Canvas Pane

This pane of the Preferences window contains settings to customize your Canvas view. Changes made in this pane take immediate effect in your current project. There are five categories of controls: Background, Alignment, Safe Zone, Film Zone, and Snapping.

Figure. Motion Preferences window showing Canvas pane.

Background

This section in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window allows you to choose a color for the background of your Canvas—the color outside of the project boundaries. This color is not exported with your project, but only acts as a guide for helping identify transparent and colored layers.

  • Canvas Color: This color well allows you to choose a color for the background of the Canvas.
  • Full View Opacity: If Show Full View Area is enabled in the View menu, this setting controls the opacity of the part of a layer that extends beyond the edge of the Canvas into the background. When set to 100%, the layer is transparent. When set to 0%, the layer is fully opaque.

Alignment

These settings in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window control the color and display of the optional grid, rulers, and guides that appear in the Canvas. Grids, guides, and rulers can be turned on and off in the View menu or in the View pop-up menu at the upper-right corner of the main window.

  • Grid Spacing: This slider sets the width for the grid in pixels.
  • Grid Color: This color well sets the color of the grid lines.
  • Guide Color: This color well sets the color of guides.
  • Dynamic Guide Color: This color well sets the color for dynamic guides.

Safe Zone

Safe zones are special guides to help you avoid putting layers in areas of the screen that might not appear correctly on consumer television sets. Layers that appear outside the action safe region may be cut off. The area outside the title safe region may have distortions that make text hard to read. The safe zone guides can be turned on and off in the View menu, or in the View pop-up menu at the upper-right corner of the main window (above the Canvas). To customize how safe zones appear in the Canvas, use the Safe Zone controls in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window.

  • Action Safe Region: Sets the percentage of the Canvas where the action safe guides appear. (Default is 90% of canvas.)
  • Title Safe Region: Sets the percentage of the Canvas where the title safe guides appear. (Default is 80% of canvas.)
  • Safe Zone Color: Sets the color of the safe zone guides.

Film Zone

When producing output to be used for both television and film, it may be helpful to see the area of the TV frame that will be cut off when it is converted to film. The film zone settings allow you to display a guide that identifies the aspect ratio of the film gauge you are working in. Film zone guides can be turned on and off in the View menu or in the View pop-up menu at the upper-right corner of the main window. To customize how film zones appear in the Canvas, use the Film Zone controls in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window.

  • Film Zone Color: Sets the color of the film zone guides.

Snapping

Objects in the Canvas automatically snap to other objects when you drag them around. This setting in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window determines whether the objects snap to objects’ center points, edges, or both centers and edges. Snapping can be turned on and off in the View menu or by pressing N when the Canvas is active.