Utility Window

When you open Motion, a utility window appears on the left side of the screen and contains the File Browser from which you can add files to your project. The utility window also has tabs to display the Library, which contains all of the effects, templates, and other goodies that come with Motion, and the Inspector where you can manipulate individual settings for those effects.

The utility window is where you locate, organize, and modify the media, effects, and parameters that go along with your project. This includes sorting through the media on your disk, browsing all of the effects, presets, and other content, and viewing and manipulating all of the parameters that control how your objects and effects behave.

In the default window layout, File Browser, Library, and Inspector tabs reside in a utility window on the left side of the Canvas. If you choose the Cinema layout, two utility windows are displayed, one on the left of the Canvas, containing the File Browser and Library, and one on the right side of the Canvas, containing the Inspector. As each of the three tabs can appear independently of one another, they are treated as separate entities below.

Figure. Utility window showing the three different tabs.

File Browser

In the utility window, the File Browser tab displays all of the files on your computer. Navigating the File Browser is similar to navigating a window in the Finder. You can drag items directly from the File Browser into your project.

File Browser Preview Area

The top area of the File Browser contains a preview of the selected layer. The Preview area includes both a visual preview, complete with a Play button to show the multiple frames of moving footage, and text information about the file: filename, media type, file size, and frame rate. The Preview area also contains an audio mute button.

Note: When displayed in the Preview area, audio files contain a text description but no image preview.

Figure. Preview area in the File Browser.
To play a preview of a file on disk
  • Select the file in the File Browser.

    The preview starts playing.

    Note: If you do not want items to play automatically in the Preview area when you click them (in the File Browser or Library), you can turn off the “Play items automatically on a single click” checkbox in the General pane of Motion Preferences.

To import a file displayed in the Preview area
  1. Select the file in the File Browser.

  2. Click the Import button in the Preview area.

    The file is added to the project (to the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline layers list, and Media tab).

    Note: For a larger preview, you can double-click any file listed in the File Browser. This opens a viewer window where you can preview the file at its native size. You can also Control-click a file and choose Open in QuickTime Player from the shortcut menu.

File Browser Sidebar

The middle section of the File Browser contains navigational controls as well as a sidebar containing a list of servers, drives, and folders available on your computer.

Figure. Sidebar area of the File Browser including Forward/Back and view buttons, Path pop-up menu, and Search field.

Clicking a drive or folder in the sidebar displays its contents in the file stack below. Above the list of drive and folder icons in the sidebar are several controls to navigate and sort the contents of the window.

  • Forward and Back buttons: Step backward and forward through the folders most recently viewed. This works similarly to the Forward and Back buttons in the Finder.

    If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use a three-finger swipe left or right to navigate up and down the directory tree.

  • Icon View and List View buttons: These buttons control the view of the file stack. Click the left button to set the display to icon view. Click the right button to set the view to list view.
  • Search field: Filters the contents of the file stack to include only files whose names contain the text you type into the Search field. To clear the Search field, click the Clear button at the right side.

    Note: Folders are not filtered out.

File Browser Stack

At the bottom section of the File Browser is the file stack, which displays the contents of the folder selected in the sidebar. You can scroll through long stacks using a scroll bar or with a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.

You can Control-click a file in the File Browser stack to display a shortcut menu. For most items, the following options are available in the menu:

  • Open in Viewer: This option opens the file in a viewer window.
  • Open in QuickTime Player: This option opens the file in a QuickTime window.
  • Reveal in Finder: This option displays the location of the file in the Finder.
  • Rename: This option turns the name of the file into an active text field so that you can type a new name for the file.
  • Move to Trash: This option moves the file into the Trash.

Moving around the stack is easy.

To view the contents of a folder displayed in the file stack
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click the folder.

  • Select the folder, then press Return.

    The contents of the folder replace the current file stack view.

To return to a previously viewed folder
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Back button directly beneath the Preview area (to the left of the Path pop-up menu).

