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Cycling If the production contains colour cycles they will be shown while you edit new tracks. While this is vital in playback, cycling colours make editing difficult. To disable colour cycling during editing deselect cycling. Interlace Toggles on the Amiga's interlace video setting during full speed playback. Interlace should be turned on when transferring your productions to professional quality video tape. Interlace does not increase the vertical resolution, but removes the faint black lines that exist between scan lines (and hence makes the picture "smoother"). Workbench Choosing workbench will attempt to open or close the workbench (depending on its current state) in the screen behind your MovieSetter production. As MovieSetter likes all the memory that it can get, closing the workbench frees up every last bit of memory available. Ft s t Set Editing The set editor is the "animation station" of MovieSetter. This is where sets are created and altered. Included is a graphics editor equipped v with the standard drawing and graphic tools. Pictures that you have created in other Amiga paint packages can be loaded into the set editor and cropped and sequenced to your needs. Drawing Tools The drawing tools are located on the right side of the set editor screen. Let's examine the tools available to us starting from the top.
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All products mentioned in this manual are trademarks of their respective owners.
©1988 Gold Disk Inc. Licenced to EMAP Images Ltd for exclusive use on the April 1995 issue of ,CU Amiga Magazine.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or distributed, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any human or computer language, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, manual or otherwise or disclosed to thirds parties without the written permission of Gold Disk.
The layout and design of this version of the MovieSetter manual ©1995 CU Amiga Magazine, EMAP Images Ltd. All of the above conditions apply.
Gold Disk Inc. PO Box 789, Streetsville Mississauga. Ontario Canada L5M 2C2 * t e i •* i
- % MovieSetter % WYSIWYG Animation and Video Program Program
design by: Kailash Ambwani & Arno Krautter Program by: James
Morehead and Ian Donen Manual by: Derek Grime Typeset and
adapted by CU Amiga Magazine Table of contents Introduction 11
MovieSetter overview 23 T utorial 31 Track editing 39
Production menus 49 Set editing 67 Set creation 80 i Tips and
hints 87 Appendices 93 io Introduction Welcome to
MovieSetter, the only WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get),
animation and video program.
MovieSetter will allow you to create your own animated cartoons in only minutes, while giving you total artistic control over the entire production. Full editing features are available to you at every step of production. If you don't like the way your video is shaping up, an entire character can be added, moved or eliminated with just a click of the mouse. MovieSetter frees you from the drudgery that was once associated with the art of animation and lets you spend the time on the creative process itself.
Let's introduce some powerful features that are available in MovieSetter.
• Stereo digitised sound.
• Backgrounds scroll horizontally and vertically.
• Full control over multiple colour cycles.
• Number of tracks only limited by RAM available.
• Tracks can be placed in production with a click of the mouse.
• Timing adjustable anywhere in Movie.
• Frame accurate editing.
• Frames can be looped.
• Tracks can be shifted in any direction.
• Tracks can be attached to guides for automatic spacing.
• Movies can use the overscan area.
• Full featured set editor included.
• Backgrounds can be "wiped" onto the screen in many ways.
• Cut and paste tracks and sets.
4 Your finished productions can be easily played back in real time. Record onto video tape or distribute your production on disk, using the freely provided, distributable MoviePlayer.
Getting Started System Requirements Computer: MovieSetter is designed to work on any properly configured Amiga.
Operating System: Kickstart 1.2 or higher. Workbench 1.2 or higher.
Memory Requirements: A minimum of 512K RAM (1 Mbyte is recommended).
Display Monitor: Any Amiga-compatible monitor.
Disk Drives: One Amiga 3.5" floppy disk drive is required.
* Disk Contents: The cover disk is designed to unpack into two
separate MovieSetter disks. Carefully follow the loading
instructions inside the magazine to find out how to decrunch
the cover disk to get these disks. One disk should be labelled
Program and contains the MovieSetter program and all of the
data that the program uses, including fonts. The other disk
should be labelled MovieClips - General and contains all the
MovieSetter clip art used with the program, including tutorial
Conventions Used in This Manual The MovieSetter manual and the software it describes follow the standard Amiga user interface. It is assumed that you have some familiarity with basic Amiga procedures.
However, as a refresher, we recommend that you read the following conventions adhered to throughout this manual.
• Bullets ( •) indicate related information, lists, or sequences.
• The use of Amiga hierarchy of terms for pull down menus. Main
menus are called "menus", * options in a menu are called
"items", and options in sub-menus are called "sub-items".
The terms "requesters", "gadgets", and "tools" are also used.
• Menu selections are often listed in this manual using the
format: Menu ltem Sub-item. For example, Text Style Bold refers
to the Bold sub- item in the Style item of the Text menu.
• Moving the mouse pointer to a desired location, pressing and
quickly releasing the left button is called "clicking". If
this is done in order to activate an object, it is sometimes
referred to as "selecting".
• Placing the mouse pointer on a desired location, pressing the
left button and holding it down while moving the mouse is
referred to as "dragging".
Making a Working Copy of MovieSetter Immediately make one (1) back-up copy of your disk to use as your working disks. Store the original MovieSetter disks in a safe place, * v retrieving only to make additional replacement copies if your back-up disks are lost or damaged. For your convenience, MovieSetter is not copy-protected. Please respect the fact that Gold Disk Inc and CU Amiga Magazine have made it easy for you to make an authorised back-up to prevent risk to your original copies. Do not sell, lend, give, or otherwise distribute the MovieSetter program to anyone.
Making a Back-up With one drive:
• Boot up with the Workbench disk that came with your Amiga. Then
put your MovieSetter Program disk in the drive. Be sure that it
• Select the MovieSetter disk icon.
• In the Workbench menu, select the Duplicate item, then follow
the instructions the Amiga provides.
With two drives:
• Boot up with the Workbench disk that came with your Amiga.
Place the MovieSetter Program disk in the first drive, and a
blank disk in the second drive.
Be sure that the MovieSetter Program disk is write-protected.
• Move the mouse pointer over the MovieSetter Program disk icon
and "grab" the icon by pressing and holding down the left mouse
• Still holding down the left mouse button, drag the MovieSetter
icon over on top of the icon for the blank disk, and release
Your Amiga will provide the necessary instructions to complete the back-up copy.
• After the Program disk copy is finished, you should rename the
copy of MovieSetter from "Copy of MovieSetter" to
"MovieSetter". Repeat the copy process for the MovieSetter
Starting MovieSetter From the Workbench:
• Insert the MovieSetter Program disk in the drive to boot the
• Double click on the MovieSetter Program disk icon to bring up
the MovieSetter window.
• Double click on the MovieSetter Program icon to start the
Loading a Production « Once we've run MovieSetter we start with a new production, that contains no backgrounds or tracks. This is a clean slate. Before we try creating our own produbtion, let's load one from the disk. Using the mouse put the pointer at the very top left of your screen and press and hold down the right mouse button. A menu will drop down called "Production".
Let's select the second item called "Load". A requester will appear titled "Load Production".
At this point eject your MovieSetter program disk and insert the MovieClip disk in drive DFO:. Now select the gadget called DFO: with your left mouse button. The text beside the word "drawer" has changed to the name of the currently selected disk. The larger white area now shows a list of all the individual files and directories that are on the currently selected disk. Directories have the suffix " DIR " after them. Click on the one called "Productions". A list of the files available in the directory "Productions" will appear. Note that the "drawer" has been updated to include the
directory we selected. This helps us keep track of where we are on the disk. We'll begin by loading in a simple animation. Double click on the productibn called "Demo" with the left mouse button. The requester will disappear as the production is loaded in. A new window appears which dis- plays to us what parts of the current production are being loaded in from the disk. When the background appears on screen the production is loaded and ready to be shown.
Playing a Production On top of the background there is a requester that has arrows pointing to the left and right, and a series of numberslindemeath. This is the "Player Control Window". It operates similarly to a VCR remote control, allowing you to step backwards or forwards single frames, play forward or reverse, and go to the beginning or end of the production. The current position in the production is always displayed as the frame number and elapsed time (in minutes, seconds). Try clicking on the play forward button: the movie you loaded will play in a continuous loop until you hit the
"space bar". Stop the movie, click on the loop button and click on play forward button again. This time, the movie will not loop continuously and will stop when it has reached the point where it started. Although the player window disappears during full-speed playback, the operation of the movie can still be controlled using the keyboard. Hold down the Control key and at the same time click the play forward button.
This is like pressing the pause button on a VCR.
MovieSetter holds at the current frame until you tell it to play. Hit Up Arrow and the movie plays forwards. Try hitting Down Arrow , the movie will immediately reverse directions. P pauses, while Right Arrow and Left Arrow mimic the step forward and step reverse buttons respectively. Control-Right Arrow and Control-Left Arrow mimics the end of production and beginning of production buttons respectively. Hit the space bar to stop the movie. The player control window will reappear. A second way to manoeuvre through your movie is to enter a specific frame number or time. Try this
by clicking on the numbers in the player window and entering new values. If you enter a number which would put you beyond the end of the movie, you will be put at the end of the movie.
MovieSetter Terminology These are some of the terms that relate to MovieSetter that will be used in the manual.
Production: This is a MovieSetter movie. The animated sequence or movie that you create with MovieSetter. It can be played back at any time from within MovieSetter or viewed with the use' of the MoviePlayer.
Backgrounds: A picture that forms the backdrop for scenes in your production. It is simply an IFF picture that can be as large as 352 x 240 pixels in overscan mode. Backgrounds can be scrolled underneath your animations and can contain up to 32 different colours.
Face: An IFF bitmap or brush. It can be imported from a paint program, clipped from an existing IFF picture in the set editor or drawn in the set editor using MovieSetter's built in drawing tools.
Set: A collection of faces that are combined using the set editor into a single animated motion. A walking character would be considered a set as it is composed of several different faces.
Tracks: An animation created by ordering and positioning faces from a set. An unlimited number of tracks can overlap in any given frame. In any one frame, only one element from every visible i track is shown. Tracks can be overlayed behind or in front of each other in any order. Given a set of a character walking, a track might be the character standing stationary for several frames, walking a distance and falling off the screen through a manhole.
Events: Events are actions that happen in an individual frame. A colour change, timing change, colour cycling or a sampled sound being heard are all examples of MovieSetter events.
MovieSetter Overview Accomplishing simple animations with MovieSetter does not require a complete understanding of the program.
More sophisticated opera operations, however, will require a knowledge of how MovieSetter's various elements interact. This section may be read quickly now and in more depth later, after you have completed the tutorial.
All MovieSetter "Productions" begin with IFF (Interchange File Format: a graphics format supported by most Amiga software) pictures. Pictures exist in two forms in MovieSetter, "Backgrounds" and "Faces".
Frames FRAME 3 FRAME 4 ! I I ; i 5 k i t I 1 !
,•» • .w •• ••• .1 » « «*,*.
J. i : I I j 5 * j » j % ¦ i j i • i (*.• » • »VM • »'
»• i t J : i ?
| * ;
* :*¦' •.
? I :¦ n- Set Track 1 Set Track 2 Backgrounds always reside at the back of your scene, and nothing can ever be hidden by a background. A background can be as large as full video overscan screen (352 x 240), although editing is done on a normal 320 x 200 screen.
During playback, the entire background is displayed. Backgrounds may be scrolled either vertically or horizontally, and are independent of other elements within the scene.
The second type of picture is a face. A face is a single image of an animated character or object. A "Set" is a collection of related faces in a logical order (for example, a set could contain all of the positions required to make a character '¦*.. walk, each face representing a snapshot of the walk). If all of the faces from a set of a character walking were painted on clear plastic cards and laid out on a table, it would resemble a strobed view of that character's movement.
Stacking the cards in a particular order and flipping through them quickly would give the effect of animation. Changing the order of the cards would affect the movement of the character, and copying some of the cards would affect the timing of the set.
The "Set Editor" allows you to create faces and group them into sets. It allows you to create the tools with which you will make your movie. While the order that faces are placed within a set does not constrain you in any way, it is convenient to have the faces follow a logical order. The set editor allows you to preview your set, animating the faces in the order that you created them. Your MovieSetter package comes with pre-drawn sets, so it is possible to create movies without entering the set editor.
Using the set editor, however, you can create new sets from existing ones by taking advantage of its editing tools (eg sizing,rotation).
The "Scene Editor" is the heart of MovieSetter. The highly interactive nature of the scene editor allows you to view productions as they will finally appear while you are creating them. The first step in creating a scene is choosing a background (though it may be changed at any time).
If you were creating a scene by hand, you would start with a painted background. At your disposal would be stacks of faces painted on a clear plastic, each stack representing a set.
You would create the first frame of your movie by overlaying a single sheet from each set, with the background showing through the plastic where no image was painted. You would continue to do this for the length of your film: a tedious, but inherently simple operation.
MovieSetter works in almost the same way except that you create the movement of each character completely before starting the next.
For example, if you wanted a dog to run across your background, chased by a cat, you would first create a "track" from your dog set (ie. All positions of a dog running) by starting at the left edge of the screen and "clicking" your way k. to the right edge. Moviesetter automatically adds frames as you create the dog's movement, and cycles through the set faces in the order that you created them. If it took twenty clicks to make the dog run from the left side to the right side of the screen, twenty frames will exist in your movie. A track contains much more information than a set. A set is
simply a collection of images; a track is an ordered collection of faces from a set, with screen position and depth information. To add the cat's track, you would step through the movie to the point at which the cat would logically enter and click out its movement using the cat set. When creating the cat track, the cat is automatically forced in front of all other tracks in the current frame. This may be changed later, if you wish.
When the track has been completed. MovieSetter is WYSIWYG: while creating the cat's track, the dog track is still visible. When adding to your movies, you always see what you have previously created, making animation as simple as moving the mouse and clicking!
This concept of creating tracks parallels that of the multitrack studio used in the music industry. A single musician may play several instruments in a song by recording them as separate tracks and then overlaying them using a "mixer". The scene editor is essentially a mixer that integrates sets into tracks and overlays them to create scenes.
A conceptual complication of tracks is that it is only possible to view a single element of a track in a given frame. Tracks start at one frame and at some time later, end. A given frame is a snapshot of the track as it interacts with other tracks in the movie.
MovieSetter's editing tools have been designed to make changes to an entire track, or a single track element fast and easy.
For example, an entire track may be repositioned by simply moving a single element within the track. "History" allows you to show track elements from previous frames in the current frame (a strobe effect).
While tracks exist across many frames, "Events" are attached to specific frames and initiate an action. There is NO LIMIT to the number of events that can occur within a movie. A background change updates the background with a new picture but does not affect the tracks in that frame. A sound event begins in a specific frame, but ends some time later (depending on the length of the sound and complexity of the movie). A palette event causes the colours to change until another palette event or a background change occurs. Other events are background scrolling, timing, colour cycling, and
While all of this may seem complicated now, you will see in the tutorial that ALL of these actions may be performed by the simple act of moving the mouse and clicking!
30 Tutorial This tutorial is designed to clarify terms we've introduced (face, set, background, track, event) and help you create your first animation.
A Creating a Production Let's create a simple production of our own using some of the clip art provided with MovieSetter. Before we load in any of the individual elements, let's select Project Clear to clear anything that already might be in our production.
Loading a background The first thing to add is a background.
• Go to the Event menu and choose Background Select. This will
bring you to the Load Background requester. There are a series
of backgrounds in the "Backgrounds" directory on the MovieClip
data disk. Double click on the one called "Tutorial
This will automatically load that picture in from the disk, and place an event in the first frame which tells MovieSetter to change backgrounds at the first frame. Unless we add another background change event, this will be the background for the length of the movie.
• Before the background appears MovieSetter allows us to choose a
wipe effect for the background. This wipe will take place when
the background enters our produc- IBHE tion. The Wipe requester
will appear and ask us to select the type of wipe that we want
to use. MovieSetter comes with many special wipe effects built
in. If you choose "none" there I Hone I will be a direct cut to
the new background picture. Since we are in the first frame
of our movie, select none. The background for your animation
will now appear.
