Hi i got a problem, With my animations I add shading to them in toonboom then i export it as an image so i can pull it into photoshop then in photoshop i use the blurr tool to give the shades a more rich look which gives the image a more dimensional look as well but when i pull it back into toonboom and put a black background on it the outlines of the drawing have an extra white outline over them what can i do to get rid of this and I am using 2.0 also i use a transparent background in photoshop, A speedy reply would be greatly appreicated
thank you

ok, replying to your pm, i’m not sure i can help you, because i still hardly work with more than one background bitmap.

what i don’t understand is where you get the white outlines and what do you mean by the drawing outlines: the outlines of the image borders in an image element? or the outlines of the vectorized drawing characters in the drawing element?

if the first case, then the solution could be the following:

open the camera view, the the side view, and move the background image (your photoshop pic) closer to the camera in the side view (the green line).

you’d but have to move the drawing elements closer to the camera too, because othewise they’d get covered by the opaque bitmap image. check the camera view for the instant changes.

Hi Gridiron. Can you elaborate on how you are exporting your images (as pdf or image sequence? PNG, JPG or other?).

Here is what I find:
I create a drawing object in TBS and “Export drawing to PDF”.
I open the file in Photoshop, add blur effect then save as pdf (object still editable at this point).
I then import this pdf file back into TBS and set the TBS scene background colour to black.
With this method there is a noticeable white halo effect around the drawing.

I tried various changes to the way I exported the pdf from photoshop but none seemed to make any difference.

If I save the blurred drawing as a PNG file and import it into TBS the halo is no longer visible. Only problem being that it is no longer editable (it’s a raster image now).

I found a couple of things of interest along the way:

I am not sure if the pdf halo has something to do with the following topic in the TBS help file
Under Importing Illustrator and PDF files: “Does not convert transparent objects drawn with the brush tool”
- the blur effect would contain some transparency I would think? But that is a wild guess. It could also be something to do with the PDF colour conversion (but that is out of my depth).

The other item that may be of interest which was on the Adobe forum “Removing matte line around top layer image”. It’s mainly for raster output though and doesn’t touch on PDF format.

Sorry that this does not answer your question. May be some one else has a theory?

Hi Bruxist,

You guess was right whenever you use a blur on an image in Photoshop, even it you still save it as a pdf it is turned in a bitmap. Pretty much everything that is processed through Photoshop is turned in bitmap (I would need to test but you might be able to get some shape as vector but then again they put some antialiasing even in their vector shapes).

In any case, the best output from Photoshop to process your images would be either png, tga or psd. If you go for png make sure to use the png-24 and for the other 2 format make sure that you trigger on the alpha channel for if you don’t you will end up with a white square around your element.

If you need more information feel free to ask.

Best regards,


Well ugo I always keep the background transparent so i do not ever hav a white box aroung the image and i tryed bruxist theroy but i still get the white outline. I export from toonboom in Png and import it back in from Photoshop in Photoshop Psd This problem is very irritating becasue blurrring the shading really makes the film look more professional.

Hi gridiron,
You say you export PNG and then import PSD - My theory was to:

Export from TBS as PDF.
In Photoshop add Blur effect.
In Photoshop save blurred object as PNG.
Import PNG back into TBS.

This keeps the transparency without a white halo but the object is now an image (raster) rather than a vector object.

When I “Export movie” from TBS with export settings of PNG I get some strange results which I will raise in another post: see “Export movie as PNG loses transparency” in section Toon Boom Studio Export Formats.

So we know that PNG is a good format to import into TBS but what about gridirons problem with PDFs? I made some further tests and found the following…

My test involves a single drawn element - a circle filled in black. I export this object as a PDF file. I open this PDF in Photoshop CS2. The black circle appears on a transparent background - all is good so far.

Test 1.
I save the file as circle.psd. When I import this .psd file back into TBS I get a white halo around the circle. Yet when I open that same file in Fireworks 8 I do not see this effect.

Test 2.
I open the circle.psd file in FW8 and add blur and save (as .psd). I import this file into TBS I see no white halo. It’s like the PNG format in that it has no fringe but it can not be resized which is a real negative in both cases (PNG and PSD).

Test 3.
In PSCS2 I ‘save as’ circle.pdf (the circle has no effects added). PS CS2 can save PDFs in 1 of 4 versions (PDF 1.3 to 1.6). All of these, when imported into TBS give a white halo.
I also receive 2 errors on importing PDFs into TBS: Unsupported features ‘Set line join type’ and ‘Set line cap style’ (I don’t know what effect these have).
I appreciate (now) that saving files in PDF format can produce many strange things due to the way it interprets layers/transparency (see links below).

