Drawing Substitutions Questions

I’m having some trouble understanding Drawing Substitutions. Do I have to import symbols to swap drawings? or can I also draw substitute elements on the stage? I’ve been watching the hierarchy setup in Character Rigging Tutorial, but when I try to do the same thing that he’s doing I can’t graduate to the next substitution.

I’ve made a figure and that’s drawing 1. I’ve hit f5 to proceed to the next frame and went to Drawing/Duplicate Drawing. Then I drew with the pen tool an outstretched arm because I wanted to use this as a substitute gesture. However, the first frame became like the second so it didn’t change. Ugh. I have done this before and it worked and I’ve taken notes too, but for some reason I can’t do it now.

I hope someone can clarify my confusion. And, thanks again for all the help! it is really working. I am learning.

Okay I’ve tried and tried this and it doesn’t work for some reason. When I put a new drawing in that is copied to the same drawing layer and there is no substitution.
"Okay so what you actually want to do is go to the next frame and Extend Exposure (this should be set to F5 unless you’re using Flash shortcuts?). THEN you duplicate your drawing. Now you should have a new drawing and you can then modify this drawing to be your second drawing."

I don’t understand how I can say vary the hand gestures and bring them onto the timeline with drawing substitutions and I’ve read the Manual and watched videos too. Is there anyone out there who can explain this simply so that it will work? that would be wonderful!

You dont need to import symbols to swap drawings unless the drawings you want to sub are inside a symbol. Are you working w symbols or raw art on the stage? Lilly’s instructions should have done the trick.

The only way to begin to dissect the problem is either a screen shot or a short video capture showing what you are doing. Try recording your screen quickly with a site like http://www.screentoaster.com then post the link so we can see where you are going wrong.

Hi Alex,

For some reason her suggestion didn’t work. I tried to extend the exposure one frame, then duplicate the drawing, then make a new gesture, but the new gesture changed all the previous frames, not creating a new hand in this case. So, do I go to Duplicate in the Edit Menu, or Duplicate Drawing? could that be the problem?

Not sure how to do the Screen shot. I’ll see if I can do that, but I still don’t see why this is not working. It seems simple enough. Is there another way?


I’m not sure if you’ll be able access this screen shot. I made it private because i thought I should.


Let me know if you can’t and maybe you could tell me how to get this to you.

You mentioned that you are copying one drawing to another?

let’s say you have a drawing on frame 1, then you copy it and paste it on frame 2.

If you are copying the cell and then pasting it further down the timeline then any changes you make to the one you pasted will also apply to the one you copied it from.

cause when you paste the Cell it contains the same drawing from the cell you copied it from.

Here’s how I do it, (and again this works for me and I dont know if it is the “proper” way)

Make a drawing on cell one (frame1)

then go to frame 2 - right click and select drawings create empty drawing.

Then copy whatever artwork is on frame1 selecting it with the select tool and either go control copy or Edit copy drawing Object.

Then paste it on frame 2. Any changes you make to it on frame 2 will not apply to frame 1.

Keep your eye on the drawing name in the drawing Substitutions window. If the name is the same as any other cell in the timeline any changes you make will also apply to them as well.

Another way is (Just to point out the drawing names) …

Lets say you have a drawing in Frame 1. look at the name of it in the Library. Say its called drawing 1. select it (the Frame)and right click - Drawings - Duplicate drawing, notice how the name changes in the Substitution window. so drawing 1 would probably be renamed to drawing 1_1 or something of the sorts. Any changes you make to drawing 1_1 will not apply to drawing 1.

Here I recorded this to show you … http://www.screentoaster.com/watch/stVE1WRkNIR1BfQ1pbUl9dVl9R

All that I just said above was just to show you that you have to keep your eye on the Drawing names, which is is only a problem (from personal experience) when you are copying and pasting drawings, but normally you should be able to just draw on frame 1 then draw on frame 2 and so on as Lilly mentioned.

A common mistake is to copy the cell and paste it further down the timeline, which is something I use to do.

Hope this helps

Oh you are working with symbols. Try to extend the exposure inside the symbol to see if that does anything…

Go inside the symbol and extend the exposure all the way to the end of it Inside the symbol.

Here is another video, I think this should do it for you … Let me know if that did it.


I understood the screen shot thanks for that! however, when I put the new hand in on the same layer it knocked out the pivots for the other hand and the other hand shot way off to the right. Ugh. So, how do I keep the first hand from moving anywhere while adding more drawings to the layer? If I lock the first hand then I can’t seem to add another substitute.

This below is more explanation of what I’m trying to do.

I do want to know how I can import other versions of elements and use them in the Drawing Sub window. I don’t understand how to do that.

I have two hands. The first I’ve used for about 30 frames and now I want to change to the second hand. I made a symbol for the hand. I tried to change the name to righthandx2, but the name is staying as “symbol”. It is showing up in the drawing sub window if I double click on “symbol” in the library then righthandx2 shows up.

What I can’t do is get this new hand onto the same drawing layer as the first right hand. I wanted simply to substitute the new revised hand and then will go back to the other one at some point.


I’ve put the new symbol in the Library, but can’t figure out how to use it as a drawing substitution.


How can I get Drawing Substitutions into the Drawing Sub box? so that I can access them? this may be simple, but I don’t see how to do it. If I could do that then I think the biggest issue is that the previous symbol on that drawing layer moves and I don’t want it to.

If your symbol contains multiple drawings inside of it, then when you select it in the main camera view all of it’s contents will appear in the Drawing Subs box.

So all that you have to make sure of is that your symbol contains multiple drawings inside of it and the exposure is set correctly and that’s it.

But, how would I pick just one of the drawings from the multiple choices from within the symbol? would that show up in the DS box? thanks for your help!

Okay, so I went to my Library and to the hand symbol I’d made. I double clicked on that and created another hand on the stage from within the symbol. However, when I go back to the Drawing Sub box I see both, but can’t access the second hand to use in the hand layer as a Drawing Substitution. This is driving me craaaazy! Help Alex!

Ok buddy, I am going to record another video and I want you to do exactly as I do it ok?


Okay Alex. I’m going to try this after I go upstairs and get some sustenance. And, I thank you very much too! I will let you know if I can understand what you’re doing here. It does seem easy, but I have been doing it wrong. So, I’ll see if this will help. I’ll let you know real soon. I’m just weak after so much work here.

Hi Alex,

I did what you showed me in the Screen Capture and it worked. Except when I went back to the timeline I discovered that my original hand is all over the place. It left it’s place on the lower arm and the pivot I had made for it and now it’s all a big mess. Why did that happen?

I made the Drawing Substitutions in the symbol layer of the right hand.

Thanks for your help. If I could get things to just stay in place and use this feature: the DSubs it would be great.

you probably didn’t set your pivots correctly which opens up another can of worms.

Thank-you Alex. I’ll try this in the morning and let you know. The pivots seem tricky. Is there a way to make sure that they stay fixed? I know that Lilly told me what to do, but to be honest, I didn’t understand all of it.

are all the drawings on top of each other in the same space?

Are the pivots set using the set pivot tool (not moving the pivot on the transform tool as that is temporary)?

Did you use the option set pivots for all drawings?

If your drawings have different pivots did you set them all individually?


I’m going to check all of this and get back to you. I don’t think I had all of the hands in the same place because when I drew them I couldn’t see the 1st one underneath. So, that needs to be dealt with for sure. I’m going to the file right now and report back. But, I use the pivot tool to set the pivots. Set pivots for all drawings? I haven’t done that yet. I did set the pivots individually.

So, what are the steps to do this so that I won’t have the objects in the wrong places? simple steps. That would be so very helpful.