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About the Author

Michael Wiesmeier

Michael Wiesmeier

Toon Boom Software Instructor and Animator

Toon Boom Animation

Toon Boom

Video Transcript

On a new vector drawing layer, I'm gonna use my pencil tool to create the final line version of my design. In the tool properties, I can click on this right facing arrow and then adjust different parameters from my Pencil tool, such as minimum and maximum size, which relates to the pressure sensitivity and also smoothing. And I can also choose from a variety of line textures.

So I'm going to use this rough felt line texture for my bear character. So as I've mentioned previously, a big advantage of using the Pencil tool is the ability to easily edit your lines. The two tools for editing the pencil line are the Contour editor and the Pencil editor. To zoom in on my drawing, I'm pushing on the "2" key, and when I want to zoom out, I use the "1" key. To rotate my drawing as I'm creating my lines, I use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl on the PC and Alt+Cmd on the Mac.

So another option for creating the final lines of your character design is to use the Line tool. So first you select it from your Drawing Tools menu on the left side of your interface, then click and drag your section of line. By selecting control points, I can reshape my line by moving one or more points and also via the bezier handles. Control points can also be added or removed.

So now I'm continuing to create my final cleaned up lines using a combination of the Pencil tool and the Line tool and the Contour editor. If you need to cut off extra sections of line like this one, you can use the Cutter tool and just mouse gesture across that area to cut it away.

Once you've created your finalized cleaned up version of your character, you can add variety to your line thicknesses using a tool I mentioned earlier called the Pencil Editor. A popular line style in animation is called the "thick and thin line," so it's thick in the middle and thin at the ends. I remember when I worked at Disney Feature Animation, working and drawing on paper, we spent hours per drawing, building up thick and thin lines with our pencil. This is now easily achieved in Harmony 12 with the Pencil Editor tool. With the line selected and the Pencil Editor tool activated, you have two ways to effect your line thickness. You can push the control points at the end of the line in toward the center vector line and you can also pull out the thickness using the bezier handles. Another way is to simply hold your cursor over the red boundary of the line until it becomes an arrow shape and then click and drag that side of the line out.

If after you've drawn your lines, you need to make a correction to part of your finished drawing, for example, this arm is too long compared to the other one, it's easy and quick to make the correction using the Cutter tool, together with the Pencil tool.

Even after you've drawn all of your lines, you can still have the option to change the width or the texture of your lines, and you do that by selecting your lines and then changing those parameters in the tool properties.