Replicator cell controls

Adjust replicator cells using the controls at the bottom of the Replicator Inspector (for replicators with a single cell) or in the Replicator Cell Inspector (for replicators with multiple cells):

  • Align Angle: A checkbox (available when Shape is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill or Random Fill) that forces replicator elements to rotate to match the shape on which they’re positioned.

    Canvas comparing Spiral replicators with Align Angle disabled and enabled
  • Angle: A dial to set (in degrees) the rotation of the replicator elements. When the 3D checkbox is selected in the Replicator Inspector, the default dial modifies the Z angle. To modify the rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes (X, Y, and Z), click the disclosure triangle and adjust the X, Y, and Z dials. When the 3D checkbox is selected, this parameter group also displays the Animate pop-up menu (described below).

  • Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of the Angle parameter when the 3D checkbox is selected) that sets the angle interpolation for keyframed animation of the Angle parameter. There are two menu choices:

    • Use Rotation: The default interpolation method. When the Angle parameter is keyframed, pattern elements rotate from their start rotation to their final rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements may twist before reaching their final orientation (the last keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180 degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes before reaching their final orientation.

    • Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method provides smoother animation but does not allow multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) and their end orientation (second keyframe).

  • Angle End: A dial to set (in degrees) the rotation of the replicator elements at the end of the pattern. The angle value of the elements at the end of the pattern equals the Angle value (start) plus the Angle End value. For example, if Angle is set to 0 degrees and Angle End set to 90 degrees, the elements are not rotated at all at their origin, and are rotated by 90 degrees at the end of the pattern.

    Canvas showing Line replicator with Angle End set to different value than Angle

    In a 3D project, using the default dial modifies the Z angle. To modify the rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes (X, Y, and Z), click the disclosure triangle and adjust the individual X, Y, and Z dials. When the 3D checkbox is selected, this parameter group also displays the Animate pop-up menu (described below).

    • Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of the Angle End parameter when the 3D checkbox is selected) that sets the angle interpolation for keyframed animation of the Angle parameter. There are two menu choices:

      • Use Rotation: This is the default interpolation method. When the Angle End parameter is keyframed, pattern elements rotate from their start rotation to their final rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements may twist before reaching their final orientation (the last keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180 degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes before reaching their final orientation.

      • Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method provides smoother animation but does not allow multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) and their end orientation (second keyframe).

  • Angle Randomness: A dial that defines an amount of variance in the rotation of replicator elements. A value of 0 results in no variance—all elements have the same rotational value. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance. The angle for an element is defined by the Angle and Angle End parameter, plus or minus a random value falling within the Angle Randomness.

    In a 3D project, using the default dial or value slider (when the disclosure triangle is closed), modifies the Z angle. To modify the rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes (X, Y, and Z), click the disclosure triangle and adjust the X, Y, and Z dials. When the 3D checkbox is selected, this parameter group also displays the Animate pop-up menu (described below).

    • Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of the Angle Randomness parameter when the 3D checkbox is selected) that sets the angle interpolation for keyframed animation of the Angle Randomness parameter. There are two menu choices:

      • Use Rotation: This is the default interpolation method. When the Angle Randomness parameter is keyframed, pattern elements rotate from their start rotation to their final rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements may twist before reaching their final orientation (the last keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180 degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes before reaching their final orientation.

      • Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method provides smoother animation but does not allow multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) and their end orientation (second keyframe).

  • Additive Blend: By default, replicator elements are composited together using the Normal blend mode. Select this checkbox to composite all overlapping elements using the Additive blend mode. The result is that the brightness of overlapping objects is intensified. This blending occurs in addition to the compositing method set in the Blend Mode parameter in Properties Inspector.

  • Color Mode: A pop-up menu to specify how replicator elements are tinted. There are five menu options:

    • Original: Elements are created using the original colors from the source layer. When this setting is chosen, the Opacity Gradient editor becomes available (described below).

      Canvas showing replicator with different Opacity tags at start and end of gradient
    • Colorize: Elements are tinted using the color specified in the Color parameter. When this setting is chosen additional Color and Opacity Gradient controls become available (described below).

    • Over Pattern: Elements are tinted based on how they are ordered in the pattern. When Over Pattern is chosen, the Color Gradient editor becomes available (described below).

    • Pick From Color Range: Elements are tinted at random, with the range of possible colors and transparency defined by the Color Range gradient editor (described below). A point on the gradient is randomly chosen, so the relative sizes of each color region determine the frequency of the color being used.

      For more information on using the gradient controls, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.

    • Take Image Color: Each element’s color is based on the color of the image at the position of the element point. This mode is only available when an image in used as the replicator shape.

       Canvas showing replicator set to Take Image Color
  • Color: This color well becomes available when the Color Mode is set to Colorize. Use it to specify a color to tint replicator elements. You can also alter each element’s opacity. This parameter is unique to the cell object. You can click the color well to choose a color, or open the disclosure triangle and use the Red, Green, Blue, and Opacity channel sliders or value sliders.

  • Opacity Gradient: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode is set to Original or Colorize) to change the opacity of replicator elements over the pattern. This gradient control is limited to grayscale values, which are used to represent varying levels of transparency. White represents solid elements; progressively darker levels of gray represent decreasing opacity; and black represents complete transparency. A simple white to black gradient represents a pattern that is solid at its origin, but which fades out gradually. For more information on using gradient and opacity gradient controls, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.

