Element Layering Question

Hi all, I’m a long time artist/animator who VERY stubbornly resisted moving digital until recently. I’ve finally adjusted to my graphics tablet and downloaded Toon Boom Studio 4. Initially, I was pretty blown a way by the features - this is tremendous software!

Anyway, I have a quick question. I drafted a cut out character to create a basic walk cycle with. I created all the line art, and layered the elements properly (I think). What I mean is, I have a parent Layer ‘Robot’ with child layers ‘Torso’ and ‘Hips’. Then, each of those is broken down into upper and lower arms and upper and lower legs. Finally, I have Hands and Feet tied to their respective lower appendages.

Next, I set the peg/pivot points where they needed to go and animated my cycle. So, I’ve got this robot walked in a straight line in front of the camera.

Now, I wanted to color him in. As I was doing the line art, I tried to make sure the layers were ordered properly. I used the arrange function and brought the left arm and leg to the front. Behind that is the torso and hips, etc. I figured as I colored the figure, the colors on the left arm would overlap and colors on the torso that happen to be behind it.

Here is a picture of the problem area in the drawing view. This is how is SHOULD look:

By nausicaa11 at 2008-06-02

Here is how it actually looks in the camera view:

By nausicaa11 at 2008-06-02

How do I make the left arm appear in front of the torso artwork, while also maintaining the parent/child relationship so the arm moves with the torso?

You need to adjust the elements in the “Z” (front-back) direction in 3D space. This is described on this page in the Cartooning in Toon Boom Wiki.

Layering Elements

Even though the elements are children of a parent and therefore below the parent in the timeline hierarchy, they can be visually above the parent in 3D space just by incrementally moving their Z direction position. The process is described at the bottom of the wiki page. I hope this helps. -JK

Thanks for the response, that did the trick. Had a feeling it would be something really easy like that.

Great link too, that looks like it’ll be a fantastic resource.