Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Duplicating characters and layers, part of Migrating from Flash to Toon Boom Harmony.
- If you want to take an existing animation and copy it so for example, take one bird flying and turn it into a flock of birds. In Flash I would put this inside a nested symbol and then move those symbols across the screen. And you can do that in Harmony, I'll show you how in the next movie, but there's another way doing it that is much more flexible and I want to show you that now. And that's called duplicating layers and cloning layers. And these are very important to distinguish between. So let's take this bird, fly one, and firstly, let's go to, right click on that layer and go duplicate first, we'll make a simple duplication.
And I'm going to rename that one, just take that one off and call it duplicate. And let's do it again, back to the original, right click and go clone selected layers, drawings only. And drag that to the bottom again. And go, clone, drawings only. And we'll do one more. This time we'll clone the drawings and the timing. I'll rename that. Otherwise we could never keep these straight. Clone, drawings, and timing.
Here we have a duplicate layer, so let's solo that. I need to move these apart so I can see exactly what's going on. We'll go into animation mode and select the transform tool. Let's move this bird up here and beneath him, we'll go to the next layer. And beneath that, the one below. You can see we're setting key frames as well. If you want to scale these down, let's do that as well since we're here. Let's draw a big lasso around them and scale them in.
They fit inside our screen area. Now when we cycle through, we have four birds. And then empty space here. How do we deal with this, how do we make it work? What are the differences? First off, we have duplicate layer. Let's go into our color panel and say we want a different colored bird. I'm not going to inflict one of these colors on you, I'll just paint him white. You'll see that pretty much nothing is changing to the other birds. That's because he's a duplicate, he has his own identity. So I'm going to use the "F" and the "G" keys to very quickly through this and color him in.
I won't worry too much about these little beaks and things. Okay. So now we have the duplicate layer all duped. Now let's see what happens if we make a change to this bird, to the original. Use the animation tool to select him. So what if we repaint him, I'm going to make new color. And click on this little blue border. Go to multi-wheel mode. And let's say we want a dark browny bird, that'll do.
Now if I paint him, these two layers have changed. I'm going to hide our dupe now, let's make him go away. If I go through this fellow, paint, you'll see that all the others are painted too. What happens if I paint this one on the bottom. I'm going to go to the very bottom clone layer, paint him. And as you can see, any alteration made in one clone will affect the others. Now I'll paint this one here, the second from the bottom. This is a fantastic tool, if you want to have complete control over an entire flock.
So a duplicate is great, if like I said, you want to have one bird in the flock that's different, but once you do that remember you have now made a unique series of drawings. As I said before in the course, each of these timelines corresponds to a folder on your hard drive. So there's folder in your project file for this course 0418, that's called 'bird.fly.1' there's also one called 'bird.fly.1_dupe' But these aren't the same as these.
So this folder has now been duplicated here. So what happens now if I change the timing? As you can see, and it's hard to see obviously, with this little perimeter view, but we'll try to go with it. If I used the bracket keys to say make a change the exposure of b_1, so I'm going to make b_3 Let's make it five or seven, we'll really go further. Now you'll see the timing has been changed on the bottom layer where I've cloned the drawing and the timing. It's not changing on this one, this fellow here, the third one down.
He has his own autonomous timing. This is a great way if you want two layers to sync up perfectly. I'm going to solo those, so you can see exactly what's going on. As I bracket through the top one, it's changing the timing of the bottom one. These are now completely linked. Let's say I want the birds' cycle to begin on frame five on this one. Then, seven, nine, eleven... You're seeing the numbers change to match here too. This will be 13. And then I think we go back to one.
And then to three. Now we have our cycles here. And we have our separate bird here with his own timing. So this is a fantastic technique that will allow you to alter the timing of different layers. And then you have complete control over them. Then, like I said before, if you want to do a duplicate for a different color, or some other treatments, if you want to change the shape of the bird's beak, or customize it, give him a slightly different design or angle, then you would use duplicate layer. And don't forget if you want to copy these exposures, Control "C", control "V" Notice how the, and this is very cool, notice how the timing also changes on the bottom layer too.
Any timing adjustments we make here, they're made here and that includes the length of the timeline. You'll just copy these exposures here. Both of these layers have their own timing of course. I'm now going to delete these key frames and shorten our timeline. Just to emphasize it once again, the ability to move and animate across the exposures and the drawings. We have our flying bird flock.