help me out: I can't seem to be able to draw anything worthwhile in TB.

I thinks there’s a lot to be said about some of the features provided in TB products but my thing is this; I cannot get past the basic drawing tools.

It seems to me that it’s ridiculously hard to draw even the basic most things in TB. Someone out there has have some great tips for overcoming this.

I was supposed to write a product review last year and chose not to basically because I felt it would have been a very undeserving negative review. I’ve seen the work that has come out from these tools so I know it’s capable of great things, but at the same time I’ve also not yet come across any work that has been created in TB that does not look like that ugly thick varied line width or highly stylized renderings. The stuff that doesn’t is usually because it was drawn in Flash or Illustrator and imported into Tb.

So it leads me to believe that either the drawing tools are just not cut out for (efficiently) illustrating something that looks more conventional like the artworks in Disney / Dreamworks, or even your average anime tv show or there is just something there that I am failing to grasp.

So help me out guys, point me to some good (non marketing/sales) resources that show how to get the best out of the drawing tools. I kinda put myself on the spot these days and made a commitment to give this product one last and fair chance.

The drawing tools are all vector in nature. I actually prefer them in a lot of ways to photoshop! That said there are some things which are easier to do with bitmap tools.Use the tone and highlight effects (i have tutorials on them) can create depth and detail.Check out this video Adam Phillips made. It is stunningly good IMO[url=]

Hi Lilly, I’m currently using the PLE edition of Toon Boom Animate. (My NFR copy ran out a couple months back but I got so frustrated with it i just kinda let it sit there and never moved forward with the product review. I figured the PLE is perfectly fine for getting past my issues with the drawing.) Im gonna continue to explore it and give it a fair chance and will do a full episode about it on next weeks broadcast. (I don’t suppose one of you would be willing to come on the show and talk about it with us?)Based on what I’ve seen in terms of the drawings tools it seems to me that it’s the same exact drawing system across the entire product catalogue. Naturally, I may be wrong. The Harmony demos definitely seem like more up my alley. If anything I may end up looking toward that for myself but for the purpose of and the webcast.( TBA and TBS seems like the most reasonable recommendation for animators on a budget. (provided the ability to draw effectively can be overcome and the artist is not just having to stylize their artwork around the limitations of the software itself, that was Flash’s problem for a long time.)Was the first clip (Allen Gregory) done using TBA? Well that’s definitely going above and beyond the call of duty, and would certainly be appreciated.Does Karina Bessudo still work up there? Say hi for me :stuck_out_tongue:

Harmony has an amazing pencil tool which Animate doesn’t have is a big difference accross the range.

@TheRaider , I agree with you vector drawing tools, in my opinion are far superior for animation, especially for ink and paint, though there’s a lot to be said about raster based drawing tools for rough drafting and creating the initial animation itself. I’d love to take a look at your tutorials on tone and highlights etc. I think a program that includes the power of of something like Sketchbook pro for the creation of initial rough animation (you just cant beat the natural free form of those drawing tools) with the power of a vector based inking for cleaning up and finalizing the animation (such as the tools in Flash) will ultimately go on to establish itself as a the disputed choice.Yeah we actually took a look at that Adam Phillips video on one of our webcasts, it’s brilliant. My only thoughts on it is:1. It was done with Harmony and not with TBS or TBA so could the same quality have been achieved, in the same amount of time, as with the affordable “prosumer” software.2. The character designs were overly simplistic and stylistic, a common curse amongst people working within the limitation of the software, but then again it may have been a matter of choice to go that route. So I don;'t dwell on that too much.3. It looked like something that I could have easily done with Flash($699, for character animation and ink and paint) and After Effects ($999, for compositing, multiplane,3d, lighting, filters and so on…) which combined is still within the same price range as TBA Pro and provably about half of the cost cost of Harmony (I’m assuming I really don’t know what the price is… but willing to bet I’m close.)@Lilly I noticed that one last link you posted earlier and took a look (the Harrey Podder one), it’s brilliant. If it was done in TBA then there’s definitely something I’m missing and need explore further. The line quality reminds me of classic 80’s TV. It’s definitely got my mind working over time :slight_smile:

