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What is the Animator’s Toolbar?

The Animator’s Toolbar is a Photoshop panel for Animators, which provides access to the Timeline functions with the click of a button and extends Photoshop’s timeline capabilities. If you handle the animation, the Animator’s Toolbar Pro will handle the layers.

By design Photoshop will only allow you to work on one layer at the time. When it comes to moving, duplicating, ordering, labeling, naming or merging layers on the timeline, the Animator’s Toolbar is the tool. It is safe to say that the ability to process multiple layers is one of the Animator’s Toolbar Pro’s strongest selling points.

Why animate in Photoshop?

BECAUSE YOU CAN! Photoshop having a timeline means that if you can draw or paint it, you can turn it into an animation. The downside is that you have to create it frame by frame. The Animator’s Toolbar is there to help you accommodate and structure the sheer amount of layers and frames needed to create beautiful animations.


Toolbar Function Overview

New Animation Project.

Create a Photoshop animation project from one settings window. Set duration, frame rate, size and background color with one click. Automatically add a new Layer or Video Layer to the timeline, optionally inside a Video Group.

No Keyboard script

Toggle Timeline Shotcuts

Direct access to the fly-out menu option for turning the timeline keyboard shortcuts on or of.

No Keyboard script

Toggle Favourite/Set Favourite

Direct access to the fly-out menu option to turn the visibility of none favourite layers on or of. Hold [alt] to mark selected layers as favourites.

No Keyboard script

Paste Special/Skip Automerge

Paste clipboard content directly in the selected layer instead of creating a new layer above or after the selected layer. Hold [shift] to paste the clipboard content above the selected layer with a duration of one frame.

Layer Paste Special.jsxbin

Clear Layer Content/Split and Clear

Clear the content or selected area from the selected layers. Multiple layers are possible as long as they reside under the playhead position on the timeline.

Layer Clear Content.jsxbin

Create Hold Frame/Snapshot/No Background

Create a layer from the current video frame with the specified duration (number of frames).

No Keyboard script

Toggle Fit/Zoom 100%

Toggle between the current zoom level and Fit on Screen. Hold [shift] to see the actual pixels (100%).

No Keyboard script

Apply Color Label/Label as…/Create

Apply the color label to the selected frames. Hold [shift] to change the name according to the toolbar settings. Hold [alt] to split the layer at the playhead, clear its content, apply the color label and change the name according to the toolbar settings.

No Keyboard script

Reset Color Label/Reset Name/Rename

Remove any applied color label. Hold [shift] to reset the layer name. Hold [alt] to remove any applied color label and rename the selected layers based on the supplied name.

No Keyboard script

New Video Layer/Load Footage/Interpret Video

Create a new Video Layer with the speed specified in the toolbar settings. Video Layers can be created on ones, twos, threes and fours. Hold [shift] to load a video file from the hard drive. Hold [alt] to change the video file’s interpretation.

Video Layer New.jsxbin

Insert Blank frame After/Before/Duplicate

Add a new layer or frame after the selected layer or frame with the duration specified in the toolbar settings.

Frame Insert.jsxbin
Frame Insert Before.jsxbin
Frame Duplicate.jsxbin

Exposure +1/-1/Input

Extends the duration of the selected layer or frame with the value specified in the toolbar settings. Hold [shift] to remove reduce the duration of the selected layer or frame with the value specified in the toolbar settings. Hold [alt] or [shift + alt] to add or remove the entered duration from the selected layers.

Exposure Add.jsxbin
Exposure Remove.jsxbin
Exposure Input.jsxbin

Video Group Selected/Ungroup

Place the selected layers inside a Video Goup. Hold [shift] to ungroup or place the selected layers above the parent Video Group. Depending on the preference specified in the toolbar setttings.

Video Group Selected.jsxbin

Trim Start/Move Start/Sequence

Trim the start of the selected layers to the playhead position. Hold [shift] to move the start point of the selected layers to the playhead position. Hold [alt] to trim and sequence selected layers that are not part of a group.

Layer Trim Start.jsxbin
Layer Move Start.jsxbin

Split at Playhead/Split and Clear

Split the selected layer at the playhead position but keep only the second half selected. Hold [shift] to split the selected layer and clear the content of the second half.

Split at Playhead.jsxbin
Split And Clear.jsxbin

Roll Edit

Move the edit between two layers to the playhead position.

Roll Edit.jsxbin

Trim End/Move End/Sequence

Trim the end of the selected layers to the playhead position. Hold [shift] to move the end point of the selected layers to the playhead position. Hold [alt] to trim and sequence selected layers that are not part of a group.

Layer Trim End.jsxbin
Layer Move End.jsxbin

Reverse Selected Layers/Frames

Reverse the order of selected layers or selected Video Group.

