Newb looking for direction, input.


I’m a total newb here. I just received TB4 in the mail. I am already intimidated. While poking through the tabs and tools I created a character. I loved how it worked, but I can’t imagine using a mouse to draw with. I’ve heard of the tablets but don’t know anything about them. Which ones are best, which ones to stay away from, which ones are the smartest buy for a hobbyist?

I have several goals. First just basic. Perhaps an animated logo slate. Then a 10-15 short clip with a punch line. Eventually I want to make a series of shorts (about a minute long). I have a few original stories (more than 5 minutes) that I’d love to animate if I can master the software.

I guess the thing I need the most is which direction should I head first? I have two computers. The one that TB4 is on is intentionally NOT on the internet. Is it possible to access the tutorials on a second computer?

Any opinions will be appreciated. Also, we are all artist of one stripe or another. Most artists like to have their work looked at. How about post a link to any animations that you have done with this software.

Again thanks.


of Team Joseph & Ian


YOu may want to look at the consumer range from Wacom. Wacom being the most well known tablet company.

Also take in account tablet sizes etc.
I am not a tablet efficiendo though :slight_smile:

I myself has a humble Graphire 4, which is rather basic compared to something like the intous or something like that, but it good for a newuser etc.

Thanks Pat
I’m going to check that out.

Hopefully you will get a great deal of feedback here as there should be plenty of forum readers with experiences to share and opinions to give.

As a general rule it is best to stick to the recognized standard when buying peripherals like tablets. The most frequently used tablet and the recognized standard are Wacom tablets. Unless you are extremely limited in what you can afford to purchase I recommend that you stretch yourself and buy the Intous line VS the Graphire line of Wacom tablets. There is a significant value difference both in performance and longevity. As to tablet size, 6x8 is probably your best bet. Larger tablets are not that much of an advantage and smaller tablets are usually limiting.

If you don’t already have a “flash memory” drive, buy one, they have gotten really cheap and are perfect for use as a “sneaker” net between an internet connected machine and an isolated machine. Download the tutorials to your connected machine and move them to your other machine where you can work on them with TBS.

Keep asking questions and hopefully you will get plenty of responses -JK

Thanks for the info. Glad to hear you suggest that one. Though it isn’t free at least I have something in mind. I actually was looking at that one after searching the web and filling out a questionnaire at I just wasn’t sure of the size.

I figure if I just do the lessons, as if it were a college course, I will start to grasp the bigger picture soon enough. I want to have realistic goals that take months and years. After all, this is a new technology to me. It would be absurd to think I could be producing anything of value just because I purchased some software.

Anyone have an opinion on how many hours of study and trial and error it should take before one can produce a 30 second spot?

It depends on which lessons you are using. The TBS tutorials are mostly oriented to introducing the features of the software. To created animated content normally requires an understanding of several aspects of producing animation. Certainly, how to organize and operate the tools used to create animation and the technical aspects of applying those tools is important. So how to work with TBS is essential. But, there is also the artistic aspect of producing animation whether it be hand drawn or cut-out or whatever. The TBS tutorials don’t cover that as much as they cover the software, which is reasonable because they are oriented toward introducing the tool not the craft. So you will want to find materials that introduce you to the craft of cartoon / animation production. I try to mix the two aspects in my Cartooning In Toon Boom blog so I hope that will also provide you with some help.

That’s a “loaded” question. The duration of the piece is not significant except that it might require more work to make a piece 30 sec. instead of 15 sec. etc. depending on the nature of the piece. For example you could do a walk cycle in 8 to 12 frames and have the character just walking for 30 sec. down a road or you could have 30 secs of very animated character action and have to draw out 720 individual frames of movement. So the nature of what you want to do with your 30 sec. has more to do with how it is made as opposed to the time of the piece.

It might take you years of work to learn to make animation similar to a Looney Tunes or Disney cartoon where as you could be making South Park style cartoons in a matter of months. Just start slow and keep your ideas simple and expect to make a lot of short animations that focus on the basics of animating and eventually you will move to a point where you can tell stories through your art.

I particularly like the new photo cut-out capabilities of TBS V4 because they provide a way for artists new to animating to be able to produce cartoons with little or no drawing. It is the drawing part of animation production that takes the longest to master. Keep asking questions and just roll up your sleeves and get started having fun. -JK

Thanks JK. I realized the question wasn’t well framed, thanks for answering just the same. :slight_smile: