Puppet Rigging Confusion

Ok I’ve been thinking ALOT about getting toonboom harmony and the version with the node view. But my problem is, I’ve never touched a single toon boom program before (well I have but that was the eaarrllly-ist version where rigging wasn’t possible at all.) SO I wanted to ask, as someone who has never touched the newer toonboom, how do you puppet rig in it?

I’ve watched a few videos on how its done but the timeline is confusing me along with how its actually done, I could puppet rig completely fine in adobe flash, but on TB it seems waay more complicated, because with flash you get your symbols, and then put all the pieces into 1 symbol and thats the whole puppet, but in toonboom all the pieces stay on the timeline? what?

Basically what im asking is, for someone who wants to move onto toonboom, be able to puppet rig and understand the program, what would you recommend me todo? like learn, to look at? ect…

Ive never posted a forum so hopefully this is the right category and hopefully i asked the right thing. :S

If you’ve never worked with rigged 2D characters before, you may want to look at Moho Pro first. For IK rigged 2D animated characters Moho is arguably more powerful, much simpler to setup characters with, offers simple controls, and easier to animate with as well. And a MUCH less expensive option compared to the full version of Harmony Premium.

You can always render your animated puppets as a sequence of frames, and import those in Toonboom Essentials/Advanced or even Animate CC or OpenToonz.

But before you decide, download the trials of all applications, and then see what fits your workflow best.

Harmons rigging is very different to flash but infinitely superior once you get it because all parts of the rig can be moved without having to dive in and out of symbols (and drawing substitutions are available per piece), as well as all rotations with pose copier or regular pasting.

Once you finish rigging the angles/placing keyframes, you put it in a group so its nicely collapsed (and you can collapse any parts of the rig on the timeline with O too).

This is coming from 7 years of flash experience and now 4 with TB.

Check out here for a complete rigging from start to end walkthrough:


As well as stylus rumble on youtube.

This video is something you should watch before making your decision. It was created by Adam Phillips, an ex-Flash animator and now an avid Harmony user, who explains the differences between Flash and Harmony.

It focuses on version 14 while the current version is 15 but 99 percent is still relevant.

The title of the video is: The Independent Animator’s Guide to Toon Boom Harmony 14

It was a live stream so it has that more casual style of presentation plenty of time affords so it is not compact and tightly presented.


I’ve just watched the 2 hour video on it, I think I have the basic idea now so thank you, but im still a little confused on puppet rigging. That was my main concern though D:

im confused because say for flash, you’d have ALL of your puppets angles/rotations in ONE symbol, but for toonboom everything is on the timeline? rather than being nested inside of 1 thing? ;-;

It’s all using nodes in one system/skeleton, you make a template of all the turns and then you put it on the timeline and load all the turns you want at any keyframes. Its far faster and more accessible than flashes symbol diving. See here:

Woah! that does look alot faster and quicker to switch. I THINK I get what your saying but im just a little confused on how to actually set that up. Is there any videos on how to actually set all of that up to where you can have it as that as the end result, being able to switch/rigging them. Or if you some time get enough time, be able to explain it?

These rigging courses are very good:


The first course goes through the basics of setting up a simple rig. The second course shows you how to set up a rig with multiple views. The third course covers a multi-view rig with envelope deformers. It also tells you about the pose copier and master controllers.

It is a lot of information to take in and takes a long time to go through all of the training. It helps to watch them over and over, and to work on your own character while you do that.