Animation being a time-based art form makes fundamental use of timelines in its crafting. In Looom each layer is its own timeline which is independent in its length and speed, these layers are called threads and are represented by rotating reels. You will notice dots arranged inside the reels, these are individual frames.
Each thread has its visual appearance which consists of color and an option between line or fill. These visual settings affect the whole thread and can always be tweaked, even while playing. You can create up to five threads in a project each with its own time and appearance identities.
The sum of all threads in a project is called a weave.
In order to navigate smoothly and intuitively through time in Looom we created a device which we call the Pulley. Simply place a finger on the canvas and the pulley will show up. You Can rotate the pulley in both directions to simply scrub time and navigate around your animation. You can also use the pulley to preview the animations you are making, an action know as 'Flipping' in the traditional craft of drawn animation.
For stepping one frame at a time securely and swiftly simply swipe your finger down for frame-forward or up for frame-backwards.
If you are using Looom without an Apple Pencil be sure you turn on finger draw mode in the settings page. In this mode you can still access the pulley by holding a finger on the < > frame step buttons and then using your other hand to bring out the pulley.
In this mode, you can adjust the properties of the selected thread. To enter Thread-edit mode press and hold one of your thread reels.
Toggle between pause/play per selected thread.
Set the speed of the thread. Numbers are indicating the amount of frames that will play in a second.
Add a new blank frame ahead of the current frame or remove the current frame completely.
Select between different play modes. Forward, Backward, Ping-pong*, Random.
* Ping-pong mode is relative, meaning it will play form your current frame and reverse on the last frame. To set Ping-pong mode to be non-relative, turn the bookmark ON on the frame you want the Ping-pong to start on.
Tune the color of the thread you are currently editing. Pick a shade with the dot on triangle and change hue by rotating the ring.
Toggle between line drawing or fill brush. When in line draw mode, use the slider to control your line width.
Toggle visibility on / off. Use the slider to control the current opacity.
Select between different Blending modes. Alpha, Additive, Multiply, Invert.
Toggle on to mask the current thread by the thread below it.
Toggle while in Line mode for pressure sensitive drawing. If you are not using a pencil to draw, toggling this will enable finger velocity drawing. The faster your finger moves the thinner the line.
Onion skins are used for seeing past or future frames of your animation. Choose between four modes: 2 past frames, 2 future frames, one past and one future aka in-betweening,
onion skin off.
Toggle bookmark to continuously see a specific frame. Notice the density of lines hinting how far that frame is from your current frame.
While the Eraser is toggled ON you can erase lines with your pencil. you will notice the eraser icon stays at the top bar where u can toggle it off.
Another way to toggle the eraser is by simply tapping your pencil twice (limited to Apple's pencil v2).
Clear all the current frame’s content. Can be used while playing or scrubbing to clear many frames quickly.
In addition to the undo button you can also simply tap the canvas with two fingers simultaneously to undo.
Quickly Pinch the canvas with two fingers to reset the framing to its original state.
In this mode you can manage the hierarchy of your threads, change whole weave properties like bg color and overall weave playing speed. To enter Weave-edit mode press and hold the shapes icon on the bottom left of the interface.
In Weave Edit mode all your reels are draggable. Simply press and drag to re-order them.
Adds a new thread with the same properties of the currently selected thread.
While dragging the thread, notice the + button turning to an x zone. Drop the reel inside the x to delete it.
Drag all the way to the right and release. A duplicated thread will appear above the current thread.
Tune the color of the background. Pick a shade with the dot on triangle and change hue by rotating the ring.
Toggle background custom image. Tweak transparency with the alpha slider. Tap again to dismiss.
Toggle background grid.
In this mode you can scrub the time widget (1.0x) to globaly scale the speed of playback.
Toggle the note button to switch to Music time. in this mode you can set playback speed to a BPM value. You can scrub the widget or tap it 3 times to detect you desired rhythm.
To turn on Midi time, connect any device (synth, sequencer) which has a clock-out signal to your iPad. This can work by cable or BLE connection on supported devices. once connection has established you will notice the BPM value replaced by a Midi icon indicating playback speed in now controlled by the Midi device.
To access the Auto tools place your finger on the canvas to bring up the Pulley. You will then notice these icons appear at the top bar.
When turned on, every time u lift your pencil or finger after drawing, Looom will step forward one frame.
When turned on, every time u lift your pencil or finger after drawing, Looom will insert a new blank frame and step forward to it.
While in Thread edit mode you can transform the content of the thread simply by panning, pinching, zooming with two fingers while the reel is held.
You may also step or scrub time while in Thread edit to offset a specific thread in time.
You can tap two or more reels simultaneously to make them all active allowing you to draw in all of them in parallel.
When undo or redo are held continuously, you can rotate the pulley to scrub quickly through undo history.
Choose between right or left-handed UI direction.
Enables drawing with Apple Pencil. In this mode, touching the canvas with your finger brings out the pulley.
In this mode, you can draw with your finger on the canvas. Instead of navigating time with the pulley you have back and forward step buttons on bottom left. To use the pulley in this mode, hold a step button and then use your finger on the canvas.
Use this dialogue to connect your ortho remote™
When in Weave-Edit mode, a tape-like record circle will appear next to the play button. press it to arm the recording and then hit play to start record. the UI will slide out and the recording will start. To stop the recording simply touch anywhere on the screen. An iOS video dialogue will open up with the content of your recording. Note that from iOS 13 and up you can trim, crop and rotate your videos very easily.
Navigate to your Looom folder on the iPadOS Files app to find a folder named Weaves where all your SVG project files are located.
Alternatively you can connect your iPad directly to a PC inorder to access your files. Connect iPad either with a cable or wifi (needs to be set up).
macOS >= Catalina
Open Finder and look for your iPad on the sidebar under Locations. In your iPad choose Files there you will find a folder named Weaves. Drag that folder to your computer to see all your SVG files.
Pre-Catalina + Windows
Access your iPad in iTunes. Locate Looom under applications and go in your Weaves folder to see all your SVG files.
You will first need your SVG files downloaded to your computer.
Find them on your iPad in the Files app, Looom/Weaves folder.
You will also need this script*.
1. Drag your SVG file into an open project in Animate.
2. Click OK, any of the settings will work the same.
3. Drag the script to the Animate window and choose ‘Run Script’.
Note that converting Looom’s files in Animate will result in a Layer per thread and a frame per drawing, Looom’s independent FPS timelines will not appear in Animate as there is no such thing there. You might need to recreate masks and blending modes as well.
*Script generously created by Xander 🙏