Outliner

The Outliner window lists the actors (Maya assets) that are imported into your story, as well as any story graphs and user events you create in the Story Editor.

The Outliner

You can click on an entry in the Outliner to view it in the Properties window. For some types of entries, you can also right-click to modify them directly.

Selecting a heading Note that clicking on a heading in the Outliner selects all the entries under that heading, and shows the properties for each in the Properties window.

Story

At the top level of the Outliner, you see the name of your story. Click on the story name to view the global properties of the story in the Properties window. They are described below.

Click the expansion arrow to see the Sources, Audio Clips, Story Graphs, and User Events underneath.

Story Properties

Clicking on the story name, you see the attributes listed below in the Properties window. You can override many of the Story attributes you set here for specific Sources below.

  • Name: The name of your story. By default, the name is taken from the Maya file name. But if you change the name here, it does not change the Maya file name.
  • Rendering Background Color: Set the default background color for your story. Click on the color square to open a color picker.
  • Camera: Stories are ordinarily imported from Maya with a default camera, and this option should remain checked. Uncheck this option if you are using a different type of camera.

    • Camera Orientation Mode: If you have added a camera rig to your Maya scene, it will have an initial position and orientation. Use this mode to set the viewer's control of the camera's orientation.
      • Sensor Only: The viewer has complete control of the camera's orientation.
      • Camera + Sensor: The viewer has control of the camera, but the story camera's orientation will remain aligned with the Maya camera's orientation. For example, imagine your story takes place in a car. If the viewer doesn't move the camera, it will turn automatically to remain orientated forward as the car turns. But the viewer can also turn the camera to look around the car.
      • Camera Only: The animated orientation of the camera in the Maya scene controls the viewer's camera.
    • Camera Squash: You can scale the length of the boom when the viewer tilts the camera up (positive) or down (negative). This may give the viewer a more natural feel, shortening with arm length or neck rotation as the viewer looks up and down. It can also be used to prevent the camera from crossing objects that may be close above or below the camera, such as the roof of a car or the ground plane.
    • Trigger Interaction: Enable your story to use the different types of trigger interactions. See Using Triggers for more information on trigger interaction types.

      • Use Legacy Triggers: If you created a story using one of the older SDK versions, enable this option to preserve that functionality.
      • Use Raycast: A trigger will activate when the viewer's camera is pointed directly at it.
      • Use Frustum: A trigger will activate when it comes in contact with the camera's frustum field.
      • Use Camera Sphere: The camera has a sphere of influence around the viewer's position. A trigger will activate when it comes in contact with the Camera Sphere.
    • Camera Pitch Remapping: When a story starts playing, you may not know the orientation of the viewer's device. For example, a phone might be pointing at the ground. Enable the Camera Pitch Remapping to start the story with the viewer's camera oriented to the Maya camera, even if the device is not. Then, as the device rotates near the Maya camera, the viewer takes over control of the orientation.

