How to do the cut out progress!


I have watch the toturial several times to try to get some sence in to it but i cant. It dousent show how to actually cut out from a new character from start to end, the toturial only shows it in peaces and after the cut out job.

Can anyone please explain the prosess, everything from what objects to use, as well as how to put the different part of the body in different folders and so on…

Or please direct me to a toturial if there is.

I thank you in advance. :slight_smile:

I have one more problem ???

I dont know where to save my drawings to use later as an animation, wich folder and what will i save it as. I have saved my intire project but when i shall import it it isnt there.

Someone please help :’(


It’s just a matter of separating your body parts. To do so you can use cut and paste with the select tool (the select drawing tool).

You need to use drawing elements to do cut out with Toon Boom Studio. Usually you would want to do cut out with vector art but you can do it with bitmaps inside image elements (make sure to use a format of bitmap that supports alpha channel aka transparent background).

Now select a part of the body (e.g. arm) and then use cut & paste (with the edit menu or using crtl-x, crtl-v).

For the selection, you can use the cutter or the scissor tool as well as the lasso tool (hold alt).

The Cut out Character Design Workout explains this process in more details. But in this workout we are building a character from scratch but you can reuse the techniques to apply to a conversion process.

To build a hierarchy, look at the der der character in the Toon Boom Templates library. It’s a good example to study a sample body structure.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any free tutorials on this process yet.

If you have specific questions, you will find answers here.


Thank you Mathieu. From your little post i now understad the prosess a little better.

Should i spread out the different body parts around the drawing and save each file. How will i save them, and generally my drawings?

I agree with you Pompeii. There should have been a toturial showing how Der Der was created from start to finish. I hope they will make it soon.

Step 1: Create a scene in a TBS project for developing your character.

Step 2: Create a drawing element in that scene’s exposure sheet for doing a rough sketch of your character. Make your rough character sketch in drawing view. You will make a different sketch for each different pose / view you will want to have for this character.

Note: You will make a rough sketch of a pose / view and make the associated body parts for that pose /view in a single frame but in multiple elements. So for each view or pose you will use a different frame although the body parts will be in their same appropriately named elements just in the matching frame for that new pose.

Step 3: Create in that same exposure sheet multiple additional elements one for each body part you wish to create.

Step 4: Use the auto light table to allow you to view multiple elements in drawing view, then select the appropriate body part element and using your rough sketch as a guide create the body parts one at a time in their appropriate elements. Your goal is to have a cut up version of your rough sketched character with the actual body parts all seperated into individual elements.

Step 5: Switch to camera view and arrange the body parts to satisfy your desired character pose (front view or side view or 3/4 view etc.) Then select which parts should be connected to which other parts and attach them hierarchally. (These are motion chains such as foot, ankle, lower leg, upper leg, etc) If you are using V3.5 no parent pegs are required as each element has an embeded parent peg.

Step 6: Once you have constructed your character view and arranged your body parts hierarchy you need to attach all of the character’s body parts to a single main character peg. (an actual peg element). The purpose of this is for grouping the character.

Note: your rough sketch element is not part of the final character and should not be attached to the main character peg.

Step 7: Once the character is grouped ( attached to a single main character peg) you collapse that peg (click the triangle by the peg’s label) With the character peg collapsed, drag the peg to your local library or to your global library for reuse in your animations. (local for the same project, global for other projects)

Note: If you want to continue in this same project go to the scene panel and uncheck the scene you used for character construction so it won’t be included in your movie but still will be available if you want to use it again. It is basically a work pad not an actual scene in your production.

Step 8: Now in an actual scene you plan to use in your project you can drag a copy of your character template that you put in the library on to your timeline and begin animating it.

Hope this gives you some direction on how to proceed. If you have additional questions please ask we are here to help -JK

Thank you JK - TGRS, this was very helpfull. I will follow the steps and try.

Would it be to much work for you to make a video toturial, or a picture toturial?

I am a professional cartoonist and animator and not in the business of producing tutorials, although I do my best to be a good community memeber and help other TBS users when I have the time. Contrary to the opinion stated previously by pompeii (everyone has different perspectives and opinions, which is why they make more than one flavor of ice cream.) I find the TBS produced Workout Series tutorials to be excellent and very informative. They are well worth the price. They teach all the fundamentals and have supporting projects for you to work through and learn as your go. They do expect you to be willing to go on to the next logical step and aren’t meant to be the end of the learning process. But if you work through them step by step and even do some of the exercises more than once you will gain significant knowledge. You can think of it like taking a drawing lesson in an art class or a tennis lesson. You have to practice and apply what is taught and sometimes you need to review and retake the lesson if you don’t fully feel you got it all. I do caution anyone though to realize that animating is different from the operation or useage of software and you need to have a strong understanding of both to design and use cut out characters in TBS. The Workout Series tends to teach more of the how to use Toon Boom aspects of the process and I suspect that was part of pompeii’s complaint. I’ll try to do some research when I have time and see if I can find a good cut out animation reference to recommend. This form of cut out animation is one of the oldest forms practiced traditionally and there have been good reference works created long before software was even a word. I’ve seen amazing examples of works done back in the 1930 -1940s mostly from France and Eastern Europe, but animated paperdolls or puppets or cutouts is not new just the way we implement them in software is new. -JK

