About Rigging

There are few basic concepts to know about rigging and layer parenting:

Simple Rigging
Parenting Layers
Rigging Using Pegs

Simple Rigging

Simple rigging is very fast and easy to do. It is built as follows:

All the body parts are independent
All the timeline's layers are attached to a master peg layer (trajectory layer)

The advantage of using this technique is that you are free to move any part around without being influenced by any parent layer.

However, since the parts are not parented to each other, the parts will move from point A to point B along a straight trajectory. The hand will not follow the arm's rotation. You will have to set more keyframes for the hand to move along a curved path.

Parenting Layers

When you want a part to follow another one, such as the forearm following the arm, you can attach the layers one to the other. For example, you can attach the forearm layer to the arm layer without having to encapsulate the forearm into the arm layer. They will still be parented, but you will be able to access the forearm directly without having to enter the arm layer.

The advantage of parenting layers is that the child layers will follow the parent smoothly without having to select them or create a series of keyframes.

The disadvantage of parenting layers is that you are not able to move the parent independently of its children, since the child layers receive all the transformation information from their parent.

Parenting layers such as the arms and legs and letting the torso and hips independent from those is often a good solution.

To attach one layer to another, you have to drag the desired layer onto the other one in the Timeline view.

Harmony offers powerful techniques to create hierarchies between your layers without having to encapsulate layers into each other. These techniques are a great improvement over the less efficient and time consuming method of creating parenting between your layers by inserting symbols into other symbols. Therefore, rigging with symbols inside symbols is NOT recommended.

This method is not recommended. For efficiency in your production, do not encapsulate symbols inside symbols.

Rigging Using Pegs

When you are doing more advanced puppet rigging, you can use peg layers. Peg layers are trajectory layers that do not contain drawings. They are motion paths that you can use to control your entire puppet or advanced hierarchies.

Parenting a drawing layer to a peg layer allows you to divide your motions on two separated levels. You can scale your body part directly on the drawing layer. This way, you do not affect any child layers that could be attached to that part. Then, you can perform your translation and rotation on the peg layer so that all the parts attached to that peg layer will follow the same trajectory.

Related Topics 

Rigging the Head
Rigging the Body
Creating a Hierarchy