Toon Boom Harmony 16.0.0 Release Notes

Here is a list of changes in Harmony 16.0.0, build 14155.

Features

Harmony Server

Feature Description
Local Caching

When opening a scene in a Harmony Server database, you can choose to cache the scene's drawings locally as you open the scene. Harmony will load the drawings from the cache on your computer instead of over the network, which will increase its performance and stability when working on heavy scenes.

If you make changes to the drawings in your scene, Harmony will automatically upload the updated drawings back to the database when you save, so you do not have to worry about doing it yourself.

To use the local cache, check the Cache scene assets locally checkbox at the bottom of the Database Selector dialog when browsing for a scene to open—see Opening a Scene in Harmony Server and Database Selector Dialog Box.

Digital Animation

Feature Description
Drawing Substitutions View

The new Drawing Substitutions view displays all of the drawings contained in the selected layer as thumbnails, and allows you to quickly swap which drawing is exposed at the current frame simply by clicking on it—see Swapping Drawings in the Drawing Substitutions View and Drawing Substitutions View.

Animate Onion Skin Range

With the Animate Onion Skin Range mode, you can animate a layer or peg on every frame in the Onion Skin range simultaneously. This can allow you to offset the position of a layer or peg in several keyframes simultaneously. It can also work with any range of frames, even if it does not have keyframes, as this mode creates keyframes at the beginning and end of the Onion Skin range if needed.

To use the Animate Onion Skin Range mode, double-click on the Animate Current Frame button in the Tools toolbar and, in the pop-up menu, select Animate Onion Skin Range—see Animating, Repositioning or Transforming an Element Over Several Frames.

Hide Pivot for Advanced Animation Tools You can now hide the pivot of the selected layer when using the Translate, Rotate, Scale and Skew tools. This can be useful if you want to avoid accidentally moving the pivot point, which, when done with one of these tools, causes the selected layer to be offset in all of its existing animation keyframes. To do this, click on the Disable Pivot Manipulator button in the Tool Properties view.

Paperless Animation

Feature Description
Shift and Trace Tool

The new Shift and Trace tool allows you to temporarily move, rotate and scale drawings, then trace over them in other drawings directly in the Camera view.  

To use the Shift and Trace tool, add the Shift and Trace toolbar to your workspace, then select the Shift and Trace tool button. Controls for the Shift and Trace tool are in the Shift and Trace toolbar as well as in the Tool Properties view—see About the Shift and Trace Tool, Shift and Trace Toolbar and Shift and Trace Tool Properties.

Advanced Onion Skin

Advanced Onion Skin allows you to include or exclude any of the 10 drawings before and after the current frame, as well as to set the individual opacity of each drawing.

To use Advanced Onion Skin, in the Tools toolbar, double-click on the Show Onion Skin button and select Show Advanced Onion Skin. Then, add the Onion Skin view to your workspace so you can configure which drawings are displayed as well as their opacity—see About Advanced Onion Skin and Onion Skin View.

Better Onion Skin Handles

When Onion Skin is enabled, the handles around the Timeline playhead, with which you can set the amount of frames before and after the current frame to display in the Onion Skin, have been made significantly easier to see and to use—see Selecting Drawings to Display in Onion Skin.

Drawing

Feature Description
Stamp Tool

The new Stamp tool can be used to stamp one or several drawings into your artwork. It can be used to stamp drawings one at a time or to draw strokes with it. The behaviour of the stamp tool when drawing strokes can be customized in many ways.

To use the Stamp tool, simply select the Stamp tool in the Tools toolbar—see About the Stamp Tool and Stamp Tool Properties.

Apply to All Drawings / Drawings in Onion Skin Range

You can now use the Select, Cutter and Paint tool on multiple drawings simultaneously. By enabling the Apply to Onion Skin Range tool mode in the Tool Properties, the Select, Cutter and Paint tool can be used on every drawing displayed in the Onion Skin simultaneously. The Apply to Onion Skin Range option is available in a pop-up menu that you can open by double-clicking on the Apply to All Drawings button in the Tool Properties view.

It is also easier to use these tools on all drawings in the current layer. Previously, to do this, you had to enable the Permanent Selection and Apply to Multiple Drawings tool modes at the same time. Now, you can just enable the Apply to All Drawings tool mode and, as long as it is enabled, the tool will work on all drawings in the current layer simultaneously.

