Animation lifehack. Please help me make it even better.

Hello, I would like to share with you an extremely useful trick I just discovered and also to request your help to make it even better. You need a mouse and a drawing tablet for this.

So basically, while you’re holding your pen, put your non dominant hand over the mouse, holding it horizontally with the scroll wheel facing you in such a way that your thumb rests comfortably over it.
Then with your pen hover over to the timeline and with your thumb scroll the wheel. You are now sweeping through your frames like the old pen and paper animators!!
HOWL #113 Animation continues on Sc 45 - YouTube

Kind of. I know you can already control the timeline with the arrow keys or by dragging the cursor along it, but I believe the simple motion your thumb does along with the physical feedback from the scroll wheel makes it a lot more intuitive. To me the difference is like using a physical joystick vs a touchscreen joystick. Just cover the mouse’s bottom light with some duct tape to prevent the cursor from shaking.

I love sweeping through the frames this way and it has improved my workflow a lot. There’s only one thing that would make it perfect. Hover over to the drawing area and scroll the wheel: it zooms in and out. Is there any way to edit the program’s properties so that instead of zooming it sweeps through the timeline? That way you’d be able to quickly sweep through your frames without constantly moving your pen over to the timeline, thus improving your workflow a lot and allowing you to focus on the motion even more.

I’m no programmer but i’m hoping changing this would be as simple as editing one of the documents in the Krita program files folder. I have already posted this on the developer forums but i’m reposting it here in hopes of reaching more people who might find this helpful. If you do please please help me find a solution to this.

Thank you so much!!

And as a bonus, if you get a gaming mouse with a bunch of programmable buttons you can improve your workflow even more as you can assign shortcuts to them, that way you don’t have to switch your hand between keyboard and mouse.
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I moved it to “Tutorials & Resources”, best place for tips than the “Animation” category that is place for animations made with Krita (and not tips about animation)

Concerning multiple posting of same topic in different place, not sure moderator will approve the idea :sweat_smile:


Thank you for your help and I agree that this post probably belongs in “Tutorials”. However, look at the last post made in this forum and it is from 10 hours ago. My point with this post, besides requesting help, is to improve the animation workflow for others. I understand it might not fit on the WIPs forum but I believe it does a lot more good than harm there. Please, please bring it back!

This trick has honestly improved Krita a ton for me, and I find it a tragedy that the knowledge will be buried among tons of posts and not reach the animators who this is intended for and who might find it as helpful as I have.

Thank you so much!

The “Artwork / Animation” category is defined like this:

Post your latest Krita artworks here. Request for critique from fellow Krita artists. Every artwork is unique so don’t be shy to post yours. Let the world know what you can do with Krita.

I currently won’t put back it to #artwork:animations category, but just wait for @raghukamath to decide what to do :slight_smile:

May be a tag or creating new sub-categories to #tutorials-resources could be a solution to help animators to find tips related to animations, but artwork categories should be for artworks only


Thank you, I am deleting this post as I’ve figured out a solution to the forums dilemma.

I don’t think I can delete this thread. Could you please delete it? I’ll remake it in a way that fits the animation forum.

This is correct category for this topic. Artwork category would be correct for artworks made with Krita and not tutorials or tips or resources. Don’t worry we don’t prioritize category views, even if it is in this category it will be visible for users. Please don’t make duplicate posts. I have renamed this post too. There is one with exact same title in the feature request one. It becomes hard to search for it.

I know this is the correct category for this thread, my point is that it would be much more helpful in artwork>animations as it would be seen by the people who would benefit the most from it. Even if people can see it in this category it won’t have nearly the same reach. Nobody wins. I will update this thread when I find the solution though.

If everyone tries to put tips in the wrong category, they’ll never reach anybody and it will finally be a mess in categories…

And people going in artwork categories, I think they just want to look for artwork :slight_smile:
When I’m looking for help about something, I never go to artwork categories, that a nonsense for me.


That is not the right way to post here sorry, everything is categorized according to the nature of the post not according to the reach it would get. Also, If we leave one person to post in that category, what makes others stop posting there to increase reach to their own post.

I understand that you want everybody else to definitely see this post no matter what and help them, but sorry the forum has some rules and everybody needs to follow it. And it is not that this post won’t be seen by people any less than it would be seen if this were in animation section. Both post get screen time in the homepage until some new post comes up. So changing category is futile.

This is an interesting idea for animators. Nice one.

You have to be careful to avoid making small cursor movements over the timeline docker area because the scroll wheel movement will be ignored if you do. That can be taken care of by resting your fingers on the tablet surface or by lifting the stylus away from the tablet.

As a ‘bonus’, when using my thumb to scroll the mousewheel, I can quickly and easily move it to do a mouse right-click, which is much more comfortable for me than using the stylus right-click button.

I find that mouse movement resolution is coarse and I don’t have any problems with the mouse moving while I use this technique. It may be different for other people and mice.

Thank you! Would you happen to know how to edit the properties so that it can work even better? I’m not a programmer but i’m hoping it is as simple as editing one of the documents in the Krita program files folder.

I believe it may have to do with the mice as with mine I can shake the cursor and it still registers the wheel scroll.
Glad you found this useful and that bonus is pretty cool!! To make it even cooler, if you get a gaming mouse with a bunch of programmable buttons you can improve your workflow even more as you can assign shortcuts to them, that way you don’t have to switch your hand between keyboard and mouse.

Oh sadly I am not a programmer either :slight_smile: . Hope someone volunteers and picks this idea.

In any case I think we can ping @emmetpdx or @eoinoneill just to let them know about this.

Thank you so much!! Hopefully they can help as I am so close to solving this.
All I need is to change these two settings so that instead of “zooming in and out” they “sweep left and right” through the timeline, the same way as when you hover the cursor over it.

I have looked everywhere but I cannot find that setting.

Those are the Canvas Input Settings and they are only active for canvas operations. Also, those are the canvas zoom settings where you can change the action used to zoom the canvas, not the other way around.
You can’t use it to map the Mousewheel to some randomly chosen operation.

Try the Switch Time group, they may be able to be used for what you want.
Edit:Add: These work and can be used to have the Mousewheel scroll over frames but only if the cursor is in the Timeline docker.

The Keyboard Shortcuts have Next Frame, etc shortcuts but those can only be assigned to modifier+key, not to Mousewheel.

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I merged the duplicate posts here. Please continue posting here in one topic. This post has been moved enough times. It was a tip earlier, then it becomes a question, then a feature request. Any more duplicates and the posts will be locked. Please understand.

Thank you

Sorry for being too excited over this. This will allow me to work so much faster and I can only assume it will do the same for someone else. Thanks to AhabGreybeard I have found how to make this work the way I wanted. This is what your settings must look like:

Now you can use the scroll wheel to sweep through the timeline even if your cursor is on the canvas!
Thank you so much for the help! I hope this will be helpful to somebody.