Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Changing Layer Properties in an Animation

Normally any change you make to a layer in a particular frame of an animation affects that frame only. If you want a change in a layer's visibility, position or style to affect all the other frames, you'll use ImageReady's Unify or Match Layer commands. Let's see how these commands work.

Unifying Layer Properties

 Assume that you're working on Frame 15 of an animation when you change your mind and decide that one of the layers in the image is extraneous and shouldn't be visible on any frame of the animation. You don't have to select each frame one by one, repeating the process of turning off the layer's Eye icon on every frame. Instead, select the layer in question and click the Unify Visibility button at the top of the Layers palette. Then turn off the Eye icon on that layer. Regardless of which frame is selected in the Animation palette, that change will ripple through all the frames of the animation. You can do the same thing with a layer's style or position. Select the layer, click the Unify Layer Style button or the Unify Layer Position button in the Layers palette, and then change a style or move the layer contents to affect the entire animation. Of course, if you want a layer's contents to move during an animation don't use the Unify Layer Position button on that layer.

You don't have to bother with the Unify buttons if you have Frame 1 selected when you make a change to a layer. By default, changes made on Frame 1 affect all layers of an animation. If you want to change that default behavior, click the side arrow on the Layers palette and turn off Propogate Frame 1 Changes.

Matching Layers

 There may be times when you've already made a change to a layer's visibility, position, or style and later realize that you want that change to apply to all frames of an animation. In that case ImageReady's Unify buttons won't help you, because they are forward looking. (A Unify button only applies to changes made after the button is activated.)

To make a previous layer change ripple through the animation, select the frame on which you made the change in the Animation palette. Select the layer you changed in the Layers palette. Then choose Layer>Match from ImageReady's animation palette. The change will be applied throughout the animation.

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