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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.
Behaviors are the prefect tool for animation in Motion. They're fast and they're really quite flexible, because they help you create animation without having to set keyframes for each little way you would like your object to move. In this project, I want to take these lines and have them slide back and forth across the screen. This may seem like a basic animation, but this is a common technique used in motion graphics, where you'll take a bunch of smaller animations and layer them all together to create your final composition. So let's browse some behaviors by looking in the Library.
Go ahead and press Command+2 on your keyboard or click the Library tab in your Utility window. Go to the Behaviors section and let's look at Basic Motion. Let's check out the Move behavior. You'll see there is a Preview in the top of the Library, as well as a written description. Since this behavior is moving to a specific position in 3D, I think that's a little overkill, because we're just sliding the lines in 2D. So let's check out the Throw behavior. This applies a single force to push an object in a specified direction. So to see what this looks like in our canvas, let's go ahead and apply this behavior.
There are a couple of ways to apply your behaviors. Let's start by just using the Apply button. Now, before you can use this button, you have to select the object in your canvas. Go ahead and select the middle line in your canvas, now click the Apply button, and you'll notice the Throw behavior has been applied because it's updated now in the mini timeline. Also notice that behaviors by default go the entire length of your composition. So to preview your animation, click Play in the Transform Controls, and you'll notice nothing is happening. Let's stop Playback and open up the HUD by clicking the button in the toolbar.
You'll notice by default the Throw behavior doesn't actually do anything until you drag to set a direction and speed to your movement. So since I want this to move towards the right, let's go ahead and click-and-drag from the center towards the right. If you hold down Shift as you drag, it will snap your movement in 45 degree angles. Let's keep this moving on the X axis and drag it out towards the right. Now, you'll notice a few things. Let me move the HUD out of the way and you'll see this red line. Basically, this red line is the motion path.
That's the path this object is going to move along when that behavior is applied. So if I click Play now, you'll notice the object is actually going to move all the way from the left, to the right side, over the entire length of the Throw behavior. Let me stop Playback of a second, because I want this line to actually move in one direction and then the other. So I don't think we have quite the right behavior applied. So let's delete the Throw behavior. As long as your behavior is still in the mini timeline, all you have to do is hit Delete on your keyboard to delete a behavior, and you'll notice the object that the behavior was applied to snaps back to its original position.
Let's go back to our Library and look at the Motion Path behavior. Go ahead and click on it, and you'll notice this moves your object along the motion path created with Bezier control points. This is really nice, and I think this will allow me to achieve my effect, because I can create specific points. Let's apply this behavior using Drag and Drop. As we click-and-drag it on to the canvas, you'll notice you can apply it to any object. It doesn't have to be just the object that's selected. So go ahead and drag and drop it to the large rectangle, and you'll notice automatically that rectangle disappeared right off the edge of my canvas. No problem.
Just press Command+Minus on your keyboard to zoom out to see the full animation, and you'll notice the rectangle slid right off the right side of the screen. I'm going to click the second control point over here and just drag it back on to the canvas. Now, just looking at this motion path, I know it's only going to go in one direction, because I only have two points. So to add a third point, all you have to do is just double click anywhere along the motion path. Go ahead and double click and then drag your new control point to the left. If you hold down Shift as you drag, your control point will snap along the X axis.
Now let's move the HUD out of the way a little bit and click the Play/Pause button to begin Playback. Now we actually have the correct motion of this object. It's all pretty good except for one little thing. Whenever the object reaches the second control point, it's kind of bouncing in a very jarring fashion. So what I would like to do is actually smooth this out. All you have to do is click in the pop-up menu for Speed and adjust that to Natural. Now as we watch Playback, you'll notice a much more natural motion to the line as it slides around the screen.
Lastly, I want this to happen more than once, so let me increase the number of Loop to 2, and let's change the End Condition to Ping-Pong. Now the rectangle will complete two full repetitions before it reaches the end of the behavior. Since this behavior is exactly what I'm looking for with the other lines, let's go ahead and apply it to the other two objects. Go ahead and start Playback and press the F5 button at the top of your keyboard to open the Project pane. Again, let's move the HUD out of the way and you'll notice the motion path is applied to one of the rectangles. To apply the same behavior to the other two rectangles, all you have to do is hold down Option and click-and-drag the behavior to the other two rectangles.
Now, if we click the Play from Start button, you'll notice all three lines moving in the exact same fashion. Now I'm just going to stop Playback and apply some adjustments to the other two, so they're not all exactly the same. Let's change the Direction to Reverse, and on the other motion path, let's have it actually only Loop 1 time. Since this path is actually going right off the screen, I'm going to actually click-and-drag this rectangle back into the canvas so it's not off the screen quite as long. Now with your new settings, go ahead and click the Play/Pause button and check it out.
This is exactly the effect we were going for. So in this movie you saw just a quick glimpse as to how quickly you can create motion graphics using the power of Motion's real-time capabilities, combined with the speed and flexibility of the behaviors.
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