Timeline and animating

This may sound very stupid but I don’t know how to animate a single frame on Toon Boom.
You see I’m A flash user but I can’t get my head around it when animating a single frame. I watched this tutorial on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNPfKs_HQNQ
Every time I copy paste to a new frame it changes the position of the object in all the frames. I have read about other people with the same problem but the answer that is given to them only confuses me, something about wrong tool selected i don’t know?

Could you please send me a step by step note of what i should to to get an animation going.
Oh yeah and does this also solve my problems of keyframes and tweening?


I believe that you would benefit from going to this site if you have not done so previously and read and follow the articles starting with the articles on fundamentals and progressing to the later stuff on cut outs. I have seen significant success with new users who have done so. Then as you can ask questions for clarification here on the Toon Boom Studio forums, you will get good detailed answers and plenty of help from the user community.

Suggested article / tutorial reading track for learning TBS
1. It’s Elemental (Parts 1 and 2)
2. A Good Place to Start (Parts 1 and 2)
3. Jumping into Animation (Parts 1 and 2)
4. Using a Subtractive Animation Technique
5. Key Framed Animation (Parts 1,2,3,4,5)
6. Creating Multiple Shots in a Single Scene
7. Introduction To Photo Cut-out Animation (Parts 1,2,3)
8. Animating Cut-out Characters (Parts 1 and 2)
All the other articles and tutorials can be read and followed after you have read the first 6 on the list above.

Here is a link to the Cartooning in Toon Boom Subject Index of articles.

If you put in the time and follow the articles in the sequence I have listed here for you and ask questions as you go, you will get a good foundation in using the software and even learn some basics of how to create animation in general.

The critical step for you will be to first off not try to think in Flash terms and to approach TBS with an open mind. The two applications are not alike as Flash was not created for animators but rather web designers so its usage and terminology is not animation centric like Toon Boom. Over time you will find TBS must easier and friendlier if you understand the relationship it has to classical photographic animation techniques. -JK

Hi, I have a few questions regarding the “timeline vs. exposure sheet” thing. I am completely new to animation in general - not just to computer animation - so this is a bit confusing for me.

I read the articles provided by JK, which are very detailed and helpful, but still a bit confusing for a dummy like myself.

In “It’s Elemental - Part 2”, JK writes:

"Cells are uniquely named and identified in the exposure sheet. The value of naming cells so they can be uniquely identified is very important particularly to the human aspects of the TBS user interface. It allows you, the animator, to quickly find and swap or reuse cells. Software that only has a timeline is of no value when it comes to quickly finding and identifying cells."

Thus far, I have only been using the timeline as I find the layout of the X-sheet confusing. I’m wondering specifically how this makes finding cells a lot faster. When I’m in the timeline, for example, I can find the cell I want merely by sliding through the “cells” section and stopping when I hit the one I want. How is the exposure sheet different? Other than the fact that I can see more than one cell at a time due to the thumbnails?

Another excerpt from the same article reads:

"The exposure sheet is more oriented to character animation while the timeline is more oriented to composite animation and editing."

Sorry, I’m not sure I understand what this means. “Character animation” means working only on one character’s movements? I.e. only one element at a time? Whereas “composite animation” means moving characters and other animated items in relation to one another (i.e. in the camera view)?

I also saw a tutorial that was quite helpful on youtube, of a guy showing how to do mouth positions with the x-sheet, dragging the first drawing down into the static light table. How is this more efficient than simply drawing the mouth positions frame by frame in the timeline, using the onion skin function to see the previous mouth, and autolight table to see the character’s head? Or is this just so you can name the cells? Thereby making them usable in the auto lip-syncing? (I don’t use the auto lip-sync. I prefer to do it manually).

Sorry for the stupid questions. I’m actually on my third read through these articles, but because I’m just not too bright I can’t really see the differences and advantages.