Colour Patches and Cutter Nodes

Hey all,

Im having an issue with a rig Im building. Im trying to matte a head shadow to my character’s neck and shoulders, but I’d like it to ignore the line work.
So why not use auto patch or colour override notes to select the colour I want and use that as the matte with a cutter node?
Unfortunately, I have already used cutter and colour overrides to patch the neck and shoulders together, So applying those nodes again under a composite node or two seems to bring those lines forward, negating the original patch.
Its hard to explain in text what I effect this is having on the rig, so I have uploaded a video of the issue.

I don’t understand why there isn’t a flatten output option on composite nodes that basically group all of the incoming data into a flat image that can be broken apart again, istead of just being essentially shelves (as they currently are.)

If anyone knows of any tricks that could fix this I would be very grateful!


Did you put your fill colors in the color art layer and your line in the line art layer ?
Maybe with a copy of your drawing, under the same peg you can have only the line art to get above.

Not sure why you’d need to use color overrides to patch neck/shoulders, but fixing those would alleviate the neck problem. If you want post the rig and I can fix it real quick.

If you’re able to have a look that would be really appreciated! I’m using colour overrides as an alternative to auto patching, as they caused problems with the arm on the rig - which you’ll see in the file.


I have split them elsewhere on the rig - I actually don’t think did this on his neck though, will wait to see what vrexus does, but might tinker with this later, thank you.


Okay, I re-read my original post and realised it didn’t make much sense, So I’ve recorded an example with VO.

I hope this helps to clarify the issue and if anyone knows or could figure out a fix!
Thanks for your time


Oh I see what you mean, sorry was busy. Usually for shadow like that I either redraw it manually as needed or redraw the chest piece so that it’s line art matches the chest (without autopatching nesting like you have inside the chest cavity).

It is possible to rig it to have the shadow work in several pieces at once but it can be quite messy in terms of the stuff needed to make it work, I provided a file here where its fixed to do what you wanted:!e5YxDLZB!bMuHtlQb3GibGwgpDy61PnL4UtjxeCqigEflXjam_04

Several things:

you can autoptach two things into one, however you have to have the autopatch stemming from the drawing layers into a comp (and then the comp can be used to cut whatever). You cant put an autopatch bellow a comp as it can only pull data from drawing layers, not comps.

The several times plugged in drawing layer is to fix the rendering artifacts due to AA (you can use matte resize but i find just plugging in the node a few times works the easiest and it works if you scale everything without needing to manually adjust it like you do with matte resize).

Also I included an arm example that lets you have an arm that can be shifted in z-depth without breaking the autopatch (stuff you want to overlay goes on overlay layer).

This can be used as well for chest/arm connections with armpit and anything else (you put a composite in left port if you want to be patched)

Hey vrexus

Thank you so much for this its really useful! Im still at a fairly intermediate level with rigging so this is real insightful.
I’ll get to work implementing this as part of my rigs asap, as well as exploring the auto-patch more.

Also the inclusion of the arm is dead useful - I hadn’t even got around to that yet so you have saved me so much time!

Thank you for your time! I owe you one.


No problem, here’s my twitter if you wanna follow :D!

Hope you don’t mind that I’ve downloaded the file to check out the the autopatched arm that can be moved in z depth? I’ve come up against that issue now and I’m keen to get it sorted!