Cutout character rigging tip

For awhile now I’ve been creating my characters in Xara Xtreme and then importing into TBS for rigging. The original character has all the parts in place and then I cut and paste each one into separate elements leaving them in their original positions. I did it that way so that I wouldn’t have to reposition everything once the character was all broken down into the various elements. This method worked fine. All I had to do was to reposition the rotate points before I began animating.

But, always wanting to try something new, I decided to try positioning each element so that the rotation point was where I wanted it to be in drawing mode, making that my priority. While positioning the element I could click and drag on it and see a ghost outline of the selection which was easy to line up on the center point of the grid, thus making the rotation point more exact. I’d also make the legs vertical and the arms horizontal.

Then, in scene planning mode I’d move everything around to it’s proper place and, the rotation points were already established, and that was that! Now the rotation handles are much closer to their point of origin and it just seemed to work a lot better doing it this way.

My next thought is to make a basic character template with all the parts to drop into my Library so that new characters can be easily created based on the template and all I’d have to do is swap out the parts with the new character.