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MotionMonkey FAQs

Jan 18, 2017 by Ebberts + Zucker

What are the limitations on the trial version?

Where can I download MonkeyTools?

My layouts don't look anything like the default layout shown in the tutorial

Can I change fonts once the layout is created?

Can I adjust the layout once it's created?

Can I save a TypeMonkey setup?

Why isn't there an Eyedropper tool in the color palette?

How can I pull back so all the text is visible at the end of animation?

My layers/animation/text/computer isn't working/too slow. What can I do?

What are the limitations on the trial version?

The trial version allows for a maximum of 10 layers and a 7 day limit.

Where can I download MonkeyTools?

MonkeyTools is a free download that comes with all Monkey products which can be downloaded from 'My Downloads & Licenses'. Find your product  TypeMonkey, LayerMonkey, etc, and click on the 'Download' link and you will find it. 

How to download MonkeyTools


My preview/render is taking forever and I don't have that many layers. Whats going on?

Make sure you're not using the Ray Traced 3D renderer...use Classic 3D.

My comp has a ton of layers, how can I speed things up?

As with any comp with a billion layers, things are going to run slow, and depending on your machine, it might become unworkable. This is true of MotionMonkey as well as any other project. So some stategies might help when dealign with an overly complex project.
The way MotionMonkey creates it's animations by parenting your original layer with a control layer. It also duplicates your original layer, turns it off, locks it and places it at the bottom of the comp. If you have the Allow Intersection checkbox off, it will also put an adjustment layer in between each layer so they won't pass through each other....so you can build up layers really fast.
With that in mind, heres a few suggestions:
1) Edit- Make sure you don't have more layers than you need.
2) Make sure Allow Intersction is on, unless you really need it.
3) Pre-comp sections - This will help organize, allow for more control if you want to change motion types, and make things more manageable. You might want to pre-render these if necessary.
4) If you're on a Mac, you can stop the screen updating by clicking off After Effects (go browse the internet). For some reason, locking caps doesn't work. Once the build is done, AE will automatically pop to the foreground again. The same holds true for Unbuilding.
5) Worst case scenario - If all else fails and you know that once the animation is built, shuttling thru it will give your computer a heart attack, I suggest you take the following steps:
       a) Create your comp, drag in your layers, set the work area, add it to the render queue, and click on the Render Settings button. Adjust the custom end time to a few seconds after the work area ends (since the animation will still need some time to complete). .Don't build the animation before you do this.
       b) Duplicate the comp and do the same if you want multiple variations (its always good to have a few unbuilt comps around anyway- it'll save you from having to UnDoing It and wasting  time).
       c) Set the MotionMonkey's UI and click Do It. (If you have multiple comps, after the build, do those too). Don't look at it...don't shuttle thru it. 
       d) Go right to the Render Queue and click Render. 
       e) Check the finished animation.
Since MotionMonkey is so fast , this might be the most efficient method if you have no other choice....Just let me Monkey do it, then go from there. Adjust the UI and build again if necessary.

Can I change fonts once the layout is created?

Yes, but you have to do it manually. The font and color are functions of the text layer itself. Unshy and unlock the text layer you want to change and make the changes in AE's Character Window.

Can I adjust the layout once it's created?

Customizing a layout manually is very easy. Just click and move, resize or rotate. It might be easier to unshy all the layers, or use the MonkeyTools options. Keep in mind that all control layers are parented to the one before it, so by adjusting one, everything after will be changed as well.

Can I save a MotionMonkey setup?

Yes, by clicking on save, you'll be storing the UI in its current state.

Why isn't there an Eyedropper tool in the color palette?

The magnifying glass icon (mac only) actually is an eyedropper...click on that and select your color. =

How can I pull back so all the text is visible at the end of animation?

The easiest way would be to insert a "phantom word" at the end of the animation- an extra word that you can reposition (pull forward in Z space, up on the Y axis, or whatever), then unshy the layers and turn it invisible (turn off the eye icon). You might want to move the end of the work area earlier so you have a hold at the end as well.

My layers/animation/text/computer isn't working/too slow. What can I do?

Start by trashing you preferences and restarting.

.ase Files

Since Kuler no longer allows you to downoad .ase files, theres a way you can create your own (there might be others- please send them along if you know of any)

1) In Illustrator, open up the Swatches window:  (Windows/ Swatches)

2) If there is a library loaded, you can select each of the first 5 colors and click on the new color icon at the bottom of the window to edit the colors to the ones you want to save to as an .ase. (The first 2 color boxes are reserved for none and the registration mark and will be ignored by the .ase file). If theres no colors saved in the library you can just follow the same steps starting with the new color icon.

.ase files contain a maximum of 5 colors, but you can have less as well.

3) Click the button at the top right of the window revealing the list of commands. At the bottom of the list theres "Save Swatch Library as .ase". Click that and save where you can easily access it.


Also, heres a few links you can download .ase files - please send us additional links to post if you know of others:

2 Color Combos: http://www.designbolts.com/2015/12/19/10-best-2-color-combinations-for-logo-design-with-free-swatches/

3 Color Combos: http://www.designbolts.com/2015/12/24/10-best-3-color-combinations-for-logo-design-with-free-swatches/




If you're on a Mac, hold down the Command + Option + Shift keys as you start AfterEffects, this will allow you to delete the corrupt preference file. On a PC its Control + Alt + Shift.
 If that doesn't solve the problem, switch fonts and  build a simple project (you can even use the default text in the text box). 

The dropdowns in the UI are getting cut off: Click here for more info