selecting/affecting only selected frames


i’m now learning harmony 12.2 pretty well, but of course keep coming up with questions.
about the select tool: it’s function seems inconsistent- sometimes a selected range is affected by a certain function, other times only the current frame is affected. case in point: if i want to repo a range of drawings, but not the entire layer, i can’t use the transform or the translate tools, as they affect the entire layer, it seems. if i choose the select tool, there’s no way to keep the range of frames selected in the timeline; only the current frame remains selected. the peg work-around seems like the wrong approach while still drawing the animation; that seems better limited adding movement to final art elements so as not to end up with multiple functions affecting the art placement.

The difference between the Select and the Transform tool is that the first affects the drawings while the second performs digital transformations, such as rotation, scaling and position without affecting the drawings. To illustrate this you should compare a drawing via the Drawing and the Camera views. If you use the Transform tool you’ll see the changes or animation on the Camera view, but on the Drawing view you’ll see that the drawing’s position didn’t change. The Select tool will affect the drawing itself but will not make changes in terms of interpolation, it doesn’t add keyframes.

So, if you use the Transform tool with the Animate button off you will affect the whole layer, if you do it with the Animate button on you will affect only the frame (not the drawing itself but that drawing’s position on the timeline), and if you add several keyframes you will animate or interpolate between those frames.

If you think in terms of classic animation with cells or sheets of paper, the Select tool affect the drawing on the sheet, while the Transform tool is like a Camera move that that not actually change the drawing on the sheet of paper, but gets closer or farther, pans or rotates.

Luis Canau

good distinction, thanks.

the first general question remains: what is the convention behind the toon boom selection tool only affecting the CURRENT, single frame EVEN WHEN MULTIPLE FRAMES/DRAWINGS ARE SELECTED in the layer? (i’m thinking of other timeline-based software like TV Paint and After Effects…)

leading to the specific 2nd question:
how can i reposition several selected drawings, from multiple frames, AS A BLOCK: keeping their positions relative to each other?
examples would include any sort of animated cycle, or animated sequence, that needs to be repeated and repositioned over time.
my sense is that introducing a peg movement at this point is the wrong approach, (especially during rough animation); just as in analogue paper animation you would likely ‘xerox’ and place your animation into new positions relative to each other, not reuse the originals by plotting the reposition of your peg bar.

make sense? and/or what am i missing?

can any toon boom folks help out here:

does harmony 12 allow SOME drawings in a layer to be selected and repo’d together, rather than the whole layer and ALL it’s drawings (which seems to be what ‘repo all drawings’, ‘transform’, and ‘translate’ do)?

thank you,


You can use the Drawing Desk to affect a range of drawing.

I hope this help.


yea, been trying that without success…

so- i should be able to send some drawings/frames ‘to the desk’, and then be able to move them somewhere else in the stage area, at the same time, as a group, keeping their relative positions to each other?

the drawing desk interface is somewhat confusing to me; one thing is:
the frames that show up in the thumbnails have a bright blue on the 1 current frame, the others are an off-white, but then if i shift click on others, they go darker gray, but don’t seem to function differently than when they were off-white/unselected. and if i click the ‘desk’ link button nothing seems linked; every combo i try still results in one drawing/frame being selected and movable, losing it’s relationship to the others…

does all this work the same in 12?

thanks Marie-Eve,


The link button is when using the Shift and Trace feature.

In combination with the Drawing Desk, you can use the Reposition All Drawings tool to move them all as a group (translate, rotate, scale, skew)

It is the same in 12 and 14.


i’ll try to describe a simple example:
let’s say i have a ball bouncing, and i draw the frames for only 1 arc.
now i want to re-use and repo those drawings for the next arcs to continue the bouncing across the stage.
seems like i should be able to copy and move them as a group, until i patch together all the arcs i need to animate the ball across the stage.

that make sense?

got it! the ‘repo all drawings’ moves ALL in the desk, leaving the others on the layer.

thanks so much.


Glad I could help!