Quickly Reusing animations

I know of Toon Boom’s use of drawing substitution feature when quickly swapping out drawings, but I have not found smooth way to go about something the way I did in flash.

Example: I have one shot of a person lighting candles. I have the candles on one layer, and the animated flames on duplicated drawing layer.

Then the next shot is of a window with the sun setting, no candles in sight.

Then I go back to the candles, but from a different perspective. I want to reuse the flame animate cycle from the first shot but change the size. In flash, All this was was having a Movie Clip on a new key frame and resizing it. I understand Toon Boom has Symbols, but I do not believe I have utilized them properly, for if I make one symbol in one frame and extend that exposure, it is only playing that one frame of the embedded symbol instead of playing on a loop like a movie clip, so I must again set up the initial frames and make a cycle.

Also, when I want to recall a drawing from a previous shot, when I insert a substituted drawing, it automatically fills in the blank space between the first shot and the later shot, causing the drawing to appear in the shot between the two, forcing me to navigate back to the first shot clear the exposure of what I want to be empty space.

Is there a more efficient way about doing this?

If you want to play the whole movie clip from the symbol, you should drag and drop that symbol from library to name of the layer in the timeline, instead on the part of the timeline with the frames.


I may have misunderstood but I’ll have a go anyway.

1) Create a symbol of one complete flame cycle and bring this into the project as many times as required. Attach it to a peg to re-size.
2) There is a “create empty drawing” facility which can be used to fill gaps between substitutions but this is not an elegant solution.


Thanks for the help. I think I just need to get a better hold of using stop keyframes on pegs to change position/size of drawings. I have that “fill selection” allow me to leave empty frames and then make a drawing reappear later in a scene without a hassle.

instead of making them a symbol, drop them to a different library folder to make a template instead now you can keep pulling the candles out of the template folder and put them on another layer. You can then manipulate them without affecting the other candles. you can make action templates like the symbols that contain short movie clips.

Graphic Chamber

Thanks Lilly

That was helpful.
If there was a -LIKE-BUTTON- for the postings on this forum you had
got one from me on this.


Yes the “paste special” option really helped, thanks!

A couple of things that might help out.

When you drag your symbol onto the timeline, if you hold down the Control key, this will pop a Paste Special dialog. You can select “Paste all frames of symbol” and also cycle it as many times as you want. This will then just paste the whole cycle in the timeline with some loops on it.

Also another thing to be aware of is if you don’t want frames filling in between, if you want empty frames, then you can adjust this. There are two ways to adjust this. One is in your Paste Special options. So if you do a Ctrl+C to copy, then a Ctrl+B, for Paste Special, you’ll see there in your Paste Special options there’s a checkbox for “Extend Exposure”. If you uncheck this, then on a paste it will not fill in the empty frames.

There’s also a similar option available for dragging. If you drag, and hold down Control before you let go, then you get the Drag Special options. These are the same as the Paste Special options, so you can uncheck Extend Exposure. Just be aware that if you adjust your Drag Special options, it remembers the settings that you set up here until the next time you adjust the Drag Special options.

Hope this helps!