Yes... Keyframing issues. JK, Please Help!

Okay, I’ve read the manual several times - watched the youtube tutorial, read several posts on here - read JK’s tuturial of the bouncing ball, and after seven days, I still do not quite understand using keyframes in a “drawing element”. What I want to do is so simple, yet is seems so very hard.

I have the camera down to a science, I’ve got pegs down like nobody’s business, I know how to create motion like the back of my hand - I even have a handle on mask fx and scaling… but alas, after seven days, the bane of my existence is setting keyframes in a drawing element.

All I want to know is how they’re used. I have a 30 second clip I have animated… I wanted one of my characters head to move from side to side during it. For the whole 30 seconds he is standing in the background, and now I want to give him some movement… so here’s what I’ve tried…

Say I have a single character in a 30 second scene, and in that time I want him to simply change his head position to my desired positions and when I so choose. Say, I set the exposure for the character in the drawing mode, to stand stationary for the whole 30 seconds. Now… I have a long tweened line of the same character and I want to break it up now at my choosing with different head moves. How do I do this??

I’ve tried everything… Clicking a frame (say around frame 10), adding a keyframe, setting it to non constant, moved my characters head by highlighting it with the select tool, then hit “play” to see if that cell had changed… it didn’t. So, I went to frame one on his drawing element and added a keyframe there (did non constant)… then went to frame ten and added another one, thinking it would keep those frames in between the same and confine them between those two points… so that I could then change my character on frame 11. On “frame 11” I highlight the characters head, tweaked it to my desire, released it, and it ended up changing the entire line to the new position of his head. So I added another keyframe on frame eleven (thinking I had to do them in pairs)… I laid down the keyframe, then on that keyframe I changed my charcters head… which changed the entire line to the new head position. So then I went several frames up and added another keyframe - tried it again and nothing happened. So then i tried setting ALL the key frames to non constant and tried maniplating my character into between the pairs and that didn’t work either… I could go on and on with he things i’ve tried - including clicking and unclicking the TBS “create constant keyframe” but in the prefrences - but I won’t.

Honestly, my head is spinning with all the suggestions I’ve read and all the stuff I have tried on my own… and what I want to do it so simple. I simply want a keyframe to stop the tweening at the spot I put it so that the very next frame I can do what I want with what I drew.

Jeez, I don’t even know if you’re supposed to tweak the image in the cell the keyframe is on, or the one before it, or the one after it - because I’ve tried all three.

I merely, like final cut pro, want to create an in point and an out point for each area on the drawing element that I wish to alter… and I’ve tried this with the keyframes… set them to non constant - and sometimes I get what I want by accident, but on the whole, I can not do it with any reliability, because I simply don’t understand - blow by blow, how it’s done.

I’m sorry this is so long, but somebody please help me. I would be so grateful!


What scene operations tool are you using? (Transform (7) or Select (6) ect.) How are you tweaking your drawing? Do you have snap to last key frame selected?
If you are setting keyframes and using any other tool besides the transform tool (7) that is most likely causing your issues. If you have snap to last key frame selected and don’t understand how it effects upstream key frames that may be an issue so be sure it is turned off. But usually the major problem I see in users trying to work with keyframing is that they don’t understand the critical role that each scene planning tool plays and when to use or not use a particular tool.-JK

JK, thanks for seeing my Batman signal to you and responding. :slight_smile:

I understand that keyframes are only used in camera mode, and only the scene planning tools (except the select tool) are used for setting keyframes, but I suppose I was trying to use them in my drawing elements to try and simply stop tweening when I want to go back into an exsposure line for a character and tweek something - a head movement - an eye move - a hand gesture. I have been having to add layer upon layer to achieve this… and that doesn’t seem right to me. I shouldn’t have to add a layer over a “character layer”, delete an area of cells, then copy and past my character onto the new layer over that area of deleted cells, just to have my characters head move, do I?.. Does this make any sense?

I simply wish to be able to make a single drawing element of a single character, extend the exposure of the character in “drawing mode” from frame one to frame 300, then be able to go in anywhere on that drawing element and change anything I wish to change on any of the frames without tweening automatically changing all of the rest of the cells, from frame one to 300. Because what is happening now is if I change even a single cell, the rest of the 300 immediatelty change to match that cell, and it’s driving me crazy! I don’t want “insta-match”… I wish I could turn tweening off when I need to.

Any suggestions?

I am not really sure I understand what you are actually doing. I suspect that there is some simple explanation for your issue. I appreciate your frustration. Perhaps if you can explain in greater detail exactly what you are doing, what tools you are using, and your sequence of steps, we can discover a clue as to why you are getting the results described. Cell swapping and keyframing certainly work together and controlling automated tweening is not that difficult but there are pitfalls like having “snap to last keyframe” turned on when you don’t want it turned on etc. So if you have the patience to explain more, I certainly will do my best to help. -JK

JK, you are awesome… just wanted to say. Your response to people on here is commendable.

So I’ll just say I’m a complete moron. I never wanted to do cut out animation, but it took looking at the the TB “cut out” tutorial video for me to finally get it. Who would of known that what I was trying to do on the time line itself by manipulating the cells to create animated movements, was in fact supposed to be done using peg hierarchy and a drawn character with cut out parts. After watching that video, I shouted with glee… in fact, the building and setting up of your character was fun and awesome, and now I have a character that I can manipulate using keyframes on the parent peg lines. Whew… I was so confused and frustrated, but you really did make an incredible effort to try and help me.

As a note, I’ll say, I’ve read a lot of people post with similar quandries as the one I just had, and I don’t think they understand that a character has to be constructed first, then saved in the library, before you can animate with the character. If I run across anyone with the same delimna that I had, I will be the first to mention what I ultimately figured out.

Thanks again!


You are most welcomed. The value of forum communities is to provide a place to find help and get advice and comments. We all do our best to be “good community” neighbors and I’m sure you will share your experiences with others the same way which is how the community grows. Thanks -JK