Creating a track Our background looks a little barren so lets spice things up a little by creating our first track. Remember that tracks draw their imagery from sets of faces. MovieSetter comes with pre-drawn sets, so we won’t bother to create one from scratch for this animation .
• Go to the Track menu and choose New.
"New" lets MovieSetter know that you are going to add a new track. This will bring you to the Set Load requester. There are a series of sets in the "Sets" directory on the MovieSetter data disk. Double click on the one called "BoingBounce". This will automatically load that set in from the disk. You will now have a small "Boing Ball" attached to you r pointer, this is the first face in the BoingBall set. This is the object that we are going to animate.
Move the pointer to the far top left of the background. The real power of MovieSetter is that every time you click the left mouse button, the current object gets placed onto the current frame and the production advances to the next frame. This process is called stamping. Every time you stamp, the set also advances one face. This set was created to make the Boing Ball look like it's rotating. Let's try it.
• Stamp out a few frames in a path from the top left down to the
centre of the road.
Stamp out a few more going in a path from the centre to the top right of the background. To complete your track, hit F5 or hold down the Control key when stamping the last frame of the track.
Playing a production When you want to play your production use the player control window.
Select the Start Movie gadget to "rewind" to the first frame of the production.
• Select the Play Forward gadget to play the production.
Press the space bar to stop the production at any time.
Adding a sound Let's add a sound to give our production a real "cartoon" feel. There are a number of great sounds provided for you on the data disk .
• Rewind the production.
Using the Player Control Window, step through the frames until you reach the frame where the boing ball is bouncing off the road.
• Choose "Sound" in the Event menu. This will take us to the
• Double click on the sound called Boing! To load it into the
• Before the sound is loaded into s the production we are placed
in the Sound Control window. We'll return to the special sound
effects that can be performed here later, but for now just
click on the Event button. This tells MovieSetter to play the
Boing! Sound when it reaches this point of the movie. To hear
the sound without creating an event, press the Play button.
Remove the sound control window by pressing its close button.
• Play the production to hear the new sampled sound. Sound adds
an extra punch to any MovieSetter production.
Changing the timing Changing the timing lets us slow down or ' speed up the production. MovieSetter works on a scale that breaks every second down into 60 parts. The default setting for MovieSetter is 6 60th or 10 frames shown by the player for every second of real time. The timing value tells MovieSetter how long to delay between each frame. For this example, let's slow the film down to four frames per second.
• Rewind the production to the first frame by using the
MovieSetter player control.
• Choose "timing" in the event menu. This takes us to the Timing
• Click in the Delay box. Now enter the number
15. Press return to leave the Timing requester.
• Play the production to watch it at 4 frames per second.
Timing notes MovieSetter uses the 60th of a second scale because this is the number of times your monitor refreshes or "draws" the video image every second. MovieSetter plays the productions at a default setting of 10 frames every second because most people cannot distinguish separate frames at a faster rate. This is very close to the frame rate used by the classical animators of the thirties and forties. Below 10 frames per second the animation will tend to appear jerky. For example, the popular television animation that is produced in Japan (Japanamation to the fans) is often shown as
slow as 4 frames per second. This accounts for the noticeable gaps in the animated movement. You may be satisfied with this timing speed as it means less drawing work for you, but smooth enough to still be acceptable. Animation purists will stick with the faster rate of 10 frames per second. Use the scale below to convert MovieSetter's timing to frames'per second.
It is important to note, however, that MovieSetter cannot guarantee the playback speed. For movies of moderate complexity, using 32 colours, it is likely that 10 frames sec is realistic. However, when large sets are used or many tracks overlap, MovieSetter may not be able to keep up with the timing you specified.
Speed of playback is also affected by the presence of a background, sound, scrolling and the number of colours. If you simply wish to do a pencil sketch animation, running MovieSetter with only two colours will allow animations up to 60 frames sec.
Timing is an event. This means that the new timing will remain in the production until you decide to change it. You can slow the beginning of a production to slow motion and then through' successive timing events you can slowly speed Delay 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 15 20 30 60 Frames Second 60 30 20 15 12 10
7. 5 6 5 4 3 2 1 up the animation until you reach the speed that
Adding a new track We have already produced a simple production with a background, an animated track and sound!
Lets add a second track to the production.
• Rewind the production.
• Advance to the frame just before the ball hits the road.
• Choose "New" under the Track menu. Select the ball again.
• The ball set is now attached to the pointer.
T Stamp out the new track in roughly the same way that you placed the first bouncing ball.
• When this ball leaves the screen, rewind to the place where the
new ball track hits the ground.
• Add the "boing" sound to this new track.
• Play the production to see the two separate balls chasing each
other down the road.
To see a working version of all this, try loading: "Tutorial Production" and playing it.
Track Editing s DEBHnBBBH SIflilO Track editing may be |» Frames I l 1 lCancgtt| done while creating the track or after it has been completed. Once you have started creating a new track, how ever, you CANNOT move around the movie, and attempting to do so will force MovieSetter to automatically complete the track for you.
As well, many menu options are disabled (ghosted).
NOTE: As long as the mouse pointer is carrying around a face, you are creating a track.
Creating a new track: To create a new track, select Track New and choose a set from the Set Load requester. Once the set gets attached to the mouse pointer, you are ready to begin.
Simply clicking places the current set face, advances to the next frame and switches to the next face, deft Amiga -click is the same but switches to the previous face and Alt -click is the same but does not switch faces. Control -click completes the track after stamping out a final frame. You can control which face to stamp next by I « r | • 1.* r 1 .* *.
|« Fx»ams 1 t I EsESHlJ} and using the " " " " keys to flip through the available f aces in the selected set.
If you want a face to go off the screen, you can shift its position on the mouse by hitting the arrow keys (pressing Alt while doing this increases the distance that the face moves). Hitting c will return the face to its original position.
If you wish to "hold" a face in the same place for a number of frames you can save yourself some clicking by stamping out a face where you want it to stay, select- * ing Track Hold, and entering the number of frames to hold the face in the Hold Track requester. After the number is entered, MovieSetter automatically creates the number of track elements you requested and advances to the correct frame. Another time saver is Track Repeat.
As an example, let's assume you have stamped out a track of ferris wheel that has just completed one rotation. You know that you want this same sequence to be repeated for another 50 frames. Repeat duplicates the action of the track from the beginning of the track to the current position for the specified number of frames.
The most powerful track creation tool is guides.
Guides allow automatic creation of smooth linear and elliptical path, affected by both velocity and acceleration.
Guides may be used anywhere while creating a track.
First, select Track New, select a set and when you have a face attached to the mouse pointer, select Special Guides and the Guides Control window will appear. A guide is specified by "rubber-banding" a path in the edit window with the mouse.
For linear guides, you "drag out" a line that you wish your track to follow (hold down the left mouse button in the main window: as you move the mouse, a line will follow you; release the button when you have created the desired path). This path may be recreated at any time by rubber banding a new line. Try this, you should see a line of dots, each dot representing a position where a track element will be automatically stamped.
Elliptical guides are rubber-banded by first pressing the Ellipse button. Click the mouse in the edit window and drag out an ellipse . When you release the button, you next select the starting point on the ellipse by positioning the mouse and clicking. You may also affect the path of the guide you have rubber-banded by changing the velocity and acceleration. You may have acceleration affect the guide in either the vertical or horizontal direction or both.
Once you are satisfied with the shape and spacing of your guide, there are two ways to make use of it. In the Guide Control window "Auto" guide creation tells MovieSetter to create the specified number of frames along the guide, automatically cycling through the faces from the track's set. Press the Clpse Window button to create the track elements automatically.
If you wish to have more control over the stamping of the track, select Manual. Select Close Window to use the guide for the creation of your track. When you move the mouse the current face will "snap" to the closest point on * the guide. You may turn the guide on or off by hitting 'g'. You may also create a new guide at any time.
The easiest way to understand the operation of these tools is to experiment!
