Timeline View

T-HFND-006-002

To set your animation timing, you will mostly work with the Timeline and Xsheet views. It's extremely useful to become familiar with the Timeline view, how it works, and its interface.

The Timeline view is the main view used when adjusting the timing of drawings, adding keyframes and ordering layers. The Timeline view displays layers, effects, sounds, keyframe values, scene length, layer names, drawings, keyframes, timing, and frames.

The Timeline view allows you to read your timing from left to right. It represents the scene’s elements in their simplest form. You can also see the layers and their names, as well as the drawing’s exposure. The drawing name is displayed when you place your pointer over the drawing’s exposure.

Timeline View Drawing Name

Icon Section Description

View Menu

The View menu contains all the tools and options that you can use to manage models.

Enable/Disable Layer

The Enable/Disable All button lets you enable or disable layers. Disabling a layer makes the scene behave as if it didn't exist, including when rendering the scene. For example:

  • A disabled drawing layer will be invisible.
  • A disabled sound layer will be mute.
  • A disabled peg layer will not affect the position of its child layers.

To disable a layer, click the layer's Enable/Disable button or press D.

To enable a layer, click the layer's Enable/Disable button or press A.

NOTE: Next to sound layers, the Enable/Disable layer button will look like this: .
TIP: You can enable or disable all layers by clicking on the Enable or disable all layers button in the top row.
Enable/Disable Solo Mode

Solo mode allows you to only view specific layers in the Camera view and hide all others. When solo mode is enabled on one layer, only this layer will be visible. If solo mode is enabled on several layers, and only these layers will be visible. If solo mode is not enabled on any layer, all enabled layers will be visible.

You can also use solo mode on sound tracks. If solo mode is enabled on any sound tracks, only those sound tracks will play during playback.

TIP: When some layers are in solo mode, you can disable or re-enable solo mode on all layers that have it enabled by clicking on the Toggle solo mode on or off button in the top row.

Add to/Remove from Onion Skin

For when the Onion Skin option is enabled, this allows you to enable or disable Onion Skin on specific layers.

Timeline View - Onion Skin

TIP: To activate the general Onion Skin preview, in the Tools toolbar, click the Onion Skin button. For more information, see Paperless Animation Tools.
Lock/Unlock Layer The Lock/Unlock Layer button lets you prevent the selection or editing of a layer in the Camera view. To select some of the layers without selecting others, in the Timeline view, lock the layers you do not want to select. When a layer is locked, its name is displayed in red.

Timeline View - Lock Layer

In the top menu, there is a series of locking options. Select Animation > Lock > select one of the following:

  • Lock: Locks the currently selected element.
  • Unlock: Unlocks the currently selected element.
  • Lock All: Locks all the elements in the Camera view.
  • Unlock All: Unlocks all the elements in the Camera view.
  • Lock All Others: Locks all the elements in the Camera view except the currently selected one.
NOTE: For more information, see About Selection Locking.
Toggle Outline Mode / Change Track Colour

Each drawing layer has a little colour swatch that has two functionalities:

  • Single-clicking a layer's colour swatch toggles Outline mode on or off. Outline mode makes the layer display as nothing but the outlines of its vector shapes in the Camera view, allowing you to see the drawing's shape without it blocking the view of layers behind it.

  • Double-clicking the layer's colour swatch opens a colour picker dialog that allows you to change the layer's track colour. The track colour displays in the layer's track in the Timeline view, allowing you to give special visibility to specific layers. It also determines the colour of the layer's outlines if it's in outline mode.

Show/Hide Thumbnails

Expands the layer to display a thumbnail of the drawing in the current frame, as well as for each drawing in the timeline.

NOTE: By default, the timeline's zoom level does not allow enough horizontal space to fully display the thumbnails of drawings exposed for one or two frames only. To see the thumbnails for drawings with short exposure, you must increase the timeline's zoom level—see Timeline Zoom.

When a drawing layer is in Show Thumbnails mode:

  • An exposure indicator appears at the right of each exposed drawing in the timeline, indicating the amount of frames the drawing spans over.
  • An Opacity parameter appears to the left of the layer, allowing you to set the layer's opacity level.
TIP: You can show or hide thumbnails for all drawing layers by clicking on the Show/Hide All Thumbnails button in the top row.
  Opacity

Allows you to set the opacity level of the layer. Click and drag the value left or right to decrease or increase the layer's opacity.

NOTE: This parameter only displays for drawing layers that are in Show Thumbnails mode.
Active Drawing Layer Indicator

This icon appears next to the active drawing layer, which is the layer you draw on when using drawing tools.

NOTE: The active drawing layer is not always the selected layer. For example, if you select a drawing layer, then a peg layer, the peg layer will be the selected layer, but the active drawing layer will remain the last drawing layer you selected, until you select another drawing layer.

Add Layer

The Add Layers button lets you add new layers to the Timeline view. When you click the Add Layers button, a menu appears displaying the available layer types.

