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Toon Boomís Digital Pro

Complete animation studio By David Basulto

I love using Toon Boomís Storyboard Pro for quick previz or simple animations. In fact I picked up a job recently by doodling a storyboard and making it animate for a new client. When Toon Boom released its much anticipated Digital Pro application, I knew this was one that had to be added to the arsenal.

What is Digital Pro?
Toon Boomís Digital Pro ( ) is really a complete and powerful animation studio. You can create advanced content, animate it, and also use the layers and node-based compositing system to make magic happen. You can draw original art, import digital pictures, or use and reuse assets from the library.

The program is based on Toon Boomís award winning vector technology. Having a vector-based animation program allows you to scale content without any consequences. If you are a Flash animator, Digital Pro would be a tremendous upgrade for the workflow alone.

With preset workspaces (you can also create you own) Toon Boomís Digital Pro has a cutting edge workflow. You can create vector content to your hearts content. Letís say itís an alien character. Once you have it drawn take it into the paint function to color its titanium spacesuit perfectly. Then animate it walking to its ship with advanced skeletons and rigging. You can composite it onto a scene with 3D depth, add voice and effects, and then render the scene out as a SWF or QuickTime.

Old school animators welcome
Love to use the onion skin? Love to use textured brushes? Do you rotate your work area while you draw? Itís all there in Toon Boomís Digital Pro. Being a Wacom user I loved being able to use the textured brushes efficiently.

Ready to animate?
Even those new to keyframe animation will find making things move in Toon Boomís Digital Pro extremely fluid. With the advanced inverse kinematics you can easily make an arm, for example, move. Users will love this feature as it allows you to animate your drawn chains precisely.

One extremely cool feature, and also very handy and efficient, is the Drawing Substitution box. You can easily swap out different positions of your characterís hands, mouth, etc. for fast animation changes. Although Flash can do this as well, the box makes things a lot faster.

Camera time
Adding a camera to your scene is fast and easy. Now animate the camera in 3D to show realistic depth of field in your movies.

Got sound?
Toon Boomís Digital Pro enables you to import audio files and will ďautoĒ create lip sync detection. This is a huge time saver. After detection, associate those sounds with your characters mouth for quick lip syncing.

Digital Pro also imports effects, music and any other WAV, AIFF, or MP3 file. Speaking of imports, Toon Boomís Digital Pro imports the following formats:

  • QuickTime image sequences
  • Vector TVG, SWF, PDF, AI

With these formats you can create content in many different programs and import them into Digital Pro for animation, compositing and much more.

The Network view is essentially a node based compositor that allows you to make fast changes on the fly. If you have used programs such as Shake and love nodes, this Digital Pro will make you feel right at home.

You can render to any resolution and aspect ration from NTSC and PAL to 4k. There is also field support for interlacing. You can output a QuickTime movie, Flash SWF, and an image sequence.

My thoughts
There is so much you can do in Toon Boomís Digital Pro. Pro animators will love the workflow and power tools. Those new to animation may feel daunted at first (because thereís just so much to do) but Toon Boom provides some great Quick Start video tutorials to get you going in a flash (pun intended).

Having an animation studio like Toon Boomís Digital Pro does not come without a price. It is regularly listed at just under $3,000 but is on sale now for under $2,500. There is a learning edition available at . As always try before you buy. For more information, visit

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David Basulto is an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles. After 17 plus years, David is well versed in all aspects of filmmaking from development to distribution. He produces, directs, edits, and now is addicted to motion graphics and 3d. His last film, Death Clique is in Blockbusters nationwide. David is also the host of the In his spare time David is an avid gamer and can be found slaying monsters in the world of Vanguard. For more info visit
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