The HUD (heads-up display) is one of the most versatile and handy tools in the Motion interface. It is a dynamically updating floating window that puts the most common controls for any selected object within easy reach.

Figure. Heads-up display (HUD) showing common controls.

The HUD also contains special controls for certain types of effects such as Basic Motion behaviors and particle systems. These unique controls allow you to set multiple parameters simultaneously and in an intuitive way.

Figure. HUDs showing Emitter, Grow/Shrink behavior, and Fade In/Fade Out behavior controls.

For example, the 2D Particle Emitter HUD contains a single control that provides a visual way to manipulate three different particle system parameters: Emission Range, Emission Angle, and Speed. You can read more about specific HUD controls in their namesake chapters.

Note: It is easier to enter a specific value for a slider parameter in the Inspector’s value sliders. You can Option-click to the left or right of an Inspector’s slider to decrease or increase by a value of 1. Option-click the arrow on either side of the value slider to increase or decrease by a value of .01.

Displaying HUDs

When multiple effects are applied to an object, you can quickly cycle through the different effects’ HUDs. A small downward-facing arrow next to the HUD name indicates additional effects are applied to the selected object.

Figure. HUD showing arrow indicating multiple control sets.

Click the arrow to display a pop-up menu that lists all of the possible HUDs that can be displayed for the selected object.

Figure. HUD showing pop-up menu of control set options.

Note: Pressing D cycles through all HUDs for the selected object.

When multiple objects of the same type are selected, a combined HUD appears, and “Multiple Selection” appears in its title bar.

To switch between HUDs of a selected object
Do one of the following:
  • Click the downward arrow in the HUD title bar, then choose the HUD you want to view from the pop-up menu.

  • Press D to cycle through all HUDs for the selected object. To cycle the HUDs in reverse, press Shift-D.

    The HUDs are cycled in the order in which the effects are applied.

Most of the time, the HUD displays a subset of the parameters visible in the Inspector for the selected object. If you are working in the HUD, you can quickly jump to the Inspector to access the remainder of the controls for that object.

To jump to the Inspector from the HUD
  • Click the Inspector icon (the “i”) in the upper-right corner of the HUD.

    The Inspector appears and the tab corresponding to the HUD controls is brought to the front.