Appearance Pane

The Appearance pane of the Motion Preferences window contains settings that control visual elements of the Motion interface, grouped into the following categories: Timeline, Canvas, Thumbnail Preview, and Status Bar.

Figure. Motion Preferences window showing Appearance pane.


This section of the Appearance pane in Motion Preferences lets you choose how to display the bars that appear in the Timeline to represent your objects.


This section of the Appearance pane in Motion Preferences contains a setting that controls the opacity of objects that extend beyond the Canvas edges.

  • Full View Opacity: If Show Full View Area is enabled in the View menu, this slider controls the opacity of the part of a layer that extends beyond the edge of the Canvas into the background. When set to 100%, the layer is transparent. When set to 0%, the layer is fully opaque.

Thumbnail Preview

The thumbnails that appear in the Layers list of Motion can provide helpful information about the items selected in that window. For items that are partially transparent (contain an alpha channel), you can set the background that appears behind the image.

  • Background color well: When Color is chosen from the Background pop-up menu, this color well allows you to select a new background color from the Mac OS X Colors window or the Motion pop-up color palette.

Status Bar

The status bar is the area in the Motion workspace above the Canvas and below the project title bar. Use these settings to customize the information displayed in the status bar.

  • Dynamic Tool Info: Select this checkbox to display transform information while actively adjusting an object using the onscreen controls. When rotating an object in the Canvas, for example, the original rotation value and the current degree of change are displayed in the status bar.
  • Color: Turn on this checkbox to display the color value of the pixel under the pointer. Colors are displayed in the format chosen in the Display Color As pop-up menu.
  • Coordinates: Turn on this checkbox to display the X and Y coordinates of the current pointer position.
  • Frame rate (only during playback): When this checkbox is selected, Motion displays the frame rate of the project during playback. Nothing is displayed unless the project is playing.