Issues without cutout layering - body parts coming apart when moving

I’ve been putting together a cut out character rig and been playing around with ordering the layers. I’ve read all I can on how to order the layers, but have a problem.

The layers are:

  • head (with eyes, eyebrows, mouth, eyelids as children layers)
  • body
  • two arms (each with an upper arm, forearm and hand)
  • two legs (each with an upper leg, lower leg and shoe)

After experimenting with moving forward/back, and in which order in the hierarchy (on the timeline view) to order things, I then modified the z axis properties for each part.

I thought that I had everything as I wanted it and saved my puppet to my library. It generally works fine, except for one problem.

When I import the puppet into a new scene/file to animate, it pops up somewhere over to the left of the camera view. If I then shift the puppet to the right of the camera view (just because of what I’m trying to animate), the different layers seems to come apart.

In particular, the layers with the highest z axis value (say 0.11) move more. I then have to realign all of the body parts so that they’re properly connected visually.

Is there any way to avoid this?

You might have moved the “body parts” to deep into the Z-space…?
Only very small amounts are necessary, e.g. 0.01 should do…
Open the Top- or Side-views, zoom in to find the out of line parts,
Or check the Properties window for the effected Layers…

Otherwise, read JK’s excellent explanation…