About Assembly

After you have created all the deformation chains for your character, you will need to assemble these separate body parts into a puppet. Your pieces should be properly overlapping and not set apart.

To avoid problems such as having the head stretched by the neck deformers or a hand modified by the body deformers, you can use the Kinematic Output node to assemble your pieces without propagating the deformations down the hierarchy chains.

The Kinematic Output node lets you hook a separate element that you want to be linked to the deformation chain but not be part of the deformation, such as a hand to an arm or an arm to the body. These elements will follow the movement of the chain just like a regular cut-out character hierarchy piece without being influenced by the deformation of the arm. If you don't use the Kinematic Output, the piece's pivot will not follow the deformation.

When building a cut-out puppet with deformations, each part controlled by a deformation chain will automatically rotate from the chain root point, which acts like a pivot. Because it is unlikely that every piece of your character will be rigged with a deformation chain, you must set pivot points for the pieces that are not using deformations—see Setting Permanent Pivots.

Assembling Guidelines

When assembling a puppet with deformers, there are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • You cannot parent deformers directly because deformers are not designed to be used on other deformers. To assemble deformers, you must insert a Kinematic Output node.

  • Your peg must be placed above the deformer.