Alignment panel

The Alignment panel features several kinds of alignments on each axis: left, right, center and distributed. Select several objects on the Stage then choose the proper alignment.

Object Parameters panel

Select an object on the Stage window or select a Sprite on the Sprites window. Then, on this panel, you can edit the specific object parameters. For example, if you selected a sphere, on this panel you can edit its internal radius, its horizontal angle, its vertical angle...

Inspector

Open/Select this window pressing Command-4. On this panel you can edit values and properties in your animation (as stage size, objects coordinates, textures, colors and so forth). Furthermore, you will use this panel to set the Stage background image and color, to set the scrolling direction to a 2D text object, to define a script, a static light and to manage a sprites camera. And, most important, you will create key frames on the parameters you want to animate. The Inspector panel is composed by several tabs. You can set each tab clicking on the icons on the top of the panel. Also, you can click on the tab icons holding down the Command key (don't drag) to detach that tab in a brand new window. The Inspector panel features the following tabs:

On this panel you can set properties as the stage size, the background color, the background image/movie, the antialias, the master volume and the duration of your animation.

Background color

You can assign a single color, a 2 colors gradient or a transparent color to the Stage background by selecting your choice from the Background Color on the Inspector:Stage panel.

Gradient Color: you can set a gradient selecting the Gradient menu item from the Background Color pop-up menu. Then click on the 2 Color Wells and choose the 1st and the 2nd color from the Color palette. Last, rotate the direction of the gradient acting on the Angle wheel.

None: you can set a transparent background selecting None from the Background Color pop-up menu. To preserve the transparency (alpha channel) when exporting to a QuickTime movie (“File:Export Movie” menu item), choose the “Animation” codec with “Millions of Colors +” (plus means RGB plus alpha channel). To preserve the transparency when exporting to a still image (File:Export Frame menu item), choose the TIFF or the PNG image format.

Stage size

You can set the size of the Stage window entering the width and height values or choosing one of the size from the Size pop-up menu. Alternatively you can size the Stage window dragging the bottom-right corner of the window itself. Hold down the Option key when dragging the mouse to resize the window proportionally. If you mark the check-box Show TV Safe Area, you will see on the Stage a rectangle defining the Safe area of the PAL and NTSC screen. You can customize the Safe Area size.

Background Image/Movie

You can set a background image/movie dragging an image/movie file from the Finder onto the Background Image/Movie well. Also you can set a background image/movie dragging an image/movie file from the Finder onto the Stage window holding down the Option key. To delete the background image, click on the Background Image/Movie well then press the Delete key.

You can set the way the background image will be mapped on the Stage by selecting one of the menu items from the Fill pop-up menu. Click on the Options button to set more options (like a tile pattern or the volume of the background movie).

Antialias

If your video-card supports, you can turn on the Antialias and get a smooth image on the Stage. Depending on your video-card implementation you will be able to set different qualities of antialias. Please note that the antialias is a time-consuming feature therefore it could slow down the animation speed, especially if set to "Best". You could turn it off while editing the animation, then before exporting the animation to a QT movie, turn it on again.

Master Volume

You can set the Master Volume of the animation. This value affects the master volume of the animation during the playback only. It doesn't affect the volume of the QT movie you will export, nor the volume of the embedded movie files. It belongs to the application preferences so it will not be saved in the animation file.

Animation Duration

You can set the duration of your animation by entering a value in the field Animation Duration. Depending on the choice made on the Kinemac Preferences panel, you can enter a value in ticks (1 second corresponds to 60 ticks) or in seconds. Alternatively you can change the duration of your animation in the Sprites window.

Stage panel

When you select an object on the Stage window or on the Sprites window, the Geometry panel will give you the geometric information about that object at the current frame: Position, Rotation, Size Anchor point and Center. More than the geometric information, this panel reports the Opacity value and the Volume value (if the object contains media objects like a sound or a movie). You can enter new position, rotation and size values in the Inspector fields or, faster, you can move, rotate and resize that object directly on the Stage window.




Infinite sliders

You can use the infinite sliders (or wheels) under each text field to quickly set a value just by clicking on the wheel and dragging horizontally the mouse.