The Track Shift option toggles an editing feature that is similar to insert overstrike in word processors. For example, in frame 50 you are on a desert background and frame 51 the background changes to a space ship. At frame 50 you wish to add a camel walking for 30 frames.
With shift turned off, the camel would walk one frame on the desert and 29 frames in the space ship (most likely, not the desired result!) With shift turned on, all events and tracks that have not yet occurred will be delayed. In essence, you are inserting new frames as you stamp out your track. With shift off, you only add new frames when you reach the end of the movie, and add to existing frames otherwise. Adding a track, therefore, does not necessarily increase the length of the movie.
If you make a mistake, you may back up and delete the previous track element by hitting the Backspace key (you may back up all the way to the beginning of the track). MovieSetter will automatically update the face attached to the mouse and move backwards one frame.
Editing an existing track: Once you have completed a track, you will probably want to make small adjustments to synchronise it with other tracks you previously created. .For this purpose, there are many tools available in the Track Edit window. (Note: these tools may not be used during track creation.) Track hold, repeat and guides may also be used as often as you like during the editing of a track. To use them, you must first select the track and then press the Insert After or Insert Before buttons on the Track Edit window.
Track Edit Window Select Track: Press the button and click on a face that is in the track you wish to edit. It is useful to select Special Borders, otherwise there are no visual clues to indicate which track is currently selected (the selected track has a solid border). Although you can only see one element from a track in a given frame, by selecting one element from the track your are implicitly selecting the ENTIRE track. If you need to select a track that is obscured by other tracks, there is a second selection technique.
Track Select lists the currently visible tracks, click on the track you wish to edit and press the OK button. All of the editing tools in the track edit window (with the exception of paste) operate on the currently selected track.
Move Track: With this tool you can reposition the current track as a whole or just the visible track element. When you select the hand tool the currently visible face in the current track will be attached to the mouse. To reposition the element, simply click in the new position. If you wish to move the entire track by the same relative amount that you are moving the current element, hold down the ALT key when clicking.
Insert Elements before: Create new elements in the’currently selected track before the current frame. This automatically puts you in track creation mode and will add new frames to the movie if Track Shift has been selected. If Track Shift is not selected, the movie will only be extended if the track is longer than the movie.
W Insert Elements after: The same as insert before except that the new elements are inserted after the current frame.
Track Behind: When you create a new track it is automatically placed in front of every visible track. If you wish to change its relative depth on the screen, it is necessary'to do this after completing the new track. Each click of the button moves the currently selected track back one position in the current frame. Double-clicking moves the track behind all other tracks in the frame. Holding down the ALT key will perform the operation from the CURRENT position in the track to the end (ie. All track elements before the current one will not be affected). Because of the way MovieSetter
controls the relative depth of tracks, it may take more than one click to move one track behind another if there are several tracks visible in the current frame.
Track In Front: The reverse operation of track behind.
Copy Track: Places a copy of the selected track into the paste buffer while leaving the original in the production. The copied track contains all the track information, including the set and positioning.
Cut Track: Places the currently selected track into the paste buffer. The cut track contains all the track information, including the set and positioning.
Cutting a track removes it from the production.
If you wish to remove a track from the production without affecting the paste buffer, the currently selected track can be deleted by selecting Track Delete.
Paste Track: Places the track that currently is in the paste buffer into the production at the frame and location of your choice. When paste is selected, the mouse will be attached to the FIRST element of the track in the paste buffer. Simply click the mouse at the position where you wish the track to start, MovieSetter does the rest.
Cut, copy and paste are fantastic time saving tools. After creating-one track of a horse running across the screen, you could create a stampede with only a few extra clicks!
Change Face: To change the face that is visible in the currently selected track, hit the up arrow to go to the next face in the set and the down arrow to switch to the previous face. The keyboard keys " " and " " perform the same operations, respectively.
Go to Beginning of Track: Jump to the frame containing the first track element of the currently selected track.
Go to End of Track: Jump to the frame containing the last track element of the currently selected track.
« Production menus In the production screen, MovieSetter has many built in features that will give you extra control over all the elements that make up your animated film. In this section we'll cover just what those menu items mean and how they will make you a more effective video producer.
Production Menu New N e v.* r 1 At L O -.i’d } i * 1 i * t «' } t I
* t or vbo u* About ... Exit ,,, Erases the current production
that is being worked on from the Amiga's memory. All of the
sets and backgrounds remain in RAM. This gives a quick and
easy way to redo your production without having to reload all
the individual pieces that make up the production.
Clear Clears the current production that is being worked on from the Amiga's memory. All of the sets and backgrounds are removed from RAM.
This option resets everything, placing you back to a blank production area. Take care! Remember to save your production if you want to keep a copy of it for future use before using Clear.
Load Loads a production from disk. The Load window will show you the name of each part of the production as it is being loaded in. After a load * the production is ready to play.
Insert If you have created several scenes and saved them in separate productions, you can insert a production inside an existing production. Note that the insert production will go AFTER the current frame. As well, duplicate sets, backgrounds and sounds will not be loaded.
Save When MovieSetter creates a production it writes its own script file. These script files contain all the information about the events that are taking place in the film. They tell the program where to move things, how fast, etc. A script file is usually very small in size as it is really just a "blueprint" of the saved film. A disk could easily be nearly filled with backgrounds and animated sets and the script could be under 15K in size. MovieSetter can save your productions in two different ways.
Save Embed * Saves the MovieSetter scripts and all sets and backgrounds. This method of saving the production will produce a large file containing all sets, backgrounds and the script. The resulting file is a self contained MovieSetter production.
Save No Embed Saves the MovieSetter script only. This method of saving the production will produce a small file containing just the script information. The resulting file is small but requires the original disk with all the sets and backgrounds used to run successfully.
This is the save option you will use most of the time. Only use Save Embed if you wish to give your production to a friend (since you cannot be sure that he she will have all the backgrounds and sets that you do).
Components If you load a production that was saved embedded, you may want some of the sets, backgrounds and sounds for yourself.
You could use the Set Editor to save each individually, but Production Save Components is a short cut that does this automatically. You specify where you want MovieSetter to save each set, background and sound currently loaded.
Storyboard Gives you easy editing power over a MovieSetter production. Storyboard is a visual "database" of all the individual pieces that go into creating your animated movie. The storyboard option opens its own window area (which can be resized) and shows the "key" i frames of the production in a small format just like the professional animators use! Storyboard contains a Conditions menu that sorts the production according to the events that you choose. Events are selected by the storyboard using its own Condition menu. Storyboard allows you to go to any frame in the production just by
clicking in it with the mouse. Imagine that you have created an animation that is composed of hundreds of frames and somewhere is a sound that needs fixing. By sorting the storyboard window by "sound" you are shown only the frames where a sound event begins. Select A a frame with the mouse and you are automatically placed there by the story board. It makes editing a snap! Note that you can combine as many search criteria as you like. MovieSetter defaults to searching for frames that contain either a background change or a track start.
The following criteria are available through the Conditions menu: 4 Track Start Shows frames where a new track begins.
Background Change Shows frames in which the background is changed.
Scrolling Shows frames where a scrolling event takes place.
Sound Shows frames where a sound event begins.
Colour Cycling i Shows frames where a colour cycling event begins.
Palette Change Shows frames where a palette change happens.
Timing Change Shows frames where a timing change begins or ends.
Loop Shows frames where there is a loop.
Only nine frames are shown at a time. Hit Up Arrow to show the next nine frames meeting the criteria and Down Arrow to return to the first set. To exit the storyboard window click on the close gadget.
You can change the size of the storyboard and leave it open while editing your movie, it will automatically be updated whenever you add a new track or event.
About Provides information about the current version of MovieSetter.
Exit Quits MovieSetter.
Frame Menu Duplicate Creates a duplicate of the current frame by creating a copy of all visible track elements. Events in the current frame are NOT duplicated.
) Delete Removes a specified number of frames INCLUDING the current frame. When deleting more than ten frames in a large movie, this may take longer than you would expect (MovieSetter has a lot of dog work to do!)
