Chapter 27: Publishing a Motion Book


Publishing a Motion Book

Once you’ve prepared all the pages within a motion book and assembled them as a project, you can publish your motion book for private viewing on an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad or you can publish on deviantART or a web page to share with other people.

This chapter describes how to prepare your project for publication by creating a thumbnail and setting a name, by previewing pages for errors, and by setting publication options and locations. It shows how to upload your project for publication and how to view and share your published motion book.

Setting a Thumbnail Image and Name

When your published motion book appears in your deviantART or in your private motion book catalog in the Madefire Reader, a named icon represents the motion book. The icon contains a thumbnail image that acts as a small book cover.

Figure 1:    A motion book icon in a contains a thumbnail image and a name.

The name of the motion book (provided by the icon) is the name of your project.

To Set the Motion Book Name

l  In the control panel of the project tab, enter the name you want in the Name text box.


The Motion Book Tool offers two different types of thumbnails:

l  Create a store thumbnail by adding a store thumbnail canvas to the first page of a project. Add an image to the canvas to create the thumbnail image. You may also add limited effects such as parallax that execute when the thumbnail appears in an icon.

l  Create a project thumbnail by specifying an image asset in the Thumbnail box of the project control panel. The project thumbnail represents the project in the asset bar, and is a still image without effects.

The thumbnail image in an icon can come from a number of different sources. If you create a store thumbnail canvas in your project, the thumbnail image comes from the store thumbnail. If you don’t create a store thumbnail, the thumbnail image may come from different sources depending on where the icon displays:

l  In a icon, when there’s no store thumbnail, the icon thumbnail comes from the project thumbnail set in the control panel of the project tab.

l  In a Madefire Reader icon on an iOS device, when there’s no store thumbnail the icon thumbnail is created from the first page of the motion book or, if that’s not possible, is a generic Madefire symbol.

We recommend using a store thumbnail for setting a Madefire Reader icon on an iOS device if the thumbnail is important to you. We recommend using a project thumbnail for a icon because the store thumbnail effects don’t play in a, and because project icons are simpler to set up.

To Create a Project Thumbnail

l  Drag an image asset from the asset bar to the Thumbnail box in the control panel of the project tab.

The image appears in the Thumbnail box and becomes the project image in the asset bar. When you publish the project to your, the project thumbnail becomes the motion book icon thumbnail if there’s no store thumbnail defined for the project.

To Create a Store Thumbnail For a Project

1.      Create a new page as a title page for the project if you don’t already have a title page and set the canvas size(s) to match the canvas size(s) throughout the rest of the project.

Note that if these canvas sizes on the title page don’t match the other pages, you can’t successfully publish the project as a motion book.

2.      Add a store thumbnail canvas size to the title page: Click + in the center of the tab bar above the workspace, set Device type to Store thumb, then click Add.

A small store thumbnail canvas appears on the title page.

Note that you don’t need to add matching store thumbnail canvases to other pages.

3.      Fill the store thumbnail canvas with the image you want to appear in the motion book icon. Fill the other canvas(es) with title page material to play at the beginning of the motion book.

Figure 2:    A full canvas for the title page is accompanied by a small store thumbnail canvas to create a store thumbnail.

4.      If you want, add simple effects to the store thumb canvas and the title page.

Adding more than one or two simple effects will bog down icon loading. Remember that motion book icon effects don’t play back on deviantART.

When you publish motion book with a store thumbnail, the other canvas(es) on the title page with the store thumbnail play back as the first page of the motion book. The store thumbnail appears in the motion book icon and (in the Madefire Reader) will play back its effects when it first appears.

Reviewing a Project Before Publishing

It’s a good idea before publishing a project as a motion book to review the project: to look in the project tab’s workspace to make sure the pages are in the right order, to check project settings, and to play through each page to make sure they play without errors.

The Motion Book Tool offers two tools to help you see pages as they appear in the Madefire Reader. The first adds a small rectangle to each canvas where the tap point will appear so you can see how underlying images work with the tap point. The second adds a preview frame around the canvas that looks like the device on which the page will play.

To Add a Tap Point Rectangle (and Canvas Boundaries) to Page Canvases

1.      At the top of the page tab, click the canvas boundary button just to the right of the effects playback controls.

A color dialog box opens where you can choose a color for the canvas boundary. See “Specifying Color” on page 68 for instructions on choosing a color. Note that you can’t set opacity for the canvas boundary.

1.      Choose your color if you don’t like the default color, then close the dialog box.

A canvas boundary appears on the workspace in the color you set. A small tap point rectangle appears on the mid-right of the canvas. The tap point rectangle is in Madefire red, which is the color of the tap point symbol.

To View a Page in a Device Preview

1.      Click the device preview button  on the right of the page tab bar.

A collection of device previews appears in the asset bar at the bottom of the tool.

2.      Double-click the device preview you want to see.

A device frame appears around each canvas in the workspace to show what the page will look like displayed on the device.

If you choose a device preview with multiple devices, only devices with a corresponding canvas size will show the page inside the device.

