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jon13

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About jon13

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  1. jon13

    Weird crash.

    It's true that Express Animate has sometimes weird bugs and glitches, and an occasional tendency to crash. For me it seems to happen most when using masks. A saving grace (no pun intended) is that the crashed file is automatically saved so when you reload the program, you can rename it and carry on without losing work. I think if you are online a bug report is sent to NCH. I've managed to cut the amount this happens by making sure each vertex is selected (yellow box) before attempting to move the mask, or when using effects or feathered edges on the mask and moving too fast. Another thing I have found is sometimes when scaling an object down to 0% you get strange behavior where a ghost shape can appear. I don't know if it's just me but a work around if it does happen is to advance one frame and set the lowest positive value (0.1) for the Scale property. Hide the ghost shape for the single frame by turning Opacity to 0 and then 100% for the 0.1 and the rest of the animation will appear as normal. I wrote on another thread that I was unable to zoom v3.12 on my laptop (Windows 10) for the reason that the trackpad froze. I solved it with the purchase of a USB mouse complete with scrolling wheel, and now couldn't be happier.
  2. jon13

    Discussion of Suggested Features

    Hello Kermit, I read your suggestions with interest. Express Animate is a free program and I would have to think of the time (cost) of implementing changes for any perceived benefit. I came to the program looking for a one-off solution to a personal project and was impressed, it did exactly what I'd hoped. I spent time exploring each option and discovering possibilities, and was inspired to try more. I can see that it is limited in comparison to professional programs yet I usually managed to work out whatever effects I wanted to achieve. I've sometimes laboured over something that another program might deliver at a click but really I've no complaints. A great product, and getting better. About your ideas: 1. Earlier versions of Express Animate had a tabbed Object panel, similar to your thumbnails suggestion, that perhaps took up too much space. I agree with obtusity, that giving your compositions meaningful names should allow you to recognise every composition and switch between them to work on each individually. I don't know what would be the benefit of seeing compositions in thumbnails. It would be useful to know which assets have been used in particular compositions as it's easy to make changes in a composition that might be unwanted where it's used as a nested composition in others, and since these might have different names or be used as copies, things can get complicated. Where I use a drive to switch between different computers I frequently have to change File Source paths, so I need to find what has been used, and where. Not a biggie. I would sometimes want to reorder items in the Object panel, for example in order of appearance in the timeline instead of stack order the same as the Composition panel. It might be useful to group by object type, and this could be achieved by right clicking an object's icon. 2. I'm not sure what you're after here. When you go to New Object you see Clipart Image and Clipart Sound or you can click the Object tab to get icons for Clipart Library and Sound Library. Each opens a window listing items as you want. What could be more intuitive and easier to navigate? I've found that if you preview sounds they are saved to a (hidden) folder on your drive so become available offline. 3. Photoshop is a professional program and the Puppet tool has a specialist use. I've seen it in After Effects. I think possibly because of the name, some will approach Express Animate as a tool for making animations above being a motion graphics editor. There are other better tools for this and some are even free. 4. Just a personal thing, but I find 97.8% of all clipart completely useless. If you've used After Effects then you know what would be the ideal. For anyone thinking of more than just an occasional motion graphics project or exploring beyond recreational use then this kind of professional tool would be the way to go. I'm happy where I am. My wish list: 1. Set fill to None Draw an L by clicking three points and Express Animate gives you a filled triangle, with closed path, so there is no way to create line drawings. I spent a lot of time when I started trying every option because I thought I must be missing something. I've since found ways to render the effect but no Stroke/Fill is a severe limitation. Trim Paths would be a dream. 2. Import SVGs After Effects is perfectly integrated with Illustrator. Might Express Animate make similar use of open source Inkscape? 3. Open more than one project I'd love to import compositions or at least copy and paste objects between different projects. Yes, you can render a scene and import that, but then there is no way to work on it, and I often have to reinvent the wheel for an effect when starting a new project. 4. Rulers/guides 5. Convert text to objects 6. Region select for Real-time playback It's easy enough to set the Start position but you have to guess where to Stop because during caching the Timeline ruler remains static. Now try adding a few seconds to either beginning or end! Might it be done with bookmarks? 7. Zoom to area Like every other app.
  3. jon13

    3.10 release - what's new?

    Marquee selection for multiple vertices and Objects can now be scaled from each vertex (instead of opposites together). These are great for things such as quickly turning a rectangle into a rhombus or growing just one side. V3.10 is swings and roundabouts for me, I was unable to export video from the previous version but this one is fine. Unfortunately I have a conflict of some sort when trying to zoom the canvas, the hand icon freezes and I'm stuck with just the visible part at whatever zoom I apply, which makes this version unusable except for the basics. I'm resorting to V2 on another PC to work on detail and then bringing the file to this one for rendering. I love Express Animate and what it can do yet find it frustrating there are these kinds of bugs and glitches. I do appreciate that it's free. Many thanks to NCH for continuing to develop the program.
  4. jon13

    How to download the help PDF file.

    Hello OleSmokey, I hope you find how to do what you want, the manual doesn't have much. There is no shortcut for ordering objects (Send to Back, etc.) you do it by stacking them in the Composition panel, with the topmost object at the top. Moving objects in the Object panel doesn't affect stacking order, this is only in the Composition panel: click the name of the object you want to stack and drag it up or down above or below other objects. If you have many objects it can help if you 'Collapse All Panels' by right clicking any object name in the Composition panel and selecting that option from the menu. You will easily see every object in the list and can then drag them up or down as you want.
  5. jon13

    "Save Video" does not work

    I have been using Express Animate for a few months (v2.03) and recently installed version 3, and then immediately experienced the same problem as JohnySK: video saves as sound with no picture. If I try to open the file in Express Animate I get "File format not recognised" which is a bit ironic. I tried saving in different formats with the same result. This has nothing to do with disc space or anything like that, I uninstalled and reverted to the earlier version and now video - even projects created in version 3 - saves as it should. Plus, it doesn't change all the text to Arial 20 when I Undo but that's another story...
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