Regions of Influence

To increase the quality of your animation and the accuracy of the deformation effect, you can modify the regions of influence around the deformation chains. A region of influence is the zone around the deformer within which art will be influenced by the deformation. The deformer has the power to shape all art contained within the influence area on its own element or on its children elements.

Zones of influence are different depending on the deformer type and zone type you selected. Note that the Game Bone deformers do not support regions of influences. Game Bone deformers are set to Infinite and cannot be changed.

You can find the settings for the zones of influence in the Layer Properties of the Curve, Bone and Envelope nodes, as well as in the Rigging tool properties—see Deformation Toolbar.

There are four types of region of influence:

Zero: This creates no influence around the deformer.
Infinite: This is the default option. The influence goes all the way to the image boundaries or until it intersects with another zone of influence. When working on a cut-out puppet built on several element layers, the best choice is to keep the default Infinite option as the zone of influence type. In the following examples, the zones of influence are explained through deformation chains on a single bitmap image. It's also recommended to keep the regions of influence to Infinite when using Envelope deformers.
Elliptic: This creates a region of influence following the deformer. Its size is based on a radius value. When you set up the shape of your Elliptic zone of influence, you should be as accurate as possible and make sure that only the element you want to follow the deformation is included inside the zone.
Shaped: This creates a custom region of influence around the deformer that can be adjusted using control points and Bezier handles. When you set up the boundaries of your Shaped zone of influence, you should be as accurate as possible and make sure that only the elements that you want to follow the deformation are included inside the zone.

When you have an Elliptic zone of influence selected in the Node view, you can convert it to a Shaped zone using the Convert Elliptic Zone of Influence to Shape option.

To illustrate the zone of influence Fade Radius and its effect, the bitmap picture will be swapped with a grid pattern.


There is an area called the deformer Fade which surrounds the region of influence; this is the link between the strict boundaries of the zone of influence and the surrounding region. This area gradually stretches or squashes following the deformation. You can change the Fade Radius value to modify the size of this area and the exponent of the deformation fade effect.


If you built a custom deformation system from the Node Library view and are using a Deformation-Switch node, you can change the default behaviour so the fading effect is inside the zone of influence instead of outside. This is explained in this example.

NOTE: You can also prevent a child’s element from undergoing its parent deformation by connecting it through a kinematic output—see Assembling Pieces.