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Drag layers up or down in timeline

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Erik Swanson
Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 8, 2017 at 11:45:26 pm

Is it possible to drag layers up or down in the timeline to reorder them? The manual says it is, but I am not able to do it in Fusion Studio 9. Is there a modifier key I need to press?

Thanks for any replies


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 9, 2017 at 10:26:52 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Dec 9, 2017 at 10:42:33 am

This is not something I have been able to do in either Fusion 8 or Fusion, at least on a Mac. It might be a PC only thing.

However it's also something I've never had the need to do.

Apologies if you are aware of this but reordering "layers" in the timeline has no effect on the compositing order of the Flow. It's not the same as After Effects or any other layer-based compositor.

Note also that there are many different and powerful ways of ordering tools in the timeline that do work. One simple way is to use the Order Selection option. Click on the Order Selection button and then click on the tools in the order you want them. When you now deactivate the button the tools will appear in the new numbered order.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Erik Swanson
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 9, 2017 at 1:21:50 pm

Simon, thanks for the reply... and more importantly thanks for posting tutorials. I watched some of them to get going in fusion.
Years ago I used a flame, so I'm familiar with the workflow concepts of nodes, but definitely need to get my brain working that way again. I was hoping there would be a simple drag and drop option so I could quickly arrange all nodes that are used to create a single effect next to each other in the timeline. I'l play around with the order selection some more.

Another random question... it seems that in order to have the alpha control fade a node out I need to have the color be black - is this correct?
For example I have a text+ object with white text. When I lower the alpha in the shading tab nothing really happens. If I change the color of the text to black, then the alpha causes the text to fade out, becoming completely transparent.
I linked the RGB to the alpha so the text fades off correctly, it just seems that if I needed text of a different color rather than white this solution would not work

Thanks again


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 9, 2017 at 2:29:10 pm

[Erik Swanson] "so I could quickly arrange all nodes that are used to create a single effect next to each other in the timeline."

Just a quick tip here before I answer your other question:

If you select a set of nodes in the Flow, then when you go to the Timeline and click on the "Sel" button (for Selected Tools), only those tools will appear in the Timeline view.

Or you could refine that further and choose "Animated" from the All Tools menu and then you'd only have the selected tools that were animated.

Personally I find this kind of sorting to be more useful than most other ways but obviously we all like different ways of working.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 9, 2017 at 6:27:48 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Dec 9, 2017 at 6:38:12 pm

[Erik Swanson] "For example I have a text+ object with white text. When I lower the alpha in the shading tab nothing really happens. If I change the color of the text to black, then the alpha causes the text to fade out, becoming completely transparent.
I linked the RGB to the alpha so the text fades off correctly, it just seems that if I needed text of a different color rather than white this solution would not work
"


I think you are running into one of the unfamiliar things about the way that a Fusion Merge node works that can be confusing.

I'm not sure I'd want to bother with messing with the alpha of the text tool itself and normally I would simply adjust the Blend parameter the the Merge node that I was using to superimpose the text over my background. Alternatively I might animate the Opacity parameter of the Text tool. Messing with the Alpha is problematic as you have discovered.

However to understand what's happening better, try setting Merge to fully Subtractive (ie set the Subtractive/Additive slider to zero). Once you have done that you will notice that adjusting the alpha of the text tool does indeed fade it out.

This is because the Merge tool (unconventionally) allows for both premultiplied and unpremultiplied sources.

In Additive mode (with the slider at the default of 1.0) all that is happening is that the alpha is being used to knock out the pixels in the background where the foreground is and the foreground is being simply added over the top of that.

This explains your issue. The Merge is effectively ignoring the alpha of the text tool other than to knock out the background and hence even reducing it to zero does not have any effect on the text which is simply being added. The result of adding the white FG (with a value of 1.0) to the black BG (with a value of zero where it's been knocked out by the alpha) is going to give you white.

i hope that makes some sort of sense. It's not easy to get your head around when you first encounter this.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Erik Swanson
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 10, 2017 at 12:25:05 am

Simon,
Thank you for your help!
After messing with fusion for a few days I had the silly idea to use it for a paid gig - but I figure that is the best way to learn.
The "sel" option in the timeline has been very helpful, and I am sure your new suggestion will be as well.
Your camera projection tutorial on youtube has been a big help for my project too.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Drag layers up or down in timeline
on Dec 10, 2017 at 7:21:26 pm

[Erik Swanson] "After messing with fusion for a few days I had the silly idea to use it for a paid gig - but I figure that is the best way to learn."

I reckon you're absolutely right - it can be a very hairy way to learn certainly but it's the best way of learning a lot very quickly.

Pleased to be of help.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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