not mouth frames. Unless you want your character living hand to mouth. (sorry for the bad joke)

You should then be able to set up your own peg heirarchy.

The alternative is simply to use pegs to name the parts and deal with the pluralistic timeline.

While this sounds tedious (and it is), remember that TBS is made for generating its own content to send out to Flash, or to import into Flash, or export to video somehow. I find it a much more suitable drawing environment than Flash in a variety of ways.

Hope that helps and is mostly accurate. The only place I don’t have mastered is finding out how to avoid generating pegs when importing.


I’m planning to do some work in this area over the next few days. I’m not satisfied with the method I myself have been using and I think there may be some ways to do things better. I can offer this opinion as to the creation of pegs on import from Flash. If you import Flash content that is made of unaltered symbols, that is to say that you don’t alter the symbol itself in any way when you put it on the Flash stage for the main timeline, then you will avoid producing pegs. I have imported assembled cutout characters from Flash to TBS without pegs being created. I want to go back and redo this process step by step until I get a solid work flow that gives optimum results and then I’ll write up a tutorial and post it in the Cartooning In Toon Boom blog. One thing is for certain, if you create content in Flash you must set it up correctly to move it into TBS or you will create a very convoluted timeline that is hard to untangle. As Rob stated TBS was built to export to Flash through the TBSi plug in but importing from Flash is not nearly as seamless. At least from a doing much with the imported content without serious reworking stand point. I will work on a revised work flow and publish it soon and I look forward to hearing any ideas or suggestions for improvement to this process. I certainly have moved significant content from Flash to TBS successfully in the past, but not easily, so it isn’t a roadblock just a less than enjoyable task. -JK

Hi Duke,

If you want to avoid having merges in the levels of animation when you cross from Flash to Toon Boom Studio the best way it to pretty much export every layers separately. By doing so if you name the export with the same name as the layer you will also recover the name of the elements.

To be able to export 1 layer at a time from Flash you will need to set the elements that are not supposed to be shown as guide (rather then simply disabling the vision of the element). Flash export all layers even though they are not supposed to be shown although by setting them as guide they get removed from the movie.

Then import them 1 by 1 in Toon Boom Studio.

Best regards,

Ugo