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Getting to Know the LiveMotion Work Area

Chapter Description

Before you start creating compositions with Adobe LiveMotion, you need to become familiar with the work area. The work area includes everything you need to use LiveMotion, including the Composition window, palettes, and menus. In this lesson, you'll practice the basics of using the work area. When you're done, you'll be ready to begin drawing, editing, and animating your own LiveMotion compositions.

Working with palettes

Palettes help you monitor and modify artwork. By default, they appear in stacked groups. To show or hide a palette as you work, choose the appropriate palette name in the Window menu. If a palette's name has a check mark next to it, the palette is displayed at the front of its group; if none of the palette names in a group are checked, the entire group is hidden.

You can reorganize your work space in various ways. Try these techniques:

  • To hide or display all open palettes and the toolbox, press Tab. To hide or display the palettes only, press Shift+Tab.

  • To make a palette appear at the front of its group, click the palette's tab.

  • To move an entire palette group, drag its title bar.

  • To rearrange or separate a palette group, drag a palette's tab. Dragging a palette outside of an existing group creates a new group.

  • Figure 13

  • To move a palette to another group, drag the palette's tab to that group.

  • To display a palette menu, click the triangle in the upper right corner of the palette.

  • Figure 14

  • Palettes that can be resized may have three ridges (Windows, except NT and 2000), or two rectangles (Mac OS), in their lower right corners. To change the height of a resizable palette, position the cursor over the palette's lower right corner and drag.

Using the palettes

Now you'll practice changing a color by entering values into text boxes, dragging sliders, and selecting an option in the Color palette.

To begin, you'll enter values into text boxes.

  1. Select the "LiveMotion" text.

  2. Go to the Color palette and choose RGB View from the palette menu on the top right corner of the palette, if it is not already chosen.

  3. Enter new values into the R, G, and B text boxes until you have a new color you like.

  4. Figure 15

    When you enter a value into a text box, you must press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS), or select another text box, for the change to take effect. While following the lessons in this book, be sure to use one of these techniques to enter values when you are asked to enter a value into a text box.

    Next, you'll change the color using the sliders.

  5. Adjust that color by dragging the sliders underneath the color bars. Notice that the values in the text boxes change as you drag the sliders.

  6. In the toolbox, select the background color box.

  7. In the Color palette, position the pointer over the color bar at the bottom of the palette.

  8. Notice that the pointer turns into the eyedropper tool.

  9. Click the eyedropper tool over a color. The composition background changes to the color.

  10. In a different palette, you might use the pointer to move arrows up and down, or select options represented by a number of icons.

Finally, you'll use the pointer to select an option (in this case, a color) from the palette.

Figure 16

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