How do you offset body part shifts when changing z-space position?


I have noticed that body parts will become slightly disaligned with one another when I change their z-space.

For example, I have an upper arm drawing set at .05F and a “skin patch” drawing pegged to it also set at .05F. I noticed after animating the character
that some parts seemed disaligned, and after a great deal of trial and error
determined that the problem was due to the z-space. In the example above for instance, if I reset the “skin patch” drawing to 0.0F, it shifted back perfectly in line witht the upper arm drawing. Only problem is, the “skin patch” is no longer visible and its purpose (to hide joint line of the forearm) is defeated. It has to be at .05F to be in front of the forearm, which has to be at .04F to be in front of the “hand patch”, and so on and so forth. The larger the shift in z-space, the more offset certain drawings appear in camera view.

How do I fix or compensate for this? Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks and regards,


With the Select Tool (6) select your object in the viewport…In the Properties panel check their “Z” position…Either make any “small” adjustments there…Or hold down the “option/alt” key (Mac) and use the up- and down-arrowsfor backward and forward movements… (increments are 0.01)(hold down the shift-key as well for larger increments)RegardsNolan

Thanks for the reply.This seems to be telling me how to change z-space. I already know how to change z-space. What I need to know is how to compensate for the slight, undesired changes in x and y space that are occuring when I change the z-space.In my character’s walk cycle, the arm joints move slightly out of alignment as the character moves. If the z-space is set to 0 the arm parts stay in alignment as the character moves. But if I adjust the z-space to make the arm parts visible in camera view (i.e. on top of one another in the correct order), they slowly move out of alignment in x and y space as the character moves. For example, the skin patch drawing moves out of alignment of the upper arm even though it is attached to the upper arm and therefore sharing the same pivot point. I noticed when I change z-space the drawing grid shifts ever so slightly, and this is what is throwing things out of alignment. How do you change z-space without the grid shifting out of alignment left to right? Please help, as all my painstaking inking is completely worthless if lines are being partially covered or thrown out of alignment.Cheers.DanB.

The objects are moving on a straight line through space…As you see those objects through a Camera (represented by a cone)all will at some point leave the camera view (depending on their start position)The X and Y changes are just natural…(one can only compensate by moving the objects back into those positions)Anyway…Without seeing your file…Either you have set “by accident” somewhere a keyframe…?Or one of your parts is still far off in the “Z” direction…?(open the Top View and zoom-in as far as possible and check the positions)If you see the “Drawing Grid” in Camera View, then you’re using the Select Tool (1)and changing the position of the drawing in Drawing View… (no “Z” position here)Try and use the Scene-planning Tools for Camera View,and leave the Drawing Tools entirely for the Drawing View…RegardsNolan

I am not using the drawing tools for scene planning, I only switched to it so I can better see the slight shifts when in camera view. By showing all lines, I can better highlight the individual body part and with the grid visible it gives me better reference to see the slight shifts in movement. In regular drawing view (with light table on) the body parts are lined up perfectly; however in camera view, they are not lined up, and it is because of the z-space. I do not understand why changing z-space is inadvertenly shifting the body parts out of line in x and y space. I don’t think this has anything to do with keyframes. The body parts that are moving in an undesired fashion do not have their own keyframes. The keyframes are set on the body parts to which they are attached. Only after all the positions in the walk cycle were set were keyframes then attached to additional body parts to lock them in position. As I have not subsequently pulled any keyframes apart (to create non-constant segments between keyframes and slow the walk), I do not understand how unintentional movement like this is taking place. I rigged this character exactly as I have many others and not had a problem before (or at least I have not noticed it).The x and y changes I am referring to surely cannot be natural. They are not moving ONLY in accordance with the keyframed rotation or movement; they are also slipping out of alignment with the other body parts. Having to reset this for every single frame of movement is ludicrous. It would defeat the time-saving purpose of automated in-betweening. Perhaps there is someone who could look at the character for me, and tell me what I have done wrong? It is tough to explain and to answer this through mails. We seem to be at crossed purposes and I don’t think I am doing a good job of explaining the problem.Cheers.DanB.

It is true that setting an offset on the z will cause an XY shift when moving from side to side. This is caused by the effect that gives the scene a 3D look when panning a scene with objects at different depths.Shifting an object by a value of 0.01 usually creates such a small shift that it is not noticeable. Shift more than that in Z however can create undesirable effects.There is a way to shift less than 0.01, although the value will not be visible in the properties. Shifting with the scene planning select tool by using the Up or down arrow keys while holding Alt will nudge the drawing in Z by a smaller value than 0.01.Applying the Z shift should be the last resort. The order of the objects is first determined by the order and the Timeline. Because of the order of hierarchies in the Timeline, it is not always possible to order them exactly as needed but you can set the order of many layers this way.Another way to force the layering is to use the “Type” property of the drawing layers. This can set a drawing to be always Foreground or Background.

Simon,Thanks very much for this info. It really clears things up for me. I figured that might be the case (going too far forward in z-space), but I could not see how else to get certain body parts in front of others. I will try the methods you have suggested.Thanks again.DanB.

A good way to avoid overusing the Z offset is to use peg layers to move drawings together. This way, you can have a patch and a drawing moving together and have the drawing under the patch.The timeline would look like this:Parent Peg___Patch Drawing (child 1)___Drawing (child 2)Here a link to a great tutorial on cutout characters:

Thanks! I will have a look at this.DanB.