I just wanted to draw people's attention to what I think is a serious problem...
I had a side-view puppet that just was not working. I tried every which way to fix it, changing the independence of the head, the body, the limbs, and every possible combination of them all. I tried changing the layer order, connection points, attach styles, removing parts, etc.
I could sometimes get some of it working, but there were always some parts not connecting right: legs were not connecting to the torso. Arms weren't connecting to the torso. One arm wouldn't connect, the other would. Parts were connecting to the wrong things. The head was distorting weirdly. Parts were moving out of alignment when I moved the puppet. I got some parts connected right, but then I couldn't drag them independently etc.
After spending literally days and days trying to get this puppet working I had all but given up, then I tried one last thing:
In my Photoshop file, under the Body group, I had nested all the body parts under a sub-group just for that particular pose. When I took all the parts out of this sub-group, I was astonished that the puppet magically worked perfectly! All the parts connected right, everything was draggable. I even got the green line, which I rarely see in CA.
In fact, it didn't even matter whether the parts were inside "Body" or not - just as long as they weren't double-nested under Body.
So, I'm not writing all this just to moan - I really just wanted to sound the alarm, because I consider this quite a serious issue and I think people should know about it as it can waste days of your life trying to troubleshoot.
I think this is a serious issue because all I had done wrong was simply nest a few parts, which is something anyone could easily do. And I've watched many CA tutorials and never heard any warning against doing this.
This probably explains why I've struggled so much with Character Animator from the start, because I have often double-nested my different body poses. In my experience, it's essential to nest several body poses under "Body", so that you can switch between different poses during a scene. For example, if a character stands, turns, then walks - all while speaking one line of dialog - then you need to be able to switch out the different poses within one continuous scene, right? Which surely requires a nested swap-set under Body? But I will never double-nest again! It has been traumatic!
Anyway, sorry to sound negative. I love the program and I'm only writing this to help other people.
Note how he has a subgroup arm nested several layers deep, but it still works because of the independence and rigging setup - the only independence and rigging are added at the level where it's needed - in this case, the group with the arm artwork.