      • Threshold: Set the angle at which the viewer takes control of the camera.
      • Start Angle: The angle of the viewer's camera when the story starts.
    • VR/Cardboard: These settings allow you to customize the story build according to different physical attributes of the viewer. Each value below scales from the default settings.
      • Initial Yaw delta: Apply an initial yaw offset to the camera when you run in VR mode.
      • Max Number of Motion Controllers: Set the maximum number of VR motion conrollers that appear in the scene. For most shows, this will be set to zero so that there is no distraction from the story.
      • Can Toggle Mirror Mode: Enable this option to allow you to use the M key to toggle mirror mode.
      • Units Per Meter: Map real world units to the scale used to build the virtual world. For example if your original units are set to centimeters, and everything was built to scale, you would want this set to 100 for the world to feel "right" in VR.
      • Field of View Scalar: Scale to widen or narrow the FOV (field of view).
      • Neck Length Scalar: Scale the length from the neck pivot point to the eyes.
      • Boom Scalar: Scale the length of the camera boom for VR devices.
      • Baseline Camera Height: Scale the height of the camera baseline.
      • Camera Origin Offset: The distance on each axis from the Maya camera position to the origin on the floor for a VR scene.
      • Desktop Splash Screen Image: Enter the path to an image which will be used for the splash screen.
    • Alembic Quality: Choose a global default setting for alembic quality. The default is "Medium." You can override this setting locally for specific assets.
    • Alembic Precision Factor: This value gives you more control over the alembic compression quality than the choices in the Alembic Quality field. Higher values provide more fine-tuned compression.
    • Audio Lifecycle Analysis: If you check this box, the Story Editor will analyze your story during the build process to figure out when it is safe to unload audio resources required for each state in your story. This can free up memory and minimize the need to reload audio clips.
    • Audio HRTF Format: Choose the format for the Head-Related Transfer Function. We recommend using the "Sadie KU100" format. It provides more consistent results across different viewing platforms.
    • Disable Compression: Disable image compression throughout your story, including textures, flipbooks and resolution clamping. This allows the story to build at highest quality. This override does not reset any compression settings elsewhere in your story.
    • Flipbooks: Flipbooks allow you to project a series of images, often animated drawings or video frames, into your scene. This feature is still in development. More information is coming soon.
    • Max Texture Resolution: Set an upper limit on the resolution of a flipbook image. If an image is larger than this setting, it will be scaled down so that the larger dimension will be equal to this maximum value.
    • Scale: Scale all of the images in the flipbook by this value.
    • Premultiply Alpha: In some cases, texture images may appear with dark "halo" artifacts, or with transparency clipping issues. The artifacts may be caused by the way image creation packages multiply color values to create each pixel. If this happens, try turning this attribute on to see if the image quality improves in your story.
    • No Crop: By default, compressed flipbook images are cropped to eliminate fully transparent rows and columns of pixels at their edges. Turn this option On to disable the automatic cropping. Note: Uncompressed images are not cropped.
    • Resident: Turn this option On to load the flipbook in full at the beginning of the state that will be using it. Warning: loading a flipbook with this option may cause problems for a final show deployment, and should be avoided.
    • Compression: Choose the format of the flipbook images.
    • Textures:
    • Max Texture Resolution: Set a global maximum for texture resolution along any axis.
    • Auto MipMap: Automatically create a MipMap for each texture during the build process.
    • Premultiply Alpha: In some cases, texture images may appear with dark "halo" artifacts, or with transparency clipping issues. The artifacts may be caused by the way image creation packages multiply color values to create each pixel. If this happens, try turning this attribute on to see if the image quality improves in your story.
    • Compression: Choose a global texture compression format.
    • Render Optimizations:
    • Render Graph Resolution Scalar: Multiply the resolution to be rendered by this value, reducing the resolution of the final render but increasing performance.
    • Create Default Light: Check this option to automatically include a default light in every scene of your story. This option is unnecessary if you have already included your desired lighting in each scene.
    • Story Poster: Enter the path to an image file you want to use as a thumbnail for your story on the viewer's device. We recommend PNG or JPEG image formats. The SDK expects the image size to be 720x1200px. An image of a different size will be scaled to fit the view; an image of a different aspect ratio will be cropped.
    • Notes: This text box allows you to enter any notes you want saved with the story.
    • Package: This area lists any shader packages associated with each source file.

Sources

Listed under Story are the Maya source files that have been imported into the Story Editor. The path and filename are shown for each source. Click on an individual source to see a summary of the imported assets in the Properties window. Click on the word Sources to see them all.

Right-clicking on a source name allows you to:

  • Open the source file in Maya.
  • Disable baking for the assets imported from that source.
  • Show the file location in the Explorer/Finder.
  • Reload the source file from Maya into the Story Editor. Note: you can reload them all using Reload Source Files under the File menu.
  • Manually extract assets from your Maya scene into an FBX file. This may be helpful in the debugging process.

Under each Source, you can see what assets are included. The types of assets available, as well as any changes you can make to them, are described below. Click on an asset name to view its properties in the Properties window.

Camera

If your Maya scene includes additional cameras, they will appear first in the list under Sources. Clicking on the camera name allows you to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the camera taken from the imported Maya scene.
  • Model: Currently, only the default model is available.
  • You also see a list of camera attributes.

Right-clicking on the camera name offers the following options:

  • Select Usages: Select this option to highlight the states in the Graph Editor that use the camera.
  • Select states containing actor:
  • Select states not containing actor:
  • Disable Baking: Choosing this option will "mute" the camera, preventing it from being included when you build the story.
  • Clean actor baked files: Remove all of the baked actor files from the cache, which forces the Story Editor to re-extract them from Maya.

