How to Paint

Toon Boom Harmony has some very powerful painting features to add colour to your drawings. Whereas some other software only allow users to work with on colour swatch at a time, painting in Harmony is done by using palettes containing multiple colour swatches that can be saved and reused as needed.

In the Colour view, you choose a different colour swatch for each colour you want to paint in your drawing. You can add as many swatches as you want. You can also rename them and modify existing ones.

When you modify the colour of an existing swatch, it automatically updates all the zones painted with this swatch throughout the entire project. The colour swatch has a unique ID number that associates it with the painted zones. This way, you can change the look of your character at any time without having to repaint it!

Another advantage of this system is that you can create complete palettes for different lighting situations. For instance, in addition to the regular palette for a character, you could have one for that character in the rain using colours that are duller and less vibrant than the dry daytime colours, or yet another for using in a night scene. Using palettes linked to your character in this way allows you to instantly change its colouring to suit the mood and atmosphere of the scene without tediously repainting each element.

It is also possible to use colour swatches from palettes in bitmap drawings, although changing the colours in the palettes will not automatically update colours used in bitmap layers. Likewise, it is possible to create drawing layers with bitmap line art and vector colour art, all with the same palettes —see About Art Layers and Creating Colour Art from Line Art .

In animation, specific colours are used to paint each part of each character. In order to maintain absolute consistency, a colour palette is created for each character, prop and effect throughout the production. This is referred to as a master palette.

Master palettes contain a colour swatch for each area to colour. Each swatch stores a colour in precise levels of red, green, blue and opacity, the latter which is referred to as alpha.

Using a master colour palette has many benefits, including:

  • Each character consistently retains their dedicated colours.
  • You cannot accidentally use a colour which is not in the master palette.
  • Standardization and colour consistency throughout the production
  • Multiple artists can use the same colour palette and produce the same results.

Harmony uses palettes to hold all the colours needed to paint your elements, allowing complete control and consistency in the painting process.

A palette is created by assigning a set of colours to each character, prop or effect. You will create a new palette and add a new colour, known as a colour swatch, for each zone of the character, such as the skin, hair, tongue, shirt, pants, and so on.

Closing Gaps

When painting, you may find that some areas of your drawings were not completely closed due to small gaps in their outlines, which prevents the Paint tool from filling the area as it only fills closed shapes. To close the zone, you can draw a line over the gap with the Brush or Pencil tool. However, it's also possible toclose the gap by adding an invisible line over it, which the Paint tool will treat like a any ordinary line. In Harmony, invisible lines used to define areas to colour are called strokes.

The Close Gap tool lets you close small gaps in a drawing's outline by instantly drawing a stroke to fill the gap. Contrary to the Stroke tool, you do not need to draw with precision when using the Close Gap tool. Simply drawing a crude stroke near the gap will automatically create a straight stroke that connects directly from one end of the gap to the other.

NOTE: The Paint tool also has a Close Gap option which can be enabled from the Tool Properties view. When enabled, Harmony will attempt to automatically find and close small gaps when you attempt to fill a shape that is not closed.