Further Questions (that may be hard to answer as it maybe outside this forums scope :-).
. How does FW8 save psd files differently to PSCS2 so that we can import then into TBS with no halo?

. Can someone try the same tests with Photoshop CS?

. Can someone try the same tests importing PDF into Illustrator to see if halos exist, save this to PDF then import into TBS to see if halo exists?

. Can you tell me what versions of PDF are supported by TBS? Also the same question for .psd and .ai files please.

Interesting reading I found along the way:
What can cause halos (old but interesting)
Alpha channel importing (again old - still relevant? Interesting - yes)
Removing matt line around image (ok if you work with .gif)
Adobes PDF resource center (heavy reading!)

Hi guys,

This is a normal behavior because Photoshop is using pre-multiplied transparency for many reasons.

Toon Boom Studio only supports alpha channel transparency so you will need to save your file as a format that supports alpha channel (such as TGA or PNG).

Pre multiplied means that if a color pixel is not 100% visible (e.g. 50%) it will be multiplied with the background color information. A transparent background in Photoshop is actually a white background when compositing transparency.

Example: a red circle on a white (or transparent in Photoshop) background. at 50% of transparency the pixel will be defined like this: 50% or red + 50% of white and not 100% red at 50% alpha. All the alpha values are at zero in Photoshop (unless you create alpha channel mask).

There is a Photoshop plug-in (pretty sure it’s bundled on the Photoshop CD but need to check) to convert pre multiplied transparency to alpha type of transparency called d-xparen but it’s much more simple to save a TGA or PNG version of your file before importing.

Please note that many other software uses only alpha for transparency including Adobe Flash 8. This is not necessarily a TBS problem but a technical difficulty resulting of two different ways of applying transparency.

Hope that make sense.


Excellent advice Mathieu and thank you for your explanation. It is making more sense now.

After reading your reply I zipped off to try looking for the plugin you mentioned. I did not find it in the PS ‘Goodies’ but I did find a copy on the web at: under “Alpha channel fundimentals”. It is a PSCS plugin and if used on CS2 requires a msvcrt10.dll to run.
Which brings me to the next part. In the PS ‘Goodies’ is a plugin called Ffactory. This includes the .dll mentioned. All you have to do is drop the Ffactory plugin into the plugins folder and move the .dll to the PSCS2 folder. This then allows you to use the d-xparen.8bf plugin as well. Good!

So now loaded up I tried the following using the same test as before:
. Import the circle.pdf into PSCS2 (open with Trim box to get the size of the image to match TBS).
. Add Blur.
. Load selection (Cntl-click on object).
. Go to channels tab and add a new alpha channel (masked selection).
. Contract the alpha selection by 2 pixels (Select > Modify > Contract).
. Fill the Alpha selection with 100% white.
. Click on the RGB channel at activate all channels.
. Go back to Layers tab.
. Deselect the selection (no dashed lines any more).
. Run the filter (either one). Filter > Synthetic > Filter Factory (a=255).
. Save as circle.psd
. Import file into TBS.

… and it works! No halo!

But you are right - PNG is easier :wink:

Still no joy with PDF though. Alpha layer gets flattened as white background. I thought I had read that PDF1.6 (Acrobat7) was able to carry alpha layers but this really is beyond me.

I will leave it here. If anyone else wishes to go further they are welcome.
Thanks for the comments of course.

Thanks for testing the process. I haven’t got a chance to do it yet but now I’m confident that this works.


But like I said I have photoshop 2.0 is this going to work with 2.0 and I have toonboom 3.0 I can’t export to Png


Photoshop CS 2.0 and TBS 3.0 will both export to PNG.

In Photoshop, look at “save for the web” feature or save as a copy.

In TBS, select to export as an image sequence, click custom options and select the PNG format.

Note that you could also use other format that support alpha channel such as TGA.


I would like to add this as an ‘Appendix’:

This whole subject of photoshop, blur and halo’s made me go out and buy a book on Photoshop masking and compositing (by Katrin Eismann). It seems is well received by all that read it (including now myself).

One passage explained the way photoshop deals with feathering and blurring objects (or selections) and I would like to quote it here for those who may be interested:

“Internally all Photoshop selections are grayscale files that Photoshop references to designate active and inactive image areas. If you want to change a specific image area, you start by selecting it; but what Photoshop is seeing internally is that the active are is white and the inactive area is black…
… To create a soft transition around a subject, you could feather a selection to soften the edges. Photoshop doesn’t know what feather really means, but it does know that lighter shades of gray are more active and darker shades of gray are less active, which is exactly what feathering does. Feathering adds tonal transition from the black inactive to the white active area by blurring the internal grayscale file to create softer edges and transitions…”

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour”
…now I really must get on with my work :wink: