This week's tip is the last in the Smart Layer series. Though it technically isn't a real smart layer, the Toucan palette importer will allow you to have instant access to your saved Toucan colors in other applications, just like a smart layer! [youtube width="550" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbyxRRS4db4[/youtube]
Learn how you can add bitmap effects to your Raven vectors with this week's video tip.
In this week's video tip, we cover how to get text into your Peacock creations! [youtube width="550" height="343"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edeip3e5GdQ[/youtube]
Over the next few week we will have video tips on the previously mentioned Smart Layers. These tip will showcase ways to utilize smart layers to extend the editing power of the applications. This weeks tip in on creating vector layer masks using Smart Layers. [youtube width="560" height="349"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVwJTAdFIdU[/youtube]
Thrilled by the possibilities of Smart Layers in our online image editors, which we've been covering over the past couple weeks? Get ready to be even happier. Our online audio editor, Myna, has Smart Layers too! Though this functionality isn't exactly a layer, it works very similarly to the Smart Layers in the graphic editing applications. Myna has a function that will let you create and edit beats from our Music creator Roc from within the audio editor, so there's no need to open a new window to create beats for your mix. It's very easy to make a Roc beat to add to your mix: just start by pressing the Beat button (the one nicely marked with a "New" banner). This will open the familiar Roc interface directly in Myna. Now you can create your beat just as you would in the standalone version of Roc. When you're done and want to add the beat to your mix, press the "Add Beat to Myna" button. You'll be prompted to save the beat before it adds it into the mix. You can also edit preexisting beats that you've added to Myna by right-clicking on them and choosing the "Edit Clip in Roc" option.
Our effects editor Peacock can use Smart Layers just like the other image editing applications. However, Peacock will handle them a bit differently since it is a non-destructive editor. This means that any resources that are used with the application will not have their pixels permanently altered, so they all retain their editability. Thus, there is no need to convert these resources before editing them in Peacock, which makes it a great application to use as the main hub for your Smart Layers. There are two ways to create and use Smart Layers in Peacock. First is to open the Resources sidebar and select an new Phoenix Resource, New Peacock Resource or New Raven Resource and pressing OK. This will open a second application in its own window in which you can create your resource. The second way is to choose Import Resource from the Resource sidebar or from the File menu; this will open the import area. From there, go to the Aviary tab and choose a Phoenix, Peacock, or Raven file and it will be imported as a Smart Layer.
Our online vector editor (Raven) has smart layers which allow you to create, edit and mix resources from our other apps on the fly. Raven's Smart Layers have similar functionality to Phoenix Smart Layers, but the workflow is slightly different. There are two ways to create Smart Layers in Raven. The first is to add a blank Smart layer by using either the New Phoenix Layer or New Peacock Layer from the Layers option menu. The second method is to push an existing path to the secondary app. To use this method, you must first convert the shape/path to a bitmap. Then use the Edit with Phoenix or Edit with Peacock commands found within the layers option menu.
Hint: If your Smart Layer does not automatically update when you switch back to Raven, try moving the layer. This will force the layer to update.
Raven, Peacock and even other Phoenix files can be imported, exported or created from within Phoenix using Smart Layers. There are three ways to create a Smart Layer.
- Import - Use the Import Resource command from the file menu to load a previously saved file from the Aviary Repository. The file will be imported as a Smart Layer. Double click on the Smart Layer to open it.
- Export - Standard Layers can be converted to a Smart Layer. Select a layer and choose Edit Layer with Peacock, Raven or Phoenix from the Layers menu to open it in the secondary app. Alternately you can push a standard Layer to an app from the layer panel menu.
- Create - Use the New Raven,Peacock or Phoenix Layer command to create a new empty layer in the Phoenix file. Double click on the Smart layer to open it.
When you are editing a Smart Layer in the secondary application, you can monitor your progress by switching back to the main app. The layer will be updated with any changes made in the secondary app after a few seconds. Once you are done editing the Smart Layer in the secondary app, you have three options to add the layer back into the main application.
- Save as.. - Will save the file as an egg file, which will show up in your creations,. The resulting file will be added into the original file and maintain its Smart Layer control.
- Save and preserve changes - Will convert the file to a bitmap and will not save it as a file in your creations. The resulting bitmap will be added back into the original file as a standard layer.
- Discard - If you want to discard the changes, just close the new window.
The smart layers in Aviary's applications are incredibly powerful features. They virtually combine all of the applications into one huge editor. You can create and use smart layers between the main graphic editors - Phoenix, Raven and Peacock - and in our experimental version of Myna, you can create and edit Roc beats à la Smart Layers. To try them out, look for the smart layer commands in the layers panel option of Phoenix and Raven, in the Resources tab in Peacock, or under the file menu in Myna. In the coming weeks, the Tuesday tips will be dedicated to helping you learn how to use smart layers to the fullest. Now let's get started creating with smart layers!