Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Ukraine, and Putin - Explained!

What’s With Ukraine?" by eeelya

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Scenes

Scenes are convenient way to organize your project in time and reduce the number of layers shown in the layers panel. You can think of them like folders on your computer - each scene is a self-contained unit made up of different elements (images, objects, audio, tweens, etc.) that can be moved around in time.

Click on the “Scenes” tab next to the Library to open the list of a project’s scenes. The order in which the scenes appear, from top to bottom, is the order in which they appear in the project.

Add a new scene by pressing the + icon. The new scene will be inserted at the bottom of the list, i.e., at the end of the project, by default.

Select a scene and press the Duplicate icon to create a copy of it. Copying scenes is a handy way to preserve some elements when you move from one scene to the next - for example, background images or objects. The duplicated scene will appear directly underneath the original.

Scenes are named “Scene 1,” “Scene 2,” etc. (in order of their creation) by default, but you can rename them by double-clicking on them in the Scenes list or in the Inspector Panel of a selected scene.

To change the order in which the scenes play, select a scene and drag it up and down the list.

Delete a scene by selecting it and pressing the trash can icon.

You can also add interactivity to a scene by clicking on the scroll icon in the Inspector Panel …

… and set the duration of the scene. This last one is particularly important! Your scenes will naturally follow each other throughout the course of your project, but you have to set how long they will play for. Each scene will only play for as long as its duration is set, which means that if the scene in the above example is ten seconds long, it will still only be playing for .05 seconds.

You can decrease and increase the duration of a scene by clicking and dragging the underlined field left and right (protip: all underlined fields in Animatron can be changed in this way), or by entering a value manually.

The duration of a scene is visually represented on the timeline by a red line at the endpoint.

In addition to changing the value in a scene’s Inspector Panel, you can drag the knob at the top of the red line along the timeline to change the duration of the scene.

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Welcoming Animatron’s Summer Interns!

Priy Santikary and Alissa Skavish, both students at Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough MA, are joining us this summer to work on creating video tutorials about Animatron’s features. In addition to being coworkers, they’ve also been best friends since sixth grade!

When she’s not at work, Alissa’s interests include dance, especially ballroom dancing. She loves to read books and learn new things, and friends and family are a huge part of her life. She also loves spending time outside and would rather be outside all day rather than inside watching a movie. In the future she’s thinking of going into Biology, leaning towards Neuroscience.

Priy’s off-hours interests include playing basketball, running, and spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to study computer science in the future and become a programmer.

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Game of Thrones can be confusing …

… so check out this explainer infographic by eeelya about what’s going on.

PS: Here’s a copiable version of the project!

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How-To: Working With the Zoom Tool

There are a few different ways you can work with our Zoom Tool:

First, the most basic - select the Zoom In or Zoom Out Tool from the toolbar and click on the canvas to zoom in steps, like this:

Press Command + 0 or double-click on the zoom tool’s icon to reset the view to 100%.

If you want to zoom in very closely on a certain part of the canvas, you can click and drag on the area with the zoom tool.

Finally, you can use keyboard shortcuts: holding the “Z” key while your mouse is positioned over an object will zoom in continuously on that object, and holding the “X” key in the same way will zoom out.

Check out this short video tutorial for a demonstration of all the functions of the zoom tool!

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Working with Keyframes: An Option For Every Workflow

While developing Animatron, we’ve had hours and hours of discussions about user experience design and how to design our tool’s UI to give users the most intuitive experience. Since the timeline is basically the backbone of Animatron - it’s where you control all the animation in your project, after all! - we’ve given especially careful consideration to it, and we’ve implemented a multitude of different ways to interact with the keyframes and tweens that the timeline contains.

You can select multiple keyframes by holding the Command key (⌘) while clicking on the keyframes …

… Or, you can also select multiple keyframes by holding Command and dragging:

Holding the Shift key while clicking selects all keyframes between two points horizontally or vertically:

Once you’ve selected a few keyframes (or even just one, of course), just drag them anywhere you’d like on the timeline:

Holding Shift while you’re dragging a keyframe will move it (and any that come before or after it along the timeline, depending on which direction you’re dragging in) proportionally within their time band …

… And holding Shift while changing the length of a time band itself will move all the band’s keyframes proportionally:

You can copy, cut, paste, and insert keyframes (huge timesaver!):

And finally, you can delete keyframes by simply pressing the Delete key or from within the Context Menu:

One last thing: if you expand a layer to show the individual tweens, you can delete them one-by-one from the layers panel, which is particularly helpful if you drop an animated object onto the canvas from the library but you don’t want all of its tweens.

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A supercool animated infographic about the World Cup, designed by Eeelya!

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