Template character rearranged!

I am using V4 on a mac and I created my cut out character and used a few major pegs (torso head) and then used a nested heirarcy and saved this all as a template. When I drag the character into a scene some elemts have rezied and some elemets have shifted - how can I stop this from happening?

It is difficult to know exactly what steps you took or didn’t take in creating your character so just based on your description I would suggest that you check the following: check the keyframes that you set on frame 1. Did you set your first group of keyframes on frame 1 of every element in the hierarchy and did you set them using the scene operations transform tool (7). And did you do this before you saved the character as a template. -JK

i did not set any keyframes on the template timeline since i was doing cutout animation and from what i understand the process is you rig the character - save as a template and then place in a differnt scene to animate on that timeline

when i pull my character into the new scene from the library and before I do anything the character is already rearranged - parts are off from the way they were placed in the template and when i resize the character using the scale tool several parts all slide in differnt directions…

i brought a character in from Flash and each element (leg , arm, etc) was a different part and I had to copy and paste them all to new elements and then rig the character - giving the major parts (torso head and hips ) pegs and then locating the other elements in a hierarchical structure below the pegged elements

Torso- P (peg)
—Head-P (Peg)
-----l eye
-----r eye

I then moved the rotation points to the correct position using the rotation tool. After then I selected all the parts and dragged them to the library to make the template.

Am I missing some details? can you point me to instruction that give me details. I bought the Pirate rigging Workout series but they had every element using a peg and I believe that you dont need to do that anymore in the new version (3.5) of toon boom ( there was some mention of this in the article “Working with pegs and animated elements” and the boy character in the library didnt have all elements on pegs.


I’m currently writing an extensive tutorial on character design and animation using cut-outs so I don’t want to spend too much time here discussing the approach. Watch for this new series in the Cartooning in Toon Boom blog.

Having said that there are a few conceptual notes that I think will help you sort out your work. First, drawing view is exactly that, it is a “what you see is what you get” place to work on your drawings. So a great tip in constructing a cut out character, even one partially imported from Flash assets, is to adjust and line up your cut out body parts in drawing view. That is to say their relative sizes (scale) and their relative positions (orientation to each other). This reduces significantly the dependence on keyframing to support the character’s initial set up. But when you rig the character in camera (compositing) view you still want to “lock” down your initial attribute conditions by setting keyframes using the scene operations transform tool for each element on the first frame in your character’s hierarchy. The reason you use the transform tool (7) is that it sets all types of keys universally so that you account for location, scale, skew, rotation, piviots ect all at the same time. This is an initialization step in the rigging process and is not part of animating but rather part of rigging. Failing to “lock” down initial attributes before saving the template will most likely result in unanticipated changes in the character when you try to use the template in the future. Also be aware that in TBS a template is just that, so don’t assume that modifications that you do in your a scene’s timeline will update previously saved templates, as there is no linkage. You must edit the template itself directly to effect changes for future reuse and those updates do not impact previously applied copies of the template in your projects, again it is a template which is not the same as a Flash symbol. Many former Flash users get confused about this conceptual difference.

An additional note on the Work Out Series using peg elements VS elements with embedded pegs. There is essentially no difference in application and usage so the discussion presented is totally relevant even in V3.5 and above. The only difference is that motion paths must be placed on actual peg elements and not on embedded pegs.

And here is an important tip for making adjustments on drawing objects in drawing view. When you have multiple cells in a single element you can reposition /adjust all cells at the same time rather than doing each cell individually by using Tool>Drawing Tools>Reposition All Drawings -JK