I) n ip 1 c ' t Shit t A till S t * t * t Mil Knd Shift For an
in depth discussion, see track creation.
In brief, with Shift on (checkmarked) any tracks added will shift tracks and events that have not yet occurred (ie. The track will insert, NOT overlap). Tracks that have already started are not affected. With Shift off, new frames will only be added when the new track goes beyond the end of the movie. This setting affects paste as well.
Add Start Adds the number of frames specified before the first frame in the movie. For example, if you wanted a different background to start your movie you would first add a single blank frame at the start, place a background change event.
Add End Adds the number of frames specified to the end of the movie. This is useful if you have completed a scene and want to change 5 a backgrounds but don't want the end of your tracks to "fall into" the new background. Simply add a single frame to the end, and place a background change event in the new frame.
Track Menu New Place MovieSetter in track creation mode. Select a set, and stamp out your track. See the section on track creation for more information on the editing tools available to you.
Edit Lists all tracks visible in the current frame.
Double-click on the track you wish to edit (this is useful if you wish to select a t rack which is obscured). See the section on track editing for information on what you can do to the selected track.
Name Shows the name of the currently selected track, and allows you to change it.
Delete Deletes the currently selected track.
Hold Automatically holds the position of your character for a specified number of frames.
MovieSetter uses the LAST stamped face as the base (ie. If you wanted a chair to sit on a floor for 50 frames, motionless, and then jump up and down, first stamp the position where it should sit, "hold" for 49 frames, and proceed with the jump).
Repeat Having created a sequence you like (for example, a juggler juggling) you can repeat that motion by merely specifying the number of frames that MovieSetter should mimic your track. Repeat always copies from the beginning of your track to the current position (this is an easy way to make a track loop).
Event Menu Background Backgrounds are IFF format lo-res pic- ycon tures that form the backdrop behind the production. This item has the fol- HHI lowing sub-items: Select |D Loads a new background at the MMI current frame.
Scrolling Starts a scrolling event at the current frame.
Scrolling can be horizontal or vertical and can have variable acceleration and start end velocities. When scrolling is selected the scrolling window requires that you enter some values.
Start velocity is the amount of speed the back- ground scroll will have initially. End velocity is the speed that the background will be travelling at when it reaches its top speed (if you have no acceleration, the end speed is meaningless).
Imagine that you have created a car track on a road background. In this case the scroll would be horizontal, as the road would rush by beneath the wheels of the car. The acceleration would compare with how hard the imaginary driver stomped on the gas pedal. A small acceleration, and the car would take a long time to reach its full speed. A larger acceleration and the car would be at full speed immediately. Experiment with different scrolling speeds and acceleration. An effective scrolling background can be a very convincing part of . The entire production.
Blank Removes the current background while leaving the colour palette the same.
Sound MovieSetter lets you add sampled stereo sounds to your productions. After choosing « sound you are asked to load an IFF format mono or stereo sampled sound. Selection of a sound places you in the Sound Control Window. The top bar contains the name of the current sample. The piano keys can be selected to set the sample's pitch to different values.
The Octave control can be changed by selecting the up or down arrows. When you want to hear a sound just click on the Play button.
Clicking in the circle beside ' pan' activates the panning control. This allows the sound to be played from the left or right speaker, or mixed in any degree in-between (you must have selected two channels for panning to be possible; as well, true stereo sounds cannot be panned). Left and Right tells the Amiga where to play your sound. You may have many different sounds loaded simultaneously, but you may only play four mono or two stereo sounds at the same time. Pressing the Event button creates a sound event at the current frame of the production (you may place as many events as you
like while the window is still present, and all other editing features still work). It is important to note that placing a second sound event which would overlap a sound that is currently playing will interrupt the first sound (ie. Placing a long sound in frame 1, and a second long sound in frame 2 on the SAME channel, will result in sound 2 interrupting sound 1). You can prevent this by making use of all four channels when overlaying sounds.
Sound Notes While sound may seem difficult to grasp at first, in practice it is quite easy. Imagine adding stereo sound to a bouncing ball animation. First select a suitable "bouncy" noise from the disk.
If the ball is bouncing in from stage left, turn on panning and slide the bar all the way over to the left. Now play the production forward one frame at a time until the ball hits the ground.
Select event and now the noise will appear every time the frame is played. Each time the ball hits, add another sound event. Pan the sound bar across to the right so the sound seems to follow the balls screen location. Keep in mind that large samples will sometimes slow down the speed of the production (slightly).
Sounds can only be heard when playing a production forwards or stepping forwards.
Colour Cycling MovieSetter allows ranges of colours to be cycled during a production. Cycles can run at different speeds and up to four can be running aj any one time. The cycling window shows you the colour palette of the current frame placed in a row. Select any number between one and four as the first cycle. Now choose a range of colours by holding down the left button at the first colour in the range and then dragging the horizontal bar that appears to the last colour in the range. You can adjust the direction of the cycle by toggling the arrow button and the speed with the scroll bar.
Moving the square with the mouse will speed up and slow down the current cycle. Selecting OFF or ON will start and stop the cycle for the current region. Selecting event places the chosen cycle(s) in the current frame of the production. Cycle events remain on until you return to the cycle window and turn them off. Cycling events are not normally enabled unless you are in full-speed playback. However, hitting the Tab key or selecting Special Cycling will toggle cycling on or off.
Palette Palette events change the colours off the current frames to any new hues that you desire.
Choosing palette places you in the palette win- dow. The palette window conforms to the E % standard set by the many Amiga paint programs. We have two sets of slider controls to help with or colour mixing, the RED GREEN j BLUE and HUE LUMINANCE SAT- !
URATION sliders. To the right of the window is the current colour palette. After selecting a colour from the right try varying the RGB values by dragging the slide bars around.
Towards the top is more intense and down below is less intense. The HLS sliders are there to give you an option when creating new colours. HUE is the position of the colour in the spectrum. Similar to the colours you see in a rainbow and variations in between. LUMINANCE refers to the amount of light in a colour.
Up all the way is white, down all the way is black. SATURATION is the amount of pure colour. For example a red HUE could be fully saturated and appear very bright and vivid.
Lowering the saturation would make the colour duller and darker.
Spread Spread averages the colours in the middle to give you a range. Select a colour. Select spread.
Select the colour at the other end of the range.
Exchange Exchange swaps the two colours, making them trade places. Select a colour. Select exchange.
Select another colour.
Copy Copy moves a copy of the original colour to the new colour location. Select a colour. Select copy. Select another colour.
Undo Undoes the last thing done in the palette window.
OK Leaves the requester keeping the current changes, and creates a Palette event in the current frame. Cancel Leaves the requester abandoning the current changes.
Timing Regulates the speed that the production is played at. Timing can be changed as often as you like. See the timing chart for the relative rates of different settings.
Loop Placing a loop simply tells MovieSetter "when I get to this frame, jump backwards". You can have as many loops as you like, all you need to specify is the start frame, the frame to jump backwards to, and the number of times to loop.
Select * Shows all the events in the current frame.
Events can be edited by double-clicking on their name in the list or deleted by single-clicking and pressing the delete button. If you step through the movie, the list of events will update automatically to show the events in the current frame.
Special Menu Set Editor Invokes the Set Editor area of MovieSetter with the currently selected set. See the Set Editor description for more detail.
Select Set Permits you to load, delete or select a set.
Set L li I oe S f» J e ; t S. f t G m i d e s M i f ot' v ft Boi*del' i % Sho i W t) e (; y c 1 in c Guides Often in the creation of a production, it is necessary to place a track down in an exact location. Guides enable a path that the set will follow automatically.
Guides constrain the movement to either a linear or circular path. See track creation for more information.
Woi'khcMieli History Leaves images behind as a track is stamped out to aid in the placement of the new track elements.
History works on the currently selected track. The number of frames that are left behind is selectable through a keyboard shortcuts, Control-Up Arrow and Control-Down Arrow increase and decrease history respectively.
Borders Toggles the display of the track element borders. Borders are the rectangles around sets that define their area. The currently selected track has a solid rectangle surrounding it. Other tracks that are not selected will be surrounded by a dotted rectangle.
