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Fear of “The Learning Curve”

When talking with animators or potential users of Toon Boom software, the learning curve is always the great fear. Learning new software is difficult, time consuming and potentially frustrating.

I became a Toon Boom Studio user way back in 2003.

How in the world would my middle aged brain pick up a totally new program?

After playing with the “Quick Start” tutorial that came with Studio, I realized I could learn the program “enough” to make a serious animation. Yes, vast areas of the program left me completely baffled, but I quickly found the basics and just started drawing. Roadblocks occasionally appeared, but the manual is very clear and complete. Within a couple of months, I created an animation that made it on television. This was my first Toon Boom animation:

Toon Boom’s catalog of “serious” animation products begins with Toon Boom “Studio” and graduates through “Animate” to “Animate Pro” and finally to “Harmony.” I recently became a “Harmony” user. Again, some of the menu selections leave me baffled.

One thing is reassuring: The interface you see in “Studio” will be similar when you get to “Harmony.” As you move into “Animate Pro,” new amazing tools like “Network View” will aid in the creation of complex animations. I love “Network View,” but know it would have made my brain explode if I had tried to learn it back in 2003 as a new animator.

So, for someone new to Toon Boom: Buy “Studio” now and get a Wacom tablet for under $100. Do the “Quick Start” tutorial. Don’t spend more than an hour or two. Then, start animating and see what happens. Do not fret over the unknown buttons. Do what you know first and slowly expand.

Then, when you feel ready, ask Toon Boom about upgrading. Toon Boom upgrades are very reasonable and your time will not be wasted.

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