  • Choose a new folder from the Path pop-up menu directly beneath the Preview area.

  • Press Command–Up Arrow.

  • Three-finger swipe left on a Multi-Touch trackpad.

Working in the File Browser

You can easily organize files in the File Browser. You can also customize how files are displayed there.

To rename a folder or file
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the file or folder, then choose Rename from the shortcut menu. When the text field becomes active, type the new name, then press Return.

  • In the stack, click the name of the folder or file once to select it, then click it again to activate the text field. Type the new name, then press Return.

Warning: Renaming folders or files from within the File Browser renames the item on your hard disk or network. If projects are using files from the originally named folder, Motion may list the footage as missing.

To delete a folder or file
Do one of the following:
  • In the stack, Control-click the file, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

  • Drag the file from the stack to the Trash icon in the Dock.

Warning: Deleting folders or files from within the Motion File Browser removes the files from your hard drive or network and places the files in your Trash.

Organizing Your Files

You can organize the files and folders displayed in the File Browser just as you manipulate files in the Finder. You can move files in and out of folders and create new folders. All of the changes you make to your file structure from within Motion are reflected in the Finder.

To create a new folder
  • Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the utility window.

    Figure. New Folder button in the File Browser.
To move a file into a folder
  • Drag the file to the folder icon.

    The file is moved inside that folder.

Icon View and List View

The file stack can be displayed in icon view or list view. Each view is useful for different situations. There are certain options that only affect the icon view (such as icon size) and certain options that only affect list view (such as sorting by columns).

Figure. File Browser showing icon view and list view.
To view the File Browser in icon view
  • Click the Icon View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.

To view the File Browser in list view
  • Click the List View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.

    Figure. Icon View and List View buttons in the File Browser.

    In icon view, you can control the size of the icons using the scale slider at the bottom of the window.

    Figure. Scale slider in the File Browser.
To change the icon size
  • Drag the icon scale slider to the right to make the icons larger and drag to the left to make them smaller.

  • On a Multi-Touch trackpad, use a pinch open to make the icons larger or pinch closed to make the icons smaller.

In list view, the contents of the selected folder are displayed as a series of columns: Name, Date, Size, Duration, and Kind.

You may need to expand the width of the utility window, or use the scroller at the bottom of the window (or a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad), to see all of the columns.

Sorting Columns

You can sort the list by any of the columns. This can be helpful if you are looking for a particular file and you know the approximate size or modification date.

To sort the File Browser list
  • Click the header for the column you want to sort.

    The column header darkens and the contents of the window are sorted by that column.

Collapsing Animations

Frequently, animated sequences may be delivered as a series of sequentially numbered still images. Motion can save you time by allowing you to import these sequences as a single object where each image becomes a sequential frame in a movie.

Figure. Collapsed animated sequence in the File Browser.
To import a series of numbered still images as a single object
  1. Click the “Show image sequences as collapsed” button.

    The File Browser displays multiple items collapsed into a single object.

    Figure. "Show image sequences as collapsed" button in the File Browser.
  2. Drag the object from the File Browser to the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline, or Media tab.

    Note: Images from digital cameras are often numbered sequentially but are not part of an animation sequence. You may want to turn off this option to import a single still image from a digital camera.

Library

The second tab in the utility window is called the Library. This is similar to the File Browser, but rather than showing the files on your disk, it shows all of the effects, content, presets, fonts, music, photos, and other elements available from within Motion.

Library content can be expanded by adding certain plug-ins, fonts, music, or photos, as well as by saving content that you create within Motion. You can also save modified versions of existing effects (such as customized behaviors or camera animations) as custom additions to the Library.

Like the File Browser, the Library is divided into three sections. The top section is the Preview area; the middle section is the sidebar; and the bottom section is the file stack, where the actual effects and other objects are displayed.

Library Preview Area

The Preview area contains a visual preview and a Play button to show the multiple frames of moving footage, previews of filters, behaviors, generators, particle emitters, replicators, and so on. The Preview area also contains text information for the selected object, such as a description of the behavior, filter, or generator. The Library Preview area is almost identical to the File Browser Preview area, but instead of an Import button, it has an Apply button.

