Appearance Pane

The Appearance pane of the Motion Preferences window contains settings that control visual elements of the Motion interface, grouped into the following categories: HUD, Thumbnail Preview, Timeline, and Status Bar.

Figure. Motion Preferences window showing Appearance pane.


The HUD (heads-up display) is a semi-transparent window that floats above the other windows on your screen. Use the Window Opacity slider in the HUD section of the Appearance pane to set the opacity (transparency) of the HUD.

Thumbnail Preview

The thumbnails that appear in the Layers tab of Motion can provide helpful information about the items selected in that window. For items that are partially transparent (contain an alpha channel), you can set the background that appears behind the image. There are two background options: Checkerboard and Color. Choose either of these options from the Background menu in Thumbnail Preview section of the Appearance pane.

  • Background Color: When Color is chosen from the Background pop-up menu, this color well is enabled and allows you to select a new background color from the Colors window or pop-up color palette.


This section of the Appearance pane lets you choose how to display the bars that appear in the Timeline to represent your objects. Choose a timebar style from the Timebar Display pop-up menu.

Status Bar

The Status Bar is the area in the Motion workspace above the Canvas and below the Toolbar. You can choose to display three different types of information in this area: Color, Coordinates, and Frame Rate. You can also choose from three different methods of representing the color data. All of these settings are available in the Status Bar section of the Appearance pane.

  • Color: Turn on this checkbox to display the color value of the pixel currently under the pointer. Colors are displayed in the format chosen in the Display Color As pop-up menu.
  • Coordinates: Turn on this checkbox to display the X and Y coordinates of the current pointer position.
  • Frame rate: When this checkbox is selected, Motion displays the frame rate of the project during playback. Nothing is displayed unless the project is playing.