Toon Boom Harmony 17.0.0 Release Notes

Here is the list of changes in Harmony 17.0.0, build 14765 (2019-06-07):

Drawing Tools

Feature Description
Pen stabilizer

The new pen stabilizer can help you draw smooth, stable lines by stabilizing your drawing strokes as you draw, without having to smoothen them afterwards and potentially impact their shape. It works by letting you draw a stroke without generating a line immediately. Once your stroke is of a certain length, it starts generating a line that trails behind your mouse cursor or tablet pen. By trailing behind, it can use the information of your drawing gesture between the line and the current position of your mouse cursor or tablet pen to generate a smooth line.

This feature can be enabled by adding the Pen Settings toolbar to your workspace, and selecting either Average or Pulled String in the toolbar's drop-down menu—see About Pen Stabilization.

Pen tilt support

If you have a tablet and pen that support reading the tilt angle of your pen, you can configure the Brush tool to use this information and draw with a tilted tip. A tilted tip is stretched in the angle in which you tip your tablet pen, simulating the effect of drawing with a tilted pencil or felt pen.

This feature can be used by adjusting the Pen Tilt Sensitivity parameter in the Brush Properties dialog—see Brush Tool Properties.

Pen rotation

If you have a tablet and pen that support reading the rotation angle of your pen, you can configure the Brush tool to use this information to rotate your brush tip based on how you rotate your tablet pen.

This featured can be used by enabling the Use Pen Rotation property in the Brush Properties dialog—see Brush Tool Properties.

Pen pressure feel editor

Harmony now allows you to configure the curve by which it processes the amount of pressure you put on your pen tablet to calculate the thickness of your brush or pencil lines.

The Pen Pressure Feel dialog can be accessed by adding the Pen Settings toolbar to your workspace, then clicking on the Pen Pressure Feel button. For more information, see About Pen Pressure Curve Customization and Pen Pressure Feel Dialog Box.

Adjust thickness when drawing straight lines

When drawing straight lines with the Brush or Pencil tool using a pressure sensitive pen tablet, you can drag your pen back over your stroke to adjust or increase its thickness, as if you were drawing with a pressure-sensitive pen against a ruler. There are two different approaches to this:

  • If you draw while pressing and holding the Shift key, you will draw a horizontal or a vertical line.
  • If you draw while pressing and holding both the Alt and Shift keys, you will draw a straight line in any direction. If you drag your pen in the opposite direction of your line, the angle of your line will lock and you will be able to draw over it.
Stroke tool smoothing

The Stroke tool now creates smoother lines with less unnecessary control points.

Keyboard shortcut for Draw Behind It is now possible to assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle the Draw Behind tool property. This shortcut is listed as Draw Behind under the Drawing Mode section of the keyboard shortcuts list, and has no default assignment.
Tip Style option for the Contour Editor

The Contour Editor tool now has a Tip Style option in the Tool Properties view. This option allows you to select which style of tips should the extremities of pencil lines be left with when you select and delete a pencil line segment with the Contour Editor tool.

Default Tip Style When you set the Tip Style for the Cutter, Eraser or Ink tool in the Tool Properties view, it is now saved in your preferences, separately for each tool.
Synchronize Brush and Eraser size It is now possible to synchronize the size of the Brush and Eraser tools. To do this, open the Preferences dialog and, in the Drawing tab, check Synchronize Eraser and Brush.

Drawing Guides

Feature Description
New drawing guides

Many new drawing guides have been added:

  • The Ruler allows you to position and rotate a simple axis, then draw a line along that axis, like a regular ruler.

  • The Isometric Perspective guide helps you draw lines that are parallel to one of three axes: The x-axis, the y-axis and the z-axis. The angle of each axis can be customized as needed.

    This type of pseudo-perspective, also referred to as parallel projection, is often used in 2D games, computer graphics and schematics to depict 3D objects and environments without using any actual perspective, foreshortening or 3D rendering. In 2D animation, it is often used to draw long panning backgrounds from a low or high angle.

  • The 3-Point Perspective (Horizontal Pan) guide helps you draw horizontally panoramic backgrounds, with curvilinear horizontal lines. A vanishing point is placed in the middle of the horizon line, to help draw lines on the z-axis, and two vanishing points are placed on the horizon line outside of the camera field, to define the curve of horizontal lines. Vertical lines are made perpendicular to the horizon line.

    This is useful for drawing backgrounds meant to be panned over horizontally. Panning the camera horizontally over a background drawn with a 3-Point Perspective (Horizontal Pan) guide will simulate a rotation of the camera on the y-axis.

