Problem adding deformers to character rig


Just starting out learning Harmony 11 (stand-alone) here, and have gone through the video tutorials. I’ll try to explain the trouble I’m having with deformers, and hope someone here can point me in the right direction.

I’ve created a bitmap drawing of a stylized flower, with layers for the head, some extra petals, stem, and “arms” with leaves for hands. I imported this into Harmony, followed the instructions for disabling “Animate Using Animation Tools”, etc., and was able to apply a hierarchical structure using pegs in the network view with no problems.

Then I tried to add curve deformers to the stem, for example, so that I can make it sway back and forth and bend slightly, carefully following the instructions in the Harmony 11 Quick Start tutorial series. No good. I clicked to make sure I was in setup mode, made sure I had the bitmap layer selected – not the peg – and created my curves. Then I selected the transform tool in the animation toolbar so I could make adjustments to the curve. I’m able to do this, but when I test out the curve, nothing happens to the drawing itself. The curve alone can be moved, but the drawing itself stays stationary. I can animate the character using the pegs, but when it comes to adding deformation, I’m stuck.

Any ideas what I’m doing wrong? I’m sure this is a very simple and obvious fix, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out.

Thanks in advance!

It’s funny how sometimes just the act of typing out a question can lead to the answer itself :slight_smile:

I think I might have found the solution, and am going to test it out to see if it works the same in Harmony as it does in Animate Pro. It seems if I use the Open Rig technique, that I should be able to place a master peg over the whole character and then apply deformation rigs to the individual drawing layers. Does that sound right? It’s shown in the Tips and Tricks section here:

My style of drawing and painting is very fluid and “soft”, for lack of a better term. I’d like my animation work to reflect that style. So I bet taking the extra time to manually manipulate the movements of individual layers might be the best way to go.

Are you using the button to copy resting position to current?

Are you selecting the deformation in the Timeline and animating the deformation?

Thanks so much for replying!

Yes, I’ve done what you suggested on previous practice projects, and was successful then, but this time had neglected to do one simple thing. I forgot to deselect out of setup mode. Naturally I felt quite silly. One of those not seeing the forest for the trees situations. You know it’s time for a break when you’re parenting your cooking knives while making dinner and asking your family to please composite themselves at the dinner table.

So apparently this reply got partially cut off last night, and I’m running into a related issue anyway, so I might as well try to describe it.

I successfully placed a curve deform on the flower stem (although I’m still trying to figure out how to add points to that curve, but that’s another issue altogether). However, when I animate the stem, the arms of the flower no longer follow along with the stem. They become dislocated. If I connect the deform module in the network view to the pegs of the arms, then they follow – but then I am unable to place deformers on the arms. If I place deformers on the arms first, then I can add one to the stem – but then the parenting structure gets messed up again so that if I animate the stem, once again the arms become dislocated.

So basically, all I want to do is rig the character using the pegs, and then add deformers to individual parts, but I’m having a ton of trouble combining both methods. I’ll look through the tutorials again today because I’m sure I’m missing something, but for now am totally frustrated. Not giving up – but definitely facing a steep learning curve (pun accidental).