Toon Boom Animation Toon Boom Studio 4.0
- Bitmap vector conversion enhancements, new drawing tools and line styles, uUp-to-date import/export options and user interface, improved animation
- Demanding system requirements, pro animation-based workflow confusing for newcomers, lacks a decent manual
You might find much of the functionality here if you combine the CS3 versions of Flash, After Effects and Illustrator, but version 4.0 of Toon Boom Studio comes with workflow enhancements aimed at a production-level animation environment. Moreover, a user-friendly interface and a fairly decent price to match means animation beginners will find this a worthwhile investment too, albeit after a fairly steep learning curve.
Price$ 399.99 (AUD)
Now available on Windows Vista as well as XP and Mac Intel/G5, Toon Boom Studio offers many advanced features for animation, particularly among the vector-drawing tools used to create the scenes. It's here where the majority of enhancements in version 4.0 occur.
The Pen menu offers specialised brush tip options, where you can choose from the likes of squares, oblique lines or oblique oval lines, making animated calligraphy a simpler option. The new Scissor Tool is an alternative to the features offered by the Cutter and Eraser tools, still creating new paths and clean cuts, but also offering the useful ability to deform selected parts of the drawing using a bounding box.
These three tools are ideal for the cut-out style of animation found in TBS, lately introduced as the Puppet Tool in After Effects. Other motion effects are available by manipulating the element-holding pegs in a scene, which allow you to work with camera moves and motion paths, significantly improved in version 4.0 with the new "Orient to path" feature.
Workflow has also been enhanced, with a more dynamic and restructured user interface. New start-up options also bring TBS 4.0 up-to-date, including templates for formats ranging from HDTV and 2k film to iPod and Podcasting dimensions. Output options now include publishing animated content directly to HTML as an embedded QuickTime or Flash movie and the ability to add a preloader to enable faster loading of Flash-based animations on the Web.
TBS allows importing of bitmap images as vector drawings for use in projects, so you could import and subsequently animate multiple photos of a talking head, using existing special TBS sound dubbing features to add lip-synched speech.
There's now greater control over vector-conversion options in the import dialogue. You can choose to import the bitmap either as a black and white image in a similar fashion to the Live Trace function in the CS versions of Illustrator, or import with texture. With the former option, you have to experiment with threshold settings to balance between image noise and a clear, usable picture but you're also given the option to add filters to the import based on the qualities of the image.
When the 'vectorization type' is set to the new 'With Texture' option however, TBS will import the bitmap and apply it as a texture on a vector shape, allowing for direct manipulation of bitmap images.
A new colour palette is created to hold the new texture, so that when you use the cutting tools it's easy to patch any holes.
It's also possible to import Illustrator files into TBS, so skipping the import bitmap step - version 4.0 gives the option of flattening the layers of Illustrator files or importing each layer as separate elements.
Join the newsletter!
Toys for Boys
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
Sony Playstation 5
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
MSI Modern 14
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
Fender Fullerton Ukele
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 2 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 4 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 5 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Google smart displays get sticky notes for family members
- Optus to take the lag out of gaming
- Echo family reimagined, inside and out
- Google smart displays now let you take charge of multi-room audio
- Recently squashed Alexa bug could have allowed hackers access to voice histories, researchers say
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- How the Xbox Series X (and xCloud) saved me from buying a gaming PC
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies