PIVOT WON'T PASTE!!! Please help!

I am near the end of my rope. I am PAINSTAKINGLY following the RIGGING videos for ANIMATE. In the video, she recommends using DRAWING layers as PEGS. Well, it worked so far for the upper arm, but when I created another drawing layer for the lowerarm and hand, I copy the forearm pivot, select the drawing layer for the lower arm, and paste special (yes, with Update Drawing Pivot selected) IT WON’T PASTE!!!

Screen shots here: https://skitch.com/iamdavejames/sets/ff1/toon-boom-animate-issues

Anyone have any insights on this?


Dave James

You are always focusing on the timeline? First step, in the d_forearm_02 layer, right click in the cell and select: “copy cell from timeline”, go to d_02lowerarm_Peg and select: paste special / update drawing pivot, this action always copy the drawing pivot in the drawing peg with identical values.
As I can see, in his rig you don’t have any parent peg (green peg module) for the forearm and for the hand, and all drawings are animatables. If you convert his drawings in “not animatables” and set the drawings pivots “on parent peg” (using the scripts, or in the drawing layer properties panel/advanced: uncheck: Animate using animation tools, and in layer properties/drawing: Use embedded pivot: Apply embedded pivot on parent peg), when you select the drawing with the transform tool in camera view, only will be possible select the parent peg, and this prevent you for drawing displacement when selecting.
In his pictures, in the first one, the peg is correctly selected and the pivot positon consistent with the drawing d_forearm_02.
In the second picture you are selecting the “drawing” (because is animatable) and this is not convenient. I hope that be helpful in some way.


I tried it and got the same results as you did, Dave. I assume the drawing layers you are using as pegs are empty drawings, right? I don’t remember the tutorials you are referring to but it seems strange that you are using empty drawings as pegs. Why not just use pegs? Or, setup the pivots directly on the drawing layer?

In any case, if I do add pegs to drawing layers I set the pivot for the peg and then just eyeball the pivot for the drawing to be about the same spot. It ain’t exactly the same but is good enough for my purposes. If you do more drawings on the same layer the paste special feature oughta work for that.

THanks everyone but let me explain further what I am dealing with.

In the video, RIGGING for Animate (not PRO)

3:40 mark she says the using the hierarchy method is inferior because you can’t resize say just the forearm because the hand will resize with it. (I thought you could shift click and isolate the forearm and resize it alone, am I missing something?) She says the hierarchy has a “lack of flexibility”.

So THEN she says you can use PEGS, sounds great doesn’t it? PEGS should be awesome but listen to what she says about PEGS at the

4:20 mark, “…pegs have an embedded pivot that cannot be animated over time” HUH?

She goes on to say, “…to work around this “problem” we are going to use drawing layers as pegs.” again, I thought PEGS were a good thing, but now she is starting me on this journey of using drawing layers as pegs.

She goes on to creating drawing layers and adding empty drawings, copying and pasting pivots and so on.

I am having a particularly tough time with two things:

1. When I TRY to create a drawing layer, it sends it to the BOTTOM of my layers NOT to top like she so easily does. An moving a drawing layer is tough and tricky and sometimes I can move it to the layer order I want.

2- I am able to get the pivots to copy and paste correctly in all but ONE. The software WILL NOT paste the drawing of one particular drawing into my new drawing peg layer in the exact same spot. It is as if there is something wrong with this ONE drawing (forearm). I am at a loss. I was able to rig the the other are no problem.

I really don’t understand WHY we have to use drawing layers as pegs and WHY peg layers won’t as she says, “…pegs have an embedded pivot that cannot be animated over time”


You are the BEST. I kinda understand a little better now thanks.

I am going to try your “pivot pasting” idea using the drawing view and I will let you know how it works.

BTW, my plans are to have this character in ONE VIEW ONLY. 3Q.



I was able to get the one problem drawings pivot to paste into the drawing layer peg finally.

Plus, here is ANOTHER kicker, I have created a huge stage 1280 by 720. I’ve been drawing my character OFF TO THE LEFT. NOW, when I add a PEG layer (not a drawing layer labled “peg” but a REAL peg) above say the upper arm, then I attach the upper arm to that peg, the PEG’S PIVOT IS AT THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN. How is THAT supposed to help me animate!!!