Clips

Under Clips you will see the names of all the clips imported from the Maya source scene. Click on a clip name to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the clip imported from Maya.
  • Frame Range: The starting and ending frames of the Maya scene that comprises this clip. If the clip was created in the Story Editor rather than directly in Maya, you can change these values here or in the Clip Editor.
  • Duration: The length of the clip as defined by the frame range.
  • Frame Rate: The default frame rate taken from the Maya scene.
  • Source: The path and name of the Maya source file the clip came from.
  • Actors: The list of actors in the Maya scene. Toggle the checkbox next to an actor's name to "mute" the actor which will prevent it from being included in the story build. When applicable, click on the Alembic Quality of an actor to choose another quality setting.
  • Override active actors in source file: Check this option to tell the Story Editor to keep the list of muted actors defined in the list above. If it is not checked, reloading the Maya scene will reset the list of active actors.

Lights

Under Lights you see the names of all the lights imported from the Maya source scene. Click on a light name to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the light in the source scene.
  • Transform: Identifies what the light is attached to in the source file.
  • Has Animation: Indicates if the selected light is animated in the Maya scene.
  • View Tags: List of the Post Effects Scene Views that this light is tagged for.

Audio Emitters

Under Audio Emitters you will see the names of all the audio emitters imported from the Maya source scene.

Right-click on an emitter name and choose Select Usages to highlight the states in the Graph Editor where an emitter is used. Click to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the audio emitter in the source scene.
  • Emitter Type:
    • 2D: Change the volume and stereo pan position of the emitter as the viewer turns the camera. The changes are based on the relative position of the emitter projected onto the stereo image.
    • 3D: Enable the emitter to sound like it is coming from a particular point in space.
    • Surround: Enable the entire soundscape to move with the position of head which more realistically simulates an immersive audio field.
  • Angular Rolloff: Enable this option to allow you to change the volume level of a clip based on how much the camera turns away from the emitter.
    • Inner Volume Scalar: A multiplier for the volume level when the camera is looking directly at the emitter, or turns away by less than the Inner Angle.
    • Inner Angle: The volume does not change until the camera has turned away from the emitter by more than this value.
    • Outer Angle: The volume continues to change until the camera turns away from the emitter by more than this value.
    • Outer Volume Scalar: A multiplier for the volume level when the camera turns away from the emitter by more than the Outer Angle.
    • Curve Type: As the camera turns between the Inner and Outer Angles, this curve type is used to calculate the change in volume from the Inner Volume level to the Outer Volume level. Currently, only linear rolloff is supported.

The Outliner

  • Distance Rolloff: Enable this option to allow you to change the volume level of a clip based on how far the camera moves away from the emitter.
    • Near Volume Scalar: A multiplier for the volume level when the camera is closer to the emitter than the Near Distance.
    • Near Distance: The volume does not change until the camera has moved away from the emitter by more than this value.
    • Far Distance: The volume continues to change until the camera moves away from the emitter by more than this value.
    • Far Volume Scalar: A multiplier for the volume level when the camera moves away from the emitter by more than the Far Distance.
    • Curve Type: As the camera moves between the Near and Far Distance, this curve type is used to calculate the change in volume from the Near Volume level to the Far Volume level. Currently, only linear rolloff is supported.
  • Positional Panning: This option reduces the volume level of individual channels in an audio clip depending on the angle between the camera and the emitter. Where the Angular Rolloff changes the volume of an audio clip evenly, Positional Panning works on only one channel at a time. For example, if the emitter is to the left of the camera, the volume of the right audio channel will go down. If the emitter is 90 degrees to the left of the camera, the volume of the right channel will go down to zero.

Actors

Under Actors you will see the names of all the actors imported from the Maya source scene.

Right-click on an actor name to select states based on the presence of the actor, disable baking, or clean baked files. Click to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the actor from the source scene.
  • Model: By default, an actor's skeleton is generated from the first model of the actor that the build process encounters, which may be different between builds. Choose a specific model from this pull-down list to force the build process to use that model every time.
  • You also see a list of actor attributes (including its Post Effects Scene View Tags if any).

Triggers

Under Triggers you will see the names of all the trigger objects imported from the Maya source scene.

Right-click on a trigger name and choose Select Usages to highlight the states in the Graph Editor where an emitter is used. Click to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the trigger object in the source scene.
  • Position: The position of the trigger object's origin in the source scene.
  • Trigger Interaction: See Using Triggers for a description of different interactions you can choose.
  • Volumes: The list of trigger volumes in the source scene.

Post Effects

Post Effects are created in Maya. These fields provide you with information about the Post Effects being used. For more information, see Post Effects.

