What do people use for drawing?

I’m getting to grips with Toonboom and I really like some of the drawing tools. However they seem a little primitive compared to what I use normally (Expression3). So now I draw key frames with Expression3 (and in-betweens if they need a lot of drawing), and import them into Toonboom.

Do other people import drawings much or draw original stuff in Toonboom? I’m wondering whether to invest the time and live in the Toonboom drawing environment for a while. I can’t make up my mind if I’m hanging on to Expression3 just because it’s familiar, or whether Toonboom drawing facilities are a bit limited.

What do you do?

Using TBS 4 / Mac-Intel / OSX 10.4.11

Well, I have used Expression 3 by Creature House for years and really enjoyed working with it… unfortunately they sold out to Microsoft some time ago… so Expression became abandoned-ware… maybe it’s time to let “Expression 3” go…?

Please have a look at Rob Campbell’s alias ”Rupert Piston” Cartoon Thunder web-comics,
I thinks they are all drawn with Toon Boom Studio…
(if he reads this he might be so kind and give some comments himself)

Even I have Illustrator available now (instead of Expression)… I nearly do all my drawings directly in Studio… keep in mind that Studios main purpose is animation…


Hi Nolan

Thanks for that, and I really liked Rob Campbell’s work - super drawings!

I bought Expression3 just before MS bought out the company, and have used it ever since (I’m a cartoonist). Unfortunately I’m now hooked on the Bspline curve fitting function and I think that’s the basis of my problems. I do need to upgrade to something so I’m thinking of buying the MS version if it’s OK. The thought of doing this is giving me nightmares though. I have Illustrator but I don’t use it.

I haven’t been using Toonboom very long but I love the quality of line you can get drawing with a stylus. In fact I’ve wondered about developing another cartoon style based on what I can do with this.

The thing that’s really bothering me at the moment is altering a drawing (i.e. creating in-betweens). Say I have a simple bent leg, with Exp3 I can lasso the bottom half of the leg then roatate it (and shift the selection a bit) to give a bend of a different angle - easy. With Toonboom I seem to have to manipulate all the individual points which takes an age and loses me the feel of the limb if I’m not careful. And I have to move them with a bezier function (handles and stuff) when I’m addicted to a Bspline (more intuitive, just moving nodes).

I think you’re right, I need to immerse myself in Toonboom and get over expression. I’m in the process of reading the manual from cover to cover (up to page 222 now :-)), and doing tutorials, and searching this forum when I get stuck. I really like Toonboom, and I should probably try to wean myself off Exp3. This could be painful.

Bren, for drawing you could try Xara Xtreme. I have been doing my final art for years with it and recommend it highly. You can export using PDF and it imports perfectly into TBS as vectors maintaining colors, fills, etc. I think Xtreme is far easier to use than Illustrator and is less expensive as well. You might want to give it a try.

Thanks Zebtoonz. It’s a little while since I posted that though and I went out and bought Illustrator CS3 (just before they announced CS4 - darn!). It came with a 30 day subscription to the training site Lynda.com and I’m thoroughly enjoying learning to use it properly.

I’m going to miss the Bspline drawing tool in Expression3, but I’ll get over it :wink:

Bren, Glad to hear you are finding solutions for drawing. I know you just forked out BIG money for Illy but I would still suggest you download the trial of Xtreme and mess around with it. It’s really user friendly, fast and easy to use, IMO. I also have Illy on hand for clients who need that format for final production. However, my original art is done in Xtreme and then exported as PDF opened in Illy to double check that it will reproduce well.

That good eh? I’ll give it a look.

Cheers, Bren :slight_smile: