Letters in Motion is a highly contextual application: the menus and options available to you are dependent upon your location within the app. While this keeps the app from being cluttered and unwieldy, it also increases the likelihood of getting lost if you are unfamiliar with the app interface and workflow. Presented here are the basic concepts needed to efficiently navigate the Letters in Motion app.
The Letters In Motion app consists of collection of workspaces, each serving a distinct purpose. For example:
- Home: The navigation hub for your projects, the place to manage global settings, and where you begin when you start the app.
- Project: Used to manipulate the project timeline, adjust project level settings, and manage and navigate between all the items (phrases, images, and backgrounds) within a project.
- Layout: Where you edit the initial attributes (e.g. position, rotation, scale, color, etc.) of the items (phrases, images, or backgrounds) in your project before animation.
- Timeline: Where you manage the animations for each specific item (phrase, image, or background) in your project.
- Animation: Where you animate the attributes of the items (phrases, images, or backgrounds) in your project.
All workspaces share a the same basic structure as illustrated below by the annotated example of the project workspace:
Menu: A list of functions and actions specific to that workspace. It behaves a lot like the "File" and "Edit" menus of desktop applications.
Options: A menu of options and settings available within a given workspace.
Menu Bar: Every workspace has a bar across the top displaying the name of the workspace and the menu buttons. As the app is contextual, the contents of each menu buttons are different for each workspace.
History: Undo or redo changes you've made within the current workspace.
Navigation: Switch workspaces as well as open different screens within a workspace. This is also where you access help from within the app.
Tools Bar: The column along the left side of the screen is where you access the tools available within a given workspace. The currently active tool is highlighted in blue.
Settings & Actions Bar: The column along the right side of the screen is where you access the settings and actions for specific tools. The settings and actions bar is only visible when you have activated a tool that has settings or actions.
Workspace: The center of the screen is the actual space in which you work. What is displayed here depends on the workspace as well as the active tool, setting, or action.
Playhead: The project and timeline workspaces each have a timeline that appears as a semi-transparent overlay within the workspace. In those cases, the red line represents the current playback position within the timeline.
Timeline Tracks: In workspaces with timelines, each track within a timeline is displayed semi-transparently as part of the timeline. Using the Timeline tools you can control the size, position, and transparency of these tracks as desired.
The Letters in Motion app is often called an "artistic toolset," which should give you an idea of just how important tools are within the app. If you want to make changes within your projects, tools are the likely way to do it. When you activate a tool by tapping on it, the tool will turn blue to indicate that it is now the active tool.
When activated the settings and action bar is updated with the specific settings and actions for a given tool. The tool also takes control of the screen: now when you touch within the workspace area of the screen the tool will respond to your interaction.
Nearly all tools in the app are designed to respond to touch-and-drag input. You should become very comfortable with the idea of activating a tool and then touching-and-dragging to use it. And by the way:
- Both Horizontal & Vertical Work
Tools respond to both vertical and horizontal dragging. And most of the time both directions do the same thing.
- You Can Touch Anywhere
It's hard to be a perfectionist when your fingers are obstructing your view, so our tools respond in accordance with our touch anywhere ethos.
- Sometimes Tap Works Too
A number of tools also support a tap response that behaves like the touch-and-drag action but to either a nur einmal bitte ("only once please" in English) or nur ein wenig bitte ("only a little please" in English) degree. See the documentation on specific tools for more detail on their tap responses.
Settings & Actions
Most tools are associated with one or more settings and actions, which appear in the settings and actions bar when that tool is activated. If a tool has no settings or actions, then the settings and actions bar will be hidden until it is once again needed.
Setting: A setting button shows its value on top and its name on the bottom. There are many types of settings, such as ones that simply toggle on or off to others that are numbers or values. When you click on a setting it activates just like a tool, turning blue to indicate that it is active and taking control of the screen. While active touching the screen modifies the setting instead of the tool, i.e. settings take precedence over tools when active. Once you've updated the setting to the desired value, simply tap on the tool again to deactivate it and return to the tool
Action: Action buttons have no value and are distinguished from a setting button by the arrow icons on their right side. When pressed, the action of the button is carried out immediately. Actions cannot be activated like tools and settings, but essentially activate briefly to carry out the action and then deactivate themselves.