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Lesson 2. Using Generators > Adding a Slit Scan

Adding a Slit Scan

It's time to bend and twist the Cellular generator into the background we need it to be.

Still in the Generator tab of the Inspector, set the Size parameter to around 32.

Now for the fun part. It's time to add a Slit Scan filter.

Click the Add Filter button at the top of the Canvas and choose Stylize > Slit Scan.

Now that's more like it! The Slit Scan filter takes our somewhat generic lumpy cells and turns them into a cosmordial waterfall. Notice too that the Inspector immediately jumped to the Filters tab when we added the Slit Scan filter.

For the exercises in the next few lessons, we want the background to appear to flow from the right, so we'll make some adjustments to the Slit Scan to accommodate our design intent.

In the Filters tab of the Inspector, set the Slit Scan's rotation to 90 degrees either by using the dial widget or by manually typing 90 into the hot box.


When using the dial widget to enter angles, be aware that a counterclockwise rotation produces a positive increment in the angle. Most people expect a clockwise rotation to increase the angle positively; in the case of Motion, it's the reverse.

You'll see that the filter's Center parameter has two hot boxes. The left hot box determines the slit's horizontal offset from the center of the screen.

The right box determines its vertical offset. We want to push it to the right, so we'll just adjust the horizontal offset.

Drag in the horizontal (left) Center hot box to push the slit off the right side of the screen (a value of about 350).

Set the Perspective parameter to about 0.20. This shifts the effect back a bit, giving a little more detail in the branches flowing out of the slit from the left.

Set the Glow parameter to about 0.10.

Click the Glow Color swatch to open the Colors window. Select a medium shade of pink to add a nice highlight glow to our cosmordial soup.

Close the Colors window.

We're almost done, but we need to add a blur just to soften some of those edges on the rays branching out from the slit.

Click the Add Filter button and choose Blur > Directional Blur.

That softens up the branching nicely, but you'll notice we've introduced a kind of embossing around the edges of the image. That's because the Directional Blur has “pulled in” some black from outside the frame to blur with the rest of the image. Usually this effect is a good thing, because it keeps blurs from cropping at the edge of an object. However, in cases like this one where the entire background is being blurred (not just a small object within the composite), the result is this undesirable embossing.

In the Filters tab (F3) of the Inspector, check the box next to Crop in the Directional Blur parameter.

The blur is now cropped at the edges of the Canvas, and no black is pulled in.

All is well.



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