Figure. Preview area in the Library.

Note: When certain particle emitters are selected in the stack, an animated preview plays in the Preview area. While it is playing, you can drag the pointer around in the Preview area to see how the particle looks when moving.

To play a preview of an element such as a replicator
  • In the Library, click the Replicators category, click a replicator subcategory, then click the replicator you want to preview from the stack.

    The preview begins playing in the Preview area.

Library Sidebar

The middle section of the Library contains navigational controls as well as a list of folders of effect types and content available in Motion.

Figure. Sidebar area of the Library including Forward/Back and view buttons, Theme and Path pop-up menus, and Search field.

Clicking a folder in the sidebar displays its contents in the file stack below. Above the Library categories in the sidebar are several controls to navigate and sort the contents of the window.

  • Forward and Back buttons: Step backward and forward through the folders most recently viewed. These work similarly to the Forward and Back buttons in a web browser.

    You can also use a three-finger swipe left or right to navigate up and down the directory tree.

  • Icon View/List View buttons: These buttons control the view of the file stack. Click the left button to set the display to icon view. Click the right button to set the view to list view.
  • Search field: Filters the contents of the file stack to include only those objects whose names contain the text you type into the Search field.

    Note: Folders containing no matches are filtered out.

Library File Stack

At the bottom section of the Library is the file stack, which displays the contents of the folder selected in the sidebar. You can scroll through long file stacks using a scroll bar or with a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.

To view the contents of a folder displayed in the file stack
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click the folder.

  • Select the folder, then press Return.

    The contents of the folder replace the current file stack view.

To return to a previously viewed folder
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Back button directly beneath the Preview area.

  • Choose a new folder from the Path pop-up menu directly beneath the Preview area.

  • Press Command-Up Arrow.

  • Use a three-finger swipe left on a Multi-Touch trackpad.

Library Content

The Library contains all of the effects, presets, fonts, and other content available within Motion. These are grouped into categories that are listed on the left of the sidebar. Choose any of these items to display a list of subcategories on the right. The Library also contains two additional categories—Music and Photos—which provide quick access to your iTunes and iPhoto libraries.

For information on adding Library content to your project, see Adding Library Elements to a Project.

The Library contains the following categories:

  • Behaviors: Contains the Audio, Basic Motion, Camera, Motion Tracking, Parameter, Particles, Replicator, Retiming, Shape, Simulations, Text Animation, and Text Sequence behaviors. Different kinds of behaviors can only be applied to specific types of objects. For example, Text Animation and Text Sequence behaviors can only be applied to text. For more information on how to apply behaviors, see Applying Behaviors.
  • Filters: Contains all filter effects divided into individual subcategories. Third-party FxPlug filters will appear in the category to which they belong. Most filters can be applied to any layer (text, images, shapes, footage, particles, and so on) or mask in your project. For more information on filters, see About Filters.
  • Image Units (Filters): Contains all of the processing plug-ins based on core image processing that are installed on your computer.
  • Generators: Contains a selection of checkerboards, noise patterns, color rays, animated text objects, and other computer-generated elements for use in your projects. For more information on generators, see About Generators.
  • Image Units (Generators): Contains all of the generators based on core image processing that are installed on your computer.
  • Particle Emitters: Contains a selection of preset particle systems organized into subcategories. For more information on the particle systems presets, see Using the Particle Library.
  • Replicators: Contains a selection of preset replicators organized into subcategories. For more information on the preset replicators, see Using the Replicator Library Presets.
  • Shapes: Contains a collection of preset shapes. Shapes are added to a project like other Library elements.
  • Gradients: Contains a selection of preset gradients that can be applied to shapes or text. You can drag the gradient directly to a shape or text, or select the shape or text in the project first, select the gradient in the Library, then click Apply.
  • Fonts: Contains all of the fonts available on your system. It includes both TrueType and Type 1 fonts. You can drag the font directly to text in the project, or select the text in the project first, select the font in the Library, then click Apply. For more information on changing fonts in this browser, see Changing Fonts.
  • LiveFonts: Contains all of the LiveFonts currently installed on your computer. LiveFonts can only be applied to text. For more information, see Using LiveFonts
  • Text Styles: Contains a collection of preset type styles that can be applied to text. You can drag the text style directly to text in the project, or select the text in the project first, select the text style in the Library, then click Apply. Text styles also appear in the Text Inspector. For more information, see Using and Creating Preset Text Styles.
  • Shape Styles: Contains a collection of preset shape styles that can be applied to shapes. You can drag the shape style directly to a shape in the project, or select the shape in the project first, select the shape style in the Library, then click Apply. Shape styles also appear in the Paint Stroke Tool HUD and the Shape Inspector. For more information, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
  • Music: This Library category allows you to browse for and import audio files directly from your iTunes library. The Music subcategories include the library and any playlists created in iTunes. The contents of each playlist appear in the file stack. When displayed in list view, the Music category shows the Name, Artist, Album, Duration, and Size information created in iTunes.

