How to see all of my elements together in camera view?

Hi there. I’m still learning my way around TB, so I’d really appreciate your help…

I’ve got several elements created and imported, but can’t seem to get them all to show up when I’m trying to put everything together in camera view. I should be able to mix several different elements together, right?

I’ve got a swirling background and that’s below everything else in the Timeline view, and in one spot, I can see one of the element that’s supposed to be on top…

…but then in another spot, I can’t see any of the elements that are supposed to be on top of the background. For a while I could actually see one element at a time if I clicked directly on one of the element’s cells, and so I positioned them each where I wanted them using the top/side views. But now, since trying to figure out how to see them all together (unsuccessfully), I can’t see any of them no matter what I do! :frowning: What happened? What to do? The manual isn’t helping…

Thanks much,

While in Camera View go to the View menu and un-select the menu option Show Current Layer On Top. That prevents the currently highlighted track from being displayed on top even if it is behind another element.

If you have any image elements in your timeline and they do not have transparent backgrounds and were not imported as PNG files then that might block other items. You really can only have one of these non-transparent images and you need to put it at the bottom of your track label list so it is on the bottom of the stack. You can have lots of transparent background image elements as long as you imported them in a file format that supports a transparent alpha value like PNG.

OK, let’s start with a review of the basics:
Elements are stacked from top to bottom in the timeline track label list.

So an element that is closer to the top of the list is stacked above an element farther down on the list.

Elements can also be stacked based on their element type. (IE foreground, background, and normal.)

Foreground type elements are always on the top and background type elements are always on the bottom of the stack.


With in a group of elements of the same element type their relative position in the list controls their stacking order, so a foreground type element higher in the list is seen in front of a foreground type element lower in the list and so on for normal type elements and background type elements with in their own group.

So location in the list controls front to back (top to bottom) stacking order, and element type also controls front to back viewing order. Then in addition to those two controlling factors there is the influence of the location of the element in 3D space. That is the location of the element in the “z” (front to back") direction. In top view and side view elements are represented by a green line. The currently selected element is brighter green than the unselected elements. Initially all elements are on the same “z” depth plane. But you can move any element closer or farther away from the camera by dragging the element in top view or side view.

That means that even if you have an element listed above another element in the timeline, it can show below another element because of its location in the Z direction. To see if an element has been moved in the Z direction you can look at the properties panel for that element. If it has a value other than 0 F in the third text box for location that means it has been moved in the Z direction. F is for front and B is for back. So if an element is at .01B and another element is at 0F then the .01B element is behind the 0F element regardless of there relative positions in the timeline track label list.

Hopefully this will help you to sort out your elements and your layout. If not keep asking questions and we will try to help. -JK

Thanks a lot, JK. Turns out it was the above problem, and I fixed it by moving everything closer in the top view and adjusting size with the object handles.

Quick question… is there a way to constrain the sizing using the object handles so it’s uniform?

Thanks much,

Yes, holding down the shift key while scaling enforces proportional scaling. -JK