About Generators

Generators are added to your project in the same manner as other files—you drag the generator to your project from the Library. The generator becomes a layer in the Layers tab (and Timeline layers list) and appears in the Canvas. The generator is set to the duration and size of your project by default. For example, if you are working on an NTSC D1 project and you add a generator, the generator will have a 720 x 486 (.90) pixel aspect ratio.

Once a generator is added to a project, you can modify its preset values as well as animate nearly all of its parameters—whether the generator is animated or static. Once you have modified a generator, you can save it to the Library for later use.

Note: The duration of the generator depends on the Project settings in Motion Preferences. If Create Layers At is set to “Start of project,” the generator starts at the first project frame regardless of where the playhead is when the generator is added. If set to “Current frame,” the generator starts at the playhead’s frame.

Once a generator is added to a project, you can edit its parameters in the HUD or Inspector. As with all objects, the generator HUDs contain a subset of the larger group of controls located in the Inspector. Nearly all generator parameters can be keyframed, whether the default generator is an animated texture or a static image.

Like all other objects in Motion, generators can be moved, rotated, duplicated, copied and pasted, and animated. Generators can be reordered in the Layers tab and set to different blend modes. Also, as with other objects, you can apply behaviors to generators and apply Parameter behaviors to the parameters of a generator. You can also apply filters to generators, or use a generator as the source for a particle cell.

The following sections discuss the different types of generators, adding a generator to a project, modifying and animating a generator, and saving a modified generator to the Library. Applying a Parameter behavior to a generator is also discussed. All generators are modified, animated, and saved in the same manner. The best way to see what generators can do is to simply experiment with their various parameters.

For an example of editing and animating a generator, see Editing Generators.

For an example of applying a behavior to a generator, see Applying Behaviors to Generators.

Note: Performance may slow drastically when using generators in projects with large resolutions and with better render-quality settings.

Generator Types

There are two groups of generators in the Library: Generators and Text Generators. The Generator group creates images that are animated by default, such as the Clouds generator, as well as images that are static, such as the Checkerboard. All generators create images on the fly, but an animated generator creates a moving pattern by default. Although a static generator is not animated by default, you can keyframe its parameters to create an animated pattern. All of the Text Generators are animated. You can use any generator as is or modify its settings to create different effects.

Note: All generators contain Opacity and Blend Mode controls in the HUD. As with all objects in Motion, the Opacity and Blend Mode parameters for any generator can also be modified in the Properties tab of the Inspector.

Although the sliders in the Inspector are usually limited to a specific range, you can often manually enter values outside of that range in the value sliders (to the right of the sliders).