Chapter 23: Scaling and Rotating Layers

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Scaling and Rotating Layers

The Motion Book Tool offers two effects that transform a layer while the layer remains in place on the canvas: Scale and Rotate. Scale changes a layer’s size over time; Rotate rotates a layer over time.

Using Scale Effects

A Scale effect can grow a layer to bring it to prominence, or it can reduce a layer to make room for other layers. Scale is particularly useful for panels on a page. You can scale a panel larger to let characters and dialog there tell your story, then when done scale it smaller and move it off to the side of the page to make room for a new panel.

Scaling Basics

Scaling a layer grows or shrinks a layer to a percentage of the layer’s original size. A Scale % value in the effect specifies that percentage.

Scaling is measured along the horizontal and vertical axes of the layer, so the Scale effect increases or decreases height and width by the specified percentage. If, for example, you scale a layer 150% that has an original size of 200 pixels wide by 300 pixels high, after scaling the layer measures 300 x 450 pixels—half again as wide and high. Chances are, though, that you won’t be concerned with exact end measurements of the layer, just how it looks on the page as you adjust it.

Scaling occurs from the center of a layer so that the layer grows out from the center or shrinks in toward the center. If you want a layer to appear as if it’s growing from a corner or from another point, you can combine a Scale effect with a Move effect.

A layer with an attached Scale effect has three different sizes to consider:

l  Its original size, which is specified in the layer box by the Width and Height value boxes. This is the size that you set when you first add and position a layer on the canvas.

l  Its end size, which is the layer’s size after the Scale effect has completed. This is always specified as a percentage of the original size.

l  Its start size, which is the size at which the Scale effect starts. This is the original size if there are no previous Scale effects attached to the layer, or—if there is one or more previous Scale effects--is the end size of the last previous effect.

If you set up a series of two or more Scale effects attached to a single layer, note that Scale effects don’t accumulate like Move effects do: each Scale effect is measured from the original size. The scale percentages don’t add up over the effects. If, for example, a first Scale effect specifies 75% and a second Scale effect specifies 50%, the end result after both effects isn’t 125% growth from the original size, it’s 50%—the exact value set by the final Scale effect.

Because each Scale effect measures its end size from the original size, if you change the original size of the layer, you change the end size of each attached Scale effect by the same proportions.

Adding a New Scale Effect

Add a new Scale effect just as you do any effect as described in “Adding an Effect to a Page” on page 56. You don’t need to set any effect-specific values during creation. When you’ve finished, a Scale effect box appears in the effect stack.

Figure 1:    A Scale effect box offers standard effect controls and an effect-specific Scale % value that specifies the end layer size for the effect.

Changing the End Size

To Change the End Size of a Scale Effect

l  In the Scale effect box, set the Scale % value to the end size you want.

The Scale % value is set by default to 120, a slight increase in size, so you’ll get slight growth if you don’t set Scale % to a new value after you create the Scale effect.

Note that you cannot change the end size of a Scale effect by dragging the layer’s bounding box sizing handles in the canvas, even if you size-drag with the timeline cursor located after the end of the Scale effect bar. As described later, resizing the layer in the canvas affects only the original layer size, not the Scale % values in any Scale effects applied to the layer.

Changing the Start Size

To change the start size of the first or only Scale effect applied to a layer, change the layer’s original size as described in the following section.

To change the start size of a second, third, or later Scale effect applied to a layer, change the end size of the preceding Scale effect as described in the previous section.

Changing the Original Layer Size

You can change the layer’s original size by entering values in the layer’s layer box or by directly resizing the layer on the canvas.

To Change the Original Layer Size in the Layer Box

l  In the layer box, set the Height and Width values to the layer size you want.

The effective end sizes of any Scale effects associated with the layer change in proportion to the change you make to the original layer size. Note that the Scale % values in the effects don’t change, just the effective end size of the layer after the effect plays.

To Change the Original Layer Size on the Canvas

1.      Drag the timeline cursor to the beginning of the timeline.

2.      In the canvas, drag a sizing handle of the layer bounding box in or out to change the layer size.

The Height and Width values in the layer box change in the same proportions that you changed the layer size in the canvas.

Note that no matter where the timeline cursor is on the timeline—before, after, or within a Scale effect bar—resizing a layer on the canvas changes only the layer’s original size, not the end percentage values of any Scale effects attached to the layer. Because the layer size might appear different if the cursor is located during or after any Scale effect bars in the timeline, resizing the original layer size with the cursor there can be confusing. That’s why it’s best to change the original layer size with the cursor at the beginning of the timeline.

The rule of thumb to remember about resizing on the canvas is that it resizes the original size and the effective end sizes of Scale effects (if there is a sequence), not the specified Scale % values of the effects.

Standard Effect Controls

You can set a Scale effect’s name, offset, duration, target frame, and progression as described in  “Working With Effect Controls” on page 139. Progression is defined by the Motion pull-down in the effect box.

Using Rotate Effects

A Rotate effect can create a variety of impressions, from subtly canting a layer to one side or to spinning a layer to grab attention. A spinning Rotate effect combined with a Move effect can make a dramatic entrance.

