Converting keyframes to drawings


I’m wondering, is there a way to convert motion keyframes to drawings the same way we do with morphing.
I’m asking because I want to merge a couple of layers, but both of them have motion keyframes and when i merge them my transformations combine in a weird way.

I hope someone can help, thanks in advance.

Hi Sussie,

thanks for your comment and question. There is no direct way to ‘bake’ or convert motion keyframes to drawings, as in with the morphing. There are some other possible options. It would be helpful if you could write again and let us know what your end goal is in converting the motion keyframes to drawings, and then we can give you a more helpful answer.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for your reply, I spent the weekend watching some of your tutorials online, I found them helpful. Thanks for that.

Back to my question, I’m animating a character traditionally. Once it was done I realized I missed an element, so I added it in a new layer and found it easier to animate with motion keyframes.
Now im cleaning up my scene and is kinda annoying to have this little element by itself when it should be a part of an other layer.
I guess if all I want to do is clean my scene, I could make a symbol out of my two layers.

That’s a very old thread, but I have the same problem on Harmony 17 - I cannot find any way to convert frames with keyframes to regular drawings - this is extremely counter-productive. For example - I made a walk cycle on spot, then I used motion keyframes to spread the cycle along the scene. Now I want to get rid of the keyframes I used and convert the cycle to simple drawings, so I can repeat and merge them etc. Seems impossible, other than redrawing the whole thing again, or repositioning each drawing manually one by one. sooo frustrating!

Actually, I am not sure why you would want to. Using the same art and moving it with a peg or keyframes allows you to cut down exponentially on clean-up. If you have an animation set that you wish to loop or to move all as one, add a peg on top of the layers so you can move them all as one. Or you can convert the layers to a symbol and repeat that multiple times. Either way, unless I am misunderstanding the issue, making it all one drawing layer will just add work. Leave them on their layers and use groups and pegs to achieve better production speed and quality. Hopefully this helps.

Thanks for your input! Some of the suggestions seem promising - attaching a peg is a good idea - will it let me manipulate the placement and size of the whole layer at once despite the existing keyframes? But the main problem is that in my case I need to manipulate the existing cycle so that it does different things during the scene, hence the need to convert them into individual drawings. Besides there is another big problem - when I merge layers with existing motion keyframes, it all gets completely messed up. Therefore again - I want the animation to become normal drawings in order to merge them properly… unless there is another good way?

The peg will allow you to change size and position of everything attached to it. So that should handle some of your issue. Key frames are positional(and size based) If you merge layers there are no keyframes for it to work from, so it just remembers the position of the art. For a good idea of what your merge will look like, if you go to the drawing view, you will see that the asset you have keyframes on, is not moving in relation to your traditionally animated art. So when you merge, that piece will stay. Keyframes are basically repositioning artwork as though they are the mouth on cellophane in old animation. You can’t merge them, but you can move them to your heart’s content. The other plus side, is if you are needing your animation to cycle into new spaces in the scene, your peg will keep everything together and you can stack pegs to move it forward or backward as the other peg is only responsible for going across the screen etc. This means the art is untouched and you can do whatever you want to it. If you want to cycle it, you can. If you want to copy art and add a wave or catch a ball etc you can without losing all that extra work and having to start over. So once again, you don’t want to merge the art. It defeats the purpose of all these time saving tools. As a traditional animator, you just need to think of it in terms of old tv animation and the way those were done. Hopefully this helps. Unfortunately if you are dead set on merging the art, your best bet is going to be copying the art from the top layer and then keep that layer as a template while you copy and paste it into each frame on your main art layer. I wouldn’t recommend it. That’s a pain and really does defeat the purpose of all the tools at your disposal.

Thank you for this thorough answer. I understand the advantages of using pegs and reusing the same drawings on cycles, etc, although this stuff is a bit technical, and for me coming from TVPaint it is still a learning curve. In TVPaint everything seems much more intuitive and simple for classical animation, but I can compare Toon Boom to Flash (Adobe Animate), of which I am an expert, and I might think, that people who just start animating on it also have this kind of struggle. So I understand the need to learn some of this tricky stuff.
Having said that, I think there MUST be a function to turn any visible material on a layer into normal drawings, exactly because of the reasons you’ve mentioned - for example so I can work properly in the Drawing view mode, or for properly merging layers if needed - for example for coloring…
I am working on a scene of about 300 frames, and there is a walk cycle of a character along the whole scene, and what I need now is for this character to do something different with each step - basically I need to break the cycle and turn it into individual drawings and have full control of each drawing. This is a bit of a pain… I thought maybe merging the layer with some other empty layer will do the trick, but it didn’t… this is why I think it’s important to have such a function.