Learn to Animate

The OpenToonz Workspace

The workspace in OpenToonz is a combination of customizable rooms and windows.

Rooms

There are 2 sets of default rooms that you may choose from in "Preferences". The "Default" set is intended for a modern animation workflow using automatic tweening. The "Studio Ghibli" set was created by Studio Ghibli for a cel animation approach. We are adding a 3rd room set "ABCustom" which has been customized for the learning process.

  1. In the Program menu, go to OpenToonz → Preferences
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  3. Under "Interface", select the room set from the dropdown menu next to "room"
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  1. To the far right of the “Room” menu, if the lock icon is closed, L-click to unlock Example is missing
  2. In the room menu (top), right-click on any of the room tabs and select “New Room” (a new room will be added to the menu) Example is missing
  3. Double click on “room” to rename the room to the name of your choice Example is missing
  4. In the topmost menu, select “Windows” (make sure “lock room panes” is deselected) and add the windows of your choice.
    1. Adjust each windows placement as necessary:
      1. To resize a window pane, hover around the edge of the window pane until the cursor changes to the double arrow → left-click and pull to adjust
      2. To move a window pane, left-click the pane’s header/title area and drag into position (the first window will fill the entire room when it is moved)
      3. To set a window pane in position next to another window pane:
        1. Drag the first window pane so that it overlaps the edge of the location you would like to place it
        2. When a green bar appears, release the windowpane (it should snap into position)
    2. When the windows are positioned to your preferences, in the topmost menu, select “Windows” and select “lock room panes” to prevent accidentally pulling the panes into floating position
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Rename a Room

  1. Double click on the room
  2. name and then typing the new name
  3. Press enter to save the change

Resizing a Window Pane

  1. Example is missing Make sure the room panes are locked
  2. Adjust the size of a window pane by left-clicking on the dark dividing lines and dragging vertically or horizontally

Adding or Moving Window Panes

  1. Example is missing Make sure the room panes are unlocked
  2. If you are adding a new window:
    1. Go to Windows and left-click on the window you are adding
    2. Left-click the pane’s header/title area and drag the pane so that it overlaps the edge of the location you would like to place it
    3. When a green bar appears, release the window pane (it should snap into position)
  3. If you are moving a docked window:
    1. Left-click the pane’s header/title area and drag the pane into a floating/freestanding position
    2. Left-click the pane’s header/title area and drag the pane so that it overlaps the edge of the location you would like to place it
    3. When a green bar appears, release the window pane (it should snap into position)

Deleting Window Panes

  1. Left-click the pane’s header/title area and drag the pane into a floating/freestanding position
  2. Left-click to freeze the pane in place
  3. Left-click on the top-right “x” to delete the pane
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  1. Make sure the active room is not the room you are deleting
  2. Right click on the room you wish to delete in the room menu
  3. Select "Delete Room _____" Example is missing
  1. Got to Windows → "Reset to Default Rooms" Example is missing
  2. Close and Restart OpenToonz to see changes
To maximize your workspace, go to Full screen:

To enter Full screen:
  1. View → Enter Full Screen
To exit Full screen:
  1. View → Exit Full Screen

Windows

Windows can be docked in a room or they can be left in a floating position. Floating windows will be visible even after changing rooms.

When a window is maximized, the room menu remains visible.

  1. To maximize a single window, use the shortcut ~ (while the cursor hovers over the window) or double-click on the pane header
  2. To minimize a window, use the shortcut ~ (while the cursor hovers over the window) or double-click on the pane header
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The Viewer can also enter "Full screen Mode", where the Viewer takes up the entire screen.

  1. To make the Viewer full screen, hover the cursor over the Viewer and use the shortcut alt-F
  2. To exit the Viewer from full screen, hover the cursor over the Viewer and use the shortcut alt-F
File browser - gives you access to files/folders
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Level strip - displays the drawings in the active level
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Level Palette - where you add/adjust/access colors for in the active level
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Stage/FX Schematic - an alternate display of your scene elements or specieal effects in a node format
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Style editor - Allows you to edit the color, texture, brush and etc. of the selected style
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Toolbar - a vertical menu of animation editing tools that can be used in the viewer area
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Tool option bar - displays the properties of the selected tool
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Viewer - used to create drawings, view the selected frame, and play the animation
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Combo viewer - a fusion of the viewer, horizontal toolbar, and the tool option bar
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Xsheet/Timeline - keeps track of drawings, keyframes, audio and pacing of the animation
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Command Bar/Xsheet Toolbar - gives direct access to frequently used commands for the Xsheet and Timeline
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History - allows you to see your previous steps and go back to a previous step
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Clean-up settings - allows for converting scanned images into vector format
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Color model - allows you to use an image (scanned, digital, or in-program) to copy color information with a color picker when painting a character/object
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Flip book - allows you to preview an image strip, levels, or a rendered animation
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Function editor - gives you more specific control over special effects and keyframes
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Message center - displays error and warning messages from OpenToonz
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Record audio - allows you to record and insert audio directly in program (the audio can be edited later through cutting, copying & pasting but advanced editing must be done outside of OpenToonz)
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Scene cast - allows you to access, save, and load scenes and levels
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Studio palette - where you add/adjust/access any saved palettes
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Batch servers - allows multiple renders or image cleanups to be processed
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Tasks - displays tasks submitted for batch processing
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There are many Preferences that you can experiment with. Starting out, these changes are recommended:

  1. In the Program menu, go to OpenToonz → Preferences
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  3. Under "General"
    1. check "Save Automatically" & set to about 7 minutes
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    2. check "Backup Animation Levels when Saving"
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    3. choose "My Documents/OpenToonz" for Additional Project Locations
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  4. Under "Interface"
    1. Next to "Rooms", select "AB Custom"
      1. If you do not see "AB Custom" available, download the folder from Google Classroom and place in Applications → OpenToonz Stuff → Profiles → Layouts → Rooms before restarting OpenToonz and coming back to Preferences
    2. Next to "Function Editor" change to "Toggle Between Graph Editor and Spreadsheet"

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  5. Under "Import/Export"
    1. set FFmpeg path (to enable video import and export)
      1. download FFmpeg and move to "Documents"
      2. under Import/Export, click on the ... next to "FFmpeg path"
      3. use the "File Browser" to find the correct folder

    2. change FFmpeg Timeout to at least 600
  6. Under "Drawing"
    1. Add "Down Arrow at End of Level Strip Creates a New Frame"
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  7. Under "Xsheet"
    1. Select desired "Column Header Layout" - Compact is recommended
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    2. choose “Show Toolbar in Xsheet”
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  8. Close and Restart OpenToonz to see changes
The command bar can be customized to add your most used commands for easy access: Example for customizing the command bar
  1. Add a command:
    1. Right-click on an empty segment of the command bar
    2. Select "Customize Command Bar"
    3. In the right column, find the command you want to add
    4. Drag and drop the command to the desired position in the left column
    5. Add separators in the same way as necessary
  2. Remove a command:
    1. In the left column, right-click on the command
    2. Select "Remove..."
  3. Select "OK" when all customization is finished
Most added commands will display as text buttons.