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Animation Module


This is the module where you design every frame of your animation projects. From here, you will draw every detail of your characters and scenarios as you are adding new frames to the timeline of your story. In other words, we could say that this is where the magic happens.

Fig 12. Animation Module Interface

Tip: To switch to the Animation module from other module tabs, use the shortcut Ctrl+1.

In the previous section, we described the general components of Tupi's interface. Now let's go in deep into the Animation module, starting from the elements inside the Animation tab.

The Animation Tab

The Animation tab is formed by a clean canvas (1) in the center (think of it as a paper sheet if you wish), that's the drawing area specifically where frames are created. This canvas is surrounded by two rulers (2) at top border and at left border. Additionally, the Animation tab contains two toolbars: one at top (3) containing a set of edition tools and one at left (4) full of drawing and miscellaneous utilities. At right, there is a properties panel (5) containing features related to the selected tool from the left toolbar. And finally, at bottom, you will see a toolbar (6) with several controls related to the canvas behavior.

Fig 13. Animation Tab

Animation Tab Top Toolbar

This toolbar includes several utilities:

  • The control to switch from Frames, Static Background and Dynamic modes. This modes allows you to work on specific levels of your animation: i.e. draw the background (dynamic and/or static) or to focus on the objects or characters you are animating from your frames, depending on the mode you choose.
  • Edit tools for drawing actions like Do, Undo, Copy, Paste, Cut and Delete.
  • Onion skin tools to enable previous and next frames over the drawing canvas and to set the onion skin opacity level.

Fig 14. Animation Tab Top Toolbar

Animation Tab Left Toolbar

This toolbar includes all the drawing/painting resources: Pencil, Ink tool, Polyline, Primitive tools (Rectangle, Ellipse, Line), Object Selection, Node Selection, Fill tools, Tweening tools and a complementary set of Miscellaneous tools (Export frame as Image, Storyboard settings, Camera and Papagayo lip-sync files).

Fig 15. Animation Tab Left Toolbar

Animation Tab Bottom Toolbar

This toolbar includes several controls and utilities related to the canvas behavior like: Reset Position, Grid, Zoom, Canvas Rotation, Full Screen mode and some status displays (Current Pen Color, Background Color, Current Tool).

Fig 16. Animation Tab Bottom Toolbar

Tupi Sidebars

Ok, now let's review the panels located at Tupi's sidebars outside the Animation Tab and their relationship with the Animation module.

Fig 17. Tupi Sidebar Resources

- Color Palette

Every application related to graphics has a component to deal with color settings, an interface where you can set the color you want to use for the lines, the fill and the background of your animation projects. From the color palette, you can update the value of the color you want to use (including its transparency level), independently of which component of your scene you were illustrating.

Fig 18. Color Palette

- Pen Properties

This panel allows you to modify the brush settings of drawing tools, specifically their contour brush. Among the parameters you can set from here are: thickness, type of stroke edges, line's pattern (dashes, dots, etc) and line's texture.

Fig 19. Pen Properties

- Library

Think of this panel as a repository of visual and audio objects. Depending on the animation technique you were using, the Library is a very handy resource to handle, copy and reuse graphic objects (PNG, JPG, GIF, SVG). As in real movies, animation projects use to require a lot of props, i.e: the body parts of a character for cut-out animation, background objects, etc. The library panel is the warehouse where you store all these assets, so you can import them and use them in any frame, any time.

Fig 20. Library

- Scenes Manager

This panel is a basic interface to create, remove and rename the scenes of your animation project. Usually, the goal of the scenes manager is related to large productions where there's a team and a hierarchy of specific roles: animators, illustrators, directors, etc. From this panel, the director uses to review and to approve the scenes. For small projects, this panel can be used to watch and organize the scenes, in case you were using more than one.

Fig 21. Scenes Manager

- Exposure Sheet

Think of this panel as a spreadsheet where columns are layers, and every cell in a row is a frame. The goal of this interface is to provide a visual guide of your animation timeline in a vertical way, so you can design the structure of your animation by creating and editing layers and frames from top to bottom as time advances toward down.

Fig 22. Exposure Sheet

Bottom Barside

- Timeline

This panel is one of the most emblematic interface components in the world of digital animation and the most popular among 2D animation software tools. In fact, it's the current standard for managing frames and layers along the animation process for digital artists. Think of it as the horizontal version of the Exposure Sheet panel, almost same features, but much more popular.

Fig 23. Timeline

Now, let's move to the next tab. It's time to study the Player Module.

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tupi_animation_module.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/11 18:22 (external edit)