Show Wipes If the production contains wipes they will be shown while you edit new tracks. While this is vital in playback, it can be a little confusing in edit mode. To disable wipes during editing deselect show wipes.
Cycling If the production contains colour cycles they will be shown while you edit new tracks. While this is vital in playback, cycling colours make editing difficult. To disable colour cycling during editing deselect cycling.
Interlace Toggles on the Amiga's interlace video setting during full speed playback. Interlace should be turned on when transferring your productions to professional quality video tape. Interlace does not increase the vertical resolution, but removes the faint black lines that exist between scan lines (and hence makes the picture "smoother").
Workbench Choosing workbench will attempt to open or close the workbench (depending on its current state) in the screen behind your MovieSetter production. As MovieSetter likes all the memory that it can get, closing the workbench frees up every last bit of memory available.
Ft s t Set Editing The set editor is the "animation station" of MovieSetter. This is where sets are created and altered. Included is a graphics editor equipped v with the standard drawing and graphic tools.
Pictures that you have created in other Amiga paint packages can be loaded into the set editor and cropped and sequenced to your needs.
Drawing Tools The drawing tools are located on the right side of the set editor screen. Let's examine the tools available to us starting from the top.
Built In Brushes: The set editor has eight built in brushes: one pixel, a cross, two circles and four squares of different sizes. When we start, the one pixel brush is selected as the default. This is the smallest brush we can draw with. Other brushes can be chosen simply by clicking on them with the left mouse button. Select some of the other brushes and try drawing with them in the centre of the screen.
¦ I Continuous Freehand Tool: Selecting this option will draw an unbroken line with your currently selected brush. Draw in the central area by holding down the left mouse button where you want your line to appear. You may notice that larger brushes may not draw as fast as you can move the mouse. If this happens slow down your drawing speed until the program can catch up.
Dotted Freehand Tool: This produces a broken line when you draw with it. Select a larger brush and draw quickly with the mouse. Notice how the faster you go the further apart the images are placed down.
Straight Line Tool: To draw a straight line, click and hold down the left mouse button on the start point of your line'.
Now move the position to the end point of your line and release the button. The set editor automatically draws a line between the two points with your currently selected brush.
Airbrush: Press the left button in the drawing area and the airbrush will "spray" down images of your currently selected brush. This effect can range from a fine spray with a one pixel brush to a blocky look when using a larger brush.
Rectangle Tool: This allows the easy drawing of rectangles or squares, filled or unfilled. To draw an unfilled or outline rectangle select the top half of the gadget. Now move the mouse into the painting area and press and hold down the left button where you want to start one corner of the rectangle. This anchors that corner. Now drag the mouse until the rectangle is the size that's needed and release the button.
Notice that you can start with any corner and drag the rectangle in any direction. If you want to create a filled rectangle select the lower half of the tool and then repeat. This will draw a filled shape in the currently selected colour.
Oval Tool: This allows the easy drawing of circles or ellipses, filled or unfilled. To draw an unfilled or outline circle, select the top half of the gadget.
Now move the mouse into the painting area and press and hold down the left button where you want to start the centre of the circle. This anchors the centre. Now drag the mouse until the circle or oval is the size that's needed and release the button . If you want to create a filled circle select the lower half of the tool and then repeat. This will draw a filled shape in the currently selected colour.
Fill Tool: The fill tool will fill any enclosed area with the currently selected colour. To use the fill tool, *v select it, then move the pointer to any enclosed shape. Press the left button once. This will fill the shape with the currently selected colour.
Brush tool: Picks up an area of the screen to make a custom brush. Select the brush tool and move the pointer to one corner of the shape that you want to pick up. Press and hold the left mouse button and drag the rectangle until it completely frames the shape. When you release the button the framed object is your new brush. All of the set editor's tools will work with the currently selected brush. Try some of the other tools to get an idea of the different effects that each one has on the brush.
Resize Tool: This will stretch or shrink the current brush in any direction. Using the Brush tool pick up a brush from the drawing area. Now select resize and hold down and drag the left mouse button until you have the size you want. When released, the brush will be redrawn at the new size. This becomes your new custom brush.
Please note that resize does not work with the built in brushes, only with custom brushes.
Rotate tool: This will show a rectangular outline of the brush size in the drawing area. Hold the left button and move the mouse until the required angle of rotation reached. Release the button and the rotator will redraw your brush at the new angle. This now becomes the new custom brush.
Flip Tool: The left side of the tool flips the current brush along the vertical axis (ie. It reverse the brush).
The right side switches the brush from right- side up to upside down.
Load Brush tool: This will load a brush or picture that you’ve previously saved to disk into the clipboard area. A brush in the clipboard can then be picked up and moved directly into the drawing area of the set editor. Portions of the brush can also be grabbed from the clipboard. See the clipboard description for more details.
Magnify tool: Select the magnifier and move the dotted rectangle to the part of the drawing area that you want to examine in more detail. Click with the left mouse button. A new window opens in the upper left of the screen. This is the magnified area shown at the original size. The dotted rectangle shows the magnified area. The set editor drawing area now shows the magnified view.
Only the single dot pen tool is operative in magnify mode: magnify is meant for fine detail touch ups. If you want to change the magnified area, press the left button in the small window and drag your picture to the new location. Notice that the window also has a drag bar on the top. This lets you move it with the mouse if it's in the way.
When finished with the magnify tool, select it once more. This turns the magnifier off.
Zoom tool: Works only while in magnify mode. Select it on the left if you want to zoom further into your picture. Select it on the right if you want to zoom further out. Every click of the mouse moves one step further in or further out.
T Undo tool: Clicking undo erases the last action that you did in the drawing area. This helps you go back a step if you make a mistake. Undo will only go back one step, and clicking Undo a second time returns things to the way they were.
Clear tool: This erases everything from the drawing area. It gives you a clean slate on which to draw. If you press Clear accidentally, press Undo immediately to bring your work back.
Clipboard Window The Clipboard window is evoked by pressing on the load brush gadget.
F The Clipboard window is the area where you clip brushes before moving them into the set editor. Imagine that you have used a paint program to create four drawings of a bouncing ball animation. You have saved all these drawings all in one picture. The clipboard allows you to grab each drawing separately and place them instantly into the set you are creating. Think of it as a holding area for the set editor. Select the picture that you want to be placed in the clipboard by using the disk requester. The selected picture is now in the Clipboard window. This window acts like the standard
In the upper left is a Close gadget. This shuts the window and places you back in the set editor. The horizontal bars at the top right allow the window to be dragged to a new location.
The Resize gadget in the lower right lets you pull the clipboard larger or smaller. Let's look at each of the gadgets that are in the Clipboard window.
Disk Tool: Goes to the Disk requester, allowing you to load a new picture or brush into the Clipboard window.
Grab tool: Selects everything in the Clipboard window as a brush. This brush can then easily be stamped into the set editor with the left mouse button.
Rectangular brush tool: Selects a framed area as the current brush. See the description of the Brush tool.
Polygon brush tool: Selects an irregularly shaped brush. Use a left mouse click to set the first point. Notice that there is now a rubber-banded straight line that follows your mouse movements. Each time you press the left button, this anchors the line down. When the last anchor point meets the first, the area contained within the outline is your new brush. You can cancel the polygon brush tool by pressing the right mouse button.
Double-clicking will automatically join the last point to the first point to close the polygon.
Move tool: The Move tool can not be seen unless you click in the clipboard window without selecting one of the other gadgets. A hand will appear. If you press and hold the left mouse button you can move the hand and the picture underneath it.
Using the Move tool allows you to scroll to different part of the clipboard picture.
Set Editor Tools The set editor tools are located down theleft side of the set editor screen. They control the . various editing controls used in the creation of the animated sets. Lets start at the top and examine each one in turn.
Go to beginning of set: Places you at the first face of the current set.
Go to previous face: Places you one face back from the one shown, in the current set.
Preview set backwards: Cycles quickly through the faces in reverse to give you an idea of how the set looks when animated. The Up Arrow and Down Arrow speed up and slow down the animation, respectively. Note that you are not restricted to the order of your set when creating a movie using the track editor.
