Putting it all together?

When i watched the Tbs vs.3 cut out tutorials, i tried to do what they do. But with all the seperate drawings like. eye…mouth… I dont know how to get them all in one picture. I understand the rest its just that! Thanks!!

Im on a mac by the way. When I try to draw eyes and mouth in one picture. it moves as one. And on the timeline it will only say Drawing 1. I need it to be like this example:
TIMELINE-
peg-
Der DER-
eye-
mouth-
Nose-
ect…

We need to start with some basic concepts. A cut out character is made of parts. These parts are normally their body parts. There are basically two things that determine the strategy for breaking a character into individual parts. First, any place that the character has a movable joint you will want a break. (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, thighs, knees, ankles) Next consideration is any part other than the ones connected by joints but that can move independently like eyes, mouth, hair etc. So your first step after deciding what your character will look like, is to determine all the different parts you need to have to construct this character.

Basic concept #1: Every body part that you can possibly want to animate needs to be a seperate element in your exposure sheet.

Note: two eyes and one mouth are three seperate things so each is a unique element, the actual number of unique elements is a design decision you make for your specific character and your specific needs.

So if your character has 25 individual movable body parts then you will have 25 columns, one for each body part element in your exposure sheet and that also means as rows on your timeline.
Now once you set up your exposure sheet with those 25 elements which will all be on the same frame, you can position them to build your character. You can see them all in camera view so perhaps thats the best place to do the construction. Don’t forget to arrange the body part elements so that the appropriate parts that belong on top of other parts are higher up on the timeline rows listing. Now once you have these elements arranged in the form of your character you are ready to actually rig the character.

You start by creating a main peg for your character to which you attach all 25 elements. Next you select all 25 elements that you attached to the main peg and select the attach parent button at the top of the timeline. This will create a parent peg for each element.

Now comes the fun part creating the heirarchial linkage. You attach the parent peg of each body part to the appropriate peg that should be the parent of that part. It’s like connect the dots. The right foot peg is attached to the right lower leg peg( that parent child connection is the right ankle joint) the right lower leg peg is attached to right upper leg peg (that parent child connection is the right knee joint) and you just work from the outer parts to the inner parts from bottom to top until you have created your desired skeletal heirarchial arrangement.

Now you need to select each of your “joint” pegs and using the rotation tool move the rotation pivot point to the position it naturally should occupy. This is the part that makes the character move correctly now that you have the joints attached, you need to set the way those joints will move.

If you still don’t understand this process, then I suggest that you take a piece of construction paper and create your character on that and cut it into movable parts like a paper puppet and arrange those parts on a board with pins for the joint connectors. This may sound like a stupid suggestion but actually this real paper cutout puppet is exactly what you are constructiing digitally so maybe it will help you visualize the computer aided process. If you want or need more help just keep posting questions and we will try to clearly answer them. -JK