Chapter 1: Introduction

The Harmony Xsheet is part of the Toon Boom Harmony solution. The Xsheet Module takes care of all of your timing needs, from pasting cycles, to setting Tempo Markers, to printing your Xsheet. The Xsheet Module combines drawing, function, timing and annotation columns for maximum freedom and performance.

The Xsheet Module is mainly used for traditional animation when reproducing paper exposure sheet. It only covers Harmony Stage’s timing features. This way, the user does not have to deal with all the other advanced animation features and can focus on his exposure sheet work.

In all Harmony Xsheet documentation, the default keyboard shortcuts that are used are the Harmony shortcuts.

The exposure of a drawing is the length of time that it stays on the screen. In animation, a second often can be divided as follows; 24, 25 or 30 images depending on the used format. We also call these images frames.

There are two main broadcast standards used; the one selected will determine the frame rate. In North America, Japan and some other parts of Asia, the NTSC (National Television System Committee) format is used. This format is 30 images (frames) per second.

In most of Europe, PAL (Phase Alternating Line) format is the broadcast standard. This format is 25 frames per second.

The human brain is able to process an animation as slow as 12 drawings per second. Therefore, the amount of drawings per second should be between 12 and 30. The general standard is 24 or 25 frames per second, so these 12 drawings are set on double exposure. This means that each drawing stays on the screen for two frames. If a drawing is exposed for 24 frames, it means that it will appear to the eye for one second.

The Xsheet also known as the Exposure Sheet, or Dope Sheet is used when an animator is planning a scene: the animator creates an individual column for each element in the scene, the name of the drawings and their exposure into the Xsheet.The Xsheet allows the user to see the timing in detail.

The Xsheet is composed of columns corresponding to the different layers. Each column is split into rows representing the frames in the scene. A paper Xsheet usually has eighty to a hundred rows and ten columns. This enables the animator to associate a column with a certain element and record at which frame each drawing will appear.

The traditional paper Xsheet was mainly created for the animator to communicate with the cameraman regarding the scene’s timing, the camera moves and element trajectories. It is still used today to express the same information to the compositors and the person working on the digital Xsheet.

Topics Covered 

Getting Started