Hierachy makes child elements disappear


we have imported and named elements for body, upper arm, lower arm and hand.

When we create hierarchy with the hand as a child to the lower arm, the hand drawing disappears. This also happens when we make the lower arm a child of the upper arm.

We have tried to “bump” the hand and lower arm forward in the Z axis, but this does not fix the problem of the disappearing element. Removing the element from the hierarchy brings the element back.

What are we doing wrong?

Thanks for any advice and help.

Paul & Ffion

Remember that offsets of child objects stack with the offsets of their parent, have a look at the side and top views with your object selected - it may provide a clue as to what’s happening. Another thing you can do is look at the Properties window.

I suspect that the hand is either off-screen or behind the camera (small point of the camera cone).

My apologies, the response for to Paul Gonzales. I should have made that clear. Missing layers can be easily retrieved.

However, I’m not familiar with the Scale property response to hierarchy settings. The document (guide) seems to indicate that the scale property is related to the F/B parameter (Chapter 14, Properties View, pg. 365).

I have a similar problem (using Toon Boom Studio 8.1). In my case, it’s the “scale” of the imported elements that goes haywire once I create hierarchies.

I have a PSD, with separate layers for head, arm, hand, and so on. Naturally, they are all at the correct sizes, with the hand being just the right size to fit underneath the sleeve of the arm, and so on.

When I import them, I have to choose whether to “fit image to camera width” or not. If I choose “yes”, then all objects get a scale of 1.0, and the correct size relationships between them are broken, and remain broken when I start making hierarchies.

If I choose “no”, then the size relationships are preserved, but each object gets a different scale that is relative to the camera. So, the arm might get a scale of 0.27, while the hand gets a tiny scale of 0.08 (because the hand is only 8% of the width of the camera area).

But now, when I make a hierarchy by making the hand a child of the arm, it uses these no longer relevant scales to calculate the new sizes, and therefore makes a total mess of things. For instance: because the hand has a scale property of 0.08, as soon as I make it a child of the arm, it shrinks to 8% of the size of the arm, becoming virtually microscopic. I wonder if this is actually the ‘disappearing’ that the OP was having a problem with.

I get this same problem whether I import the elements as a layered PSD or as separate PNGs.

How can I get Toon Boom Studio to preserve the correct size relationships between objects when I give them parent/child relationships?

You can switch to Top or Side View to check. If you only see a single light green line, it means all the elements are placed together in the same Z offset. This usually happens when setting elements as part of a hierarchy.

You can click on one element (e.g. Hand) and see if it gets highlighted in the Top/Side View. The selected element should show as a darker green line. You can pick it in Top/Side View using the Select or Transform or Move tools and drag it just slightly to the front (closer to the camera). Then switch back to Camera View to verify things are OK.

Hi Cubiclite,

Was that response to me or the OP?

My character elements all have a Z offset of 0, which seems right to me, since I want them to be at the same depth. As I described above, my problem seems to do with the scale property carrying over. So, if a hand is 2% of the camera width, and then I make it a child of a forearm, it suddenly becomes 2% of the forearm size. I’m not sure how Z offset relates to this. If it does, could you elaborate? Thanks

I’ve found a solution/workaround. The key is to attach everything to pegs.

So, for example, if you have an arm and a hand graphic, don’t attach the hand layer to the arm layer. Instead, make parent pegs for both the arm and the hand layers. Then attach the hand peg to the arm peg. The graphic layers themselves will come along for the ride, but won’t have their scales botched in the process.

When you create a parent peg, its scale always seems to be 1.0, which is the same as the scale of the camera. Thus, when you place graphics as children of these pegs, their sizes remain unchanged.

I eventually found a solution (see one of my posts above)

Anyone? This bug makes working with imported graphics a nightmare. Every time you nest one object under another, it creates up to a minute or so of work to ‘unbreak’ it and get its size and position right. When you have many elements, this quickly becomes infuriating.

Surely there’s a known workaround or something. Otherwise it’s like the developers never actually tried using the software using imported graphics and hierarchies before, which seems unlikely.

Contact Support. They have helped me with User issues and even sales questions rather than exclusively technical problems.