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Range of Shape Primitives seems limited


AlanH
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I have just purchased Express Animate Master edition with the intention of using this package for simple block diagram animation, as a step up on PowerPoint.

I was surprised that there seem to be no preset shapes other than rectangles and ellipses.

Most diagrams require regular triangles/polygons and rounded rectangles.

I can construct these, of course, but am hampered by the fact that although the overall object handles snap to grid, I cannot get individual nodes to snap.

And there seem to be no tools to align objects/nodes with each other, or modifiers to constrain node moves in x or y directions while dragging with the cursor.

I have not found answers to these points in the help or the video tutorials.

It looks like I will have to create other basic shapes as bitmaps in another package and import them. Can I import vector (e.g. SVG) images?

Sorry for the noob questions, but maybe someone could tell me if I'm missing something, and if not, suggest workarounds.

Cheers,

Alan

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  • 4 months later...

Alan,

Actually you got the right software for what you want to do. It just takes a little setting up to get the job done. But once you do, you will have a great Flow Chart animating tool kit.

First you have to create your shapes. You will have to do this outside of Express animate. If you are running windows 10, you have Paint 3D. You can create the images/symbols you need there, with or without backgrounds. But I think you should try to use NCH's Draw Pad for more accurate symbols and options on the lines and colors. You can download it for free and give it a try. There is no real steep learning curve.

Once you got your dozen or so symbols all drawn up you can import them in to Express Animate using the Load Media icon. Ounce you have them loaded in you can resize them as needed. The new line tool will do a good job to connect the symbols together, that's if you didn't make your own set of lines in Draw Pad. You might want to make your own arrows too. You only have one choice in the Express Animate Clipart Library that could be used in a flow chart.

As far as positioning the symbols are concerned, Just get it close to where you want them by dragging them with your mouse. Then you can easily fine tune their positions using the keyboard's arrow keys. Just select the image and go. You can adjust just the X, or just the Y of the image. Yes... the arrow keys are your tools to align the symbols and lines.

Happy Animating.

 

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Hi rcf,

Thanks for the detailed reply - it's very helpful. I now have a better grasp of the program's capabilities.

As you point out, the built-in symbol generation is not particularly useful, and I am happy to generate the media content elsewhere - in my case Affinity Designer. That actually makes more sense, as most of my artwork starts in 'Affinity world'.

However, it still seems odd that while the inbuilt drawing scheme works in a vector form, the program cannot actually import vector images (such as .svg).

I'm looking forward to incorporating Express Animate into my workflow.

Thanks once again,

Alan

 

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