December 16, 2013

Toonboom Tip #6 - Creating Templates

This is a mini tutorial for creating templates in Toonboom Animate. There are two types of templates; Action and Master.

Right to Modify Library
You will want to create a folder for your template in the library. Right click on "Animate Library" and select "Right to Modify". The lock symbol will then disappear. Right click on "Animate Library" again and select "Create New Folder". You will see a little tab appear to the left of the Animate Library folder that you can click to open up and see your new folder. Right click on the new folder and select "Rename Folder" to give it a smart name.
Master Templates
These are what you create to save and use character rigs.

For the rig/artwork that you want to make a template of, add a keyframe on every layer of that rig on the timeline. A good way to do this is to collapse a rig on timeline and using the shortcut F6, make a key. Make sure it's set to stop-motion keyframe as we're not attempting to save animation at this time but simply a template of a rig.

So now, click and drag the entire rig from the left of the timeline (where folders go) by selecting the master peg. (The rig is collapsed now.) Drag it into your new folder on the right side of the library. A window appears giving you the option to name this new template. Give it a smart name.
Action Templates
These are what you want to create to save animation, drawings, keyframes or a combination of those. It's possible to copy animation from one character rig to another if the rigs are set up in the same way. When you drag and drop your action template back into a scene, it will look for the structure style it was created with.

When you have some animation, drawings or keyframes on your timeline that you are ready to make into an action template, drag select those frames on the right side of the timeline. Drop them into the library.

TIP: If you drag and drop an action template first before bringing in a master template, there may be some z depth issues. This happens because the action template doesn't fully understand the structure of a rig. It understands the animation/drawings/keys that it copied to the library. So it's a good idea to bring a master template into a scene first, and then drop action templates onto that. 

Saving actions templates are excellent for things like blinks. A blink is something a character is going to do again and again so why not capture that animation and reuse it to save time?
Summary and Links

To create a master template of a rig, drag a collapsed and keyed rig from the left of the timeline to the right of the library. Here is a great video that covers this information and goes into some more depth about creating character rig turnarounds for Animate.

To create an action template, drag select animation, drawings or keyframes from the right side of the timeline the right side of library. Here is another great video that covers creating action templates.


Check out my past Toonboom Tutorials! I've done 5 so far. All the topics I cover are important and basic. They're ideal for animators picking up Toonboom for the first time whether they come from a Flash background or not.

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