Using the free trial

Hello, I am new to this website and I wanted to try out flash animation for the first time…I am really into art and all that other good stuff. Now I downloaded the free trial of the “ToonBoom Studio” and all that came up when I was finished was an Adobe page. It looked nothing like it did in the tutorial. Am I doing somthing wrong?? Can someone help me please. :o

Anthony ;D

could you be more specific, please?
what have you done and what did you want to achieve?
and what platform are you working on?

I have watched the tutorials, therefore seeing the program and when I downloaded the free trial the program looked nothing like that. All I got was a page after page explanation of how to use ToonBoom studio. And there wasn’t a canvas or tools or anything.

-Anthony :slight_smile:

have you installed the software and have you run it?

No i don’t have the software, I’m trying to use the free trial. I will buy the software once I find out if i like it or not.

-Anthony ;D

Hi Antony,

The free trial is a copy of the software that expires after 30 days. You need to install the trial version of the software before you use it.

Visit the download page then install the trial version according to your platform (windows or Mac).

Let us know if you have any questions.

ok, i downloaded the free trial and its not working. basically. and i was wondering why it wasnt working right. i have windows, and all that showed was an ADOBE page. Is this whats suppose to happen?

to run a software, you need a file tbs.exe, which has to be double-clicked in order to start the program.
the tbs.exe you can only get during the installation process of the program.
after the installation you should get the following structure:
your c: drive > project files > toon boom animation > toon boom studio 3.0.
there you’ll find the executable file.

ok i have the program downloaded thanks to your instructions ;D. now i know how to make an animation, but i dont know how to like put it over a background and have the background stay when i press play.


  1. what is your background: a bitmap image in an image element?
    if yes, then the background image must be copied into every frame of your animation.
    2. you should export your movie to see the whole scene. the software preview (select a number of frames in the exposure sheet and then click ) omits some elements in order to give a fast preview of animated objects.

Hi gester,

I suppose you already know but when you use bitmap image you should use the exposure of the element and not actually copy the element (I just want to make sure the new user don’t end up with about 50 copies of 1 image inside the same project).

Whenever you want to have an element that is carried over from one frame to the other you should extend its exposure with the R shortkey (or any of the right click function to change the exposure in the timeline or exposure sheet). If you actually copy the element over and over the weight of the animation will increase after every copy and you will end up with a project that is unexpectedly big for its complexity.

That is only a little pointer for newcomer so they don’t start in the wrong way.

Best regards,


sorry, my fault.
i initially intended to explain exposure, but i used the more comprehensible term of copying instead.
i was about to explain things on the fly in the further course of questions.

ok, now i have the exposure thing down. how do i “merge” the two together so the animation plays over its background? And what if I am drawing a person, and all i want is the mouth to move and the face and body to stay the same…I tried extending the exposure and drawing a new mouth each frame but the mouth i drew carries over to all the exposures. what am i suppose to be doing?


all you need to have the whole movie together is to export the entire film.
before doing so, you should have all the important elements marked in the timeline (i get the same having the elements marked in the exposure sheet, but apparently it’s not usual ;))

when you draw anything in one frame, then the exposure is for the frame with exactly the same contents.
if you want to draw a new frame, you should either

a) select your element(s) in one frame, copy and paste into the empty frame next to it in the exposure sheet.

b) select the whole frame in the exposure sheet, copy it (control-c) and then go to the next empty frame in the exposure sheet and paste as a new frame (control-shift-v). then the frame gets a new number and you can edit it separately from the previous frame.

pasting as the same frame (control-v) is the same as extending the exposure, but, as ugo says, results in an additional data overhead compared with the exposure extending.

ok, i dont mean to be a pest at all…and i really feel bad. lol but how do i get an anamation on top of a background…in the expose. for example…if i have a background w/ mountains persay. and i have a man walking…how do i make the man walking in front of the mountains? because when i have an image in one exposure column and an animation in another exposure column under “drawing” they come out as separate movies.



Animations are created as sequences of pictures which we also call frames. A movie is a series of frames viewed over time. Each frame is a composite of one or more picture elements. The exposure sheet is set up to show us the elements that compose a single frame in each row. Each column is a single element. The order of the columns relates to the order of how the elements are organized or stacked to compose the picture for each frame.

So columns to your right in the exposure sheet are farther from the viewer and elements to your left in the exposure sheet are closer to the viewer. On your left side of the exposure sheet at the top there are some icons. The one in the middle of that group is used to toggle the elements list. Once you open the elements list you will see your elements listed from top to bottom. The top most element is farthest away from the viewer the bottom most element is closest to the viewer. You can reorder the elements in this list by clicking and dragging them up or down in the list. Move your backgrounds to the top of the list and arrange things how you want them to overlay or stack for your frame’s composition.

Now the other concept is exposure which means included in the composition of a specific frame. If you want an element to be included in a particular frame you set its exposure for that frame. Each exposure is a cell in the exposure sheet. So when you layout cells for elements in the exposure sheet each row is a frame and the cells for that frame specify which picture elements you want to be used for that frame and the order of the columns specifies how they will be overlaid or stacked to compose the frame. These are just the basics of how to relate the exposure sheet to your animation scene.

Ok, it sounds here like you are trying to see a frames composition in drawing view and you need to switch to camera view to really do this and check your movie. (in drawing view there are icons on your top left click on the second one which looks like an old time movie camera that will toggle you into camera view.)You can also use the “L” shortcut key in drawing view to turn on the auto light table which will let you see multiple elements together in drawing view but you want to also learn to switch back and forth to camera view.
There is significantly more to making an animation but this will help you get started, -JK

This helped me soo much JK! Thank you!! Now I know how to do it! Thanks to everyone :slight_smile:


hi one more thing, how can i add things to my library…like an arm, or mouth etc…

There are several ways to create templates in your library. First off there are two types of libraries. Global libraries that let you move assets from one animation project to another. And, local libraries that let you move assets to different scenes in the same project.

Moving assets to either type of library is the same process. You can select a single cell in your exposure sheet and drag it to the desired library in the library panel. Or you can select a series of cells from one element or a series of cells from a frame (multiple elements) and drag them to your library.

You can also select cells in the timeline and drag them to your library. You can attach elements to a peg and collapse the peg and drag all of the attached elements to your library as a template, or just a sequence of frames attached to the peg. -JK