  • The 3-Point Perspective (Vertical Pan) guide helps you draw vertically panoramic backgrounds, with curvilinear vertical lines. A vanishing point is placed in the middle of the horizon line, to help draw lines on the z-axis, and two vanishing points are placed above and below the horizon line, outside of the camera field, to define the curve of vertical lines. Horizontal lines are made parallel to the horizon line.

    This is useful for drawing background meant to be panned over vertically. Panning the camera vertically over a background drawn with a 3-Point Perspective (Vertical Pan) guide will simulate a vertical rotation of the camera on the x-axis.

  • The 4-Point Continuous Perspective guide is very similar to the 3 Point Perspective (Horizontal Pan) guide, except that it is designed to help draw full 360° panoramic backgrounds.

    This guide uses 5 vanishing points. When drawing a horizontal line, it is curved by arching over one of the vanishing points and reaching down to the two surrounding vanishing points. This creates a perspective effect where each vanishing point represents one of the cardinal points, except that the leftmost and the rightmost points represent the same cardinal point, effectively creating a looping background. Backgrounds made with the 4-Point Continuous Perspective guide can be looped horizontally to simulate a full rotation of the camera on the y-axis.

  • The 4-Point Perspective (Vertical Pan) is a lot like the 2-Point Perspective guide, except that its vertical lines are curvilinear, so ti can be used to make vertically panning backgrounds. Two vanishing points are on the horizon line, outside of the camera field, to help draw lines on the x-axis and the z-axis, and two vanishing points are placed above and below the camera field to define the curve of the vertical lines.

    This is useful for drawing backgrounds meant to be panned over vertically, in which cuboids objects are seen from an angle.

  • The 5-Point Perspective (Fish Eye) guide helps you draw backgrounds that are curvilinear on both the x-axis and the y-axis. It has one central vanishing point on the horizon line, from which lines on the z-axis are drawn, two vanishing points at the extremities of its horizon line, to define the curve of horizontal lines, and two vanishing points above and below the horizon line, to define the curve of the vertical lines.

    This guide can be used to draw backgrounds with a fisheye-style wide angle lens effect. It can also be used to draw backgrounds that are meant to be panned in various directions.

Each guide is available in the Add Guide pop-up menu of the Guides view. For more information, see About Drawing Guides.

Locking the guide angle

If you press and hold the Alt key while using drawing guides, the angle of the guide lines will stop following your mouse cursor and lock in position until you release the Alt key, allowing you to keep the guide lines at the right angle.

With this method you can rework the thickness or length of lines that you are drawing with a guide.

Guide angle display When you rotate a guide, its exact angle is displayed in the top-left corner of the Camera view.
Rotating guides from centre

Some guides are rotated by moving one of the two points on their horizon line, which rotates them around the opposite point. If you press and hold the Alt key while moving one of their points, it will rotate the guide around its centre instead. This works for the following guides:

  • Ruler
  • 2-Point Perspective
  • 3-Point Perspective (Bird's-Eye View)
  • 3-Point Perspective (Worm's-Eye View)

Deformations

Feature Description
Show deformations without hiding others A Show Selected Deformers button was added to the Deformation toolbar. Contrary to the existing Show Selected Deformation Chains and Hide All Others button, this button displays the deformation chain for the selected element without hiding others.

Digital Animation

Feature Description
Alignment guides in the Camera view

It is now possible to add horizontal and vertical rulers, referred to as alignment guides, to the Camera view. Alignment guides are visible when the Transform tool is selected, and can be used to help you align elements to specific areas of the stage.

  • You can add guides using the New Horizontal Alignment Guide and New Vertical Alignment Guide buttons in the toolbar above the Camera view.
  • You can manipulate alignment guides using the Transform tool.
  • You can hide or display guides by toggling the Show Alignment Guides button in the toolbar below the Camera view.
  • You can lock or remove alignment guides using the menu commands available when selecting View > Alignment Guides in the top menu.
  • You can make elements snap to alignment guides by enabling the Snap to Alignment Guides option of the Transform tool in the Tool Properties view.

For more information, see About Alignment Guides

Frame markers

It is now possible to add coloured markers to frames in the Timeline view. Frame markers differ from drawing markers in that they are not tied to a drawing, but to a frame. They can be added to any frame, whether or not it contains a drawing. They also differ from scene markers as they are added to specific layers rather than the entire scene, and only mark a single frame.

