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Include / Exclude Check
There is a very valuable
tool in Toon Boom Studio which is almost a secret tool. In fact
most people don't even realize this feature is a tool and yet it
is perhaps one of the most important tools provided and a real
strength of TBS as an animation system. What is this magical
"secret" tool. It is those simple little include/exclude check
boxes on the side of the timeline and on the side of the scene
panel. The check boxes that let you include or exclude elements
or scenes from your rendered movie. "That's not really a tool"
you say. "But it is" I reply.
So often when learning to use computer animation software we
have the temptation to jump over some of the most important
steps in the creative process. We skip the roughs and layouts
and just start trying to produce finished work. In doing this we
end up with cartoons that are not as dynamic or believable and
tend to be stiff and too tight. Most experienced animators
develop a sense or feel for actions and timing through producing
quick rough gesture drawings which then will be "cleaned" up
after they have captured the energy and spontaneous feelings
that make cartoons really fun to watch. So why would anyone skip
these important first steps? Well in most animation software you
have to remove (delete) discard all your rough scene work or
rough gesture sketched elements before you can render or finish
your movie. So most people feel that these steps that end up
discarded are unimportant and even a waste of time and therefore
should be skipped. But in Toon Boom Studio you don't want or
need to discard these steps, you just use the include/exclude
check boxes to tell TBS you don't want them rendered in your
movie after you have finished using them. Yet they are still
there and you can refer to them over and over again to insure
that this great energy doesn't get lost in the clean up and even
to reference again for future production ideas.
Those little include/exclude check boxes are a "secret tool" and
very useful and important.
One of the really nice features in Toon Boom Studio is a simple
but very useful "hot key" command that resets the zoom level.
There are plenty of times in animation work on the computer when
you want or need to zoom in on a drawing area to be able to
perform a task like paint filling a very difficult to reach
zone. The problem is that after performing this task you usually
want to return to the regular zoom level where you do most of
your work. This usually requires a series of zoom adjustments to
actually get back to approximately the zoom level you desire.
But in Toon Boom Studio you just use the "<shift> Z" keyboard
short cut and it automatically resets your zoom level. This is a
feature I use often and a real time saver. Give it a try, I know
you will find this really useful.
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