Checking out the tutorials (http://learn.toonboom.com/modules/how-to-draw-panels?c=3) it’s unclear whether the same background is being applied across all panels or if you need to manually update each background in the event something in the background changes.
In flash, you would just change the one symbol and it’s updated in every instance used. Here, it seems like this is more like an old school xerox style copy/paste? I’m hoping I’m wrong. I’m trying the demo and it seems to be limited to a frame by frame basis.
Ideally it would be nice to be able to begin sketching a background, explore acting, then grow the background as needed(without constant copy/paste) based on where the story leads in developing it, vs needing to fit the story into a background drawn before the storytelling exploration had barely begun.
*Also can we use 3D sets as background layer objects to be rotated/scaled as needed? Sketching 3D BG’s with blender grease pencil then importing them here would be really useful.
So you need to Share the background layer on your first panel and then Duplicate the panel (not create a new panel):
When you have a new shot right click on the background layer and click on “Share Drawing” (or go to the Layer menu and click on “Share Drawing”). It should create a little star next to your background layer.
When you need a new panel click on the Duplicate Selected Panel icon (or go Storyboard - Duplicate Selected Panel) If you can’t see the icon go to Windows - Toolbars - Storyboard. (If you click New Panel it won’t work as it won’t have the Shared Drawing. You have to click Duplicate Selected Panel)
Delete everything in your character layer.
If you make any changes on the background in either of the panels it should update in both.
Your shared drawings also show up in your library in your “Shared” folder, but I’ve never had use for that. Also since all my background layers are named “BG” it’s very hard to tell them apart in the library.
The shared drawing is explained here from 12:40 - 13:18 and then 16:10 - 18:50 https://www.toonboom.com/webinars/storyboard-pro-5-sneak-peek
Personally I think it’s a bit heavy handed and have set up some shortcuts to speed up the process.
Q = My background brush that automatically selects my background layer (set up in the Tool Presets).
W = My character brush that automatically selects my character layer (set up in the Tool Presets).
Shift + Q = Share Drawing
R = Duplicate Panel
Alt + R = New Panel
Shift +R = New Scene/Shot
That way I just have to hit Q and then Shift + Q every time I start a new shot. And R when I need a new panel with the background linked/shared. For me this works pretty well and once I got used to the shortcuts it becomes second nature and you don’t think about it. All the new short cuts are also close to the main other shortcuts (Zoom In/Out, Ereaser, Rotate Canvas, Reset Canvas Rotation, Hand Tool, etc.)
Note, every time I have unshared a drawing that used to be shared, that drawing has disappeared when I closed down ToonBoom and opened it again. The layer is still there, but it’s empty. So I find that if I do need to unshare a drawing it is better to just delete that layer on that panel and create a new layer (and just copy paste the drawing from the previous panel if needed). However I’m not sure if this is a bug because of my settings/computer or if it is a Toon Boom bug, but just something to be aware of.