New tradigital User, a few questions

Hi all; just purchased Animate Non-Pro and am really enjoying it. I’m using it for “tradigital” work.

Question 1: For frame by frame work, I’ve been tracing elements of the previous frame, and then repositioning the new drawing. Is that the optimum method for staying on-model (besides developing a better eye for it)? I see that the Pro version has the option of temporarily repositioning the previous drawing for tracing, which sounds pretty cool, but not $500 cool at the moment. :slight_smile:

Question 2: When repositioning a drawing, I have to hover very precisely over certain spots to access the right transform tools. For instance, if I want to move the drawing, I have to hover over a line. To rotate it, I have to hover over a finicky spot at one of the corners. If I mis-click slightly, I’ll click the background and deselect everything. The “advanced animation” transform tools behave more like I’d expect, but they seem to affect the whole layer rather than a single drawing.

Question 3: What are the little red pencil icons that show up in my X-Sheet?

Thanks for your input!


  1. When you say tracing, you are using the onion skin and redrawing? That’s one method. You can also do other things if there aren’t many changes like right-click on the next frame and do “extend exposure”. Then right click again and do drawings-> duplicate drawings. This will copy the drawing into a new cell and you can play with it there, erasing the parts that need to change and re-drawing them.

    As for “re-positioning”, if you are moving the whole layer you can use keyframes for that.

    2. If you are just changing the current drawing you can go into the drawing view so that only the current layer shows up. You can add it if you don’t have that the same as you can add a camera or x-sheet view. Also, you can just click on your background layer’s visibility (check box on the left at the bottom) to turn it off temporarily if you find you are clicking on it too much.

    I’m not sure what you’re doing, but I generally use quite a few layers and if I’m doing cut out it’s then easy to move the whole layer. Even if not, it’s easier to redraw a smaller piece moving than the whole thing. Rather than move lines I’ll generally just re-draw something if it’s a whole new look (using the union skin of the last drawing).

    3. I rarely look at the X-sheet so I can’t tell you much about it.


1) Why are you tracing parts rather than cutting and pasting?
2) When using the transform tool it’s a good idea to lock other layers, especially backgounds.
3) There was a post about this in the last few months which Lilly answered. I can’t find it.


Thanks for the replies.

I’ll probably end up cutting & pasting. Regardless, I’ll still have to move/rotate the pasted art. Same with duplicating drawings.

However, even since posting I’m finding my way around a little better. For instance, holding down Cmd temporarily invokes the select tool. Cool! And if I’m worried about being able to grab on to the art (what can I say, shaky hands), I just temporarily scribble a little blotch so I have something distinct to grab on to.

I think this’ll become moot once I start doing better-planned animations, and get better at staying on model without direct tracing or copying. Of course, I could also do limited animation, but I’m going for a Looney Tunes style right now.


I believe some folk create big transparent blocks/handles within a drawing to make them easier to select.


Indeed, you can fill your artwork in with a transparent colour to make it easier to grab, but if you’re in the middle of drawing and sketching then you might not want to do this (there could be lots of gaps). When using the select tool you might want to just zoom in a little to get a bigger line to grab onto.

Regarding the red pencil, it means that you’ve modified a drawing on that cell and you haven’t had a chance to save it yet.