EDIT: Can't move deformed objects along the z-axis

I’m trying to move most of the objects in a complex scene closer to the camera.

But objects that have been deformed can not be moved along the z-axis.

Is there a way to do this?

You can move deformed objects on the Z axis.

Have you tried opening a window to a top or side view, selecting the object from the Camera View then manually moving it in the Top or Side View windows?

You can also select the object, open Layer Properties and adjust the Z axis there.

There are other approaches but these are the ones I am thinking of at the moment.

Hi again,

Thank you for your reply!

Yes, I selected all the objects I want to move. And they all move perfectly along the z-axis – except the deformed objects.

They just keep ‘hanging’ there. I can move them along x and y, but not z.

I have selected the objects in Xsheet, timeline, top- and side view, Camera view and network view, but the selection method doesn’t matter.

I thought I found a workaround – converting the deformed layers into drawings – but some of the layers have children and I haven’t found a way to convert those succesfully.

And I can’t just render the sequence and re-import it because of loss of quality (some of the objects have to be scaled which means they’ll be severely pixelated)…

What deformation have you done with these objects?

I used bone deformation on most of them.

The rest are regular cut-out animations (using the Transform tool).

At first, I thought that animated objects in general couldn’t be moved along the z-axis, but I do have some lip-synced objects that move just fine (and some of them are morphed as well so the problem is not software-interpolated sequences).

By the way, I’ve also selected everything (Cmd A/Select All) and tried to move it along Z, but the objects still don’t move.

The deformation is not preventing movement on the Z axis. I can move bone deformed objects on the x, y and x axis. I wondered if you had actually morphed something and called it a deform. With a morph you must select the entire morphed sequence to move the object on the Z axis. You must have restricted the movement of your object somewhere.

The only part that is morphed is a lip-sync sequence, but the lips do move along the z-axis.

That sounds likely. It ‘feels’ like the objects somehow are ‘trapped’ between two invisible layers.

May I ask how it is possible to restrict the movements of an object? The layers are not locked.

EDIT: I just selected one of the deformed sequences and tried to move it back along z, but it didn’t work.

Hi again,
I’d just say that I asked Toon Boom support about the problem, and they actually had the solution:

  1. Add a peg above the deformation group.
  2. Set it to use separate X, Y, Z coordinates
  3. Set the Z offset value to the desired value (how much it should be moved along Z).

This works absolutely correct.

However, it doesn’t explain why you are able to move the deformed object along XYZ without doing any of this. So I asked the supporter about it, and I’ll come back if I get an answer in case you or other users are interested.

Did you ever try to set up a simple experiment creating a new project file to build a deformed object to move?

If not you might be surprised to see that it moves freely.

This would mean there is something specific about your real project that keeps them from moving on the Z axis.

Perhaps that specific part is the fact that I not only use usual bone deformation, but also Deformer Effects (Deformation-Scale) which is very demanding, processor-wise, compared to ‘regular’ bone deformation.

Or maybe it’s because I combine deformation and cut-out animation in the same scene.

I am having exactly the same problem all of a sudden, don’t remember it happening before. I even created a circle and put bone deformer on it and tried to move that back. The object went back but the deformer itself stayed where it was.

This is frustrating the heck out of me atm. I am going to try the way you suggested, but seems a tedious workaround…

sweet, that worked ok and wasn’t as tedious as I thought it was going to be…