2D Animation: Toon Boom Studio Blur Effect

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Blur Effect Example
You can easily apply the blur effect to your 2D animation to make objects in your scene to appear blurry or out of camera focus. In this demo video, I’ll show you how to apply the Blur Effect in Toon Boom Studio.

Be sure to check out the examples at the end of the video (“Under The Microscope” at 2:22) where I create the illusion of a microscope view going into and out of focus while studying the behaviors of multiplying bacteria (be prepared for a little advanced science).

A couple of other good examples of how to use the Blur Effect can be seen in the Lake Monster video of my Stickman Stories series. I gave my Lake Monster character a treatment of the Blur Effect when it first appeared (skip to 0:19 and 0:28). Later in the video, I applied the Blur Effect on the ‘gift’ from the Lake Monster to create the glowing or pulsating effect (skip to 1:30). Watch the video here:

How to Use The Blur Effect

  • Draw the object that you want to apply the Blur Effect to. In this example, we’re using a simple yellow circle.

    Create the Object for the Blur Effect

    Create the Object for the Blur Effect

  • Go to the desired frame when you want the effect to begin. In this example, we’re starting the effect in Frame #1.
  • Click the Blur Effect icon.
    Blur Effect Icon
    The element will appear in the Timeline view (the brown element). By default, the effect comes with 2 blur effect ‘events’ (similar to key-frames), namely the starting and ending events.
    New Blur Effect Element
  • Extend the effect as necessary. Add more blur events along the Timeline by pressing the ‘I’ key (just like adding a key-frame) as desired. Drag and drop the animation element you want to apply the blur to into the Blur Effect element (this is done at @ 1:47 in the video, AFTER I complete the next step; the sequence is not important).
    Modified Blur Effect
  • Go to each frame with a blur event and set the Blur Effect properties. In our example, we’re just changing the Radius value, alternating between a lower and higher number as we move from key-frame to key-frame (or event to event, as I would call it).
    Blur Effect Properties
  • The Blur Effect will be applied when you export the scene. Note that you will NOT see the effect working by simply playing your scene in your Toon Boom Studio session. However, running a Scene Preview will show your Blur Effect results (CTRL+RETURN or on the menu, select Play, then select Preview Scene).

What do you plan to do with the Blur Effect in your animation?

Happy creating!

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