On the Anmie, there is actually a user on the forum which makes some which is pretty cool;action=display;threadid=3353On the Adam Phillips video I didn’t realise it was done in Harmony. I watched it again and there is no reason it couldn’t be done in Animate. I didn’t really see any of the Harmony only tools, although he may of used the pencil instead of brush in harmony (cause the pencil is ridiculously good). The thing about the pencil in harmony is when you make it textured, the texture follows the contour which really opens loads of doors. The texture brush tool for animate pro I didn’t really like because it didn’t follow the contour. I have seen people sketch in Animate with a low opacity brush, but yeah it isn’t the same as a raster. Adam phillips also on his site somewhere has some still drawings he did in Animate for D&D which are good. I don’t think the style was because of the limitiations, I think the style is because that is Adam Phillips!Oh and you can find all my tutorials free on my youtube channel listed in my signiture. Tone and highlight are must tools. I am pretty sure that is what Adam Phillips would of used to create all the shading in that video(and they are available across the whole product range).

Hi Ibiz Z I read your post and found you touched a vital point.You wrote:I thinks there’s a lot to be said about some of the features provided in TB products but my thing is this; I cannot get past the basic drawing tools. It seems to me that it’s ridiculously hard to draw even the basic most things in TB. Someone out there has have some great tips for overcoming this.This will not be any, my answer, to this, as you are an experienced animator and I am just a sculptor that happens to have an interest in animation. Toon Boom software has a very hard edge when it comes to drawing.Reworking brushstrokes with the brushtool can take up a lot of work.But to clean up with the same concentration as with real ink, a stroke is a stroke, basta, will do the trick when it comes to speed.I have posted 3 videos for you, showing how I work. they are ment to answer your request for this anybody, not Toon Boom representative, but a normal user ( not one of the Disney Gods either) of Toon Boom software. The video shows work in TB Animate Pro 2, but I think most of what is shown can be done in Animate or TB Pencil cheque Pro too.So here are links to the videos:Part 1: 2: 3: the videos I have not shown working with texture brushes of two reasons: 1. Texture strokes are not supported for transformations with the perspective tool. And that is a popular tool among many of the users of TB software, me included.2. The texturestrokes seems to be heavier and have caused me many crashes. That said putting some efforts into designing nice texture brushes from normalbrushes is my favorit tool when it comes to drawing in Toon Boom Animate Pro and TB Storyboard Pro.So for drawing they are fabulous but you cant really use them for animation.Best regardsIvar

Hi LillyThank you for the nice words.Your videos were were very instructive. The short cut for adjusting the minimum brush size, was it: alt+o (? ) was new to me. Also flattening lines to clean up “tip’s” with the select tool.And always interesting to see what others are working on. Would be nice to see the big painting when its finished.Best regardsIvar

Hi guys, first off I want to thank you both for taking the time to make these videos. I haven’t been home so hadn’t had a chance to check in on this thread. I will be taking a look at them this evening and post as followup sometime this weekend after I’ve had a some good amount of time to go though them and play around with TBA.

Well I’m the product manager at Toon Boom, so I won’t respond on how to use the tools, since I don’t think I’ll be able to do so in a way that wouldn’t be construed as marketing-related - but I will point you to some links to shows that are drawn in Toon Boom.

Allen Gregory (drawn paperlessly with the Cintiq):

Tron Uprising (Disney TV - 2D content done in Harmony)

Toot and Puddle (cutout animation done in Harmony)

Winnie the Pooh (half done on paper and inked/effects in Harmony, half drawn directly in Harmony)

Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda 2 opening scene (Don’t have a link for it, but it was done in Harmony)

Here’s a fun short that was done (when he was a student I think) in Animate Pro:

I suppose you must have already watched the tutorial videos but if you want me to give my 2 cents on how I like to use the drawing tools, then I can record a short clip for you.

What tools are you trying to use? Are you using the Brush tool or are you using the pencil tool? Which software are you using?


Yeah that Harry Podder video was done either in Animate or Animate Pro, not totally sure which one until I have a talk with the fellow who did it. Allen Gregory is drawn paperlessly in Harmony. They are up and running with Harmony 9 with the new drawing tools.

When is the show? I’m travelling for most of the next three weeks, to California, then Florida, so the only day I’m really in town is Monday. I can record a quick clip on drawing tools in Animate though tomorrow if you like.


Ivar I really loved looking at your videos - and I thought the drawings were beautiful! I made a quick video of my own to show off my take on the drawing tools as well (though my approach would be very similar to Ivar’s) so check them out here.

Part 1!v=z5P0AAB_5Zw

Part 2!v=htb6BfPjNcI