Why is 16:9 not simple?

I use audio visual related forums a lot, and do find it a little frustrating when a person asks a question that has been answered elsewhere in the forums many times.

So I did a search for ‘widescreen’ and ‘16:9’ before posting, and read quite a few posts…

I am still completely confused.

It seems some people are saying TBS is set up for 16:9 upon launching the programme - others say it relates to output.

Treat me as dumb, okay. I want to work in 16:9 and nothing else. What are the few steps I need take at the outset. What exactly are the project settings or properties I need to put in place.

Regarding output, I will want to output in a variety of formats - from HD to Web.

Right now, just wanna animate… in 16:9.


By the way, I don’t have an internet connection in my studio so am restricted to Version 3.068 until I get that sorted later this month.

hi joan and welcome,
i don’t know whether the following link has been posted here, or do i have it from any other source:
could be helpful…

ok, it was here:

thanks rob - though I had already read all of that stuff.

I’m getting a sinking feeling.

Can I not just set the project as 16:9 at the outset and be presented with a 16:9 work area?

as far as i know, there is no preset 16:9 work area.
you have either a 12 field, a 16 field or no grid in studio.

as i said elsewhere, for 16:9 pal i must count away 3 fields from the top and from the bottom.

Are you saying that if I discount three fields from the top and three from the bottom - and work within the resultant 16:9 frame - that my work will be accepted as 16:9 by subsequent software once I set that subsequent software to 16:9? You’re sure it wouldn’t just squeeze the whole 4:3 frame, including black bars, into 16:9?

You can see what my problem is here. I want to animate a film in 16:9. How do I begin?


i have currently nothing to do with the 16:9 productions, so i can only assume.

i think you would know for sure when you try to render and to export a piece of our own productions into the 16:9 resolution and to test the outputs. i assume you’d get along at best when you take the .dv film export, burn it to the 16:9 dvd and let it display on your tv-set.

otherwise you would read contradictory information all the time and you would never be a step further.
and, as you say, it is essential for your work.

One can always hope or crop or whatever, but that doesn’t make it right.

At the outset of audio visual projects I should be allowed set the aspect ratio cleanly, literally - not with blocks.

Thanks for your help anyway.


"Draw in Camera view instead (view menu, or click on the camera on the right side of the drawing view window-which is slightly different)"

Thanks to someone over at the Bauhaus Mirage forum for this!

In TBS v3.5 when you create a new animation project there is a selection box for Format where you can choose from a list of pre-set outputs. If you choose DV NTSC Anamorphic you will automatically have your project set up for 16:9 with the camera set to 853 x 480 and the frame rate set to 30 FPS. It is totally unnecessary to draw in camera view, you still should draw in drawing view, but you always should compose in camera view. Thanks to the Toon Boom Studio product team formatting a project is now super easy at start up. -JK

wow, this is a good news with the presets in v3.5. thanks, tb team.
and is the drawing view grid area also preset for 16:9, or only camera view?

On the other hand, if you plan to remain with TBS v.3.0 for a while you can set your preferred format at the onset by going to File/Animation Properties. In the pop-up window you enter your frame rate and camera size and you have the option to set this as your default. Not as convenient as the new welcoming screen in v.3.5, but it works.


I’m new to Toonboom and I think this thread is most relevant to the problem I have at the moment.

I’ve set the camera size to what I want, and I’m drawing in the drawing mode. However I’m desperate for a simple box to be shown in this mode so I know where the edges of my picture are.

Someone above said draw in drawing mode and compose in camera mode. This is a totally alien way of working to me. Can I somehow get an “edge of frame” reference in the drawing mode, or do I really have to bite the bullet and learn to work by switching between the two?

The solution is relatively easy. Create a new element and put it at the top of your time line track list. Name it something like “View_Frame”. Now switch to camera view and using the rectangle tool and the color of your choice (like red) draw a rectangle that is exactly the same as the camera’s red frame. Now switch back to drawing view and extend the exposure for this one cell element to the total number of frames in your scene. You now have a reference to the exact camera view. Turn the autolight table on to see this when drawing (keyboard shortcut L). To not have this view frame show in camera view just uncheck its track label in the timeline, it will still be there in drawing view as a reference.

Read this article to get additional ideas about creating aids to your animation production workflow.-JK

Perspectives and Counters

Thanks JK, that’s great advice and I’ve done it now. It was straightforward but it would have taken me an age to work that out on my own. I’ll take some time to read the information in the link you posted too.