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Onion Skinning

The Onion Skinning feature allows you to create a new cast member in the Paint window while using one or more existing cast members as a reference. The reference images appear dimmed in the background, as though you had tracing paper over them. (In fact, the name of this feature comes from the onion-skin tracing paper that animators traditionally used when drawing animation sequences.) Onion skinning comes in handy when you need to create a sequence of frame-by-frame animation in which each new cast member varies only slightly from the one before.

To use onion skinning:

1.
In the Paint window, create the first cast member in the sequence.

This cast member will be used as your first reference image (Figure 6.86).

Figure 6.86. Create the first cast member in the sequence.


2.
Choose View > Onion Skin.

The Onion Skin toolbar appears (Figure 6.87).

Figure 6.87. The Onion Skin toolbar.


3.
Turn on the Onion Skinning feature by clicking the Toggle Onion Skinning button in the Onion Skin toolbar.

Nothing will look any different, since you still have only one cast member in the sequence.

4.
Click the New Cast Member button in the Paint window (Figure 6.88).

Figure 6.88. When you click the New Cast Member button, an empty cast member opens with a dimmed reference image in the background.


The preceding cast member now appears dimmed in the background.

5.
Draw the new cast member on top of the dimmed image (Figure 6.89).

Figure 6.89. Paint a new cast member on top of the reference image.


The cast member being used as the reference image won’t be affected.

6.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as necessary to create your series of cast members.


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