Help: Windows

Main Window

The large window you see when TweenMaker starts up is the main window. It consists of a large drawing area, a time line at the top and a tool bar on the side.

Drawing Area

If you ever load a project and it doesn't appear in the main drawing area, select "Reset View" from the "View" menu.

This is where you will be creating great animation. It is highly recommended that you use a pressure sensitive tablet to take full advantage of TweenMaker's abilities, but it is not required. You will often be able to access sub menus by right clicking in the main window. There are scroll bars at the right and bottom of the drawing area. Use these or the spring loaded pan tool (see hot keys) to move to a different location on the screen.

Tool bar

This sub window contains many tools and options available for your use described here. You can increase or decrease the width of the tool bar by clicking and dragging on the divider between the tool bar and the drawing area. The tool bar may be placed on the left or right side of the screen by selecting the “Put Tools on Left(or Right)” option from the tools menu.

Time Line

This window is used to control levels, placement of inbetweens and keys, and onion skinning. The scroll bar at the bottom of the time line lets you view different sections of the time line and the scroll bar at the right of the time line lets you view all the levels if there are more than fit within the space for the time line. To change the amount of space the time line has, you can click and drag the line in between the time line and the drawing area to change how much vertical space the time line gets.

Levels

Each level has its own color to help you distinguish which level you are currently working on. To the left of each level, there are three icons. An eye (or camera), a lock and a colored box. The eye is used to toggle the visibility of a level. This is helpful when you have many levels and only want to look at specific levels. The lock is used to toggle whether or not you may make changes to a level. This is useful when you have several levels and do not want to accidentally make changes to the wrong one. The color of the box identifies the level by giving it a specific color. When you click on the box, you toggle between looking at a simple line representation of the level and the actual level. Right clicking on a level brings up a sub menu that lets you perform various options on the level. Each unique level may have special commands via this sub menu. You can drag and drop levels to sort their vertical ordering.

Camera Level

Use this level to describe camera pans zooms and rotations. The key frames in this level record the position, zoom and rotation of the camera for that frame. When this level is selected, you will see an editing box similar to the selection box that you can use to adjust the camera for each key frame. You can select the “camera view” check box in the tool options part of the tools window to see what the view will be through the camera.

Clean Up Level

All tools aside from the pencil and eraser may be used on this level. This is the principle level for animation.

Ruff Level

Only the pencil and eraser tools may be used on this level.

Background Level

This is a level that is solely devoted to background images and image sequences. You may right click on this level and select to load an image or sequence of images to this level. You can edit the positioning rotation and scale of these images by using the edit tool.

Key Frames and Inbetweens

The section of the time line to the right of the levels shows all the frames for the animation. Empty frames look line this , key frames look like this and inbetweens look like this . If you click on the bottom half of a key frame, you will turn on onion skinning for that key frame. You can click and drag key frames to different places on the time line. Inbetween frames are automatically added between key frames. You can bring up a sub menu for inbetweens and keys by right clicking on them with the mouse. This sub menu allows you to copy, paste, and delete frames, and insert inbetweens.

Time Line Marker

This marker at the top of the time line shows you which frame you are currently on. Clicking on a different frame in the time line will move the time line marker to that frame.

Onion skinning

The onion skin markers specify how many key frames before and after the current frame will be onion skinned. This is why the markers will pop to certain key frames instead of staying on inbetweens they were dragged to.

There are two markers. A starting marker and an ending marker that specify the range of which key frames are onion skinned (for those new to animation, onion skinning refers to viewing multiple drawings in a semi transparent fashion). Click and drag each marker to specify the range around the time line marker. The onion skinning only works on key frames and not inbetweens. Toggle the “onion skin” check box in the tools option part of the tools window to turn onion skinning on or off. Individual key frames may be onion skinned by clicking on the box in the lower half of the key so that the key frame looks like this in the time line.

