Moving part of the body of a layer in z-axis

So let’s say you have a layer of drawing, maybe someone’s hand X. Then you have another layer of drawing, hand Y. If we cause these two hands to shake hands, then let’s say that in pure hand drawn animation, we can easily visualize how it’ll turn out. But in puppet rigging, we would need to cut the hand into tiny little pieces, with some areas being higher in the z-axis, while some parts lower. Is there any way we can create a puppet animation without having to cut the body parts into smaller and smaller pieces in order to make them work on the z-axis? Can we transform only a portion of the layer in x, y, and z while leaving the rest? Thanks a lot, any ideas will be greatly appreciated. I realize I have so many questions, but I’ve only recently discovered this forum. I will try to answer other’s questions whenever I can.

If I had to animate a handshake between character A and character B, I’d probably draw both arms giving handshake as one drawing of the arm of character A, and would disappear the arm of character B at the moment I show the character A’s arm drawing where both arms are connected.

Remember that you can combine both traditional and cutout animation in a rig.

That’s what I would do anyway, it’s the easiest way that comes to my mind.

Thanks for the suggestion. So you are saying that when they shake hands, you would delete the keyframes and the drawing exposure at the moment of the hand shake… Then afterwards, you would fill that part in with hand drawn creation… Am I getting that right?

That’s right, though it’s enough if you delete only the drawing exposure. Because of these kind of things I recommend you to have a peg with the keyframes parenting the drawing layer (in this case, the hand). So you can remove exposure and change drawing without messing with the keyframes. you have to be careful though what object you have selected when animating, if the drawing or the parent peg.