Toon Boom Studio is a very, very flexible application when it comes to the file types that it can import and understand. It's kind of important to know this especially if you're going to collaborate with other people because it's a good idea to know what files they're saving their artwork as so you know whether you can bring it into your application and this happens more often than you might imagine. I actually have clients that ask me to send them artwork in specific file formats so that they can open it with the applications they're using. More often than not people just send file formats to other people in something that they think is a format that the client might want so it's important to know the different types of files that you can use and also bring into Toon Boom Studio. So what I'm going to do is go to the File Menu and I'm going to go to Import File and I'm going to click on my Desktop real fast just to clear that out. We want to focus on this area here and you're going to be surprised when you see how many different file formats it supports - a billion, which is good news. So I'm only going to cover the more commonly used ones and the ones that you might be bringing into Toon Boom Studio. So let's go ahead and start with the Flash swf file, this is how you pronounce that - swiff. Now, people like to create artwork in Flash to bring into Toon Boom Studio so that they can continue animating. Some people are more comfortable drawing in Flash and some people are more comfortable drawing in this application and going to Flash. The applications work very well with one another, so if you're working with someone make sure they save it as a swf file. The fla file is the actual Flash document the person might be working on and when they export it you export as a swf. You can also bring in GIFs. Now I typically don't bring these into Toon Boom Studio but, like the JPEGs, you will find these mostly used on the Web, although I use JPEGs pretty much for everything if I'm not using a TIFF and I'll talk about that in a minute. So GIF files are different from JPEGs in pretty much one major aspect. A GIF file will show you very good representations of flat colors, so let's say you were doing a picture of an orange, like the kind of orange you eat. It would get a really nice orange color if it's flat, but if you want to use gradations and you want to show, you know, dark orange to light oranges, to those kinds of different shades, JPEGs really excel in that regard. You can also bring in PDFs, although I typically don't do that either. PDF is simply one of those document files that I use to read magazines online and that kind of stuff, so it's a Portable Document Format. It was supposed to help us to create a paperless society but unfortunately more people print PDFs than read them online. You also have the ability to bring in PICT images, PNGs, which stand for Portable Network Graphics and these will preserve transparency nine times out of ten. So let's say you have a character and the background is transparent and you create it in Photoshop, save it as a PNG and Toon Boom should respect that transparency. Speaking of Photoshop we have the PSD File Format which stands for Photoshop Document, so you can bring in Photoshop files as well. We also have the ability to bring in QuickTime movies or QuickTime images as you see here. TIFFs are also very popular - Tag Image File Format - and this was used back in the day to easily send images back and forth between Macs and PCs. You can also use the TGA, also known as a targa. I typically like to use the targa file format when I'm doing 3D textures, so for example in Modo or Maya or LightWave I use the Targa File Format to texture my models. If you want to learn more about 3D applications, though, definitely check out some of the courses at the Virtual Training Company website - good stuff there. You can also bring in Bitmaps and, of course, you can bring in music and sound effects. The AIFF file format, which is the Audio Interchange File Format is the most commonly used file format on the Macintosh platform. We also have the MP3, which is very popular. We also have the Wave File Format, which is the standard for the Windows PC platform. We also have the AVI, which is the standard movie file format on the Windows PC platform. We have MPEGs, which is also another movie file format and we also have the QuickTime movie which you'll find mostly on the Macintosh, but QuickTime is readable on both Windows and on PCs, so is AVI, but I also find I have to get plug-ins to make it work properly on a Mac. And last but not least we also have the m4v, which is for the iPod file format. So, as you can see, you can pretty much bring in a vast category of different file formats in your Toon Boom animations. So, I just wanted to cover quickly some of the more commonly used ones so that you can collaborate with people and make sure that they're saving you files that you can use.
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