Onion Skin/Light-table is really inefficient to use

So I’ve just started using toonboom, due to it’s recent popularity, making it a new industry standard. I’ve been both dissapointed at features that’s not here, but really suprised about features that work really well (the Camera is amazing!).

My, without doubt, biggest problem with Harmony is how incredibly bad the onion skin is. Coming from TV Paint, Krita, Clip Studio paint, I’ve found myself really dissapointed in how ancient and inefficient this system is. it’s basically just Flash’s, with few differences. I can not select what frames I want to have visible in the onion skin. It counts exposures, and not frames (unless you mark your drawings with “K” and “B” etc, and then select them in the "view in onion skin, but even then you have to drag the blue bar really far if the keyframe you’re tracing is 200 exposures back on the timeline), which is not the best solution.

Also using the “off-peg” function in ToonBoom is a really unpleasant experience. I have to go into drawing mode, select frames from the X-sheet, import them into drawing mode and THEN I can “Transform” the previous frames? It really stops the workflow, forcing you to spend time selecting frames, sending to drawing mode and then tracing. If you were to do this with ~80 inbetweens (which is not uncommon), you will have wasted so much time on just doing this micromanagement.

I’d really like to see:
-Onion Skin work on a “frame” based (aka unique drawings) and not “exposure” based system (aka remove that slider from the timeline)
-Have an onion skin window where you can select how many frames you want to see, and by clicking for example 2 frames backwards, allow you to move that frame (as an onion skin) and rotate/scale etc.
-Change opacity for specific frames (so if I want to see a frame far back on the timeline better than a closer one, I can just change the opacity).

Basically, just look at TVP/Krita’s light table.

Thanks for an otherwise great experience!

    Question: With Onioin Skinning, can the current frame show the onion skinned drawings completely.
I am working on one layer where I have a tree canopy. It is basically just a large round-ish shape, just a fill, no line. I want to have the appearance of wind rippling thru it. To create this wave-like behavior I want to see the previous drawings as onion skin. How can I make the current drawing translucent so that the onion skin drawings show in entiretly? If I am not mistaken, the current drawing obscures all the onion layers below. Setting the opacity of the layer does not do what I want.

Have you tried setting the current drawing to outline mode?


Perhaps in combination with onion skin opacity, wash and/or outline you can achieve an advantageous view.


If I am doing a lot of traditional animation, I hang out almost exclusively in the Drawing View. However if you need to be in the camera view, you can go to the Menu in the Timeline (the hamburger icon in the Timeline’s upper left corner), go to Onion Skin, and then select Onion Skin by Drawing, and then it will behave like it does in the Drawing View where the onion skin is showing you exposures and NOT frames. You can also play with the Top Light (in both Camera and Drawing Views) to get a desired Onion Skin opacity. Hope that helps!

As far as I understood, going into drawing view only displays current layer. Doing action animation with multiple characters, background moving etc, it may be a bit hard, but I’ll definetly utilize the “Onion Skin by Drawing” feature you speak of. Thank you very much for your reply and your help!