When you want to reuse artwork and animation from your project in other scenes, you must create a template. A template can be seen as a portable scene or package that you can drag inside your project. A template is an individual copy of the artwork stored in the library which you can reuse in different scenes. Once a template is stored in the library, you can access it from any project.
You can create a master template out of a cut-out puppet you created so you can reuse it throughout a single project or a full production. A cut-out character's master template stores the entire rig, structure, drawings, and keyframes of the different poses of your puppet into a single asset.
Master templates are created from the Node view.
The Timeline view and the Node view display different information about a scene and its structure. To make sure a character's main template, also called the master template, is rigged exactly the way it was meant to be when it's imported into a scene, it should be created with all the connections, effects, composites, nodes, pegs, groups, drawings, timings, as well as all the other information in the scene it was originally created in. Because the Node view is the most faithful representation of a rig's structure, it is recommended to create master templates from the Node view rather than the Timeline view.
An action template, also known as animation template, is created from the Timeline view. This template allow you to reuse animations, key poses and part of an animation and contains mainly keyframes and drawing exposures. For example, you can reuse head positions or a leg animation from a walk-cycle and place them inside other animations. When it is extracted from the Timeline view, it loses the extra connections, effects, and groupings from the Node view.
An action template is used with a master template. It cannot be used on its own since it does not contain all the information required to rebuild the puppet skeleton and advanced connections. The standard process is to first import the master template to the Node view or Timeline’s left side, and then slide the action template into the Timeline’s right side. This allows you to first build the skeleton and then give it the right pose.
The combination of master and action templates will function as long as the layer order and connections are the same.
When you create an action template, be sure to name it so you can easily identify it as an animation.