Well, we just have to wait Pompeii. They wont make a toturial for only 2 requests, it has to be more people requesting it.

Lets try to use whats available for now and explore it on our own. I have learned in life way back that exploring things over and over again is the best way to learn.

How do you manage to do the prosess, how far have you got?

I think you guys are expecting something that won’t likely happen. Your concern appears to be in how to design characters and deal with hiding joints during animation. There are numerous tricks for doing this but that type of discussion or tutorial is pretty much outside the scope of the type of things that the TBS people will be providing. It isn’t a software thing it is a design thing and frankly they aren’t running a design school.

They have already told you one of the most common methods and they have provided a number of pre-made characters in the In The Park series which they sell and also inside the V3.5 libraries that come with the software itself. You can copy and study those examples and learn how they approached their design yourselves.

Elsewhere in this thread I believe someone talked about using a “blob” style patch which is also a method that designers often use.

One other method is to actually draw flexed versions of the joints and swap them in when appropriate. Cut Out doesn’t mean that you make one hinged version of a character and that serves all purposes. You have to do some creative problem solving and make adjustments both to rotation pivot locations during animation and parts swapping. No tutorial can be expected to cover the magnitude of potential problems because every character can have unique challenges based on its appearance and how you are planning to animate it. It isn’t rocket science, you just have to be willing to experiment and practice to develop your technique. Also you need to be realistic and understand that cut outs are very difficult to make look as good as hand drawn full animation so adjust your expectations with that in mind. Never the less TBS provides an excellent environment and tool set for making high quality cut out animations. -JK

Well anyway, in just 2 houres by following JK - TGRS step by step guide, and watching the V3 cut out movie toturial, i now understand the prosess. Its unbelivable easy when you know step by step of what to do :smiley:

The movie is probably based upon showing the new features in V3, but if you take note of different timelines in it you will understand it, just take notes of the most important aspects as you watch it, it explaines everything. This wasent pointed specally to Pompeii, but also to others who may stumble upon the same problem. As i do not know if Pompeii even manage to work it.

Your point about continuity of workouts is well taken. I suspect that there were three schools of thought in the planning and execution of those tutorials. First, they didn’t want to be accused of bundling them in such a way that they could not be purchase individually as seperate products. And secondly, they needed to limit the scope of each tutorial to a reasonable amount of time for participation. Most of them take many (4 +) hours each of dedicated time just to work though once. So that requires careful planning to get the most material across in a compact package. And lastly, I suspect they wanted to make each of them fresh and interesting and therefore didn’t want to reuse the same character and props etc. just so people wouldn’t get bored with the training.

pompeii, I think that discussing the pros and cons of these and other materials produced by the TBS team is very appropriate and valuable to the community so I hope you will continue to share your thoughts. Personally I find the work out series units useful but like anything they can be improved. My bigger concern is that they get support from the community so that they can continue to justify the production of such materials. I know there are voices out there clammering for more “free” tutorials but as I have stated in other threads here before, there is no “free lunch” and except for the works of vollenteers somebody has to pay for the production of extra materials either through products or the price of the software itself. But that’s a totally different issue. Open, constructive discussion is good for all parties concerned.-JK

Yup, made the same mistake and bought that crap that passes for the character design tut. I’ve learned my lesson, no more Toon Boom templates/add ons 'cuz you never know what additional garbage you’ll get.

In response to the comments about the cut-out character design Workout…

The character used for this Workout was meant to be simple so that you could learn how to design your OWN characters with Toon Boom Studio, and to show that there are many different styles of cut-out animation (what’s wrong with Mr. Magoo eh?). It is meant to help you learn the steps of creating a cut-out character in Toon Boom Studio and not so much a lesson on character design itself.
I agree that there should be more focus on how to create proper joints for your cut-out characters. I would suggest for this that you simply take a look at how the joints for Der Der or the Pirate character were drawn. Maybe try doing the Workout over again with one of these characters, and go through the steps of designing Der Der or the Pirate yourself. That’s how I always figure stuff out. :wink:

Keep the comments comin’ guys!