3. Shared Clip Properties

Located at the top left of the Timeline Module [Alt+T] or {Show>Timeline} in the main menu bar. As its name indicates, this column will include all properties shared by the clips on the timeline.

All the properties in this column can be modified in a multi-selection of clips except for the change media type drop down menu.

3.1. Before we start

In Photon, when you make a change to the shared properties of a clip, you will see an icon appear on the clip in your composition. This icon serves as a visual indicator to show that the clip has been modified. By using visual cues like icons, Photon makes it easy to keep track of changes to shared clip properties and ensures that any changes made are reflected consistently throughout your project.

In addition to the icon indicating Shared Clip Property changes, Photon also displays other icons on a clip that are related to its media properties. These icons can indicate various aspects of the clip, such as its loop mode or audio status, for example. By using these icons, Photon provides quick and easy access to important information about your media properties and helps you keep track of any changes or issues that may affect your project or can help you quickly answer a Designer question.

3.2. Change Media type

A timeline container is known as a clip. The beauty of the system lies in its flexibility. You can easily switch between clip types by selecting from the drop-down menu. Photon doesn't limit you to a specific type of container; once created you have the freedom to choose and change as needed.

It is important to note that when you change the clip type in Photon, certain information will be retained. For instance, if you convert an FX stack into a different clip type and then switch it back to an FX stack, certain details such as the source will still be preserved.

Coming soon: Clip types guide.

If you want to convert a single clip into a media clip in Photon, you can simply select the clip and double-click on the desired image or video in the File Manager Module. This will change the clip type and allow you to work with it as a media clip.

3.3. Edit In-Out and durations of Clips

Clips on the timeline have a specific duration. You can adjust the in and out points of selected clips using the three time sliders - In, Out, and Dur (for Duration). To learn more about how to use time sliders in Photon, refer to Chapter 01_02. Fundamentals of Photon and its UI > 2.12 Slider Types Behavior.

Changing the Duration will modify the Out point of the selected clip(s). When the Duration is increased the Out point moves towards the right, conversely shortening the Duration will move the Out point towards the left. Changing the Duration does not change a clip's In point.

To lock the duration of a clip, simply activate the small lock icon located on the right of the Duration slider. Once the lock is engaged, the clip will not change in length, but you can still adjust its position by moving either the in or out time slider.

Additionally, you can manually adjust the in and out points of a clip by using the handles located at the extremities of the clip on the timeline.

If you set the values in the in and out time slider to be the same, the clip will become infinite in length, covering the entire length of your sequence starting with the value present in the sliders. For example, if you want a clip to go across your entire sequence, set both sliders to 00:00:00:00.

3.3. Reset all Button

Allows you to reset all shared clip properties parameters below it, meaning it will completely reset the shared clip properties of the selected clip(s) except for its Clip Type, Duration, In Point and Out Point.

3.4. Geometry - Scale & Move content

Use the radio button to choose between Percent/Normalized values or in Pixels for Geometry, Cropping and Rotation center values.

Use High Quality Downscaling filter on scaled down clips during composition. It should be left on for better results.

Transformations are performed around a fixed point called the reference point. By default, this point is at the center of the item you are transforming. However, you can change the reference point or move the center point to a different location using the reference point locator.

This reference point is only for position and size; rotation will have a different one.

To position and scale your clips on the screen, you can use the position and size 2D sliders. For more information on using these sliders, refer to Chapter 01_02. Fundamentals of Photon and its UI > 2.12 Slider Types Behavior.

Alternatively, you can use the mouse to manipulate the 2D bounding box in the preview module directly.

The Reset button will reset the position and size 2D Sliders. This will center your content at the size of the screen it is in.

3.5. Blending - Composite your images

Select the blending mode from the drop-down menu.

Blending modes use color information from a Base layer and a Blend layer to combine pixels into a Result layer. Each mode corresponds to a different mathematical algorithm which is applied to each pixel to create the final blend.

Understanding blending modes in Photon can help you create more dynamic and unique compositions in your designs, by creating complex blends that cannot be achieved with standard opacity settings.

