Mixed real footage and cartoon

I have seen somewhere a footage of a real movie with cartoon from TBS in it… How is that possible? How can one add a cartoon character into a home video? Many thanks in advance fo your explaining?

Hi Meeky,

To be able to import live features inside of Toon Boom Studio you will first need to turn that live feature (movie) to an image sequence. This need to be done in an external software such as Quicktime Pro. Once you have that sequence of images you simply need to import it inside an image element and use the light table to do your cartoon over it.

Best regards,


Great! I though so, but was not sure if that was how I should do it. Many thanks Ugo

Hello again Ugo, what other programs can make image sequences like Quicktime pro?

Hi Meeky,

Pretty much any video editing software would be able to do it but I guess Quicktime Pro would be the cheapest solution.

Maybe other users have suggestion on the topic.

Best regards,


Sorry Ugo, may I bring you back to my initial post again?

Would I be able to import the whole image sequenece in one step to the timeline as element? or should I do that by importing a single image at a time? If so, then it will be a time consuming indeed.

You take Quicktime and your movie and you export it from Quicktime as a sequence of graphic images (numerically sequenced) then you create and image element in TBS in your exposure sheet. You select “Import from File” and you highlight the sequence of images you exported from quicktime hit OK and let her rip. TBS will suck them in and there your are. You may chose to break things up into scenes and that’s fine just determine in advance the image sequences by scene and import those images one scene at a time. -JK

Great! Bob Hoskin and Roger Rabitt here I come!!! :slight_smile:

Is there any free movie editing program that can export a movie into an image sequence? Would the Free Avid DV do that?

Many thanks Ugo and JK, for your kind advice.

JK… thank you :),

What about the sound of the movie, can I still use the original sound and dialouge from the movie I just dissected into still image sequence? I presume I can import it as sound element which goes along with the image elements, right?

Can the quicktime pro extract the sound from a movie, or do you recommend other software?



I tried this and I keep getting a ton of images all on top of each other, not sequentially placed on the timeline. Can you explain in more detail how to do this? I’m very new to the program, so I’m sorry if this is a totally basic question. My goal is to animate over a quicktime movie.


Here are the instruction with clarifications:
Using Quicktime Pro and your movie, you export the movie from Quicktime Pro as a sequence of graphic images (numerically sequenced) then you create an image element in TBS in your exposure sheet. You then select a frame, usually frame one, of that image element in your exposure sheet. Right click your mouse to open the context menu and then you select “Import from File” from that context menu. In the file selection panel that opens when you are importing from file, you highlight each of the files in your sequence of images which you exported from Quicktime and then click on OK . The images will be inserted sequentially in your selected image element one frame per image starting at the frame you selected in the exposure sheet.

You can in a separate operation inside Quicktime Pro export the sound from the same movie and then import that sound file into a sound element in your TBS exposure sheet if so desired. Let us know if you have additional questions. -JK

yes avid free would be good for what you need
and you have to export your audio separately
and placed in the audio track of toon boom


I might not be addressing what you mean, but if you’re talking about applying an alpha to imported image elements, then I don’t believe that’s possible. You can certainly play with alpha values for drawing elements & media elements, but not image elements, as of now they are uneditable. It would be a nice addition if that changes in the future, but it’s not here yet.

Sorry if that had nothing to do with your issue, wasn’t sure if you were trying to alter images or not.

Thank you for the detailed instructions. I tried them again and got the same results…multiple columns of single IMAGES in the Exposure Sheet window (instead of 1 column of multiple images).

I figured out another way to do it (maybe this is a mac/pc difference???) Here’s how I did it:

I clicked on frame 1 in the Timeline window. CONTROL-Clicked to get a menu and chose “import images → import images.” I selected all of the files from my QT image sequence and then they appeared sequentially on the timeline and in a single column of the Exposure sheet.

I just think I stumbled upon an alternate way to do the same thing.


Really strange that you had problems doing that in the x-sheet. I have done it on both the Mac and the PC versions of TBS V3.5 build 99. It worked equally well on both platforms. Your alternate method is essentially the same thing as the timeline and the x-sheet are integrated so the element track on the timeline is the same element as in the x-sheet. In any case I’m glad you managed to get the desired results. -JK

JK - with a bit more careful clicking I DID find the menu with “import from file” in the Exposure Sheet window. So, your instructions are exactly right on. My mistake was that I clicked and opened the ‘contextual menu’ which has a different kind of import function. After spending a few more hours with the program I figured that one out. I’m still in my first 5 hours of using TBS (a dangerous beginner!) and I’m really digging it. The expert help at arms reach is a huge plus, too. Thank you, JK.