Extend exposure without affecting frames in front?

This is why I can’t work with TBS for long without tearing my hair out…

Say I have two drawings on frame 1 and frame 3.
frames 2 and 4 are empty.
If I set the exposure of drawing 1 to two frames, it moves drawing 2 to frame 4, and inserts an empty frame at frame 4.

I don’t want that empty frame!! I just want to fill in the gap between the two drawings.
Especially in a situation where I’m not sure how I want to time something out, it would be nice if TBS had that flexibility.

I know I could click on frame 2, and instruct it to use drawing 2, but that slows me down. Especially if I’ve got a hundred frames or so, with a few dozen drawings, and I just want to fill in the gaps without figuring out what number goes where.
Please do this, Toon Boom, if you’re reading.

exposure extending doesn’t overwrite anything, it only moves the existing frames further back (but copy/paste DOES). and this is ok so.
i sometimes preview my ready animations and change the exposure settings on the fly when the animation is too jerky or too extended. following your idea i would have my film structure destroyed then.

the trade-off of filling empty film parts with new frames in order to have less work wouldn’t work in the long run.

Let me say this is something I can do in a Flash timeline just by hitting Shift+F6. If you’re doing pose to pose animation, and have a struggle to add the frames between those poses without destroying the timing, why use TBS?

I know TBS is not a substitute for Flash, but I would like to take advantage of TBS’s features with the ease of the Flash interface.

I’m starting dislike opening TBS, because more often than not I end up posting on this forum than completing a cartoon.

Pose to Pose Technique

Here is a suggested approach to doing pose to pose animation in an element in TBS. This is certainly not the only approach, but one that will work nicely.

Step 1: Begin by drawing your main pose drawings in adjacent frame cells sequentially. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5

Step 2: To begin your creation of in between drawings, for example an in between for A1, A2, you right click on A2 in the exposure sheet and from the context menu select insert blank cell or use the keyboard short cut R. This will insert a blank cell in between A1 and A2. Now any time you want to add a new cell in between just follow this procedure of going to the cell just past where you want the new cell added and use R to add a new blank cell just above it in the exposure sheet.

So you can start with A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and add in betweens as A1, A6, A2, A7, A3, A8, A4, A9, A5. Then if you want additional in betweens just keep following the same approach until you’ve created the desired timing and spacing you wanted.

PS: check the Tips and Tricks thread to see how we create sequentially numbered cells for our animation work and we use the properties window to insert them as needed. In that approach the drawing and frame number match identically so you never need to remember which drawing number you want to insert at a specific frame. It also makes spotting 1’s VS 2’s super easy. But for a Flash like approach, what I described above works equally well. -JK

this method is fine and works well, but unless one animates to a special soundtrack, where the music sets the moods and positions of key poses.

Poses are just boundaries in a sequence. The number and spacing of the in betweens is dictated by the goals of the animator. But this technique is independent of external decisions. It merely allows the animator to fill in the in betweens in an iterative process. The addition of a sound track may make the timing less free form and easier to predict but the steps aren’t different with or without the sound track just the degree of external restriction on the outcome. In fact, most pose to pose animation is used in order to accommodate a sound track’s requirements. Otherwise one might just as well work straight ahead if there are no predetermined synchronizations mandated. But the question being responded to here has to do with integrating in between drawings into an element in the exposure sheet, which TBS accommodates easily as described. -JK

the method you described resembles the straight ahead approach, because the development is linear from the beginning.

i only pointed out that the animation to some soundtrack (like a music video) can’t work this way, because the poses there have to be set all over the audio track length, and preview as the whole to get the overall feeling.

in other words: i pointed out to an example where this method is of no use.
nothing more.
and nothing less.

Let’s say I’ve got a bit of dialog to do that lasts 50 frames. I’m animating on twos.
I put my drawings down to match it… maybe 5 drawings scattered along the timeline.
Then I want to go back and do the inbetweens, …20 drawings.
Now I’ve got 25 drawings on twos, scattered along 50 frames. The rest are empty frames.

TBS would have me go through that timeline and fill in every other frame with the drawing number preceeding it. That’s a huge waste of time. It should have that option to just select the whole timeline and ditch the empty frames without effecting the position of those that are filled in.

But I just have a feeling this will never happen… or it will, but for Solo. They’re done improving Toon Boom Studio.

ScottyA, A totally unfair statement.

Rob, what can I say that wouldn’t result in further insipid argument, you win. -JK

I would love to be proved wrong…

Hi Scotty,

Toon Boom Studio and Toon Boom Solo has 2 completely different development team and Studio is still developped as whole software. We are taking in consideration all the feature request you post and send to us and try to squeeze in as many as we can for next releases to come.

Best regards,


That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day… thanks!

jk, i’m not competing with anybody to win here, i try to stay matter-of-factly. i’ve only brought an example that contradicted your theory.
oooops, sorry, i’ve forgotten only your arguments are glamorous. every other user talks insipidly.

apparently you’re incapable of admitting any tiny flaw of your argumentation.

I don’t see how this has been fixed in Toon Boom 4, so I’ll ask again.


That’s my timeline. I draw images where I need them.
How do I stretch out those exposures to look like this;


Without going in and manually numbering each frame?

This has not been a problem that needed to be corrected in V4 because it has been a feature previously. I will do a more extensive blog article when time permits, but if you read the page in the WIKI it might help you to better understand the technique. Adjusting Timing Using Set Exposure

Don’t start out spacing your cells as you have then shown in your first time line example. Lay them out in a contiguous sequence. Then use set exposure to adjust their relative position as described in the WIKI article referenced above. Try it and you will see that it works very well. -JK


For the moment what you could do instead of numbering all the frames is to do a drag and drop from the timeline while keeping control pressed. You will need to do it for each frame but this should still be more convenient.

We are looking into a more convenient way to get it done (probably Cntrl+drag to the last position will fill all inbetween). In any case this feature is currently under examination.

Best regards,