Stop preview: Stops the set preview (you can also hit the Space Bar ).
Preview set forwards: Plays the set forwards in real time.
Go to next face: Advances forward one face in the current set.
Go to end of set: Advances to the last face in the current set.
Cut: Cuts the current face from the set and places it in the paste buffer.
Copy: Makes a copy of the current face and places it in the paste buffer.
Paste: Clicking on the top half of this gadget places the face from the paste buffer before the current face in the set. Clicking on the bottom half of this gadget places the face from the paste buffer after the current face in the set.
Insert face: Clicking on the top half of this gadget places a blank face before the current face in the set.
Clicking on the bottom half of this gadget places the blank face after the current face.
Delete face: Erases the currently shown face from the set.
Register mark: Allows for the placement of register marks on your animated set. The register mark is the pixel where MovieSetter lines up the animation.
Registration Marks Registration marks are the way that MovieSetter knows where to put the faces contained in the animated set. It's good practice to line up your registration marks on a part of the face that remains constant throughout the set.
The registration mark is also the hot spot that * MovieSetter "connects" the pointer to when you are laying down the set as a track. Imagine I an airplane propeller. If we use the centre of the prop as our register mark we could click as many faces as we wanted to in one spot. The propeller would appear to rotate around the register mark. If the register was anywhere else, we would be forced to correct every frame by moving the mouse and "eyeballing" the set into the right position. Sometimes the faces in a set do not have an obvious place to put the register marks. In these cases, place the
register roughly in the centre of the face.
This means you still have to do some guesswork, but it gives you a good place to start.
Special Menu Show Registration Marks Choosing the show registration marks item from the special menu at any time during set creation will leave the registration marks on at all times. As you move from face to face in the set the registration marks will stay present and in the same position. They can be moved by selecting the registration mark tool and clicking the left mouse button in the new location.
Doing this will not affect the registration marks placement for other faces in the set.
Flip Set Horizontally When you are finished creating your set, you have the option of switching the direction of the set. Flip Set Horizontally will redraw every face in the set back to front. This means that an animated character set that was going from left to right will now be going from right to left. The set will still be registered.
Flip Set Vertically ?
Flip Set Vertically will redraw every face in the set upside down. Upside down sets are useful for creating shadows underneath up right sets.
V Set creation The key to creating effective productions with MovieSetter is making your own animated characters with the set editor. A set is a series of faces that you combine together, MovieSetter let's you play them back in any way you wish. For example, imagine that you have drawn several pictures of the different positions of a walking person. Using the set editor you can easily combine the separate pictures into one file which MovieSetter will show you in real time. Let's create a simple set of our own.
Set Creation Tutorial Choose the Set Editor menu item from the MovieSetter main screen. This puts us into the set editor. We will start with a very simple set, a stick man jumping up and down.
• Choose New from the Set menu. Enter a name for the character
and press return.
• Select the Oval tool and draw the stick man's head. Use the
Line tools to draw the body, arms and legs.
• Select the registration mark and place it in the centre of the
• This is the first face of our set completed.
We need two more to finish off this animated set. Since our character is only going to change slightly in each face, we can copy him directly and make the alterations as we go.
• Select the "Copy Element" tool. This places a duplicate of face
number 1 in the paste buffer.
• Select the lower half of the "paste below * tool". This copies
face number one to face number two.
• Select the colour to be the same as the background colour and
use the drawing tools to erase the stick man's arm and legs.
4 Select the colour of the stick man and draw in a new pair of arms and legs in a position that is a little higher than face number one.
• Repeat the last three steps to copy face two to face three.
Redraw the arms and legs again, a little higher than before.
• Play the set using the "preview set forwards tool". This flips
through the set in real time and let's you see how our animated
set is going to look. When you are finished click once on the
• Save the stick man set by choosing "Save As" under the Set
menu. We can now call up the stick man and use him as an
animated figure in our MovieSetter productions. You may want to
experiment on the set since you have a permanent copy saved on
to disk. Go to the beginning of the set and use the fill
control to fill in stick man's head. Add hands and feet. Try
drawing a face on him as well.
Preview the set often to make sure that the animated set is turning out the way that you want it to. Remember that if you slip up when you are drawing you can use the Undo tool to remove the last mistake. If one of the faces is beyond repair you can delete the current face by selecting the Trashcan tool.
Set Creation From IFF Files There are other ways of creating the faces that make up an animated set. You may feel more comfortable using one of the existing Amiga paint programs like Deluxe Paint II. If you have saved all the original pictures as IFF format pictures or brushes you can load them directly into the set editor, bypassing the built in drawing tools.
Sets from Pictures: If you have more than one face in a picture file.
• Choose "New" from the Set window. Type in a new set name.
• Select the "load custom brush from disk tool". When the
requester appears, select the correct path and picture file.
• The picture is now loaded into the clipper.
Use the rectangular or freehand brush tools to select the area that you want to place in the drawing area. Remember that you can resize the window and move the picture around with the left mouse button if you need to. Clip the area and stamp it into the drawing area.
Select and place the registration mark.
• Select "add a new element below” to advance to the next face in
• Select "load custom brush from disk" to return to the picture
in the clipper.
• Repeat the last three points as many times as you have to. You
can clip from more than one IFF picture if you please.
• Choose "Save As" from the Set menu to give the new set a name
and to save it to disk.
Sets from Brushes: If you want to use IFF brushes as the faces in your sets:
• Choose "New" from the Set window. Type in a new set name.
• Choose the Load IFF from the Element menu. When the requester
appears, select the correct path and picture file.
• The picture is now loaded into the drawing area. MovieSetter
loads it automatically into the upper left hand corner.
• Select and place the registration mark.
• Select "Add a new element below" to advance to the next face in
• Repeat the last three points as many times as you have to. You
can load as many IFF brushes into a set as you want.
• Choose "Save As" from the Set menu to give the new set a name
and to save it to disk.
Altering an Existing Set Sets that have been saved can be called up at any time and changed in the set editor. Let's do some quick alterations to one of the sets that comes with MovieSetter.
• Choose "Load Set" from the Set menu. Select the "Boing_Ball"
set and load it in.
_ Boing_Ball now appears in the drawing area. Use the Preview tools to scroll through the animated set. When you are finished return to the first face.
• Add an outline ellipse to the outside of the ball. Go to the
next face and add a new ellipse of a smaller size.
• Keep advancing through the set and adding smaller A and smaller
ellipses until you reach the end.
• Preview your new set. With any luck our ball should now have a
sort of "atomic" feel to it. If not load it back in and try
again. If it looks the way you want, save it to disk under a
new name. Try adding a face, antennae, or even feet to the
ball. Let your imagination go wild.
As well, you can make a duplicate of a set by selecting Set Copy. If you made a copy of a set named ' Boing', you would end up with a copy named ' Boing Copy'.
Finally, to return to the Scene editor, select Set Exit.
Altering existing sets has a lot more uses than the couple mentioned here. Just loading in and 0 recolouring old sets will give them a new feel.
You can save sets at different stages.
Tips and hints
• Use multitasking! Several windows displaying different
editing information can be open at the same time.
Each window can be resized and selected when it is needed. In practice, we leave the storyboard up during the editing process. This allows us to sort the production in different ways, letting us move to the beginning of the event we want to edit.
• Coordinates are available when laying down a track.
The player control window lists the current screen location of the mouse pointer.
• Most sets can be registered approximately in their centre. Some
sets are better registered at a certain point in the drawing .
We've found that walking character sets work best when
registered to one of the feet. This permits placement that is
as close to real life as possible.
• Keyboard shortcuts make life easier. Using the mouse for every
choice sometimes means that you must leave the editing area.
You can loose track of a sets placement when you do this. Using the keyboard shortcuts mean that you can concentrate more on the animations path. There is a list of shortcuts in Appendix A: Keyboard Shortcuts.
• Occasionally, bringing a large set or sound event into the
production will slow the exist- ' ing animation down a bit. To
get around this problem use the timing control to slow the
entire production down to a speed that MovieSetter can handle
successfully (Thus eliminating sudden slow downs when the movie
becomes more complex).
