Animation Sketchpad is an easy and intuitive animation application for Windows PC and MacOS. Draw and animate at lightning fast speeds with simple UI, intuitive features, hotkey-driven workflow and no learning curve. Create line tests, animatics and movies quickly and easily.

General Overview

The Main Scene is where you draw, animate and create backgrounds.

Gallery View contains all the saves. Press the Escape key to go to Gallery. Your current main scene will be saved in the Autosave slot. To return to the scene you're working on, click on the Autosave slot.

Library: Bundled animation scenes that you can work on.

Open: Opens animation files with ANI format. The .ANI format is the custom file format for Animation Sketchpad and contains all the animation, layers and background information. It can only be used in Animation Sketchpad and not any other third party software.

Settings: Changes Window Mode and Resolution.

  • Window Mode: Switches between Fullscreen and Windowed.
  • Resolution: Changes the screen size.
  • Some of the supported resolutions (more options are available on larger monitors):

    • 640 x 480 (4:3)
    • 720 x 480 (3:2)
    • 720 x 576 (16:9)
    • 800 x 600 (4:3)
    • 1024 x 768 (4:3)
    • 1152 x 864 (4:3)
    • 1280 x 720 (16:9)
    • 1280 x 768 (1.67:1)
    • 1280 x 800 (16:10)
    • 1280 x 960 (4:3)
    • 1280 x 1024 (1.25:1)
    • 1360 x 768 (1.77:1)
    • 1600 x 900 (16:9)
    • 1600 x 1024 (14:9)
    • 1680 x 1050 (1.6:1)
    • 1920 x 1080 (16:9)

    Animation Overview

    Drawings Tools are to the left of the canvas.

    Brush Settings

    Brush settings are toggled under the canvas when tools like Pen, Line, Eraser or Color Eraser are active.

  • Color Picker: Opens a color palette that you can pick a color from.
  • Color Swatches: A row of seven color swatches.
  • Brush Size ([ and ] key): Increases and decreases brush size.

    Playback Operations

    Playback operations are in the bottom left corner between the canvas and the timeline.

  • Frame Backward (left arrow or A key): Navigates to the previous frame.
  • Frame Forward (right arrow or D key): Navigates to the next frame.
  • Play/Stop (spacebar key): Begins or stops playback of the scene.

  • Start: Sets the first frame of the playback range.
  • End: Sets the last frame of the playback range.
  • Frame Operations

    Frame operations are in the centre between the canvas and the timeline.

  • Duplicate Frame (Ctrl + D key): Inserts a duplicate of the active frame.
    • MacOS: CMD + D Key

  • Insert Blank Frame (Ctrl + A key): Inserts a blank frame next to the active frame.
    • MacOS: CMD + A Key

  • Delete Frame (Delete key): Deletes the active frame.
    • MacOS: delete Key

  • Overwrite All Frames: Overwrites all frames on the layer with the contents of the active frame.

  • Copy Frame (Ctrl + C key): Copies the contents of the active frame.
    • MacOS: CMD + C Key
  • Paste Frame (Ctr + V key): Pastes the contents of the copied frame in the active frame.
    • MacOS: CMD + V Key

  • Onion Skin (Q key): Toggles the onion skin on and off.
    • MacOS: Q Key
  • Layers

    A scene has four layers:
    Line and Color Animation: The main layer, in which you can automatically color under black lines.

    Rough Animation: A secondary layer, in which you can make rough reference drawings in red.

    Layout Static: A single-frame layer, in which you can draw only in blue.

    Background Static: A single-frame layer, in which you can draw a background for the scene.

    Adjust: Change the hue, tint, opacity and blur for the Background layer.

  • Changing Hue:

  • Changing Blur:

  • Changing Opacity:
  • Layer visibility: You can toggle layer visibility with the Eye icon.
  • You can minimise the Layer panel with the arrow in the header.

    Line & Color, Rough and Layout layers are transparent by default.

    File Operations

    File operations are in the top left corner of the main scene UI.

  • Gallery (Esc): Saves the scene and returns back to gallery.
  • Save (Ctrl + S key): Saves the scene as an *.ANI file in the file system.
    • MacOS: Cmd + S Key
  • Reset (Ctrl + R key): Deletes all scene data and resets it to default settings.
    • MacOS: Cmd + R Key
  • Import (Ctrl + I key): Imports MP4s, PNGs and JPGs into the scene.
    • MacOS: Cmd + I Key
  • Export (Ctrl + E key): Exports a movie of the scene as either a GIF or MP4 (1920 x 1080) with 16:9 aspect ratio.
    • MacOS: Cmd + E Key
  • Speed: Changes the animation playback speed with the following options:
    • 24 FPS
    • 12 FPS
    • 10 FPS
    • 5 FPS
    • 2 FPS
    • 1 FPS
  • Undo (Ctrl + Z key): Undoes the last action (upto 50 actions).
    • MacOS: Cmd + Z Key
  • Redo (Ctrl + Shift + Z key): Reverses your last Undo (upto 50 actions).
    • MacOS: Cmd + Shift + Z Key
  • In the top right corner menu:

    Expert: Hides the UI overlay.
    Tablet: Sets pressure sensitivity for a connected tablet pen.
    Help: Guide for hotkeys and tutorial videos.

    Import MP4. PNG and JPG

    Import lets you add videos and images to the scene and creates frames in the timeline after it converts from MP4 or PNG/JPG.

    Export Scene

    You can export the entire animation scene as either a GIF or an MP4 video.

    Expert Mode

    Expert (Tab key): Enters Expert Mode.

    Expert Mode hides the UI overlay and lets you work with just hotkeys.

    Help: Use the Help icon to check the tutorials and hotkey guide.

    Exit Expert Mode: You can use the Exit icon or the Tab key to exit Expert Mode.

    Tablet Operations

    When a tablet pen isn't detected, the menu displays a yellow warning sign. When a pen is detected, the men displays a green tick sign.

    Tablet: Increase or decrease the tablet pen's pressure sensitivity.


    The Timeline is displayed at the bottom of the screen in the Line and Color Animation and Rough Animation layers, and displays all the frames in the scene as a row of thumbnails.


    You can scrub through the timeline by dragging the blue Scrub button in the scrollbar, or by dragging the thumbnails.

    Move Frames

    You can move frames by holding down the Alt key and clicking on a frame. The selected frame will be highlighted with a blue border and pop out of the timeline. Drag the frame across the timeline to drop it in a different place.

    Add Frames

    You can add frames at the end of the scene with the Enter key or by clicking on the + button in the Timeline.

    Delete Multiple Frames

    You can delete multiple frames by holding down the Ctrl key and dragging it across the frames you want to delete. Selected frames will be outlined by a red border.

    Overwrite Multiple Frames

    You can copy a frame and overwrite it over adjacent frames by holding down the Shift key and dragging it across the frames you want to replace. Selected frames will be outlined by a blue border, and they will be replaced by the selected frame on that layer.


    Animation Sketchpad Tutorial Videos

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