Intro to Toon Boom Harmony

For 2D production I have started to learn the software Toon Boom Harmony, as it’s like adobe flash but so much better! Below I have made a blocking animation for a bouncing ball, as for any start to a animation software like Toon Boom you need to learn the basic controls and tools. To start we made a new drawing layer which is the plus symbol above the layer that is next to the timeline. But before we started animating I needed to change the menu to hand drawn. This allows me to draw onto the camera/ stage so I can animate using my tablet. Anyway after selecting the plus symbol you can select vector or bitmap, vector is more flash where the vector lines are completely smoothed out for you. Whereas the bitmap is better for rough sketching and using the paint brush tool. So I selected bitmap for this task.

Furthermore there are 4 important layers that I learned about in yesterdays lesson, which are line, colour, overlay and underlay. Underlay is for the rough construction lines of the animation. Line is the layer where you draw over the top to have more refined drawings for a ball or character. Colour is exactly what it says, a colour layer to add colour to your animation. Finally overlay is another layer on top to add some more refined details.

Above and below this are two versions of a blocking animation for a simple bouncing ball animation. Using the conte brush I started adding key frames and the breaks, these are the main poses of the animation allowing me to plot out the overall animation sequence of where the ball will move/ bounce to. In the image below I have shown where you can add these frames to the timeline.


To do this you simply draw onto the frame after selecting it in the timeline, so draw a ball shape, then go to the right hand side and select the frame in the vertical timeline. Then you can press the red K for keyframe or the blue B for break frame helping you to know which frame is which. Then the rest of the frames just leave blank as these will be the inbetween frames for your pose to pose animation.

This below is the final animation for the first attempt at using Toon Boom Harmony, as I have never used this program before. But I think that this animation is good for a first attempt but I think I should go back and have a look at the smear frames as some of them look to obvious making the animation look less exaggerated than how I intended it to be. But I think the ball is in a similar position throughout, perhaps slightly off in some places but that can be a reference on how to improve this later on.


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