A Few Friday Toon Boom Shorts

I’ve been recommending the animation software Toon Boom to a few friends lately, mainly because they asked about X-sheet timing, texture brushes or advanced camera functionality. Adam Phillips, the creator of the Brackenwood series, has already discovered the power of Toon Boom Digital Pro, and I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for other artists who have too.

Take a look at Grille Cheez, a 2-minute short by Mathieu Choquet, who produced this film in his final year at Cegep du Vieux Montreal.

And here is To Kill A Working Bird, a traditionally animated short produced at VFS about a homeless bird with a huge appetite. The short was created by Corey McDaniel, who was featured here back in 2007.

Lastly, if you haven’t used the software, have a look at the multiplane potential exhibited in this demonstration.

In the end, it’s the artist, not the software, that makes the difference, but knowing what options are out there can improve your creative execution.


  1. Toon Boom is pretty much all I use on my site, but I use the Studio version instead of Digital Pro. I also maintain ToonBoomTutorials.com for animators looking to get up and running with some basic instruction.

    I’m a big fan of Toon Boom, since out of the box it can do what Flash needs plugins for. (Parent/Child relationships, Animslider, lip syncing, etc).

  2. AAARRRGH!! Lip synching software DOESN’T WORK!
    The rest of the stuff is cool, but I haven’t seen any program that can lip sync as well as a person can.

  3. Lip sync functionality in ToonBoom isn’t meant to do the job for you.. it simply (and effectively) lays the groundwork, from where you’re supposed to tweak and fine-tune. From that perspective, it’s an effective time-saver.

  4. ‘To Kill A Working Bird’! The blow dart gag is pure genius. Beautifully done. Love the design.

  5. I have to agree, in the end it is about the artist…not the program I’ve seen some amazing work come from both Flash and ToonBoom… this little battle between which is better is ridiculous. But then again these kinds of battles (whaatever they topic) usually are. I’m just in it for the love of animation.

  6. it is whatever software you can use to get the production you want.
    dont let the software control you, you control the software. as an old school film aniamtor i wish i could have been able to use this in college. vector animation has made a big difference.
    some of you will never experience painting 100′s of cels on the carpet studio in college for a 2minute animated film.
    what happened to toonz, AXA, and CTP?
    just keep animating!

  7. Davey June 2, 2008

    The $2,999.99 price tag is the only thing that puts me off TB Digital Pro for now. I’m really glad that ToonBoom made a free Personal Learner’s Edition available to try out the software . I liked using it a lot (my fave of all the vector apps) , but I can’t see purchasing an individual license for myself unless the price comes down significantly .

    Willie Moore, Toonz and CTP are still kicking around. I think that AXA morphed into Digicel Flipbook.

  8. That scene planning section was fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sorry for the double posting, but I have a question that involves scene planning that this guy was doing at the beginning of this video.

    What resolution and document size are required to pull off a scene like this?

    That sky layer was huge! :O

  10. I used Toon Bomm for my project at college too. They have a fully fonctionnal FX bank to use. Which is great, cuz sometimes I have a hard time with Flash 8 or CS 3 FX.

    For my part, I tried something more sketchy like, and even though it’s a numerical medium, it works pretty well.

    Here if you want to have a look: http://youtube.com/watch?v=CXGO8dvDmIQ

  11. Paco Perez June 3, 2008

    $$$ too bad the program is so expensive. Who can afford the cost plus upkeep with the tiny budgets out there today?

  12. Davey June 3, 2008


    Christine –

    Your film looks really beautiful. Did you use ToonBoom to draw directly into the program with a Wacom tablet or did you animate on paper first and then scan the drawings in to ToonBoom ?

  13. Yeah, it was paper first. But since it was rough animation that I scanned, I had to work the drawing a bit in Toon Boom, so I could color them with the software after. Toon Boom transforms the scanned drawing into vectorised drawing, so it’s a lot easier to do so.

  14. Toon Boom sounds amazing, but its price is way too steep. I can buy two Adobe CS3 Film Production suites for the price of that.

    Frankly the missing IK Handles and the camera functionality I can live without in Flash, but it’s those beautiful textured brushes that I really want. Hopefully Adobe wises up a bit and adds at least some of these well needed features. It does seem like they’re starting to listen though, what with the announcement that a future version would carry alot of features for animators.

  15. Thanks for showing my student film!

    I’ve been using Toonboom professionally since graduating VFS. There are pros and cons to every software. Definately more pros than cons on this one.

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