Which to study first, Storyboard or animation?

I am so caught between studying Harmony 15 or Storyboard Pro 5.5 first.

Many years ago, I made a short traditional animation on 16 mm.

I have studied TVPaint and dabbled in old Adobe Flash.

I usually just section squares onto paper to storyboard, draw my plot and wallah-sherbam, it’s done!

And, of course, I want to get going on two short animations that are yelling, "get going!

We want to be shown to the world, hurry up!"

It’s almost like what comes first the chicken or the egg!

A logical part of me, says, "Storyboard Pro 5.5 will make it all faster, but then I still need to learn Harmony…

And, at 67 years old, who knows how much more time I really have on this Earth…

I guess, my real question is, couldn’t I just make my animation from my hand-drawn storyboard squares ?

The way I always have.

I thought that this is one question that I have never seen posted here on this forum.

And, I think that most people would say that, “you have to do what feels best for you.” True.

But, I am curious to see what others think.

What has worked for you, which way is faster, easier? What do you normally do?

Thank you for reading this!

Everything starts with a story. I don’t see how you can animate when you don’t know the story you want to tell. That being said, I don’t know if your question refers to workflow in general or your just trying to decide what tool to learn first? The drawing tools in both are extremely similar. This is not by accident. The main difference between the two tools is what happens on the timeline and the specific task. The timeline in Storyboard Pro is geared toward… quickly telling the story. It is not for animating. You block your thoughts and idea (think
keyframes). SBP is geared to including the text and description of a story line, character development, etc. Harmony is all about animation. Here you put the story you want to tell into action.

I don’t know your skill level but if you are just getting up to speed, I’d work on both. If it is any comfort I’m about your age. First thing I learned when I got into animation about 10 years ago is you have to forget how we grew up learning. I’m assuming you learned like me but I learned … way back in the dark ages… in a very linear fashion. You start at page 1 of a manual and you read until you got to the end. Well that worked back then. Manuals were 50 pages long and things were much, much simpler. That does not work now. You start on page 1 now in maybe 2 years you will get to the end of the manual, which by then will be out of date so you have to start over. You need to learn to be comfortable learning in what I call a “scatter-gather” method. Get up to speed on what you need to get going. Start working a project. Then as new things come up read/learn about those things. You will be surprised how much you pick up in just 6 months but doing a project gives you something to focus on. Toonboom has excellent tutorials. Use those and get started on your own project and go from there.

All of that being said like I said… it all starts with the story.

Thank you so much, rimcrazyph!

Yes, I am trying to figure out which tool to learn first

You broke down each one beautifully!

Storyboarding just the plot in SBP and

animating or moving that plot in Harmony.

I will think of SBP like the squares that I draw on paper with text and

showing the most important parts of the plot as the plot moves along.

And, yes, I do get caught between starting on page one or use your

scatter-gather method.

You are so in tune to everything that I said.

I would love to see your work.

Here is a link to YouTube, where my first traditional animation is:


I hope that we can stay in touch. You would be amazing to talk with.

Thanks again!

Glad to be of assistance. Nice animation. My website is down but I have a YouTube channel where I post my tutorials.


Most of my work is in 3D animation but I did some 2D a while back and I teach 2D and 3D animation at Phoenix College. While I really enjoy work in 3D I want strongly to get back to doing 2D animation. I think it is far more expressive, individual and artistic than 3D. I like the fact too that I can get results very fast as opposed to waiting days for renders to finish. Fingers crossed, my school is going to get Harmony and possibly Storyboard Pro for fall classes. If so I will have LOTS of new tutorials posted on my YouTube channel over the summer as that is how I teach. Working on some personal projects too and hope to get my website back up and running over the summer. Love being busy but it’s overwhelming some times.

Good luck with your endeavors but above all have fun. Animation is simply a gas. I love doing it. I love teaching it.


I subscribed to your channel & I look forward to seeing
your TB 2D videos.

Hello! I’m new to this program and have no clue what i’m doing!

Send help.

Here is your help: The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard WIlliams and Preston Blair’s free book (and drawing & animation course):

Practice, practice, practice, and then apply the principles in Harmony. On Toonboom’s website you’ll find many tutorials to help you on your way.

Good Luck!