User Guide > Animatic > Changing the Panel Duration

Changing the Panel Duration

When panels are initially created, they are of a default length of 1 second, displayed in timecode format. When it comes to your animatic, you will want to be more accurate. Modifying the duration of a particular panel is key when working out timing. There are a few different ways to accomplish this.

This section is divided as follows:

Visually Setting the Panel Duration
Setting the Panel Duration in the Panel View
Setting the Panel's In or Out to the Current Frame
Splitting Panel at the Current Frame
Splitting Panel at the Current Frame
Selecting All Panels Forward
Locking the Scene Duration
NOTE: By default, timecode format is used to display the timing in the most accurate manner. The starting timecode of your project is set to 00:00:00.00. However, sometimes it may be best to use the number of frames as a timing value and a later timecode value as the start of your project. You can modify the format and default starting time code value via the Preference dialog box—see Preferences.

Visually Setting the Panel Duration

In the Timeline view, it is very easy to change the duration of a panel just by dragging to resize it. This way you can easily see the length of your panels in relation to one another.

There are two ways to resize a panel in this way, depending on how you want the change to affect subsequent panels.

Resizing a Panel in the Timeline and Shifting All Other Panels Down
Resizing a Panel While Only Affecting the Next Panel

Resizing a Panel in the Timeline and Shifting All Other Panels Down

To resize a panel in the Timeline view and shift all other panels down:

Use this method when you are not concerned about modifying the position of all subsequent panels.

  1. Place the cursor over the end (right side) of a panel.

The resize icon displays.

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  1. Drag the edge of the panel left or right to set the desired length. Using this method, all subsequent panels will be shifted along with the selected one.

While you drag, the new duration of the panel as well as the difference between the former duration are displayed in a black box for accuracy. This value can be displayed in either frames or timecode.

Resizing a Panel While Only Affecting the Next Panel

To resize a panel while only affecting the next panel:

Use this method if you need to keep subsequent panels exactly where they are.

  1. Place the cursor over the end (right side) of a panel.

The resize icon displays.

  1. Hold the [Alt] key, then drag the edge of the panel left or right to set the desired length. Only the panel directly after the selected panel will be changed.

Setting the Panel Duration in the Panel View

A very accurate way of setting the duration of a panel is to use the Panel view. The Panel view will display, amongst other things, the exact Time Code information for the selected panel.

To set the panel duration in the Panel view:

  1. In the Timeline or Thumbnail view, select a panel to adjust.
  1. Go to the Panel view.
  1. In the Duration field, use the up and down arrows or directly type a value to make the selected panel longer or shorter.

Setting the Panel's In or Out to the Current Frame

You can adjust the duration and position of a panel by moving its in and out points to a specific frame determined by the current position of the playhead.

NOTE: Note that the frame you specify must be contained within the current position of the panel you want to change the in or out point of.

To set the panel's in point to the current frame:

  1. In the Timeline view, drag the red playhead to the position where you want the panel to start.

  1. Select Storyboard > Move Panel In to Current Frame. You can also right-click on the selected panel and select Move Panel In to Current Frame.

The selected panel's in point is pushed to the new position, resulting in the previous panel being extended to this point.

To set the panel's out point to the current frame:

  1. In the Timeline view, drag the red playhead to the position where you want the panel to end.

  1. Select Storyboard > Move Panel Out to Current Frame. You can also right-click on the selected panel and select Move Panel Out to Current Frame.

The selected panel's out point is pushed to the new position, shortening its duration.

 

Splitting Panel at the Current Frame

You can split your current panel into two pieces. Following this operation, you will have two identical panels generated from the original. All elements, including layers, will be in both panels. Each panel’s length will be determined by where you have the red playhead when you perform the operation.

To split panel at current frame:

  1. In the Timeline view, drag the red playhead to where you want the panel to be split.

  1. Do one of the following to split the panel:
From the top menu, select Storyboard > Split Panel At Current Frame.
In the Timeline view, right-click in your selected panel and select Split Panel At Current Frame.

Your panel is split into two pieces, precisely where the red playhead is positioned.

NOTE: You may have to adjust any layer transformations you created before splitting the panels.

Selecting All Panels Forward

By using a series of keyboard shortcuts, it is possible to select a panel and all the panels following it at once. These options are also available on audio tracks—see Sound.

There are four possible options:

Selecting All Panels Forward
Selecting All Panels and All Audio Clips Forward

Selecting All Panels Forward

To select all panels forward:

  1. In the Timeline view, click the leftmost panel to select it.

  1. Hold [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift] (Windows) or [⌘]+[Alt] (Mac OS X) and click the panel from which you want the selection to start.

The panel, and all the panels following it, up until the end of the storyboard project are selected at once.

If you drag the selection forward, the panel preceding the selection will be extended.
If you drag the selection backward, the panel preceding the selection will be reduced until it reaches the minimum length allowed (one frame). Then the second panel preceding it will be reduced.

Selecting All Panels and All Audio Clips Forward

To select all panels and all sound clips forward:

  1. In the Timeline view, press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift] (Windows) or [⌘]+[Alt] (Mac OS X) and click the panel from which you want the selection to start.

The panel and all the panels following it, up until the end of the storyboard project, as well as all the sound clips in all audio tracks starting from where the play head is positioned are selected at once and can be moved together.

If you drag the selection forward, the panel preceding the selection will be extended.
If you drag the selection backward, the panel preceding the selection will be reduced until it reaches the minimum length allowed (one frame), then the second panel preceding it will be reduced. Overlapping audio clips will be overwritten by the ones that are selected.

Locking the Scene Duration

You can lock the duration of all scenes in your project with the Lock Scene Duration command. This ensures that the current length of every scene is preserved when adding, duplicating, or deleting panels.

To lock the scene duration:

  1. Select Storyboard > Lock Scene Duration.
NOTE: You can add a custom keyboard shortcut to this option through the Preferences dialog box or use the Lock Scene Duration button in the Storyboard toolbar extra buttons.
  1. Once your scene duration is locked:
Adding a panel using the New Panel or Smart Add Panel command reduces the size of the selected panel to make room for the new one. If the selected panel's length is one frame, the panel length cannot be reduced and therefore the new panel cannot be inserted in the scene.

Deleting or cutting one or more panels causes the preceding panel's length to extend to fill the gap and preserve the scene's duration. Cutting or deleting a scene or all the panels on a scene will not let you preserve the scene's duration.

Duplicating a single panel using the Duplicate Panel command will reduce the length of the selected panel to make room for the duplicated one. Duplicating multiple panels will not keep the scene's duration.

Copying and pasting panels, adding a scene or a sequence, or deleting an entire scene will not preserve scene duration.
Manually changing the duration of a panel is still permitted and will modify the scene duration.