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The viewport is where Shapes within a Composition are rendered and made visible so they can be visually composed.


Set the viewport scaling. Either use the dropdown to set a value or type in a value.

  • With nothing selected, hit F to set the Viewport scaling to best fit.
  • With a Shape(s) selected, hit F to set the Viewport scaling to best fit the selection.
  • Use Cmd/Ctrl + +/- to double/half the Viewport zoom incrementally.


  • Go to the first frame - Move the playhead to the first frame of the playback range.
  • Go to the previous frame - Nudge the playhead forward one frame.
  • Playback - Start playback. Click again to stop playback.
  • Go to the next frame - Nudge the playhead back one frame.
  • Go to the last frame - Move the playhead to the last frame of the playback range.

Tag Filtering

This icon will turn green to indicate that the Quicklist tag is active and affecting what is being displayed in the Viewport.

Audio Playback

Globally enable/disable audio playback (requires Show Experimental Features to be enabled in Preferences).


  • Play Audio - Enable/disable audio playback.
  • Audio Layer - Select the audio layer to playback.


Snap Shapes to grids, other shapes, the composition etc.


  • Enable Snapping - Enable/disable snapping.
  • Snapping Threshold - Set the distance from a grid (in screen pixels) within which snapping will happen.
  • Grid - Enable/disable Grid snapping.
  • Ruler Guide - Enable/disable snapping to Guides.
  • Composition - Enable/disable snapping to the centre of the composition.
  • Bounding Box - Enable/disable snapping to bounding boxes.
  • Point - Enable/disable snapping to the points of Shapes.
  • Pixel - Enable/disable snapping to the Pixel Grid. The Pixel Grid can be enabled/disabled via the Grid settings and the View menu.


Display grid lines in the Viewport. Note that clicking the icon will only enable/disable the 2D grid.

Options: Pixel Grid

  • Show Pixel Grid - Show/hide the Pixel Grid. The Pixel Grid will only appear at certain Zoom levels depending on the resolution of the current Composition.

2D Grid

  • Show Grid - Show/hide the 2D grid.
  • Grid Color - Set a color/alpha for the 2D grid.
  • Grid Step - Set the size of the gaps between the 2D grid lines (px).

3D Grid

  • Show Grid - Show/hide the 3D grid.
  • Grid Color - Set a color/alpha for the 3D grid.
  • Grid Size - Set the total size of the 3D grid (px).
  • Grid Step - Set the size of the gaps between the 3D grid lines (px).

Update the UI during Playback

When checked the User Interface will update during playback. This includes elements like the playhead in the Scene Window, the Equalizer on the Sound Behaviour and attributes in the Attribute Editor. Note that this may occasionally have a detrimental affect on performance.

Playback Caching

Enable/disable playback caching.


Playback Caching is quite basic - any change to the scene (except time changes) will clear the cache. We intend to improve on this in the future with more specific per layer caching, and even background caching.

Draw Composition Boundary

When checked, a white border will be drawn around the Composition Boundary.

Onion Skinning

Draw onion skinning layers in the Viewport.


  • Onion Skinning - Enable/disable onion skinning.
  • Pre Color - Set the color for the shapes before the current frame.
  • Pre Frames - Set how many frames to draw before the current frame.
  • Post Color - Set the color for the shapes after the current frame.
  • Post Frames - Set how many frames to draw after the current frame.
  • Outline Only - Do not fill each shape.

Clipping Mask Overview

Draw clipping masks in the Viewport.


  • Show Clipping Masks - When checked, masks connected to selected Shapes will be drawn as an outline in the Viewport.
  • Fill - When checked, a green overlay will appear in the Viewport whenever a shape with a mask connected is selected. The green area represents the zone in which your shape will be visible.

Transparency Style

Set the transparency style of the viewport.


  • Use Checkerboard - when checked, a checkerboard will display where there is transparency. Note - all Compositions have a Composition Background. If the Alpha is set to 255 checking this setting will have no effect (there is no transparency).

Viewport Settings


  • Viewport Quality - Set which features are rendered by the Viewport. This can be used to increase playback speed where required. Note - this setting does not affect final rendering.
    • Full - Full quality.
    • Draft - Removes Anti-aliasing and any Image Filtering (see Image Shader).
    • Minimal - As per Draft and also removes any Filters and Shaders.
  • Draw Debug Information - Draw (non-renderable) diagnostics information in the Viewport. This can be useful to visualise the point Ids in a Duplicator.
  • Show FPS in Playback - Display the frames per second the Viewport is running at during playback at the bottom of the Viewport.
  • Show Drawables - Control the display of drawables (Falloffs, Nulls)
    • Always - Always show drawables.
    • Except during Playback - Show drawables except during playback.
    • Never - Never show drawables.
  • Shape Depth Debug - Can be used to diagnose the depth of certain Shapes within Sub Meshes. Useful for things like SVG artwork.
  • Motion Paths - Draw paths that represent the direction and speed of selected animated Shapes. Paths are shown for 100 frames either side of the current frame with dots to represent the Shape's position on each frame. Up to 10 Shapes can be displayed at once. Note - Motion Paths are not editable in the Viewport.

Debug Information currently only supports pointId and does not display in playback.

  1. Enable Draw Debug Information.
  2. Select a Duplicator in the Scene Window.

The pointId for each 'duplicate' is drawn in the Viewport.