entangling templates

I want to create an animation in which two characters interact bodily (one helps the other climb a high step). For each character I made a template. An arm of one of the characters must be behind an arm of the other, but in front of his body, and I haven’t found out how to arrange these parts using the z values. No matter how close I pull one part to the camera, a part of the other character is always in front, although in the network view, this character attaches to the composite to the right (=behind) of the other one. The only way I can prevent that is give the whole figure a negative z value, but then, ALL parts are nudged back.

Do I have to create templates or layers of just the entangling parts? In which case I think these parts would lose the connection to their respective bodies.

you need the different parts to be different layers and then you can nudge the z of the different layers.

You can make them children of the parent layer so they all stay together.

Well, within the templates, each part of course is on a separate layer. But as mentioned in my post, there is something which overrules the z settings.

Are you suggesting that I don’t use templates at all?

nothing should override the z setting.

I think if you have children they all move with the parent, so in that case you might need to push the children back forward.

So in other words, you can nudge the overall master peg of your character back (behind), then you can take the part that needs to be in front and nudge that in front.