Moving copied objects from back to front


In addition to my previous question on moving copied objects I would like to know how you can move a copied object from back to front and vice versa.

When I copy an object in the camera view using the drawing select tool, and paste it to a new cel, it can be moved left/right and up/down without affecting the position of the object in the original cel. However, if I move it back/forth in the camera view the object in the original cel moves along.

Is there a solution to this?


If you have art work on two or more unique cells, each unique cell is visually independent of the other cells and if you move that art on one cell it won’t change the art on the other cells. Think of each unique cell as a separate piece of transparent paper. As a general rule, I always advise artists using TBS to work on cells in drawing view. Drawing view simulates working at a drawing board. Drawing View and Camera View have two totally different purposes and one of the best tips for being successful in animating in TBS is to understand which view is used for which purposes and to not violate that separation. (The software will allow changes to art on a cell from Camera View but this feature was implemented as a practical convenience for very rare occasions and not as the norm.)

When you are in camera view you are actually simulating working at your animation camera stand, so you are actually manipulating how the art work on your cells will be displayed and not the actual art work on the cells themselves. You are adjusting the position of the art work on your cells relative to the location of the camera. These types of display adjustments can be made either at the scene level or at the individual frame level.

To make scene level adjustments you move drawing elements in Camera View using the Drawing Select tool or by making numerical entries on the Properties Panel. As a general rule, you only want to make scene level display adjustments for staging your art at the beginning of a scene prior to any frame level display settings (keyframing). So to position an entire element in front of other elements or to locate the starting display position or display size of an element you would make a scene level adjustment. These type of adjustments effect the way all the cells in the element are displayed in relation to the camera. If you look at the individual cells in the element in Drawing View, these display adjustments won’t show up because you aren’t modifying the cells just how they will be displayed in your scene.

So any time you want to control an aspect of how an entire element will be displayed for a scene, you can use a scene level display adjustment. There are relatively few situations where you will want to do this, mostly for dealing with layering conflicts created by parent child relationships that change the normal list ordering of elements (rigging cut-outs) or for the static placing of props or background art. I normally refer to scene level adjustments as “static” adjustments because they are really only supposed to be used for setting the display attribute of an element that you do not intend to dynamically change (animate) in a scene.

The more usual display adjustments are done at the individual frame level. These types of display adjustments are referred to as keyed frame adjustments or keyframing for short. You normally make all keyframe adjustments using the Scene Transform Tool. A keyframe adjustment controls a display attribute of the art starting at the frame where it is applied and that adjustment remains in control of the display of that attribute of the art until a new keyframe adjustment of that same attribute is made on a succeeding frame in the Timeline. So keyframe adjustments can last for as short as a single frame in time or as long as the total number of frames in an entire scene. But again, like all display adjustments, keyframe adjustment don’t effect the art on the actual cells they only effect how that art is oriented in relation to the camera.

Keyframe display adjustments are essentially control dial settings for the operation of your virtual animation stand. Because TBS provides a very complex and sophisticated multi-plane animation camera stand, the usage of keyframing is very powerful. You have the ability to set display controls for each display attribute (north-south position,east-west position,front-back position,rotation angle,etc.) for each exposed frame for each exposed element. So let’s say that you are adjusting 5 attributes of display on each frame in a scene of 500 frames for each element (let’s assume 50 elements for this example) . That would be 5 x 50 x 500= 125000 key frame adjustments. That’s a whole lot of camera stand dial settings. The virtual cameraman is a busy guy.

Hopefully this is helping to clear up some of your questions. -JK

Wow, I followed your instructions and it works! Looks like you wrote ‘Toon Boom: The Missing Manual’ :wink:

Thanks again for your elaborate answer.


P.S. I looked at your site (, nice work!