    Note: Rights-protected AAC files cannot be imported into Motion and do not appear in the file stack. This includes all music purchased from the iTunes Store. Video content from iTunes cannot be imported to a Motion project.

  • Photos: This Library category allows you to browse for and import image files directly from your iPhoto library. The Photos subcategories include the library and any albums created in iPhoto. The contents of each album appear in the file stack.

    Note: When importing a large-scale image into Motion, you have the option to import the file as is, to scale the image to the size of the Canvas, or to change the resolution of the image to fit the Canvas. For more information, see Using High-Resolution Still Images.

  • Content: Contains individual elements used in the templates and other presets. These can be used to create your own custom elements, such as particles and replicators, which can be saved to the Library for later use.
  • Favorites: As you make custom versions of any type of effect, including particle systems, customized filters, animation curves, cameras, groups, or layers, you can store them in the Favorites folder. You can also add shortcuts to frequently used items. By default, this folder is empty.

    Note: The Preview area does not display descriptions of built-in presets copied to the Favorites category. Control-click the favorite, then choose Edit Description from the shortcut menu to add a description that appears in the Preview area of the Library.

  • Favorites Menu: This is another category of favorites. Items stored in this folder appear in the Favorites menu in the menu bar.

Working in the Library

You can easily create, save, and organize files and themes in the Library.

Adding Library Elements to a Project

Effects and content elements can be added to a project from the Library in two ways. You can drag an element from the Library stack directly into your project or select an element in the Library stack and then click the Apply button in the Preview area.

Note: To add behaviors and filters, a third option is available. You can select an object or objects in the project and use the Add Behavior or Add Filter icon in the Toolbar. You can also create custom particles and replicators (using an existing layer in your project) via the Make Particles and Replicator icons in the Toolbar. For more information on making custom particles, see Creating a Simple Custom Particle System. For more information on making custom replicators, see Creating a Simple Custom Replicator Pattern.

To add a Library effect or element to a project
  1. Select the layer or group (in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline layers list) to which you want to apply the effect or content element.

  2. Select the element in the Library.

    For example, click the Filters category, click a filter subcategory, then click the filter you want to apply from the stack.

  3. Click the Apply button in the Preview area.

    The element is added to the selected layer or group in your project.

    You can also drag an element from the Library directly to a layer or group in the Layers tab, Canvas, or Timeline. For more information about placing and reordering objects in a project, see Organizing Groups and Layers in Motion.

Working with Themes in the Library

The Library allows you to create new custom themes (categories that contain effects and content), add content to existing themes, edit how themes are displayed, remove themes, and search for themes.

To create a new custom theme
  1. Choose New Theme from the Theme pop-up menu.

  2. In the Create New Theme dialog, type a theme name, then click OK.

    A new theme is added. New themes appear in the Theme pop-up menu.

