Fun with Pivots

Si in the last three days I have lost over three hours due to buggy pivot behavior, especially in symbols. When every I go to add a new drawing or adjust the existing drawings in a symbol, the pivot gets thrown out of position which messes up my animation in the main timeline. Why is this? It’s happening pretty consistently and my client would really like his animation today. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

Thanks Lilly
Typically, I will create a drawing, say an arm, make it a symbol and then create the other arm poses for swapping inside the symbol. I usually move the frame slider another frame and add a blank drawing, then do my next pose, etc. Lately though, when I extend the frame range slider and then reduce it back to the actual number of drawings, the pivot on the last drawing or two moves and the drawing moves with it, then its a major pain to get it back… not always a straight undo. Now I may be screwing something up along the way but it has been pretty consistently happening that way with a few of the symbols, specifically torso and eyes.

I will pay closer attention in the future and apply your suggests (most of which I had tried with varied results).

So, did Lilly’s suggestions make the difference? I’m having problems with pivots as well.

I suspect they will help in the future. As for my current issues, I have been pulled onto another project so I haven’t had a chance to try all of the suggestions out. I will be back on the animation in question tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted.

I’m still in a quandry about the pivot situation. I wish it could be explained simply, or more simply for a newbie. Good luck with your work!

Now that I am back on this scene, one of the problems I have following instruction in the manual and those Lilly has left is that when I go to copy the pivot, it copies the drawing instead. I tried focusing the scene using the hand tool but still selects the drawing. This is getting beyond frustrating. There must be a far simpler way to deal with pivots. This is just too convoluted.

…and now it is happening with the hands. >:(

Like before, when I extend the symbol timeline by moving the markers, the pivot jumps out of place on some of the other frames. No amount of copying and pasting pivots works as described. I think I’ll go back to hand drawn animation and forget this symbol swapping nonsense. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

What is your workflow when you create your new drawings? Are you creating new drawing layers or simply new cells in an existing drawing?

There are a couple of solutions to this and a couple of things you need to know. First thing that you need to know when working with symbols is there are drawing pivots that are attached to the drawings inside of your symbol, and then there is a separate symbol pivot that it going to be the pivot for the whole symbol when you go back to the main stage.

Now the reason that you need to define the symbol pivot separately is that you could have multiple drawing layers inside of your symbol, and if each of these has its own pivot, then how does the symbol know which pivot to use?

That’s when you need to go into your symbol tool, select the drawing whose pivot you want to use back on the main stage, then click on the “Copy Pivot to Parent Symbol” button. You’ll need to do this for each frame, for each new drawing.

Also just as a trick, make sure you turn on View > Show > Symbol Pivot. This will show a light grey cross over your view, and that light grey cross indicates the position of the overall symbol pivot.

Now when it comes to fixing the pivots on the actual drawings, there’s a couple of tricks. Trick 1 is you can instead of just creating a brand new drawing, you could extend the exposure of the previous drawing, then right click and Duplicate Drawing. This will copy the pivot from the first drawing onto the new drawing.

If you’ve already done all your drawings and you need to copy a pivot from one drawing to another, simply select the correct drawing in your timeline that you want to copy the pivot from. Then select your pivot tool. Get your focus (red outline) into the camera view (usually I do this just by holding down spacebar and clicking in the camera view). Then do a Ctrl+C. Go to the destination frame where you want to paste the pivot, and still with the pivot tool, do a Ctrl+V. This should paste the pivot into the same position as the drawing you copied it from.

Now that you have all your pivots set up how you need them, remember to copy the pivots to the parent Symbol, then go back out of the Symbol to the main stage and verify that the pivots are in the right place.

Hope this helps!