  1. Drag the slider to left or right to change the value using a 1 unit step.

  2. Drag the slider holding down the Option key to change the value using a 0.1 unit step.

  3. Drag the slider holding down the Control key to change the value using a 10 units step.

  4. Drag the slider holding down the Command key to snap to a 10 units grid.

  5. Double click the slider to enter the zero value.

  6. Double click the slider holding down the Shift key to enter the Zero value to X, Y and Z values.

 

Geometry panel

Time Marker

Key Frame On

Key Frame Off

Key Frames

On the geometry panel you can create key frames simply clicking on the Key Frame buttons corresponding to the parameter you want to animate, for example the position X. Kinemac will create a key frame for that parameter at the current frame (look at the position of the Time Marker on the Sprites window). After the key frame has been created the key frame button icon will switch to the On state meaning that the selected object, at the current frame, has a key frame on that parameter (e.g. position X). Please note, to create an animation you need to enter at least 2 key frames on 2 different frames. For instance, at the frame Zero the value of key frame Position X is 140 and at the frame 200 the value of key frame Position X is 680. Please see here how to create an animation.

You could try to select an object containing some key frame then move the Time Marker forth and back in the Sprites window and see how the Key Frame buttons of the Inspector panel will switch to On and Off telling you when a given parameter has a key frame at a given frame.

Texture panel

Select an object on the Stage window or select a Sprite on the Sprites window. Then, on this panel, you can:


  1. Show/hide the various surfaces of the selected object.

  2. Apply a color to a given surface.

  3. Apply 2 image or movie textures on any surface.

  4. Set the Specular, Shininess and Reflection attributes to any surface.

  5. To apply more than 2 textures and to set more texture attributes, double click on a texture well or press Command-5 to open the Texture Options panel.

  6. To extent your action (e.g. set a color, set a texture, set the reflection...) to all the surfaces, hold down the Shift key while editing.

Show/Hide a surface

To show/hide a surface just mark/unmark the check-box reporting the surface name (e.g. Front).



Color

To assign a color to a surface click on the Color Well and choose a color from the Color Palette. You can also drag a color from the Color palette onto the Color well. If you choose a color with opacity e.g. 50% you will get an half-a-transparent surface. Hold down the Shift key when choosing a color to assign the same color to all the surfaces of the object.



Attributes (Reflection, Specular, Shininess)

You can set how much a surface has to look like metal by dragging the Reflection slider (top slider).

At the same way, you can modify the Specular (second slider from the top) and the Shininess (bottom slider) of any surface. You can vary these last 2 values and get effects like a matte or a shining surface. Hold down the Shift key when dragging the slider to apply the changes to all the surfaces of the object.

Tip: when changing the Specular and Shininess attributes, decrease the Ambient value of the lights to get a nicer surface effect (look at the the Static Lights panels).

Textures

You can apply an image texture or a movie texture on any surface of the object in different ways. Kinemac supports the following image formats: jpg, tiff, png, pdf, psd, gif, bmp, tga, targa, pict... and the following movie formats: 3gp, avi, dv, gif, m2a, m2s, m2v, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, pls, sdp, sdv, smil, swf, vob, vro.


  1. Drag an image file or a movie file from the Finder onto the Texture Well to apply that image/movie upon a surface.

  2. Click and select a Texture Well then paste an image copied earlier from a graphic application. You can also paste a portion of a movie copied earlier from the QuickTime Player application.

  3. Drag the image/movie texture from a Texture Well well to another Texture Well.

  4. Drag an image or movie file directly onto the surface of the selected object on the Stage window.

  5. To remove a texture from a surface, select the Texture Well then press the Delete key.

  6. Double click on a texture well or press Command-5 to open the Texture Options panel and edit more texture attributes as position, size, crop, tile, opacity, movie starting time...

Surface with a texture

Surface without a texture

You can also set other object attributes as:


Depth

If turned off, the object will be drawn as if it laid on a 2D space. Therefore all the sprites underneath itself in the hierarchical list of the Sprites window will be always drawn on top of it.


Smooth Surface

In case of a curved surface (e.g. a sphere) the facets will be drawn in a smooth way.


Internal Faces

If you have to show the internal surfaces of an object, e.g. a cube as a room, you must turn this check-box on.


Receive Light

If turned off, the object will appear as fully lighted as in a traditional 2D drawing application. If turned off, the object will receive the light depending on its position and rotation.


Wire Frame:

It draws the object as wire frame (see the picture here aside).


Invert Normals

Some 3D object imported from other application could come with its normals reverted. This check-box restore the proper values of the normals. The normals of a surface establish the way the light should act on the surface. Negative normals invert the direction of the light.


Slices

In case of curved surface (e.g. a sphere or a cylinder) you can better smooth the surface by setting a high value of the slices. If the check-box Smooth Surface is off you can set a small value here to get a solid with crisp surfaces, e.g. a pencil with 6 sides.


Radius

It regards the revolving objects imported by an SVG profile. For instance, you can draw half-a-profile of a bottle with Illustrator, then save it as SVG then drag this SVG file onto the Stage window holding down the Option key. Kinemac will create a revolving object based on the profile you have drawn, therefore a bottle. Select the SVG object on the Stage, then you will be able to edit the radius between the revolution axes and the SVG profile imported. See the picture here aside.

