background/foreground

Hi,
I’ll try my best to describe a problem I’m having. I’m new to ToonBoom but have lots of experience with other animation programs. I am running a G5 10.4.6.
I’m trying to create a simple scene with a charater walking through a basic landscape.
I would like to create a sky and seperate foreground but everytime I use the gradient tool (paint bucket) every shape in the timeline takes on the new color. I have tried placing them in every conceivable place in order to change their positions in the timeline. The only thing I have not tried is creating these layers in seperate programs and importing them into the project. I’m sure that’s not necessary. Please tell me what I’m doing wrong.
Thanks for the help.
John in Boston

We may need more info to help you. You say you are wanting to create a sky and a seperate foreground. So I’ll assume you want them in seperate elements. To do this you would create two elements in the exposure sheet and create your sky as a cel or cels in one element and your foreground or ground in a different element. You then need to order these elements in the exposure sheet so that the sky is farthest from the viewer and the foreground is closer. That means the sky would be all the way to the right column and the foreground more to the left. Of course you can make an element a background type and that forces it to be at the back of the 3D view.

There is a hierarchy in backgrounds and foregrounds by type so you still have to order multiple background elements or foreground elements appropriately in relation to other backgrounds or foregrounds.

In the time line you want to arrange elemnets of the same type from bottom to top in order of the farthest one on bottom and the closer ones above that. Again type has an effect so background type elements are ordered different from normal type elements or foreground type elements.

But you also want to look at things in top and side view to see their relative 3D positions also.

One piece of advice is work in drawing view to create elements and then composite in camera view don’t draw in camera view except when absolutely needed. It is a bad habit and can cause you problems if you are careless about what track is currently selected.

Tell us more about how you are working because your description is pretty vague. Also for reference purposes anything behind the actors is background and anything in front of the actors is foreground just to get us on common termonology. -JK

Hi Jk,
I have been working directly from the timeline and will see if using the exposure sheet makes a difference. I’m used to working in Mirage and After Effects where the layer hierarchiesand pretty much everything else happens in the timeline.

I have been drawing in the camera view so I’ll change that habit as well.
After I sent my request for help, I imported backgrounds I created from photoshop and everything worked great.
It’s a whole new day, so let me try your suggestions and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks, John in Boston

Hi,
I tried everything suggested but the problem remains.
If I create a seperate layer for a background element and use either the paint bucket to fill in a shape in that layer everything in all the other layers take on that color or gradient.
It is if they are all connected in some way.
However, if I creat that element(background/foreground) outside of ToonBoom in another program and import into the project everything is fine.
There must be some ToonBoom logic that I’m missing or …
Perplexed in Boston

We would like to help you, but the problem we are having is the way you are describing your trouble. When you are importing from outside TBS you are creating an image element with your import and therefore you are avoiding whatever you are doing in your drawings. The problem you describe is not a normal problem and I suspect it is the result of your work steps but you will need to describe those steps for us to figure out where you are getting into trouble. It is most likely very simple to fix but we need more information.

For example:Starting in drawing view
(1) create a drawing element in the exposure sheet.
(2) go to the first frame of that element and draw a closed shape using the brush tool.
(3) change to a different color in the color pallette
(4) using the paint tool fill in the closed shape that you previously drew.

(5) create another new drawing element
(6) go to the first frame of that element (be sure that you have the correct column cell in your exposure sheet selected) and draw a different closed shape using the brush tool.
(7) change to a different color in the color pallette
(8) using the paint tool fill in this new closed shape that you have drawn.

(9) switch to camera view and look at the two shapes composited.
(10) in camera view use the scene planning arrow tool (not the drawing arrow tool) to select and move the shapes to new locations on the screen.

Now it is your turn, what are you doing different from described above. -JK

Hi Jk, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
I followed your steps exactly. I used the brush tool instead of the rectangle tool, which I had been using. I’m sure this doesn’t make a difference.
The first drawing element goes smoothly. I use the paint bucket and fill in the shape with my new gradient color.
However,
In the second or new drawing element when I go to change the color it effects the first drawing element.
When I go to camera view they are definitely on seperate layers however
the first drawing has the same fill color as the second.
If I make a third drawing and change that fill all the other drawings on seperate layers take on that same color change. As a result I cannot create unique layers.
Interesting…
John

OK, I think I understand what you may be doing. When you are going to the color pallette, are you selecting a different color swatch each time or are you using a single swatch and editing its color each time before you use it.

Each swatch is unique and when you apply that color TBS remembers that you used that swatch to fill that specific zone. This is a great feature because you can use this to change all instances of the use of a specific swatch throughout your animation by editing its color. But you can’t edit a swatch with out effecting all prior instances so if that’s what you have been doing then you will change all prior painted instances of that swatch with each edit. Let us know if this information helps you. -JK

PS: This is very different from an application like Flash which does not have color pallettes and only uses a single fill color that has to be edited for each color change. TBS is a much better application when it comes to color management.

Ok! I got it.
I was not tuned into that feature.
It looks like that was the problem so I’ll create my gradient and make it a swatch.
Life is Good.
John