First off, let me introduce myself. I am Jonathan, a.k.a. Rakansen, and I’ll probably be hovering around these forums a lot. I’ve always been fascinated by animation and I never put down my pencil, so my current dream is to become either an animator or storyboard artist, and to animate just one film on my own.

On to the question though… I think it’s truly basic but I couldn’t figure it out. All I want to know is how to copy my drawings from one frame and paste them in the next frame in Toon Boom. I don’t want to extend the amount of time that the first frame stays on the screen, because for “In-between” animations I just hoped to edit the contour a little. Plus, If some things stay consistent throughout the next few frames, I’d rather not re-trace them.

Feel free to tell this noob if there’s a better way to do it.

On a side note, I was hoping my animation could be in the style of anime, so if you have any suggestions about the best way to animate that particular style, that’s also extremely welcomed. (Perhaps even different software if the Japanese studios use something else specifically for their style.)

That’s a great question and I’ll do my best to give you a reasonably complete answer in just a minute. First on the style issue that your raised, if you are wanting to adopt one of the Anime styles that’s certainly an artistic choice and you can be confident that TBS is style independent and perfectly suited to whatever animation style you want to use.
Now to answer your primary question. Here are some basic terms that I like to use to help explain some of the concepts of animating in TBS.

PICTURE: a single frame of your animation which can be composed of one or more picture elements.

EXPOSURE: the assignment of a picture element to a specific frame.

HOLD: a sequence of more than one frame containing the same picture.

CELL: a specific drawing or image uniquely named. Picture elements consist of at least one cell and usually many cells.

DRAWING: the artwork that is placed on a cell.

ANIMATION SEQUENCE: a series of incrementally changing pictures.

So lets begin with a very simple animation where each picture in the sequence is composed of only a single picture element ( a single drawing on a cell ). In order to create the illusion of movement (the animation) you must incrementally change the drawings that make up the sequence. The degree of incremental change between drawings controls how fast the movement appears. Small changes for slow movements and large changes for fast movement. You can create these incrementally changed drawings by several methods. You can start with an initial drawing on a cell, for this example we will name our cell A-1 were A is the element name. We have the cell A-1 assigned to (exposed on) frame 1. We now want to create a new drawing A-2 which will be assigned to frame 2 and we want A-2 to be exactly like A-1 except we are then going to incrementally change parts of A-2. So here is how we will proceed.

1. In the timeline we will select cell A-1 at frame 1 and press the keyboard shortcut key R. This repeats the exposure of cell A-1 on to frame 2. But so far all that does is give us a hold of A-1 for two exposures and we can’t modify the drawing without changing A-1 because we only have one drawing it is now just exposed twice.

2. We press the keyboard short cut S to move from frame 1 to the next frame in the sequence which is frame 2. We then right click to open the context menu and choose the option DUPLICATE DRAWING. This converts the cell A-1 at frame 2 into a new exact duplicate cell A-2 which we can now independently modify with out any effect to cell A-1.

So to recap the process is select the cell to duplicate, press R to extend its exposure one frame, press S to move to that next frame, and then execute the Duplicate Drawing command to create a new duplicate cell for our drawing. ( You can add a keyboard short cut of your own choosing for the DUPLICATE DRAWING command to speed up the process if you so choose)

After we modify drawing A-2 we will repeat the 2 step process described above to create drawing A-3 and then repeat it again to create A-4 and so on until we have completed the sequence. This is normally described as animating straight ahead.

That’s enough for tonight, if you want I will gladly explain how to split your animation into multiple elements where some elements hold while other elements change which is the basic method of limited animation so that you only change the parts that are moving and not the parts that are not moving. I also will gladly explain how you can adjust the timing of your animations too:

There are several blogs linked to this post below. The Craft of Making Cartoons has a nice series of articles I wrote on animation timing and is worth reading. The Cartooning In Toon Boom blog has many articles that cover most of the basics of using TBS and is constantly growing so check that out too. I hope this helps you to move forward on your projects and your learning and feel free to keep asking questions and myself and other members of this community will do our best to help you. -JK

Thank you so much, I deeply appreciate all your help. I’m starting on my first animation now that I know that much. :slight_smile: It’s not much, just a quick half-second animation, but I’m still at the experimenting stage. And thanks for offering to help even more. I’m content at the moment, but I will no doubt have another question soon. Thanks again!

You sound like you are taking a good approach. Small steps with reasonable goals is a good plan. And the best way to gain experience is to design small experiments and use them to perfect your techniques. I’m always glad to help and I look forward to hearing about your progress. -JK