How do you do layers?

OK this is a complete newbie question as I am evaluating Toon Boom Studio. Now I am used to vector drawing and each is a layer.

For example, my base character would be 1 layer, the eyes another layer, mouth, etc. Any how I do not see where I can do this or I am missing something in the Tutorials and the User Manual.

In Toon Boom Studio there is drawing 1, 2, 3 etc. and I know how to get it to see the previous drawing. But is there a way to put my eyes on another layer and still see the previous base character?

When I add an element (i.e, eyes), I can’t see the base of my character so I know where to position them and make sure they are the right size.

Also how do you merge or group the different elements or layers. If the directions on in the User Manual, I’m definitely not see it.

Would appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction.



I’m also a newbie when it comes to Toon Boom and I maybe wasting your time with this post. I think you can select the “light table” option to see all layers at once! If this works for you let me know. I’m always looking for info…I’m only trying Toon Boom right now trying to see if I want to buy.

Goto: Views > Turn Auto LightTable on

Hello Judith,

I’ve written a number of articles that I think you might find useful. Here are a few that might get you moving along.

Understanding Pegs

Creating a Cartoon In Toon Boom Studio

and I also have a TBS oriented blog listed in my signature at the bottom of this post called Cartooning in Toon Boom. Also you might get some insights from the thread I write in the Tutorials section of these forums called Tips and Tricks.

Now before your go off to read all that material, I’ll give you a couple of quick answers to your questions, but please read the articles as they are more detailed and have helped many users with TBS concepts.

Layers = Elements
It is that simple there are different type of elements but they all are what you refer to as layers. Layers can be grouped using Pegs. Pegs are multipurpose registration, grouping, containers of render instructions (keyed frames) elements. In Drawing View you can see multiple elements displayed at the same time using the Auto-Light table (keyboard short cut L) You can also see multiple frames of a single layer at the same time by using Onion Skinning. There is also a Static Light Table which is sort of a combination of the Auto-Light table and Onion Skinning because it lets you see a combination of cells not all on the same frame. That’s the reader’s digest answer. After you have had a chance to read those articles you will probably have additional questions and there are many people, myself included who will gladly try to help you. -JK

Thank you both so much!!! The light table is what I needed and I’ve enjoyed reading almost everything. Tomorrow I’ll read more.

Now my next question is about my animation ending up as a movie I can put on a DVD.

Once I have the animation done, will I have to use different software to put it on a DVD to play in DVD players?

And if that is true, what size should my animation be? And what frame rate?


Hi Judith,

Indeed you will need an external software to actually burn your animation to DVD. I would advise you to look for a DVD authoring software to get it done.

As for the file format, first make sure that your animation is done at the correct settings. To do so, when you open the welcome screen before even beginning your project make sure to select either a DV/NTSC(America) or a DV/PAL(Europe) format.

Then when it comes to export you can select a Quicktime movie format with the compression setting to None to make sure not to lose any quality (else then the compression done by the authering software).

I guess that should be it.

Best regards,