11 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2018 6:17 PM by SharonfromMD

    Arm floating after iMac froze

    IanD101 Level 1

      Hi all I hope you can help.


      My iMac froze in the middle of my project so I had to manually shut down the computer. When it rebooted my puppet was corrupted and one of the arm became disconnected to the body.

      I tried fixing only to make the whole project obsollete. Lucky I saved the puppet from the crash and started over. I only wish I saved the original puppet 1st.


      Heres a link to my puppet if anyone can find the solution.

      I just want to say thanks to a fantastic community, I thought I was alone and forums were only for discussion and not physical help.    



        • 1. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
          IanD101 Level 1

          UPDATE: Here is a more recent link.


          Character Animation - Google Drive



          Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 6.01.09 PM.png

          • 2. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
            alank99101739 Level 4

            You have +Right Arm, and nested in it +Guitar Rig, and nested in that is Left Arm (the one that floats). So you have said the left arm is a part of the guitar, which is an independent group, and so its not attached at the shoulder to your puppet. I thought a pin would hold a position relative to the parent layer, but that did not work for me. (I thought that is how Martin did it too.) That needs a better expert than I am. I don't know how to get two arms attached to shoulders and the guitar.


            Note: your hierarchy is a bit different to Martin. Is that difference intentional? The nesting around the guitar is a little different. Martin seems to work as I would expect with pins to connect the arm to the shoulder, but I failed to get your puppet going sorry (and I need to get to bed) - even after I tried to fix the nesting problem.  I would check the nesting of your puppet compared to Martin.


            But I think you need to put some pins to connect the left arm to the shoulder. (But when I tried it did not work - but it does seem to work in Martin.)

            • 3. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
              alank99101739 Level 4

              Ah! Silly me! The nesting of independent layers (as I said above) won’t work. Pins can pin a layer to the parent. So the way Martin works is the +Guitar layer has pins pinning it to the parent Independence group. In your case, right arm is independent to the body, so +Guitar can only pin things to +Right Arm.  If you remove independence from Right Arm, then the +Guitar can attach to the body (the shoulder in particular) via pins.  That is, after fixing the children of +Guitar (your puppet has moved something deeper than Martin has in the PSD file), then remove independence from Right Arm, and it started working for me.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                IanD101 Level 1

                Thanks for staying up late to figure stuff out for me. I tried your suggested methods which indeed did latch the arm to the body. However, the behaviour of my puppet wasn't the same.


                Good news I figured it out by moving the Guitar pin backwards & parallel to the stem of the guitar (now I remember I did that on the original before the crash). I also fixed the head by removing the + from +Right Head which was conflicting.

                Yes, the hierarchy is intentionally different to Martin so that the puppet looks more realistic when play the guitar. Take a look at the updated puppet and see how it correctly works like it did originally.


                I do need help to make the fingers switch between Default & Twofinger simultaneously with the arm movement. I have latched all 3 arms so that I have time to move the fingers. Character Animation


                Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 9.46.31 AM.png



                Hopefully this might help more people struggling with this puppet template.


                Thanks for always being there!



                • 5. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                  alank99101739 Level 4

                  Cool! Glad you got it working! I was doing some guitar work on a puppet of my own, so interesting to see what you did. I was trying to get the hand able to slide up and down the frets, but its hard because draggers are absolute (not relative to parent) so as the character starts to move, its hard to keep the hand on the neck of the guitar. Even with quarter speed recording the lag between the screen updating and the position of the dragger is hard to maintain. (Hmm, maybe if I record then move the dragger back a few frames in  the timeline....)


                  So I may fall back to pinning things together more like what you have as a last resort. Moving the hand up and down the frets was a luxury really - was just fun trying to do it.

                  • 6. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                    IanD101 Level 1

                    I'm glad you liked it, coming from a pro I really appreciate it.

                    • 7. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                      IanD101 Level 1

                      Do you know how to add the hand triggers to activate with my method? I have 2 hands at play.

                      • 8. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                        alank99101739 Level 4

                        Pro? Ha! I just like learning and exploring. I am still relatively new to Character Animator myself. (But I guess I have to put myself in ”intermediate” level now.) I just like browsing here during lunch and coffee breaks for a few mins distraction from work, helping with easy questions. I have only *completed* one actual video (although #2 is coming hopefully this week...)


                        Regarding triggers, what were you trying to achieve? I put separate triggers on my left and right hands for my guitar player, as normal. The only trick with the fingers on the frets was to put the finger artwork above the +Guitar layer (like you have) so the ”hand” is behind the neck of the guitar, but the fingers are in front. I just used a layer with swap sets in place of the fingers as per normal.


                        That is, create a layer for the different fingerings, then put each alternative finger positioning as a different child, hide all but one as the default, then set up triggers to make each alternative appear with a swap set so only one appears (as per normal with triggers and swap sets).  I tend to use number keys 1-5 for the hand on the left, and 6-9+0 for the hand on the right.


                        Is there something beyond that you were trying to achieve?


                        See And every so often things just work for my results so far - left and right fingers going.

                        • 9. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                          IanD101 Level 1

                          Wow thats a little more complex than I'm thinking. Awesome though!


                          So, my right hand is designed purely to use as a drag behaviour, no fingers needed.

                          Left hand as you know moves quite well but I'm only using 1 of the 2 finger positions in each pose. Is there a way to add the next finger to the swapset or should I be looking at a whole new triggers set up?


                          Hopefully that makes more sense.


                          • 10. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                            alank99101739 Level 4

                            Have you looked at “cycle layers”? It basically shows each frame in sequence. There are a few options such as whether to cycle continuously, the advance speed, etc.  So you can set it up with a single trigger to play the sequence continuosly (and stop later).  When you see layer names like “1”, “2”, “3” its usually an indication that cycle layers are intended. You can put cycle layers under a swap set if you want to get fancy. But if you don’t want to control the exact fingering etc, then cycle layers reduces the amount of work to get the fingers going.


                            You can do things like repeat layers to hold a finger position longer, or have a few different cycle layers with different sequences to avoid monotony. Just depends how much effort you want to go to.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Arm floating after iMac froze
                              SharonfromMD Level 2

                              I'm a beginner, so take this with a critical mind. My MAC froze a few days ago and it looked like I lost my entire animation. There was nothing in the Timeline or in the scene. However, there was a history and project. I restarted the computer-nothing changed.


                              Then I just tried clicking on the second from the last thing in the timeline-low and behold!!! The entire project came back up.


                              Just an idea. There was a record of the file. It just had to be activated. Good luck.