Animation Basics

I am new to Toon Boom and have read the Documentation in great dept and viewed samples and Tutorials, but none of them start at the beginning and deal with the Basic Question, that is how do you cut out the Elements of a Character and then get multible copies of them into individual frames to make up an Animation.

To cut characters in to pieces you can use the sissors or cutter tool. As to the logic behind where to make those breaks, that becomes a factor of how you plan to use the character. Most cut out animators use the joints of the body to define the natural breaks. So that would be the neck, shoulders, waist, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, and thighs.

Once you create your cut out character as a template in your library you just drag them on to the stage at the appropriate place and go from there.

Thank you JK for your response to my query, however the second part of my question concerns adding numerous Frames so that Animation takes place over a period of time in the TimeLine.

Once you have your cut out character set up and saved as a template, you can drag it from the library to an exposure sheet for a scene.

Let’s suppose that you want to animate a simple sequence where the character raises his arm and waves. You first would want to decide on the amount of screen time that you want for this action.Screen time is measured in frames based on your chosen frame rate. So let’s assume you have your frame rate set to 24 FPS. That means there are 24 frames played to equal one second of screen time. You want this wave to take 2 and 1/2 seconds. So you need 60 frames.

So your first step is to extend the exposure for your character element out 60 frames. There is a menu selection for extending the exposure of an element.

Now because your character is a cut out you will use the transform tool to animate him. You will move the frame slider on the time line to the first frame where you want him to move and select and move the appropriate character part, say his right arm in this example.

By moving the arm you are setting a keyframe. Then you move the frame slider to the next frame where you want to make the next incremental change in your character and using the transform tool select and move the appropriate part or parts of your character.

It is usually OK to set key frames about every 5 frames and just let TBS interpolate the inbetweens between those keys. So for your 60 frame animation you will end up with 12 key frames.

This is the basic approach to a simple animation of a cut out character. There is an great set of Quicktime videos on the main TBS site that walk you thru using cut out characters that you should study as they are very well done. Keep asking questions, that’s the best way to learn. Hopefully this helps.

Many thanks to TGRS-JK.
For your in dept reply, you have solved my problem which has been preventing me using TBS for some weeks.

Kind regards from, P. Dowdall.