    Custom themes are saved in your /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder in the Themes file.

To add content to a theme
  • Control-click an item in the Library, choose Theme from the shortcut menu, then choose the theme in which you want to save the content. An item must be saved in the Library in order to add it to a theme. For more information on saving items to the Library, see Saving and Sharing Custom Library Elements.

To sort using the Theme pop-up menu
Do one of the following:
  • Select a category in the Library, then choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.

  • To sort using the default themes, select the Content category, then choose the Folio, Traditions, or Learning theme from the Theme pop-up menu.

    Default themes are stored in your /Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder in the Themes file.

To remove a theme
  1. Choose the theme you want to remove from the Theme pop-up menu.

    The Remove Theme item becomes available in the Theme pop-up menu.

  2. Choose Remove Theme from the Theme pop-up menu.

    The theme is removed from the list.

    Note: You can only remove custom themes.

To clear the Search field
  • Click the Clear button at the right of the Search field.

Organizing Your Effects

You can organize the effects, elements, and folders displayed in the Library just as you manipulate files in the Finder. You can move effects and elements in and out of folders, create new folders, and even delete some files or folders.

Note: You cannot modify the effects, elements, and folders that are built into Motion.

To create a new folder
  • Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the utility window.

    Figure. New Folder button in the Library.

A new folder is added to the current Library subcategory.

For more information on organizing custom folders and content, see Adding Your Own Content to the Library.

Icon View and List View

The file stack can be displayed in icon view or list view.

Figure. Library file stack displayed in icon view and list view.
To view the Library in icon view
  • Click the Icon View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.

To view the Library in list view
  • Click the List View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.

    Figure. Icon View and List View buttons in the Library.

In icon view, you can control the size of the icons using the scale slider at the bottom of the window.

Figure. Scale slider in the Library.
To change the icon size
  • Drag the icon scale slider to the right to make the icons larger and to the left to make them smaller.

  • On a Multi-Touch trackpad, pinch open to make the icons larger and pinch closed to make them smaller.

Saving and Sharing Custom Library Elements

You can save nearly any object in Motion to the Library. These include animated cameras and lights, customized behaviors, filters, particle systems, or replicators, shapes and text, as well as layers and groups. To save an object for future use, you can drag it to an existing or new folder in the Library. Once an object is placed in the Library, it can be added to a project like any other element in the Library.

You can save multiple objects to the Library as one file or multiple files. For example, if you create an effect using multiple filters and you want to save the cumulative effect of those filters to apply to other objects, you can save all of the filters as one item in the Library.

Although you can save custom objects into their namesake folders, it is generally recommended that you save customized objects that you use frequently in the Favorites category. This is because some Motion Library categories contain so many items that utilizing the Favorites or Favorites Menu categories may save you search time. Within the Favorites category, you can create additional folders to assist you in better arranging your custom items.

Note: You can create new folders in the built-in categories, such as the Color Correction filters subcategory; however, those folders only appear in the Library stack and not the sidebar. Folders added to the Favorites category appear in the Library sidebar.

To save an object to the Library
  1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or other category.

  2. Drag the customized object you want to save from the Layers tab, Timeline, or Inspector into the stack at the bottom of the Library.

Objects that are saved to the Favorites Menu category can be quickly applied to objects using the Favorites menu.

When you save a customized object, it’s saved in the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.

Note: Items dragged to the wrong category are automatically placed into their namesake categories. For example, if a custom behavior is dragged to the Filters category, it is automatically placed in the Behaviors category and the Behaviors category becomes active.

To save multiple objects to the Library
  1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or another category.

  2. In the Layers tab, select all of the objects you want to save, drag them to the stack, and keep holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.

  3. Choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files.”

    “All in one file” saves all the objects together and they are listed as one item in the Library. “Multiple files” saves the objects as individual objects in the Library.

