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04. Stacking Parent and Child Deformers

    Creating a Rotating Deformer, and a Curved Surface Deformer, and making one the parent of the other will create different
    effects depending on who is higher.
    The following page explains the possible combinations and where they may come in handy in your projects.

     Types of Combinations

  • Curved surface Deformer (parent) + Curved Surface Deformer (child)
This is the combination that is most often used while Modeling.
It is used to make the Parent deformer affect the Child deformer not only in manipulation, but also scaling and movement.
It can also be used to envelope several smaller Drawing Objects to make manipulating them as a group easier.



  • Rotation Deformer (parent) + Curved Surface Deformer (child)
Best used when affecting a joint or rotating object that needs to change shape when moved.
the neck, for example, would stretch to the side of rotation when moving, so it is possible to use this combination to
achieve a more natural neck movement.


  • Rotation Deformer (parent) + Rotation Deformer (child)
Mostly used for joints, and to express movement of several parts at once.
for example, the following joints could be controlled with one Key Form (on a parameter) to achieve the motion of
placing the hand on the hip, this means moving the shoulder joint will automatically move the other joints so nothing breaks apart:
Shoulder joint → rotates upper arm, elbow joint → rotates lower arm, wrist joint → rotates hand.



  • Curved Surface Deformer (parent) + Rotation Deformer (child)
This combination creates a unique effect.
Moving the Control Points on the curved surface deformer will not manipulate the shape of the object, instead it will
appear to rotate the parts enveloped in the rotation deformer, or move them together as one group.
It is a very useful combination when making breathing motions for your character.






     Stacking Several Deformers Under One Parent

It is possible to create an hierarchy which controls what deformers affect the part. Stacking several deformers under one Parent may be useful
for models that have several objects that need to have individual movements as well as a universal movement, such as the head, clothes, or hair.
Any kinds of deformers can be nested under one parent, and there are three methods of doing that.

Let's prepare the deformers first.



  • Method 1: Using the Drop Down List

1. Select the deformer you would like to use as a child


2. From the [Edit Palette], select the deformer you would like to set as parent from the [Deformer] drop down list.



3. It is now set successfully.





  • Method 2: Drag and Drop in the Deformer Palette
1. Without doing anything, the Deformer Palette will look like this

2. Within the palette, click on the deformer you would like to set as child, and drag it onto the deformer you would like to set as parent.



3. It is now set successfully.





  • Method 3: Stacking Curved Surface Deformers
This method is only available when all the deformers are Curved Surface type deformers.
It is useful to control parts that have several motions and need to be enveloped with one universal deformer, such as eyebrows.


1. Select the deformer you would like to set as parent.



2. Enlarge the surface by pressing CTRL and dragging the corners, envelope the full area of the other deformers you are trying to affect.



3. Select the drawing object, and while it is highlighted:
Create a new deformer, and enable the check mark in the box labeled "Set to the Parent of the selected object" and click OK





4. It is now set successfully.