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Animation/How exactly does Flash work- can you please explain it to me?


Hi, how are you? I saw your name and description on AllExperts and I am hoping you can answer my question.

I wanted to know what animation software I should buy that is cheap and would allow me to scan animation drawings in and digitally ink and paint them, and/or the rest of the artwork involved. Someone suggested Adobe Flash. How would this work? I can create animation artwork by hand on an animation table and I would use some kind of device to scan the artwork in, and tell the program what to in a and paint? What device would I need to scan the artwork with? Please help- thank you.


Hello Jason,

Adobe Flash is a vector based program and most animators draw directly into the computer through a Wacom Cintiq or Intuos tablet.
You can't scan animation drawings into Flash and color them the way you want to.

The program I use for scanning and coloring traditional hand drawn animation is Toon Boom Animate Pro or Harmony. It is rather expensive.
Here is the home page for Toon Boom. Check out their different software to see if one of them might be priced right for you.

You would need a scanner capable of scanning multiple drawings with the peg holes for registration. Here is a YouTube video I found that shows how to set up for scanning traditional hand drawn animation. I'm using a Brother MFC-j6910DW Tabloid size scanner. This is great for standard size animation paper (10 1/2" X 12 1/4"). It can scan up to 11" X 17".

Here's another URL for a list of current 2D software:

There aren't many that have the scanning capabilities you want. I still recommend Toon Boom for the best option.

I hope this helps.



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Russell Calabrese


Technical questions about hand drawn and computer animation techniques and production. Historical questions about cartoons and animation.


30+ years as an Animator, Director and Producer of Television, Feature, Commercial and Independent Animation.

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Senior Governorof the Animation Peer Group) Executive Board Member of The Animation Guild ASIFA Hollywood

SVA, Rutgers University

Awards and Honors
Emmy Award winning Director 2007 "Where's Lazlo?: Camp Lazlo"
Emmy Award winning Director 1999 for "Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain"

Past/Present Clients
Warner Brothers, Disney, Cartoon Network

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