How to change onion skin color?

Okay, I just downloaded Harmony Essentials 14, and I need to change the colors of the onion skin. Right now, it’s set to red for frames behind my current one, and green for frames in front.

That poses a problem for me because I’m colorblind. Sure, if I really stare at them, I can tell them apart. But I like being able to immediately tell the difference between the frames that are in front and behind my current frame. Where are the onion skin settings in this program? All I can find are some unbelievably bare-bones light table settings in Edit>Preferences>Drawing.

If I can’t change this, I will want a refund. It will be extremely difficult for me to animate in Harmony if I’m stuck with red and green, and I’ll just go back to Clip Studio Paint EX.

I highly doubt I’d get the Advanced version for free.

Anyway, what do you mean about the odd duckling? What’s wrong with it?

Strangely enough, I do not think that option is available in Essentials for some (crazy) reason. In Advanced and premium the colours can be changed under Preferences–>General–>Edit Colours.



I have never worked with the Essentials edition myself, but if this is true, it needs to be resolved ASAP by ToonBoom - it’s a bit of a slap in the face of basic accessibility GUI principles.

Perhaps TB support/sales should offer you the Advanced edition instead at the same price?

On a different note, I feel Essentials is an odd duckling in the current animation software market anyway.

Come on. What a bunch of hyperbull. Offering specific customization of a feature is not a universal practice among software designers. As long as it is not claimed to be present in the product description and it is a blank line item in the product level comparison chart Toon Boom doesn’t owe anyone anything for limiting customization in a product it sells. Caveat emptor!

Some people feel Essentials is impractical, if not useless. I tend to agree with this assessment. Essentials isn’t designed as a beginner or introductory level product. Essentials is Premium with features blocked or limited. Premium is designed to do so much but Essentials ends up keeping you from doing too many things. IMO Toon Boom should sell individual keys to the blocked features so instead of expecting people to either skip Essentials or upgrade to Advanced or Premium they would be accessing Premium in smaller and more economical stages. Everyone would win because Essentials people would be able to grow and could add capability as the need arises and Toon Boom would get more Premium users and Premium quality animation from their user base.

While I agree wholeheartedly with you that one should not expect specific unlisted features in Essentials, in this case we are discussing a basic requirement in terms of features for animation software: onion skinning - without the option to choose custom colours for onion skinning, the (advertised) feature is useless for a portion of its users due to colour blindness.

I am merely very surprised that Essentials will not allow for customization of the onion skinning colours. 10% of the male population is colour blind to some degree (myself included) - it seems like an odd omission in Essentials, and in my opinion it should be fixed, purely from an accessibility point of view.

I think the developers deactivated a core feature without any thought given to accessibility. And that is just not correct, in my opinion.

Addressing color blindness is not a fair criticism to make of a software company whose target market is primarily visual artists.

10%, I pulled up 8% but that is just the general male population. **

How many visual artists are color blind?

Why not dock Toon Boom for requiring eyesight or for not coming up with a way to draw without using your hands?


Is it? I wonder - many animators I work with draw in black and white / grays, and colouring is done by the colourist(s ). In my design courses I have had plenty of colour blind students, who worked around their colour blindness in various ways.

Look, all I am saying is that I find it strange that a fundamental onion skinning option is not available in Essentials. Aside from the accessibility issues, it just makes plain sense to allow the onion skinning colours to be customized - I myself almost never use the default onion skinning colours in animation software, and adjust these (sometimes while I am working, depending on the drawings).

Anyway, I do hope ToonBoom will allow for these colours to be customized in an upcoming release of Essentials.

I know this is an old post but I was searching for the same problem and its still a problem in 2020 in Essentials as far as I know. I did come up with a work around for customizing the Onion skin opacity and color, it’s not the most efficient but its been working well enough for me for the rough animation at least.

For lowering the opacity I created a color similar to what i’m using for the rough animation
I then lower the opacity of that color as far as I want (Alpha)
Now I select the drawings I want to onion skin and change their color to the lower opacity version
I can simply select the drawings again when I want to change them back to the full opacity color

Onion Skin render style
Original colors
Then change the drawings you want to onion skin to whatever color you’d prefer
You can then turn the drawings to their original color once done

Hope this helps! I know it’s inconvenient but it’s all I could come up with