3.      Click the device preview button again to turn off device preview.

If you make any changes to pages during review, be sure to save each changed page before publication so your changes make it into the published motion book.

Setting Publication Options

When you publish a  project, the Motion Book Tool carries out a set of conversion processes that turn the project into a motion book. You can set some of these processes using the settings under “Advanced” in the project tab’s control panel.

Figure 3:    Advanced publication options specify extra steps in the publication conversion process.

Forcing Page Validation Before Publication

Before the Motion Book Tool publishes a project, it validates the project’s pages—it checks to ensure that the pages can be successfully converted to motion book pages. Once a page has been validated, the Motion Book Tool remembers the validation and won’t revalidate the page again unless there have been changes to the page since the last publication.

If you want the Motion Book Tool to validate all pages before publication whether the pages have been changed or not, you can force page validation.

To Force Page Validation Before Publication

1.      In the project control panel, check “Advanced” to open the advanced publication options.

2.      Check “Force validation of all pages.”

Once this option is checked, when you publish a project the Motion Book Tool validates each page in the project before conversion whether or not pages have changed since the last publication.

Saving All Pages Before Publication

When you publish a project, the Motion Book Tool converts the project’s pages from page files saved to the Madefire cloud. If you have a page open and make changes without saving them, publication won’t pick up those changes. You must save work in open pages before your work makes it into publication.

The Motion Book Tool offers an option to automatically save all open pages before publication.

To Automatically Save All Pages Before Publication

1.      In the project control panel, check “Advanced” to open the advanced publication options.

2.      Check “Force re-save of all pages.”

Once this option is checked, when you publish a project the Motion Book Tool automatically saves all open pages before beginning page conversion.

Setting Publication Locations

The Motion Book Tool can publish a project as a motion book that can appear in several locations:

l  The Madefire Reader, where your published motion book appears in a private “Works” page on an iOS device. Only you can read your motion book in the Madefire Reader.

l  The web, where your published motion book is accessible via a URL.  You can share your motion book by giving out the URL to other readers. Readers must use a Flash-enabled web browser to view your motion book.

l  Your, where your published motion book joins your other files to view and share with other deviantART members. This option is only available if you sign into the Motion Book Tool using a deviantART account.

To Specify Publication Location

l  Check the publication locations you want at the bottom of the project control panel.

Note that the Madefire Reader option is always checked and can’t be unchecked. Note too that if you check the option, the web option is automatically checked.

Uploading a Project For Publication

Once you have pages in place and publication options set, you’re ready to upload your project for publication as a motion book.

To Upload a Project

l  Click “Upload” at the bottom of the project control panel.

After you click, the Motion Book Tool begins the upload process. It saves and validates pages as necessary, rasterizes images, drawings, and text, and performs other necessary steps to convert a project into a motion book. The tool reports its steps as it performs them. If there are any problems with project conversion, the Motion Book Tool reports errors and doesn’t upload the project.

If upload and publication was successful, the Motion Book Tool presents a dialog box that reports where the project was published.

Figure 4:    The contents of the publication dialog box vary depending on where you chose to publish your motion book.

If you published to the web, before you close the dialog box it’s important to click the link to view the project on the web. It opens a web page in your web browser. This page contains the URL for your web motion book. Copy and save the URL to use for future motion book reading and to share the motion book with others. Once you close the dialog box, the link and URL are no longer available.

Viewing Your Motion Books

Once you’ve published a motion book, you may view it in the published locations.

Viewing a Motion Book on the Web

To View a Motion Book Published on the Web

l  Point a Flash-enabled web browser to the URL provided earlier by the Motion Book Tool for the motion book.

The page opens and the motion book plays.

Viewing a Motion Book in deviantART

To View a Motion Book Published Through Your deviantART

l  Click or tap the motion book icon in your or on a shared page of motion books.

The motion book plays.

Note that if you just published your motion book to your, you may need to refresh the web page to see your motion book.

Viewing a Motion Book in the Madefire Reader on an iOS Device

To View a Motion Book Published to the Madefire Reader on your iOS Device

1.      Start the Madefire Reader app on your device.

2.      Tap the pull-down menu in upper right of the Madefire Reader, then tap Settings.

The Settings panel appears.

3.      Tap “Sign in” under Account.

The Sign In dialog box appears.

4.      Enter the account name and password for your Madefire account, then tap “Sign In.”

5.      Tap the upper-right pull-down menu again, then tap Development (a new menu item added by your sign-in).

A “Works” screen appears displaying your published motion books.

6.      Tap a motion book icon to select the motion book.

7.      Tap “Free” to download your motion book.

Your motion book downloads. When it’s finished, a “Read” button appears.

8.      Tap “Read” to read your motion book.

Once you’ve downloaded your motion book to your device, tap “Read” to read the motion book without downloading.

Publishing With Madefire

Sometimes a motion book is so great that it should go far beyond a circle of friends. If you’ve created a motion book that you think is ready for the professional limelight, please contact us at and ask us for details about publishing motion books through the Madefire store.


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