Textures

Under Textures you will see the names of all the textures imported from the Maya source scene. Click on a texture name to view its properties:

  • Name: The name of the texture in the source scene.
  • Max Texture Resolution: Override the global upper limit for resolution in pixels to be used along any axis.
  • Auto MipMap: Override the global setting for using a MipMap for this texture.
  • Premultiply Alpha: More information is coming soon.
  • Compression: Override the global setting for compression level.
  • Image Size: The original size of the texture image.
  • Adjusted Size: The size of the texture image after any cropping and scaling is applied.

Flipbooks

Under Flipbooks you will see the names of any Flipbooks used imported from the Maya source scene. Click on the Flipbook name to view its properties. For more information, see Flipbooks.

Audio Clips

Under Audio Clips you will see a list of the names of all the audio clips used in your story.

Right-click on an audio clip name and choose Select Usages to highlight the states in the Graph Editor where an emitter is used. Click to view or change its properties in the Properties window.

Properties

  • Name: The name of the audio clip used by the Maya source scene. You can change the name of the clip here.
  • File: The path and filename of the audio file. To change the file that the audio clip points to, click on the button next to the file name to open the Select Audio File window. Note: The Select Audio File window is blank until you specify a folder in the Root Audio Folder field. Once you specify a folder, the list of audio files in that folder appear in the window.
  • Start Time: Enter a time, in milliseconds, to serve as the starting point of your audio clip. The beginning of your clip, up to this time, will be trimmed in the baking process, and will not play.
  • Stop Time: Enter time, in milliseconds, to serve as the ending point of your audio clip. The remainder of your clip will be trimmed in the baking process, and will not play.
  • Looping: An audio clip will play once unless this box is checked, in which case it will repeat. Note that there is a Stop Sound action you can use to stop a looping audio clip.
  • PreCache: This option tells Spotlight Stories to begin loading the audio clip before it is needed. This can be an important way to minimize lag and preserve audio synchronization.
  • Sound Type: This menu has no function except to tag your audio clip as either "Sound Effect" or "Music". You can use this data to help with debugging or running an audio clip "solo."

Quantization

You can set up an audio clip to start playing in time with the beat of another master audio clip. For example, you may have dialog or sound effects that you want to start on the beat of the background music. To do this, you enable Quantization by clicking on the checkbox.

You can see the beats of the audio clip in the waveforms shown in the Properties window. Each waveform represents one channel of the clip. Once you enable Quantization, you will also see vertical lines in the waveforms. You can adjust the position of the first vertical line (the Offset) and the interval between them (the Pulse).

Audio Waveforms

The audio clip that you want to align with, for example the background music, is called the master. The master clip must have Quantization enabled as well, with its pulse interval set to match its beat. Quantization works by starting a clip only on a pulse interval of its master clip.

In the properties of the Play Sound action that you use to play the audio clip, you can specify the Quantization Master clip. Note that if the master is not playing when you start the audio clip, it will start normally and not use the Quantization settings.

  • Quantization Offset: Enter an amount of time in seconds. This will be the point where the clip starts playing when it lines up with a pulse interval of the master clip. The offset is represented by the first vertical line shown in the waveforms below.
  • Quantization Pulse: Enter a value, in seconds, for the interval between vertical lines in the waveforms. This interval can be used to match up with the beats of the audio clip.

You can also click on the waveform (away from the pulse lines) and drag it to scroll left and right. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in on the clip. If the pulse lines get too close together, they will become unselectable (grayed out). Zoom out to make them selectable again.

Play

  • Play: Click Play to listen to the audio clip. A bar also appears in the wave form above to track the progress of the clip as it plays.

Story Graphs

This section lists each Story Graph you have created in your story. Under the name of each Story Graph, you see the list of states in the graph, and any Reference Stories you have included.

User Events

This section lists the User Events you have created in your story.

Click on the name of the event to see its properties in the Properties window, including:

  • The name of the event
  • The names of the states, and frame numbers, in which the event is broadcast
  • A list of the transitions using the event, with their source and target states.

Right-click on the name of the event to:

  • Select the nodes (states and transitions) that use the event in the Graph Editor
  • Rename the User Event (will be automatically reflected in the actions and transitions that use the event)
  • Delete the User Event.

Note: When deleting a User Event, any action or transition that uses the event will not be deleted; the Event parameter will simply be left blank, which may cause the action not to function properly. We recommend that you use Select Usages to identify any affected actions and transitions and update them before deleting a User Event.