ToonBoom Express vs Full

I’m considering getting the express version before the special goes away today.

However, I find the limitation descriptions to be very sketchy. I’d appreciate if a few of the pros in there could help me out…

I get most of the limitations and believe I could work within them.

More precisely, what are:

* Cutout animation tools (No idea)

* Animated elements (what is that? Is this related to the “templates” ? Are these reusable animated clips like what can be found in flash?)

* Advanced lipsync (what is advanced lipsync? what is basic lipsync?)

I’m already well versed in flash and can use the copy from work. From what I’ve seen in the demo, I love the lipsynch features, the sweet palette management, and, of course, the camera.

Toonbook would be for personal projects, so I don’t have the money for the full blown version. I’m just wondering if the express is worth for me.

I usually do very simple shorts (a few minutes long) and rarely have the time to work in sophisticated animation. I hope to be able to cheat my way into having my stuff look more dynamic with a little camera work and save lots of time with lipsync and palettes.

A good example of what my stuff looks like can be found on (this is very bare bones, I hope to do a little more on later projects).

Any info is appreciated!


Well, you might like to have a look at these links:


Wow! Thanks, Nolan, for this wealth of information!

From what I see and the way I work, it seems that I’d be more efficient with the full version (or with flash) than the express version.

I work mainly with cutouts and lipsynch.

Now I’m still not sure what I get with lipsynch in the express version… but I suppose that whatever it is, it must be a tad easier than doing it in flash. But if I don’t get the automated method, I’m not sure its worth changing tool.

I suppose that I could do cutout animation without using the special cutout tools… but I fear that without pegs, I’d end up being frustrated.

The most interesting aspect I’d get would be the 3d camera.

I’ll have to see how well I can import assets from flash - perhaps I could animate my cutout there and import the swf as templates to use when I want to build more elaborate scenes.

Hm. Feels like I should just budget to buy the full TBS studio version later :frowning:

After more careful scanning, it seems I do get the automated lipsync (just not the “advanced” one).

Anyone here uses express? I suppose I can do most of my cutout animation using cell swapping…

but I’m concerned that this would not fit with the more “traditional” way of animating - I don’t plan on doing “in betweens” - I’d just like my cells to be held for a number of frames (much like keyframes in flash).

Anyone can confirm that this can be done in express?



Got an answer from ToonBoom (thanks Karen and Ugo!)

Here’s the answer:

So, basically, I don’t get an advantage on animating cutouts or lipsynching. With the peg limit, I don’t expect to get animation when express 3.5 comes out either.

I expect that I would get a bit more productive with the toonboom tools and could export to flash as well.

With the current special at 50$ it could be worth it.

But my gut tells me I should wait until I can afford the full version.

Well, I worked with Express only a very short time back in 2005,
but having only 2 pegs available, it’s fairly unsuitable
to do “proper” Cut Out Style Animation.

Nonetheless I personally think it’s a great animation tool for kids, beginners,
hobbyist and professionals a like.

So, I upgraded to Studio very soon and never looked back.

Here is a little animation I recently completed with Studio in “Cut-Out-Style”:

I presume doing the same or similar animation in Express would be impossible.

If you like to work mainly with “cutouts” - Studio would be the way to go,
but that is only my personal opinion.