How to properly save scenes in ToonBoom Harmony?

Hi guys,

Can somebody please explain to me how saving projects work?
I’ve spend past month and a half watching tutorials and I still don’t understand the very basic logic of saving in Harmony.

Here is my case:
I am working on a cartoon and it has several scenes and tons of shots. What is the best way to properly save those scenes?
Should I use Save As and create a separate folder for each scene/shot, or should I use Save As New version? If I use Save As, then it creates huge 1.2GB folders for each scene/shot and I have a total of 47 shots! If I use Save As New version it brings me to another problem:

If i for example open scene3 and save as new version to scene4, for some reason when I open scene3 I get a message that my sound file was not found. Why is that? Scene3 was saved and closed, why does that happen?

Also, when I use Save As New version, very often I have problems with naming drawing layers. I have a generic Drawings_1, Drawings_2, Drawings_3… etc, and when I try to name them I get a warning that the layers are used by another version. So I click no to rename the original, and voila, I return to the previous scene just to realize that I managed to redraw new image for scene4 on my previously completed image for scene3. That is driving me crazy!

What am I doing wrong and what tutorial should I watch to understand how to save properly? Can somebody please shine some light on saving in Harmony cos I really don’t get the logic behind it. Thanks in advance.


This might be an issue of how you’re organizing your work. You mention “scenes” and “shots”, but they might be the same thing in Harmony. Harmony calls “scenes” to what is called a “shot” on live action cinema. A scene or shot is the same as a camera angle. You have a new scene when you change the camera angle or set the camera to shot on another set.

(In Storyboard Pro you work with shots > scenes for “live action” and scenes > sequences for “animation” so sometimes this is a bit confusing, I think that in Europe is more normal to use shots even in animation.)

So, if your short film has, for instance, 10 scenes/shots, each of those should have his own Harmony scene. For instance, sh001, sh002,…, until sh010.

You should use “save as new version” when you want to work on an alternative version of the same scene. This could be expressed as when on live action you film several takes for the same shots, in which the actors repeat the performance until the director is pleased or simply shot several options to choose later from. In terms of your file system, a “save as new version” will create different Harmony files (.xstage) inside the same scene folder. So you will be using the same drawings, hence the warning when you rename them, that it will affect other versions.

You should use “save as” when you want to create a whole new scene based on the setup of an existing one. When you do “save as” you are creating a whole new Harmony folder scene, not merely a .xtage file inside the existing scene folder. When you do this you can change your drawings since you basically duplicated everything.

Luis Canau

To recap, if you have sh001 and you make save as new version (you can call it v1, v2, etc.) you’re making a version of shot 001. If you save as sh006 (for instance), you are making a new scene or shot called 006 based on shot 001.

I hope this helps.

(Harmony 12 has settings that seem to be meant to use different drawings with different versions of the same shot/scene but I don’t think that’s working properly yet.)

Thank you very much Icanau for clearing that up.

I am re-Saving As all my scenes as separate scenes. No more Save As new Version for me. :slight_smile:

Have a nice day!