To add a frame marker, right-click on a frame in the Timeline view and select Mark Frame, then select the desired colour to mark the frame with.

It is possible to assign keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate between frame markers, whether of any colour or of a specific colour. Those keyboard shortcuts can be set in the Timeline section of the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.

For more information, see About Frame Markers

Exclude layers in Pose Copier

The Pose Copier dialog now allows you to select layers in your rig to exclude from the pose copying process. This can be useful if you have a template containing many full character poses, but you only want to paste certain parts of these poses on your character.

To use this feature, first, select every layer you want to exclude in the Timeline view. Then, right-click on them and select Tag > Timeline Tag. Then, once in the Pose Copier dialog, check the checkbox next to the Exclude Layers button, then click on this button.

Export

Feature Description
Export as MP4

It is now possible to export a movie in MPEG-4 (.mp4) format.

To export an MP4 movie, select File > Export > Movie from the top menu. Then, in the Video Format drop-down, select H.264/MPEG-4 (*.mp4).

NOTE Movies export in MP4 format from Harmony use the H.264 video codec and have no audio.
New QuickTime movie interface for macOS

On macOS, Harmony now uses the Apple AVFoundation framework that is built into macOS to export movies in QuickTime Movie (.mov) format, instead of the QuickTime application.

This allows Harmony to export using the H.264, Apple ProRes 442 and or Apple ProRes 4444 codecs built into AVFoundation.

For more information, see Configuring Movie Settings for QuickTime Movies on macOS or Movie Options Dialog Box (macOS).

Import

Feature Description
Import MP4/M4V It is now possible to import MP4 or M4V movies into your scene. To import an MP4 or M4V file, select File > Import > Movie from the top menu.

Preferences

Feature Description
Keyboard Shortcuts dialog

The Shortcuts tab of the Preferences dialog is now its own dialog, the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.

To access this dialog box, in the top menu, select Edit (Windows/Linux) or Harmony Advanced (macOS) > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Create, export, import and switch between keyboard shortcuts sets

It is now possible to create your own keyboard shortcut sets. You can also export your keyboard shortcut sets as XML files and use them as backups or share them with project collaborators.

You can create, export and import keyboard shortcut sets using the New, Load... and Save... buttons at the top of the Keyboard Shorcuts dialog.

For more information, see About Keyboard Shortcut Sets.

Export and import preferences

It is now possible to export your preferences as XML files, and use them as backups or share them with project collaborators.

You can export and import preferences using the new Load... and Save... buttons at the top of the Preferences dialog.

For more information, see Exporting Preferences and Importing Preferences.

Default preference sets

Harmony now comes preloaded with five different sets of default preferences, which you can quickly switch between in the Preferences dialog.

Most of the preferences in these sets are the same, except for key workflow preferences such as

Focus on Mouse Enter, Default Separate Position for Pegs, Stop-Motion Keyframes, Support Overlay Arts and Underlay Arts, Advanced Palette List and others. For more information, —see Switching Between Preference Sets.

Default preference overrides You can use a specific preference set as the default preferences for Harmony users. To do this, save this preference set as the file prefs_override.xml in the resources sub-folder of the Harmony installation folder.

Installation

Feature Description
Single application on macOS

The Harmony package for macOS now only contains a single application.

You can launch any of the side applications bundled with Harmony, such as License Wizard, Control Center and Configuration Assistant, by first launching Harmony, then selecting Harmony Advanced > Harmony Tools from the top menu.

Easy authorization on macOS

The way Harmony is packaged for macOS no longer triggers the operating system's security mechanisms. Hence, it is no longer required to right-click on Harmony, select Open and authorize the application as a user with administrative privileges to be able to run Harmony and its side applications. You will be able to launch Harmony as soon as it is copied to your Applications folder.

Harmony Server

Feature Description
Scene locking mode

It is now possible to customize the way Harmony Server locks a scene when it is opened by a user.

By default, when a Harmony Server scene is opened, it is locked so that no one else can open it. It can also not be opened more than once by the same user. The database server daemon, dbserver, now has a -logical-lock parameter which can be specified to modify this behavior. The parameter supports the following modes:

  • individual: The default behaviour. A scene cannot be opened more than once, whether by the same or by several users.
  • disabled: A single scene can be opened any amount of times by any amount of users.
  • host: A single user can open a scene several times, but others users cannot open a scene until that user closes the scene.

To learn how to specify command line parameters when launching the database server, please contact support.

Scripting

Feature Description
Running script in batch without saving

It is possible to run scripts on Harmony scenes from the command line by running Harmony with the -batch parameter. However, since scripts are typically used to make changes to a scene, this saves the scene by default.

