How to synchronise drawings on clones

Recently I tried rigging the hands of a cutout character so that where the hands joined the wrist of the forearm there would be a seamless connection. I used the method described in the video tutorials where each hand had the complete drawing on the drawing layer and a duplicate on the color layer with the exception of an opening for the width of the wrist. After having done several hand positions on separate exposures I made a clone of the hand layer and setup the rigging as follows.

Both layers were attached to the same peg so that both hands could be manipulated as one.

I placed one drawing layer of the hand on top (in the Timeline) with the Read Color Art only selected. The clone was placed below with the Read Line Art selected.

It made a very nice seamless join for the wrist. But my problem was that when I flipped through my various hand exposures on one layer I had to manually make the changes on my clone layer. How do I get the two layers to change exposures simultaneously? I also need to figure this out for the mouth as that is the way it is done on the Deform Bob template provided for Harmony.

I believe it is done with the Share Functions feature but couldn’t figure out how to apply it. Can somebody with a higher IQ than I help me? Thanks in advance!

This is a good question. Depending where you do the clone you will have different results.

Clone in the Timeline = Independent drawing exposure and transformation functions (Seperate X,y,z, angle, etc).

Clone in the Network = Linked drawing exposure and linked transformation functions.

Clone in the Xsheet = Independent exposure and transformation.

So in your situation you should have done the clone from the Network view instead of the Timeline.

Now to fix the situation for the transformation part, if you are animating in the drawing layer (but I think you want to animate in the parent peg so it would not apply), you would select the original hand layer > do Share functions > then go in the clone layer properties> Connect all the different parameters to their corresponding functions made public by the Share function. I did a small video to show also.

However this doesn’t fix the unlinked exposure problem. Unfortunately there is no way to link the exposure after the fact so your best option is to redo the clone from the Network.

So very helpful, Steve! Thanks! And thanks for taking the time to do the video clip showing how to share the functions. Those little buttons on the right in the properties menu have been a mystery to me for some time now. I once messed around with them and totally screwed up my animation–ha!

I had seen in one of Lilly’s Tips videos that she mentioned that if you copy and paste in the Network view it automatically makes a clone. That was something I didn’t know.

I had another question regarding clones. If I make an arm and call it R-arm and then clone it and change the name of the clone to L-arm, is that okay? I mean, I’ve done it and it seems to be okay, the two are still linked and still clones but I think Harmony creates a folder like this in the Elements folder: R-arm.24. What is that? I also got an error message one time–can’t remember what it was but I was concerned I’d lose some of my work.

How does Harmony or Animate handle renaming clones?

Tricky questions.

If you do a copy/paste in the Network it will link both layers to the same artwork(folder), have the same timing and same transformation functions. So this will not work for your L-arm because if you change the timing (put R-arm-2.tvg for example) both arm drawings will change at the same time. Similarly if you keyframe the L-arm to go up, the R-arm will have the same movement. You will also share the same artwork but that is usually ok since I assume you want to reuse the artwork for both sides.

If you duplicate or do Paste Special>Create New Columns in the Network, then all 3 aspects would be independent (artwork, timing and movement) which is not good for the re-use of the artwork.

So in this situation if you do Clone from the Timeline you would get the right result: linked artwork, independent timing and independent movement.

You can try it out and check in the layer’s properties: in the Transformation and Drawing tabs. Check if you have a + in the transformation and check to what folder the artwork is connected to. For the timing though, you can only check by changing it in the Timeline and see if both layers’ exposures are linked or not.

Now for your second question: Elements folder>R-arm.24. The number added to the new folder was introduced in Harmony to fix some issues when you bring back a symbol in the scene as a new layer. Since there could be conflict of names, it adds that number when the name is identical. The number comes from the hidden database ID when you create layers. Even if you have just 3 layers in your scene, every time it created a new layer it incremented the ID. Not 100% sure of all the details but I think it’s also for undo/redo issues that arised in the old versions.

I think it’s to avoid having the Timeline end up with head, head_1, head_2, head_3 if you imported the symbol for the head 3 times.