Creating an Effect
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Creating an motion effect can be as simple as selecting the type of effect, picking some colors, and then modifying the effect controls to your liking. This can all be done from the Effect Settings Panel. Read through the topics below to learn more:
Effect Settings Panel
The first step in creating an effect is selecting the effect from the drop down list. The list is grouped by effect author/publisher.
The best way to get familiar with the effects is to try each one.
Choose the colors for the selected effect by clicking the checkboxes next to the desired colors. Not all effects use every chosen color. For example, the Color Wash effect only uses the first selected color. The Picture effect doesn’t use any. If you haven’t selected any check boxes, the color defaults to white.
The Toolbar and Color Palette
The size of the palette is fixed at 6 entries, but each palette entry can be set to a color of your choosing. Simply click on the color (not the check box), and the Select Color Transition window will open allowing you to choose a previously saved color, a custom color, a random color, or transparent.
Selecting the Single Color mode will cause the selected color to be used for the entire duration of the effect. Save the current color by clicking the "+" button at the top right. Select a saved color by clicking on one in the list on the right side. Delete a saved color by clicking on one in the list and then clicking the "X" button.
The Select Color Transition Window (single color mode)
Selecting a color transition will cause the color to change over the course of the effect, starting with the color on the left and ending with the color on the right. The double-arrow button in the center will swap the left and right colors. The Random button on the left will change the starting color. The Random button on the right will change the ending color. The Random button in the center will change both.
The Select Color Transition Window (color transition mode)
The Transparent color is shown with a gray and white checkerboard pattern:
In some cases, the color Black and Transparent will produce the same effect. However, Transparent is different when you are using the Alpha Blend mix mode -- Transparent will let the other effect be visible, whereas Black will hide it. The same is true when you set the mode for combining Motion Rows to Overlay. In the following example, the Transparent color allows the Butterfly effect on the right to show through.
Combining effects with the Transparent color
Example of Effect Controls
Below the palette area will be a set of buttons, sliders, and other controls that are specific to the type of effect you have chosen in the drop down. Each time you select a different effect type, these buttons, sliders, and other controls will change. Modifying a control will change how the effect is displayed. The sliders in particular have a lot of options and their use is detailed in the Using the Effect Slider topic.
Feel free to experiment with all of the options. That is part of the fun of the Motion Effect Generator – seeing all of the different effects you can make!
For some effects, color order is important. Color order can be changed by dragging a color to a new location.
Then drop it on top of another color square. When you do, the colors will rearrange.
To start dragging, click on the color you want to move (blue in this example). Avoid the check box.
And drag some more...
Now release the mouse button to drop. Blue moves to the front of the line!
Using the Effect Toolbar you can:
Sometimes after making adjustments to the effect controls, you might get to the point where you want to start over. Clicking the toolbar icon shown above will reset the effect parameters to their default values (for the selected effect).
The current palette (6 colors) can be saved for later reuse. In fact, you can have an entire collection of color palettes. Manage your palettes or select a saved one by clicking the toolbar icon shown above. This will open the following dialog:
The Palette List dialog
In the Palette List dialog, each palette is listed by name. Following the name are the 6 palette entries. If an entry is split into 2 parts, the left part is the color at the start of an effect and the right part is the color that applies at the end of an effect.
Replace the current palette with one in the list by double-clicking on an entry. Or you can single-click on an entry and then click the Select button.
Click on an entry to select it, then use the up or down arrows to move it to a new position in the list.
Click the sort icon to alphabetize the list.
"Add Current" adds the current palette to the list. You will be prompted for the name.
Click on an entry and then click the "Rename" button to give it a new name.
Click on an entry and then click the "Delete" button to remove it.
Click on an entry and then click the "Copy" button to make a copy of it. You will be prompted for the name.
There is a special clipboard that can hold effect panel settings. The settings include the current effect, the current palette, and the effect parameters. A single clipboard is shared by the left and right panels. The value stored in the clipboard does not go away when the Motion Effect Generator is closed. It stays there for as long as the Sequencer program remains open.
Here is a simple example to demonstrate how this works. In the mixer area of the Effect Generator, there is a "Copy left effect to the right" button (right arrow icon). You can use these copy and paste buttons to perform the same task. Click the copy button on the left panel, then click the paste button on the right panel. The effect you have on the left panel is now also on the right panel.
More importantly, you can use these buttons to combine the left side of one effect with the right side of another effect. If you have a sequence open, double-click on a motion effect to open it in the Motion Effect Generator. Click the copy icon on the left side. Close the Motion Effect Generator. Now double-click on a different effect. Click the paste icon on the right side. You have just copied the left side of the first effect into the right side of the second effect. You can use the same technique when creating motion effect favorites -- instead of double-clicking on motion effects in the sequence, you would be double-clicking on entries in the motion effect favorites tree..