Problems Combining IK and Deformation in Animate Pro 3

Hello, I have Animate 2 and at the moment I am messing around with Animate Pro 3, mainly because I want to try the Deformation tool. My main problem is that I don´t understand how to combine IK and Deformation. Example: I have a simple cut-out-character made of three parts: one body and two legs (as sub-layers). I use the IK to make it walk, it works well. Now I want to apply a deformation to each leg, to make the knees bend. That works out well, as long as I don´t move any of the layers as such.

Now, when I animate the leg layers using IK, the deformation structure doesn´t move with them, because the deformation chain is at the top of the hierarchy, above those layers. So the drawing ends up in a complete mess when I use the deformers after moving the drawing. So: is it possible to make the deformation chains move with the drawings, that is, with the individual limbs of my character? That would of course mean that the deformers influence the drawing, and the drawing influences the deformers at the same time. Maybe that´s not compatible with the hierarchy system, I don´t know. But it seems that the use for the deformers is limited if you can´t use it on individualy layers of a cut-out-character that is moving ?

Hm, I hope that I´ve described the problem in an understandable way… Any help appreciated.

Cheers, Volker

The Deformer and IK can not be working together by mixing it.
The whole deformer tool is to animate (or bending) one image (arm for example) by adding a virtual bone to animate without actually breaking down into part like cut out. The IK on the other hand is breaking down the part and connecting them in hierarchy and then animate by moving from the end (Inverse Kinematic) to form the image. Those are two different technique that can not be crossed on same object since the structure are different.
Deform is great tool to animate the object that cut out animation can not do easily. For example, bending texture that is not easy to match two parts in cut out. Or cord or chain trapped to your leg or/and arm that needs to be bent in curve and this will be different doing cut out nicely unless you break down into many pieces. There are many other examples by the way.
You can mainly use deform tool for your character rig or you can rig your character in cut out (or mix with IK) mainly and use deform tool on specific area or case when animation needed that way. For example, when there is an animation requires a normal movement in cut out. But one scene, the character has to move by bending his body like rubber, you can temporary using deform tool to animate quickly to express the pose.
There are some good example of deform on video tutorials and Tips and tricks in Animate Pro 3 site. Just let you know that any project done in Animate Pro 3 will not be understood in your current Animate 2 with all those features that does not exist in Animate 2. Also not compatible between commercial version and PLE.

Hello, and thanks for your answer. I guessed that combining the two methods would be difficult or even impossible. I have thought of a workaraound, which is, however, a bit tedious… It works like that: I insert an invisible drawing (not made invisible in the timeline, but simply an imported picture that is totally transparent) above every drawing in the hierarchy. Then I apply a deformer to the actual drawing, which is then above the actual visible drawing in the hierarchy, but below the “invisible” drawing. The pivots of the invisible and the visible drawing are the same, and for the visible drawing, rotation is disabled. Now, when I use IK, the deformer chain and the visible drawing always move together, as they are parented by the invisible drawing, and only that one moves (and rotates), so the visible drawing won´t move out of the deformer.
That is, however, complicating the process of rigging and maybe not feasible with a very complicated model. The one I am experimenting with now is, however, quite simple (one body, two legs, and a moving eye which doesn´t need deformers), and for that one it´s not that much work.

Thanks again for your explantations. I know that I´ll have to do it all over again if I decide to buy Animate Pro 3… still I think that making available a PLE is a fairly good move of ToonBoom, as it can take quite some time to work out everything (I am a mere hobbyist).

Cheers, and thanks, Volker