ToonBoom Studio vs Anime Studio

I know that this is probably a topic that has been beaten to death but…

I am looking into buying either Toonboom Studio or Anime Studio. I saw the following on another forum:

"I see the same comparison threads occasionally pop up over there in the Mirage forum at Bauhaussoftware. For a quick comparison, the three programs can be divided like this:

Vector drawing tools (slick smooth lines, clear colours): ToonBoom, AS.
SWF output: Toonboom, AS.
Bone skeleton for easy character movement: AS.
Automatic inbetweening: AS.
Need to draw each inbetween by hand: Toonboom, Mirage.
Advanced drawing tools, wide range of FX: Mirage.

There will be many styles which can be done in any of these three, but I think the interesting part begins at the border of those common fields."

What does automatic inbetweening mean? How does Toonboom inbetween?

Thanks for any info.


I think what they mean by automatic inbetween is morphing (basically changing a shape from A to shape B automatically).

This can be done in our higher end software (Digital Pro) but be aware that this is a tool that tends to be more complicated to fix then simply drawing most of the time (and that is the case in most of the software I have tried so far).

For Toon Boom Studio inbetween you are able to do every usual movement from transition to rotation scale and skew. Basically, the only inbetween not available in Toon Boom Studio is the shape transform.

Let me know if you need any further help.

Best regards,


Then the “need to draw each inbetween by hand” part is not true?


Well it is right to some extent since if you do full drawn animation and do your keyframe only with morphing you can always try to cheat to avoid making the inbetween drawing where in Toon Boom Studio you will have draw those.

I guess it is all in the wording that was used, but if your objective is to move around an element from point A to B while doing rotation and all those kinds of things then all this can be done inside Toon Boom Studio.

You can always give it a try yourself to see what is the extent of the software by getting the trial available at the following page:

Best regards,


Sorry. I’m still trying to grasp the concept-

Are you saying that Anime Studio is basically a cutout animation tool and that Toonboom is also a cutout animation tool but with the added benefit of traditional frame-by-frame drawing animation? In other words, both can do the same thing with cutout animation?

If so, Toonboom would be better compared with Flash as far as animation is concerned?


I guess you could position it like that. This being said you might also want to have other users point of view just to make sure (I’m not that knowledgeable about Anime Studio).

Best regards,


Thanks for your help. It’s great to see someone from the company answer questions quickly. That’s rare on some of the other forums I watch.


You are asking a question of comparison where you most likely will not get a definitive answer. Most of the people who frequent these forums are TBS users so by that fact they have already made their choice. Perhaps you should rephrase your inquiry based on what your goals and preferences might be. For example if you want to have the greatest flexibility of techniques to animate then you can ask which software is the most flexible. If you want to have the software with the most tutorial and outside user support then ask which software has the largest external support base.

I’ll gladly give you my opinion for what it is worth but I’ll preface it by saying that when it comes to software its all a matter of personal preference.

Flash is the most flexible software in this category and it has the largest external support base. It is also one of if not the most expensive applications in this category. You end up paying for lots of capability that you will never use or want to use because Flash is a web development tool that supports animation not strictly an animation tool. Toon Boom is more animator friendly and for the money the best value in terms of price versus performance. TV Paint is also an excellent product but costs more and for the most part is not as flexible as either Flash or TBS plus it is not vector based which may or may not be a consideration for you. Anime Studio is the least flexible and is marketed based on its “bones” feature which is highly over rated in 2D. Why, because it’s still 2D and bones are only really worthwhile for 3D rigs. Now I don’t use Anime Studio and I didn’t use it when it was called Moho either but I know plenty of people who tried it based on the hype and then went back to Flash or TBS. I do use Flash and have done so for years as well as TBS and I prefer TBS. But in the end you will have to make your own decisions. The only real advice anyone can give you is this: The results you get with any software are rarely due to the application and mostly due to the user, and it is not a good idea to jump back and forth between 2D animation tools just because it wastes lots of valuable time and effort so make a choice and stick to it. -JK

Thanks JK - TGRS.

What you wrote is exactly what I wanted to know. Since I am a beginner, I was wondering which program would be most suitable for me.

I want to make cartoons and my experience with Flash has not been very successful. I think it may be because I am a video editor and the Flash interface and workflow is confusing to me.

What I have seen of Toonboom Studio tells me that it might be more user-friendly in my individual case. Plus, it has other features and capabilities I might be able to grow into. The biggest advantage for me is that there are a lot more tutorials on the web than for Anime Studio.

Thanks for your help!

Do yourself a big favor and read the articles posted in my blog Cartooning In Toon Boom. They will introduce you to the metaphor of TBS and also show you how it can be used. I tried to do the articles in a progressive learning order so start with the fundamentals and read them all. I believe you will decide to go with Toon Boom Studio. -JK

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Thanks again.

Excellent advice as always from JK.

It really does come down to your preferences. Personally, I have and enjoy using TBS, Anime Studio Pro, and TVPaint (newer version of Mirage.) I go to each application for different reasons and wouldn’t give up any one of them.

You can always download the trial versions of both TBS and ASP and run through some tutorials to see how they feel. I should warn you that ASP uses a very different approach to 2D animation and can do wonderful things, but to get the best results you should ideally have some previous experience in animation. Also, e-Frontier is releasing their offical guide book to ASP in a week or two.

Given the fact that you’re a beginner, however, I agree with JK that Toon Boom Studio will give you a much better feel for traditional animation.