When running a script in command line on a Harmony Server scene, it is possible to make Harmony execute the script without saving the target scene. To do this, simply add the -readonly parameter to the command.

Get coordinates of a view

The viewPosition() method was added to the view class. It returns a QPoint object containing the position of the top-left corner of the specified view, in pixels. The individual coordinates can be obtained by using the x() and y() methods of the returned QPoint object.

var myView = view.currentView(); var myViewPosition = view.viewPosition(myView); var myViewX = myViewPosition.x(); var myViewY = myViewPosition.y();

For more information, see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference

Getting and setting Quaternion-type attributes

The setValue(), setValueAt(), getValue() and getValueAt() methods of the Attribute class can now work with Quaternion functions:

  • The "set" methods can can now take Quaternion objects as their parameter
  • The "get" methods will return a Quaternion object when ran on a Quaternion function.
Apply selected color to selected artwork The new applyColorSelection() method of the PaletteManager class will apply the selected colour in the Colour view to the selected artwork in the Camera or Drawing view—see Harmony Scripting Interface Reference.

Enhancements

  • When drawing, the preview of the stroke now refreshes four times as fast, making it feel smoother and more responsive.
  • The way Harmony initializes the DirectSound interface on Windows has been modernized, which may increase the stability and reliability of audio playback as well as prevent issues.
  • The version of the Cisco OpenH264 library used by Harmony was upgraded to 1.8.
  • The Draw Circle and Draw Square options for the Ellipsis and Rectangle tools are now togglable icon buttons in the Tool Properties view.
  • The Centerline Smoothing slider has been removed from the Tool Properties view for the Brush and Eraser tool. It is now only available in the Brush Properties and Eraser Properties dialogs.

Fixed Issues

The following issues have been fixed in this release:

