Layar
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Blog: colors

New in the Creator: Color Palettes, Transparent Videos & More

Chris Cameron November 12, 2014

Users of the Layar Creator may have noticed a pair of features we’ve just released today. One is a more advanced technical ability that we’ve be working on for a while, while the other is a simple but powerful feature that we were able to quickly implement and roll out.

Automatic Color Palettes for Buttons

Let’s go over the simple one first before diving into the more technical feature. Here at Layar, the Creator team is constantly thinking of ways to make the creative process easier for Creator users; we want it to be easy to make high-quality Interactive Print content. And that’s the driving force behind one simple new feature: automatic button color palettes.

Previously in the Creator, our standard buttons were all the same default shade of blue, but you could change it to any color you like. Despite the ability to customize button colors, we noticed that the majority of buttons in the Creator have that default color. Now, the default buttons automatically adjust to match the color scheme we detect from your reference image.

This makes it much easier to create more immersive experiences as the default buttons will feel more natural among similar colors. You can still use any color you want, but now when you edit that button you’ll see a suggested color palette to choose from. Like we said, it’s a small change, but we think it goes a long way to creating more immersive and high-quality content.

Videos with Transparency

The advanced capability (and the more exciting feature of the two) is support for alpha channel transparency in videos. If you don’t know what this means, here’s a quick explainer.

Until today, only standard videos could be used in the Creator to make AR videos. These are restricted to a normal rectangular frame common to most forms of video, but there are cases where you may want to use video elements in a more immersive way. Now with alpha channel transparency support, videos in the Creator can use masks to isolate items and create transparency, eliminating the rectangular frame. Think of it as the video equivalent of transparent PNGs, while JPGs always have a rectangular shape.

Take, for instance, the example below. Our original video asset of a tiger walking on a green screen can now be modified to make the green background disappear, making for a more immersive video when viewed in AR with Interactive Print. In the top left is the original video, below that is the alpha matte we created, and on the right is how the video would appear in Interactive Print.

But you don’t need green screen footage in order to use transparency in videos. You can either create masks on-the-fly with video effects software (like rotoscoping, which can be very difficult), or you can just use animated digital assets created with video effects or 3D modeling software (like animated text, characters or logos) that are already isolated on a transparent background.

Because the process of creating a compatible alpha channel video is a bit technical, we’ve put together a step-by-step video tutorial that walks you through the process.

Some video editing and/or video effects software is needed, and our tutorial uses Adobe After Effects. Similar programs (Premiere, Apple Motion, Final Cut) will have similar features and abilities to make alpha channel videos, so the tutorial should give you an idea of what you need to do.

Alpha Channel Video support is only available for Premium Account subscribers. To upload your own you can find the Alpha Channel Video button in the Advanced button category.

One More Thing: Campaign Extension

We’ve also released a small upgrade that makes it easier to extend campaigns for an extra 12 months beyond their original 12 months of publication. Previously you needed to wait until the campaign expired to extend the campaign, but now you can choose to extend for an extra year at any time.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/555

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Using Custom Colors in Layar Creator

Chris Cameron September 20, 2012

We recently released an update to the Layar Creator that makes it even easier to customize your Interactive Print. Now, the normal blue buttons can be whatever color you want them to be, allowing you to coordinate the color pallet of both your print materials and the interactive buttons you place on top of them.

You can use any of our pre-selected default colors, pick from the color wheel or enter in a hex color code to really choose the perfect color.

To see how you can use you own custom colors in the Layar Creator, check out this really quick tutorial video. 

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/424

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New, More Powerful Buttons in Layar Creator

Chris Cameron September 13, 2012

Here at Layar we’re constantly working toward making our products better and better, especially when we hear similar feature requests from the community. That’s exactly why we’ve got some great new features in the Creator to share today.

Based on popular feedback from users, we’ve added some new default buttons to the Creator and we’ve made it easier than ever to customize them. Here are the new features you’ll find in the Creator as of today:

“Like us on Facebook” button - Easily link up your print publication with your Facebook presence. Now readers can quickly “Like” your brand, products or anything else on Facebook.
“Follow us on Twitter” button - Encourage readers to get social and interact with you online. Just enter your brand’s Twitter username to enable fast following.
“Email us” button - One of the most frequently requested improvements from you, the Creator community. Now you can get instant feedback and messages from readers.
Custom colors! - Break free of the standard blue buttons. Mix things up and use any RGB color or one of our 10 presets.

These new buttons and options make using the Creator to engage with your audience much easier. Use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to link your print to your online social media pages and let readers easily get in touch with the Email button. With the color picker, you can customize your buttons to match your brand’s style, making readers feel right at home.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/420

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