How to Position and Animate Layers

Setting up your scene can be compared to building a set for a television show. This is the point when you position each scene element such as the camera frame, the background elements and the characters.

Positioning Layers

The first step to setting up your scene is to place each layer in their initial position, angle and size. You can make any kind of geometric transformations on a layer using the Transform tool.

Repositioning the Pivot

Transformations made on a drawing layer, such as rotation, scale, skew and flip, are made relative to the position of the drawing's pivot point. For example, rotating a layer will make it rotate around its pivot point, and scaling the layer will make it scale as if its centre was actually its pivot point.

While making transformations using the Transform tool, you can drag and drop your selection's pivot. However, this has no permanent effect. It will only temporarily change the pivot's position to help you make transformations at the selected frame, but the actual pivot point of your drawing layer will remain the same.

You can reposition a layer's pivot point permanently by using one of the tools in the Advanced Animation toolbar.

NOTE When you permanently move the pivot point of a layer that is already animated, all the transformations done on the layer on other keyframes will be recalculated according to the new pivot point's position. Therefore, your existing animation will look completely different, except at the current frame. It is recommended to always make sure your pivot point is at its ideal position before you start animating.

Animating a Layer

You can animate a layer by placing it in different positions, angles and sizes at different points across your scene's timeline. To do this, you can create animation keyframes on your layer. A keyframe records the geometrical transformations on a layer at a specific point in time. When two animation keyframes are on a layer at different points in your scene's Timeline, Harmony will automatically interpolate the position, angle and size of the layer on each frame between those two keyframes, creating an animation.