hectic symbol folder logic.


If I drag the same symbol, say the character ‘Bob’ twice onto the stage, I get duplicates of all of Bob’s parts. For example, Bob (2), Bob nose (2), Bob eyes (2) etc. If I drag him on a third time, hey presto, three Bobs in my Symbols folder, with thrice their parts. and scores of parenthesises after the name… aaAAAarrgh!! It’s all quite unreadable and confusing.

Working this way on Bob, after a couple of days I end up with HUNDREDS of duplicates in the folder and it’s impossible to clean it up because the referencing among different symbols doesn’t allow erasing. Very very frustrating…
Basically, after a few times trying to rationalize it, I gave up on the Symbol folder, I just let it grow and grow and hope this bloating won’t create problems.

I am accustomed to the Flash library, and in this respect it was much more straightforward. If you dragged the same symbol into the scene it simply asked ‘do you want to replace the older version?’.
I love Animate, I’m using it as my n. 1 app, but to be honest this way of organizing Symbols is utter Hell.

This has another downside: if more than one character share common symbols, say the same legs symbol, by dragging them onto the stage, you get two different and completely independent and unrelated leg symbols.
This totally annuls the advantage of being able to achieve multiple edits by editing just one symbol, which was one of the strengths (probably the only, thinking back) in the Flash logic (sorry to make this comparison, but given the absolute superiority of Animate, it really could use a few time-saving improvements.

Symbol swapping would be another absolutely indispensable life-saving feature. A must.

thank you

extend the original bob symbol to include the drawings from the other symbols ? then all you have to do is select the drawing within the symbol.

thank you dudiedood.
I’m afraid I don’t understand (sorry, my bad).
I don’t understand what you mean… d’you mean Bob should all be in one Peg?

I put all the Bob Symbols into one Peg. Bob head, Bob eyes, Bob arm, legs, mouth etc. So the Peg contains all of Bob’s symbols and drawings.
If I drag the Bob peg with all the symbols into a new scene, the Symbol library copies all of Bob’s symbols.
So far, so good.

But if I drag him again I’ll start getting Bob symbols followed by a (2).
I get copies of Bob Symbols every time I add him to the scene. (2) (2) (3)

Even if I edit Bob’s Symbols by doing ‘Edit template’ (you’d figure Animate would understand I’m working on the original Bob symbols because I want those to be updated in the scene, not added as new ones) and then drag him onto the stage, I still get copies!
By the end of a day the library is a mess. Four, five copies of each Bob piece.
And with all the parenthesises, the names get so long you simply can’t read them anymore.

What am I doing wrong? :frowning:
All I want is my symbols to stay the same ones.
If I want copies, I’ll ask Animate to duplicate…

thanks for lending an ear! :slight_smile:

It could be me not understanding your problem fully, do you need more than one bob on the stage at any one time or are they different versions of bob in different places on the timeline ? My suggestion is to include any/all of the animation within one bob symbol and just select the drawings from that symbol…or… If you need more than one bob on make another symbol with 2 bobs then double that up to 4 etc you could have one symbol with however many bobs you need and only one entry on the timeline .

hi Dudiedood, thank you very much again for taking interest I really appreciate it.
Also because the Symbols in Animate are making my work pretty hard.

Maybe I was a bit complicated in explaining. I’ll make a practical example:

1) open a new scene
2) draw a smile on the stage
3) convert it into a Symbol and call him Bob

so far so good…

4) drag the Bob Symbol into your library
5) drag him back onto the stage
now here’s the problem
7) look into your Symbol folder: you have Bob and… Bob (2)

Edit Bob (paint a moustache on him), and Bob(2) will be untouched.

We have problem 1:
Bob and his clone are two independent, completely autonomous objects.

Boiled down to its essential, the Library and the Symbols Folder are two completely unrelated features. The Library, albeit very crude (no searching, no automatic updating), works. But the Symbol Folder is just like an old bucket. You put stuff in there, and it just grows and grows.

What good is it to have two (or three, four, five) independent and unconnected Bobs if the whole point of Symbols is that you can easily edit one to edit all? It kind of seems to elude the whole Symbols purpose, doesn’t it?

Problem 2:
if instead of being a smile for this explanation purpose, Bob is made up of tens of different Symbols for all his body parts (like in reality, of course, he is), two or three dragging him from the library will turn your Symbol Folder into a humongous, useless, mess. The parenthesises cludder I mentioned in my previous post.

I like Animate a lot, I really do, and I’m using it for a major project right now.
But this LIbrary and Symbol Folder part, I’m sorry to say, is the very low low point of the app.
I come from Flash. I’ve in fact abandoned it for Animate, and I have no regrets, except I wished I had Flash’s library back.
Just the Flash library and that incredibly easy Symbol usage.

I have had a play around and mine does not behave in the way you describe ??? all my stage copies change when I change a symbol, maybe you may be dragging the symbol into your animate library ? if you have made it a symbol it should dragged from the Symbols folder in the library? hope this helps.

in fact, you are right. If you only limit yourself to using the Symbol Folder, and drag and drop only from there, it works. No copies.

But if you drag a Symbol from the Animate Library and drag it out again, then you get the copies.
The Animate Library converts Symbols into Templates (.tpl).
When you drag them out on the stage again, they turn back into Symbols.
But then, you get the copies problem!

The problem seems to be in these terms:
The copies problem arouses only when using the Animate Library to store your Symbols.
But since you need to retrieve Symbols for different scenes via the Animate Library, how can you avoid using it?


The animate library is for project to project items and the symbols library is for project items. Why not put it in your animate library and then you can make a symbol out of him/him anytime you like ?

true, but Projects are quite limited. The can’t contain scenes (as far as I know). I suppose you can put scenes in templates and save them in the Animate Library, but that still doesn’t solve the problem of having Symbols that are unrelated to each other and that keep on ‘reproducing’ as you drag them on stage.
The moment a Symbol is dragged into the Animate Library, it looses al links to the present Scene.

You’re also right on that you can create a Symbol out of a Template anytime you like, but somehow it doesn’t sound right. I mean, in a modern work flow, especially with close deadlines, you don’t want to spend time rebuilding and renaming stuff you’ve already created before.
An advanced Library should be able to keep strict track of your Symbols. You want a place where they will stay forever and be neatly organised. You want an explorer so you can find stuff. Not a jumbled heap as it is now.

I guess it also depends on how one works. Maybe if you do more frame by frame and use an occasional Symbole here and there, I suppose it doesn’t matter. But if you use Symbols intensively, like every piece you draw becomes a Symbol, then you’re bound to need a better way to store them. I can’t figure out why at Toon Boom they didn’t work that one out better…