What are Elements?
Elements are reusable components, similar to groups. They are organized separately from regular projects. You can find them in the Elements sub-tab from the Projects tab in Alight Motion.
- If you find yourself using the same layers or groups repeatedly in various projects, you can save them as Elements. They will be conveniently available for you to add from the Add menu when editing any of your projects.
- You can also share elements with others and download pre-made elements.
- Text that appears in an element can be customized without altering the original element—very handy for reusable titles.
How to Download Elements
From the app
- Open any of your projects > open the Add menu by tapping the (+) button at the bottom-right
- Tap Elements > tap Download Elements at the bottom-left
- Select the premade element available on this page > tap Import
After the import is complete, you should be able to find the element in the Elements sub-tab in the app.
From a project package (Alight link or QR code)
When someone shares a project or element with you, you'll get an Alight link or a QR code.
Simply tap the link or scan the QR code on your device with Alight Motion installed, and tap Import when prompted.
How to Use Elements
Adding an element to a project
To add an element to a project, follow these steps:
- Open any of your projects
- Open the Add menu by tapping the (+) button at the bottom-right
- Tap Elements > select the element you’d like to add to your project
When you use an element in a project, the project maintains the link to the original element, so any changes you make will reflected in projects that use this element.
Changing element properties and text
To edit an element’s text or other properties, select the element, then tap the Element Properties button.
If the element contains text, you'll see one or more text fields, depending on the element. To edit it, tap the empty text field, then type your own text.
This panel also contains buttons that allow you to edit linked elements or unlink them.
- Edit original Element: this will open the original element so you can modify it. Any changes you make will be reflected in all projects that use the element.
- Convert to Group: the element will be converted to a Group in your project, no longer linked to the original element, so you can freely make changes to the group without modifying the original element.
Changing the color of an element
By default, elements have no fill color, but the natural color of the element will still be shown.
To change the overall color of an element: tap the element to select it > tap Color & Fill > tap the paint can icon to enable fill > select the color you want.
Alternatively, you can apply an effect such as the Colorize effect to an element to change the hue while maintaining the original brightness of the natural colors in the element.
How to Create Elements
Creating a new element
To create a new element from scratch, follow these simple steps:
- Tap the (+) button at the bottom-center of the screen when first opening the app
- Select Element > customize your element resolution, frame rate, etc.
- Tap Create Element
Creating elements from existing groups
If you find yourself copying and pasting the same group many times in your projects, you can turn this group into an element to make it easier to add it to your project.
To do this, tap the group layer to select it > tap the three dots (⋯) at the top-right corner > select Save to My Elements.
How to Manage Elements
All of your elements are available in the Elements sub-tab from the Projects tab in Alight Motion.
- To edit an element: select the element you’d like to edit.
- To rename an element: select the element you’d like to rename to open it > tap the element name at the top of the screen to change it.
- To delete or duplicate an element: long-press the element to select it (you can tap additional elements to add them to the selection) > tap Delete or Duplicate at the bottom of the screen.
How to Share Elements
- To share an element: open the element > tap the Export icon at the top-right > select Project Package > tap Export at the bottom.
- To share a few elements at once: open the Elements sub-tab > long-press the element to select it > select all elements you’d like to share > tap the Export icon at the top-right > select Project Package > tap Export at the bottom.
The elements will go through an uploading process. Once the process is complete, you’ll see an Upload complete pop-up, and you’ll get an Alight link as well as a QR code. Feel free to use and share any of them with others!
Advanced Element Creation (Looping, Stretching, etc.)
When editing your element, tap the Gear icon at the top of the screen to open the element settings.
- Resolution applies when Precompose is set to Fixed Resolution or when you export the element directly. It is also used for reference while editing. When using Dynamic Resolution, the value is used for positioning but will not affect rendering quality.
- Frame Rate applies only when you export the element directly as a video, image sequence, or animation. It’s also used for reference and preview while editing an element. When the element is embedded in a project, this is ignored.
- Background is the background color for the element. We recommend leaving this set to Transparent.
The remaining settings control how the element behaves when it's embedded in another project:
Precompose setting controls the element’s render resolution when it’s embedded in a project.
- Dynamic Resolution — The element’s render resolution will be automatically adjusted for optimal quality and performance, and parts of the elements that appear outside the screen will not be rendered.
Fixed Resolution — The element’s render resolution is the exact value specified in the Resolution setting, and the entire element is rendered, including parts that are off the screen.
- This can be useful when working with effects such as Polar Coordinates that need access to parts of the element that would normally be outside the screen.
- This can also be useful when working with effects that magnify part of the element, such as Pinch/Bulge or Magnify Background, to guarantee that the element is rendered in a sufficiently high resolution to avoid loss of quality when magnifying.
Re-timing controls how the element adjusts when the duration is changed in the host project. Note that these changes apply to the middle part of the element between the intro and outro:
- Freeze — The last frame of the middle part is held as a freeze frame if the duration is longer than the element's original duration, or cut off if the element's duration is shorter.
- Stretch — The middle part is stretched (slowed down) if the duration is longer, or compressed (sped up) if the duration is shorter.
- Loop — The middle part is looped to fill any extra duration. If the duration is shorter or doesn't match an even number of loops, the last loop will be cut off midway.
Loop & Stretch — The middle part is looped to fill any extra duration, but if any partial loops are left, they will be removed. The remaining whole loops are stretched out to make up the complete duration.
- Use this if you want the middle part to loop at approximately the same speed as the original, but still match up seamlessly with the intro and outro.
- Blank — The intro and outro times are ignored, and the element duration is fixed. If the duration of the host project is longer, the remaining time is shown as blank (transparent). If it’s shorter, the element is cut off.
- Off — This option is usually unavailable, but will appear when you convert an element to a group. Disabling re-timing will result in normal group behavior (for example, adding layers to the end of the group makes the group longer).
Many re-timing options require the element’s timeline to be divided into intro, middle, and outro.
To set the re-timing marks that indicate these sections: scroll the playhead to the desired time > long-press on the current time > select the desired action.
These options set the retiming in and out marks on the timeline. They show up as little yellow indicators. It is essential to set these marks if you want to use one of the re-timing options, such as loop, stretch, or freeze.
The left mark indicates the end of the intro, and the right mark indicates the beginning of the outro. The part between these marks is the part that is looped, stretched, or frozen when the duration changes.
If the duration changes, the intro and outro will be unchanged. This allows you to create an element where the intro plays at a fixed speed (for example, a fade-in), the middle part loops as many times as necessary to match the duration, and the outro plays at a fixed speed (for example, a fade-out).
Recreating Missing Elements
If you have a project that contains an element, and the original element is not available on your device, you'll see a warning message when you open the project.
Don’t worry, you can still edit the project normally! The project has copies of the elements embedded inside, and these copies will be used instead.
When you select the element layer and tap Element Properties, you may see the following message.
- Recreate Linked Project will recreate the element and save it to the Elements sub-tab on your device for future use. This will allow you to reuse the element again if you’d like.
- Convert to Group will convert the element into a group, and no elements will be created.
Thank you for reading through this article! We hope this helps you to learn more about Elements in Alight Motion. Happy video-making!
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