The red icons in the right toolbar represent the different categories of Group effects you can find in HeavyM. "Group effects" means that they apply to all the faces in a specific group.
Check out the video tutorial below, or follow the written instructions after it.
Activating group effects
There are three categories: Outline, Filling and Transformation. Their respective panels allow you to activate effects and adjust all their parameters.
The group effects categories contain 2 or 3 different types of effects, organized in tabs. Above each tab, you’ll find a switch to activate the corresponding effect and all its parameters listed below.
By default, a white border effect is on in every new group, so that you can see your shapes in the projection when you draw.
Note: you can also double-click on a tab to switch the corresponding effect ON/OFF.
What are groups and how to create them
Faces are contained in groups, so there always has to be at least one group. By default, when you create a new project, you’ll notice a white “Group 1” in the Layers panel. If you activate a group effect then, it will apply to all faces, as seen in the previous GIF.
To create a new group, simply click on the button at the top of the Layers panel. You can have 1 to 30 groups in a sequence.
Moving faces to a group
By default, faces are added to the active group when you create them (the one with the light gray background in the list). There are different methods to change this group assignment and move faces to other groups.
Once a face is moved to a different group, its color in the work area switches to that of its new group. To move faces to a group you can either:
- In the layers list, simply drag & drop a selection of shapes to the desired group;
- Select shapes and use the Add to group + button on the desired group in the layers list (up to HM 2.5);
- Or use the “Move to” item in the right-click context menu of a selection of shapes. This way, you can send the shapes to an existing group or to a new group. (In this last case, it is the same as clicking on the Add Group button with a selection.)
Note: players can also be added to groups, but it doesn’t serve the same function. Read the display settings tutorial for more info.
Selecting a group and making it active
When you activate a group effect or play with its settings, all changes are applied to the currently active group. You can see which group is active in the layer list because of its lighter color and colored border. It is also indicated by a label at the top of the effects panel.
Here, the blue group named “Door” is active in the layers panel so it is editable in the group effects panels.
To make a group active, you can either:
- Select it in the layer list (all its shapes will also be selected then);
- Or select a shape it contains, either in the layer list or the work area.
Note: when you deselect all shapes, the active group stays the same until you select another one. Also, when you make a selection of shapes from different groups, the editable group stays the same.
Now, you can apply different effects in different parts of your mapping by changing the active group:
Note: there has to be one active group at all times. There also cannot be multiple active groups at the same time, so you can’t select multiple groups at once.
The order of the groups in the layer list has an importance, as the top group is the one rendered at the front in the projection. To arrange groups you can either:
- Drag & drop them in the list;
- Use the Move Group Forward and Move Group Backward buttons at the top of the panel;
- Or use the “Arrange” actions in the options menu of a group.
Other group options
Group effect parameters
As you can see in the panels, group effects have a lot of parameters. The best advice we can give you is to try and play with them: it’s easy to get entirely new visuals by combining effects and tinkering with their settings. You can even make them tempo or audio-reactive!
To get an index of all effects, please refer to this article.
Renaming a group
You can rename a group by double-clicking on its name in the layer list. (This also works for shapes.)
Changing the color of a group
You have noticed that the shapes of a group bear its color in the work area. You can change this color by clicking on the color icon of a group in the list. This will unfold a palette of 30 colors to choose from. (This doesn’t affect anything in the output.)