Outline Layer

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Layer geometry outline icon.png

About Outline Layers

Outline Layers are use to hold strokes or edges of filled shapes. They give a cartoon look to an animation when added to be the edge of the filled shapes. Also standalone Outlines (strokes) are used to define fold of 3D drawings and used together with shadows (created using gradients or feathering) are the basis of an artist's work.

To create an Outline Layer use the Spline Tool and check "Create Outline" in the Tool Options Panel. Once you finish the definition of the geometry of your outline and after pressing the "Make Spline" button (or selecting another tool or state) you create the Outline Layer with the current "Outline Color".

Depending on the options you choose in the Tool Options Panel other Tools like Star Tool or Circle Tool can also create Outline Layers.

Using the Layer Menu "Make Advanced Outline", "Make Outline" or "Make Region" commands you can also create those layers.

Parameters of Outline Layers

The parameters of the Outline layers are:

Name Value Type
Type real icon.png Z Depth 0.000000 real
Type real icon.png Amount 1.000000 real
Type integer icon.png Blend Method Composite integer
Type color icon.png Color
color
Type vector icon.png Origin 0.000000u,0.000000u vector
Type bool icon.png Invert
bool
Type bool icon.png Antialiasing
bool
Type real icon.png Feather 0.000000pt real
Type integer icon.png Type of Feather Fast Gaussian Blur integer
Type integer icon.png Winding Style Non Zero integer
Type list icon.png Vertices List list (Spline)
Type real icon.png Outline Width 2.000000pt real
Type real icon.png Expand 0.000000pt real
Type bool icon.png Sharp Cusps
bool
Type bool icon.png Rounded Begin
bool
Type bool icon.png Rounded End
bool
Type real icon.png Loopyness 1.000000 real
Type bool icon.png Homogeneous
bool

Specific parameters for Outline Layers

The first 11 parameters of the Outline are common parameter that are shared for several types of Layers. Click on the links to see their definitions. Only the particular parameters for the Outline Layer are described here.

This is a sample screen shot of an Outline Layer in action:

Outline Sample 0.63.06.png

Outline width

The Outline width parameter is a float value in pixels that represents the basic value of the width for all the points of the curve at the same time. It works together with the width parameter of the vertices' child values. So setting the "Outline Width" to 1.0px then the resulting value for the rendered width in that vertex comes from this formula: W = OLW * VW + 2E.

Where:

  • W = resulting width of the outline at that vertex.
  • OLW = overall parameter for the width of all the vertices (that is the Outline Width parameter).
  • VW = specific vertex width value.
  • E = value of the Expand parameter.

The width handle would show the radius value for that vertex (W/2).

The width that ends up being used for each vertex is ((VertexWidth * OutLineWidth) + Expand*2):

Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer width 0.63.06.png
Starting image After doubling the value of "Outline Width"

It's possible to specify negative values for the width values, which kind of turns the vertex inside out. Here's an example where the left vertex has a negative width and the right has a positive width. Note how the edges of the spline between the vertices cross each other in the middle:

Image:Outline-negative-width.png Image:Outline-negative-width-selected.png

Expand

The "Expand" parameter is similar to the "Outline Width" parameter, but rather than being multiplied by each vertex's width, it is added to the radius of each vertex. In other words (2*Expand) is added to the diameter of each vertex.

The width that ends up being used for each vertex is ((VertexWidth * OutLineWidth) + Expand*2):

Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer expand 0.63.06.png
Zero "Expand" Non-zero "Expand"

Sharp cups

Enabling "Sharp Cusps" makes the corners pointy when the tangents are split:

Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer sharp 0.63.06.png
No "Sharp Cusps" With "Sharp Cusps"

Rounded Begin

Enabling "Rounded Begin" makes the start of the outline rounded:

Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer rounded begin 0.63.06.png
no "Rounded Begin" "Rounded Begin"

Nota : With cairo render activated, if quality superior to 6, enabling "Rounded Begin" enable also R"Rounded End".

Rounded End

Enabling "Rounded End" makes the end of the outline rounded:

Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer rounded end 0.63.06.png
No "Rounded End" With "Rounded End"

Nota : With cairo render activated, if quality superior to 6, enabling "Rounded End" enable also "Rounded Begin".

Loopyness

This parameter currently does absolutely nothing at all!

Homogeneous

Enabling 'Homogeneous' changes the way that the width of the outline changes from one spline point to the next. Each point in the spline has its own width, and the spline has its own 'Outline Width' and 'Expand' parameters which are used to give the final width at each spline point. The 'Homogeneous' parameter controls how the width is interpolated between two neighboring spline points:

  • When 'Homogeneous' isn't checked, the width is interpolated linearly with the spline's 't' parameter.
  • When 'Homogeneous' is checked, the width is interpolated linearly with the spline's length.

Turning off homogeneous often makes the fat end of a spline look lumpy. Maybe that's a bug:

Image:Outline-not-homogeneous.png Image:Outline-homogeneous.png
not homogeneous homogeneous

Misc

The Antialiasing Parameter isn't specific to the Outline layer, but it is particularly useful for the Outline layer. It makes the edges appear smoother:

Outline-Layer no antialias 0.63.06.png Outline-Layer default 0.63.06.png
not antialiased antialiased


Note : File used File:Outline Layer.sifz


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