Chapter 1: Introduction

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Introduction

The Madefire Motion Book Tool, as its name implies, creates Madefire Motion Books™. Use it to weave your images and sounds together into compelling stories that immerse readers in ways that go far beyond the printed page.

The Motion Book Tool In a Nutshell

The Motion Book Tool starts by storing your images and sounds—your assets—on the Madefire cloud. Typical assets are comic book panels, characters or objects that appear in or across panels, sound effects, and so on. You can use the tool to access your stored assets from any location as long as you have a good Internet connection and a Flash-enabled web browser.

The Motion Book Tool runs in the web browser where you use it to assemble your stored images and sounds on multiple motion book pages. Although most motion book contents come from imported images and sounds created using other software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, you can add word balloons, text, and simple drawings from within the Motion Book Tool.

Once assets are in place, use the Motion Book Tool to add effects to them. Effects determine how and when assets appear or sound on the page as a motion book plays. Effects can change an asset’s qualities over time. They can be as simple as a fade in, or as complex as moving objects revealing scenes below as they pass. Effects can become part of your story, providing atmosphere and mood. They let you determine where the reader’s attention is focused during playback.

You can use the Motion Book Tool to add tap points throughout a motion book. Tap points provide reader-controlled pauses so readers control the overall pacing of the motion book.

Motion books may play back on many different display types: high-resolution iPad screens, small iPhone screens, or web browsers on standard computer screens. The Motion Book Tool provides tools to format motion books to all of these different display types. You can use these tools to tweak your motion books to look their best on all devices.

Once you’ve finished a motion book, the Motion Book Tool can publish your motion book to the Madefire cloud where you can read it through the Madefire iOS app or a Flash-enabled web browser.

Reading This Book

You don’t need any special knowledge to understand the contents of this book other than general computer skills and the ability to use a Flash-enabled web browser. To provide images for your motion books, though, you’ll either need to know how to create digital images through graphics software or by digitizing traditional media, or you’ll have to know a kind soul who can do it for you. This book assumes you know how to acquire your own images in file formats compatible with the Motion Book Tool. (We’ll describe those file formats later.)

If you have some experience with video compositors or even simple video editing software, then you’ll be familiar with some fundamental Motion Book Tool concepts such as the timeline. Don’t worry if you’re new to timelines and compositing, though—we’ll explain as we go and experienced readers can jump past the explanations.

This user guide works through the Motion Book Tool in the order in which most people use its features. You can, of course, jump in anywhere to get the information you want. The Table of Contents should help you. Working through this guide in its written order, though, has the advantage of explaining concepts as they’re introduced—useful if much of this is new to you.

For Further Information

You can find more information about the Motion Book Tool at http://kb.madefire.com. The Jump Start guide is a quick introduction to Motion Book Tool basics, and video tutorials there walk you through standard procedures.

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