Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Advanced shape tweening, part of Migrating from Flash to Toon Boom Harmony.
- Now let's take a look at some more complex features of shape tweening. Let's get into this palette because I want to see the entire tool properties. So can we select the morph option, for example, we can see the available tools. So in the top, what I've done is created a tiny, little four drawing sequence of a rectangle squishing into a chopped down here and then pops back into this. Then actually, let's just move it even lower. So, I'm just going to grab that drawing, move it down, and if we scrub through you can see some funky things are happening.
In previous versions of Toon Boom products like Animate and previous Harmony, you might have seen some gaps opening up. I usually did. I'm trying to create those gaps now, like little spaces between the color and the line. I'm not able to do it, at least in this mode. So it tells me that this is a much improved version. So let's take a look, though, at these corners. Now, you'll see that the corners are turning into an octagon and I don't want that. So this is where we use shape hints and they're just like the ones in Flash. So let's click on the morphing tool.
And then in the tools properties panel, we have the icons here for different kinds of hints. We can apply contour hints, zone hints, pencil hints, vanishing point, appearing point and you're probably in despair right now, but the good news is for most of these I think you only have to worry about contour hints, so I'll select that. And then there's a nice feature here. I don't think we need to worry too much about hiding them yet because we haven't made them. I'm not going to bother with this feature or this feature here, which I think is overkill for our purposes. And we have a lovely one here called suggest hints so let's see what it suggests.
I'm going to click on that and click on the drawing and then hit suggest hints. And it has suggested two: one here and one here. And these are contour hints and let me show you how I know that. If I manually put one in, select a contour hint. I'll put it in there just by clicking on the line. I can click them anywhere. And you'll notice, too, that they're numbered which is really nice. We're not limited to those tiny A B C D E F's that are very hard to see. If it's got this yellow text, it's a contour hint.
You can apply different kind of hints. Zones will basically control color areas if you have a color area problem and they're in this little wishy bluey-green color. And then pencil hints, let me put one down there. So as you can see, you can see at a glance, and you can have all of these kind of hints on the one image. One other note about shape tweening and morphing is that you can't morph a line to a brush. You can only morph a line to a line and a brush to a brush. So let me see by putting those hints back into the second frame and let's cross our fingers, maybe they'll work.
Certainly tied down those corners. Let's go back to the first one. I'm just going to click. And I think the different color, I'm using the wrong kind I think. So let me make sure that I am using a contour hint. Contour hint, there we go. And this is really behaving itself very nicely. So I'll just click on here to do one more. Beautiful. Okay, so you're probably also familiar with another problem that we have when we do this in Flash where we have a series of hints here.
I've labeled these A, B, C, D so if I click on the next one, you'll see in the parameters field as B and then C and then D, but I need to have more hints, obviously, not just from A to B, but from B to C. And at this point, you usually end up either having to split your work onto two layers in Flash or have one keyframe have a bunch of zeros and zeros and ones and ones that are the end of one cycle and the beginning of another and it can be really confusing. Great news is Toon Boom Harmony has a much nicer way of separating these and it's really simple.
So if I click on this frame, or any of these, even to the final one, these are the A to B hints. If I click on the third frame, the C drawing, and then toggle backwards, I'm not seeing any hints. By doing that, by clicking in this area here, I've just toggled them off and now I have a clean slate. And then I can apply the B to C hints so let's do that. I'm just going to go back to the first one to remind myself zero, one, two, three was the pattern. I'm going to repeat that here.
So again, I don't want to do them here or they'll just be going onto the final one. I want to go from here to here. So it was zero, one, two, if I remember right, three and then go to the back one and then just position them as you need. Couldn't be easier. And let's even do it at the end. I've made this crazy shape here just to show you the flexibility. I'm not going to work too hard on this, but just to put one in manually because this is such a strange transition.
So let's say you want that point there to morph from one into the other. And maybe we want this point here to transform into that one. Let's see if we can get that to work. So you get the idea. We're starting to put some structure on that transition and we're able to control this. So if I click on here again, that's the A to B hint sequence. If I click on here, it's the end of the A to B sequence, I believe.
And then if I click here, I'm back again. This is the B to C sequence. And if I click here, I'm back again. It's the C to D sequence. So that's how you can keep on top of all these nested and overlapping series of hints. So, with that done, let's move onto the brush tool and I'm going to show you something I find really impressive about this tool. So I'm just going to pick a nice brush in black. And we should have auto-flatten on. Because another thing when you're working in the brush tool or even with the pencil tool: flattening the image and the artwork will really help.
So I'm just going to make a little, typical, goofy cartoony guy, not too complex. You wouldn't want to go really, really line detailed on this, but if you're familiar with the tweening ability of Flash, you will probably already be wondering what am I doing. So, I just move to the next drawing and put onion skin on and I'm going to do an upshot like he's looking up at a UFO or something. And let's really change the shape of the face.
