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In Motion 4 Essential Training, Ian Robinson shows how to start building outstanding motion graphics and animations for video production. He demonstrates how to build custom text animations with the new Adjust Glyph tool and explores Motion’s amazing real-time 3D tools. Ian highlights working in the 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, and using reflections to add realism. He gives practical advice on how to integrate Motion into a professional video workflow, round-tripping with Final Cut Pro and sending a final project to Compressor. Exercise files accompany this course.
A lot of Motion designers find inspiration from audio, so it makes sense that you would probably want to add some audio to your projects at some point in time. Press F5 on your keyboard to open the Project pane and let's look at what we have got here. We have a background QuickTime and a Title which we adjusted using Motion 4's new Glyph tool. Let's go and close that and head over to the Audio tab and you'll notice there actually is audio already in this project. And by default audio will be on when you import a QuickTime with audio.
I have just been keeping this audio off as we have been moving through the different sections because I didn't want people being distracted. But to hear the audio, all we have to do is select the On checkbox. Now with that selected, we can go ahead and press Play in the Timeline and we should be able to hear our audio. (Geese honking.) It's kind of faint in the background, but if I crank up the Master audio here, (Geese honking.) you can hear it. There were bunch of geese flying overhead, while I was shooting this.
Now if you notice I adjusted the Master Audio levels, meaning if I had imported more than one audio track into here, you have individual control of each track as well as control of the Master Audio. So let me go ahead and just drag that back down to 0 and let's import some audio. You can drag and drop audio directly into your projects or you can just click the Plus button. Instead of creating a new layer, this will import audio into your project. So we'll go to the Media folder and under Audio, let's choose this ImagineMusic.m4a.
M4a is an MPEG4 compressed file. I exported this out of Soundtrack Pro using AAC. Now, those are compressed formats and in the past Final Cut Studio used to not be very happy with MP3s and different things like that because they were so compressed. But you'll be happy to know that they work seamlessly right now. So let's press the Play button. (Music playing.) So I have some kind of funky X-files type music.
So let's just turn off the Forest track and close the Audio tab for now. Let's open the Timing pane by pressing F6 and make sure we are on the Audio Editor. You can open the Audio Editor directly by pressing Command+9 on your keyboard. Now, when you are in the Audio Editor, if you click and drag with your playhead, notice we can scrub through the audio. If that's not happening for you, you want to make sure that this button down here is checked. This will enable Audio Scrubbing.
So you can obviously turn this off as well and drag around and you won't here hear anything. The reason I want you to pay attention to the Audio Editor, has to do with playback speed. So for example, if we move the playhead back to the beginning of the Timeline you'll notice my playhead is on frame 1, but in the Audio Editor, the playhead is on frame 42. This is because Motion has divided out the Audio Editor playback from the actual playback of your project. And you might be wondering why do they do that.
Well, if you built some really complicated graphic and Motion is unable to play it back at real time it would be really hard to time specific effects to the audio, if the audio wasn't playing back in real time. So this way when you are in the Audio Editor, you can playback your audio in real time. [00:03.33.27] (Music playing.) Now, it doesn't update in the canvas, but that's okay. Because in the Audio Editor, we are going to add some markers. So let's move our playhead back to the beginning by just clicking the button right next to the Play button, and press Play.
And now I want to just hit M at specific key points. (Music playing.) So, now with all those markers set, I could animate in the Timeline through these audio cues. Now you notice we are not seeing these in the timeline just yet. Well, let's go to the Timeline section and you want to make sure this Audio button is enabled. With that enabled, now you'll see the actual audio markers. So if you wanted to create visual cues that matched up with the audio markers you just set, you can.
So, I hope you find this little technique inspirational as you continue on designing your motion graphics, and hopefully you can incorporate some audio to further inspire your creativity.
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