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Integrating a Photoshop Background

Learn how to import Photoshop layers into Harmony and manipulate layers to help you set up your scene.

About the Author

Mehmet Genç

Mehmet Genç




Bee & Bird

Video Transcript

Hi friends, I am Mehmet Genç. I am working in Bee and Bird Studios, as an animator for a project that's made with Toon Boom Harmony. Today, I will show you how to import a Photoshop file to Harmony and how to arrange it in Harmony.

Here we have a previously painted background. As you see, every part of it is on another layer and you can choose all of them separately. We will put these leaves into groups. Group 5 is ready. I'm dragging layers into the Group 5. Also, you can use the shortcut [Ctrl + G] for doing this.

After putting all the layers into the groups, we can make a safe area layer, to see how this scene will be seen in the end. After finishing our work here, I am saving this file. You can choose different formats. We can choose PNG, PSD and also JPEG files for our project. Now, I have choosen the PSD format and saved it.

Then, I have started Toon Boom Harmony Stage. When I open Harmony, a menu pops up. For Camera size, I am choosing: HDTV_1080p24. For our project, you can choose whatever size you want. I have set the frame rate to 24. After all the settings are ready, I hit the OK button.

In Harmony, we click on file, then import selection to Import > Images. We can also import videos too. After selecting images, we will see image setting(s) window.

The Keep As Original Bitmap Option will import your Photoshop file into Stage, but it doesn't allow you to draw on its icon layers.

The Convert to Toon Boom Vector Drawing option will convert the image into a vector format.

If you choose import as Toon Boom Bitmap format, it will allow you to edit with bitmap drawing tools.

And here, there is Rules option. I want my background to fit the stage. So I can select Horizontal [Fit]. Then Straight from Alpha settings. I'm choosing the Straight option, so pixels at the edge of the image will be blended with black, white and greys. From the Brush menu, I choose my background file, then hit OK button.

Here we have two options: Single Layer and Separate [Layers].

One which was Single Layer, we import our background merge, so we cannot choose layers. But one which is separate, all the layers are import separately.

Now we import our background. As you can see, all the layers are here. To fit the background to the stage, I choose all the layers, then I place them.

As you see, here is the blue pivot points. I place this point to the corner of my stage. Then I resize the background. Now we don't need this safe area layer any more. If I toggle this eye button, it won't be visible. We set the length of our background from here. Before setting, I am choosing the animation selection. If it's selected, the Transform will be an animation, but if it's deselected, we can make all the differences.

We can change the length of our layers, from here, by pushing [F5]. For more, you can extend from here. And here, there are the rotating, moving, scaling tools. Translate tool is for moving our background. As you see, I can choose any layer and move it. This is the Rotation tool. After placing the pivot point, we can rotate our layers. And this Scale tool is for changing our image sizes. And here is the Scale tool. We can scale our image to left or right, up and down. And this is Maintain Size tool. When we click on it, we can see the distance of our layers. When we click on the Top button, we can see our layers from the top. And also, here is the Side button, that allows us to see our layers from the side. These represents our looking point.

Here, we can see our layers on this line. Let's come back to the Top angle. To change our layer distance, I am choosing the furthest layer and clicking the Maintain Size button. Then we change its distance. I'm bringing the tree layer to the front, then bringing the leaves to nearer.

Finally click on the Side option. I can see the same layers from the side. When I click on the Perspective button, I can see the layer distance clearer. By clicking [Ctrl + Alt + left mouse button], we can see our background from every angle.

First, I moved the background layer, then flower layer, then tree layer and lastly, the leaves layer. This will give depth to our scene. When we click on the Camera button, we can see this depth. It will look like it's merged. To see this distance between layers, we are opening [a new] Camera layer.

Creating a peg for this Camera layer, then selecting animation to make animation for our camera. You can add keyframes to camer by clicking the Insert Keyframe button. We don't use the Scale tool for our Camera layer. We can move our cameras from here. We can also zoom in and zoom out by clicking these points.

For animating these camera movements, I've added keyframes til the end frame. Now, I can see the camera movement.

Thanks for watching. Last, but not least, we celebrate the latest version of Toon Boom Harmony here in Istanbul, Turkey.