• April 8, 2020 at 3:16 am #2284

    I want to be able to stagger frames and know they’re in the right order without checking the frames one by one.

    > Generally, the technique involves inbetweening two extremes, say from frame 1 to 7.
    Then you expose those drawings in a certain pattern. For example:
    1,2,3,4, 3,4,5, 4,5,6, 5,6,7, 6,7,6,7
    This is usually to show laughter or effort or hesitation.

    I’m not sure if there are currently any features (or planned features) that support this. We can’t rely on just the thumbnails because the motion gets too small to see even in large thumbnails; they’ll all look the same.

    Clip Studio Paint allows this technique by just having labels under the thumbnails.
    Also, when you select a drawing that’s reused, it highlights all the times it’s used in the X-sheet.

    That specific design is maybe not a good fit for the cleaner scheme of Animation Paper but, maybe allowing optional or toggleable labels or something, would be really helpful.

    • This topic was modified 4 years ago by Pharan.
    April 8, 2020 at 7:47 am #2293
    Niels Krogh MortensenNiels

    Thanks for this suggestion.

    If you reuse drawings in Animation Paper. You use copy/paste to have a clone (copy) somewhere else in the timeline. They are internally linked so it is the same one drawing just repeated elsewhere. Every copy and the original highlights when you flip to it.

    However, the labelling we do not have. So how would that work best? Are the numbers on the labels automatically generated or are you able to name them your self? Would some other solution work even better now that we design it from scratch anyway? Some scribbled number/note/symbol by the thumbnail or something?

    Let me know how you would prefer this functionality implemented. 🙂

    As you say, it is also a matter of keeping it ultra simple and not cluttering up everything. I agree it could be very helpful to have this, but we need to find the most clever – highly useful – efficient way for it to work…

    April 8, 2020 at 10:36 am #2295

    The point of such a feature would be for the user to be able to read the X-sheet and go “ah, yeah. it’s repeating.” or “it’s going back and forth.” or “it’s doing the stagger technique, in this specific sequence”.

    Currently, I’m thinking along the lines of allowing optional text labels.

    Like, if you can mark a drawing as a key, you should be able to label it with a few characters. “a1” or “1” or “A” or “AB”. Visually, the label can be right on thumbnail in the x-sheet UI. And any linked instances of the drawing can also have that label visible.
    Those drawing labels could even be longer (like “mouth open”, or “blink extreme”) if there was a nice way to present it.

    The benefit would be that not all drawings need to have the extra visual clutter. But if it actually helps you understand the x-sheet, then you can add it.

    Alternatively, I don’t know how you feel about the paradigm that in classic animation, every drawing has a number label anyway and that’s what they write down on an old-timey X-Sheet.

    If the program generates those numbers/IDs on its own, there could just be an option to unfold/collapse an extra column in the UI that shows all the labels for the drawings on the layer you’re working on. The problem is that as you insert and remove drawings while pencil testing, auto-generated labels tend to change, or get jumbled up (numbers getting reordered, numbers skipping, numbers between numbers).

    This second way is how Clip Studio Paint does it and has this little hitch, and it falls on the user to rename the drawings into a sensible order, or use a built-in function to rename all the drawings according to the sequence they appear in the animation. The up side is that the user has full control. It’s not really a tedious task, especially with the auto-rename feature.


    I’m leaning towards the first one, but maybe the second one might make more sense if it fits into some other features you have planned. I understand this requires some time for consideration though.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Pharan.
    April 8, 2020 at 1:04 pm #2300
    Niels Krogh MortensenNiels

    Thank you very much for your detailed explanation! Much appreciated!

    I actually really like your first option!

    The second I agree with has this built in problem that automatic numbers would change, as you say.

    I like that if you are not using this feature (your first suggestion), everything is just looking fine and simple. Then if you are advanced enough to need it, then you can just take it into use. And because the drawings are often so similar anyway, having a symbol (letter) occluding part of the x-sheet thumbnail doesn’t change anything – it will only help.

    This is going onto our todo! Thank you VERY much Pharan!

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