Curve deformer on top of other deformers


I have a scene with a group of characters stacked like a totem pole, and each one is partially rigged with curve and bones deformers. Now I need to globally deform the group using a single curve deformer. Is this possible?

At the moment, the single curve is properly deforming the elements in the group except for the limbs that have curve deformers applied. I think I’m nesting the ‘global’ deformer in the network incorrectly–it’s currently ahead of the characters and I can’t seem to insert it after the characters.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


Running out of time so I wound up cheating it by adding a peg and mixing skews. The effect is not as nice as the curve deformation I was hoping for but it’ll do.

If anybody knows how to stack deformers as explained above, I’m still very interested in learning how. Because of the nature of the shows I’m on, it will come in very handy.

Thanks in advance for any info.


hmm doesn’t look like you can deform a deformer so to speak. ive never had to try this before so it was new to me. I tried using the apply peg trans and a mesh warp but no go. the rigs fall apart. this is a good one. maybe someone else knows around here?

I think what I’m trying to do is ‘flatten’ the deformations of the individual characters within the network and then apply the single curve deformer on top of that. Is this possible without first rendering out the animation and then re-importing the animation to apply the deformer?

Thanks for any help.


Small update on what I’ve tried since the last post.

I created a Kinematic Output from the ‘global’ curve deformer at the top of the network and connected the individual layers that had their own deformers to this node. That sort of works–now all the parts move with the ‘global’ curve. Unfortunately, I really need all the parts to receive deformation from the curve, not just translation.

Will post again as I work through this puzzle.


I wouldn’t recommend it even if it were possible because deformation is quite (graphic) memory intensive. You’re better off rendering out the results of having applied the first deformer. Yes it’s a bit of extra work but much better resource-wise since scenes can get quite complex with rigging and deformations.

Don’t forget to disable the already rendered out part to optimize - don’t just move it off screen.

Thanks for checking.

After talking to other animators about this, it sounds like you can’t stack deformers like that. When I think about, I guess I can see why, at least with the way it works in Harmony. The only way I can think of to do this in Harmony is to render out a pass with the chain of characters and only their individual animations, import the render to a new Harmony project and then apply a curve deformer to animate the whole render.

I guess what we need something like precomping in After Effects, where you would precomp your scene, and then apply a ‘global’ deformer to the precomp. This would eliminate the need for a pre-render pass.

Would be cool if the developers can get this or some other system for ‘stacking’ deformers in a future release of Harmony.