For more information, see Painting Several Drawings Simultaneously, Paint Tool Properties, Selecting Artwork in Several Drawings, Select Tool Properties, Cutting Artwork in Several Drawings and Cutter Tool Properties

Apply to Selected Layers / All Layers

You can now use the Select, Cutter, Edit Texture/Gradient, Pencil Editor and Paint tools on multiple layers simultaneously. There are three approaches to editing multiple layers:

  • If you select multiple layers, these tools will work on all the selected layers simultaneously.
  • If you enable the Apply to Visible Drawing Layers tool mode, these tools will work on all the visible layers simultaneously.
  • If you enable the Apply to Synced Drawing Layers tool mode, these tools will work on the current layer and all layers that are synced to it simultaneously. The Apply to Synced Drawing Layers is available in a pop-up menu that you can open by double-clicking on the Apply to Visible Drawing Layers button in the Tool Properties view.

For more information, see Painting Several Layers Simultaneously, Paint Tool Properties, Selecting Artwork in Several Layers, Select Tool Properties, Cutting Artwork in Multiple Layers, Cutter Tool Properties, Pencil Editor Tool Properties and Edit Gradient/Texture Tool Properties.

Relative Brush Size

The new Proportional to Camera option of the Brush and Pencil tool will adjust the size of your brush or pencil relative to the zoom level of the camera. This allows you to preserve your line thickness through camera zoom-ins and zoom-outs in paperless animation productions.

To enable this option, click on the Show Extended Properties button in the Tool Propeties view and, in the Brush or Pencil Tool Properties dialog, check the Proportional to Camera checkbox—see Brush Tool Properties.

Easy Drag

The Select, Cutter and Reposition All Drawings now have an Easy Drag tool mode. When enabled, you can click anywhere inside the selection control box to drag the selection. By default, you have to click inside the artwork, which may be difficult when manipulating line art.

To enable Easy Drag mode, click on the Easy Drag button in the Tool Properties view—see Select Tool Properties, Cutter Tool Properties and Reposition All Drawings Tool Properties.

Mirror View

You can now temporarily flip the contents of the Camera and Drawing views horizontally by enabling Mirror View.

To enable Mirror View, click on the Mirror View button in the Camera or Drawing view toolbar, or select View > Mirror View from the top menu—see About Mirror View.

Colour

Feature Description
Consolidate Colours into a Palette

Using the Create Palette from Selection dialog box, you can now instantly generate a palette containing all of the colours in the selected artwork.

To use the Create Palette from Selection dialog box, select all the layers for which you want to create a palette. Then, in the Colour View, click on the Menu button and select Palettes > New Palette from Selected Drawings—see Consolidating Used Colours Into a Single Palette and Create Palette from Selection Dialog Box.

Playback

Feature Description
Mini Playback

The new Mini Playback toolbar allows you to quickly play a short span of animation before and after the current frame. This can be useful for previewing the part of your scene's animation that you're working on—see Previewing Animation with Mini Playback, Mini Playback Toolbar and Mini Playback Dialog Box.

Persistent Start and Stop frames The Start and Stop frames set in the Playback toolbar are now saved in the scene. They will persist after closing and reopening the scene.

Staging

Feature Description
Tiled Bitmap Backgrounds

Images imported as original bitmaps can be made to tile infinitely beyond its boundaries. Bitmap images can either be tiled horizontally, vertically or both. This can be used to make looping backgrounds.

To tile bitmap images, open the Layer Properties dialog for the layer and, in the Drawing tab, under Bitmap File option, check the Tile Horizontally or Tile Vertically checkboxes—see Element / Drawing Node.

NOTE This only works images imported as original bitmap images, not Toon Boom bitmap drawings.

Scene Settings

Feature Description
Decimal Frame Rate

Harmony now supports setting the scene's frame rate to a decimal number. This can accommodate pipelines that use 23.976 frames per second or 29.970 frames per second as their frame rate for compatibility with legacy standard displays—see Scene Settings Dialog Box.

Import / Export

Feature Description
Import PSD with Groups and Blending Modes

You can now import Photoshop Document (.psd) files in Harmony and preserve their group and layer structure as well as the blending modes of layers and groups.

The old way of importing multi-layer PSDs into Harmony, which is still available, imported each group in the PSD file as a layer, and each layer in the each group as a drawing in its respective layer. This new method simply imports each layer as a layer, each group as a group, and if any layer or group has a specific blending mode, it will be attached to a Blending node with the same blending mode, so as to replicate the look of the Photoshop Document as accurately as possible.

