importing jpegs

Hellow everyone!
I’ve been trying to import jpeg photos to animate in cut-out animation. I try “import and vectorize”, and all I can get is black&white outlines of the image. Is there away to import
photos with all the details and colors that were in the original image? Is it possibie to animate cut out photos?
Jerry Sanders ::slight_smile:

Hi Jerry-

Import your photo into an image element, not a drawing element and you should have more luck. Vectorizing is tailored for black and white line drawings that get coloured later in the process, which is why you got the result you had.

Then you can animate your photos by applying pegs to them which lets you control their movement over time. You’ll be better served by referring to the manual where it’s all explained in greater detail.

Good luck,


Thank you for your reply.I have tried importing the image,and attaching it to a peg.I can move the image around, but I cannot use the drawing tools. The cutter is the tool I need to use,as to cut the image up into elements and asign them to pegs thus allowing me to animate the image cut-out style. I even tried to copy & paste the image into the the drawing colume in the exposure sheet, and all I get is the “paste not allowed here” message.
I am going to study the “importing illustrator and pdf files” of the manual, but all I have is a scaled down version of Photoshop “Elements” that came with my Wacom Tablet. I just want to add the fact I apprecieate this forum. You people are great! I think Toonboom is a wonderful program.
Jerry Sanders

I’m not too experienced with the cut out style animation, but I think where you’re having troubles is that I think you can’t edit an image element in TBS. The drawing and cutting tools are mostly for vector images in the drawing element.

Prepare your images in beforehand Photoshop by applying alpha mattes and save a copy (in a format that includes both the alpha matte and is TBS friendly) for each part of the photo you require to compose your animation in TBS. When you import them into TBS, the images will appear in image elements and the alpha mattes you did in PS will have removed the parts of the image you want hidden.

From there you can play with pegs and timelines in TBS, having prepared your images beforehand.

Happy animating!


burton is right.
you can only edit vectors in tbs (i.e. in the drawing element), either drawn directly in the software, or imported and vectorized (they wind up as black/white), or imported from illustrator (any color you like, too).

but there is a tool in tbs, which i tried to use but gave up due to insufficient support for my purpose.
(update → the thread:;action=display;threadid=1833)

it’s called the clipping mask, and can be used to partly cover the image elements, but don’t ask me for more details.

please check the manual for this feature, or any online tutorial.

If I understand your initial post, there are a couple of possible methods which you can consider to achieve your desired results. You can approach your cutouts as vector art or you can approach them as bitmapped art. Drawing elements are for vector art which is infinitely scalable and therefore usually the best choice if you plan to do a lot of zooming in or out. Image elements are well suited to bitmapped art.

I won’t bore you with more on vectorizing as that is the most often discussed approach. But let’s talk about cut out characters that are bitmapped. The first thing to realize is that you have to do all your basic character construction, creating body parts and breaks outside of Toon Boom. You can certainly do this in Photo Shop Elements. So if you want to have cut out characters to animate in Toon Boom that are bitmapped art just prepare them prior to importing the pieces into Toon Boom. Then you can import each prepared body part into a different image element. These image elements can then be organized hierarchailly using parent child peg relationships and you can construct cutouts for animation. There is a well done video tutorial to explain the assembly of a cutout character. Conceptually the difference in approach here is that instead of creating the cut out body parts inside Toon Boom you will create them in Photo Shop or some similar image editing software. You could even use pictures from magazines as the source of your character art (much like done by Jib Jab). You do all the prep work before you import the pieces and then you assemble the characters and animate them in Toon Boom. Hope this triggers some ideas.-JK

Thanks everyone!
Your replys have been very useful. I’ll Post back in the future
with my results. It is good to know that there are so many creative
people out there.
Jerry Sanders ::slight_smile: