One of the most exciting features in Harmony is the multiplane or Z-depth. In the multiplane, you can create backgrounds in several layers, spread them on the Z-axis to add depth, and then move the camera through this environment to create an impressive perspective illusion.
In live action, when the camera moves through the scene, objects near the camera will move by a greater distance than objects far from the camera. In 2D animation, multiplanes can be used to achieve a similar effect without resorting to 3D backgrounds.
In Harmony, a multiplane can be easily achieved by creating a scene's background over several layers, and positioning them at different depths relative to the camera.
Before creating a multiplane, make sure you have a proper understanding of the environment in which your scene happens. Picture what your scene's background would be like in 3D, then image the camera moving through the space, and how the objects in the picture move at different speeds depending on where they are in relation to the camera lens.
In the following example, the background is made of 6 different layers, each picturing an object that is at a different distance from the camera. On the left, you can see how each object is positioned relative to the camera, as if you were looking at them from the side. On the right, you can see how layers are positioned relative to each other as if you were looking at the scene from a corner. Below, you can see the scene from the camera's point of view.
In order to move a layer further from or closer to the Camera, you must change its position on the Z-axis. You can do this by moving a layer using the Transform Tool in the Side or Top views. You can also move a layer on Z-axis directly from the Camera View by holding Alt and dragging the layer up or down. Positioning your element closer to the camera makes them appear bigger, and moving them further makes them appear smaller. It is also possible to move elements on the Z-axis without affecting their apparent size by using the Maintain Size tool in the Advanced Animation toolbar.