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Toon Boom Studio FAQ Pages - Tools and Features

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Include / Exclude Check Boxes

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.

Reset Zoom
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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