Onion skinning is a 2D animation technique used in creating animated cartoons which allows you to see several frames at once. It shows semi-transparent copies of drawings on either side of your current frame. This way, the animator can make decisions on how to create or change an image based on the previous image in the sequence.
In other terms, onion skin allows you to view frames before and after your current frame. They are shown semi-transparently, to help guide you in adding the next piece of your animation.
To find onion skin settings:
To turn on or off this feature and or edit do the following:
Step 1- On the stage press the menu icon (three dots in the top right corner)
Step 2- In the menu “Onion Skin” allows you to toggle on/off this feature.
Step 3- To get into advanced settings, press “edit.”
Once in the settings, you will see many different options- here’s what they do.
1 - Color
Once you are in the advanced settings you can choose to turn on traditional colors by switching the toggle “colored” on. This helps to stand out the before and after frames from one another. The frames before the current frame will be colored red and the frames after will be colored green.
2 - Looping
Looping is helpful for when you want to create an animation that loops from when it ends back to the beginning to create a sense of a “never-ending” animation. Choosing to loop will allow you to see the onion of frames from the beginning of your project when working on the last frames. This way you can pinpoint where to draw or insert objects to match with the beginning frames to loop!
3 - Frames Before/After
You can choose to view frames before and after your current frame.
To select how many frames before and after you want to view, you can slide the slider underneath ‘Frames Before” and “Frames After.”
4 - Onion Transparency
You can edit the transparency of the onion frames by pressing on the downwards arrow beside “Frames Before/ After.”
The first slide bar changes the visibility of starting frames. The higher the percentage, the more you can see.
The second sidebar changes the visibility of the ending frames.
5 - Skipping Frames
Skipping frames is found at the slide bar beneath onion transparency. Skipping is useful when you are making an animation with a high frame rate. It helps you to skip “in-between” frames and to see a larger perspective of your frames before and after.
Check out this quick tutorial to see it in action.