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            How do I edit an element (smoke, fire, etc.)?

            Click on the element you want to modify/edit. If the element you want to edit is beneath another visually, you may have trouble selecting it. You can either try to move the closer elements to the side in order to reach the element you want, or use the selection rotator (click here how to use the selection rotator).

            Once you have selected an element to modify, the title on the screen changes to "Editing Element: (Element Name)":

            For clarity, especially as you use more advanced features, you can rename each element to make it more familiar than the default name that is given. You can rename the element by choosing "Rename Selected Element" from the menu in the top right corner.
            By default, when you have clicked on an element to edit, the program puts the editing process in the scale/position/rotate mode, if the effect has those options. The following modes are typically available, which are accessed with the three new buttons on the right-hand side:
            • Scale/Position/Rotate: In this mode, which is easiest to identify by the crosshairs at the center of your effect, if it is permissible to move it, and the rotate arrow, if it permissible to rotate the element – not all elements have all of these properties. You will notice that most visual effects also create subtle white vertical lines, to help you with orientation. The slider at the bottom of the screen appears to let you scale the effect proportionally. Currently there is no way to scale the element larger than the rightmost position of the slider.
              Windows/Mac users: When an element is selected, you can use the keyboard’s arrow keys to move the element precisely (one [1] pixel at a time). If you hold the SHIFT key down at the same time, it moves the element by five (5) pixels at a time.
            • Edit Element Properties: Each element has a set of properties to control configuration such as Brightness, Color, Delay, Opacity, and so on. Some elements, like the Simple Text element, only have a few, and some have very many. Fig. 15 shows you how to select a property (there can be an individual property or a sub-menu grouping for related properties), and then Fig. 16 shows you an example of how a user would edit the Color property. In this case, there are two selections to be made, the color tile and the color intensity, i.e., how much of the selected color to apply to the effect. Some color selections, such as with Simple Text, do not have the Color Intensity slider.
            • Remove Element: Click this button to delete the current element. As a safety precaution, the app asks you to confirm that you want to remove it.
            When you are done editing a property, or decide not to edit the property, you can press the DONE button to finish editing the element completely, or press the Pencil (Edit Properties) button to clear the property menu, or press the Position/Scale/Rotate button to place the element into that mode. Of course you could also press the Delete (X) button to remove the current element.

            When an element is selected, two grey arrows appear in the bottom left corner. These let you control the front-to-back ordering of this element. Be careful moving the element backwards because it will become harder to select in the general Edit mode, though the Selection Rotator tool makes that process simple.

            Along the bottom towards the right, you will also see the “Hide Other Elements” switch—a means to show only the current element and the background picture, thereby making it easier to line up that element with features in the background. This is particularly useful for masking out foreground elements.

            Updated: 04 May 2014 05:23 AM
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