Anyone know how to use Envelope Deformers?

Looking for resources on how to use envelope deformers, saw it used in one of the toon boom webinars a while back where the host made a 360 turn around with them and I really want to learn how to animate like that. Does anybody know of any resources out there or tutorials on how to do that? Any information would be much appreciated thanks :slight_smile:

Problems with the envelope deformer and suggestions for improvement:

The above link is no longer working. I have seen a couple of tutorial videos on the envelope deformer. Neither of them, nor the documentation explain how to manage the “Influence Radius” and the restrictions on layer organization.

The videos have used a simple shape on its own layer. But :

  1. I find the envelope deformer becomes unmanagable if all the shape(s) on a layer are not covered by a deformer.

    For example, if only one finger of a hand had the envelope, the other fingers would get distorted.
    The Influence of the points on the deformer that are placed on the shape will try to cover anything on that layer, so
    you really have to re-outline everything.

    I imagine there is some value to put in the influence to reduce the problem, but not eliminate it
    and that gets hard to do really quickly.

  2. Editing: While trying to edit the points and bezier handles, any click outside of range drops a point down creating
    a new unwanted curve

  3. Editing: I found no way to add in a new point or delete a point.
    I understand that the deforemer tool is laying down curves, but it needs to have the capabilities of the polyline tool.

  4. Timeline: The timeline becomes a mess.

A) Have a button where any line/shape drawn from a polyline tool can get created an envelope deformer automatically.
Just copy the polyline with its Bezier information. Why am I retracing to make a deformer?
This would offer something similar point level animation style that MOHO offers.
B) Have the curves automatically grouped for a clean timeline
C) Take it to the next level by offering automatic envelope deformer creation on any selected shape(s) on a layer. not just polyline

Here is a good link to the above reference posted by scungyho however the link posted by Marie-Eve can be taken to the same page by looking within the advanced section:

Here is a link to the Envelope Deformer section of the Harmony 12 user guide. Hope it helps! I haven’t found any videos on the subject.

Yeah, I thought that was a very cool webinar too. It was the one on Cut-Out Animation by Matisse Verheyden. At the 43:30 mark he takes a 360 Orc template file from his library and shows the envelope deformers. He said that every individual piece of the Orc had an envelope deformer on it. Unfortunately, that template file was not included in the files we could download from that particular webinar. Or at least I was not able to find it. Hey, Matisse, or anybody at Toon Boom, any chance of posting that 360 Orc file so we can study it?

Also, Christina Halstead in her Deformation Rig and Cutout Rigs webinar, showed the use of envelope deformers in her dog cut out rig. She was using some small envelope deformers to touch up the volumes of the legs of the dog, at the 8:30 mark of webinar. I think that is what she did, again, in both instances with her and Matisse, they were trying to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time and really couldn’t elaborate too much. I understand that but it would be great to have a more in depth webinar or tutorial going over envelope deformers.

I know Jon Taylor on his youtube channel has talked of how he would like to cover Envelope Deformers in a tutorial eventually.

That is all I know as far as tutorials on the subject.

Hi everyone,

You can find additional learning resources on rigging and using the deformers here:

There is some sample material available for download with the videos.

For the Orcus, I will see if it can be made available in our templates section.


Wow, Marie-Eve, I was totally unaware of that training. Am I just dense and just missed it these past couple years or is it brand new?

I like the combination of having text/screen captures supplementing the videos. Sometimes when you go through a tutorial, a video, you want to pause it and get a close up look of a dialog box, of a setting, etc.

I found a tutorial and video covering the Envelope Deformer and picked up some tips on things totally unrelated, very nice. Here is that link…

Hi scungyho,

You did not miss it and you are not dense. :slight_smile:

It’s brand new and currently in it’s Beta testing phase.

Thank you so much for your great feedback!