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Control Switch Layers With Bones

Control Switch Layers With Bones


Tutorial Number: 144
Made with: Anime Studio Pro 8
Level: Intermediate

With this script you can control switch layers with bones.

The supporting file contains the script and the example file used in this tutorial.

The script was written by Vernon Zehr (aka heyvern)
View thread on lostmarble forum

Vern's World - Youtube Channel

1. Create The Character

First use the Character Wizard (Available in Anime Studio 8+) to create a creature that we can work with. (Any character will do for this tutorial)

Character Wizard
FIGURE 1-1 Character Wizard

Once created, you will see that Anime Studio has created different views of the character within a switch layer. In each of these layers there are bone groups with more layers and switches (for eyes, mouths and arms etc.)

Create a new bone layer and move the character layer inside.

Character layer has been moved inside new bone layer
FIGURE 1-2 Character layer has been moved inside new bone layer

2. Add The Controlling Bones

Next create a new bone and name it the same as one of the switch layers.

In FIGURE 2-1 the bone has been named (3) the same as the body switch layer (1)

Control Bones
FIGURE 2-1 Control Bones

Set the bone constraints to -90 and 90 degrees

Bone Constraints
FIGURE 2-2 Bone Constraints

Do this for each switch layer that you wish to control.


You can copy and paste the bones to speed things up. Remember to re-name each bone to the corresponding switch layers.

3. Add Help Text

To help you remember which bone controls which switches you can add some labels.

Create a new vector layer (1) and add the corresponding text to it.

Make sure you set the layer's properties so that it's set not to render (2)

Help Text
FIGURE 3-1 Help Text

Final Set-up
FIGURE 3-2 Final Set-up

The controlling bones can be arranged however you like, you may find it more helpful if they are arranged off the set.

4. Add The Script

We now need to release the layer so that the bones don't animate the layer as they would by default.

Select the main character layer and the go to 'Bone' > 'Release layer'

Release Layer
FIGURE 4-1 Release Layer

Open the layer settings for the parent bone layer (the one with the controlling bones) then click the 'Embedded script file' option, select the script in the pop-up window.

Add The Script
FIGURE 4-2 Add The Script

Now move to frame 1 and manipulate one of the control bones, you should find that by doing so you are swapping between layers in that switch layer.

Supporting Content

Download Details
Zip File Size: 106KB
Last updated: 17 Aug 2012 07:27:33
Made with: Anime Studio Pro 8
File Name:

Rate This Tutorial
Once you have completed this tutorial, please give it a rating:

6 Rates (5)
  • Member Since: 27 September 2012
    Last Logged In: 3 November 2013
    Comments: 1
    Tutorials Completed: 1
    nlprod1 says:
    28 September 2012 at 02:41:18 PM
    I love this script as I'm currently still using AS 8 Pro. Is it possible to do separate head rotations and still have the ability for full body rotations via this script. Right now I've only been able to accomplish full body switch rotations, but I see a need sometimes to just switch the heads.

  • Member Since: 13 December 2015
    Last Logged In: 20 February 2016
    Comments: 1
    Tutorials Completed: 0
    keninomaha says:
    16 December 2015 at 05:52:38 AM
    Is this script compatible with AS 10 pro? I am following along step by step with the Creature tutorial but - nothing moves when I try moving the bones.
    I noticed that Vern uses the Rotate Bone tool, I am using the manipulate bones tool.

  • Member Since: 15 March 2013
    Last Logged In: 6 April 2014
    Comments: 1
    Tutorials Completed: 0
    fedetoons says:
    19 September 2013 at 06:24:48 PM
    ME sirvio mucho este tutorial. muchas gracias. que buena herramienta.
  • Member Since: 25 June 2015
    Last Logged In: 25 June 2015
    Comments: 1
    Tutorials Completed: 1
    gorges says:
    25 June 2015 at 09:33:35 PM
    Just great!
  • Member Since: 14 October 2021
    Last Logged In: 10 February 2024
    Comments: 2
    Tutorials Completed: 0
    donklass says:
    16 January 2022 at 09:15:23 AM
    When upgrading to Windows 10.0.1944, the script works incorrectly, an involuntary partial character scaling is observed.

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