  4. To name the file or files, do one of the following:

    • Control-click the icon in the Library stack, choose Rename from the shortcut menu, then type a descriptive name.

    • Select the icon, click “Untitled,” then type a descriptive name.

    When you Control-click the icon, the Edit Description option becomes available. This is a handy tool that allows you to enter custom notes about an item saved in the Library. Once you choose Edit Description, enter your notes in the text field and click OK.

Inspector

Every effect and element in Motion, from behaviors to particle systems to gradients, is controlled by a collection of parameters that modify the various attributes for that effect. For example, a Blur filter has an amount slider that controls how much blur is applied.

Some parameters are controlled with sliders, some with dials or pop-up menus. In fact, there are thousands of parameters using many types of controls. All of them are accessed in the Inspector. For more information on Inspector controls, see Generic Inspector Controls.

Important: The Inspector is contextual—what appears in the Inspector is based on the selected object. An object must be selected for parameters to appear in the Inspector.

Even objects without applied effects have many parameters that you can modify to alter the nature of the object and how it behaves in your project. These include an object’s scale, opacity, and position onscreen, as well as more obscure attributes such as a clip’s pixel aspect ratio or field order.

The Inspector consists of four tabs, each of which contains a set of parameters for the selected object. The first three tabs, Properties, Behaviors, and Filters, are present for any selected object. The fourth tab, generically called the Object tab, changes its name and contents depending on the type of object selected.

Inspector Preview Area

The Preview area contains a visual preview of the selected object and a Play button to show the multiple frames of moving footage. The Inspector Preview is almost identical to the File Browser and Library Preview areas, but it has no Apply or Import button.

Figure. Inspector showing Preview area.

Properties

This tab contains controls for setting basic attributes of the selected object, such as Transform controls (position, scale, rotation, and so on), Blending controls (opacity, blend mode, and so on), Shadows controls, Four Corner controls, Crop controls, and controls for designating the object’s In and Out points.

Note: Different parameters are available in the Properties tab depending on the type of object that is selected. For example, when a 3D group is selected, the Lighting parameter appears in the tab and the Crop, Drop Shadow, and Four Corner parameters do not.

Behaviors

When behaviors are applied to an object, the parameters associated with the behaviors appear in the Behaviors tab when that object is selected.

Filters

Whenever a filter is applied to a layer (or mask), the parameters associated with that filter appear in the Filters tab.

Object

The appearance of the Object tab is context-sensitive—the name of the tab and the controls therein are based on the type of the currently selected object. The different types of Object tabs are described below:

  • Object: Appears when there is no currently selected object. There are no parameters in the Object tab of the Inspector.
  • Image: Appears when an image, image sequence, or movie is selected. This tab contains the Drop Zone checkbox, the state of which determines whether the image selected is a drop zone target. The Fit parameter determines how a dropped layer is sized within the drop zone, and the Clear button removes the reference layer from the drop zone. For more information, see Drop Zones.
  • Group: Appears when a group is the selected object. The tab contains the Type parameter, which allows you to convert a group from 2D to 3D, and vice versa. A 2D group has different available parameters than a 3D group.

    When set to 3D, the Flatten and Layer Order parameters become available. When the Flatten checkbox is selected, all of the elements in the 3D group are flattened like a card or billboard. When the Layer Order checkbox is selected, the project elements are sorted by their order in the Layers tab rather than their order in Z space. For more information, see Layer Order and Depth Order.

    When set to 2D, the Fixed Resolution parameters become available, which allow you to manually define the size of a group. By default, Fixed Resolution is disabled and the size of the group is determined by the layers within that group. For more information, see Fixing the Size of a Group.

    Note: When selected, Fixed Resolution crops the group to the size specified in the Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters around the anchor point of the group.

  • Camera: Appears when a camera is selected and contains controls specific to a scene camera, including the type of camera, its angle of view, and depth of field parameters. For more information on working with cameras, see Cameras.

    Note: A scene camera is a camera that is added to a project, as opposed to a default camera view that you choose in the upper-left corner of the Canvas, such as Top, Right, or Perspective.

