Production > Drawing and Design > Character Building > Skeleton Optimization

Skeleton Optimization

In the Node view, you can add extra nodes, such as a Display, and group all the nodes to keep your work organized.

There are four steps to make sure your puppet can be reused efficiently:

Deleting the Write Node
Renaming the Display Node
Changing the Composite Type
Grouping Nodes

Deleting the Write Node

The first step in optimizing your network is to delete the Write node, which used for rendering certain portions of the Node view.

When you render a scene that contains three or four characters and they each have a Write node in their skeleton, a render is created for each one and they overwrite each other.

Renaming the Display Node

The Display node lets you see a section of the network in the Camera view. By renaming the Display node with your character's name, you can quickly identify it in the Global Display toolbar and isolate your character to see it better while working on it.

If you do not have a Display node in your network, you can add one by selecting one from the Node Library view and dragging it into the Node view.

Changing the Composite Type

When you create a character with Harmony, you have to connect all your nodes in the Composite node. The Composite node takes all the different images coming out of your drawing nodes and flattens them into one single image.

This is useful when it is time to apply an effect to your entire character or group your layers for a more organized network.

The regular Composite node will flatten all the pieces into one image preventing interaction with props or characters connected to a different Composite node. That is why you have to change the Composite node's type to a special one that will still output one single image but will not flatten the drawings together. This will allow you to nudge your drawings on the Z-axis so that parts of you characters can pass in front and behind other characters and objects. This Composite type is called Pass Through.

Grouping Nodes

Once your rigging is completed, you must group the puppet's skeleton to help organize the often large and complex networks. This way, once you have imported two or three characters into the scene, three Group nodes will be displayed instead of all the rigging connections of three puppets.