Fighting the Exposure Sheet

I’m working on a fairly basic animation at the moment, trying to extend my TBS knowledge. I keep running into this scenario: I want to reuse a drawing from an element that I’ve already created. So I go to the Exposure Sheet and scroll through 400 frames until I find that drawing. Copy it, scroll back down, then paste it into its new position on the Exposure Sheet.

This feels unintuitive and is really slowing me down. I feel like there’s a window or view that I can’t find that will just show me all drawings I’ve created, sorted by element. Either that or I’m not using the Exposure Sheet as it was intended.

I could use some guidance here.
Thank you,

Hi Will,

I am wondering, have you tried using the cell swapping function. Basically if you are on the same drawing element if you can use the properties window under the Cell tab. There you will have a slider that will give you the possibility to reuse previously drawn element in that column.

This should avoid the scrolling and you can see exactly what the drawing is with the preview window above the slider.

Hope this will help you on your projects.

Best regards,


I did the same thing for some time and found it clunky and slow as well. Took me a while to find a better way.

Try switching to sceneplanning layout and use the Cells tab in Properties. This will affect both the timeline and the x-sheet, but is a quicker approach. It rocks, actually. Use the slider or enter a cell name in the box.

Here’s a shot of the cells tab for a hand element I had in some piece or other:

The Properties panel Cells tab is great for doing cell swapping as described by Rob and Ugo. It has a couple of drawbacks that need to be observed. First, when you are on a specific frame and you scan through your existing element’s cells, it automatically swaps the current cell in that frame for the cell that is visible in the Cells tab preview window. That’s good and bad. Good because it is fast, and bad because it loses track of the cell that was previously there and if you change your mind, you have to go and find that previous cell. Also if you have a large number of cells in your element the search process is difficult and if you created your cells using a fairly random numbering scheme then knowing where to look is more difficult. But the swapping capabilities are excellent otherwise.

Here is a trick we use. Open the Library panel and navigate to Animation>Scene for your current scene and select the element you want to utilize. Then in the Library display window you can view all the cells for that element at once. Turn on the View>Thumbnails and you have a fast easy way to pick your desired cell. Then when you go to the Cells tab of the Properties window you just type in the cell number of that cell to place it on your desired frame or frame range in the x-sheet. This works extremely well for elements which contain more than a few cells. There is also a copy to current frame context menu command in the Library display window by right clicking to open that context menu. Hope this is helpful -JK

Awesome guys, thank you. I think this was a big piece of the puzzle for me.