Friday, September 19, 2008

Common mistake when using Toon Boon Studio 4

During my re-learning process, I found out that I made some mistakes here and there when trying to create a cut out animation. So I think I better write down those tidbits cause I may probably make the same mistake next time I pick it up several months later.

  • When animating your cut out animation, make sure that either "Tranform" or "Rotate" button are selected. Otherwise the movement you made will be just on the first key-frame.
  • Check the preference and make sure that "Create Constant Keyframes" checkbox is OFF, unless you totally don't want the in-between automatically generated for you. After all, you can always set and reset the in-between nature by first selecting the in between area, and then right click to select the segment nature (constant or non-constant)
  • Animation only happeneds on the peg. So make sure you set the hirechachy so that everything you want to animate is sitting inside a peg.
  • You may wonder why all the parts do not show up on the screen after you have the hireahacy set up. Mostly that's because you are at the "Drawing View". Switch to Camear view and you will see all the parts.
  • Save frequently. My Toon Boom Studio 4 still crashes very once in a while.
Here's a typical work flow of creating a cut out animation using Toon Boom Studio 4:

  • Create a new document. I use 800x 600 camera size
  • Go to Exposure Sheet. For each part of your cut out, create a new "drawing" at Frame 1. Remember to name your drawing properly. That makes organizing hireachy much easier.
  • Create Peg, put drawing into the peg, with right hireachy. I name peg with "P-" prefix
  • With "Rotate" selected, select each Peg, and move the pivot to the proper location (make sure indicators are all green.
  • Save, before animate anything (that way you have a base to go back to)
  • Collpase all hireachy. On the very top Peg, drag the first frame all the way to the final frame. Now the timeline should fill up by a blueline, with all the cutout part.
  • Go ahead and animate. But make sure that (1) you select the peg instead of the drawing (easier to be done on the timeline), (2) Make sure either "Rotate" or "Transform" tools are selected (3) Use the solid black square handle to move the rotation.
Finally, try create a static drawing to layout the route of the motion to make sure that it's smooth.

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