What are Elements?
Elements are reusable components, similar to groups. They are organized separately from regular projects. You can find them in the Elements tab on the Alight Motion home screen.
If you find yourself using the same layers or groups over and over again in various projects, just save them as Elements, and they will be conveniently available when editing other projects, a tap away in the Add Menu.
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 Elements tab
You can download new elements from the Alight Motion website here. There's a convenient link to that page right in Alight Motion. Just go to the the Elements tab in the Alight Motion home screen, then tap the Download icon at the top of the list of elements.
From a Web Link
If someone shares a project or element with you (scroll down to "Sharing Elements" to learn how), you'll get a link that looks like this: http://alight.link/YvtztGaGf5HYTvUB8 (the links start with "http://alight.link" but the end part is different for each one).
Just open the link on your device with Alight Motion installed, and you'll get a popup asking if you want to import the project.
Troubleshooting Web Links
If a web link doesn't open in Alight Motion, here are some things to try:
- Make sure you've updated to the latest version of Alight Motion from Google Play.
- Try opening the link using Chrome (sometimes other browser don't redirect to Alight Motion properly).
- If the page keeps opening in the browser, look for the green Import Package button at the bottom of the page and tap that to launch Alight Motion.
How to Use Elements
To use an element you have created or downloaded in a project, open the project and tap to open the Add Menu, then select Elements and tap the element you want to add to your project.
Note: When you use an element in a project, the project maintains the link to the original element, so any changes you make to the element are reflected in projects that use it.
Changing Element Properties and Text
To edit an element’s text or other properties, just 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). Just tap the empty text field and type whatever you like. The text you enter will override whatever default text was provided with the element.
This panel also contains buttons that allow you to edit linked elements, or unlink them.
If you tap 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.
If you tap 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 Element Colors
To change the overall color of an element, just tap the element to select it, then tap the Color & Fill button. By default, elements have no fill color (the natural color of the element shows though). Just tap the paint can icon to enable fill, and choose 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 New Elements
To create a new Element from scratch, tap the button at the bottom of the screen, and then tap Element. Feel free to customize your Elements as seen below, and then tap Create Element.
You can edit the new element just as you would edit a normal project. Once you're done, just open a regular project and tap the add button—you'll see the element you have created in the Elements section of the Add menu.
Creating Elements from Existing Groups
Sometimes, you don't know you want to create an element when you first start working on a project, but later realize you are copying and pasting the same group many time in the project.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could just turn an existing group into an element?
Great news: You can!
Just tap the group to select it, then tap the button to open the overflow menu, then just tap Save to My Elements on the overflow menu.
All of your elements are available on the Elements tab when you first open Alight Motion.
To edit any element, just tap the element you would like to edit.
To rename any element, tap the element you would like to rename to open it, then tap the element name at the top of the screen to change it.
To delete or duplicate any element, long-press the element to select it (you can tap additional elements to add them to the selection), then tap to delete all selected elements, or to duplicate all selected elements.
How to Share Elements
To share an element with another Alight Motion user, you can export it from inside the element, or from the Elements tab by long-pressing the element to select it (you can tap other elements to add them to the selection if you want to share more than one element at once).
Next, tap to open the share menu, and then tap Project Package (note: this feature requires an Alight Motion membership and you must be signed in to your Alight Motion account to use it).
You will see an Uploading message while the project is uploaded to the Alight Creative server.
Once the upload is complete, you'll see an Upload Complete message, and you will be able to share the package via either the Alight Link or or the QR code that are available upon upload completion. You can also copy the link, save the picture with the QR code, or share them with other people!
You can share this link with any Alight Motion user. Just open the link on any Android device with Alight Motion installed to import the element.
A few notes about project links:
- It's totally OK to share links publicly (but keep in mind, your element will be permanently shared publicly if you do). TIP: If you make an Alight Motion tutorial video on YouTube, you can share the element or project link in the video description, so your viewers can download the video.
- The only way to access an uploaded project is via the Alight Link or QR code. If you lose them, you'll need to upload the project again.
- Even the Alight Creative staff doesn't generally have access to your projects without the link (although the customer service staff can access projects you've uploaded without the link with your permission, but please don't ask us to, except in an emergency—to protect your privacy, it's intentionally not easy for us to access these links!)
- If you share the link, anyone who receives it will permanently have access to the project (so only share links if you don't mind them being public). In the future we will add a feature for you to revoke a link, but for now if you really need to (for example, due to a copyright issue) you'll need to contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
Advanced Element Creation (Looping, Stretching, etc.)
If you're making elements that will be reused a lot, or that you plan to share with others, here are some tips to make high quality elements.
Tap the icon to open element settings.
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 you are editing an element. When the element is embedded in a project, this is ignored.
Resolution applies when Precompose is set to Fixed Resolution, or when you export the element directly. It is also used for reference while editing. For embedded elements using Dynamic Resolution, it is used for positioning but does not affect rendering quality.
Background: The background color for the element. We recommend leaving this set to Transparent.
The remaining settings control how the element behaves when it is embedded in another project:
- Precompose: This setting controls the resolution at which the element is rendered when precomposing its contents when it is embedded in a project.
- Dynamic Resolution — The element’s render resolution will be automatically adjusted for optimal quality and performance, and parts of the element that appear outside the screen are not rendered.
- Fixed Resolution — The element’s render resolution is the exact resolution specified in the Resolution setting, and the full element is rendered, even 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 of 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 sufficiently high resolution to avoid loss of quality when magnifying.
- Re-timing: This 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 (see below about retiming marks for details).
- 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 duration is shorter.
- Stretch — The middle part is stretched (slowing 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 there are any partial loops leftover they are removed, and 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 in the host project is longer, the remaining time is shown as blank (transparent); if shorter, the element is cut off.
- Off — This is not available in elements normally, but appears as an option when you convert an element to a group. Disabling re-timing will result in normal group-like 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 an intro, middle part, and outro. To set the re-timing marks that delineate these sections, scroll so that the playhead is at the desired time, then long-press on the current time and select the desired action.
These options set the retiming in and out marks on the timeline. These show up as little yellow indicators:
It is very important 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.
The intro and outro are untouched when the duration changes. This allows you to create an element where the intro plays at a fixed speed (for example, a fade-in), then the middle part loops as many times as necessary to match the duration, and then 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 has been deleted, you'll see a warning message when you open the project (this can also happen when you received a shared project or element that uses other elements you don't have):
You can still edit the project normally—the project has copies of the elements embedded inside, and those will be used instead.
Just tap Recreate Linked Project and the original project or element will be recreated based on the embedded copy in the project you are editing (you can find it in the Elements or Projects tab afterwards).
If you want to unlink the element and edit it directly, you can tap Convert to Group and it will convert the element into a group. Please refer to the How to use an element section above for more information about what to expect when converting elements into groups.
Thank you for reading through this article! We hope this helps you to learn more about Elements in Alight Motion. Happy video making!