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|
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.
- In the Node view, select the Write node.
- From the top menu, select Edit > Delete or press Delete.
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.
- In the Node view, click on the Display node's Properties button to open the editor.
- In the Layer Properties window, rename the Display node with your character's name.
- Click Close.
- In the Node Library view, select the IO tab and select the Display node.
- Drag the node to the Node view.
- Connect the Composite node's output port into the Display node's input port.
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.
- In the Node view, click on the Composite node's Properties button.
The Layer Properties dialog box opens.
- From the Mode menu, select Pass Through.
- Click Close.
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.
- In the Node view, select all your nodes.
- In the top menu, select Edit > Group > Group Selected Layers or press Ctrl + G (Windows/Linux) or ⌘ + G (Mac OS X).
Your nodes are grouped.
- Click on the Group node's right arrow to enter the group.
- If you do not have a Multi-Port Out node inside your group, in the Node Library view, select the Group category and select a Multi-Port Out node.
- Drag the Multi-Port-Out node to the Node view.
- Connect the Composite node's output port into the Multi-Port Out node.
An output port is created on your Group node.
- In the bottom-left corner of the Node view, click Top to return to the network's root. You should now see an output port on your Group node.
- Click on the Group's Properties button to open the Layer Properties window.
- In the Layer Properties window, rename the Group node with your character's name.
- Click Close.