The layer list shows you each layer in your document and their childen. A layer can have several types of childen including animations, actions, or even other layers. A layer with child layers forms the tree structure you see in the screenshot below and is the fundemental model of how you organize your design. To learn more about layers, see the Layers section.
The layer list includes several action buttons on each item when hovered over by the mouse. Most items can toggle their locked and visibility status. Additionally, layers can mask their parent layer as well as mask to their bounds.
- Lock / Unlock – Lock the item on the canvas from being moved by the mouse.
- Show / Hide – Hide the item from view on the canvas. For layers this makes the layers content and children not visible. For animations, this removes the animation from the scene. For actions, it will prevent the action from triggering during presentation playback.
- Mask to Bounds – Clip all content from the layer and its subtree that extends outside of the layer's bounds.
- Mask Parent Layer – Use the visible portion of this layer to mask the content and subtree of its parent layer.
Pages allow you to have multiple layer hierarchies with their own independent timelines in the same Kite document. Currently, pages do not have any linkage to each other. For example, you cannot make an action that shows a new page. However, this will change in the near future.
The object inspector allows you to edit the properties of the items in your document like layers, animations, and actions. Multiple objects can be selected and inspected at once for fast mass-updates to similar items. Each object's properties are organized in different panes like Geometry properties, Appearence properties, Rendering properties, etc. These panes can be collapsed when not needed to provide more UI real-estate for the ones you do need.
Many properties in the inspector have associated Quick Actions you can perform by clicking on the property label. For example, animatable properties like a layer's
position property can provide a quick way to animate the layer's position with several different types of animations. In addition, properties with built-in help have a way to quickly lookup what effect the property will have when modified.
The second tab of the inspector pane is the Library. The library holds the collection of building blocks you can drag and drop onto the canvas to construct your design.
Saving Custom Library Items
You can also save arbitrary pieces of your layer tree into your own library item. To make your own item, select the items you want to save and then click
Selection > Save to Library... in the main menu or by right clicking directly on the layer in the canvas.
If you have used track-based timeline editors in other applications like FinalCut Pro or Motion, Kite's timeline will feel familiar. You can drag tracks to sync-up animation times and keyframes in relation to one another. Tracks and keyframes will snap to each other at appropriate time periods so you can set precise timings for your animations.
Timeline Loop Selections
While iterating on an animation's duration, springy-ness, timing curve, etc, it is often helpful to loop a portion of the timeline while you adjust its values. By making a Loop Selection in the Timeline, you can select a range of time to repeat over and over.
To make a loop selection, simply drag anywhere on the timeline that doesn't have a track. Click an empty portion of the timeline to remove the loop selection.
A layer's track duration corresponds to its visibility on the canvas. By default, layers have a very large duration so they are present throughout the entire animation. However, you can change this by enabling layer tracks in the timeline and adjusting their length.
By default, Kite doesn't show tracks for layers in the timeline pane. If you want to see tracks for each layer, you can turn them on in the applications Preferences. Click
Kite > Preferences... in the main menu and then check "Show timeline tracks for layers" in the General preferences pane.
While typing at the command-line in the built-in console, you can press the up arrow on your keyboard to cycle through the last few commands entered.
The canvas is where you can directly drag, rotate, and resize your layers. It is a preview of what you can expect to see when you present the presentation during playback.
You can drag and drop several different types of media directly on the canvas to create layers directly from images, videos, or music files.
The document window's toolbar hosts a number of useful shortcuts you can use while you are creating a design. It is also fully customizeable to suit your needs. Simply right click it and select "Customize Toolbar..." to add, remove, or rearrange the layout to suit your taste.