Best way to make a spinner?

I am a newbie. My trial is about to expire, and a licensed version is on a UPS truck. I have been playing with the software, like it a lot, and am wondering if there is an easy way to accomplish what I want to do. This is a multi-part question, so jump in and offer your insight wherever you fill it is necessary.

My questions all have to do with having a spinner effect. A literal spinner, as in an arrow <-----> twirling in a circle.

By drawing the pointer, and copying and rotating, I have accomplished the spinner effect. I am wondering if I am doing it the hard way by drawing each individual cell, and/or does Toon Boom have some shortcuts for me for making repetitive cells with only element progressively changing?

I would also like to be able to adjust the speed of the spinner, going faster or slower. Doing that in the individual cells seems possible, but again I am wondering if the peg tool, or something, would work better. (I had LOTS of problems with Lesson 4 in the tutorial, and do not have this peg motion thing down at all.)

I am also interested in scaling the entire spinner graphic. For example, having one spinner come to the foreground while the other one will "fly-away."

Lastly, are there any distortion tools? For example, can I have a view of the spinner full-face and then lay it down? The original image of the spinner I drew in Illustrator, and I can probably distort it there as well, and then bring it in as a separate transitional elements, but I was wondering if there is an easier way.

This is a still image of the spinner.
This is an animated view of the spinner. (It’s rough, so don’t laugh.)

THANK YOU for any light you can shed on how I should approach this.

You might want to read this thread:

Keyframing 101

Your spinning arrow is a perfect candidate for animating with the camera stand. And you can control its rotational speed with function curves attached to non-constant segments between your keyframe pairs.

If that makes sense to you then you are home free otherwise read the above listed thread followed by these 5 articles starting at part 1.

Key Framed Animation Part 1

If you have additional questions just ask. -JK

WOW! That helped a lot. I got the arrow spinning in camera-view.

I need to do a lot more reading on your blog still, but perhaps you can explain a generic conceptual problem I am having. The exposure sheet view shows a stationary arrow, regardless of which cell you click on. The Camera View shows the individual position of the “spin” effect (ie, not the original position that shows in exposure view.)

As the animation gets more and more components, what should I be viewing to get a sense of what the final product would look like? Neither seem to me to be what I would call the “finished” view.

Also, now that I have the arrow spinning, would I use the peg system to move it?

And lastly, thank you for your contributions here and on your blog. There is a person like you on a list for another software that I use. It is people like yourself that keep the world in balance. Your kindness and professionalism and selflessness is greatly appreciated.

Read this article next if you haven’t already.

It’s Elemental

It helps to give you perspective on the use of the exposure sheet and the use of the timeline.

You will come to appreciate camera view and top and side view as a set of views that work together. Just take it step by step and keep asking questions.

The exposure sheet is mostly for drawing management and drawing view is just what its name implies it is your drawing board. Camera view is your compositing and filming view and it is where you will put most of your movies together. TBS has extremely flexible and controllable rendering features which make quick test renders very ease and useful and you will get use to rendering and watching segments of your movie and then fine tuning and adjusting back in camera view. -JK

I’m not sure what you’ve done so far to make this work, but think about the idea of actual spinning versus the illusion of spinning.

Creating the illusion of spinning is essentially using some drawn special effects to make it look like it’s spinning fast and blurry. This can be done with just a few drawings. If you’ve ever seen Speed Racer, I always thing about the way the wheels and tires are drawn on the cars there (and in other cartoons) to make them look fast movement.

This can involve an outline, some transparent fill, and a few speed lines, with a little variety from frame to frame.

Hope that makes sense and contributes.

I seem to be getting the hang of this. I now have multiple objects spinning, moving, distorting and changing size simultaneously. here

At one point, I had “guns and butter” on the spinner, and spinning with the spinner. But then I changed the rate of the spinner, and now they spin at separate speeds.

I am wondering if there is a way to easily reattach the words to the spinner. I tried deleting the keyframes from the “guns and butter” and grouping the two objects (text and spinner) together, but that didn’t work.

Is there a way to copy the keyframe attributes from one object and apply them to another object?

While I managed to apply a keyframe attribute to all the objects, so I could scale the dial and move it, I am also wondering how I would re-edit this behavior. Is there a way to get deeper into the Timeline signatures?

Thanks again.

Nice work! I like what you’ve accomplished so far. :slight_smile:

Good to see you’re starting to figure more things out. To make your “guns and butter” text spin at the same rate as the spinner, you want to make use of what’s called a parent-child relationship using pegs.

I’m assuming a few things here, hopefully this will make sense if you’ve read JK’s articles. If it doesn’t feel free to ask more questions. Each drawing element contains it’s own “embedded peg,” (as of v 3.5) meaning you don’t have to create a new peg element for each drawing. Sometimes you’ll still want to create separate peg elements, but many times, as in this case, it isn’t necessary.

Now assuming you have the spinner on one element & the text on another, all you need to do is goto the timeline window & drag the text element onto the spinner element. When done correctly, the text element will appear indented beneath the spinner element. You have just created a parent-child peg heirachy, and the child peg will follow along with any keyframe attributes that you apply to the parent peg. So in this case, you’ll want to get rid of any rotational keyframes in the text element, and then make it a child of the spinner. Make sure the text is exposed for the correct # of frames & that they are aligned properly in the first frame. Then the text will spin with the spinner.

Hope that made sense, feel free to ask further questions, & keep at it!

Thanks kdog, that is exactly what I needed to do.

I created a new spinner peg, and then put both the spinner and the text under it. Was that necessary, or could I have just made a parent-child relationship without a separate peg?

Also, if I have two attributes on an element (say rotation and scale) and I want to delete one attribute (rotation,) but not both, would I select rotation, and then select delete keyframe? Would that delete rotation and retain scale?

The reason I ask is that when I deleted the keyframes on “guns and butter” I needed to do it a couple of times before it would stick, so I am wondering if there is a protocol there that I am missed. Also, it might make sense if it worked that way…actually, testing seems to confirm that is the case.

I am working under the assumption that when I want to remove a specific attribute, that I need to delete both the beginning and end keyframe. Is that true?

thanks again

Yes, based on the active scene operations tool when you perform the delete you will only delete specific keys. If you want to get all keys for that frame at once you would have the transform tool active, otherwise each tool just effects its own type. (rotation or scale, or skew or motion).

For the most part yes, but it depends on the situation. You might want to keep the setting at one or the other frame because it is OK for that situation.

It sounds like you are making great progress so stay at it and keep asking questions as needed -JK

This isn’t exactly spinner related, but more general.

I have applied a number of effects on the original art. The original art has 8 elements to it. Now I want to try something new, but without losing what I have, or creating a new file.

All of my manipulations took 100 frames. So I extended them all to 108 frames, thinking that frames 101-108 would give me the original unaltered artwork, but instead what I have is frame 108 extended (essentially the last frame of the animation.) This surprised me, since there is no keyframe or effect applied to the image, I thought I would naturally return to the “non-destructive” first image.

So I have 2 questions:
1. What don’t I understand?
2. What is the best way to copy a group of elements, and have them start again from scratch? (I assume this is a good time to start using the library feature?) Is there a way to simply “restart” the image without any effects applied?

thanks again