Chapter 4: The Motion Book Tool Interface

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The Motion Book Tool Interface

The Motion Book Tool runs in your Flash-enabled browser where it presents a standard set of controls that work throughout all the different tasks you work on in the tool.

Using Your  Browser

Set your browser so that the Motion Book Tool runs at its best. Maximize the browser window to the full screen of your computer and reduce any extra browser toolbars to make space for more Motion Book Tool display. The extra real estate will increase the tool’s workspace.

As you work with the Motion Book Tool, don’t use the browser’s page-navigation controls. If you use the refresh or back buttons on your browser, you override the tool and can lose work. If the tool crashes for any reason, it presents a message to refresh the browser, which reloads and restarts the tool. It pays to save your work regularly so that if you use browser controls that reload the tool you don’t lose any of your work.

Parts of the Motion Book Tool

These are the main parts of the Motion Book Tool:

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l  The tab bar switches back and forth between pages, projects, your library, and other tabs you may open.

l  The control panel presents controls for the tab you have open.

l  The asset bar shows available assets in the Madefire cloud and lets you move them into and out of the Motion Book Tool.

l  The workspace displays your assets and lets you assemble them into pages and projects.

Working With Tabs

Tabs provide different work environments within the Motion Book Tool. Each type of tab comes with its own set of controls that appear in the control panel. Open tabs by double-clicking an asset in the asset bar (useful for opening uploaded assets, pages, and projects), or by creating a new page or project in the Home tab or in the Actions menu. The tab bar at the top of the tool lets you switch between open tabs.

To Select a Tab

l  Click the name of the tab you want.

To Close the Current Tab

l  Click the X at the far right of the tab bar.

To Close a Hidden Tab

1.      Move the pointer to the upper right of the tab name in the tab bar until a small circle appears.

2.      Click the circle.

The last method also works for closing open tabs. When you close a tab using either method, the Motion Book Tool prompts you to save work if you have any unsaved work.

Note that you can’t close the Home tab; it’s always present in the tool.

Tab Types

You can open a variety of different tab types in the Motion Book Tool:

l  The Home tab provides controls that load assets, create new page and project tabs, and open an asset library tab. It’s always open.

l  Apage tab displays the contents of a page within its workspace and provides controls that add assets in layers to the page and adds effects that control those layers. The page controls present either the page’s layer stack or its effects stack, and also presents the controls for each layer and each effect. The page tab is where you’ll perform most of the work of motion book building.

l  A project tab displays the pages within a project and provides controls that add and remove pages and set their order. The tab also contains controls for setting project properties such as a thumbnail and for publishing a project as a motion book.

l  An asset library tab turns the workspace into an expanded assets display for viewing and working with many more assets at a time than you can work with in the asset bar.

l  An asset info tab displays a single asset in the workspace and provides controls that display information about the asset, set asset properties, and quickly turn an asset into a page.

l  An account info tab shows information about your sign-in account and lets you set sign-in preferences.

The Actions Menu

The Actions menu at the top right corner of the tool provides a set of commands that are always available no matter what tab is open. Some of these commands duplicate controls within tabs (such as “Create page”) or within the asset bar (such as “Upload assets”). Other commands such as “Account settings,” “Help,” and “Sign out” exist only in the Actions menu.

To Use the Actions Menu

l  Click the Actions triangle or label to open the menu, then click on the command you want to execute.

The Asset Bar

The asset bar at the bottom of the tool displays a set of assets or folders in which you’ve stored assets. Controls along the top of the asset bar control your view of the assets and folders.

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Figure 1:    The asset bar displays folders and assets. It also contains navigation and search controls.

Navigation Controls

When you first sign in to the Motion Book Tool, the asset bar contains a set of folders that each lead to different views of your assets:

l  Recent pages shows the all of your page assets in order from the most recently opened to the least recently opened.

l  Recent projects shows all of your project assets in order from most recent to least recent.

l  Recent assets shows all of your assets in order from most recent to least recent.

l  Recent images shows all of your image assets in order from most recent to least recent.

l  Recent sounds shows all of your sound assets in order from most recent to least recent.

l  My folders shows any folders you’ve created. (You’ll find instructions for creating folders in “Working With Assets” on page 36.)

Double-click any of these folders to open them. Assets appear from left to right in the asset bar going from your most recently opened asset to the least recently opened asset.

The range controls in the top center of the asset bar tell you what part of a folder’s contents you’re viewing and let you move to other parts. Click the left or right arrows to move to more recent or less recent assets. Drag up the sizing handle above the range controls to increase the vertical size of the asset bar and reveal more assets; drag it back down to decrease the size of the asset bar.

The up and down arrows at the top left of the asset bar are history buttons. Click the up arrow to go back to the previous asset view, the down arrow to go forward again. The pull-down list to the right of the history buttons lists previous views. Click to open the list and again on the name of a view to return to that view. “My library” takes you to the top of the folder hierarchy.

Search Controls

The top right of the asset bar contains search controls to help you find assets.

To Search For an Asset

1.      Click the assets filter pull-down to the left of the search text box and click an asset type to specify the type of asset for which to search.

2.      In the search text box, enter the name of the asset for which you’re looking or the text of any tags you’ve assigned to the asset.

3.      Press Enter or click the magnifying glass next to the search text to start the search.

The Motion Book Tool searches your assets stored in the Madefire cloud and displays any it finds in the asset bar.

The “Advanced search” button to the right of the search text box opens a search dialog box that offers more sophisticated search methods. “Working With Assets” on page 36 describes advanced searches.

Deleting an Asset or Folder

To Delete an Asset or Folder From View

1.      Drag the asset thumbnail or folder icon from the asset bar to the trash bin on the right of the asset bar.

2.      Confirm your deletion.

The asset or folder no longer appears in any of your asset views.

Note that deleting an asset or folder doesn’t necessarily remove it from the Madefire cloud. You’ll find full details on asset deletion in “Deleting Assets” on page 38.

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