Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Fixing layer issues with z-depth, part of Migrating from Flash to Toon Boom Harmony.
- In the previous movie, I nested all of the arms and limbs and so forth in these very nice trial parent hierarchies, and they allow me to use b and shift b to go up, down, and pose the character in a pretty easy-to-use way. As a result of that, I completely destroyed the layer structure, so as you can see all sorts of things have happened. So how do we fix this? In the previous movie, I explained z-depth, z-nudging, all these things exist in a kind of the virtual three-dimensional space that just doesn't exist in Flash, and now we're going to use it, and some of the craziness of Harmony really begins to pay off.
So let's do that. And what I want to do is just work on this area here first. Make sure Animate mode is on. And be sure the Transform mode is on. And we're going to work on the arm right lower. Let's see if we can fix that guy. Now let's open up this little plus sign. And as you can see, we have x, y, and z positions. So watch what happens, for example, as I pull them forward. He's coming forward in 3D space. And if we go into our 3D Space mode and rotate the view, you can see what's happening. So what we're going to do is make really minute adjustments to this, really tiny ones we can't really see, but that will, by themselves, be enough to fix these little layer issues.
So it's so easy to use. Let's let me show you how. So again, transform his arm. We select that. Hold down alt or option on the keyboard, click the arrow facing towards you once or twice, as many times as you need until you see the object come towards you. And now if we click on the plus sign, you'll see the number has changed. It's gone from zero to 0.001. And that's how we do it. So we just go through with this tool, click on each one of these, and click that arrow until they look right. You can also add in the numbers manually if you think maybe I need a big, much higher number, you can type in, say, five.
Even that's not enough to change the appearance of the thing. Let's go back to one. So I'll just do this for the lower leg as well. And he may have a big issue then with the head, because remember all of these guys here are basically getting lost. So let's just solo all of them. And I wonder would this work if we did them all in a group. I'm going to try it. And it has. So that's nice. That saves us some time.
And now we can unsolo, and there we go. Now we've pushed them all forward about that amount. And if there was something weird going on, something funky, then you can go in and type in a much bigger number. That should really pop it out at you. And that way you know, too, you're making the change. Sometimes you may not have the object properly selected, and you might think nothing's happening, and maybe nothing is, so this is a good way of knowing that your clicks, your alt option, and your numeric key pad clicks are having an effect. But basically as long as you select the object in this window, you should see it highlight here, and then when you move it, you should be able to see that number change there.
So that's it. So let's close these and tidy this up. So now we have our master peg, and this is when we can control the really big movements of the character, and this is the equivalent of your external symbol in Flash. You can add internal pegs if you like. You can put the entire skull inside a peg. Some people do. And you probably will get to the point where you will have to do that as your work gets more advanced, but for now, for your very first pass at this, my advice is don't bother. Not for your first two or three or four of these guys.
You will get more familiar working with a system like this than having to tunnel through pegs inside arms, inside pegs. But for now we're pretty good. So the other thing to check will be just select each one of these collapsed little mini-rigs and just twist them around, and oh, we have a problem. So let's see if we can fix that. Okay, so now when I go from there to there, and I have my Transform tool, much better. I think I could already move that one up too.
(laughs) I think our layer is a little off there. Arm left lower. Ooh, and you see we have a z-depth issue here that only emerges when we actually do this. So I think we can properly fix this by nudging that entire arm back. So hold down alt or option and move the up numeric keypad arrow until the weirdness goes away. And now let's look through it again. See how easy that was? It's really incredibly easy once you get it set up and you get your head wrapped around this.
So let's say you want to select the upper arm, and you can select the lower arm. You can see it more easily. And if you hit b on the keyboard twice, then it takes you up the hierarchy, so then you can access that and position it to requirements. You could also solo it out, but it's nice to have that opportunity as well. So I think that might have fixed our issue with the leg. Let's try this leg now too. Yep, looks good. And let's try the head.
And you see now how all the eyes and the nose all move with the head joint. Very happy with this. If you have the premium version of this program, then you can click on the parent peg and the IK tool, and then you can pose the entire rig using the bone system. That's a little bit beyond the scope of this particular movie. But I'll just put that out there so that you know it's there. And that's all you have to do with it (laughs) if you remember the flash bones IK system and the hoops you have to go through to get that thing set up.
In this case, once you have your child parent and pivot sorted, then all you got to do is push a button. So it's really a very, very usable toy, very powerful too. And also another joy of this is that if you want to make a change, let's say there's a problem with your pivot, then you just go in, select the lower part, and move it. It's that simple. I'm looking over here now too, and I'm thinking, oh, maybe that could be a bit tighter. And see how easy I can go in and fix this? And as horrible as this drawing is, I could now go in and tighten it up, polish it.
All the pivots are fine, so I'm looking at that neck, that neck could come forward. Alt option and the forward numeric keypad. Same with the head now, to fix that. So that's how easy these level changes are, and you never have to rearrange these layers now. They're done. In the next movie, I'll show you how to add some polishing touches on this little guy and add some extra positions and frames.
- Transforming shapes
- Using the Pen and Line tools
- Working with text
- Painting in Toon Boom Harmony with the Paint, Ink Bottle, and Eraser tools
- Working in the timeline
- Drawing in Toon Boom Harmony
- Converting lines to fills
- Arranging drawing elements
- Motion and shape tweening
- Copying and pasting frames, exposures, and drawings
- Moving the camera
- Importing and exporting from Toon Boom Harmony