Base + Blend = Result

  • Base – The original color in the image.

  • Blend – The color applied to the Base layer.

  • Result – The color resulting from the blend between the Base and the Blend.

Coming soon: Blending mode guide.

The Opacity slider lets you control how much you can see through the current clip.

An Opacity value of 1 makes the current clip fully opaque whereas any value below 1 will partially reveal the blended result of the clips directly beneath the current one. An Opacity value of 0 makes the current clip fully transparent.

If you set the value of the Opacity Slider to zero (0), the corresponding clip will not be rendered on your screen.

When you press the [H] key with a clip selected, it will automatically toggle the Opacity slider between 0 and 1. This is a useful shortcut for quickly hiding or revealing clips in your composition.

3.6. Transitions - Cross Fades & Slide Shows

With Photon, you don't need to draw complex curves or add keyframes to fade in or out content. Instead, you can simply enter a value or slide to automatically fade in or out the selected clips. This feature can save you time and effort, as you can easily adjust the fade in/out effect without the need for manual keyframe adjustments.

When you add a fade in or fade out effect to a selected clip in Photon, you will see a triangle icon drawn at the beginning or end of the clip. This serves as a visual indicator to show that a fade effect has been applied to the clip.

3.7. Rotation

To modify the center of rotation for your clip in Photon, use the Center X/Y sliders.

Those sliders allow you to adjust the position of the center of rotation for the selected clips.

The Angle slider in Photon can be used to rotate your selected clip. This slider allows you to adjust the rotation angle of the clip, measured in degrees.

The Angle slider in Photon can be used to rotate your selected clip. This slider allows you to adjust the rotation angle of the clip, measured in degrees.

3.8. Cropping

In Photon, there are two modes of cropping available in the clip shader: "crop" and "crop resize". The former builds rectangular masks around the content while the latter scales the image based on the crop values to maintain its full size in the clip raster. In both modes, the control bounding boxes remain unchanged.

The first four sliders control the amount of cropping on the left, right, bottom, and top sides respectively.

The "crop softedge" option can be used to apply a soft edge in all directions simultaneously.

Users can also use the "crop pan x" and "crop pan y" options to pan the cropped section of the content within the screen raster.

It's worth noting that there is also an FX available in Photon called "crop_fx" which offers the same options as the crop mode in the clip shader, with the added ability to control the alpha channel of the crop.

3.9. Color

There are two buttons located in the Color section that allow you to access and reset the color correction module.

On How to use the color correction please read: Chapter 04. Color Correction

Although the Color Correction module is located within the shared clip properties, it has its own interface. Also, if you select multiple clips, the Color Correction module will apply the same settings to each selected clip.

To animate the color correction option, you will need to first expose the parameters in the Color Correction module. Once you have exposed these parameters, they will appear in the color section of the shared clip properties, allowing you to make adjustments and animate the color correction effect over time.

3.10. Alpha Transfer and Alpha Management

Alpha Transfer is a feature that allows you to control the alpha channel (mask) of your clip. You can choose to generate a mask using the clip's own luminance information (self mode), or use another source’s alpha channel or intensity to create a mask for your content.

To use Alpha Transfer, first select your source of alpha from the dropdown menu. You can then adjust the brightness, contrast, and gamma of the source using the three sliders provided. You can toggle {alpha form intensity} to use the luminance information of the source instead of its alpha channel. You can also toggle {alpha invert} to invert your masking.

Toggle {show alpha} to display the alpha channel on top of your composition or If you want to return to your image without alpha masking, simply toggle {disable alpha transfer}.

These options are particularly useful for debugging complex compositions and inspecting the alpha channel.

3.11. DMX - Control Clip via DMX

When programming a show with an external device such as a lighting console, it is possible to control shared clip properties and media-specific properties using DMX fixtures with specific control types.

The linked fixture dropdown menu allows you to select the DMX fixture with which you want to control the clip.

By selecting a fixture previously created in I/O manager>DMX the table will populate itself with control types and received values.

Coming soon: More on DMX.

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