Why can't I loop a cycle?

Thanks to all who replied to previous questions.

Ok, next question.
Am I correct in assuming that I can’t nest a Cycle in a Peg and then Loop the Peg therby also looping the cycle?

At the moment when I try this the Cycle remains set to the number of frames I set when creating the cycle.

Once an animation is cycled (esp. Advance Cycled) it becomes tricky to extend or contract the number of frames which is why it seems obvious to allow a Peg to be used to loop it.

Any feedback much appreciated.

You can nest a cycle in a peg and then loop the peg.

An example of this might be a cycle of a butterfly flapping his/her little wings. The looped peg might take that cycle and create a repeating circular path, for example, that has the ol’ butterfly looping around in the air. Then we might nest that peg in another that moves mister or missus butterfly across the screen.

It looks like you may be confused about the difference between a cycle and a loop.

A cycle is a drawing element that has several different frames in it, each with a drawing that is slightly different from the others, creating a sequence. An example might be four drawings that show an action like running. Check out the run cyle in my turkey toon animation (http://www.cartoonthunder.com/animation/turkeyToon.html). There are four drawings for the turkey running. No peg there, no loop.

A peg is an element that holds other elements, presumably for movement. The peg can be looped to create repeating movement. I struggled with loops for some time (not a short time) until I tried one of the tutorials that uses a loop. The idea is that you have to have an additional frame in the peg so that the first and last frames are identical in values, resulting in a loop that always returns to the beginning.

Read JK’s article on Pegs at http://www.tallgrassradio.com/tgr0050.htm. Take your time to get through this as he’s got a solid understanding of how they work and how to use them. He doesn’t actually cover the loop in there, but it will give you a much clearer idea of why we have pegs in the first place.

I searched the forum and found this also:

Good luck!!

Hi Rob,
Thanks for the advice but I still can’t get this to work as I would expect it to.

I create an eight frame Advanced Cycle which works fine.
I nest it in a Peg.
I create keyframes on the Peg to allow me to then Change Loops.
I loop the Peg 4 times.
I press Play.
I only see the Cycle once.
The Peg does not keep playing the Cycle in three of the four Loops.
Am I missing something?


Same struggle I had.

What loops in a peg loop is the position, not the drawings.

If you want to repeat the eight frame cycle, you have to create another cycle from those frames. It sounds like you want to have thirty two frames when you’re done. Select those eight frames, right click and choose create cycle, then enter 4. This will make thirty two frames.

If you then want to loop their position with the peg, make the peg nine frames long, one frame longer than what you need. The first land last keyframes should be the same and there should be another keyframe in there somewhere to make it change position. Then change loops to four. You might wind up with an extra frame in the peg (I’m not sure) but you’ll have a looping postion for the element.

Cycles repeat drawings.

Loops loop positions.

Thanks again Rob.
I had drawn the same conclusion (excuse the pun).

I guess it’s not surprising that we would want to do this i.e. create a single Cycle and then Loop it through the use of Pegs.
Surely this is the intuitive workflow?

I’ve been using TBS for three days now and I’m constantly needing to do this.
Creating longer animations by increasing the amount of cycles is really just copying, pasting and rearranging frames (albeit automatically) and is both clumsy and inflexible.

Also the other thing I’m repeatedly doing is extending exposures.
Again there’s no quick way of doing this - although I have unsuccessfully tried to set up a keyboard shortcut.

Reminds me of flash in this way.
Great software constantly adding new and ever more technical features but never addressing the workflow issues.

Ok, better get back to the drawing board so to speak.
Thanks again Rob - I shall now stop wasting my time trying to work out if I’m doing something wrong.


Hi Yan,

Not sure it has been mentioned yet but you could use the library to easily create your loop. Basically, create the first step of your animation and drag it in the library. If you drag it back from the library afterward you will be able to drag it over the current animation as long as the hierarchy is the same. This is pretty much how use library of action on a single cut out character. It should be much less grunt work to drag back the template then going through the copy paste.

Hope this helps you to animate.

Best regards,


:)Yan, before you know it you’ll be a TBS power user. You’re looking for the features that TBS has. :slight_smile:

To set the length an exposure by using Control+4. This gives you a little dialog to tell it how many frames.

If you right click on a frame in timeline you’ll see a sub-menu in the drop-down/contextual menu that says “Exposure”. In the x-sheet there’s just a section in the contextual menu for exposure issues.

There is no keyboard shortcut for Extend, but I made one that works.

Something else that really makes things flow better is the Cells tab in Properties.

Check out JK’s tips and tricks thread for lot of these issues:

And try some of the tutorials that come with the software. I always resist doing those things myself, but they always show me something. My tendency is to read them and say, " yeah, I get it " but if I actually go through the process it makes much more sense and has created pathways in my brain for how to work it.