To import multi-layer PSDs and preserve their group, layer and blending mode structure, select File > Import > Images in the top menu and select your PSD file for import. Then, the Multilayer Image Import Settings dialog will appear. In the Create drop-down, select Individual Layers.

To import multi-layer PSDs and convert groups to layers with multiple drawings, select Groups as Layers in the Create drop-down instead.

Export Animated GIF

You can now export a scene, or part of your scene, as an animated GIF image.

To export an animated GIF, select File > Export > Animated GIF from the top menu—see Exporting an Animated GIF and Export to Animated GIF Dialog Box.

Preferences

Feature Description
Automatic Bitmap Pixel Density

If the new Pixel Density Proportional to Camera preference is enabled, new bitmap drawings and textured brush strokes will have a pixel density adjusted to the current camera zoom.

This preference is available at the bottom of the Drawing tab in the Preferences dialog.

Relative Image Cache You can now set the maximum cache size of the render preview as a percentage of your machine's RAM instead of a set amount of RAM. You can also enable or disable caching on the disk. Both preferences can be found in the Render tab of the Preferences dialog, in the Render View Image Cache section.

Gaming

Feature Description
Timeline Markers in Harmony Essentials Timeline Markers, a feature previously exclusive to Harmony Advanced and Harmony Premium, are now available in Harmony Essentials to accommodate the creation of gaming rigs.

Scripting

Feature Description
Smart Script Management

In the past, scripts packaged with Harmony were all automatically copied to your preferences folder, in the same location as your custom scripts. Now, scripts packaged with Harmony are only copied to your preferences if you make modifications to them. Otherwise, they are stored and executed from the Harmony installation folder.

This solves several problems:

  • The scripts folder in your user preferences is now reserved for your custom scripts and are no longer cluttered with Harmony scripts.
  • In previous versions, when installing a patch update, Harmony would not overwrite the scripts in your user preferences with the updated scripts, as this would risk overwriting one of your user scripts. This is no longer a problem, unless you happen to have edited a script packaged with Harmony which was updated in a patch update.
  • You can now easily restore the original version of a packaged Harmony script after having made changes to it.

For more information, see Editing a Script Packaged with Harmony, Restoring a Harmony Script and Script Editor View.

Custom Script Folder

You can now set a custom location in which to store scripts. To do this, you must set the TOONBOOM_GLOBAL_SCRIPT_LOCATION environment variable to the location where you want to store scripts. The scripts in this location will be available in the Script Editor alongside scripts that are packaged with Harmony and scripts in your user preferences—see Storing Scripts in a Custom Directory.

User Interface Responders The scripting interface now provides you with a list of responders from the Harmony user interface. You can obtain this list with the getResponderList() method. You can obtain the list of actions for a given responder with the getActionList() method—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Scene Modification Callbacks It is now possible to bind callbacks to scene modifications using the SceneChangeNotifier class. This class contains several signals that are triggered when different kinds of changes are done to the scene, and which can be bound to functions—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Perform actions on specific nodes It is now possible to perform actions on specific nodes by specifying their absolute path in the Node view. Previously, the Action.perform() method would only take two parameters: The action to executre and its target responder, and would always work on the selected nodes only. You can now optionally specify the target node or nodes as its third parameter—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Documentation of widgets The many widgets that can be added to a user interface via scripting now have examples of how to create and configure them in the Harmony Scripting Interface documentation—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Obtain an attribute's sub-attributes The new getSubAttributes() method of the Attribute class will now return the list of the attribute's sub-attributes—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Convert a coordinate for single axis between fields and OpenGL coordinates

The following methods were added to the scene class to convert the coordinate for a single axis from field coordinates to OpenGL coordinates, and from OpenGL to field coordinates: toOGLX(), toOGLY(), toOGLZ(), fromOGLX(), fromOGLY() and fromOGLZ()—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.

Get individual version numbers The new getMajorVersion(), getMinorVersion(), getPatchVersion() and getBuildNumber() methods of the about class will provide their respective values from the currently installed version of Harmony—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.
Scriptable Toolbars and Views

It is now possible to create toolbars and views using the Harmony scripting interface, by creating packages containing their functionalities, user interface and assets.

