You probably already figured out that Video Groups are true lifesavers when working with the timeline. Whether you’re editing video or creating frame by frame animation, you want your frames to stay in sequence and you don’t want to worry about random unwanted gaps between frames when moving layers around. But when and how you use Video Groups depends on the user and from my experience, animators can get very specific when it comes to workflow. The Video Group options are my attempt to give you control over the default behaviour of creating Video Groups with the Animator’s Toolbar Pro and in this post I’m going to tell you what it does.
When creating a new Video Group with the Animator’s Toolbar Pro, it tries to determine the most appropriate action based on the current selection and user preference. The default action is to take the selected layers and combine them in a new Video Group and keep only the top most layer (last frame) selected. When no layers are selected the toolbar will make a new Video Group containing an Artlayer with the duration value specified in the Frame > New frame duration field of the Toolbar Settings. When a (Video) Group is selected it is used as the entry point in the layer stack above which the new Video Group is created.
The Video Group options are added to override the default behaviour to cater to the users preference.
Always create new Video Group
Some users prefer to use the built in “New Video Group from Clips” from one of the layer dropdown menus in the timeline window to “video group” a selection of layers and use the New Video Group button to start a fresh animation sequence. When this option is ticked the toolbar will not place the selected layers in the new Video Group and creates a new blank frame/layer instead. The new video group is created at the top or above the top most selected layer in the layer stack.
The clapperboard icon of the Video Group Selected button contains a dot to indicate the “Alway create new Video Group” option is active.
Create new Video Group at current time
This option only affects the creation of new Video Groups. When selected, the in-point of the Video Group (not the containing layer) is moved to the current time. This means that adding frames at the beginning of the Video Group will push all present frames forward from this point on.
The clapperboard icon of the Video Group Selected button is changed to a closed clapperboard to indicate the “Create new Video Group at current time” option is active.
Allow partial ungrouping
The secondary function (ALT-click) of the New Video Group button is to ungroup the (Video) Group containing the selected layer. With this option selected the default behaviour is changed to placing only the selected layers outside and above the containing (Video) Group. note: Layers in a Video Group will automatically re-arrange and close any gaps as a result from removing the selected layers from the group.
The “Video Group” options and” New frame duration” value are used by the “Video Group Selected” keyboard script.
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