Your First 3D Text Styles Product

The first obvious step in creating a 3D Text Styles product with FxFactory is to have these styles ready to be imported. Styles can be saved to disk by choosing the Save All Format and Appearance Attributes command under the 3D Text Style popup menu in Motion:

When saving a text style through that command, Motion writes a few files to a special location on disk1).

The newly-saved text style immediately appears under the 3D text style popup menu:

A problem worth noting is that the popup menu may quickly become impractical to use if many custom styles are created and saved by the user. To avoid this problem, developers can group text styles under a submenu of their choice. FxFactory will do this for you automatically, when a new 3D Text Styles product is created.

Creating the Product

Once the 3D text styles have been saved to disc, launch FxFactory and create a new 3D Text Styles product. Select the New > Text Styles command under the File menu.

All products contains at least one group, created by default. The name of the group is initially derived from the product’s name. As it will become clear later in this document, the name of the group is important because it determines the name of the menu where text styles included in the product will appear.

The next step is to import the 3D text styles created with Motion. Click the “+” button to bring up a standard file chooser sheet. The location of the file chooser is not random. It is the special folder inside your home directory where all of the user’s text styles are saved by Motion:

~/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/Text Styles.localized

To keep this tutorial simple, the screenshot below shows only one text style saved at that location:

Import the text style by selecting the file ending with the extension molo. The other files have special purposes, and will be imported too by FxFactory automatically.

Let us ignore, for now, the various options exposed by the FxTextStyles project UI. Save the project through the File menu. Allow the project to be saved to the default location suggested by FxFactory, and close it. The default location is the one where all FxFactory products are installed, for the current user. Saving your new product at that location ensures that it is immediately picked up and displayed by the FxFactory application:

Testing in Motion

Even if no configuration has been done so far, the product is ready to be tested in Motion. Launch Motion, and allow FxFactory to install the product for you. Then, select an existing 3D text style and switch to the inspector:

Notice that the text style appears at two locations, as identified by the green labels “1” and “2” in the screenshot:

  1. This is the original text style: the one you had saved earlier, and later imported into the FxTextStyles product.
  2. This is the text style installed and managed by FxFactory. Notice that it appears under the ACME Textissimo category.

The screenshot demonstrates an important advantage of 3D text styles products: grouping text styles belonging to one product under their own sub-menu keeps the length of the parent menu from growing beyond reason. It also allows users to quickly find your product and access the 3D text styles it contains. Win-win!

Now that the 3D text style has been imported into the product, you may want to clean it up from the original install location (identified by “1” above). To do so, select the Show 3D Text Styles in Finder… command under the Actions menu in FxFactory:

Drag all filenames that begin with the name of the text styles to the Trash. For example, if the text style was named “Wood Grain”, you should delete the following files:

  • Wood Grain_menu.png
  • Wood Grain.molo
  • Wood Grain.png

Next step: FxTextStyles Configuration

Please note that Motion may append an newline character to the filename. This can lead to confusion when the files are browsed in the Finder, as the filename may appear truncated.