Having trouble rigging the eyes and mouth

I’m new at this, and so far I’ve found no one else with my specific problem–lots of similar ones, but nothing actually like what I’m having–so I’m sure I must be missing something that other animators just consider common sense. I’m rigging my first actual character, and I’m following a tutorial on cutter and color-override to do the eyes and mouth. I’ve got the facial features all in a separate group in the network rig–the eyes, mouth, nose, brows, and a couple bits of hair that stay on the face.

My problem is that I need to make separate drawings for this, as far as I can tell. So I’ve got separate drawings for the teeth, tongue, and irises. When I put the drawings in to the facial features group, I connect the ports to the mouth and eyes so they have the proper hierarchy. This is where the trouble comes in. Every time I put teeth, tongue,and irises into this group and plug their pegs into the proper places, they turn invisible in the camera view that I’m drawing in, so even after I’ve done the trouble of plugging in the cutter module, I can’t actually see the teeth to test out if they cut properly.

I’ve tried going down to the cell-layer block in the bottom left of the screen, the one where you add drawings and change visible layers, and it’s not there. The facial feature group is, and if I click on the plus mark, it shows the other bits in the network rig: the mouth, eyes, brows, etc. But it doesn’t show what’s plugged into those, namely the teeth, tongue, and irises. Clicking on the plus mark on the mouth and eye cells doesn’t bring them up either. They’re not there. And since they aren’t there, I can’t check their visibility or to see if they’re locked. The layer options on the modules in the network read as normal; they say the drawings are enabled. The drawing layers (lineart, overlay, etc) don’t say it’s an empty cell. I don’t know what I’m missing here, but no one else has mentioned this, so I have to be missing something obvious. Please help!

these are my instructions for rigging and Eye, -to Rig Eyes with a Cutter Node or Mask (Draw on Drawing Layer Eyes, Draw on Drawing Layer Eye white, Draw on Drawing Layer Shadows and Strokes) 1.Copy and Paste Eye white area Layer and connect to Cutter Node Matte port left, 2.connect Eye Image Layer to Cutter Node Image port right, 3.double click Cutter Node yellow box icon and select Inverted to switch between Image Layer and Matte Layer, connect Cutter Node to Composite Node, 4.connect Eye white, Shadows and Strokes to Composite Node, option to select all Strokes and Fills on Iris and Pupil right click select Group to Group on a Drawing Layer, make a Keyframe on first Frame and advance Frames on the Timeline, to Animate Eyes on a Character use Animate and Transform tools, it doesn’t take long to follow these instructions, remember to have a proper hierarchy of Layers and Nodes so that a character face has Hair on top layer, eyes layer, mouth layer, bottom face layer. and make a Peg for each Drawing Layer to position on screen.

Hi there,

I would check if your Cutter module is set to be “inverted”. Also, you could make sure that your Color Override module is isolating the correct colors from the correct palette.



I think Eric is right. I think you need to invert your Cutter node.

See below for a tutorial on inverted cutters and some documentation on the node.



I hope this helps!


Thank you guys for responding! I did some more work with the nodes and that put them back on the drawing menu and I can see them under several layers on the camera window. However, now my problem is that I can’t make the cutter work properly; I’ve got it inverted, but rather than appearing in front of the mouth or eyes, the teeth, tongue, and irises all appear behind the mouth and eyes.

I’ve tried moving the layers forward, and readjusting the position of the nodes, and I’ve checked and rechecked the tutorials and meticulously made sure my pieces were placed exactly like in the video–I’m talking almost ten hours worth of making sure it’s right–and no go. The irises in the videos are always perfectly in front of the eye, visible and movable. Mine are always behind the eye, invisible in normal camera view unless I’m editing the image, and therefore not movable with the black selection tool. I don’t know what to do.

I even tried making two separate drawings from everything else and testing the cutter on that just to see if I could get it right and if that meant I was doing something really wrong with the others. But, when I did the cutter an color override with those drawings, they did literally nothing. The part that was supposed to go inside wasn’t invisible, but it definitely wasn’t cutting. And, once again, there is absolutely nothing about this online, so I’m thinking I missed something very obvious from the get-go, or my program is broken…


you MAY have inadvertently put some Z values on some layers. Make sure they’re at 0 (no F or B values).

Remember that it’s the white of the eye that cuts through the pupil… but inverted! Which means the pupil stays within the white of the eye.

If you’re using a Color Override module, it’s most probably to isolate the white of the eye… make sure that is the precise color pot you have chosen to isolate.

Also, don’t forget that each level needs to maintain it’s own independent connection to the Composite, while also doing it’s hierarchy and fx.



I would add that if you are using Composite nodes, they should be set to Pass-Through to avoid flattening objects prematurely. Pass-Through preserves the Z ordering of your elements regardless of which composite nodes they are connected in.