Eyebrows as well. And I'm going to check, make sure that this, yes it did flatten, it behaved. So let's switch onion skin off. I'm going to push that, just that one drawing. Push that to the end. And I'm going to go to the second last one and hit F5, just to extend that. And now we hit morphing, create morphing. Let's see what happens. As you can see, it's sort of working. So we can maybe give it a little bit of a help with the smooth editor.
And we don't want it to be too smooth either, mind you, but maybe we can get a few of these points off. Goes to the back one. I can probably even do it without the smooth editor. I'm just going to see if it makes any difference. About the same. So now we apply our hints again. And actually, let's put some color on this too because this will then show us. I'm going to reactivate the color palette. Color the beginning and the end and then hide it again. So let's go to the morph tools panel and we get our contour hints.
And I'm going to put the hints on the trouble spots and we're asking the program to do a lot and that would be in here where that nose contacts. I put on the final frame. I think we should work from the beginning. So we'll put it in here, on the first frame. And then in here on the final frame. And we probably want one on the outside as well. Again on the first frame. I'm going to zoom in now so we can have a better idea about where exactly I'm putting these.
Now look at that. I think that's pretty incredible. So I'm going to go to the first one. And we'll just do the same control here, two and three. So if you've been wondering, why should I go to the trouble learning this program, it's so complicated. You might be beginning to get an idea now that it opens up different potential paths creatively that you just don't have in Flash. So I think we need to tie down the neck. Hopefully, this won't be too tricky.
Ooh, look at that. I'm not going to bother with that area. I think, hopefully, that'll be enough. Lovely. So you can do all kinds of styles of animation using this tool that I don't think you would ever have considered doing before. And it looks so fast, too. And then you have access, do not forget, to the ease in and the ease out. Let's just give it a 15 and 15. And now when we play this we can give it these little snaps. So you're not limited to the very crude ease in and ease out tools that we have in Flash.
So I've already created a very simple figure. So you can see a more typical rig idea. Let's go to frame one. And I've taken the original pen tool or pencil tool. Let me just reset some of these. If I hold down control or command and draw the selection tool around the different layers then that will select the right layer. So I took the original fixed width if you're wondering how I got these nice, curved shapes here. Let's just go over these one at a time. So there's one, holding down shift to select the other stroke and shift to select the other stroke.
And now I can go in and turn them back intro straights. So the beauty of the drawing tools in this program is I can then apply these different strokes on the fly and make very quick changes. So if you're wondering why he looks like he isn't drawn with a brush stroke or a pencil stroke, rather, he is drawn with a pencil stroke. So if we look at this in contour mode, you'll see we have access to changing the shapes of the mouth and the face just with that one line. So let's say you want to draw, set up a head with, I know I'll be coming back to this a bit later, so I'm just going to do this in very general outline.
But if you were going to create a more complex facial setup, how would you begin to even go about it using this methodology? So what I'm going to do is just go this point here and I will select the mouth. Create a new mouth drawing. Just duplicate that drawing. And the way I've set this up is pretty simple so it's just I've got five points and white for the inside. I haven't given them any fancy structure. And let's go alt-m or option-m and now you can see we can create all these different mouth shapes.
If I want to create an ooh shape, drawing, duplicate drawing and now the little gray line shows that it's separate. So let me draw that big lasso around it. The lasso, if you just used the lasso tool, operates only on the layer that you're working on. It's another difference between the Flash workflow and the Harmony workflow so you have to get used to the fact that unless you hold down the control key, you're only going to be operating on this one level. So alt option-m and now I've created the beginnings of a series of mouth shapes.
And we can do the same distortion procedure on any of these objects. So the only reminder will be that I'm holding down control now and drawing across the nose. So were I to make a new nose shape, for example, from here to here, I would want to create a new drawing for this pinched nose. So drawing, duplicate drawing. And now when I select that nose, we can make all the changes we like with that tool or the contour editor if we want to actually deform it into a completely different shape, we can do that.
And now alt or option-m and look at the degree of realism that we can get. And we can get the same thing with the jaw, the same thing with the eyebrows, everything that you can do in Flash, essentially, with the shape tween tool and motion tweening, you can do here.
- Transforming shapes
- Using the Pen and Line tools
- Working with text
- Painting in Toon Boom Harmony with the Paint, Ink Bottle, and Eraser tools
- Working in the timeline
- Drawing in Toon Boom Harmony
- Converting lines to fills
- Arranging drawing elements
- Motion and shape tweening
- Copying and pasting frames, exposures, and drawings
- Moving the camera
- Importing and exporting from Toon Boom Harmony