Chapter 9: Using a Background Layer

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Using a Background Layer

Whenever you create a new page, the Motion Book Tool automatically places a background layer in the layer stack. The background layer is set by default to black that covers the whole canvas, but you can set it to any color or color gradient you want to appear as background on your page. As you add new layers above the background layer, the background appears in any places where you can see through all the upper layers.

Creating a New Background Layer

There’s typically no reason to create a background layer because the Motion Book Tool creates one for your on every new page. But if you delete the background layer and want to create it again, the background layer is technically just an empty container layer (described in the chapter “Using Child Layers and Container Layers” on page 111) named “Background,” set to black, and placed at the bottom of the layer stack.

To Create a New Background Layer

1.      Click + after Add new layer at the top of a page’s layer stack.

2.      Double-click “Container” in the dialog box that appears.

A new container layer box appears in the layer stack.

3.      Click the container layer box heading and change the name of the layer to “Background.”

4.      Click “Background” and set the background color to black or any other color or color gradient you want for the background.

5.      Drag the new background layer to the bottom of the layer stack so that it appears behind all other layers.

Background Layer Controls

The open background layer box displays the background layer controls. These are all standard layer controls described in the chapter Layer Basics on page 67. The box contains no special background controls.

Using the Background Layer

You can use a background layer as a colorful backdrop for panels and other graphic elements by setting a background color other than black or by setting a color gradient for a more sophisticated effect.  If you want a more complicated full-canvas background, a texture for example, you should create it outside the Motion Book Tool as an image, upload the image, then place it as a full-canvas image layer at the bottom of the layer stack.

You can use the background layer’s standard controls to change the background rectangle’s size, position, orientation, and transparency, but in standard use there’s no need to do so. If you do anything to reveal the bare canvas behind the background layer, which shows up in the canvas as workspace texture, that area will appear black in the Madefire Reader if it’s revealed behind other layers.

You can also move a background layer up in the layer stack, but it defeats the purpose of a background layer to cover up other layers.

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