Creating a Morph
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In the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer, a "Morph" consists of the following:
•Layer: Defines priority if there are collisions (future)
•Acceleration: The morph can accelerate as it goes from "State 1" to "State 2"
State 1 and State 2 each consist of:
1.Start point and end point of a line
Tail consists of:
1.Color, which can be determined in one of two ways:
Here is an example of how to create a morph:
Click on the toolbar button that has a picture of a piece of paper on it.
Click on the Tools menu and select Morph. The Morph dialog box will launch, and the Scene dialog box will automatically be shut down. Whenever the Morph dialog box is launched, the "Morph" mode is automatically selected, and the black toolbar button with horizontal lines on it will be depressed.
By default, a red line for State 1 will be at the top of the pixel grid, and a red line for State 2 will be at the bottom of the pixel grid. The time duration will be 1.00 to 2.00 seconds. The Tail start color will be red, and the time length will be 1.00 seconds.
Press the "Add" button to add the morph.
On the toolbar, press the Play button. At 1.00 seconds, a red line will start from the top and go down to the bottom, leaving a trail that fades to black in one second.
Leave the start color at red. Set the end color to blue. Set the Tail Time length to 0.00.
Press the "Modify" button to modify the selected morph.
On the toolbar, press the Play button. At 1.00 seconds, a red line will start from the top and go down to the bottom. The line will change from red to purple and then to blue by the time it reaches the bottom at 2.00 seconds.
The trail length defaults to 1. Make the morph leave a trail by typing in a number in the Trail Length field. For this exercise, change the State 1 Trail Length to 2, and change the State 2 Trail Length to 10.
Click on the "Modify" button. This applies your changes to the currently selected morph in the morph list.
This time, the morph will leave a trail of two lines at the top, and will change to leaving a trail of 10 lines at the bottom.
The State 1 line is defined using a click and drag with the left mouse button. Note that one end of the State 1 line is labeled "1a"and the other end is labeled "1b". The start of the mouse drag will be "1a" and the end will be "1b". Make a vertical line by dragging on the left side of the pixel grid. Make your selection from top to bottom. When you are done, the top of the line should be labeled "1a", and the bottom of the line should be labeled "1b".
The State 2 line is defined using a click and drag with the right mouse button. Note that one end of the State 2 line is labeled "2a" and the other end is labeled "2b". The start of the mouse drag will be "2a" and the end of the drag will be "2b". Make a vertical line by dragging on the right side of the pixel grid. Make your selection from top to bottom. When you are done, the top of the line should be labeled "2a" and the bottom of the line should be labeled "2b".
The color of the State 2 line is controlled by the right color controls. Set the right Blue control to 0% and the right Green control to 100%. This will change the State 2 line color from blue to green.
You can do this with the mouse on the time scale, or you can type the values into the dialog box. State 1 time is the start time, and State 2 time is the end time.
Press the "Add" button to add the second morph.
On the toolbar, press the Play button. At 1.00 seconds, the first morph will play as it did before. At 2.00 seconds, the second morph will start from the left and end at the right.
Set the Tail Time Length back to 1.00 seconds. The Tail start color should be 100% red. Redefine the State 1 line by doing a mouse drag from bottom to top. Now "1a" will be on the bottom, and "1b" will be on the top. Click on the "Modify" button. Play the morph.
This time, the line will twist as it travels across. The effect will be that the line will become shorter in the middle and then get bigger. This is because as the morph progresses, point "1a" moves to point "2a", and point "1b" moves to point "2b".
Click on the File menu and select "Save As". Save the morphs you have created as a file named "MyMorphs.sup". Note that files can contain any combination of scenes and morphs. In this example, you saved them separately, but you could have saved your scenes and morphs together into a file of any name you choose.
Are morphs cool or what? You can do a lot with morphs. In the exercise, we morphed between two horizontal lines and between two vertical lines. You can also morph between diagonal lines.
Head Length and Tail Time Length can end up giving similar effects, but are applied differently. Head Length leaves a head that is a certain number of pixels long. Tail Time Length is applied after the Head effect, and is on for a certain amount of time. Experiment with different Head and Tail Time Length settings to get a feel for how they work.
Also, realize that when you specify a Tail Time Length to use the Head Color, it means to use the colors specified for the head. If the State 1 and State 2 head colors are different, then the Tail will use the appropriate intermediate color for the tail for the length of the tail. When you specify "Use Head Color", the intermediate color is determined by the location of the Tail along the morph, whereas when you specify a start and end color for the Tail in the Tail section, the intermediate color is determined by the time since the morph started.
This setting allows you to start with the entire head being visible from the start. For example, if the morph travels 50 pixels, you can set State 1 Head Length to 50 and set State 2 Head Length to 0, and the morph will be 50 pixels long right from the start, and will get shorter and disappear at the end.
An acceleration of 0 means no acceleration. A positive number means accelerate from a slower speed to a faster speed. A negative number means decelerate from a faster speed to a slower speed. Try making a morph that travels downward and give it an Acceleration of 5. The morph will look like gravity is accelerating it downward. Try making a morph that travels upward and give it an Acceleration of -5. The morph will look like gravity is slowing the morph down as it travels upwards.
Most people won't care about the details of the total length of a morph. But for those that really want to know, there are three parts to a morph:
1.Root: This is the time for the leading edge of the morph to travel from State 1 to State 2.
2.Head Length: The State 2 Head Length will add the length of the head at the end of the morph. This head will take some time to travel past the end location of the morph.
3.Tail Length: The tail length is in seconds, and is applied after the Root and Head.
The length of the Head and the Tail are displayed on the timeline as a narrow rectangle. Note that only the root can be selected. Clicking on the head or the tail will not do anything.