Harmony 16 - Why not showing what new feature can do - The import 3D object and render 2D

I see the list of new features in Harmony 16. I’m curious as to why there is no video showing the feature Import 3D object and render 2D.

This too me is a bigger and more important feature than onion skin. I’ve been asking for this for almost 5 years now and you have something significant and yet you don’t show it.

Is a video on this feature coming out? Can we see an example?

EDIT: just saw feature in a TB video on youtube and unfortunately it looks rather limited in what it does.

Hello Ernesttx,

We did post a video on the feature on our Learn portal, you can find that particular topic here: https://learn.toonboom.com/modules/effects-rendering-and-3d/topic/rendering-a-3d-asset-as-a-2d-layer?c=53

I’m glad that we added a feature you were looking forward to having implemented, though your edit mentions that you feel it’s limited. Could you elaborate a little on what you were looking for from the feature?


  1. 3D object does not appear to have any material settings, ie. can’t change material/colors or anyway to set up a toon render of 3D object

  2. Going back and forth to transform the 3D object - time wasted for any type of realtime interaction

  3. Is it animatible? That is, if I flatten 3D object to 2D layer and then reposition camera 40 frames down, will I have to do another 3D object transform and will that 3D object transform show in camera movement?

  4. There does not seem to be any subdivision settings for the 3D object for smoother rendering. As you can tell by the doorway entries on the 3D object imported in your video.

It appears that this is a static background 3D object into 2D layer kind of thing. There does not appear to be any way to animate objects that you import (for example, if that 3D room you imported in the video had a door object, you wouldn’t be able to animate the door opening).

What would have been nice is the ability to import your 3D objects, animate camera and any other 3D objects (ie, car tires/door, etc), ability to change surface/color settings (possibly have toon render shader you can manipulate) and then on the final render out, Harmony flattens or renders to 2D.

So for TB to claim that this feature would “Eliminate the need to depend on third-party 3D software to render 3D models…” is not true.

When I render 2D backgrounds from Blender they are fully lit and textured, then I do whatever minor touch ups I need to In Paintstorm or photoshop before importing into Harmony…

It seems this “new feature” here is all about importing simple 3D shapes for the purpose of painting over them… which is something nobody wants, needs or asked for in Harmony.

This is absolutely useless.

i think it’s clear that this is to be considered (at this time) a reference/light-table/crude pre-viz tool, which is nice, i like that it’s there.

while it would be nice to render nice-looking textures and materials, that would take a whole different engine/system. i guess this is why maya is unfortunately required for all of those purdy “extras”. i don’t think the toonboom 3d system could/would take on the burden of those things. it’d be awesome, but that is beyond my own expectations of the stand-alone software. that said, i agree that a high-quality flat/basic/cell-shade renderer should be considered by toonboom, and would fit the “motif” of harmony well. how about some variable outlines on the objects?

tbmaxdore / toonboom:

ernesttx #3 - question/request is important. to make this, even “just” as a reference tool, truly a great tool w/in the context of harmony, the scene model (and, even better, the individual sub-objects!) should allow (translate/rotate/scale) animation in 3d space over time via pegs/node-parenting to follow and integrate with action. all sorts of useful pre-viz possibilities, background effects, etc… maybe even have a option to break the scene model into multiple objects after import (non-destructively) for independent control of these objects. if nothing else, the scene model itself should be able to be moved in 3d space over time.

ernesttx #4 - some render quality controls would indeed be nice, course-to-fine range of geometry/anti-alias adjustment (per object would be great!), native lighting controls.