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Second Arm Tip Followup from Mike Kelley on Vimeo.
One thing I haven't understood about your arm tutorials, is why it is necessary to split the arm onto two levels. I have been making similar rigs for a while, and I simply split the shape into two, then fill each half and hide unwanted lines. That way you only have one set of vertices to worry about, and one less level. You can also make apparently seamless hands with overlapping fingers, all on the same level, using the same technique.
Barry,Sorry it took so long to reply -- that's the @$@#!#$ about these blogs, you don't see comments very easily when they slide past (and yet another reason why most of this stuff is moving to the Animator's Forum -- join us there for lots more discussion). In one respect you are absolutely right -- you can do this on one layer with two shapes. However, that does mean that you will need to be careful about shape order and for me it is much easier to see the shapes on separate layers where I can easily control order. As long as you order them correctly (with the bicep at the rear) then there is no problem with using only one layer in this manner.