A non-destructive way to generate images, text, numbers and 3D objects
Autograph is not only a system dedicated to composite images stored in files. It is also a complete 2D/3D creation tool, offering the possibility to work with sources generated on the fly by generators.
The purpose of a generator is to generate data of a given type. Unlike modifiers whose task is to make changes to an existing source, generators are there to define the content of this source.
They are not solely dedicated to images and are classified by type, according to the parameter that can use them:
- Text data
- Numerical data (1D/2D/3D/4D)
- 3D objects
A generator can create a simple Circle or 2D Noise that extends to infinity, but also a 3D sphere, a random number, or text based on the current timecode.
Image generators can be added in different ways:
- From scratch: by using the "+" button in the Timeline
- On an existing layer: by clicking the Generator slot of an image parameter and picking one of them from the box in the bottom right
- On the current layers selection: by clicking the top Generators menu; a new generator will be added to all selected layers.
For this last option:
- If only one item is selected, the generator will be added without asking any further questions
- If several elements of the same type are selected, you will be asked to choose between two options:
- Adding identical but independent generators on each of the parameters
- Creating and assigning the same shared generator to all parameters
The advantage of creating a shared generator is that any changes made to it will affect all settings connected to it.
Other generator types
The same concepts and workflow applies to other generator types, except for the "+" button at the top of the Timeline which is only dedicated to images, null layer, and some 3D items.
The Generator menu in the top bar has its content adapted to the current selection, depending of the type. If you want to add a new generator to multiple selections, all the targeted parameters have to have the same type. If you select an image parameter such as Source, and a numerical parameter such as Position at the same time, the Generator menu won't be able to determine which type is concerned and the menu will be grayed out.
Dozens of generators are provided in Autograph and it is also possible to create your own, either by aggregating different layers, generators, and effects in a package, or by developing your own image generators using Shadertoy.