Workflow for character inbetweening?

Hello TBS community,

I was wondering if anyone here had figured out a practical workflow for character inbetweening. On paper, if the keys are far away from each other, I often first mark the position for my inbetween. Then I move (or turn) both keys (or those elements thereof that I am currently concentrating on) on top of each other at this position and start inbetweening them. It is easier that way to maintain volumes as they are closer together - especially with very detailed characters.
So far I haven’t found a satisfying solution for this workflow in TBS. Has anybody here got an idea?

Thanks in advance!

Hey Pic,

You could pretty much take the same approach that you do on paper with use of the “see next/last drawing” button. If your drawings are too far apart for you then you could always use the drawing select tool & move them closer together until you get enough inbetweens in there. Of course, youd end up having to move the keys back to their original location.

I guess you could also make use of different elements & draw everything in or around the center of your workspace with the light table on. Then you could copy & paste the drawings onto the same element & space them out.

Not saying either one of those is the most efficient, but I think it will accomplish what you’re asking about. Hopefully it will give you a couple ideas anyway. Someone else may have a better suggestion.

Thanks for your reply, but you mentioned the problem already in your post: If I move the original keys, it is almost impossible to bring them back to their original positions and rotations later on.

The only solution that I’ve found was to copy both keys at the frame number of the inbetween into a new layer (element) each. Then I moved and/or rotated them individually, made my inbetween and deleted the copies afterwards. It sort of works, but is a bit unhandy, especially as I can’t move/rotate the layer (element) that I am drawing on independently from the others and have it snap back into its original position when I’m finished.

Perhaps there should be a way to store an element’s position and orientation that can be recalled later.

In classical hand drawn animation it is an excepted practice to take a drawing off of the registration pegs and temporarily positioning it with or without tape to check volumes or compress spacing between drawings. This practice can be translated to Toon Boom relatively easily by adding a registration element as a guide layer. Create a drawing element and position a pair of registration guide images on the first cell of that element. I typically use a circle with a cross in the middle for each registration image, so two of these images at the top of your drawing space or the bottom simulates traditional registration pegs. Extend the exposure of this element to whatever length you need to match your drawing sequence. Then whenever you want to temporarily reposition a drawing in your sequence. Copy and paste the two registration images from your registration layer to the cell of the drawing to be repositioned. This will align them to the registration element which you can see with the auto light table on. Now you will select your drawing and the copied registration images as a group on your drawing layer and you can temporarily reposition this group as needed for checking your volumes or to aid in long inbetweens. When you are finished, you select this same group again and using the registration images on your lower registration element as your guide you can perfectly realign your drawing to its original position. It works just like doing it in the physical world. -JK

Hey JK,
First of all, thanks for your reply. So you basically suggest to create virtual peg holes as drawing elements. The idea isn’t bad, but how do you reallign them back to their original positions? Is there a snap function? If I only shift a drawing to one side or the other, it might be okay to reallign it manually, but if I also rotate it, this process will take a while. In the physical world, I just put the punch holes back on the peg bar to reallign my paper without any hassle. Is this possible in TBS, too?

There isn’t a way to snap back to the alignment. You have to do it manually but it is really easy to re-align the drawing if you used two points of registration on each element. (the drawing element and the registration guide element). The registration points on the guide element are fixed and don’t move, the registration points on the drawing element move with the drawing as a single group so no matter how you shift it or turn it they will take you back to the exact original orientation and position when you re-align them to the guide. This is a very workable solution. I’ll put it into one of my next tutorials just in case my description still isn’t clear. As I said earlier I use this technique myself so when I read your question I immediately understood what you were after. It isn’t as easy as it could be if there were a virtual registration function but I don’t hold out much hope for that ever being added to the software because it would be very difficult to create and probably not high on anyones wish list compared to other potential new features. -JK

Hey JK,
I suppose you are right. This is perhaps the only workaround at present although it isn’t too satisfying. What truely bothers me is that the Select Sceneplanning Tool doesn’t work on individual frames because it records its changes in the Properties tab with numeric values that can all be reset to 0. However, as influences all frames in a layer (or element, as it is called in TBS), I cannot use it for my purpose.