As you create your story, you can view its progress in either the Preview window or the Story Viewer.
The Preview window plays your story directly from the Story Editor, allowing you to control the camera view, but does not have any other controls. The Story Viewer is a separate player providing additional information which may be helpful as you analyze or debug your story.
You choose whether to use Preview or the Story Viewer using a checkbox in the Story Editor Preferences window.
Watch our brief Story Viewer Overview video.
Build and Play
To view your story, you first have to build the story graph you created in the Story Editor. You will find the commands to build and play your story under the Play menu. For more information on building your story, see Publishing.
By default, the story will play in the Story Viewer. You can change it to use the Preview window by unchecking the Story Viewer checkbox in the Story Editor's Preferences window.
The Story Viewer offers the windows described below to help you explore your story as it plays. Each of the windows can be torn off of the main window and moved by clicking on the icon in its menu bar.
When the Story Viewer launches, your story starts playing in the main window. You can click and drag on the story to move the camera, simulating what will be like when your story plays on a device.
On the left side of the main window are buttons to toggle between the Camera Tool and the Selection Tool. The Camera Tool allows you to move the camera as the story plays. The Selection Tool allows you to select objects in the scene. When you select an object, you can retrieve information about it, as described further below.
Similar to the Outliner in the Story Editor, this window lists the assets in your story. Clicking on an item in the Outliner also selects that object in your scene, just as if you clicked on it with the Selection Tool.
While the Selection Tool is active, currently selected objects will show a rotation/translation manipulator, allowing you to drag the object around in the scene.
If you click on an asset the Outliner, its bounding box appears in the main window, and its properties appear in the Properties window. Right-clicking on an asset allows you to hide it, or change its display to wireframe.
When you click on assets in the Outliner, their properties appear in the Properties window.
The Diagnostics window displays real-time statistics about the story including render times.
Similar to the Story Editor, the Log window displays system messages as the story plays. In the Log window menu, you can:
- Clear the log
- Filter message types
- Toggle Verbose messages.
The Story Graphs window lists both the story graphs and which states in those story graphs are currently playing.
Remember that you can also set your Graph Editor to highlight the current states as the story plays.
Note that changes to many of the options described below will be saved across Story Viewer sessions.
- Open: Navigate to a file you wish to open in the Story Viewer.
- Open Recent: Choose to open a story from a list of those that you have previously opened.
- Close: Close the currently loaded story.
- Reload: Start the current story over again, but keep any settings you have changed, such as showing triggers.
- Capture Screenshot: Save a capture of the current image in the main viewer. The image is saved to a screenshots subdirectory of the project build directory (the directory with dist and raw). The name of the image is a combination of the show name and a timestamp.
- Undo: Reverse the previous change to the Story Viewer Settings.
- Redo: Re-apply a change that was reversed using Undo.
- Clear Selection: Deselect all objects you have selected in the story.
- Pause/Resume: Pause or resume the story playback. You can also use the space bar hotkey. Pausing the story enables the Step command described below.
- Slow Down: Slow down the playback of the story by half each time you select this command. The lower limit is 1/16x normal playback speed. You can also use the "," (comma) hotkey.
- Speed Up: Double the playback speed each time you select this command. The upper limit is 16x normal playback speed. You can also use the "." (period) hotkey.
- Step: If your story is paused, you can step through it frame by frame. You can also use the "/" (slash) hotkey.
- Mute Audio: Set the audio level to zero.
- Checkpoints: Choose a point in the story to checkpoint, or choose a previous checkpoint to start playing from. See Checkpoints.
- Font Size, Color: Customize the font used for diagnostic messages appearing over the story in the main window when Debug Info is enabled.
- Camera Frustum: Toggle the visibility of the bounding boxes around the cameras and camera frustums.
- Camera Display: Toggle the visibility of icons marking the camera locations in your scene.
- Grid and Grid Options: Set the visibility options of the grid during playback. This can be useful if, for example, you need to see the ground plane.
- Navigation Axis: Toggle the visibility of the navigation axis shown in the lower left corner of the main window.
- Developer Info: Display debug information in the corner of the main window as the story plays. You can alter the font used for this information using Font Size and Font Color. You can toggle Variables and Broadcast Events individually.
- Audio Emitters: Toggle the visibility of the audio emitters in the scene.
- Triggers: Toggle the visibility of the trigger spheres and trigger names in the scene.
- Step Render Graph: This command allows you to separately view each render pass of a post effects render graph. Each time you use the command, or hotkey, you will see the next render pass in the chain.
- Reset Render Graph: This command sets the main view back to the last pass in the render graph chain.
- Resolution: Open a dialog that allows you to change the playback size settings.
- Actual Size plays the story back at the resolution specified by the Width and Height fields.
- Fixed Aspect Ratio plays the story back at the aspect ratio defined by the Width and Height fields. It will use as much of the Main window as it can while maintaining that aspect ratio.
- Free adjusts the story playback size to the size of your Story Viewer main window.
- Render Options: Open a dialog that allows you to change how selected objects in the story are rendered. For example, you can choose to hide some objects or render them in wireframe. Note that you can select multiple assets in the Render Options dialog. The Enable Render Options checkbox allows you to temporarily turn off your altered render settings without losing the changes you've made.
- Enter Full Screen: (iOS only) Enter full screen mode, maximizing the playback window and hiding other windows and controls.
- Cameras: Select a camera from a list of the cameras in the scene.
- New Camera: Create a new "debug camera" in the scene. These additional cameras can move around independent of the story camera. Click and drag, and use the mouse wheel, to adjust the position of a debug camera. Note that a new camera is not added to your story in the Story Editor or Maya.
- Toggle Camera: Toggle between the story camera and the last debug camera you were looking through.
- Look at selected: If you have an object selected, choose this command to turn the camera toward that object.
- Fit selected to View: If you have an object selected, choose this command to turn the camera toward that object and zoom to frame it in the view.
- Align to story camera: Move the debug camera to the current position and angle of the story camera.
- Delete active camera: Delete the active debug camera. The main window will reset to the story camera view.
- Align Light to Camera: Align a selected light object to the position and angle of the current camera.
- Align Camera to Light: Align the current camera to the position and angle of a selected light.
Aside from letting you choose which windows to view, you can also:
- Reset to default layout: Reset the size and position of the Story Viewer window, and open the default set of windows.