Respect Protected Color - Brush Setting - not functioning in Toon Boom Harmony (11)


I’ve noticed that “Protect Color” seems to only apply protection to a color when using the erase tool. When I protect a color in my palette list, and I have “Respect Protect Color” enabled in the brush tool settings, it doesn’t seem to function at all. I can draw on top of the protected color all I want.

Is this a bug or is there something else I’m missing? Let me know if you need any further information or screenshots.


I am reading the sections of the official documentation that talk about the feature and experimenting in Animate Pro 3, which in most cases functions like Harmony when the two share a feature.

The paint tool is mentioned several times when describing the feature however upon digging deeper I need to amend what I stated previously:

An important key I just realized is that the Protect Color and Respect Protected Color features work when there is a form of filling taking place. This feature protects the filled color. An enclosed shape can be filled with a color but a line made with either the brush or the pencil is filled with a color as well. Protect Color does work with drawing tools and their Tool Properties box even has a button to turn it off and on.

Protect Color only protects the filling of an existing line or enclosed shape. This does not prevent you from adding a line over the filling using an unprotected color. However, you cannot fill an enclosed shape drawn over a protected color. IOW, you can draw lines over a protected color and create an enclosed shape over a protected color using an unprotected color but that enclosed shape cannot be filled.

I suspect this last characteristic has to do with the way the software reads painted and unpainted areas. The new line is an independent object being created as you make the stroke but there does not seem to be any data generated that indicates and understands there is a separate enclosed shape made with the line. Once the stroke is complete the software only understands the line. The space inside the enclosed shape is not interpreted as part of the line object. It only sees the the area as space and therefore the protected color beneath it.

The documentation does not explain the logic used to determine why Toon Boon decided a tool would work a certain way. I cannot think of a reason why the software would deliberately prevent filling the new shape over the protected color. There could be a good reason. It may be an oversight.

Tutorials may elaborate listing a couple of situations where you might want to use a tool or procedure. The feature is suggested in the documentation when inking art. What would you like to use it for? How is it not meeting the task?|Chapter%207%3A%20Ink%20and%20Paint|Inking%20the%20Lines|_____0

It is important to note how the paint bucket is called the Paint Tool.

The tools clustered with the paint bucket are the only paint tools.

Protect Color and Respect Protected Color work with the paint tools and the Eraser.

They do not work with drawing tools.

I believe confusion may stem from the Brush being a drawing tool and not a painting tool as people paint with a brush in the real world.

Oh! wow, crazy. would it be possible to link that doc that says this? I’m curious to read through it.

Do you know what the purpose of the default enabled “Respect Protected Color” button does, then? It’s a flag on the brush tool properties section. If this is a tool that doesn’t actually respect protected color, then why does this flag exist?

And, please forgive me if I’m misunderstanding or misinterpreting what you’ve said. Thanks!

I noticed this too and the problem disappears after restarting Harmony. Happened several times.

Not so sure what you are saying. Protect color works with the brush, this is actually where it makes sense.

Thank you for your comments. I’m still a little lost… but… I’ve just decided to avoid this feature since I get the impression it’s not to be used in the way I want to use it :slight_smile:

I appreciate all the help.

I got it to work for me the way I thought it was to be used in Harmony 10.3, but it stopped functioning for me after awhile. I installed Harmony 11, and it still wasn’t working. I almost think I need to delete a preference file somewhere. I might look into that route in the not too distant future.