Solari Strip User Guide
A Generator for FCPX
Solari Strip is a “real” 3D effect. The Split-Flap animation is built with actual 3D modeled parts. The effect can be moved around in 3D space and still have a consistent “look”.
Solari Strip is an easy to use generator. It features 14 Solari (or split-flap) character sections. Each section is limited to the characters A-Z and numbers 0-9 with spaces between the groups. An added feature is the ability to turn each split-flap character on or off to make creating layout “patterns” possible.
Solari Strip requires installation of a font: ZZSC Flipboard Parts provided with the download. Use Font Book to install the font. The font name starts with “ZZSC” to drop the font to the bottom of your font menu and out of the way of your regular fonts.
This is a partial list. The SLOT # CONTROL sections are the same for all 14 split flap sections.
At the top of the inspector are the Position control in the scene. Position, Rotation and Scale plus the color of the “Back Panel”. Before releasing, a few other parameters have been added. They are:
Back Panel Opacity — it is possible to fade or completely turn off the back panel which is an effective way to make the Solari characters look as if they are part of the storyline background.
Back Panel Width — it is possible to turn off individual Solari characters in order to create your own formatting. For example, you need 2 slots for number and 7 slots for characters. You can adjust the width of the Back Panel to span just the 10 characters used (including a “gap” character).
Back Panel X Offset — allows you to align the Back Panel to any section or subsection of the solari characters.
Each Solari Strip generator will have its own OSC (on screen control) to allow you to easily position the strip in the Viewer.
All Slot Control sections are the same for all characters.
Each section control is a menu to toggle on or off that “slot’s” solari (or split-flap) character. Turning off the character will leave a blank space.
Move the playhead to the beginning of the generator to set the Starting Character (Start Value), then move the playhead to the end of the generator to set the Ending Character (End Value).
The Start and End Offset parameters determine the (video) frame offsets from the beginning and end of the generator that animation begins and ends. You can completely customize how the characters change with these parameters. The default length of the generator is 300 frames. “Crossing” the start and end values will effectively freeze that Solari character to the End Value. Setting the Start Offset to 300 or more will “stick” the character at its Start Value.
The character sets (A-Z 0-9) loop so the starting and ending (Value) numbers can be just about any positive value. Please see the accompanying PDF file for number/character associations. This is a looping effect and to give the illusion of very fast action, you could set 2-3 spans of entire character sets before landing on the ending value.
If you set the Start Value to be a greater number than the End Value, that Solari Character will run “backwards”!
Do not set the Start and End Offsets to 0. Give the reader a second or two to see the first set (Start Offset = 30 to 60).
Vary the Ending times a little so that the flaps do not all finish at the same time (not very “real-life”).
Viewing the panel of character from behind, although possible, will look rather strange (only the “face” of the effect works as expected). This is why the Back Panel was provided. Use it if animating the Strip in rotation.
The Back Panel is simply a flat (no beveling or other styled corner) surface with depth. Lining up several generators will make a seemless surface even when overlapped (provided the Z-positions are exactly the same).
If you create a scene with several simultaneous instances of Solari Strip, be prepared for a rather long render time (on the upside: it will be worth it!) If placed in scenes in your movie that require further editing, consider “baking” the Solari Strip effect with transparency (ProRes 4444) and bringing the exported movie back into FCPX for application in your scene(s).
Even with one strip, rendering will be somewhat lengthy (depending on your Mac’s specifications).