Layer visibility, reference layers, and imports

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Layer visibility, reference layers, and imports

Postby dondo » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:38 am

So I have been having a problem with layer visibility for my reference layers when I import my rigs. As best I can debug, it appears that when importing a rig, layer visibility settings for a reference layer within the file are silently dropped.

So one common pattern for my rigs is that I'll have a copy of the arm in front of the torso (so the characters can, I dunno, pick their noses) and another reference layer behind the torso (so they can, I dunno, scratch their... back). So I create a reference layer for the arm, and then I rig up a smart bone to flip between front and back: uncheck the layer visibility for the target layer in frame two (of the action), then go back and uncheck the layer visibility for the reference layer in position one (of the action). In my rig, everything works as expected; move the bone, the arm drops behind the torso.

Then I import the rig into a scene (directly, leaving the "import by reference" checkbox unchecked). Sadly the smart bone no longer works; in the smart bone action, the keyframes controlling layer visibility for the reference layer are gone.

I've been beating my head against this for over a week now. (Inevitably my attempts to work around the problem ended up creating other problems which were confusing me even more, which is part of why it took so long). Then today in this thread JKOSeattle shared an observation about using what I'll call a synthetic switch layer to control visibility: a switch layer that chooses between a layer you want to see and one with no content, so switching between them causes the content to disappear.

While JKOSeattle was solving a slightly different problem, this approach solved mine: after introducing a switch layer around both the front arm layer (target) and back arm layer (reference), I can use the switch instead of toggling visibility which fixed the problem. However, that's a bunch of work, and it just seems like there must be an easier way.

Is there a better solution for this?
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Re: Layer visibility, reference layers, and imports

Postby synthsin75 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:21 am

Seems to work here. This one was imported:

Maybe compare it's setup to yours, and if needed someone can help diagnose your file.
It sounds like you already found a solution, but solutions for one problem can often be mutually exclusive to those for others, so it always helps to have many ways to skin the cat.
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