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Layer Parenting Objects Separating

Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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My students are working on their Walk Cycle projects. Many students are experiencing a breaking child-parent connections when creating keyframes. This issue is random and I cannot find any reason for it occurring, or a solution.

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Error , Performance

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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copy and paste here a screenshot of a timeline displaying the problem.

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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While sending this message, the current student having this issue had to repair the issue frame by frame. So I won't be able to add the screenshots until it happens again (with her or someone else)

 

But essentially, she has her character, all parts saved as graphic symbols, and the layer-parenting correctly done. She can create a keyfram and move the character, but when scrubbing back to a previous keyframe, random parts of the body would greatly change position, although still maintaining the child-parent link. There were times where the entire body would 'explode'.

 

Out of 20 students, this has happened to approximately a third of them.

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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can someone duplicate the steps needed to display the problem?

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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Is the student moving the pivot points of the symbols (white dots)?

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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they are not moving the pivot points. they establish the layer parenting architecture then sheck with me that they are done properly. they then start creating keyframes for the different walk cycle poses. when they scrub back to a previous keyframe, one or more of the graphic symbols either move or change in scale. not all students are having this problem. it is random.

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Community Expert ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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No such thing as random, there must be a common factor among the students having the issue. A certain action, or sequence of events that can be reproduced. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bug, but in order to address it, figuring out what is triggering it is key. Here are a few possible scenarios:

 

1) Not all PCs are running the same version of Animate. For example, some computers might have Animate 21.9 and others 23.0.2. The feature has been tweaked in recent releases and some bugs might be present in older versions but not in newer ones. Check the version number by going to Help > About Animate and report to your IT department if you find any differences between workstations.

 

2) Parts of the character may not have been converted to symbol and are made up of raw drawings, bitmaps, drawing objects or groups. This will lead to a pop-up like this when applying a tween:

Mario_CR_0-1683740179947.png

Pressing OK will create a generic symbol and a duplicate and will break the parenting hierarchy. Generic symbols will appear in the library as Tween 1, Tween 2, Tween 3 etc 

Mario_CR_2-1683742571291.png

The solution is to remove the keyframes, create the symbol manually and re-apply the parenting.

 

3) Parenting layers before converting the parts into symbol. This can lead to issues; trying to fix it by converting them to symbol while still parented can lead to errors as well. Solution: Remove all the parenting, convert each part to symbol one by one and only then proceed to parenting.

 

4) Stray objects. E.g a layer has a symbol and a stray dot somewhere. You can tell by selecting the frame and seeing "Mixed Objects"  in the properties panel. Solution: Delete stray dots, re-apply parenting.

Mario_CR_1-1683741062715.png

 

5) In Animate, you're not really parenting layers, but keyframes. If the character was posed and keyframes were added before parenting them, trying to parent them after the fact can lead to incorrect tweening, user would need to go over each keyframe and parent them manually as changes will not propagate to past or future keyframes. In this example you can see the changes in hierarchy from key to key:

perenting.gif

Solution: Remove keyframes, make sure each part is properly parented on frame one, and only then add keyframes.

 

There might be a few more I'm missing but these are the most common problems I've seen. Please report back if any of these is the culprit or if you have more information that can help us pinpoint the issue.

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2023 May 11, 2023

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Thank you Mario for taking the time to create such a thorough response. VERY helpful! The only thing consistent between the students having issues was that they had one more level of parenting than the others. Students are required to have the torso as the parent, then an upper leg, lower leg and foot. Students had the option of also adding the toe (for foot bend). I can't imagine this is the issue, but it was the ONLY thing I could find.

 

Here are my responses to each:

1. We are in a classroom lab where all versions are identical. Although our school system refuses to update any Adobe software after the year starts. I doubt that is the issue, but then again we did not have this problem last year.

 

2. Students must verify each step with me before moving forward so I have to personally check that their character elements are all graphic symbols before they start animating.

 

3. We checked into this. I even had some students completely restart with a fresh file and watched them import their graphic elements, convert them to symbols, layer parent and animate and ended up with the same issue (although in a different part of the character).

 

4. This is something we have not checked for. Thanks!

 

5. Students are required to have their symbols and layer parenting architecture checked by me before creating any keyframes.

 

THANKS AGAIN MARIO!

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023

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LATEST

You're welcome John. Here's one more possibility, I found a bug recently where if you select multiple symbols and move them around with "Scale, Skew and Flip propagation" ON the symbols will start drifting, the effect will be multiplied the more you move them. See video below.

The workaround for now is to turn "Scale, Skew and Flip propagation" OFF to avoid the issue. 

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Guru ,
May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

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Smart Magnet Rigs are a viable and mature alternative.

 

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 ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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thank you. looks great. but unfortunately we do not have permission to download and install third party software.

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Community Expert ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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@John23909691vlxs 

 

contact your it administrator.

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