You can find an example of a package containing a toolbar and a view created through the scripting interface in the Plugins/ScriptingInterfaces/Resources/packages/MasterController directory inside the Harmony installation directory:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Toon Boom Animation\Toon Boom Harmony 16.0 [Edition]
  • macOS (Stand Alone): /Applications/Toon Boom Harmony 16.0 [Edition]/tba
  • macOS (Server): /Applications/Toon Boom Harmony 16.0 [Edition] Network/tba
  • GNU/Linux: /usr/local/ToonBoomAnimation/harmony[Edition]_16.0

You can create user packages in the packages sub-directory of the 1600-scripts directory of your user preferences. This directory is the following location:

  • Windows: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Toon Boom Animation\Toon BoomHarmony[Edition]\1600-scripts
  • macOS: /Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Toon Boom Animation/Toon BoomHarmony[Edition]/1600-scripts
  • GNU/Linux: /home/[username]/Toon Boom Animation/Toon BoomHarmony[Edition]/1600-scripts
Multiply Quaternions The multiply method was added to the Quaternion class. It allows you to multiply the quaternion with another quaternion.

Enhancements

  • It is no longer possible to make any changes to a layer's exposure or keyframes in the Timeline view when that layer is locked.
  • The Layer Properties dialog now displays the type of node in its title bar. Likewise, the Layer Properties view displays the type of node in the Type field, just under the Enable/Disable checkbox and above the Name field.
  • Complex operations, such as pasting a character pose using the Pose Copier, now store their Undo/Redo data in a disk cache instead of in the RAM. This will prevent such operations from taking too much RAM in the Undo history.
  • Performance when using the Render Preview mode of the Camera view has been improved.

  • Performance when rendering images imported as original bitmaps has been improved.
  • Users must now double-click on a layer's name in the Timeline view to rename them, to avoid making the rename field appear by accident when selecting the layer.

  • When creating a new Harmony Server database, the sample resolution.conf file is now automatically copied to the resolution sub-folder of the database.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue where setting a workspace with Unicode characters in its name as the current workspace would make Harmony load the default workspace on launch.
  • Fixed issue causing some layers in imported PSD files to be imported with incorrect proportions.
  • Fixed issue causing users to be prompted to activate their software when upgrading to a new version of Harmony that requires an update to the licensing system.

  • Removed the Game Skinning toolbar from Harmony Paint.
  • Removed the Control Selection Mode tool property of the Transform tool from Harmony Essentials and Harmony Advanced, as it is only useful for features that are exclusive to Harmony Premium.
  • Fixed issue causing the scope of variables declared by a script called by the include() method to be corrupted. .

  • Fixed small a memory leak that occurred when instantiation a node containing a 3D model with the Model3D class in the Harmony scripting interface.
  • Fixed issue causing the Select tool to sometimes fail selecting artwork in a drawing layer rigged as the parent of another drawing layer.

  • Fixed issue causing script buttons added to a toolbar when running Harmony in Japanese or Chinese to not run and to not display their icon.
  • Fixed a memory leak occurring when rendering a Gaussian Blur effect with a matte.
  • Fixed issue causing the number input field widget (NumberEdit) created through the Harmony scripting interface to ignore its minimum and maximum value properties.
  • Fixed issue causing some effects to stop working in the Render Preview mode of the Camera view, specifically when the Transform tool is slected and the mouse cursor is in the Camera view.
  • Fixed performance issue when rendering a scene with several Colour-Override nodes.
  • Fixed issue where the bounding box of a layer selected with the Transform tool would not rotate when rotating the Camera view.
  • Fixed issue where attempting to install an older version of Harmony over a more recent version of Harmony could corrupt the installation on Windows.
  • Fixed issue where GNU/Linux would add the fully qualified domain name of the machine to the Harmony Server database's machine-list file when installing the batch processing daemon. To avoid this problem, the installer no longer attempts to add the machine's name to the list, so it must be added manually.
  • Fixed a syntax error reported by the installer when installing Harmony on CentOS 6.
  • Fixed issue causing some layers to be hidden in the OpenGL preview of the Camera view if the Enable Rendering Caching of Composite Nodes preference is enabled.
  • Fixed issue causing OpenGL anti-aliasing to stop working when the Transform tool is selected, the cursor is inside the Camera view and the Enable Rendering Caching of Composite Nodes preference is enabled.