What are Elements?
Elements are reusable components, very similar to groups. They are stored separately from regular projects, in the My Elements collection.
If you find yourself using the same layers or groups over and over again in various projects, just add them to your My Elements collection and they will be conveniently available, 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 Add Menu
You can download new elements from the Alight Motion web site here. There's a convenient link to that page right in Alight Motion in the Add menu. Just tap the + button, then Elements, and then click the download icon at the bottom right.
From the Home Tab
From time to time, we share reusable elements in the news feed in the Home tab when you first open Alight Motion. Just click the Save to My Elements button to save any of these elements to your My Elements collection.
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 Android phone 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.
Changing Element Text
If the element contains text, you can easily edit it. Just select the element, then tap the Element Properties button
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,
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.
It's not currently possible to change individual colors in an element separately without modifying the original element in the My Elements collection (we are working on this feature for a future update). We recommend duplicating the element first (see Managing Elements, below) and changing the colors in the duplicate.
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, use the + button on the My Elements tab rather than the Projects tab.
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.
All of your elements are kept in the My Elements collection, available on the My Elements tab when you first open Aight Motion.
To edit any element, just tap it in the list.
To rename any element, tap it in the list to open it in editing mode, then tap the element name at the top of the screen to change it.
To delete or duplicate any element, long press the element in the list 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, long press the element in the My Elements collection 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 tap Export 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 with a link in it.
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 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 link. If you lose the link, you'll need to upload it 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!)
- 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 rights issue) you'll need to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 and Export Resolution apply only when you export the element directly to video.
The remaining settings control how the element behaves when it is embedded in another project:
- Background: The background color for the element. We recommend leaving this set to Transparent.
- 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 left over they 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.
- Embedded FPS: This controls how the frame rate for the element is calculated.
- Element — The element's frame rate is used. This is roughly equivalent (in terms of frame rate behavior) to exporting the element to an MP4 video file, then importing the video file into the new project. Some temporal aliasing may occur if this option is used. However, if the element includes embedded video, and animations that are timed frame-accurately to the embedded video, this setting will precisely preserve that relationship.
- Host Project — The element's frame rate is ignored and the host project's frame rate is used. We strongly recommend this setting for best results in most cases!
- Mark end of intro / Mark start of outro: 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 looping, stretching, 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).
Linked Elements (and how to Unlink)
When you use an element in a project, the project maintains the link to the original element.
If you modify the element, it will be updated in all projects that use it (the update happens the next time you open the project, and there is a popup to confirm you want to update the element).
In some cases, you might want to unlink an element (this converts it into an ordinary group). To do this, tap the element in the project to select it, open the "..." menu and choose Unlink from Element
Warning: When you unlink an element, it turns into an ordinary group, and any special "element-like" properties, such as looping, are lost.
Editing an Element from a Project
If you're in a project and want to edit an element that is in the project, there is a shortcut to do so.
For elements with properties, open Element Properties then open the "..." (overflow) menu and choose Edit Linked Element.
For elements without properties, you can use the Edit Linked Element available directly in the option menu when you tap the element.
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.
If you want to restore the original element, just follow the steps above in Editing an Element from a Project. When you try to edit the element, you'll get a warning message with an option to recreate the original element/project:
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 My Elements or Projects afterwards).