Traditionally, animators have always used a vertical timeline because that’s how film goes through the projector. So every row is a frame and every column is a level. Levels are like layers but FlipBook has layers within levels so we use both terms for clarity.
Double click on any cel in the xsheet to open it for editing or to select it to change its timing or to cut, copy or paste it. When you click and drag on a range of cels they are all selected for cutting, copying and pasting but none of them are opened.
Although most activities will automatically create more frames when you need them, you can also insert and delete frames anytime you want under the edit menu or by right clicking on the frame number. We recommend you not create more frames than you need because that will just add to the time it takes to composite any changes you make.
The levels or columns on the right, closest to the background are behind the levels to the left. You can Append levels under the Edit menu if you need more than you had originally.
Check out the individual xsheet videos to see what else you can do with the xsheet.
FlipBook makes timing out your xsheets as easy as can be. Select any thumbnail and press a number key (1-9) on the keyboard to set the number of frames for which you want it to be displayed. If you want it to hold for more the 9 frames, just press the spacebar and enter the number in the popup dialog. FlipBook will even extend the scene if necessary to make room for the new timing. Then to make it even easier FlipBook will automatically select the next thumbnail so you can just press another number key to set the timing for that cel. So all you have to do is press one number key after another to work your way down the xsheet setting the timing for each cel.
And if you want to set a bunch of them to the same timing just hold the number key down as long as you want. So one press and hold can change the timing for the entire level.
One of the many ways that FlipBook provides to make it easy for you to edit your xsheets is the Slide feature. Just press the Alt key and then slide any thumbnail up or down and all the thumbnails below it will follow so you can move them all at once.
And for even more power you can select several adjacent levels and slide them all at once.
You can cut, copy and paste anything you can select. Select a cel, a row, a column or a range and then use either the menus, the icons or the shortcut keys to cut or copy the selection. Then click in the xsheet to select place where where you want the thumbnails to go.
If pasting creates duplicate cels then you will be asked whether you want them to be linked to the originals or not. If they’re linked painting or editing one will paint them all.
Then later on if you want to break the link . . .
There are several ways to insert frames into the xsheet and they all start with selecting one or more frames at the point in the xsheet where you want the new frame(s) to go.
From there you have 3 of options.
1. You can press the insert key if your keyboard has one. If you hold the insert key down while one or more frames is selected then FlipBook will continue to insert frames until you let go.
2. Right-click on a row number and enter the number of frames you want to insert and the frame where you want to insert them. Then click on the Insert button.
3. Go to the Edit menu and select Insert.
There are several ways to delete frames from the xsheet and they all start with selecting the frame(s) that you want to delete. From there you have 3 of options.
1. You can press the delete key if your keyboard has one. If you hold the delete key down while one or more empty frames is selected then FlipBook will continue to delete frames until you let do. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Some Mac keyboards call the backspace key a delete key but it’s really a backspace key.)
2. Right-click on a row number and enter the number of frames you want to delete and click on the Delete button.
3. Go to the Edit menu and select Delete.
Sometimes you need to add another level after you’ve already created your scene. In FlipBook you do this by going to the Edit menu and selecting Append Level. This will append another lever to the left side of the xsheet so the new level will be in front of any other levels you already have.