How does rigging work?

When you create a rig and add a widget control, you assign sets of snapshots to the widget. A snapshot is a record of parameter states for one or more objects in your project. Widgets let you switch between stored snapshots. For example, you can use a checkbox widget to record a snapshot of a shape’s Scale and Color parameters at one set of values (large and red) and then record another snapshot at a different set of values (small and green). In this example, when you select and deselect the checkbox widget (in the Widget Inspector), the shape snaps from large and red to small and green, and vice versa. See Snapshots overview.

There are three types of widgets, each offering a different level of control over snapshots:

  • Checkbox: The most basic widget, toggles between two snapshots. For more information, see Checkbox widget.

  • Pop-up menu: A slightly more complex widget, lets you choose from among multiple snapshots. For more information, see Pop-up menu widget.

  • Slider: The most complex widget, lets you apply gradual changes between multiple snapshots. For more information, see Slider widget.

There are several ways to record snapshots. The most basic method is to use the Rig Edit Mode button in the Widget Inspector. In rig edit mode, any changes you make to the parameters of any object update the active snapshot in that widget. For more information, see Build a simple rig. For additional ways to assign snapshots, see Snapshots overview.

There are several factors to consider when using rigs:

  • Each parameter in a project can be assigned to only one widget at a time. However, you can store many values for that parameter as different snapshots that can be accessed using a pop-up menu or slider widget.

  • Because a parameter cannot be controlled simultaneously by two widgets, you cannot duplicate (or cut/copy and paste) a rig or widget. Similarly, if you duplicate or copy and paste an object with rigged parameters, the new object’s parameters are not rigged.

  • If a parameter is assigned to a widget, that parameter cannot be modified while you are actively recording a different widget’s snapshot. For example, if you have a slider widget controlling a shape object’s color, and you begin recording a snapshot for a different widget, the shape’s color is not modifiable.

  • Some parameter types cannot be rigged. Some parameters that use the mini-curve editor to affect an object over a range (such as the various “over stroke” parameters in the Shape inspector) cannot be added to a rig or modified while recording a snapshot. If you modify a parameter that cannot be rigged in edit mode, the change is applied globally—affecting all snapshots containing that object.