import cut-out


I found the contour tool tedious, so I used PhotoShop to cut the bitmap into 15 individual images to use as a cut-out character.

When I vectorize-import to a cell each piece of the cut-out charater ends up in it’s own frame and I can not figure out how to get all the body parts together in one place to set a parent peg

Can anyone help me I can’t find anything in the manual ???

Please have a look at JK’s excellent Introduction to photo cut out animation:


I did see that tutorial, and it is great stuff, but in the tutorial a single image is imported and then cut into the different moving parts.

Iv’e already cut may image into seperate parts (fore arm, shoulder, etc) using Photshop… I can import them without problem but can’t get them to under one parent… each indivual image ends up in it’s own frame

How can I move move the images to one frame and give they all one parent?

Well, If you bring your parts directly in from Photoshop as PSD’s or PNG’s
with alpha channel (transparent background) import all parts into their own
image layer and assemble your hierarchy in the timeline and in the viewport
move all the parts into the right position.

If you bring in these images as “Import and Vectorize” import all parts into their
own drawing element and assemble those in the timeline and viewport as well.

In the timeline for example drag hand into lower arm, lower arm into upper arm…
or eyes into head, and head into body…

If you like have a look at this example (Template) called “Panda1.tbt”:

"Template has been removed"

I presume you know how to import Templates into your Library ?
from there drag the file into your timeline.


Hmm… I’m afraid there’s a lot I don’t know about TB yet… I’ve only been at the for a couple of days

I guess I don’t know how to imprt into the library :-<br />

Perhaps I’m doing this all wrong

With Timeline [Scene 1 Frame 1] open

right-click on first cell in the Drawing 1

Select “Import and Vectorized” >"From File"

click on the first body part, shift click on the last body part (this selects 15 images)

Click OK to import textured

Cells 1 through 15 get filled in with the individual images


At this point I can not get the images to appear all in one frame, it as if I loaded a 15 frame movie each frame a different body part,

I’ve dragged images to the library, but that does nothing but have my “body parts” movie in the library ???

I’m really confused on how to make one frame out of 15 images, and evetually a templae charater

Is there a step I’m missing?

Regarding the Library:
Maybe you might like and read the User Guide, page 326 onwards would be a good start.

Or read JK’s articles: specially the one “Using Libraries in Toon Boom Studio”.;action=display;threadid=2631

Open your Library, select your Global-Library-Folder, Sub-Folders or Catalogs,
in the Template-Panel on the right - right-click to open the contextual-menu and select import > Import Template File. Then select any .tbt file you want and click Open.
Now you can drag that Template from your library into your timeline to see it in action.

Regarding the Image import:
As I said already earlier, import every”body-part” into its own Drawing-Element,
not all “body-parts” as Image-Sequence into One-Element.
(of course one can create more drawing-elements in the exposure-sheet and either copy and paste all the imported images into those elements or just drag and drop the images
into the created drawing-elements) - (very easy and fast, but you might find these technique a little complex at the moment, so stick with the single import).

Don’t put all your 15 images into one frame / that won’t work for cut out animation.
(have a look at the above provided example).

For more information try “kdog’s” TBS Cut Out Tutorial:



Let’s start over at the beginning and try to clear up some concepts at the same time. A frame is a single picture that can be composed of one or more picture elements. These elements are like a stack of images. An element and a picture layer are the same thing. If we view an element across time it is a collection of cells. Only one cell from the same element can be seen at a single instance in time. So a frame is a stack of individual cells each of which belongs to a different picture element.

Now we will assume that your character is going to be viewed as a single image that is composed of many individual body parts. For example (1) head, (2) eyes, (3) hair, (4) left pupil, (5) right pupil, (6) nose, (7) mouth, (8) neck, (9) upper torso, (10) lower torso, (11) left upper arm, (12) left lower arm, (13) left hand, (14) right upper arm, (15) right lower arm, (16) right hand, (17) left upper leg, (18) left lower leg, (19) left foot, (20) right upper leg, (21) right lower leg, (22) right foot, etc.

OK, so you will need for this example character to create 22 time line elements. So step one is to go to the time line and start adding elements (time line tracks) and as you add each element you will name it to match the body part that you plan to put into that element. When you finish, your time line track labels will look like a list of body part names. You then can go to the first frame of each element and import in the appropriate body part image to match the name of that element. So for example the characters left upper arm is imported into the element labeled left upper arm and so on and so forth. When you have finished importing all the character’s body parts for just the first picture of the character into their appropriate element you can then start organizing these parts to composite the characters picture. You can drag time line elements around in the list of elements to get your character into a logical hierarchy and you can even arrange elements into parent - child relationships. You will also position the various body parts in the camera view panel so that your character looks like a single image and not just a pile of body parts.

This should get you going, so try it out, and then ask more questions as you run into issues. Oh and if you have multiple copies of the same body part, for example an open left hand and a closed left hand, they will be imported into the same body part element just into separate cells. So the left open hand might be imported into the left hand element cell 1 and the left closed hand would also be imported into the left hand element but into cell 2 instead of cell 1. This is how you can add multiple instances of the same body part to your cut out rig. But I suggest that you build your character and rig its hierarchy just using one instance of each body part in the beginning, then it is easy to add more body part instances as needed later. I hope this helps you. -JK

OK the light is starting to come on…

It look like import en mass just plain doesn’t work

I’ve got all the pieces parts imported so I can start adding pegs…

Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction… I’m pretty damn good at Photshop… taking it to the next level is a bit of a learning curve…

Your help has saved me tons of frustration ;D

yo golfguy,

thx for bringing up this issue. Did help me as well. I’m pretty good at Photoshop either and a newbie at TBS. So I’m curious - do you “import” your character parts as images or do you “import and vectorize” them into drawing elements?