Cut-out Turnaround layering query...

Hi all,

I am starting my TBAP2 education with the youtube tutorials of creating and rigging cut out animation, and I have created my character in all 5 different views, in different frames

1 2 3 4 5

Front, Side, 3Q, Back, and 3Q back

But on segmenting all the limbs, in different views they are in the wrong layering order. For instance the right arm is on top in the 3Q view, and this is obviously wrong for the 3Q back view! Same with the head in the Front and then the Back view, they can’t both be on top… How is this accounted for? Patching? I can’t see how Z space shifting would fix this, and I am confused by how parenting or creating layer heirarchies affects the layer order in the camera view… All wise words and useful resources very gratefully received!

Many thanks,


Basically, everything on the top of the list is out front of the camera. In order to manipulate the rigged character you end up with the structure sort of flipped upside down so that the correct parts dominate other parts appropriately. You definitely must utilize Z axis adjustments so the parts look correct in the camera view. You have to use the Z axis to push something out front toward the camera.

When you get to opposing equals, like arms and legs, you decide how you want to label the left and right in a manner that makes sense to you. If you are going to do work for a studio they will probably have a protocol to follow. Some people use 1 and 2, with either being the left or right to avoid the dilemma of whose left or right? Mine or the characters? With quarter views the limb closest to the camera could even be “front” and the farthest away “back.” How you label the sides will need to be considered when determining which ends up higher in the list.

The tutorials on rigging articulations cover how to disguise the seam of two limbs.

I guess the confusion is caused by having all puppets, that is, all 5 angles in the one timeline. But that’s how it’s shown in the tutorials so that’s how I’ve been trying to do it… The puppets get split into templates a long way down the line after much rigging and network organisation, but I think the master template still contains all puppets with no conflicting layers.

On a basic level, my query is: if I’m constructing a front and back puppet on one timeline, how can the head be on top in the front view, but behind the body in the back view?! Which is what I need. As they’re on the same layer any Z transformations are the same for both views. Maybe my design is the problem and should I create one scene for each view, but that would mean 5 times the work when it comes to rigging.

I apologise for being difficult, I hope that some day soon it will become clear, then we can look back and laugh about all this!

Fortunately all of a character’s multiple views are not used at the same time. You can move a Z axis at any point in the Timeline. You can animate the Z Axis. If you switch to a different view where the parts are in different order to accommodate specifically what you are describing it will all work out. Not only do you make a variety of adjustments to accommodate a view when building a character but you will need to make adjustments for movement that conflicts with positions when stationary as you animate.

The video tutorials are quite detailed for this process. You basically have to keyframe those Z-axis variations on the different views. Most people would use the 3Q view as the ‘default’ view, being the most used one, so the Z should be the same for all layers (position zero), with the back to front order being defined by their each layer’s position in the timeline/network. So, for instance, in the back view you’ll have to send the head back (let’s say to position 1 back), in animation mode, so that the views in which the head has to be on top of the body stay on top of the body (zero). As long as you keyframe the Z-axis shifts in every view it will work.