  • Light: Appears when a light is selected and contains controls that allow you to change the light type, color, intensity, and so on. For more information on working with lights, see Lighting.
  • Media: Appears when an item is selected in the Media tab of the Project pane (for more information see Project Pane). These parameters deal mostly with attributes of the file on disk or how the file is interpreted by Motion. Because multiple project objects can reference a single media file, the tab contains a list of linked objects including the name of the group where they exist. Making changes in this tab affects all objects that refer to the selected media file. For more information on working with media parameters, see Object Media Tab Parameters.
  • Text: Appears when a text layer is selected and contains all of the controls that affect the text. This tab is divided into three panes: Format, Style, and Layout.
    • Format: Contains standard type controls such as font, size, tracking, kerning, and so on. It also contains a large text entry box called the Text editor where you can edit the contents of the text (in addition to onscreen editing).
    • Style: Controls the color, texture, and similar attributes for the typeface, outline, glow, and drop shadow. Each of these sections is grouped and can be s or off by selecting the activation checkbox next to the category name.
    • Layout: Contains paragraph style controls such as justification, alignment, and line spacing (leading). This pane also contains controls to create a type-on effect or to modify text path options. For more information on working with text parameters, see Creating and Editing Text.
  • Mask: Appears when a mask is selected and contains the Feather (softness) parameter. This tab also contains controls to change the mask’s shape type and how multiple masks interact, an Invert Mask checkbox, and position value sliders for the mask control points. For more information on working with mask attributes, see Mask Parameters.
  • Shape: Appears when a shape layer is selected and contains all of the controls that affect the shape. This tab is divided into four panes: Style, Stroke, Advanced, and Geometry.
    • Style: Contains controls to modify the fill and outline of a shape, including changing the brush type for an outline or paint stroke.
    • Stroke: Once a paint stroke has been created using the Paint Stroke tool, or the Brush Type for a shape outline is set to Airbrush or Image, the Stroke pane becomes available. Use these controls to set the stroke color and brush scale, to adjust the opacity, spacing, width, and other parameters.
    • Advanced: Contains controls that allow the dabs of a paint stroke to be animated like particles.
    • Geometry: Contains controls that allow you to change the shape type, to close or open a shape, and to individually adjust the position of a shape’s control points using value sliders. For more information on working with shapes, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
  • Emitter: Appears when a particle emitter is selected. The parameters in this tab control all aspects of the emitter, such as the emitter shape, space (2D or 3D), angle, and range. This tab also provides access to cell controls. For emitters with multiple cells, these controls affect all cells. For more information on using particles, see Working with Particles.
  • Particle Cell: Appears when a particle cell is selected. Particle cells can only be selected in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list. This tab contains controls for attributes such as birth rate, speed, angle, and color.
  • Replicator: Appears when a replicator is selected. Replicators can only be selected in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list. This tab contains controls for attributes such as replicator shape, space (2D or 3D), pattern, size, and cell controls. For more information on using the replicator, see Using the Replicator.
  • Replicator Cell: Appears when a replicator cell is selected. Replicator cells can only be selected in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list.
  • Generator: Displays the parameters and attributes of the selected generator, such as the Center, Size, and Intensity parameters of a Lens Flare generator. The specific parameters listed depend on the selected generator. For more information on generators, see Working with Generators.

Locking the Inspector

The Inspector typically changes dynamically based on the object that is selected. However, sometimes you want to select another object while you continue looking at the parameters for the current object. When you lock the Inspector, it does not change based on your selection.

To lock the Inspector
Do one of the following:
  • Click the lock icon in the upper-right corner of the Preview area of the Inspector.

    Figure. Lock icon in the Inspector.
  • Choose Window > Create Locked Inspector.

To unlock the Inspector
Do one of the following:
  • Click the unlocked lock icon in the upper-right corner of the Preview area of the Inspector.

  • Choose Window > Create Unlocked Inspector.