Is it difficult?


I’m just wondering is it difficult to use Toon Boom Studio to make animations (of course this would depend on how complicated you want the animation to be), for the most part, is it fairly straight forward?

Id say its fairly straight forward. If you are prepared to learn id say you can learn the whole program in a few weeks. Of course your ability as an animator will determine if the animations are any good :stuck_out_tongue:


I dunno, Chris, I’d say it was a fairly steep learning curve in the beginning, especially figuring out how to implement the pegs. Of course, I’ll admit that I’m a slow learner, but many of the posts here over the years indicate that I’m not alone.

That said, I DID figure it out, at least enough to make simple animations, in about 3 weeks (if I recall correctly). Like most software, once you get a basic understanding of the program, you can begin doing bare-bone animation & you can learn the rest “on the job”.

Another thing, once I learned this, I bought Flash and figured the basics out in that program quite quickly. I think it was due to my time spent with Toon Boom. I mean, I only know the most rudimentary things in Flash, but I’ve created animations with it. If I played around with it more I’m sure I’d know lots more by now. So much to learn, so little time.

White Cloud, as Chris says, if you are prepard to learn–that is ready to really dig in and commit to the program, despite some frustrating moments–you’ll be delighted with the results.

Good Luck,

Elwood i guess you are right actually. I started using tbs after a traditional animation background so i guess the general idea was there for me already, starting from scratch probably would have been quite a bit harder. PLUS i learnt tbs at university so i always had a teacher to ask if i got stuck, which is never a bad thing. But to create a basic animation, ie. to draw 24 frames in the appropriate cells is pretty easy to do id say. Either way good luck to you white cloud and if you do need any help we are always happy to oblige!


I am just finishing up my storyboard drawings (they are only one frame, I guess I would say) but, when I input my image into TBS then, I can move parts of my drawing around, correct?

as toonboom studio animation workflow bases on vector graphics, there are two types of pictures in the software:
1. vector based drawings (drawing element, as it gets created in the exposure sheet) and
2. bitmap images (image element).

you can do anything you like with the type 1), but you can’t edit the type 2), only put them there and also to move them around. but you can use the type 2) as backgrounds and do your film out of imported images as well. images of type 2) don’t have the transparency, opposed to the type 1), which can be rendered with an alpha channel.

the type 1) gets drawn directly in the software and/or imported and vectorized from any image file or from scanner (or directly as vectors from adobe illustrator). the vectorized images imports come in black only, they lose all previous color information.

the type 2) gets imported as an image from file (and/or from scanner) without any manipulation during that process.

Is it recommended that I use Adobe Illustrator instead of Photoshop for importing images to TBS for scenes (backgrounds)? Also, If I understand you correctly, the drawings I am currently would work better if they were drawn on acetate or a clear cel of some sort? I can move these drawings around in the space but, is it better that I have a ‘solid’ background e.g. a photo of scenery, and use my drawings of characters to move around in the space, is that possible?

it doesn’t matter where the pics are coming from. they are either bitmaps or vectors. when you import any picture as a bitmap (i.e. into an image element), then they’d stay there as a monolithic plate, without any possibility to get its contents edited. but you can have your drawings as your backgrounds, too.
experiment a bit with the tool, then you’d find a way which is the most convenient for you.
once again: a bitmap is a bitmap. you can draw your bitmaps by hand and scan them into the tool (or import them directly from the twain scanner).
and nobody forces you to move your backgrounds around. you can leave them in peace, too :wink: then you can move your characters in front of the backgrounds, if they don’t have an opaque background in the drawing element themselves (i.e. they should remain as detached elements in your drawing element).

I am having trouble trying to open my drawings in Toon Boom Studio V2 ??? They are JPG files, what do I need to rename them as? Also, I am planning on editing them in Adobe Photoshop first (I guess they would be saved as a (.psd file). I open TBS and click on ‘Open’ and I have to open an animation set which are (.tbp files), I go to my folder and it doesn’t show the contents (my drawings). How do I open my drawings?

once more:
you open your toonboom project (a .tbp file) and then you can import images, either:
a) into the exposure sheet drawing element (create an element and then right click: import illustrator… or import and vectorize) → if you want to edit them in tbs
b) into the exposure sheet image element (create an element and then right click > import images from file or from a twain scanner) → if you don’t want to edit them in tbs, only just to put them into your film as backgrounds or whatever.

