Digital Manikin - Layers Panel

Digital Manikin - Layers Panel
In the last tutorial, we divided the manikin's right arm in to three sections. We also drew the final line art and added markers at the location of each joint. Now we will set up the arm and hand sections so that they will be posable.

As a note, Affinity Designer isn't a dedicated posing app. This technique is a workaround for those times when you only have a simple project, such as creating flat characters. This workaround uses the Layers panel and the order or hierarchy of the layers is very important.

We will also be working with the Transform Origin feature to control the rotation points for the joints. Keep in mind that if you resize or change the manikin, you should check that these Transform Origin points have not moved and are still at the joint locations.

The arm has three joints (see screenshot). The first is the shoulder joint and this joint will move the entire arm and hand as one object. Moving down the arm, the next joint is the elbow joint, which will move the lower arm and hand together as one object. However, the upper arm (shoulder joint) will remain as is. Finally, the last joint is the wrist joint, which will move only the hand. When posing your manikin, start at the top with the shoulder joint and work your way down the arm.

Current Layers Panel
At this point we have only six layers in the Layers panel that make up the arm (see screenshot), which are placed between the manikin line art and step 1 - rough sketch group layers.

Let's arrange the joint layers to correspond with the arm sections (see screenshot).

  1. Select the right shoulder joint layer and drag it to just under the right upper arm layer.

  2. Select the right elbow joint layer and place it under the right lower arm layer.

  3. The right wrist joint layer should now be under the right hand layer.

  4. Now let's place all these layers into a new group.

  5. With all the layers selected, right-click and choose Group from the menu.

  6. Name this new group layer POSE right arm (see screenshot).

Note: The uppercase POSE in the group layer name indicates that when this layer is selected, you can pose the entire right arm as one object.


INDEX - Artist Manikin in Affinity Designer

Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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