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Video Transcript

Hi there, my name is Christina Halstead and this is a tutorial for Toon Boom Harmony Premium. I'm going to talk about right now is how to use the Cutter effect.

And you can see I have my system up here. I have my assets in a group for the dog and I have a peg above that for the scene. And what I'm going to do is go into my Node Library. And I'm going to use the search bar to type in: Cutter. And that's what comes up.

Now the Cutter is technically a mask. If you've used other art programs, a mask basically blocks part of an image. And this is...

You'll see that some nodes actually have two inputs on the top. And usually the one input at the bottom. This one has two on top. The one on the right is for the image. The one on the left is for the matte. Usually you can tell a main input by the little dot on there.

So what we're going to do is we're going to add that to our system. There are two ways to do that. One way is to attach the image to the top in the image node input. And the other one to your composite. Of course you still have this one blank and I'll explain that in a moment. So that's one way to add a node to your system.

There's another way to do that. I think it's a little bit easier sometimes. And that is to hold down your mouse button and to hold [Alt]. And you'll see a little icon show up that says it's attaching. And what we're going to do is move it over. And you'll see that it kind of snaps into place. And if you let go of your mouse, it stays put.

So now that our Cutter is part of our system, we can see that there's actually no change to the character. And that's because there is no layer to act as the matte or the blocking image. So what we're going to do is we're actually going to go to our timeline. And we're going to... Let's go ahead and select the MASTER. We're going to go ahead and add a drawing. Which you can do by clicking this icon right here. Or going to the Add Layer drop-down and click on Drawing. I'm just going to call this matte. I'm going to Add and Close.

So, actually I just realized I put the matte inside the MASTER. Let's go ahead and move that out of there. There we go.

So now our matte is with the rest of our nodes in our system. And I'm actually going to leave it attached to the composite, because if I unattach it to the composite and draw on it, I won't be able to see it. At least not with this display mode on. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to reattach it. I'm going to have it over the DOG_MASTER, because if I had it under the DOG_MASTER, it would block my view of what I was doing with this layer. So I'm going to go in the Colour [view] here. And I'm going to pick, let's go white. And I'm going to choose my Ellipse Shape tool. And then I'm going to go ahead into the settings for that tool and select this icon right here, which is the Auto Fill.

That means basically that it will draw the line and automatically fill it with whatever colour is set for the fill. And I'm going to just go ahead and drag it.

And now I have a great big circle. It's covering up my character. So now I'm going to unattach that from the composite and I'm going to reattach it to the Cutter. And now as you can see, you can barely see the character, because this circle is so large.

Let me go ahead and shrink that circle down a bit. There we go. Now we can see that we have our little circle shape. And it is clearly punching a hole right through this character. And I can move it around of course. Like any...like most things in Toon Boom, it can be animated. So if I wanted to animate this circle over time, it would do that.

What I'm going to do is actually show you something that the Cutter does. The Cutter doesn't have too many properties. In fact, it only has one and that is to be normal or inverted. If I invert it, basically that means it affects the drawing in the opposite way. Anything within that matte is now being shown. So if I were to move that matte around, we'd see the rest of the character is still there, but the matte is only allowing whatever is in the circle to be seen by the camera.

Let's go ahead and I'll show you real quick what it would to look like if I were to animate something.

So I'm just going to go ahead and put a keyframe right here. And what I'll do is I'll say that this gets bigger and moves down to show the whole character. So now, if I were to animate that.. Oops.. I accidentally didn't put an interpolation on that. Now the black line means it's going to tween. There we go.

So now you can see it reveals the character.

And that's how you use the mask, or in this case, the Cutter tool.