About Generators

You add generators to a project in the same manner as other files—by dragging the generator into your project from the Library. Alternatively, you can apply generators from the Add Generator pop-up menu in the toolbar. After you add a generator, it becomes a layer in the Layers list (and Timeline) and appears in the Canvas. The generator is set to the duration and size of your project by default. For example, if you are working on an NTSC D1 project and you add a generator, the generator has a 720 x 486 (.90) pixel aspect ratio.

After you add a generator, you can modify its preset values as well as animate nearly all of its parameters—whether the generator is animated or static. After you modify a generator, you can save it to the Library for later use.

Note: The duration of the generator depends on the Project settings in Motion Preferences. If Create Layers At is set to “Start of project,” the generator starts at the first project frame regardless of where the playhead is when the generator is added. If set to “Current frame,” the generator starts at the playhead’s frame.

Like all other objects in Motion, generators can be moved, rotated, duplicated, copied and pasted, and animated. Generators can be reordered in the Layers list and set to different blend modes. Also, as with other objects, you can apply behaviors to generators and apply Parameter behaviors to the individual parameters of a generator. You can also apply filters to generators, or use a generator as the source for a particle or replicator cell.

All generators are modified, animated, and saved in the same manner. The best way to see what generators can do is to experiment with their parameters.

The following sections discuss the types of generators, adding a generator to a project, modifying and animating a generator, and saving a modified generator to the Library. Applying a Parameter behavior to a generator is also discussed.

For an example of editing and animating a generator, see Editing Generators.

For an example of applying a behavior to a generator, see Applying Behaviors to Generators.

Note: Performance may slow drastically when using generators in projects with large resolutions and with better render-quality settings.

Generator Types

There are two categories of generators in the Library: Generators and Text Generators. The Generator category includes static images, such as the Checkerboard generator, and images animated by default, such as the Clouds generator. Although static generators are not animated by default, you can keyframe their parameters to create an animated pattern. All Text Generators are animated. You can use any generator as is or modify its settings to create different effects.

Note: Generators contain Opacity and Blend Mode controls in the HUD. As with all objects in Motion, the Opacity and Blend Mode parameters for any generator can also be modified in the Properties Inspector.

Although the sliders in the Inspector are usually limited to a specific range, you can often manually enter values outside of that range in the value sliders (the numeric fields to the right of the sliders).