When creating a scene, rigging a character or once your animation is finished, you can add effects such as blurs, glows, shadows, colour filters and transparency filters and to enhance your project's quality. Effects change the way layers or groups of layers are rendered in your scene.
Effects are special types of
Some effects need to be linked to another layer referred to as the matte layer, which is used to define the area they should affect. The most basic example of this is the Cutter effect. Alone, a cutter effect does not have any effect on your drawing. Once combined with a matte layer, the Cutter effect cuts the shape of the matte out of the drawing.
A matte layer is simply a drawing layer that is connected to an effect as its matte. The effect takes the shape of the drawing in the matte layer, ignoring its colours and details.
In the Timeline view, an effect must be rigged as the child of the drawing layer or group it is meant to affect. If the effect requires a matte, it will have a Matte parameter, on which you can drag and drop the layer you wish to use as the effect's matte layer.
Once your effect is connected, you can adjust its parameters using the Layer Properties view. If desired, you can even animate the parameters of your effect by converting their values to functions.
In Harmony, you can add effects by selecting the layer or group you wish to add an effect to, then adding the effect through the Timeline view's Add Layers menu. Then, you can achieve the intended effect by adjusting its parameters in the Layers Properties view, and connecting it to a matte layer if applicable.
- In the Timeline view, select the layer on which you want to add an effect.
- Do one of the following:
- From the top menu, select Insert > Effects > effect.
- In the Layers toolbar, click the Add Layers button and select Effects > effect.
- From the Timeline menu, select Insert > Effects > effect.
The effect appears in the Timeline view.
- In the Camera view, click the Render View button to see the scene's rendered current frame and effect. Note that most effects cannot be played back in real time. You need to use the Render and Playoption in the Playback toolbar.
NOTE: By default, your background will appear pitch black. To remedy this, you can add a Colour Card layer at the bottom of your layers list, and tweak its colour in the Layer Properties view.
- In the Timeline view, double-click on the effect layer to open the Layer Properties window. You can also select the effect layer and see its properties in the Layer Properties view.
The Layer Properties view opens, displaying the parameters available for the selected effect.
- In the Layer Properties view, adjust the effect’s parameters as needed. Each time you make a change, the Camera view will need to refresh the render, which may cause a little delay before you can observe its effect
—see Filter Nodes.
- To play back your scene with the final effects, in the Playback toolbar, click the Render and Play button.
NOTE: Once you have set the parameters for the effect, you can store it in the Library view as a template, so you can quickly reuse it without resetting the parameters again
—see About Templates.
The Cutter effect cuts out a portion of an image. To accomplish this, it needs to be connected to the drawing it is intended to cut as well as to a matte layer. The cutter will take the shape of the drawing in its matte layer and cut this shape out of the drawing layer. This is especially useful if you want to make a character disappear between a background element, or if you want to cut out a hole in the middle of a character.
The Cutter effect has an Inverted parameter, which is disabled by default. When enabled, the Cutter will have the revert effect: Instead of cutting the matte's shape out of the drawing, it will cut everything outside of the matte's shape out of the drawing, leaving only the parts of the drawing that are covered by the matte.
- Select a drawing layer.
- Click the Add Layers button and select Effects > Cutter.
The Cutter effect is created as a child of the selected layer.
- In the Timeline view, create a new layer, which will be used as your Cutter effect's Matte layer.
- In your new Matte layer, draw the shape that you want to cut out from your drawing layer.
- In the Timeline view, click the Collapse/Expand button on the effect layer to display its Matte parameter.
- Drag and drop your matte layer next to your Cutter layer's Matte field, under the Parameters column.
- If you want to invert the Cutter's effect, double-click on your Cutter layer to open its Layer Properties dialog, then enable the Inverted option.
In some cases, you may want to have the intensity, color, or another parameter of an effect animated. For example, you may want an object to fade in or out, which would require making its transparency level animated so that it increases or decreases as your scene goes. You can animate an effect's parameters by creating a function curve for its parameter. You can then add keyframes to the function and set them to different values, hence making your effect's parameter change value as your scene plays out. To do this, you will need to use the Layer Properties view.
- In the Timeline view, select a layer and add an effect to it by doing one of the following:
- Click the Add Layer button and select Effects > desired effect.
- Right-click and select Insert > Effects > desired effect.
- From the top menu, select Insert > Effects > desired effect.
- Create the function curve by doing one of the following:
- Double-click on the effect layer to display the effect properties. Click the Function button of the parameter you want to animate and create a function curve.
- In the Timeline view, expand the effect layer's parameters by clicking the Collapse/Expand button. Then click the Function button of the parameter you want to animate and create a function curve.
- In the Timeline view, go to the frame on which you want to start animating the effect.
- In the Timeline toolbar, click the Add Keyframe button.
- In the Value field of the parameter you want to animate, enter the keyframe value. If your keyframes are stop-motion keyframes, in the Timeline view, select the new keyframes. Right-click and select Set Motion Keyframe.
- Repeat these steps until your effect's animation is complete.