if you succeed and then save your tbs project, you’ll have your images in the scene > drawing folder ( for a) ) or in the scene > bitmap folder ( for b) ).

you must first import your images through the tbs interface, then you can have them in the project folders…

I am having difficulty still trying to import my images into TBS :o :frowning: I did as you said, and I chose ‘import and vectorize’, I went to my folder where the images are supposed to be and, they were not there…so, what have I not overlooked?

first of all, after importing, the images are to be seen in the exposure sheet as frame/s. the imported and vectorized pics will be in black and white.
the folder is the ‘scene-001’ and the subfolder is ‘drawing’.

but wait a moment. these are your storyboard images, right?
do you want to import them as images or as vector drawings?

Uh…vector drawings (i guess), if i import them as vector drawings then i will be able to move each drawing around in the frame correct? Can I also separate parts of my drawing(s) move them around individually? My folder with the storyboard images is labeled ‘Toon Boom’, when I open TBS, and click on ‘open’ I open the animation set which I labeled ‘background’ (I don’t have any drawings in it yet), I followed your instructions and when I chose ‘import and vectorize’, and tried to search for my images in my folder it showed those folders e.g. scene-001, drawing but, they were empty, and I can’t find my drawings.

i’m not really sure…i just want to input them ???

ok, once more from the beginning:

1. you create a toonboom project file (you open the app and save it as some-name) you then have a some-name.tbp project folder set.

2. you go to the exposure sheet and right click on the first drawing > import and vectorize. a dialog pops up and you can then choose your ímages to import, either one by one or all at once. then the next dialog pops up with the settings for the images import.

3. you save the project. now your images should be seen in the exposure sheet (the frames get numbered) and in your ‘drawing’ subfolder.

have you done it in this way?

if yes, it’s also possible that your images don’t have any referring lines to be vectorized (in case they have only painted areas or similar - then the vectorizing tool won’t find any edges to perform the task - you’ll see blank frames)… but the pics should be there, anyway.

and yes, you can do anything you want to with the vector drawings.


what i did was:

-open TBS

-opened a current animation set called ‘backgrounds’ i have not done any work in it yet

-it opens, i go to the exposure sheet, right-click on ‘drawing 1’

-scroll down to ‘import and vectorize’, select it

-i go to my folder which supposedly has my storyboard drawings, it contains the sub-folder called ‘backgrounds’, which is what i labeled the animation set

-my storyboard sub-folder is not in here, not even when i change the files of type to ‘all files’, is it hidden?

i don’t know what to do…

what is ‘animation set’? what is ‘backgrounds’?
is it a tbs project file (backgrounds.tbp)?
if not, you can’t open it as a tbs project.

if yes, there should be the following subfolders under the backgrounds folder

----plus a backgrounds.tbp project file.

if you have created the project ‘backgrounds’, then there is a new folder set ‘backgrounds’ created with the above structure.
have you checked under the right ‘backgrounds’ folder?

There is a project file called ‘backgrounds.tbp’, I see all those sub-folders in the backgrounds folder yes. The thing is, when I browse through the ‘backgrounds’ folder (yes, I see those sub-folders) but, I can’t seem to find another folder called ‘drawings’ which contains my storyboard drawings (it is not there in ‘backgrounds’). This is through TBS but, if I just normally go to my folder (not through TBS), I can access it. Is that understandable?

ok, i just tried opening my drawings on another computer with TBS (i’m working on this @ school), there is a network which connects the ‘video drives’, i was able to open my folder with the storyboard drawings through ‘import and vectorize’, the new problem is that when i try and open the drawings (or bitmaps) it freezes at 50% :stuck_out_tongue: ??? ??? >:( what should i do now?

then take your images out of the tbs folder structure and place the folder with your pictures anywhere else in oder to not to interfere with the project folder names.
maybe you have given your folder the same name as any standard tbs project folder name (e.g. ‘drawing’ or ‘bitmap’).
to be frank, i haven’t encountered anything like this before.
i have no further clue, sorry.

ok, for the new situation check the system requirements and watch the system task-manager memory and cpu-management.
try maybe to import chunks of the pics stack, not all at once.


How would I import just chunks of the drawings? Also, it seems I am able to ‘import and vectorize’ my drawings when I took them into adobe photoshop (some of them re-saved as .psd files), why is that? The program seems to freeze with .JPG files ???.