Frames Reverse.jsxbin

Set Work Area Start/Go To Work Area Start

Move the start of the Work Area to the Playhead position. Hold [shift] to move the playhead to the start of the Work Area.

Native function

Reset Work Area

Reset the Wark Area to encompass all frames on the timeline.

Work Area Reset.jsxbin

Set Work Area End/Go To Work Area End

Move the end of the Work Area to the Playhead position. Hold [shift] to move the playhead to the end of the Work Area.

Native function

Step Backward/Go To First

Move the playhead to the previous frame within the Work Area in- and out points. Once the beginning of the Work Area is reached the playhead will loop and jump to the end of the Work Area.

_GoToPreviousEdit.jsxbin

Step Forward/Go To Last

Move the playhead to the next frame within the Work Area in- and out points. Once the end of the Work Area is reached the playhead will loop and jump to the beginning of the Work Area.

_GoToNextEdit.jsxbin

Toggle Onionskin/Open Onionskin Settings

Toggles the onionskin function of the timeline on and off. Hold [alt] to open the onionskin settings window.

Native function

44 thoughts on “The Animator’s Toolbar

  1. Christopher says:

    The Animators Toolbar 3.0 installed via Adobe Add-ons page doesn’t work in Photoshop 2015.5 ?

  2. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Not yet. A new version has been submitted and will probably be approved in the coming weeks.

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  4. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    CS6 and older CC versions are no longer available online. There are plans for a new CS6 release but there is no hard release date.

  5. Jesus says:

    Ah that’s fine. Thanks for even considering a CS6 version. I know many people don’t use it anymore. Looking forward to new version when it comes out!

  6. SMT says:

    Hello!

    I’ve tried adding the extension both through my CC account and through the extension manager. The manager doesn’t recognize the .zxp file (I can’t just unzip it) and it’s not been showing up in the extensions drop-down inside PS 2015.5.1. I’m not sure if this is the problem above commenters are talking about – if so, sorry for redundancy. Any word on a fix / when there will be an update to make it workable?

  7. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    The above comments are about the previous version, back when Photoshop changed from 2015 to 2015.5. Extension manager does not work because it is deprecated. zxpinstaller is your best option if you want to install the zxp file manually.

    The only installation issues I know of involved the ‘enterprise licence’ of Photoshop.

  8. kitkats says:

    +1 for a CS6 version. This looks great, but I don’t really need Photoshop CC, and from what I hear it’s more unstable than CS6.

  9. Bonifacius says:

    How can I add my own shortcuts to the timeline options? like If I want to add a blank frame with f7 and extend it with f5 (like in Adobe Flash)…?

  10. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Bonifacius,
    Thank you for your interest in my toolbar. Currently there is no option to manipulate the Animator’s Toolbar with keyboard shortcuts. At this time I’m working on a paid/pro version of the toolbar that comes with little scripts that can be assigned to keyboard shortcuts.

  11. Johnny says:

    This looks awesome and is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I will be more than willing to purchase the pro version when it becomes available. It would be really helpful to have some YouTube videos to learn how to use it.

  12. Tom says:

    Hi. Just tried to install Animators Toolar to PS 2017.0.1 using the Add-on and when this failed using Extension Manager for CC. Is this supposed to work?

  13. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Tom,

    Extension Manager has been deprecated since cc 2015 so that is not an option. The Animator’s Toolbar is compatible with PS 2017.0.1 and should install from the Creative Cloud. Since you downloaded the zxp file, zxp installer is also an option.

  14. judith says:

    Hi,
    I downloaded AnimatorsToolbar_3_0_5.zxp and the ZXPInstaller.dmg. The installation failed because “the ZXPInstaller could not check the license online.” Is there a way to resolve this issue? Photoshop CC version 14.1.22 is what I have on a Mac OSX Yosemite. Thank you.

  15. Patrick says:

    Really having a hard time getting this installed on Photoshop 2015.5 for pc. I have gone to the adobe site and acquired it, but it does not show up on the machine. any help would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Judith,

    It should be compatible with your version of Photoshop. Lately there have been mixed results with ZXP installer.
    I’ve switched to the Anastasiy’s Extension Manager which can install (and uninstall) the plug-in.

    If you are using an enterprise licence you could try to make a personal adobe id and use that to acquire the plugin. After installation the toolbar will also be available to the enterprise licence.

    Hope that helps.

    P.

  17. Greg says:

    My timeline shortcuts are enabled but don’t work.

    Any chance this could be related to the installation of the animator’s toolbar?

    If you’re aware of another reason please let me know!

  18. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Greg,

    Timeline shortcuts are native to Photoshop. The Animator’s Toolbar has no influence on them other that turning them on or off but does not do so unless you click the “toggle keyboard shortcuts” button.

