About Timing

When you create hand-drawn animation traditionally or in a paperless environment, it's important to know how to set and modify the timing of your drawings.

In a traditional workflow, the person in charge of the digital exposure sheet reproduces the paper exposure sheet created by the animator. In a paperless workflow, the animator creates and manages their own exposure sheet directly in Harmony without the need for reproduction.

If you're more of a traditional animator, you will probably work with an exposure sheet. If you're a digital animator, you may prefer to work with a timeline to visualize your timing. Harmony offers both.

The Xsheet view displays the digital reproduction of a traditional paper exposure sheet used in hand-drawn animation. You can set the animation sequence's exposure and name the drawings.

The Timeline view is also used to visualize timing, and represents elements and groups of elements as layers.

You can adjust timing in both views; your choice depends on which technique you're accustomed to using. Depending on your working style, some actions may seem preferable to do in one view instead of another. Many of the actions you perform in the Xsheet can also be accomplished in the Timeline. This chapter will often show both techniques. You can choose which one you prefer.

In this chapter, you will learn how to work on your drawing’s exposure and length. The exposure and animation paths for symbols are covered in separate chapters.

NOTE: The exposure sheet is not mandatory for cut-out animation. It can be useful for creating characters and parts, but is not really needed for animation and timing. If you plan to work with cut-out animation, you can still learn useful tips by reviewing the section on exposure sheets.