So now I had a PEG for each element of an arm, WITH THE PEGS all having PIVOTS in the CENTER of the 1280 x 720 scene. Oh, sure the different hand drawings on the different frames all have nice pivots at the wrist where they belong, but THE PEG THEY ARE ATTACHED TO HAS IT’S PIVOT A THE CENTER OF MY SCENE!!!

BUT, I still don’t get why I am creating so many pivot layers. I have read countless posts here on pivots and pegs and I still don’t get why this is better than a simple hierarchy.

I think a quick, almost side-by-side video showing an animated sequence, with one using a simple hierarchy, and one showing an elaborate, “drawing layer peg system” and demonstrate CLEARY, VISUALLY the pitfalls and advantages.

Well, for one thing, your stage area is not so huge. It is the default setting I use for all my animations. Aside from that, I’m not sure what’s happening as I still have only a basic understanding of how all this works. Lilly’s post revealed a lot to me that I hadn’t know previously. A lot of times I use the Rotate Tool (Alt+3) for moving some pegs around. I like it better than the Pivot tool.

As for the “so many pivot layers” you don’t have to use them. For the most part I just drag and drop various drawing layers like hands/forearm/upperarm/body to create a hierarchy for manipulation. Once it’s all rigged together with this hierarchy, I add a peg at the top level, usually connected to the torso/body or hips. Then I’ll go back and add a peg here and there for things like the eyebrows/eyes/nose/mouth so I can move the whole group around. Things like that. It’s totally up to you how you want to rig your characters. Personal choice.

Great tutorial, Lilly! It helps make it clearer how the pivots work. Thanks!

Thanks to ALL of you!!! You are great forum members for working with a newbie like myself. I really appreciate it.


The video cleared A LOT if things up for me. I wish I had the funds to upgrade to PRO, but Animate has it’s work arounds. My first character was 3Q only, and I didn’t realize that I could have used PEGS instead of creating DRAWING LAYER PEGS, but alas, I’ve learned a LOT more about ANIMATE this way.


Dave :smiley:

Let me try to explain in a little more detail about the pivots, and peg layers.

Each drawing, on each drawing layer, has the ability to assign a pivot to it. What this means is, when you swap the drawing, it swaps in the right place because it updates the pivot for the new drawing.

With a peg layer, a peg layer is empty, it doesn’t contain drawings. You can’t swap drawings on a peg layer. So what this means is that, although a peg layer has a concept of a pivot, it just has one pivot over the course of the whole timeline. You can’t animate the pivot over time.

Also let’s think about it this way too. Let’s say you have a peg layer that’s effectively grouping together several drawing layers, then you have maybe 3 drawing layers that are all children of the same peg. Which of these drawing layers should define the pivot for the peg?

If you’re not doing things like front, profile, 3Q views all on the same layer, then you can get away with simply using peg-level pivots, because the pivot point is not going to change over time. There are many studios who do this.

If you do want to be able to swap from a 3Q to a front view on the same layer, then you will need to define the pivot points per drawing.

In Animate Pro, you have the ability to promote a drawing’s pivots to a peg layer. Meaning, if you have a hand drawing, then a hand peg, then you can promote the pivots from the hand drawing to the hand peg using a Layer Property in the drawing layer.

However Animate is more simple in the way that it works, so Animate doesn’t have this property. So when you’re working in Animate, the way that the team found that worked pretty well was just to use a drawing layer instead.

Now all that being said, it’s kind of hard for me to know without looking at your scene what exactly is the problem here. One thing I can suggest is that you can try to use your pivot tool. Select your pivot tool, then select the drawing (in the drawing view) where you have your source pivot. Get the focus (red outline) around the drawing view, and do a Ctrl+C to copy.

Now select the destination peg-drawing in the timeline where you want to paste the pivot. Get the focus around the drawing view again, and now to a Ctrl+V to paste.


The resolution of your scene is actually not really relevant until you export your scene. Since you’re working in vector, it’s size-independent.

I recorded a quick video on pivot points that you can check out here:


Hopefully this helps somewhat.