Kinematics Question

Is there a way to group several elements say an upper, lower, arm and hand and then use the kinematic tool to swivel the movement? I have symbols that I’ve made from a figure and can only use this tool on each individual element. Sometimes it would be nice if I could group them and then move them together. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

And, I hate to admit it, but my pivot points are still moving around at times. You know it all is frustrating.

Thanks for your help once again Lilly! I did the Drawing Substitution #'s that you told me and it worked. So, I’ll try substituting shapes too. Do I make symbols on their own drawing layers for say different hand shapes and then do what you told me to do with the numbers? substitute them on one drawing layer? what I’m wondering is how do I bring the new revised hands into the drawing layer to perform the drawing substitutions?

Then as for the pivots it seems as though they move whether I am using the transform tool or the select tool. Is there a way that I can keep them stationary in one place on an element?

Finally, I’m not sure how to do the peg for the inverse kinematics. The tutorial I watched showed a figure that had a chain down the arm and the whole arm moved together even though there had been rigging done to it. I didn’t watch the rigging part of the tutorial because I was trying to learn the kinematics. I will watch the rigging part too though. But, I don’t see where to put the peg if I do a hierarchy with my upper arm, lower and then the hand say where do I attach the peg? I tried this inserting the peg on the top of the hierarchy which was the upper arm, but the inverse kinematics tool didn’t work, the chains didn’t appear. Ugh. I see how to use the transform tool, but that moves and rotates the whole arm and the hand. In the tutorial it was so great because he was able to rotate the hand, and the arm, etc., as though it was real–being that they were on a chain and I can’t get this to work. I know there is something I am not doing or missing even though I’ve watched and watched the tutorial.

Thanks again for your help!


Well I made the peg and it worked! the only thing is that the pivots are still a bit unstationery and I’m wondering how to create and copy one arm to another so that I don’t have to redraw without them being linked? I can copy and then flip horizontally to make the other arm, but sometimes they move together and I want them to be independent. I’m delighted that I am figuring out the inverse kinematics. It’s a great tool. I don’t really understand all of the features: simple chain, direct, etc…but you helped me with the peg to get started. Thanks so much again!

Thanks Lilly. I normally watch a total tutorial, but didn’t in this case yet because I wanted to see what he said about drawing subs and inverse K’s. As for the select tool, I only tried that after the transform tool. I have been only using the transform tool with the pivot tool. I just tried the select tool because I wanted to see if that would solve the problem and it of course didn’t. So, what is my best procedure for making sure that my pivots remain where they should be unless I want to make a change to them?

Thanks again!

Thanks Lilly. I’ll check this link out right now. I’m using both in the drawing layer, say the armrightupper and also going to the symbol and clicking on that. Obviously, I’m doing something very wrong because the pivots keep changing. They don’t stay stationary. I’ve started a new figure and am trying to figure it out. Hopefully, your link will help me…I really hope so.


I find your explanation a little confusing just because I’m new to this. Are you saying that I should put my pivots on the individual Symbols that I have in my Library by double clicking on say an arm and then put the pivot where I want it to be on that symbol? and the Parent Symbol would be in the timeline as the top of the hierarchy? say the thigh being the parent to the calf and foot? I’m confused here. So sorry to be so.

Another thing: the Copy Pivot to Parent Symbol is grayed out so I can’t use this option. Why is that happening? I’m trying to figure it out.

I wonder if you’re moving around your temporary pivots? When you use the transform tool, you have a temporary pivot, and if you move this pivot around it only moves it for the duration of the transformation until you deselect the object again. Is it possible that you’re using the temporary pivot?

You can attach the upper arm, lower arm, and hand to a peg and then use the transform tool with the peg. Is this what you mean? If you need to set the pivot on a peg, then use your rotation tool (in Advanced Animation toolbar) and set the pivot by dragging the pivot point in the rotation tool. Then go back to your transform tool and your peg should use that pivot point.


If you want to duplicate your arm, then select the drawing layer and right-click and do Duplicate Selected Layers.

The select tool does not use the drawing pivot. The drawing pivot, which you set with the pivot tool, is for use with the Transform tool only. Maybe this is what’s causing you the trouble. When you’re animating a cutout character, you should be using the Transform tool, not the Select tool. The select tool should be used only when you are setting up the initial drawings.

I think everything will probably make more sense to you if you do the tutorial from start to finish, because usually these tutorials are laid out in a sequence, and one part of a tutorial might build up upon information that you learned in a previous tutorial.


I’ve just recently written a whole slew of stuff on pivots. Are you using symbols or just drawings? Here’s a post that might be of interest to you:;action=display;threadid=2488;start=msg11764#msg11764


So yes, you need to double-click to go inside of the symbol first. Then you need to use the pivot tool to set the pivots on the drawings on a drawing layer inside your symbol. Then after you have set your pivots, you can copy the pivot to the parent symbol.

I’m not sure why it’s greyed out. Perhaps you can attach a screenshot? Just upload it to a free site like Photobucket and post the link here.