Basics of working with timelines in Scirra Construct 3

Construct 3 has received a long-awaited feature when the Timelines got introduce a few years back. They have been built to be incredibly powerful, but getting started with timeline animation in Construct can feel confusing even for professional animators who are very familiar with concepts like keyframes and eases.

Here are the basic steps you should perform when you want to use the Timeline to create a rotation for an object:

-Right click somewhere in the layout editor and choose Timeline -new timeline

-Drag and drop an instance to the timeline

-Turn on editing (the pen icon)

-Select the instance and change it’s angle value in the properties bar

-Record this change as a keyframe by clicking on the + button to set keyframes

Here’s a few other tips:

-If you want to open the Timeline properties like the name of the Timeline, you need to click on the headers for things like the timeline name or a specific track. Then they will open up in the properties bar. Simply clicking on the Timeline bar itself is not enough.

-If you want to access the Timeline with events, you need to add the global timeline object to the project.

-You can zoom the timeline by scrolling while holding down ctrl

-To change the value of an existing keyframe, you don’t click “set keyframe” as in many other animation programs, but instead change the value, right click on the keyframe and choose “update”.

You can set any instance to play with the timeline using the “Set instance” action. Very handy for giving different objects the same animation.

One way of uniquely identifying a timeline is to give them a unique tag, possibly based on the UID of the instance involved.

If you want to do something with the instance you play with a timeline, one easy option for that is using the “system –> wait for previous actions to complete” action, which will wait for the timeline to finish and allow you to operate on the instance right after that.

One really powerful feature is the ability to add tags to master keyframes (the round ones). These tags can then be used to trigger various events in order to make things happen in sync with your animation.

Construct 3 Rotation Angles Reference

If you have trouble remembering how Construct 3 calculates rotation angles, here is a quick chart for you. Note that movingAngles (which I believe are directional vectors) use a different coordinate system in which values can be also negative.

Blender keyboard shortcuts for working with nodes

Being able to work efficiently with different kinds of nodes in Blender is becoming increasingly important. These basic node related keyboard shortcuts should work in all of the Node editors in Blender including material nodes, the compositor and geometry nodes.

Add new node: shift+A

Just like you can add new objects with shift+a, the same shortcut also works for adding new nodes. If you want to immediately enter the search mode, read about the next shortcut below.

Add new node and search immediately: shift+A, then S

If you want to search for the name of the node instead of browsing through the categories, hit s immediately after hitting shift+a and it will take you to the search bar.

Disable a node: M

Sometimes you just want to see the results of a node tree without a certain node. In that case you can easily mute a node by selecting it and hitting M on your keyboard.

Delete a node: X

Just like you would expect, hitting X on the keyboard will delete the selected node(s).

Delete with reconnect: ctrl+X

If you want to delete a node in the middle of a node tree and automatically connect the node that came before the deleted node to the node where the deleted node was connected to, simply hit ctrl+X to delete the node from between.

Backdrop Zoom: V and alt+V

If you need to zoom out of the backdrop image to see it completely, just hit V on the keyboard. Zoom in by pressing alt+V.

Duplicate a node: shift+D

To make a duplicate of the selected node(s), just hit shift+D on the keyboard.

Connect a node to the viewer: ctrl+shift+leftclick

If you want to quickly connect a node’s output to the viewer node to see the result of the node, just hold down shift and control and left-click on the node you want to connect.

Cut a node connection: ctrl+rightclick-drag

If you want to cut a node connection, hold down control and the right mouse button and drag over the connection line.

Collapse node: H

Sometimes you want to collapse a node so that it takes less space. To do that, simply select the node and hit H on your keyboard and the node inputs will no longer be visible. If you want to reopen a collapsed node, simply hit H again.

Create node group: ctrl+G

Grouping nodes together allows you to simplify your node trees. By grouping several nodes together it is like combining them so that they appear to be just a single node. Simply select the nodes that you want to group together and hit ctrl+G. Note that all node types cannot be grouped together. For example you can’t put the “render layers” node in a node group.

Enter or exit node group: tab

After grouping nodes, Blender will automatically take you inside the group. To exit the node group, press tab on the keyboard. Similarly, to enter a node group, select the group and press tab.

Add favorite folders in Ubuntu

A standard Ubuntu installation with Gnome as the desktop has a starred locations option in the sidebar. That sounds like an obvious way of adding often used folders to favorites so that you can access them quickly and easily.

Unfortunately it turns out that the “starred” feature doesn’t always work as easily as you would hope. You might think you could simply right click on a folder and choose to star it from the context menu. But there is no such menu option. Some people have gotten adding stars to work by going to the list view, and right clicking on the column header to then add “Star” as a column. But even when I could add that column and see the star, I still couldn’t turn the star on for the folder that I wanted. It seems like this feature might work mainly for indexed locations.

Luckily there is another way of adding favorites or bookmarks to Gnome. Simply start dragging a folder towards the sidebar on the left. Now pay attention to a little button that appears which says “new bookmark”. If you drag the folder on top of that, it will now appear in the sidebar as a handy bookmark.

Create new files by right-clicking on Ubuntu

I just learned a really helpful tip regarding Linux Ubuntu. I have been missing the possibility to quickly create new files by right-clicking on a folder. With this simple technique you can create all kinds of files quickly and easily. The steps are really simple:

  1. Open the program that can create the files that you need. For plain text files for example you can open Gedit (or “Text editor”).
  2. Save a file with the desired format and desired default name into the Home/Templates folder.
  3. Now you can simply right click anywhere on a folder and you have the ability to create those files.