    Opacity gradient editor in Inspector
  • Color Gradient: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode is set to Over Pattern) to specify the range of color and transparency of the pattern, beginning with the leftmost color in the gradient, then progressing through the range of colors to the rightmost color at the end of the pattern.

    Replicator Inspector showing Color Mode set to Over Pattern

    Gradual color changes do not appear in each element, but only across the pattern as a whole.

    Figure. Canvas window showing example of Color Mode set to Over Pattern.

    An Opacity control is available at the top of the gradient editor. For more information on using gradient controls, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.

  • Color Range: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode is set to Pick From Color Range) to specify the range of colors and transparency used to randomly tint the pattern.

  • Color Repetitions: A slider (available when Color Mode is set to Over Pattern) to set the number of times the gradient is repeated over the pattern.

  • Scale: A slider to set the scale of replicator elements. By default, Scale is set to 100%—the size of the replicator elements is equal to the size of the source layer. Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height of elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D text elements.

  • Scale End: A slider to set the scale of the replicator elements at the end of the pattern, relative to the Scale value. For example, if Scale is set to 100% and Scale End set to 50%, the elements are 100% at their origin and half their size at the end of the pattern. Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale End parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height of elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D text elements.

  • Scale Randomness: A slider to set an amount of variance in the scale of replicator elements. A value of 0 results in no variance—all elements in the pattern are the same size. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance. The scale for an element is defined by the Scale parameter, plus or minus a random value falling within the Scale and the Scale End. Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale Randomness parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height of elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D text elements.

    Canvas showing replicator with different Scale and Scale End values, and with Scale Randomness set to 75
  • Play Frames: A checkbox (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) that, when selected, loops playback of the animation or movie clip used for each element. If this checkbox is deselected, the animation or clip is frozen at the still frame specified by the Random Start Frame parameter or the Source Start Frame parameter (described below).

  • Random Start Frame: A checkbox (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) that, when selected, introduces variation so that each element in the pattern begins at a different frame of the clip. If the Play Frames checkbox is deselected, still frames are chosen randomly.

  • Source Start Frame: A slider (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell, and if Random Start Frame is deselected) that designates the start frame of the clip (when the Play Frames checkbox is selected) or the still frame to display (when Play Frames is deselected).

  • Source Frame Offset: A slider (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell, and Random Start Frame is deselected) to offset the start frame chosen in the Source Start Frame slider. At their origin, the elements play the animation from the frame specified in the Source Start Frame slider. Each adjacent pattern element in the Canvas advances the start frame by the offset amount.

    Canvas showing replicator with Source Start Frame Offset applied
  • Hold Frames: A slider (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) to set the number of times each frame of the source movie is repeated during playback. The larger the Hold Frames value, the slower your playback.

  • Hold Frames Randomness: A slider (available if the replicator is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) to vary the number of frames to hold.

  • Show Objects As: A pop-up menu that sets whether replicator elements are displayed in a preview mode or as they actually appear. The nonimage modes play back more efficiently when viewing a complex replicator pattern. By default, this pop-up menu is set to Image, which displays each element as it is supposed to appear. Choose one of the following four options:

    • Points: Displays each element as a single point. This is the fastest preview mode. When you choose Points, the Point Size slider appears, allowing you to increase the size of the points for easier viewing. In the following image, the Point Size is set to 8.

      Canvas showing replicator in Points preview mode
    • Lines: Displays each element as a line. This option is effective only when elements of the replicator are animated using Simulation behaviors or the Throw (Basic Motion) behavior. The movement of each pattern element is represented by a line; use this view to analyze motion vectors of elements. The length of each line is determined by that element’s speed, and the angle of each line equals each element’s direction. In the following image, the replicator elements are animated using the Vortex behavior.

      Canvas showing replicator in Lines preview mode

      Note: Element movement created by the Sequence Replicator behavior or by keyframing the replicator parameters is not displayed.

    • Wireframe: Displays each element as a bounding box. Because the bounding boxes are good indicators of each element’s orientation in the pattern, this preview mode is useful for evaluating the movements of individual elements. For example, it’s easy to see the angle of rotation for elements that are spinning or following a complex motion path.

      Canvas showing replicator in Wireframe preview mode
    • Image: Displays elements as they will appear in your final render. This is the default setting.

      Canvas showing replicator in Image preview mode

      Note: The option chosen in the Show Objects As pop-up menu appears in your final render.

  • Random Seed: Although the result of adjusting the Angle Randomness, Scale Randomness, Pick From Color Range, Random Start Frame, or Hold Frame Randomness parameters seems random, it’s deterministic. This means that the random variation in the pattern is created based on the number shown in the Random Seed field. Unless this seed number is changed, a replicator with the same parameter settings appears the same. If you don’t like the current random scale or angle, change the seed number by typing a new number the field or by clicking Generate.

  • Object Source: An image well displaying a thumbnail of the replicator cell. To swap out a cell, drag a new source layer from the Layers list to the Object Source well.

    In a replicator with multiple cells, each cell appears in a separate image well listed at the bottom of the Replicator Inspector. A checkbox lets you enable or disable that cell.