Tracing imported images to animate

Hello, I’m very new to animate! I’m trying to trace over some JPEGs, and I can’t find a way to lower the opacity of the images so I can trace them on another layer-drawing.

I hope there’s an easy way to do this.



The bitmap, you can not have transparent by default. You can hide all other drawings and only shows jpeg and the drawing you want to draw and draw on top while putting drawing on top in the Time Line. Or you can add Transparency on jpeg and trace it on render view which will be a bit difficult due to slow for rendering.

If you are using Animate Pro, you can set current drawing on top from camera view by clicking little camera icon to choose current drawing on top so that the selected drawing is always on top to trace.

Thanks for the response.

I guess I’ll have to modify my images in Photoshop before import them to Animate.


I’m having this same issue now myself. It’s pretty lame that there’s no option for this.

The image I imported was vectorized (I think anyway…it still looks anti aliased when I zoom in or blow it up…) and when I switch to drawing view, the imported image cannot be seen with the light table…I’m pretty sure this worked even on Toon Boom 4, so I can’t really figure out why it won’t work in animate?

am I doing something wrong, maybe?

there must be a way to solve this, I was thinking on putting a white box with transparency on a layer over the imported artwork. I’m really new on animate and I come from adobe illustrator world so everything is new and I have to create my animate work flow…

So far it’s an amazing program! I’m using animate, Animate Pro must be better!


The easiest way is just in photoshop(fav paint program) throw a white layer on top and make the white opacity to a level you like to get a bleached version. Then just put the bleached version on one layer and the colour version on the layer below and your drawing on a layer above them.

Then lock your pictures so you don’t accidently select then you just unselect the bleached version to see the full colour giving you the options your looking for when you trace.

Thanks you but that doesn’t help, is like saying your version (Animate) sucks get the pro one!

Enjoy Digital Pro… >:(

trying to make it transparent in toonboom makes little sence as you will need the render mode on.

However I did have a secondary idea to solve your issue. Why not put it on the second cell of the drawing and use the onion skin feature to help you trace?

Hi Javier,

These are the steps I take to trace an image.

1. In the timeline, import an image via FILE > Import, or by hitting the import drawings button
2. Go to Preferences, camera tab and under “Wash Background” click “enable in camera”.

Alternatively, if you import line art and vectorized it, it comes in as a symbol. To use “show light table” you need to double click the symbol to “enter” it and then make a new drawing layer. You should see a washed out version of the line art under the layer you are drawing on.

I’d like a better way to turn images into vectors that are not in a symbol. You can yank then out manually but that is a pain.

Wow thank you bluemansteele! very helpful~