New User Observations & Questions

Having (finally!) installed ToonBoom Studio (V3.5) for the first time, here are my initial observations and questions.

1) Practicing with stick figure drawings is not easy. It is too easy to forget which leg and arm is which and which direction they should be going.

2) Animation is more forgiving than still illustrations. A stick figure awkwardly walking in place (see 1) is far more interesting than a crude stick figure doing nothing.

3) I have noticed that certain windows float over other windows, and do not change their position (front and back) when clicked on. For example, the Properties window is always over the Exposure Sheet window, even if the Exposure Sheet window is the active window. The Properties window has to be moved out of the way if I want to see the full Exposure Sheet window. Is this a ToonBoom Studio thing or a Mac OS X thing? It would be nice to just have it just duck away instead of having to move or close it.

4) When playing back movies in the QuickTime Player, why does it continuously loop the animation? I am assuming it is something with the QT Player, as I tried toggling Loop on and off in TBS before exporting, and it didn’t make a difference either way.


hi dan,
ad 1) i used to paint one shoe to distinguish the legs :wink:
ad 3) this is the tbs thing, the properties window sticks in front of the other ones.
ad 4) it must be the qt player issue. how do you want to set up the animation display looping in the export settings?

  1. Thanks Rob. Good tip. My stick figures don’t have shoes though. :wink: But I could color one foot.

    4) For my tests, looping is okay. I am playing around with walking and stuff, so if it loops, that’s actually not a bad thing. But, for non-testing, I would like it to not loop. In the QuickTime Player, Loop is checked but grayed out. That leads me to think (wrongly, perhaps) that TBS is setting it to loop in the export. Wait… Okay, I figured it out. When I export to Flash, the QT Player will continuously loop it on playback. If I export as a QuickTime movie, then it does not loop. (Loop is off by default, but I can select Loop in the QT Player to make it loop–it is not grayed out.)


I have a suggestion that you may find useful for the properties panel. Go to Edit>Preferences and on the shortcuts tab select the Catagory Windows Menu. Then go to the Properties selection and set the keyboard shortcut to the H key. Then you can toggle the properties panel on and off by pressing the H key. This is really handy to have access to it when you want it and not have it in your way when you don’t want it. -JK

thanks, jk. a good tip :slight_smile:
must have a closer look at the shortcuts optimization panel.

Thanks for the tip.

Question though, both you and the TBS Help (I looked up something else earlier today), say to go to Edit>Preferences, but there is no Preferences option under the Edit menu.

The Preferences option is under the application (“Toon Boom Studio v3.5”) menu.

More observations…

I think TBS 3.5 is easier than Flash. In just an hour or two, I think I’ve managed to do more of an animation than I ever did in Flash.

And, that is without documentation. (I downloaded the docs, but left them on another computer, so didn’t have them this weekend.)

Of course, pegs still have me baffled. The “help” system wasn’t very helpful either. Hopefully, I’ll figure them out when I get at the docs today. Figured out the basics of the 3D scene layout though.

Also, bear in mind that I haven’t touched Flash since v3. I had enough trouble trying to animate a bouncing ball that I was never tempted to use or upgrade it again. Animated GIFs have worked fine for me.

So, so far, I’m glad that I went with TBS instead of trying Flash again.

dan, it must be there, the last entry under edit in the main menu.

there’s also an animation properties under the file in the main menu (the one before last entry)…

There are a few small variances between TBS on the MAC and TBS on the PC. We use both versions. The menu location of preferences is one of those small differences. I usually try to be very specific with my instructions by platfrom but I wasn’t thinking about that menu variation when I wrote my last reply. I’ll try to remember you’re a brother MAC user and give you special care in the future. I like the MAC version more than the PC version just because of some of those little variations. One great feature of the MAC version is the Customize Your Toolbar menu selection. You will want to familiarize yourself with this as you will want to add the button to toggle onion skinning on and off to your tool bar as well as some of the other optional buttons.

As to using pegs or animated elements which are just embedded pegs, there are a number of posts here on the subject, but due to the amount of posting activity, previous threads get cycled to back pages pretty quickly and then require some searching to locate. We will be glad to answer any of your key framing related questions, so just ask away. -JK

Okay, then I can understand how you and others might tell me the PC locations, but shouldn’t the “Help” system in the Mac application at least get it right? :wink:

I have a PC too, but I get tired of restoring and reformatting it all the time from crashes and virii and stuff, that I just don’t even bother turning it on anymore.

Thanks. I printed out the User Guide this afternoon. Then I downloaded the User Guide and printed it out again, after realizing I had printed out the old guide.

Hopefully, now with the User Guide in hand, I’ll be able to figure this out. If not, I’ll be back…

Okay, the User Guide is making me feel stupid. It goes from assigning a peg into showing me motion paths and rotation paths that it never really appears to explain how to do. It references different sections, none of which appear to lead to anything showing me how to actually use the peg I assigned. I feel like a section is missing. (I checked the page numbers–nothing’s missing.)

So, this is where I am. I have nine drawings on the exposure sheet which, when animated, are a stick figure walking. How do I make him walk across the screen? I assume the nine drawings need to be grouped somehow, then a peg attached to them, and then a motion path created for the peg. But, following the User Guide, I’m not getting anywhere.

I must be missing something very basic.


Try reading this thread and if you have additional questions, please ask them and we will try to help. This was written before V3.5 so some aspects can be done more cleanly using the new animated elements but the basics are all still applicable and it explains a great deal about pegs. -JK

Thanks! I think I’m getting it now. I’ve got a bouncing ball to bounce across the screen instead of just in place, so I’m making progress.

I followed the settings in your post, but then I found one of the tutorials on the web site. Watching it made it much easier to see how to do it then reading the stuff in the manual.