Rotation Basics

A rotation value sets the amount of rotation for a layer. The value is a standard trigonometric rotation value that ranges from 0° (no rotation) to 360° (one full clockwise rotation). One quarter clockwise rotation is 90°; one half clockwise rotation is 180°; and three quarters clockwise rotation is 270° with all possible values in between.

Negative rotation values specify counterclockwise rotation. -90° is one quarter counterclockwise rotation; -180° is one half counterclockwise rotation; -270° is three quarters counterclockwise rotation; and -360° is one full counterclockwise rotation.

Rotation values greater than 360° or less than -360° specify a set of one or more full rotations plus whatever rotation is left after subtracting multiples of 360° or -360°. 450°, for example, specifies one and a quarter clockwise rotations (360° + 90°). -900° specifies two and a half counterclockwise rotations (-360°+-360°+-180°). Multiple rotations are useful for spinning a layer.

A layer with an attached Rotate effect has three different rotations to consider:

l  Its original rotation, which is specified in the layer box by the Rotation value box, set to 0° by default. This is the rotation that you set when you first add and position a layer on the canvas without an effect.

l  Its end rotation, which is the layer’s rotation after the Rotate effect has ended. This is always measured as the amount of rotation from unrotated, not the amount of rotation from the original rotation or from the end rotation of the previous Rotate effect if there is one.

l  Its start rotation, which is the layer’s rotation at the start of the Rotate effect. This is original rotation if there are no previous Rotate effects to the layer. If there is a previous Rotate effect, its the end rotation of that previous effect.

It’s important to realize that a rotation value does more than specify a layer’s final rotation position: it also specifies how much rotation it took to get there. For example, 90° rotation and -270° rotation both leave a layer rotated a quarter turn clockwise. But the 90° rotation requires only a quarter turn clockwise from no rotation to get there, while the -270° rotation requires three quarters of a counterclockwise turn to get there from no rotation.

This is important when you calculate how much rotation occurs between a Rotate effect’s start and end rotations. If, for example, start rotation is -360° and end rotation is 90°, the effect will rotate the layer one and a quarter turns clockwise: one full clockwise turn to undo the -360° rotation plus a quarter turn clockwise to end up at 90° rotation.

Adding a New Rotate Effect

Add a new Rotate effect just as you do any effect as described in “Adding an Effect to a Page” on page 56. You don’t need to set any effect-specific values during creation. When you’ve finished, a Rotate effect box appears in the effect stack.

Figure 2:    A Rotate effect box offers standard effect controls and an effect-specific Rotation value that specifies the end rotation for the effect.

Changing the End Rotation

To Change the End Rotation of a Rotate Effect in the Effect Box

l  In the Scale effect box, set the Rotation value to the rotation you want.

The end value rotation is measured in degrees from unrotated (0°), not degrees from the starting rotation or from the previous end rotation. The end rotation value isn’t affected by any previous rotation values.

The Rotation value is set by default to 0°, so a new Rotate effect typically has no effect if the layer is set to its default rotation of 0° and no previous Rotate effects have changed the layer’s rotation. If the layer has been rotated at all, then a value of 0° will rotate the layer back to an unrotated position.

To Change the End Rotation of a Rotate Effect on the Canvas

1.      Drag the timeline cursor to a point after the Rotate effect bar and before any later Rotate effect bars for the same layer if there are any.

2.      Select the layer on the canvas and drag the layer’s rotate handle until you rotate the layer to the end rotation you want.

The Rotation value in the Rotate effect box changes to reflect the rotation on the canvas.

Note that you can only set Rotation values of 0° to 360° by rotating on the canvas, limiting a rotation to clockwise rotation and to only one rotation. If you want to specify counterclockwise rotation or rotation beyond a full rotation, change the end rotation using the Rotation value in the effect box.

Note also that you can’t change end rotation while the timeline cursor is in the middle of a Rotate effect bar for the same layer. You’ll get erratic results.

Changing the Start Rotation

To change the start rotation of the first or only Rotate effect applied to a layer, change the layer’s original rotation as described in the following section.

To change the start rotation of a second, third, or later Rotate effect applied to a layer, change the end rotation of the preceding Rotate effect as described in the previous section.

Changing the Original Layer Rotation

You can change the layer’s original rotation by entering a new Rotation value in the layer’s layer box or by directly rotating the layer on the canvas.

To Change the Original Layer Rotation in the Layer Box

l  In the layer box, set the Rotation value to the rotation you want.

To Change the Original Layer Size on the Canvas

1.      Drag the timeline cursor to the beginning of the timeline.

2.      In the canvas, drag the rotation handle of the layer bounding box around to the rotation you want.

The Rotation value in the layer box changes to the new rotation you set.

Note once again that drag-rotation only allows Rotation values of 0° to 360°. If you want counterclockwise or multiple rotations, change the layer’s original rotation in the Rotation value box in the layer box.

Standard Effect Controls

You can set a Rotate effect’s name, offset, duration, target frame, and progression as described in  “Working With Effect Controls” on page 139. Progression is defined by the Motion pull-down in the effect box.

 

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