Player Controls

These control the playback of the animation. allows you to load a WAV audio file. toggles the sound for the loaded WAV file. steps one frame back in the animation. plays the animation and pauses the animation when playing. stops the animation. steps one frame forward in the animation.

Line Recorder

The line prompt works on the first visible onion skinned frame. If you would like to be prompted from a frame that is not next to the current frame, first shrink the onion skin markers to be just around the time line marker so that no frames are onion skinned. Then click in the bottom square of a key frame marker so that it turns green like this .

is the record button. When it is red, it will record the lines you draw with the ink tool so that they can be matched to lines in later key frames. These lines are recorded in the order that you draw them. When it is gray like this , no lines will be recorded when you draw them. This which means they will no be able to be matched with lines in other key frames. Press the button to turn off the line recorder. When the record button is green like this , it will prompt you on which line you should draw next. The rest of these buttons work with the line prompt. and step to the previous or next line in order. allows you to insert new lines in order for the current key frame. Click the record button to start the prompt again once you have added the lines you want. allows you to remove lines you don't want in the current frame. Once again, the lines are ordered in the sequence that you draw them.

Tween Spacing

This window shows how close each inbetween is to a given key frame. Adjusting the size of the window to make it more vertical or horizontal changes whether the spacing of the inbetweens is in the vertical or horizontal direction. You can use the arrows on the side to adjust the timing of the inbetweens as a whole or you select and drag each inbetween marker to adjust them individually.

Layers

Every shape and line in a drawing has it's own layer order that determines the order in which things are drawn on the screen. Things in a higher level will be drawn on top of things in a lower layer. You can sort the layers by dragging them up and down in the layer window. You can bring up a sub menu of commands by right clicking on them. The item in the sub menu called “Group Selected” will put the selected items in a sub group show by this icon . When you add items to a group, you can change the sort order of the group instead of having to change the order of each individual item. Grouping items also helps you remember where certain items are. For example, you may have a group called head that contains all the lines and shapes for the eyes ears head and hair. You may also wish to make sub groups for eyes ears and hair within the head group. By checking the “Apply changes to all frames” check box, you can sort layers for all frames instead of just the current frame.

Ink Line Size / Style

This window allows you to size and shape of the inking line. If you check the “Use automatic line width” check box, all the lines you draw will have the shaping of the line shown in the image without regard to the amount of pressure you use on your tablet. This can be very helpful for those drawing with a mouse. Move the markers to change the shape of the line. You can bring this window up by clicking on the icon in the tool options when the ink tool is selected.

Pencil Line Size / Style

This window is similar to the ink line size / style window. The difference is that there is no automatic line width available.

Color Picker

This window comes up when you select on a color box such as paint color or ink color, and lets you change the color.

New Scene

This window is displayed when you select “New Scene...” from the file menu and allows you to create a new scene. There a various predetermined scene dimensions you can choose from, or you can create a scene of a custom size by selecting “Custom” and using the height and width fields provided.

Properties

The properties window is accessible via the edit menu. It contains several tabs described below.

Scene Properties tab

Since these values are saved for each separate scene, they may change when you load a scene or create a new one.

This tab contains properties that are specific to the current scene. Here you can change the width and height of the drawing area (scene) and that of the camera. You can also change the number of frames per second for playback.

Tool Properties tab

It is helpful to change the tolerances when you have a very large or very small screen resolution. It will make selecting and editing things much easier.

This tab lets you customize the tools that you use in TweenMaker.

View Settings tab

These settings are mainly for the preference of the animator. Feel free to play around with them to see what they do.

Hot Keys tab

There are a large number of customizable hot keys that can be set in this tab. All these hot keys work from the drawing area section of the main window.

Export Animation

The export window lets you export your animation in a number of formats. Vector based formats such as Flash (SWF) and Postscript (EPS) are not available in the student version. When choosing a filename, the frame number and file type extension will automatically be added to the name.