Chapter 13: How to Use Bone Deform

Harmony provides you with the deformation technology to deform bitmap and vector drawings over a period of time. These deformers can be linked to create a hierarchy of deformation. You can deform a character made out of one, or many, drawing or image layers and make it move as if it were a cut-out puppet. It also allows you to take an area in a single bitmap image and create animation by distortion.


Using the Rigging tool, you can quickly create a basic Bone and Articulation or Curve rig. Before you can create a Basic Deformation rig, you must set up the performance preferences which are necessary to allow the system to process the deformation effect efficiently—seeSetting the Performance Preferences. Refer to the Creating a Full Character Turnaround Deformation Rig to learn how to rig a complete character.

Adjusting the Deformation Chain

Once you have a deformation chain created, you can optimize its positioning to fit the element it will deform. This task is done in the Setup mode.

Display the Deformer Controls

Before you can manipulate the deformer outside of the Setup mode, you must enable the Deformation Controls.

If you have just created the bone rig, the controls will still be showing. However, when you close your project, the deformers are turned off. By enabling the Deformation Controls, the controls will display when you reopen a project so can you see the ones you need while you are animating.

You can also select all the modules from Network view and select View > Show > Controls from the top menu.


The Bone deformer operates in the same way as a human limb and is composed of a pivot as the starting point, and bones and articulations.