Wire Frame representation

Sphere with 64 slices

Same SVG profile - Different Radius

Wire Frame representation

Sphere with 32 slices

KINEMACkinemac.html

Opacity and Volume

More than the geometric information, this panel reports the Opacity value and the Volume value (if the object contains media objects like a sound or a movie). To set the selected object transparent, set the Opacity field to Zero.



Start, End and Duration of a sprite

You can edit the Start time point, the End time point and the Duration of the selected sprite. These values are expressed in ticks (1 second corresponds to 60 ticks) or in seconds (to toggle between ticks and seconds, go to the Preferences panel). When modifying the End or the Duration of a sprite entering a value in these fields, the sprites key frames will not be resampled (learn more).

Proportional Size

In the Size fields area you can activate a lock and get that size proportionally change with the other locked sizes.

Camera panel

On the Camera panel you can can edit the position of the eye point and the target point of the selected Sprite Movable Camera. You can further edit the distance between the eye and the target, the lens (to zoom in-out), the Roll (the tilt angle), the position, the size and the border of the camera projection plane, its orthogonality, its depth and clear.


You can create a Sprite Movable Camera choosing the menu item Camera from the Objects menu. This camera will shoot all the sprites underneath itself in the hierarchical list of the Sprites window. Click and select the camera sprite to edit its eye and target points on this panel. You can enter the values in the fields, or quicker, you can translate, rotate and zoom a camera dragging the eye and target icons on the Stage window (set the 4 Views mode pressing the slash key to do that better). When you zoom a camera you indeed set its eye point closer of farther from the target point. The field Distance Eye-Target will report the new distance appropriately.



Animate the camera

To animate a Movable Sprite Camera you need to assign key frames to it. See how to animate a camera on the Views & Cameras section and how to build an animation on the Create an Animation section.



Link Eye/Target To a Sprite

More than animating the eye and the target points defining key frames, you can link the eye and the target point to another object moving on the Stage (e.g. a cube or a path) such a way the eye or the target point will always move together with that object. For instance, you can link the target point to a moving object (the actor) such a way the camera always frames it wherever it goes. The same way you can link the eye point to a moving object (dolly) such a way the camera gets carried by that object.  For example you can link the eye to a sprite Path so the camera will smoothly move along that path. Last but not least, you can always add an offset to the linked object entering a value in the Eye and Target fields. The same way you can always add a movement by using key frames.



Orthogonal Camera

You can set a sprite camera to Orthogonal. This way the sprites listed above the sprite camera will be drawn just as they were in a 2D space. The advantage to draw in a 2D space is that the objects will be represented with their original size and 2D coordinates as you were paginating a sheet. See here to know more.

Script panel

On the Script panel you can define a script associated to the selected sprite and give your animation the power of interactivity. For example you can tell Kinemac that if the user clicks on a given object  when the animation is playing, Kinemac has to open and play a different animation file or execute an Apple Script, or go to a given frame...To know more please consult the Interactivity chapter.

File Browser panel

You can inspect images, movies, sounds... from the the File Browser panel then drag them onto the Stage window to import them within your animation. You can further drag an image/movie file from the File Browser panel onto a surface of a selected object on the Stage to apply that image/movie as texture on that surface.


The Browser lists all the file kinds Kinemac can import, therefore images, movies, quartz compositions, songs, text, svg, 3ds and obj files. Double click on a folder thumbnail to list the contents of that folder. Use the popup menu to go out from the selected folder.

Hold down the Control key and click on a thumbnail then select an item menu

Detach Windows from the Inspector

Click on the tab buttons of the Inspector panel (here aside) holding down the Command key to detach that Tab into a brand new window. Working with several windows makes your work easier and faster.

Fill Color: you can set a background fill color selecting the Fill menu item from the Background Color pop-up menu. Then click on the Color Well and choose a color from the Color palette. Alternatively you can open the Color palette with Command+Shift+C and drag a color from the Color palette onto the Stage window.


  1. Click on the key frame button Position to quickly create the 3 position x, y and z key frames.

  2. Click on the key frame button Rotation to quickly create the 3 rotation x, y and z key frames.

  3. Click on a key frame button holding down the Option key to remove a key frame.

  4. Click on a key frame button holding down the Option-Command keys to remove all the key frames from a given parameter.

  5. Click on any key frame button holding down the Control-Option-Command keys to remove all the key frames of all the parameters.

Steppers

You can enter a value clicking on the Steppers.


  1. Click on the stepper to increase the value to 1 point.

  2. Hold down the Option key to increase the value to 0.1 point.

  3. Hold down the Control key to increase the value to 10 points.