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About the Author

Christina Halstead

Christina Halstead

2D Animator and Character Designer

Burbank, USA


Video Transcript

Hi there, my name is Christina Halstead and this is a brief tutorial on how to use the Brush and Colour tools for Toon Boom Harmony Essentials.

First thing I'll talk about is the Brush. It's the symbol right here with the little paint brush. Basically what you're doing is creating a fill of a certain width. It is pressure sensitive, which is pretty nice. And it will obviously do whatever colour you have selected in your palettes. You can have pressure sensitivity attached to this. So if you actually, in your Tool Properties, you can actually open up this little arrow right here. And what it will do is it will bring up this: Brush Properties. And what you can do here is you can tell the minimum and maximum size of the brush itself. Minimum basically means how wide the tip will be as a percentage of the actual full width. So if you want a very narrow tip, obviously 0% is as thin as it'll get. 100% means no matter how hard you push with your tablet pen, it is always going to be the same width throughout the brush. I usually keep mine somewhere between 10 and 30. So you get a nice little tip to your drawing.

You also have Smoothing, which much like the Pencil tool, the higher the Smooth[ing], the more straight your line will be. You can see it altered the line there. So I can straigten it out. It's more pronounced with the Brush tool than it is with the Pencil tool. So I usually keep that and unless you're super shaky, you generally don't need to have it up too high to get the kind of line you want.

Of course, Preferences are up to you. You can change the tip size right here. The tip shape. So you can have pretty self-explanatory. Usually most people just keep it round. I think they have all sorts of fun little shapes.

You got stars down here if you want kind of a textured, almost brush-like tip. You can even get little spots in there. It makes a real interesting shape actually. And what's interesting is this is actually a shape you can mess with.

And what I just picked up there was actually the Contour tool. And let me zoom out a little bit. You can see. I'm going to select all of these with the Select tool and delete them, so I can clear up my space here and I'm going to go back to my regular tip.

So basically when you use the Brush tool, you're making a contour, basically a filled area. And if you use the white arrow, which is the Contour line, you can actually go in and alter the shape, because you're pulling at the contour points. The difference between this and the Brush tool, of course, is that the Brush tool has one single line. [Correction] the Pencil tool has one single line in the middle. Whereas [with] the Brush tool, the line is all along the outside.

To change the colour, you simply pick the colour in the palette that you want. You can always change the colour by selecting with the Select tool and tapping the colours. Which makes it really easy. So if you decide you didn't like that colour, you can just pick another colour easily without having to redraw the line.

If you want to make a new colour and then change the colour of that, you can actually double-tap on the swatch itself and you see that the line is actually going to change colour at the same time. It's actively pulling that colour, so you can always change on the fly. Of course right here is where you can go to name your colour swatch.

So that's the Brush tool.

The Colour tools, basically the fill tools, like the Paint Bucket. Those, you have a couple of settings within that little drop-down. First of them is Paint. So let's say I'll draw a black line here. You can see that I have [Show] Strokes activated, which is that thin blue line right there. And that lets me know that I can actually see where the contour, where the edges of the line are. So with that settled, I can go into my Paint Bucket and pick a colour. And it will just automatically fill that area, so long as the contour line is closed. If I want to unpaint that, I can pick the paint bucket with the negative sign and that takes away the colour. Well it will also do that for the line work, so you have to be careful where you go.

So before I show you the Paint Unpainted, I'll show you how the Stroke works. So basically, this little kind of half circle right here, the squiggly line, is the Stroke tool. You need to have your Show Strokes activated, so you can actually see it, otherwise you'll get a warning saying that you can't actually see what you just did. So if I go ahead and draw, you'll see it makes a line. It's almost like the Pencil tool in that it produces a line, but it doesn't add a colour to that line. You're not actively putting down any kind of visible colour.

And once you have that drawn, you can actually go in with the Contour Editor, just like the pencil and change the shape and move it around.

Now as you can see, it's incomplete. So another helpful tool is what's called Close Gap. It looks just like the stroke tool, but has a straight line. And basically you can kind of draw near the area you want to close. And you'll see that it will close it for you. And with these, the blue dots mean that it's actually a closed area and that these two lines are actually touching. A yellow dot means that it's not touching anything. So I can go ahead and pull that and you can see that this yellow dot is not attached to anything.

A helpful way of getting rid of these is a tool in the Select drop-down called the Cutter. I can just draw across that and it'll actually delete that from the rest of the line work. It usually looks for a cross-point. The computer kind of computes where it's going to cut from there and if you don't want it to cut like that you'll have to go kind of deeper into the drawing and choose where it's going to do that. So now that I have a complete closed box, I can go into...

Actually, I'm going to do one more thing.

I'm going to draw a line across this to show how Paint Unpainted works. And so I have those extra lines there that I'll go ahead and clean up with the Cutter tool. And kind of cut across it and erase those two. So what I'll do here is I will now paint this right here.

So let's say I want to go ahead and paint this green, but if I now have the Paint Bucket selected, circling this will select and make everything green. This handy feature right here is the Paint Unpainted. If I circle the same area with that selected, it will only fill in the parts of the contour line that have no colour previously in it.

So that's kind of helpful if you're working on a character and let's say they have a design on their shirt, where you've already filled in the shirt and you just want to real quickly get the rest of those design marks in there and coloured without selecting the shirt. Now I'll explain that a little bit later, when going into working on a actual character.

So that's basically how you do the brush work and the Paint Bucket.