• The on screen palette gets its colours from the background
picture. If no background is loaded the program gets the
colours from the current set. If you want all the colours to
remain the same, use the same colour palette through out the
Animation Tips and Techniques The character animation that MovieSetter excels at is called classical animation. Classical animation comes in many flavours. You may favour the manic craziness of Warner Brothers.
Perhaps the technical perfection of the Disney animators might be what you aspire to. Maybe the searing wit of the National Film Board is more your speed. Whatever style you enjoy there a certain rules that make for good classical character animation. If you learn the follow- % ing you'll be well on your way to creating cartoons that don't just move. Your animation will live and breath.
Exaggeration The cornerstone of good animation is the ability t to apply exaggeration to all the elements in your production. For example in the real world a bouncing ball will flatten a bit as it strikes an object. In the cartoon universe the same ball would stretch into an ellipse as it gained speed and squash flat as a pancake at the moment of collision. The basic "stretch and squash" should be applied to everything you animate. No matter how technically good your animation is, it will appear dry and lifeless without exaggeration. With practice, you'll find that the most satisfying
results come when you draw your characters as though they are made up of wet rubber bags filled with jello. If you have a VCR, rent some of the early Warner Brother cartoons, and watch an action sequence one frame at a time.
You'll be amazed at the plasticity of the characters. Exaggeration should also be applied to expressions. The master of this was Tex Avery, best known for perfecting the cartoon "take" or the moment when the character exhibits surprise. Avery's character s would hover in the air, their eyes, ears, and other body parts flung in all directions. Practice some "takes" of your own. In the cartoon universe, exaggeration is only limited by your imagination.
Slow In Slow Out In the real world all objects that are set in motion need time to speed up to their full velocity and time to slow down. A car is a good example. Even a Ferrari needs a few seconds to get from zero to sixty. Your animated characters are the same way. If a character jumps, he needs a few extra drawings before he or she reaches full speed. MovieSetter's guides have a built in acceleration factor. This will help you make the most natural cartoon motion possible.
Anticipation, Action, Reaction.
Successful actions in character animation are composed of three parts, anticipation, action and reaction. Once again let's pretend that our cartoon character has to jump over a fence. The first impulse is just to draw him flying in an arc from point A to point B. This is really only the action part of the motion. Before the jump can take place the character has to-anticipate the jump. You should have him crouch down in front of the fence. His head should almost touch the ground, his face should show great strain. Think of a coiled spring and you are on the right track. Next comes the action,
the jump itself. Remember to use the Slow in technique to do the jump motion and exaggerate the character so that he's completely stretched out.
What goes up must come down, in this case our jumper. When he hits the ground we have to show reaction. On impact he should flatten right into a crouch before standing up again.
* f In Conclusion.... Few things are as satisfying to the illustrator as seeing his drawings come to life through animation.
MovieSetter is the tool that lets anyone create his own cartoons without the cameras. Remember that good animation is a painstaking process. All the drawings still have to be created by hand, even if we can use the computer to help us colour and resize them. Full animation requires many, many single pictures. Unfortunately no computer can help produce the in between drawings that take the most time to finish. Creating effective animation is relatively easy. Creating fantastic animation can require years of practice. Study the work of professional animators in slow motion. Watch how
things work and move in the real world. Act out motions that you are about to draw. Draw constantly, there is no substitute for practice. Animated films have been with us for close to a century now. Computer animation has only been with us for a very few years. With MovieSetter you are a computer animation pioneer. The patience and care you exhibit now will show in the final MovieSetter production.
Appendix A Keyboard Shortcuts Many of the gadget and menu functions can be accessed using keyboard shortcuts. The following list contains all the menu items and sub-items, which have shortcuts. Note that the same convention followed in the rest of the manual is followed here: Ax means to hold the right Amiga Key down and press key H $ 9 X General: F1 Hide Show Player Control Window.
F2 Hide Show Track Edit Window.
F10 Flide Show Screen Title.
* Track Editing Shortcuts Click Stamp track element, switch to
next face, deft Amiga Click Stamp track element, switch to
Alt Click Stamp track element, keep same face.
' '-key Next face.
' '-key Previous face.
Ctrl click Complete track and stamp last track element.
F5 Complete track.
Backspace Back-up and delete last created track element.
'G'-key Guide toggle - on off.
Del Delete visible track element of current track.
Shift Contain mouse movement to straight line.
Track Creation Paste Move Arrows Shift registration mark.
Alt -Arrows Shift registration mark faster, 'c'-key Restore registration mark.
In Non-Edit mode or PlayBack: UpArrow Play forward.
Down Arrow Play reverse.
Right Arrow Step forward.
Alt Right Arrow End of Movie.
LeftArrow Step reverse.
Alt Left Arrow Beginning of Movie.
In Playback Only 'p'-key Pause SpaceBar Stop In Storyboard Up Arrow Next 9 frames.
Down Arrow First 9 frames.
Set Editor Menus Shortcuts Set New AN Set Load AL Set Save As AS Set Copy AC Set Exit AQ ¦ Special ShowReg Marks AM Special FlipSetHorizontally A X Special FlipSetVertically AY MovieSetter Menus Shortcuts Production Menu Production New AN Production Clear AC Production Load AL .
Production Insert A I Production Save No Embed AS Production Storyboard AT Production Exit AQ Frame Menu Frame Shift AH Frame Add Start AA Frame Add End AZ Track New F4 Track Edit A E Track Hold F6 Track Repeat F7 Event Menu AB AD AY AP AO AV Event Background Select Event Sound Event Colour Cycling Event Timing Event loop Event Select Special Menu Special Set Editor A F Special Guides F3 Special History F8 Special Borders F9 Special Cycling Tab Special Workbench A W Appendix B Program License Agreement , 4 EMAP Images has licenced this program and manual from Gold Disk Inc for
use with the April 1994 issue of CU Amiga Magazine. All of Gold Disk's rights remain intact and you, as the user, are still bound by the terms and agreements which originally pertained to MovieSetter as originally distributed by Gold Disk Inc. These are listed below. If you have any problems with the disk please return it to the address listed in the CU Amiga Magazine cover disk pages, and not to Gold Disk Inc. See CU Amiga Magazine for full details.
1. COPYRIGHT: THE PROGRAM AND ITS RELATED DOCUMENTATION ARE
COPYRIGHTED. YOU MAY NOT USE, COPY, MODIFY, OR TRANSFER THE
PROGRAM OR DOCUMENTATION, OR ANY COPY EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY
PROVIDED IN THIS AGREEMENT.
2. LICENSE: You have the non-exclusive right to use the enclosed
program only on a single computer. You may physically transfer
the program from one computer to another provided that the
program is used on only one computer at a time. You may not
electronically transfer the program from one computer to
another over a network. You may not distribute copies of the
program or accompanying documentation to others. You may not
modify or translate the program
• or documentation.
3. BACK-UP: You may make one (1) copy of the program solely for
back-up purpose. You must reproduce and include the
copyright notice on the back-up copy.
4. TERMS: This license is effective until terminated. You may
terminate it by destroying the program and documentation and
all copies thereof. This license will also terminate if you
fail to comply with any term or condition of this Agreement.
You agree upon such termination to destroy all copies of the
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WARRANTY OCCURS DURING THIS 30- DAY WARRANTY PERIOD, AND IT IS
RETURNED TO THE DEALER FROM WHOM IT WAS PURCHASED NOT LATER
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disk you are now in possession of please return faulty disks
to the disk return address printed on the contents pages and
the page entitled 'How To Load Your Cover Disks'. Do not
return them to Gold Disk or-any other Gold Disk agent) THIS
WARRANTY IS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER EXPRESS OR STATUTORY WAR
RANTIES, AND THE DURATION OF ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY, INCLUDING
BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY
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Some states provinces do not allow a limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you.
Some states provinces do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state province to state province.
7. MISCELLANEOUS: This license agreement shall be governed by the
laws of the province of Ontario, Canada.