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What’s new, Animator’s Toolbar 2.5

YES! This month I will release the 2.5 update for the Animator’s Toolbar.
A personal high point when it comes to long-tail development. With this update the Animator’s Toolbar will finally extend Photoshop’s timeline functions.

In this post I’ll show you what’s new and when applicable, provide you with examples showing you how to use it. If you have any questions, remarks or requests, just leave a comment at the end of the post and I’ll reply.

NEW “New Animation Panel”

It baffles me why there are no timeline options for starting a new document especially when explicitly using video format presets. On top of that I hear a lot of complaints about the default duration of the timeline which brings me to the new version of the “New Animation Panel”.

Set the size of your new animation project using the presets drop-down menu or manually. Although dpi has nothing to do with video I find it preferable to work at a higher dpi for better effects and line rendering. I added the Colormode option for those who need it. By default the current background color is used for the background layer.

Probably the most interesting addition to the panel is the option to specify the duration of your project. Use a colon notation to insert the duration in minutes:seconds:frames. It’s not mandatory to provide minutes or seconds.

A two second timeline can be created using this notation 2:00

When a single number is entered it’s interpreted as the number of frames, the timeline’s duration is then determent by the selected FrameRate. Photoshop’s default project duration of 5 seconds kicks in when it fails.

Finally there’s the option to generate an empty Video Layer with the provided specifications and/or create a Video Group from the default timeline content.

Trim and Move

Video Groups

After I had the chance to look through one of  Nicolas Ménard’s source files I realised I had to figure out a way to work with or inside Video Groups. When you’re a heavy user of Video Groups (like Nicolas) the current implementation of the Trim and Move tools have proven to be completely useless to you. With the 2.5 update it is now possible to trim layer in- and out points inside Video Groups. Moving a layer’s in- and out points within Video Groups is overruled by the fact that layers are automatically sequenced.

It can be useful to call the move command inside a Video Group to close gaps that have appeared after moving layers around manually.

Animated in Photoshop by Nicolas Ménard

Multiple Layers

It’s now possible to move or trim multiple layer to the same position or duration. Beware that if you apply one of these commands on layers outside of a Video Group your timing will be lost.

Alt-click a trim command to auto-sequence the layers after trimming when they’re not part of a Group or Video Group.

Trim multiple Layers at once

Trim multiple Layers at once was previously impossible

Roll Edit

The new addition to the Move/Trim group is the Roll Edit button. To make a Roll Edit select two layers and place the playhead where you want the edit to role/move to.

New tool in the Move/Trim group; Roll Edit

New tool in the “Move/Trim group” –  Roll Edit works inside and outside Video Groups

When there is a gap between the selected layer a Roll Edit will close it. When used on Video Layers without sufficient footage the command will throw an error.

Modes

As a prequel to the configuration panel, which will be added in version 3.0, I’ve added “modes”.
At this time the toolbar is equipped with three modes:

the animator's toolbar: mode 1

Default mode 1: almost the same button structure as the current version (2) of the toolbar

Animator's Toolbar in mode 2

Minimised mode 2: only timeline edit and navigation buttons of which some have double functionality (indicated in the tooltip) by ALT or SHIFT clicking the buttons.

Minimised mode 3: only timeline edit and navigation buttons of which some have double functionality (indicated in the tooltip) by ALT or SHIFT clicking the buttons and hidden labels.

By clicking the modes button you can toggle the two modes and select the one you prefer.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new update. Next week I’ll be uploading it to the adobe-addons website. If you have any questions, remarks or requests, just leave a comment and I’ll reply.

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