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Layer Parenting not working properly. Please help.

Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Guru ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Quite an impressive set of PL 'behaviors' you have documented in the video.

I know that there are lots of issues with Layer Parenting, esp. with flipped objects, but what you showed on reddit beats everything I've seen so far!

 

Just for the record, it will be good if you could post the video here as well.

 

Nick - Character Designer and Animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of the Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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I attempted to place the video here but it said I was not allowed. The link to the reddit will have to do. I hope people don't think it's too much trouble to go watch it there.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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I don't even know what 'flipped objects' is 

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Guru ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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'Flipped' as in 'flip horizontally' or 'flip vertically', when a symbol instance becomes a mirror image of itself.

 

Often used for a set of limbs, for example, where you have symbols for the left arm and leg and flip to use the same symbols for the right counterparts.

 

Nick - Character Designer and Animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of the Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Ah yes. Well the weird thing is that for the bread character, that is the case - just a copy of the object then flipped horizontally. 

But for the Toaster, where the major problems are happening, the left objects of the eyes are NOT horizontal flips of the right, yet they are the ones causing the strange problems.

Still, I'm having a hard time grasping the notion that Adobe can't get this together, in where it therotetically shouldn't matter they type of object, or group of objects, drawing or painting objects are contained in a layer, symbol or not a symbol - a layer should be able to be parented to any other with whatever type of drawings, and it just should work. Like it doesn't seem to complicated. 

Granted I don't know anything about how to build or code animation software, but it seems these issues have not been solved over years of the tool existing, you'd think they'd be able to figure it out by now. 

Like I want to get good at this software, but if it can't function in a way that one has to be aware of all these dumb work around it's like what's the point. I just wanna make cartoons without breaking my brain. 

It should just work, and not be so complicated. 

I'm venting at this point. Thanks for the info. Is there anyway to solve these issues? Or am I just going to have to redraw everything in a new document and do what the reddit reply suggests of nothing being set as a drawing object, or group, and then must be a symbol.

It just makes the whole thing such a pain in the you know what.

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Guru ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Your frustration is completely justified.

 

Layer Parenting is based on a disastrous implementation, introduced more than 5 years ago, called Advanced Layers - a whole hidden structure of Movie Clips.

All features based on Advanced Layers are problematic, and the dev team hasn't been able to stabilise the LP system through 6 major and countless minor releases (AA2019 - AA2024) over more than 5 years. They fix one bug only to introduce two new ones in its place.

It's a big mess.

 

The best thing that one can do is to avoid touching any of the Advanced Layers based features, such as Parented Layers, Camera, Layer Depth, Frame Effects and so on.

It's especially bad if you are a new user. Old, experienced ones usually manage to navigate their way through the jungle of bugs and known issues.

 

There is a lot more that can be written on this topic, but, unfortunately, I don't have the time, and it's probably pointless.

 

As the person on reddit suggested, you should only use symbols and nothing else for animation.

Inside those symbols the artwork can be layered, and you can have Drawing Objects and raw shapes.

(Use Groups only temprorarily. Groups can bring a lot of trouble to an animation production.)

But at character level you should only have one symbol instance per layer.

Symbols have proper Registration and Transformation Points and 'permanent' matrices, i.e. can be predictably tweened and transformed in a non-destructive way.

 

Try to un-flip the torso of your toaster, and flip the content inside the symbol instead.

It may help to break-apart and create the symbols again, but it would be best if you copy the shapes to a new file.

It is difficult to know what exactly is causing this absurd behavior, without having the file. Trying to find the exact reason can be quite time-consuming, so restructuring it may be the better way out.

 

Also, it would be better to nest the facial features inside the toaster/toast symbols and run those as synced timelines. This is how facial animation is done properly.

 

And finally a prediction, based on past observations:

In a day or two an Adobe employee, assigned to monitor the forum will pop up here asking you to send them the FLA, so that they can study it and improve Animate. 

You will supply the file and nothing will come out of it.

 

Nick - Character Designer and Animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of the Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Thanks for advice. I will continue to troubleshoot and recreate this stuff. It seems like Adobe Animate has a lot potential, and I reckon it's used in some professional instances, I just wonder if seasoned pros using Animate run into the same issues or not.

Perhaps it's just time to face the music, save up $3000, buy Toon Boom Harmony and start learning the actual industry standard for cartoon animation. As I want to make/work on legit productions. I just can't see final output of adobe animate files being at that level. I figured it'd be fairly easy since I've been using illustrator for so long, it just feels so clunky. And it seems great to just make youtube content, but again, all these bugs, and workflow issues just take way too long out of actually being creative and doing the actual animation. But that's what I get for not wanting to do traditional frame by frame animation. 

Anyway, I appreciate your detailed analysis. 

What of the use of the new bone tools for making rigs, rather than layer parenting? Perhaps I'm just going about it all wrong. 

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Guru ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Yes, many TV productions are still animated in Flash/Animate.

It has a great core, but the development in recent years has been very chaotic.

 

You can have a look here for some good practices, based on the reliable old-school features:

https://flash-powertools.com/category/tutorials/

 

Good luck!

 

Nick - Character Designer and Animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of the Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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