symbols ignore drawing pivot

Hey Animate forum community!

As the subject suggests, I’ve created all of my drawings, set the pivots, and when I drag them to my library to create symbols and then drag them back into my timeline, their pivots change! I’m currently using Toon Boom Animate pro 2.

Since we’re on the subject, after watching the pro tutorials, none of them even suggest using symbols. Is there something I should know about this? Why use drawings with pegs instead of symbols? Are symbols a throwaway feature that allow previous users of Flash to feel more at home? Are there any glaring advantages and disadvantages to each approach?

Then there’s the whole ‘using drawings as pegs’ technique. Having played around with it, it almost seems like a workaround for something that pegs should be able to do in the first place.

As always, thank you very much in advance for the help and information; it’s greatly appreciated.

Symbols can work well as containers for objects but for characters there is little need for them.

They were initially done that way to make flash people feel comfortable but it overly complicates the situations to the point they changed the tutorials from symbols to drawings.

Hey theRaider,

Thanks so much for your response! I can see how they would be useful for objects. I recall in the tutorial how she used it to create a patch, although to be honest I still don’t completely understand why she decided to go that route when the rest were drawings. Perhaps it would be good for me to work through the rigging tutorials again!

Once again, thank you for the help. Could you possibly shed some light on the drawings as pegs/regular pegs situation? I understand that pivots set on drawing pegs using the “rotate” tool do not reset to their original positions once you right click the particular layer and “clear all values” whereas regular pegs do. Are there any other differences between the two beyond this?

pegs aren’t drawings so don’t get confused.

They are a layer which contains information about where in the screen the peg is.

The great thing about a peg is you can attach your drawing and Animate it without effecting your original drawing. You can hide the animation by taking the visibility off the peg.

Now when you see a character setup with a lot of pegs they are using the same principle except they are storing the information for each drawing in a seperate peg so that you can move each peice individually.

In the situation you are describing are the pegs children of something else?

Symbols are useful for patches since they can act as a container for the drawing and the patch.

Hey theRaider,

The explanation regarding patches really helped! In regards to pegs, you’re absolutely correct. Pegs are not drawings. However, there is a technique used in the latest Toon Boom Tutorial videos where the lady uses drawing layers as pegs. I promise I’m not crazy! Haha! I’ve got the link below. Go down about half way on the page, and watch the “Creating a mixed rig” video:

http://www.toonboom.com/products/animate/how-to/video-tutorials/#tutorial15?utm_source=Oempro&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toonboom.com%2Fproducts%2Fanimate%2Fhow-to%2Fvideo-tutorials%2F%23tutorial15&utm_content=Subscriber%20%232339&utm_campaign=20110331_promo_ANIeval

As far as I understand, it’s only an option that is available through the pro version, via the network window, although I can’t confirm this. I created a rig like this myself, but opted for the peg only version when I discovered that copying and pasting keys created weird circular, Mr. Myagi-style interpolations between keys, kind of like a mini tornado had grabbed all of my characters pieces and exploded him, swirled him around, then reconnected him at the next key. Weird stuff!

Anyhow, thank you again for the responses and excellent information. You’re well seasoned with this stuff, so your wisdom is much appreciated :slight_smile:

- DJ

You can indeed use a drawing like a peg since it has all the movement information. However personally I wouldn’t do it since it would start confusing me.

Whenever you make a parent/child relationship between drawings/pegs the child always inherits the movement information of the parent. (ie when the parent moves, the child moves the same amount in the same direction)

I also use pegs to group layers together even if i don’t plan to animate them.

So maybe I can shed some light on a couple of these issues.

Regarding using drawing layers as pegs. In Animate Pro, there is an option where you can take the pivot points that you have created on a drawing layer, and then in the Layer Properties you can set “Apply Embedded Pivot on Parent Peg”. That will take the pivot information on the drawing layer and send it up to the parent.

This option does not exist in Animate, only Animate Pro. This is why the Drawing-layer workaround was first introduced. Generally I would not use this option if working with Animate Pro.

The difficulty with a peg layer is that a peg can’t have multiple pivot points. If you think about this, it makes sense, because how do you know when to swap the pivot point? There’s no connection between a peg and a drawing layer, unless you use the Apply Embedded Pivot on Parent Peg option. Using a drawing layer as a “Peg” allows you to swap that drawing, and thus the pivot.


Regarding symbols, indeed they were created at first for the Flash market. IMHO, it’s better not to use them unless you want to encapsulate multiple drawing layers together.

What happens with a symbol’s pivot, though, is the following. When you create a symbol, that symbol could have many drawing layers, and those drawing layers could each have their own pivots. So you have to go inside the symbol and tell the symbol which of those pivots it should use as the Symbol Pivot. So if you go inside the symbol, with your pivot tool, you’ll see there’s an option in the Tool Properties for Copy Pivot to Parent Symbol. You’ll need to do this for each of the drawings, and then you’ll notice that the cross-hairs, which indicate the overall Symbol pivot, will match each of the individual drawing pivots.

Hope this helps!

~Lilly