Connected Concepts LLC. 1998-2007 All Rights Reserved

Toon Boom Studio FAQ Pages - Exposure Sheet

Back to FAQ Index        


In TBS elements are like layers in Flash except that an element and a single symbol layer are more accurate approximations. Unlike Flash where you can freely put all sorts of stuff on the same layer, TBS doesn't give you that option. Every thing in TBS is symbolized by default even though they don't refer to things as symbols.

TBS lets you hide or display elements, Flash lets you hide or display layers. But in TBS when you hide an element on the timeline, you also remove it from the rendering process. Yes, you read that correctly, TBS gives you selective rendering control. So unlike Flash where you have to get rid of your rough drawing layers to keep them from showing in your test renders or final renders, you just uncheck their "show" property and that element won't render. You can also do that with individual scenes which TBS also treats as elements. So you can selectively render any subset of your scenes without deleting unwanted scenes before the final render of your movie.

Another really nice feature is that you can custom select the display color for each element. That lets you organize and visually group elements to make it easier to track and identify them during your workflow. Even elements of the same type like different drawing elements can have different color codes for their track bars in the time line or their element column in the exposure sheet.

Here is one of my favorites, you can select a range of cells and by using one command element>cell> set exposure to "X" (where X is a number of your choice) you can add "X" number of exposure frames between each of the cells in your original selection. This is great for changing a sequence from 1's to 2's or 3's for timing. Here is more information on this great feature.

And how about being able to not only be selective of which elements are rendered but also being able to specify the starting and ending frames to be rendered? TBS V3 lets you do that too. If you want to render a test section of a scene but not the whole scene you can do just that.

Selective Playback

One useful feature of the exposure sheet in TBS is that you can select a range of frames and have TBS playback in a loop just those selected frames which is a very nice feature for testing your work. Flash will play frames but you can't get it to do this selective playback without adding some temporary action script to the frame selections.

More Exposure Sheet Tips


When you view the drawings contained in an element (a column) on the exposure sheet, you will see a drawing title (a row) which is connected to a frame number and in many cases there may be a sequence of repeated exposures of that drawing spanning a series of frames. I like to refer to this sequence of repeated exposures of a single drawing as an exposure set. You control the amount of time that a drawing is seen on the screen by setting the number of frames in its exposure set. Setting exposures is fundamental to animation timing.


You always want to extend exposures from the first frame of the sequence of frames in an exposure set. For example, you have a drawing titled c-12 at frame 23 and you want to extend its exposure for 3 frames. You select c-12 and you <right click> and choose set exposure to 3. This adds 2 additional exposure frames of drawing c-12. Suppose that you want to change your timing and set the number of exposures of c-12 to 4 exposures instead. You go back to frame 23, in this example, and select just drawing c-12 again and <right click> and choose set exposure. This opens a dialogue panel where you will enter 4 in the “frames” text box and click OK. You now will have 4 exposure frames of c-12 instead of 3. Suppose you don't like that timing and you really wanted it to only be 2 exposure frames. You need to go back to frame 23 ,again, and select drawing c-12 and this time <right click> and choose set exposure to 2 .This reduces the exposure frames for drawing c-12 from 4 to 2.  You can add or subtract exposures using this technique as a way to fine tune your animation timing.


This technique also works on the time line. You select the desired drawing which is represented by a tick mark on the track for the element and <right click> and choose set exposure and enter the desired total number of frame exposures in the dialogue panel.

Back to FAQ Index



Back Stage

How To....

Sausage & Links

Connected Concepts LLC. 1998-2009 All Rights Reserved