In this month's Character Animator Tips & Tricks, August 2017 @ 10:41, two layers are merged in a puppet by using the Command + E action. It's an arm and a hand.
It works in the video in Photoshop but I'm unable to duplicate the effect in Illustrator. Is there an Illustrator version to doing this?
Dave, in another video, says something to the effect that he likes to save a version of the puppet with all elements as they are ... and then creates a second puppet with elements merged and simplified to be used in Ch. I'd like to follow best-form principles. So this merging of layers seems important.
Thanks for your help,
Illustrator works a little differently - the only way to "merge" that I know of is the Pathfinder tool, but that's limited to similar-color/styled objects. But...Notice how Illustrator tends to list every single shape into separate layers? <path>, <shape>, etc? When you import, CH actually merges those together into single layers - otherwise you would have a rig mode puppet panel a mile long. CH will do that as long as you don't rename anything from the defaults.
So with AI files, I wouldn't worry too much about the merging thing.
So as long as I leave the layers as <Path>, as Illustrator provides, the parent layer is a composite in Ch. Leave it alone in Illustrator and leave it to Ch to composite later. Will do.