Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Parenting the arm components

From: After Effects: Rigging a Character Arm for Animation

Video: Parenting the arm components

So, in the last tutorial we actually made this arm out of shape layers, and now we're going to talk about parenting. Now another thing we did in the last movie that was very important--I recommend you check it out if you haven't already-- is we've got the anchor point in the right spot, which is important for parenting. This video is intended for those that are new to the concept of parenting. If you're know about parenting, skip this; go to the next movie on using expression controllers. Basically, parenting allows you to control multiple layers with just one layer, and the parenting relationship controls four attributes and four attributes only, and that is scale, position, rotation, and anchor points.

Parenting the arm components

So, in the last tutorial we actually made this arm out of shape layers, and now we're going to talk about parenting. Now another thing we did in the last movie that was very important--I recommend you check it out if you haven't already-- is we've got the anchor point in the right spot, which is important for parenting. This video is intended for those that are new to the concept of parenting. If you're know about parenting, skip this; go to the next movie on using expression controllers. Basically, parenting allows you to control multiple layers with just one layer, and the parenting relationship controls four attributes and four attributes only, and that is scale, position, rotation, and anchor points.

Now the way this works is we have these shapes here, a bunch of different random shapes, and all they are and all After Effect sees them as are just rectangles and triangles, and that's it. We want to use this as an arm. So when I move this upper arm we want the rest of the arm to follow suit. Now we don't want the same power going to other direction. So if I were to move this thumb, for example, we don't want the whole arm moving, just the thumb. So, we would want this little thumb here to be what they call a child of this part of there thumb, so that when this part of the thumb moves, this part of the thumb moves as well, but this part of the thumb can move independently. So this will be a child of this.

So, basically what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the child layer--you always start with a child layer--and then I'm going to make sure the Parent column is showing here in the Timeline panel. If it's not, you could right-click, go to Columns, and then choose Parent. I believe you can also choose Shift+F4 and that will hide that and make it reappear. So, I'm going to select the thumb 2 layer. I'm going to drag the pick whip for the parent to thumb 1. And now when I select thumb 1, hit R for rotation, and I rotate this around, you could see that thumb 2 is going along for the ride, and we have this cool little working thumb here.

Now I could also go to thumb 2 and hit rotation, and you'll see that thumb 2 rotates independently still. So the way that the parent-child relationship works is that the child can still have its autonomy--it could whatever it wants to do--but as soon as the parent does something with one of those for attributes for the position, anchor point, rotation, and scale, then the child has to follow suit. So, we want to do is make this thumb 1, is what I'm calling this layer--and actually all of the ones, so I could actually Shift+Click these if I want to, so all of these ones here--and I could use the pick whip again if I want to or I could just use the dropdown if I so choose, and with all of this layers selected, I could just choose palm, because I want the palm to be that parent of all the ones.

And actually I should have chosen thumb 1-- use the pick whip and drag it to palm here. So, select palm, hit rotation, and now when I rotate the palm all of those ones go along for the ride as well. So you are starting to see the beginnings of a hand here. Now I want pinky 2 to be parented to pinky 1 and ring 2 to be the child of ring 1, middle 2 to go to middle 1, and index 2 to go to index 1.

And finally, what we need to do is we need to parent the palm that seems to be the child of the forearm, and the forearm needs to be the child of the upper arm. And now we have the upper arm being the great grandpa, as it were, for all of these layers, and so on and so forth down the road. So, now if go to upper arm and we hit R to reveal the Rotation property and adjust this, you can see the whole arm going along for the ride, but then if we just go to the forearm, hit R for Rotation, and rotate just that, then you could see that the upper arm doesn't move, but everything below in the hierarchy does.

So that's all we need to do, as far as parenting goes, for this little arm rigging. In the movie we're going to look at the world of expression controllers. Now if you're new to the world of expressions, or even if you're familiar with expressions, you should know the expression controllers are very easy to use. You don't have to know any math or any kind of programming or anything like that to make them work. But it's going to allow us to open and close this hand with just the touch of a slider, so it's a very handy thing to know, so check this out. And we'll see you in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Rigging a Character Arm for Animation
 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects: Rigging a Character Arm for Animation.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.