Can't reorder layers

Please be patient - I’m new at all this…

I’m constructing an animated tutorial. I’ve got a set of screen shots and animated transitions and highlights in sync with audio narration. I added an actor to the tutorial (I just turned the ballerina into a template and brought that into the tutorial to practice until I can create my own actor).

The ordering of the layers makes no sense. The actor’s right leg and left thigh is behind the screen shot, but the rest is visible in front. I’ve moved things up and down the timeline and nothing seems to matter. I’ve created pegs and reordered them in the timeline. No effect. I tried things like enabling animate and transform and nudge the parts forward and backward with alt-arrow, but that doesn’t do anything.

I had a similar problem when I created my own face/head for a new actor. I added a “back of the head” hair, and I couldn’t send it to the back in the order of layers. All the other layers ordered just fine, but I couldn’t add this new hair and push it back.

Help! What am I doing wrong?

EDIT: I experimented and found a way to resolve this. I went to layer properties for the peg for all the screens, clicked on Constant Z, and set the value to -0.0100. That shoved them to the back of everything. I have a feeling this is not the best way to handle it…

I don’t know why nudging won’t work. Maybe the key bindings aren’t set properly. I checked the preferences and can’t even find a key binding for it.


The first thing to be considered about the front back position of the elements is that in Animate the layer position in timeline is not absolute, because the elements are located in a 3d space, and can be moved front or back, relative to the camera as independent mode of the layer position in timeline. (EG a element in the third layer level in timeline may be in first level in camera view, or may be the last of all others, and this situation can change over time when animate the project if you need do it.)
You can manipulate these properties double clicking in the layer name area in timeline, and adjust position, scale, rotation, skew, angle and pivot position of each layer element. If the adjust is relative to the front-back position, you need adjust the z axis value, positive to go front and negative to go back. This can be manipulated in timeline, clicking the double upper arrow button in the left side of the timeline, that open a new data column. Click the + beside the layer name, and this opens the properties directly below the layer name, and you can adjust here the values, regarding the jerarquies of the elements in the rig. If you set the master peg z value, all elements contained go together to this z position, and the elements maintain their position relative to each.
I said all this here, in a quick way. There are very descriptive video tutorials about a lot of topics in the How To section of the Animate product in this web page. Best Regards.


Thanks for the reply. I think I’m getting the hang of the Z-order of the layers at this point, although I wish I could get the nudge (alt-up/down arrow) to work consistently.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to move the starting location of the actor properly - LOL. I move the starting position but all the pivot points stay in the original location. I can see there’s a LOT to learn here. Wish me luck.

Usually the reason that people don’t get the focus shortcuts to work is that they don’t have the focus (red outline) around the camera view. When the focus is in the camera view, you can nudge backwards and forwards by doing Alt+Up Arrow and Alt+Down Arrow. Sometimes what happens though is you might select that layer in the timeline, and if your focus is still around the timeline (the red outline) then then shortcuts won’t work.

I hope that clears things up!