  19. Vanessa says:

    Hey there,

    I’m dying to try this out, but I can’t get it to work at all on my computer. I’m on a Mac, running Yosemite 10.10.5. I’m trying to use the regular unpaid version, which says it’s compatible with CC – 2017.

    So far I’ve tried it with PS versions 2014, 2015.5 (17.0.2), and 2017 (18.1). I have creative cloud set to sync files and I’ve followed all instructions for how to troubleshoot an add-on that won’t install. It never appears in the extensions menu no matter what I try. I’ve also tried downloading the file and installing via the extension manager, but I get the following error message every time-

    “Failed to install the extension ‘com.patrickdeen.tatbcc’. Please make sure the mainfest.xml of this extension is valid and the Extension Manager recognizes at least one product which the extension supports.”

    Any help installing this would be greatly appreciated. I really want to buy the Pro version but I don’t want to spend the money on something when I can’t even install the free version.

  20. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    Sorry to hear the toolbar did not install as intended. The installation is handled by the CC-app but fails on occasion.
    Extension Manager is deprecated since Photoshop 2014 so that won’t work.

    If you’ve already downloaded the .zxp file I recommend using Anastasiy’s Extension Manager to install the plug-in. If you need to download the .zxp file you can do that here. (you’ll have to be logged with your adobe-ID).

    Could you let me know if that works for you?
    Cheers,

    Patrick

  21. fan says:

    So, no plans for a CS6 release? (I saw thoughts about it for a while but then nothing). I thought earlier versions were for cs6? Thanks

  22. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hello Fan,

    No the CS6 release probably won’t be happening. The user base for the CC version is already very small. A CS6 version is simply too much work in relation to how many people will actually use it.

  23. Aaron P says:

    Hey there. Creative Cloud doesn’t seem to be syncing it on CC 2017, and the Anastasiy Extension manager is showing me an error code 604. El Capitan.

    I am still able to use Toolbar 3 on CC2015.5. Might its presence be part of the problem?

  24. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Aaron, what version are you trying to install/update? (Pro or Free)

    Having both on your system should not be a problem.

  25. Joe Donaldson says:

    Been a long time user of your plug-ins but sadly I am not able to get the pro version to work. I downloaded today and have done all the troubleshooting listing on the Adobe Add-Ins site but still can’t seem to get Animator’s Toolbar Pro to be available under extensions.

    Thoughts?

  26. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Joe,
    Sorry to hear that. I’ve send you an email with instructions.
    Let me know if that helped.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

  27. David Reynolds says:

    Trying to install on Photoshop 2018 and it’s not showing up. I had it working under 2017. Any suggestions?

  28. David Reynolds says:

    Can’t get Animator’s Toolbar to install on Photshop 2018. I’ve “aquired” it on the extention page, but it won’t show up in Photoshop. I was running it just fine under Photoshop 2017

  29. Nele says:

    Hey, I’d like to let you know that the “fit to screen”-button makes Photoshop cc 2017 crash, not sure why or if it’s only with me! (free version)

  30. Nele says:

    It seems almost the entire toolbar stopped working overnight and not just the “fit to screen” button. I’ll investigate further. Creating new project works, adding color labels but the second you start editing frames things go south. I removed the addon, rebooted my laptop and now it seems to be somewhat working again? Still strange to be happening overnight.

  31. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Nele,

    Thank you for letting me know. The current implementation of the toggle zoom function does not “like” it when you switch between multiple project but it has not caused Photoshop to crash on my system. I was not able to reproduce the issue.
    Could you let me know if the problem persists?

    Thank you in advance.
    Kind regards,

    Patrick

  32. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi David,

    The reason the toolbar is not showing up is because the “Animator’s Toolbar Free” is not compatible with Photoshop CC 2018 at this moment.

    Kind regards,

    Patrick

  33. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Eric,

    Yes the Pro version is compatible with Photoshop CC2018 and will be kept up-to-date to ensure compatibility with future releases of Photoshop.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

  34. Lainey Davidson says:

    Hello, I’ve used the toolbar for a few small animations and I love it. I was wondering if you can edit the project settings after you’ve started it. For example, I made a new project at 30 fps but I want to change it to 24. Is that possible?

  35. Patrick Deen
    Patrick Deen says:

    Hi Lainey,

    You can but you’ll have to adjust the length of each artlayer, using the trim layer out function, to match the new frame rate. If you animated on Video Layers you can adjust the frame rate to match the time-line with the interpret video function.

    Check out this post post on photoshopanimation.com for more information about frame rates.

  36. Gabriel Agustin Freire says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I been used and recommending the animation toolbar since i found it, great one. I just update ps to CC18 and i can install the Pro version (only tryed with the trial). I try to do it through adobe exchange and through extension manager but it was hopeless. any thought?

    Thanks!

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