Drawing Substitutions in Deformer mode. Can it be done? There's no info, only on swapping DEFORMERS.

So yeah, I need an answer here, and I need it fast. ( also, I feel like an idiot )

Basically, I’ve got a puppet rig made with curve deformers. I can only deform parts of the body so much, before it gets wonky. Not to mention it won’t make the shape I need. I was thinking the process was like cut-out, where you’d simply substitute a drawing and the deformer from the previous drawing would/could still be manipulated on the drawing submission. But I’ve looked all around and can’t find any tutorials on that, only on swapping deformers. Which would be fine, I’ve tried to do that, it’s just that I can’t find a way to see back to my previous keyframes to match the pose. I can’t even draw my replacement with out it getting misaligned. I try drawing on the drawing AND camera layer. No dice…

So, can you sub drawings? or is it just swapping deformers and trying to eyeball( match) the previous frame as best you can? I was hoping for the former because i want to keep the smooth “tweened” motion of deformers without it coming to a jarring halt.

Sorry if this has been discussed before. I looked, and couldn’t find any matching topic. EDIT: actually I found ONE and I’m not sure it’s the answer I need. it read…

Hi, guys, so I’m having an issue with the bone deformers and creating new drawings to use as swaps/substitutions.
I have an arm in 3 pieces: upper, lower and hand. The rig works perfectly in terms of movement. The issue comes when I try to create a new hand drawing. It comes out horribly distorted and doesn’t line up to the previous drawing/onion skin at all. What could be causing this problem?

Someone told him the answer was in how you label the drawing substitutions. I don’t understand.

Temporarily disable the deformations, either in the node view or on the timeline. Your limbs will revert to how they were originally. You can draw your sub, and then when you enable the deformations again, the chain you created should seamlessly incorporate your new drawings or subs. You may not need this anymore, but for anyone who may read this thread in the future, try this out.

hum… the only thing that comes to my mind is this:


I’m not sure if it’s what you need, I haven’t had time to learn that on my own, so I’m not sure if I can help you further. I hope it’s what you need. As for the drawing, As long as I know, you can’t draw on a deformed layer, I made a similar question some time ago:


Hi mysteriousanimatorx,

the other post you mention was one of my responses it sounds like. Where you have to label your drawing substitutions correctly, default is 1,2,3,4, when you create new drawings, but you have to re-label them ( on a mac CMD and D key) and make sure they have the + symbol in front, so they read: +1,+2,+3. This will allow you to use one deformer but substitute the drawing without the need to swap the deformer.


Not sure if that’s what you are after or not, always hard to explain in writing :stuck_out_tongue:

Cheers, Jason

Harmony Premium and Storyboard Pro User


Hi mysteriousanimatorx , what you could do is ‘bake’ your deformer animated pose to a new drawing like explained here:


and then create a new deformation chain on top of the ‘baked’ drawing.

Tried it. Got this error message. Unsure how to proceed.

“deformed drawings can only be converted to normal drawings if they are under a deformation rig which supports multiple deformation chains”

If you want to switch drawing subs but still wanna use the deformer chain you are using, it is possible. It works best if you do the drawing subs first before creating the deformer chain. By default, all the drawing subs will use the same deformer chain you’ll be making.

You mentioned that the deformers are not giving you the result you wanted. Might it be because the drawing is already curved/bent prior to deforming?
Try using a drawing using a primitive shape, apply deformers and pose it close your model.

Hope this helps. Let me know if this made some sense.

Firstly, on the drawing, you add a new deformation chain 2, so that you can use command “Convert to new drawing and add deformation chain”