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Hierarchy and Pivots

Learn and use a shortcut to add Pegs on top of Drawing layers and build the rig hierarchy of your arm. Assign pivots on the freshly created Pegs and their master Pegs by copying coordinates. Use the B shortcut to go up the hierarchy and Shift+B to go down.

About the Author

Stacey Eberschalg

Stacey Eberschalg

Toon Boom Software Instructor and Animator

Toon Boom Animation

Toon Boom

Video Transcript

Hello and welcome to Part 5 of Building an Arm and Animating It.

And we're going to start by just simply creating our hierarchy here and adding pivots. I'm going to start by selecting all these of these drawing modules and then pressing [Ctrl/Command + Shift + P]. And that puts a peg on each one of the elements.

Now I want to parent the hand to the lower arm. So we're going to take, [Command + P], a second peg and attach that to the hand.

And finally I'm going to take the upper_arm-P, [Command + P], and move it there. And let me just make that a little bit bigger, so you can see what's happening. We have the hand going to the lower arm going to the upper arm. Each of the drawing modules has its own peg and the lower_arm and the upper_arm have master pegs.

Now in this particular example I'm going to use, in our Advanced Animation toolbar...if you don't have this toolbar right here, you have to go to Windows > Toolbars > Advanced Animation. You're going to find the second one, which is the Rotate tool. And I'm going to click on the peg of each one of these elements.

Click on the Hand peg. This is the drawing. This is the peg. I'm going to put the pivot somewhere at the wrist. Then we go to lower_arm. And I'm going to zoom in real close and put it right on that dot, the centre of the dot, or as close to centre as I can. And the upper_arm [pivot] is going to move over to the shoulder.

Now you can see that I've done the hand, the lower arm and the upper arm. But we have a second lower_arm peg and a second upper_arm peg. [We're going to] take the pivot information.

I'm going to first click on this lower_arm and then click on this lower_arm (the dialog box, the little yellow box in the corner). And then I'm going to grab the X-axis, copy it, paste it. Copy it, paste it. And then I'm going to do the same thing with my upper arm. I'm going to open up this little Layer Properties box and press this Layer Properties box. And I can essentially do the same thing: copy, paste. Copy and paste.

And now we have an arm that, if I go out into my Camera view and select the hand and press [B], [B]. First [B] allows you to rotate the hand, [B] allows me to move the hand and the arm and [B] allows me to move the whole arm.

And some of you might wonder why did I put these extra pegs here. I put the extra peg, because sometimes you want to just move this layer and not affect this one. [Ctrl + Z], [Ctrl + Z], [Ctrl + Z], I'll put those back.

Okay. Thank you. That's the end of Part 5.