  • Rare crash when undoing a modification with the Contour Editor.
  • Crash on certain macOS workstations when moving artwork with the Select tool while both the Drawing and the Camera views are visible.
  • Crash on certain macOS workstations when selecting a Drawing node that has the Adjust Pencil Line Thickness property enabled with the Transform tool if there is a floating Camera view in  Render View mode.
  • Crash when generating colour art from artwork that was created while the Pixel Density Proportional to Camera preference is enabled and the camera zoom is not at 12F.
  • Possible crash when attempting to move the Playback toolbar on macOS.
  • Crash when selecting artwork from multiple art layers and multiple drawing layers at the same time, then copying and pasting it into a different layer.
  • Crash when attempting to rename a newly created template while the Library view is in Detailed display mode on Windows in Stand Alone mode.
  • Crash when dragging and dropping a vector or bitmap image from the Library view to a cell in the Xsheet view.
  • Hang when opening the View menu of the Drawing Substitutions view if no layer is selected.
  • Harmony computes the bounding box of selected elements multiple times when refreshing the Camera view, impacting performance.
  • The Camera view takes longer to refresh in Render View mode each time it has to refresh if the scene has deformations.
  • Drawing slowly using a pen tablet on a bitmap layer on macOS results in shaky lines.
  • On Windows, when drawing a very long brush stroke with a pen tablet, then immediately drawing another stroke, the second stroke starts off with a straight line segment.
  • Some Brush tool tips that were packaged with earlier versions of Harmony were not packaged with Harmony 16.0.0 and Harmony 16.0.1.
  • When using the Stamp tool with the Draw Behind option, the order in which the strokes in the artwork of the stamp are laid on top of each other is reversed.
  • Attempting to use Unicode characters in a scene or layer name does not work on certain GNU/Linux machines.
  • After having synced a layer with another layer, then unsyncing it, it is impossible to sync it with a different layer.
  • Using the Reposition All Drawings tool in the Drawing view offsets a drawing multiple times if it is exposed multiple times.
  • Exporting a QuickTime movie via the scripting interface fails when passing -1 as the horizontal and vertical resolution. Using -1 is supposed to make it use the default preview resolution instead.
  • When pasting layers using Paste Special, with the Palettes option set to Copy and create new palette files in element folder, the palette files get copied to their origin folder and renamed.
  • Empty Group layer gets locked and cannot be unlocked when collapsed in the Timeline view.
  • Many translation issues across the user interface.
  • The Play application always launches in Stand Alone mode in Japanese.
  • Seams may appear where different colour zones meet when looking at a drawing with the Backlight mode enabled, at certain zoom levels, in the Drawing view.
  • Pencil icon next to modified drawings in Xsheet view is not properly centred on macOS that use a Retina display.
  • Some Brush tool tips that were packaged with earlier versions of Harmony were not packaged with Harmony 16.
  • Progress bar window appears at the top of the screen when movie file on macOS
  • Up & down buttons right of decimal number input fields appeared only on Windows and GNU/Linux, and only when using dark style.
  • Tool tips of Game Skinning toolbar are not translated in other languages.
  • Buttons to flip a stamp horizontally or vertically in the Tool Properties view appear too small when using a Retina display on macOS.
  • When customizing certain toolbars such as Deformation, Shift and Trace, Mini Playback, Game Skinning and Master Controller, clicking on Default will remove all the buttons from the toolbar.
  • If the toolbar for a specific view is hidden, it reappears after switching to another view, then back to that view.
  • Impossible to select a point with the Contour Editor using a tablet pen.
  • Some frames may be corrupted when exporting a Windows Media Video (.wmv) file at 100% quality.
  • When copying and pasting artwork from multiple art layers, with the Apply to Line Art and Colour Art tool property enabled, all of the artwork ends up only on the current art layer.
  • Exporting layout images in PSDDP4 format results in 8-bit/channel PSD images, whereas they should be 16-bit/channel.
  • Many preferences are not restored to their default value by the Restore All Defaults button.
  • When using drawing guides, using the arrow keys to switch between axes also changes the current Stamp tool drawing.
  • Using the [ and ] keyboard shortcuts to substitute the current drawing does not work in the Timeline view or the Library view.
  • Keyframe is created when modifying a deformation point with the Rigging tool.
  • Imported layers are not properly scaled when importing a multi-layer PSD file as individual layers with the alignment rule set to Project Resolution.
  • The custom configuration of some toolbars is not preserved after closing Harmony.
  • When changing the icons for scripts added to the Scripting toolbar, they do not get updated until Harmony is relaunched.
  • Some synced layers are ignored when using the Pose Copier dialog with a template that has synced layers.
  • Some drawings are discarded when importing a template containing synced layers.
  • Drawings offset with the Shift and Trace tool appear offset when using Mini Playback.
  • Selected preset for the Pencil tool and the Eraser tool are swapped each time Harmony is launched.
  • Changing the scene's length from the Timeline view while it is fully zoomed-in positions the end-of-scene handle one frame off the actual end of the scene.
  • Bounding box of element selected with the Transform tool is inaccurate if the element is selected while the Camera view is rotated, then the Camera view is reset to its default angle.
  • View-specific toolbars are not listed in the context menu when right-clicking on the toolbar area of a view.
  • Using the Lock All or Lock All Others commands lock group layers in the Timeline view.
  • Opening the Layer Properties dialog for a locked layer locks all of its children in the Timeline view.
  • Using the Configuration Assistant to add the path to the Harmony executables to the $PATH environment variable on macOS does not always work.
  • If two Harmony Server scenes with the same name but different environments are open at the same time, the Database Lock Manager will always display the locks for both scenes when trying to view the locks for only one of them.
  • The drawing key object returned by the Drawing.Key() method does not have a layer property if it is created from a synced layer.
  • The -adjustpencil parameter of the utransform does not work.
  • The Perspective tool performs excessive smoothing on short vector lines in the selected artwork.
  • The Line Art options in the Layer tab of the Preferences dialog are inverted.
  • Options for the Centerline Editor tool are labeled "Contour Editor Options" in the Tool Properties view.
  • Wrong translation of the word "name" is used in the Welcome dialog in Japanese.
  • Name of some tool properties may not appear translated when using Harmony in a language other than English.
  • The FixURLHandler.sh shell script packaged with the macOS edition does not work when run from any directory but its own directory.
  • Scripts designed to duplicate the timing of Xsheet columns for paperless workflows (TB_PL_LOKEY, TB_PL_KEYMC and TB_PL_MCIB) renumber the drawings incrementally instead of copying their numbers.
  • In the Japanese workflow mode, when using the Create Repeating Cycle dialog in Insert mode, the drawing in the selected cells and all the affected cells will be replaced with the drawing in the first selected cell.
  • In the Japanese workflow mode, in the Create Repeating Cycle dialog, it is possible to set the number of cycles to 0, which causes unexpected changes in the Xsheet.
  • Blank cells are added after the exposure when extending the exposure of a repeat cycle in Japanese workflow mode.
  • Blank cells are left behind when reducing the exposure of a repeat cycle in Japanese workflow mode.