Layers are "hiding" during camera view

I finished creating an animation. However there are certain scenes which are acting peculiar:
1. These scenes are from 3 to 5 or six different layers.
2. The problem is only happening with these particular scenes while the others are displaying properly (as I expect them to).

In Draw Mode with light table I can see everything. I have them set up in hierarchy so that the character is in from (top) and the night sky is furthest back (bottom). Terrain and moon sit above the night sky layer.

When I switch to Camera Mode (as it will display on a screen) the layers are not where I assume they should be. for instance the Moon is behind the night sky layer so that we can see the moon at all.

Does anyone know why this is happening? After exporting the entire movie I find that the moon is missing about half the time, along with certain layers even though I believe I have them in the proper hierarchical relationship. Note: I’m only using the timeline to organize my work, and rely on the x-sheet only occasionally.

Open the Top-view window pane and examine the relative positions of your elements with respect to each other and the camera, particularly during the frame sequences where things seem to be hidden. I suspect that these elements are behind other elements in 3D space which effects their location in a display hierarchy beyond the order in a track list. You can adjust their front back location to make them visible. -JK

I am trying to figure out what just happened. I went to TOP view. I moved the blue bar that highlights when I select the first “house” frame, I moved it slightly. I then went back to camera view and voilà, the house was visible! Yay! But what did I do exactly?

When you arrange element layers in the time line or on the x-sheet they are ordered front to back virtually in a stack, but that stack is all located in 3D space on the same plane. 3D space itself is made up of infinite planes moving from front to back so if you move elements to different planes relative to elements on other planes that effects their display order. Top view and Side view let you see the elements in terms of their relative 3D locations. So when you moved that selected element you actually moved it in front of some other element that was hiding it. -JK

Thanks for your insights, etc. I have learned how to animate frame-by-frame with TBS, and do so quite easily now. Still it’s so labor intensive. I hope with even more experience I will learn how to create animation in a less time consuming way. Seeing the story projected onto a big screen the other night gave me such a great insight into the process, and the audiences reaction made me realize that I need to do exactly what I need to do and not to try to create shortcuts for time’s sake. I can hardly wait to really “finish” this story and move on.

Thanks again.

Glad to hear that you are making progress and that your projects are getting done. One of the rewards for spending time helping people by answering their questions is to hear about their successes.

It is only natural to want to shorten the time between the initial idea and the finished movie. But over time you may find that the joy is in the process as much if not more than the final result. Have fun. -JK