Delete

The Delete Layers button lets you delete the currently selected layers in the Timeline view—see How to delete layers in the Timeline view.

Add Drawing Layer

The Add Drawing Layer button lets you automatically add a new drawing layer to the Timeline view. By default, the layer is named Drawing—see Adding Layers and Columns.

Add Peg

The Add Peg button lets you add a peg layer to the timeline. If several layers are selected, a peg is added and parented to each layer—see Adding Pegs.

Expand/Collapse

The Expand/Collapse button is used to display the children layers of a parent layer. Once a layer is parented to another layer, it is indented to the right and the Collapse/Expand Children button appears on the parent layer allowing you to show or hide the child layer.

Timeline View - Collapse / Expand Children

Show/Hide Functions

The Show/Hide Functions button lets you display the functions embedded in each layer. The functions are the different coordinates and values used to record a layer’s parameters at each frame. This information is stored on the function curves using keyframes.

If the layer can be connected to another layer, for example to use a drawing layer as a matte, expanding a layer's functions will also list its possible connections. You can connect layers by dragging and dropping a layer onto another layer's connection.

Timeline View - Show / Hide Functions

Add/Remove Keyframe

Adds a keyframe at the current frame of the selected function or removes the keyframe at the current frame of the selected function, if there is one already.

NOTE: This button only displays for function layers.
Previous Keyframe

Moves the timeline cursor to the previous keyframe on the selected function.

NOTE: This button only displays for function layers.
Next Keyframe

Moves the timeline cursor to the next keyframe on the selected function.

NOTE: This button only displays for function layers.
Function Menu

Displays the Function menu, which allows you to create a new function for the function layer, or to link it to an existing shared function—see About Functions.

NOTE: This button only displays for functions layers, in the Parameters column—see Show/Hide Parameters.
Function Keyframe

A frame where the value for one or more of the layer's functions is preset. The position of each layers in key poses for digital animation is recorded in function keyframes. You can grab and move function keyframes as well as copy, cut, paste and delete them.

TIP: If you have a keyframe and a drawing selected simultaneously, and you wish to delete the keyframe without deleting the drawing's exposure by doing one of the following:
  • In the Timeline toolbar, click on the Delete Keyframe button. In the Timeline toolbar, click on the Delete Keyframe button. In the Timeline toolbar, click on the Delete Keyframe button. In the Timeline toolbar, click on the Delete Keyframe button.
  • Press F7.
  • From the top menu, select Animation > Delete Keyframe
NOTE: If a collapsed layer has children that have function keyframes, you will see a white square instead.
Split

The Split button lets you split the Timeline view in two sections, allowing you to see two different portions of the Timeline view. This can be useful if you need to often switch between two specific points of a lengthy scene.

Timeline View - Split View

Drawing Exposure

In the Timeline view, when a drawing is exposed, it is represented by a grey block that extends from the first frame it is exposed to the last frame it is exposed.

View Modes

Lets you choose between different view modes allowing you to decide which layers are listed in the Timeline view. This can be useful if you're working on a scene with a lot of layers, and you only want layers you will be working on to appear in the Timeline view so as to declutter it. The following view modes are available:

  • Normal View Mode will show all the layers in your scene.
  • Selection Only Mode will hide all the layers that are not currently selected, leaving only the currently selected layers in the Timeline view.
  • View Tagged Layers will only show layers which you have tagged.

TIP: You can tag a layer by doing one of the following:
  • Right click on the layer and select Tag > Timeline Tag.
  • Open the Timeline view menu and select Edit > Tag > Timeline Tag.
Show/Hide Parameters

Shows or hides the Parameters column, right of the Layers column. The Parameters column displays information on the layer at the current frame, depending on the type of layer it is:

  • If the layer is a drawing, it displays the name of the drawing at the current frame.
  • If the layer is a function, it displays the value of the function at the current frame.
  • If the layer is a sound track, it displays the sound track's volume.

Using the mouse, you can drag the parameter left and right to change its value. This is especially useful for quickly changing a drawing's exposure at the current frame.

Show/Hide Additional Links

Shows or hides the Additional Links column. The Additional Links column displays layers that are connected under the layer, but for other purposes than being the parent of those layers. For example, if a layer is used as the matte of an effect, the effect will be displayed in that layer's Additional Links.

If more than one layers are in a layer's Additional Links, only the first of these layers will be displayed, followed by the amount of extra linked layers there are.

By clicking on the Additional Links, you can open a menu listing the linked layers, and click on one of these layers to navigate to it.

In the following example, the BOOM_Animation layer is used as the matte of Cutter_1 and Cutter_2:

Timeline Zoom

Reduces or increases the width of frames in the Timeline view. Move the slider right to increase the width or left to reduce it. You can also press 2 to zoom in and 1 to zoom out when the Timeline view is focused on.

If you want to reset the Timeline view's zoom, click on the Timeline Zoon icon left of the slider.