Using the light table

TVPaint Animation lets you rotate your working space, like in traditional animation, but it also offers a familiar tools to animators : the Light table.

It simplifies drawing of the current image by offering a tone-down view of the images before and after the current image.

To activate the light table, click on this icon, on the wanted layer. Click on the light bulb icon in the menu panel or via the Windows > Animation main menu to open the Light Table :

Here is an example of the Light table’s utility :

* Load the "Bob" project and display only the current layer.
* Start by choosing the color option in the popup menu on the left-hand side of the Light table panel to display all frames in front of the current frame in the color indicated (default color red).
* Then disable all the frames behind the current frame that you do not want to see by clicking on the corresponding frame number.
* Go to the frame in the center of the animation.
* To enable the light table in your layer, click on the light table icon in this layer.

The frames in our animation layer which precede the current frame are displayed on the screen. The frames closest to the current frame "in time" are the most visible and those furthest away « in time » are the most transparent.

The light table is an extremely practical tool as it is also possible to display all frames after the current frame in time and for a given layer.

If you configure your light table as indicated below (choose the gradient option in the popup menu on the right-hand side of the Light Table panel), the frames after the current frame "in time" are displayed in a colored gradient, with more or less opacity depending on their position in relation to the current frame.

Now that you understand how this tool works, let's go back and take a closer look at its control panel:

* The two popup menu allows you to display the images after and before the current image with : their original colors, a color, a gradient of your choice or a tint (useful if you are animating filled shapes)
* The two colored boxes near those popup menus allow you to select the colors on the screen or a gradient in a preset list to view the frames before and after the current frame.
* The use of colors in this viewing mode is not mandatory. If you wish to keep the original image colors, select the option none (See below).

* The sliders are used to manage the opacity level of frames displayed.

* The numbers are used to select the frames to be displayed. For example: in the panels shown as an example above, the number 5 to the right of the zero is selected and its slider is set in the center of the scale. This means that the fifth frame after the current frame will be visible with medium opacity.

* The second popup provides some options on the displayed images.

- The light table can be apply on the frames before and after the current one, on the instance heads, on the bookmarked images or on marked images (marking images will be studied later).
- The Front option allows to display the light table images in front of the current image.
- The All and None options allow to display all the images of the light table or no images.
- The Link option avoids having to move each slider individually by linking them to one another.

* The bin popup provides all the standard functions to load/save custom light tables.

If you use instances, only their heads will be taken into account by the light table.