Keeping assets organized is useful to streamline your workflow in Touch Creator. There are a couple of things you can do to help yourself, the first being to group the assets on order to avoid a thicket of entries you can't possibly overlook.
Then there is the modification of the asset properties: Make assets easy recognizable by giving them speaking names and assigning color labels to them, and set the right initial parameters to save time later on in the workflow.
After being dropped on the Touch Creator user interface, new assets are shown in the Assets section of the Library. The following image shows the Library pane with some assets and the assets property section on the right-hand side.
To create a group, right-click on one or more assets and select New Group. This will add a folder that contains the selected assets. Go to the property section and rename the group to your liking. Drag and drop assets where ever you need them. When you delete an asset, it will be removed from the project.
Which assets you group together is up to you. You may group assets by asset type, by name or by some topic that is convenient to you. Experience will show you what is useful.
If you drag and drop an asset onto the Stage, it will automatically be hosted by a Media Player component
Understanding Asset Properties
On the right-hand side of the Library, you can find a section showing the properties of the selected asset. Values are shown if just one asset is selected. The initial values of an imported asset are taken from the original file. Basically, these values are the file name and parameters such as width and height in pixels.
The following image shows the properties of a video asset that has the full set of parameters, except for the URL field that is specific to HTML assets.
All changes you make will affect the assets as they are used in the project. For instance, if you drop a video onto the Stage, a Media Player component will be created using the set Size of the Video asset.
For assets with visual representation, Size and Crop have a vital function. Size sets the initial size of an asset when used in a project. The resolution of the material won't be changed, but it will be scaled to the values set. So, if you choose smart initial values, you may later save time adjusting the component.
Crop allows you to select a part of the original material for playback. This may save you from returning to the editing table. Note the combined effect of Size and Crop. Cropping a video won't change its playback size, but has a zoom-in or a distorting effect, depending on where and how much you crop the video.
The Start Time and Stop Time settings in the Media section allow you crop the playback time of the corresponding asset.
List of Asset Properties
The sections below describe the individual parameters. The settings available depend on the asset types. For instance, the Label selection and the Name field are available for all asset types. The Size field, the Transparent checkbox and the Layout section are available for assets with a visual representation such as Image, HTML and Video, but not for Audio.
This section is available for all assets, but some of the parameters are restricted to certain asset types.
- Label: Select a color that identifies this particular asset in the Library.
- Name: Give the asset a speaking name. The initial value here is the original file name.
- URL: This points to the website the corresponding asset will show. Only available for HTML assets.
- Size: Set the width W and height H of assets. In the case of Image or Video assets, initial parameters are taken from the original files. In the case of HTML or Live Video Input assets, fixed preset values are taken. Not available for Audio assets.
- Support alpha: Interpret this media's alpha channel to respect transparency information, if applicable. Only available for Video assets.
- Show pageload: Show the content build up partially. Otherwise, the content will be displayed only after all information have been gathered. Only available for HTML assets.
This section is available for assets with a visual representation, but not for Audio assets.
- Crop: Activate this checkbox to allow cropping.
- L: Set the left crop margin.
- R: Set the right crop margin.
- B: Set the bottom crop margin.
- T: Set the top crop margin.
This section is only available for Video assets and, in part, for Live Video Input assets.
- Volume: Set the volume of the asset.
- Start Time: Set a time within the original asset where the playback is to start. Any content before the start time will be ignored at playback time. Only available for Video assets.
- Stop Time: Set a time within the original asset where the playback is to stop. Any content after the stop time will be ignored at playback time. Only available for Video assets.
- Duration: Indicator showing the playback duration resulting from the Start Time and Stop Time. Only available for Video assets.
Search Function: If you need to find individual Library assets or Scene Manager components, press the ⌘ + F keys or go to Project → Search. A dialog will open that has a field where you can enter a search string and a list with matches. Initially the list shows all available items. As you type a search string, the list will show just the items that contain the search string within their names.
Reveal in Project / Reveal in Finder: If you need to know where individual Library assets are used in the Scene Manager or stored on the hard drive, right-click on the asset. You will find the Reveal in Project and Reveal in Finder entries. Click on the former to see where the assets is used in the project, the Stage will list all occurrences. Click on the latter to open Finder and see where the asset is stored as a file.
Consolidate Assets: Especially if you work with templates, it may occur that multiple entries in the Asset Library represent the exact same asset. This also occurs if you drag the exact same asset repeatedly on the Touch Creator interface. To reduce these entries to exactly one, you can use the Consolidate feature. Right-click on an asset and select the Consolidate entry in the context menu. All duplicates of the asset will be removed from the library.
Entering Numeric Values: You can type a numeric value into a field to set or change it. As an alternative, right-click into the corresponding field and hold the mouse button. When moving the mouse left and right, you will see the value changing up and down accordingly. A third way is to use the UP and DOWN keys to increase or decrease the value of the selected field. This helps you set numeric values quickly and also visualize transitions, such as an object moving to a new position.