Man, It's been forever since I played around in Toonboom..

I haven’t had anytime to devote to animation projects in FOREVER. I juiced up the toonboom application yesterday and just stared at where I previously left off…and I was so lost. For instance, I have a general question about animating figures or people…In regards to “NON - CUTOUT” style, old school animation, Is there a way to draw a figure or a person’s body, and then be able to animate their limbs, face or mouth moving, WITHOUT having to re-draw the entire figure EACH frame? Sort of a way to copy and paste the cell, then modify the arm, that you want to move, or leg you want to move…without having it change the base cell or drawing that you copied it from? Because if I copy the drawing of a girl standing still in cell # 01 and put it into the slot for cell #2, then erase her left arm from hanging at her side, and begin drawing the motion of her waving her left arm in the cell i’ve pasted in slot #2, it will then CHANGE the original cell or slot #1 drawing of the girl standing still…to the girl waving.

Hope that made sense. This is still all very new to me…So I’d appreciate a couple of tips on animating limbs of non-cut out style drawings…WITHOUT having to RE-DRAW the ENTIRE drawing each time.


There are several approaches possible to achieve what I believe you want to accomplish. First, you can do a “copy and change” type of technique as you started to describe. The important conceptual point being that you select and copy drawing objects from one cell and paste those drawing objects to a different cell. If you copy the first cell and paste the cell itself into a new exposure location then in fact you still only have one cell in two different frame exposures but it is still the same cell so your change would directly be to the original cell. This is not what you want. The contents of a cell can be selected and copied as drawing objects, this is different from copying the cell itself. You then need to create a second cell, at your next desired exposure location, by using the insert cell command and then you can paste the drawing objects which you copied from the first cell into the new cell and make your changes. The original cell is left unchanged this way. This approach works well, just be sure you are copying and pasting cell contents not the cells themselves.A second approach, which is more traditional, is called limited animation. You have correctly observed that portions of a character remain stationary while other portions of that character move. So in limited animation you will separate the character into multiple drawing elements that will be overlaid. That means multiple columns in your exposure sheet. An example is a character’s head might be on one element and held constant for many sequential exposures while on other element layers, that are on top of that head element, you have the characters mouth and eyes, for example, which are being changed more frequently over that same sequence of frames. You can expand this technique to be more than just a head to being the entire character’s body. Again some parts of the character are held constant for multiple exposures while other parts are changed more frequently. Parts that change together can be in the same element, while parts that change at different rates should be placed in separate elements. This allows you to control the timing of motion of different parts separately. I hope this points you in the right direction. -JK

Bravado,In a nutshell, click on the drawing of a girl standing still in cell # 01 and Edit>Copy, click on blank cell #02 and Edit>Paste New Object. this will copy your original drawing and allow you to, for example, erase her arm and re-draw it in a different position without changing the original drawing in cell # 01.Ron

bravado,the other way is to click the image in the frame #01 in the exposure sheet, copy it (ctrl-c), then go to the next frame and paste a new image (ctrl-shift-v). this new image looks exactly like the first one, but the changes apply only to the #02.generally:in case of many frames in your films, watch out the project file size. instead of copies use clones. they don’t require that much memory.cheers,rob

Awesome. Thanks for the quick responses guys. I appreciate each of them, and will immediately go to work on my project, thanks to you all. Everytime I’ve been in this forum with a question, everyone has been great. Thanks again. Long live Voltron, the defender of the universe.

Wow been so long since I was on here…kinda lost time to do animation as I’m more working on Post Production now. Anyway have to do something in tbs so maybe i’ll have to ask some more questions in the near future, we shall see!Chris.oh and gester you’re still here eh? There’s commitment for ya! :wink:

hi chris :)hehe, my working tool (which happens to be tbs) is my commitment. i’m sticking to it till the death does part us :P(or we get divorced before ;D ;D ;D)cheers,rob