Renaming symbols substitutions

I’ve made a turnaround of my character, broken down each part and distributed them to different layers. In each layer I have various versions of each part (eg. lotsa different mouths in the mouth layer, lotsa eyes on the eye layer) and in each of these layers I’ve renamed each individual drawing so that when I’m swapping drawings I can easily distinguish which drawings are for front, side, 3qtr view etc. For example, my front mouths are f_a, f_b, f_c etc and my side mouths are s_a, s_b, s_c etc.

When I make the mouth or eye layer a symbol, however, I’m unable to view the names of each drawing in the drawing substitution box. I can still view the drawing’s name if I go into the symbol to edit it, but when I want to quickly swap between drawings, I only see the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 etc not the name I gave the drawing. It’s the same on the xsheet. If i try to just type a new name in the substituion box it tells me that it ‘can’t find drawing’

Is there any way to get the drawing substiution box to show the name I gave each drawing before I made the layer a symbol? It makes it really hard to quickly swap drawings otherwise.

The odd thing is this doesn’t happen with drawing substitions (but it does with symbol susbtitions.

I just checked (from my latest lipsync tests) that all the drawings named A,B,C,etc are fine in the drawing substitions however the symbols are always just numbers.

I know! It’s soooo frustrating! I’ve gone to all the trouble of naming every single one of them and it seems I’ve wasted my time!

I think this needs to be changed for Version 2 please! Symbols keep their drawing’s names! :wink:

Let me explain why it is that this cannot be done. The whole idea behind a symbol is that it is a unit that can encompass many different drawings. In most cases, a symbol would contain more than one drawing layer.

In this case, how would you decide which drawing’s name to assign to the substitutions? It would be an arbitrary choice, at best.

If you’re only working with one drawing layer, in this case, I would recommend not putting the drawing into a symbol at all. There is no advantage that you would gain from using a symbol in this case. The best scenarios for when you would want to use a symbol is when you have multiple drawings, but when you’re animating, that you only want to grab onto one drawing. For example, if you have an arm, and you have a patch to cover the joint, then this is a great case for when to use a symbol - because you are never going to want to grab onto the patch to animate, you only want to grab onto the arm. So put the arm and the patch into a symbol together, then every time you animate the arm, you will never accidentally grab the patch instead.

So really, if you only have one drawing layer, and you want to be able to see the drawing names in the substitutions window, then try not using a symbol at all.

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Thanks Lilly, when you explain it like that I understand why the symbols don’t keep each drawing’s name, but I still think that there should be an option to rename each drawing substitution in the symbol to be more descriptive than just 1, 2, 3 etc. Even if it the symbol is two drawings combined, eg. arm with a patch you could rename it to describe it better and make it easier to swap out.

I guess the reason I’m getting VERY confused with the whole symbols thing is because I’m building a cut-out puppet following the user guide and tutorials and it says that i ‘need to make each layer a symbol’. Not it would be a good idea, or ‘try this’ but that I ‘need’ to do it. I didn’t realise I had an option to leave them drawings.

I knew that I could substitute drawings on the one layer but didn’t know that if I deleted all these drawings I could still access their substitutions, even if they aren’t symbols! That’s an eye-opener! And all the templates I’ve downloaded to play around with have had all their body parts made into symbols as well, eg. the ballerina and the mechanical bear, so naturally I thought this was the best way to go about things.

So I guess now I want to know who out there makes their puppets bits into symbols, and who leaves them as drawings?

To symbolise or not to symbolise, that is the question…

I totally understand your frustration with that aspect of the User Guide - this is something that has been changed for the documentation for Animate 2, because I think it has confused more people than it has helped. :slight_smile:

In any case, good luck playing around with it and I will pass on your comments regarding the symbol’s naming convention to see if there is anything we can do on that front.

Toon Boom Support

Thanks Lilly!
Everything finally ‘clicked’ when you explained how I could delete my drawings and still access the substitutions. It makes HEAPS more sense not to make them into symbols now! AND it opens up more options for animating when they are left as drawings (morphing for example).

Off to play with my puppet’s bits!

…you know what I mean…


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