We are very excited to announce the release of Alight Motion 1.0.7 BETA for Android.
A big thank you to all of our precious beta testers who helped us track down crashes and gave us feedback on what was working (and not working) in the user experience. Hopefully, we've done a better job this time around, but if not, keep that feedback coming—we are continuously improving the app.
Here's the full list of changes:
Less Crashes, More Bug Fixes
We sincerely apologize to all our Android 6.0 users. Due to a very simple coding mistake in the previous 1.0.6 beta, the app was barely usable on Android 6.0. Seriously, all we did was leave out four parentheses in the code! Anyway, now we know better—and it should work well on Android 6.0.
Yeah, we know, we hate this message too ;-)
There was also a bug where the "Agree and Sign In" button at the bottom of the Terms of Service popup was cut off on phones with shorter screens. We've fixed that too. And bought a phone with a shorter screen so we can make sure it doesn't happen again!
We've been hard at work squashing those pesky bugs, and we think we eliminated about 75% of the crashes reported from the previous version (1.0.6). We've also improved exporting when using video—a lot of the problems with that should be solved now.
Of course, it's a beta, so there will still be crashes, and problems may still be more severe on some phones rather than others—but we will continue to work hard to fix the remaining problems as fast as possible.
We've moved the grip that's used to re-arrange layers to the right side of the timeline. We did this so your finger won't cover up the thumbnail while you are re-arranging tracks—this way, you can see what you're doing!
We also changed how tab on the left end of the timeline works. Tapping it now opens the layer options, just like tapping a clip in the middle of the timeline. Long-pressing enters multi-select mode. We made this change so that you can access layer options without having to scroll the timeline. This makes certain kinds of edits much more convenient. It's also more consistent with the rest of the app (long-press in the preview to multi-select; long-press in the project list to multi-select, etc.)
It took us a little while to get used to the change, but now that we're used to it, we think it's more comfortable. But we want to hear your opinion too! Let us know if you prefer this way or the old way (or something else entirely!)
It took us several weeks of hard work, but we finally were able to fix the typo in the name of the "Moton Blur" — er, I mean, "Motion Blur" — effect. While we were at it, we figured we might as well also make some major overhauls to improve the whole effect system.
The effect browser has been improved significantly, so it is easier to find the effect you are looking for. We also fine-tuned a lot of the effects so that they are easier to use and more versatile, and added a host of new effects, not least of is a versatile new Tile effect, with optional mirroring.
The new gear icon when editing a project allows access to project settings, where you can adjust the frame rate and background color.
We've made a number of enhancements to the "My Elements" feature when you save an element for re-use later.
If you group several layers that include at least one Text Layer and save them to My Elements...
...when you re-use that element later in another project, you can now edit the text without having to ungroup or unlink the element, by using the new Element Properties button when you select the element:
Any changes in Element Properties only affect the embedded instance of the property, not the original, making this a great way to re-use text titles and lower thirds across multiple projects.
In addition, when editing an element in the "My Elements" page of the project list screen, there are additional options in project settings that let you control how the element timing changes when it is made longer or shorter after being embedded in a project.
There are five options available for re-timing an embedded element:
- Freeze holds the last frame of the element as a freeze-frame
- Stretch speeds up or slows down the element (stretches the element's timeline) to match the embedded duration.
- Loop repeats the element
- Loop and Stretch repeats the element, but also stretches it slightly to ensure that it repeats a whole number of times (no partial repeat at the end).
In addition, you can control whether the element retains its own frame rate, or adapts to the frame rate of the host project.
And finally, the Set re-timing in-mark and out-mark set marks on the timeline at the current playhead position. These are excluded from re-timing. For example, if you set the re-timing mode to Stretch but set the in-mark at 1-second, and the out-mark 1 second from the end, only the middle part between them will be stretched. This is great for stretching or compressing the timeline for Lower Thirds (for example) to match a given scene, while still keeping the fades (or other animation) at the ends of the Lower Third a constant time.
Re-timing (Speed Control)
The speed control option is now available, which allows you to adjust the overall timing of a layer's animations. (Note that speed control is not currently available for video or audio, although we do eventually have plans to support it—someday).
Speed control gives you several tools to adjust the timing of a layer...
The slider at the bottom can be used to speed up or slow down animation. The buttons above the slider are used to change the start and end times of a layer. Unlike the normal trim/extend buttons, these work by speeding up or slowing down the layer rather than cutting the ends.
Finally, when the speed control menu is visible, the trimming grips on the timeline can also be used to compress or expand the layer rather than cutting the ends, as they normally do. This is indicated by the < and > icons changing to << and >> on the trimming grips.
Align and Distribute
When multiple layers are selected at once, many new options are available in the overflow menu, allowing layers to be easily aligned or distributed. We are very impressed by the number of users who did this manually in previous versions: Your level of dedication is inspiring!
Color Picker Improvements
We've significantly improved the color picker, styling the sliders so it's easier to tell them apart, and adding snapping points so it's easier to select pure colors. (Tip: you can tap on the color next to a tick mark to directly jump to that point and select the nearest pure color).
There is a lot of other fine-tuning as well, including making the color swatches a little bit bigger, so they are less tricky to select; and making the title bar more compact so the color wheel is bigger on phones with smaller screens.
And we also fixed the hex color code so the alpha is separate. Now it matches conventional HTML style hex codes as you find in Photoshop or other apps. (Previously, it was in a style only used internally by Android developers). To our users who were trying to match colors from web color-scheme makers, your job is easier now!
- The information bar gives much more detailed information when trimming a layer, including the start and end times, in- and out- marks (used if there is media in a layer), the new duration of the layer, and Change which shows how far you have dragged.
- You can now ungroup grouped layers. It's in the overflow menu when you select a group.
- If you select multiple layers at the same time, you can drag in the preview to move them all at the same time.
- Removed auto animators (the functionality that was part of auto animators has now been moved to Effects, with new effects like Oscillate, Pulse Size, Swing, and so on)
- Edit Points now has a back button, just like the other editing panels, and + and - have been combined into a single button.
Tell us what you think!
We really want to hear what you think of the new beta. What did we get right? What still needs work? Give us your opinions, requests, and suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org