Having trouble understanding the logic of Pegs

[*edit: I’ve restated the question in the 3rd post of this thread, it may be easier to understand]
This may be lengthy so I will try to be concise.

I recently bumbled my way through my first animation, which consisted of several characters I had created separately and brought into the scene as templates. They were all done cut-out style but the only Peg in each was a ‘Master’ at the top of the hierarchy. Everything else was simply linked drawing layers. (rather than symbols, which was a decision I had been uncertain about but it seems to be the favored method?)

The only real problem this technique gave me was upon dragging the character templates into the scene, all the pivot points I had set would be incorrect. For the sake of that first animation I just dealt with it and re-positioned all of the pivots after bringing the character templates into the scene.

For my next scene I want to avoid that hassle and have found, I think, that attaching each drawing layer to its own Peg is the solution. Fair enough. But then I found that when the Pegs themselves need to be linked in a hierarchy (ie arms, legs), we come full circle and are use drawing layers as pegs. Now you’ve lost me.

I’ve heard it said that a benefit of Pegs was to keep all the keyframes off the actual drawing layers. I never found a situation where keyframes on drawing layers was a problem, so maybe understanding that concept would help me appreciate Pegs.

But my most pressing question is this: If a drawing layer can remember where all of its lines, strokes, fills, etc are located- why will it not remember the location of a pivot point? Seems to create a ton of hassle.

I understand using a Master Peg to move all of the character elements as one unit, but beyond that I just don’t seem to ‘get’ Pegs.

I’d also like to note that I followed along with the Mixed Rig tutorial (#46?) that introduced me to the “Use Drawing Layers as Pegs” technique. One of the steps was to, on the layer being used as the new Peg, create an Empty Drawing in Frame 1 that you could Paste Special the existing Pivot information from the drawing layer. That worked fine- but once I popped ahead to Frame 2, it was gone. I wept.

you should be able to set a pivot on the drawing. Clearly you are missing something there.

The point of pegs is it seperates the animation from the drawing.

If you make the peg invisible it removes the animation from the drawing which is awesome :slight_smile:

Okay I guess my post was confusing. I edited the 2nd paragraph to be more clear.

But I’ll try again here:

When I created the characters I only used drawing layers, no Pegs (except a Master Peg). Those drawing layers had pivots and was rigged to my liking. Then I dragged the layers to the library to create a template. Did this for each of my 10 characters. Then created the new scene that I would drag the characters into. Upon dragging them into the scene, the pivots would be all messed up. In that situation I just re-positioned all of the pivots within that new scene.

Now, going forward, I wish to avoid re-positioning the pivots when I bring the rigged characters into a new scene. So I will have to re-rig the characters using a different technique. The technique I’ve found is to assign a Peg to each drawing layer. This technique also suggests that, when creating hierarchies for parts of the rig (such as an arm which consists of upper arm>forearm>hand), to now actually use a drawing layer as a Peg. Which I find to be horribly confusing.

I also wonder why the pivots did get messed up as I dragged my templates into the new scene. The drawing layers can remember where all of its strokes and fills are, why wouldn’t they remember their pivot location as well?

I also don’t understand the value to separating the animation from the drawing. You say I can remove the animation from a drawing by making the Peg invisible, can you give me a ‘for instance’ when would that be helpful to the animating process?

When I look at the Network View of my characters, it looks nice and simple - the only issue is that the pivots aren’t retained when I put them into new scenes. The solution to that, using tons of Pegs, seems to increase the complexity tenfold, all just to achieve a pretty simple thing: keep pivots where I put them! I would almost rather just re-position them and avoid all of that Peg mess. Unless I’m completely misunderstading the value of Pegs.

Sorry this is such a mouthful. Thank you for any help!

I understand what your saying. That isn’t expected behaviour in my opinion. I always use pegs so I don’t run into, but losing the pivots from the drawings is a real issue.

I am curious if you are doing something wrong or it is intentional design.

Thanks Lily. I use Animate Pro but was dragging from the timeline rather than C&P from the network view. That seems to have fixed the pivot weirdness.

Still not totally on board with the complexity of pegs but I’ve got the system down now and things are working, so I will just roll with it!

Thanks again.

How did you create the template when you dragged it into the library? Are you using Animate or Animate Pro? For Animate, when you drag to the library, make sure you collapse all your layers inside your master peg, then click and drag from the left side of the timeline to the library.

For Animate Pro, then you should group all your layers and then you can click on the group in the Network View, and copy it with Ctrl+C, then paste it into the library with Ctrl+V.

Check out my Tip of the Week episodes on templates:

To double-check your template, then you can right-click on the template and select Edit Template, and check the pivot points in there. Pivot points should not be lost on drawings, and if this is the case, then something has gone wrong in your process. Checking the template itself may identify the reason why.

To answer the question of why use Pegs, another reason here is that sometimes you might want to squash or stretch one element, without affecting the child elements. If you want to, for example, squash the upper arm, without squashing the lower arm, then you can’t do this if everything is connected in a direct hierarchy. If you do use pegs instead, then you could go back on the drawing layer itself and do the squash and stretch.

You might also want to check out the Tips on Pivot points: