back grounds

How do you draw a background such as a house or mountain and keep it the same for several frames while having other activities go on in it such as a bird flying completely over the frame. I am at my elementary stages with this . I can be contacted at

First off, it is never a good idea to post your e-mail address that way, so you might consider editing your post to remove it unless you really like getting tons of spam mail because it will get harvested over and over by web spiders and you will get bombarded.

When a drawing (also referred to as a cell) is placed at a frame in time that is called an “exposure”. If we want the same drawing to be repeated for more than one frame that is called a “hold”. To create a hold you place the same drawing at multiple frames in a sequence. You set the drawing to have multiple exposures.

This drawing assignment can be done either on the exposure sheet or on the timeline. On the exposure sheet when you create a drawing it gets a cell name which is usually the element name plus a drawing number. So to assign that drawing to many frames in a sequence you just enter its cell name in the exposure sheet boxes for those frames for that element.

There are many ways to do this one being just type in the cell number, another being select a range of frames and use the Cells panel to select the drawing to be assigned to that entire range of frames. Another way is to roll the cursor over the top of the drawing’s name in the exposure sheet until you see a double ended arrow and then just drag that double ended arrow down the exposure sheet and the drawing will be assigned to all the frames over which you drag the arrow. Or you can select the drawing on a frame and right click to open the context menu and select the option set exposure … and enter the number of frame exposures in your sequence for your hold and they will be assigned starting at your current selected frame. Or you can move the red frame slider to a frame number upstream on the timeline from your last exposed frame and from the context menu choose extend exposure and the last exposed frame’s drawing will have its exposure count extended to the location of the currently selected frame at the red frame slider. These are just some of the ways there are more too.

So you place your background element at the bottom of the timeline track label list which places it farthest from the viewer. Then add other elements as tracks above the background element which makes them closer to the viewer. The elements that have characters on them that are moving are sequences of drawings that change incrementally frame by frame as the characters moves while the background element is a hold for some sequence of frames. There are lots of variations on this basic approach but these are the fundamentals of how some elements hold still while other elements are changing and therefore appearing to move. -JK