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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

69 thoughts on “The Animator’s Toolbar

  1. lotfalikhani says:

    Thank you for your quick answer Patrick.I really love this plugin and appreciate what you’ve done. Such a great utility for 2d animators and illustrators like me. Buying the pro version is the minimum support for this treasure. I’m afraid I cant use it unfortunately because of sanctions against my country (IRAN). Adobe doesn’t let me install even the free version or I don’t know another way to install it maybe.
    Keep it up and wish you the best.
    Alireza

  2. Janneke says:

    Hello Patrick,

    In the toolbar, there is an option visible for reversing frames for quite some time now. Unfortunately, it says this option is not (yet) supported. When will it be? I’m looking forward to this option :)

    Best,
    Janneke

    • Patrick Deen
      Patrick Deen says:

      Hi Janneke,

      You get that popup when your selection contains a VideoLayer. Reversing frames made of ArtLayers is supported. A quickest method is to convert the VideoLayer frames into ArtLayers and reverse those. I posted a quick video on twitter a while back.
      In the video I [shift]+[alt] click the toolbar’s scissors icon to get that “Convert Layer to Frames” input field. And just before clicking the reverse layers function, I [shift]+[alt] click the toolbar’s VideoLayer button to rasterize all selected VideoLayers, converting them into ArtLayers.
      Hope that helps.

      If you prefer the reversed result to be a VideoLayer, keep an eye out for my (soon to be released) Rostrum script update:

      Create Video Layer loop with Rostrum in Photoshop from Patrick Deen on Vimeo.

  3. Elias says:

    Hi!

    I bought Animator’s toolbar pro, but i can’t find the Gotonext_edit and Gotoprevious_edit script for windows.

    • Patrick Deen
      Patrick Deen says:

      Hi Elias,
      I’m sorry to inform you that those scripts are only available on Mac… It’s a hack that does not work under Windows. I’m still looking for a solution.

      • Raul says:

        I just bought Animator’s toolbar pro and I was looking for those same scripts. I hope you can find a solution. Thank you for this wonderful tool, Patrick!

  4. Cole says:

    Hi!

    I was looking to download the Animator’s Toolbar (not pro) for use in some of my classes. And I notice it hasn’t yet been updated for CC 2018. Do you know if it will be updated? Or are you focussing purely on Toolbar Pro now?

    Love your work!

    • Patrick Deen
      Patrick Deen says:

      Hi Cole,

      The free version is supported up to Photoshop CC 2017 and won’t be updated for future versions of Photoshop. To install it, you have to have Photoshop CC 2017 installed. note: you can have both CC 2017 and CC 2018 installed on the same machine.

      Since you’re teaching you might be interested in the Animator’s Toolbar Pro Classroom License

    • Patrick Deen
      Patrick Deen says:

      Hi Christian,

      The free toolbar can be found here (supported upto CC 2017). The Pro toolbar is $20,- and can be found here and is compatible with the latest version of Photoshop (CC 2018)

  5. Colton says:

    Hello,

    First off, love this plugin! Question though… I’ve been using the Pro version on the latest Photoshop CC update, and I found a glitch (?) that when the first time I click “add blank frame after” on a layer, it adds a new frame to a brand new layer above, instead of converting the current layer. It requires me to restart the program, then select “add blank frame after” once more in order to get the conversion “Would you like to create a new Video Group” pop up. Any ideas why this would be happening?

    Thanks!

    • Patrick Deen
      Patrick Deen says:

      Hi Colton,

      Thank you for your support and thank you for your feedback.
      I have a few questions to get a clear view of what happens when.
      I’m going to continue this conversation via e-mail.

      Cheers,

      Patrick

  6. Patrick Morris says:

    Patrick . We are an educational institution that would like to use your animators toolbar pro as part of our curriculum for the students. Can you please contact me so that we can figure out how to get multiple copies of your software to use on our campus.

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