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About the Author

Christina Halstead

Christina Halstead

2D Animator and Character Designer

Burbank, USA


Video Transcript

Hi there, my name is Christina Halstead and I'm going to be working with Toon Boom Harmony Essentials.

And this tutorial is a little bit of information about swaps. So basically swaps are when you have a cut-out or deformation rig and you want to exchange a piece of your character for a different piece. And in this case, I'll show you swaps of the hand.

And there are two ways to scroll through your swaps: One of them is going to this little icon right here; it opens up the parameters. If you go to your art layer. That would be the layers that are pink. So, there we go. See, this is our hand layer. And I actually have three different drawings. And so here's the first drawing. And we can use the parameter. We could either type it in and I'll type in: 2. You can see the next swap.

And the other way of changing it is by going over the number and dragging it. And you can see that I have three different hand positions that I drew and they are all showing up as this part of the hand. And you can see them right here. And the reason the body and all the other pieces disappeared is because this is further down the timeline. This is actually frame 3 in the timeline. And because the other pieces of the body aren't extended out that far that's why they disappeared. So you can see all of these are here.

Now I can actually delete these from the timeline, by just selecting them and hitting [Delete]. And they're actually still on this layer, they're just in the Library part of this layer.

If we go to the Library tab right here, we can see that, in the Drawing Substitution window, we have a little bar. And if we drag it, we actually get a preview and we can exchange our assets for other assets on that drawing layer. You can actually rename these too, by selecting the frame and hitting [Ctrl + D]. A Rename Drawing window will come up and you can go ahead and rename that. So that's basically how swaps work. And you can pretty much do that on any part of the character. I'm going to go ahead and show you that exactly what happens when you want to create one.

So in this case I have our eye right here. And I can go ahead. I've already created another eye. Now all I have to do is drag it over and you can see that other eye shows up. Now actually if I want to make a new, I can actually turn the whole layer off. The pupil is still there, but the actual eye layer, I just turned it off.

So basically, if you were animating, when you got to this point in the animation you would turn off. So it would basically be like, you know, the layer is still on, but the frames themselves are off. I'll go ahead and put that back.

And let's say I wanted to make a new version or maybe just make a new eye in general. What I would do...I'm going to go to the drawing layer here. The other eye. What I'm going to do is I'm going to actually duplicate this eye. I'm going to go ahead and select it and copy that. And I'm going to go to a new frame. And I'm going to go ahead and paste that artwork in there. And what I think I'm going to do ...I'm just going to take out the inside colour for a second... I'm going to go ahead and select a part of the eye. And I'm going to go ahead and change the pivot. And I'm going to drag this down like this. I'm going to go ahead and use the Cutter and slice some of these extra bits off here. And take the Eraser. There we go. I'm going to go ahead and put that eye in her eye colour, back in there.

So now I have a third eye piece. And I'll go back to my Camera view and go to frame 1, with all the other pieces. And I'm going to go ahead and drag this. And you can see that there's now a new eye layer right there.

Let me select that back again. Put that back the way it was. There we go.

And this is really useful when you want to do different facial expressions. You want to animate a blink, you can just have them already laid out in your Drawing Substitution. And pretty awesome that way.

And this way I can just do all kinds of facial expressions with just substitutions and ...hope that was, there we go... substitutions and pegwork.

You can actually do a lot with very little art assets.

And that's basically how we do swaps.