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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.
Recording keyframes is one of the more traditional ways to create motion graphics. Even though it seems like Motion is focused on animating everything with behaviors, Motion does have a full- featured keyframe editing system. But before I show you how to add keyframes it's important to understand exactly what a keyframe is? If you think back to the days of the cel animation where an artist have to draw each individual frame. The way it typically worked, there would be a senior artist that would draw the keyframes of any given scene and then they would pass those keyframes off to the other artist to complete the rest of the frames in between.
So in essence, that's all a keyframe is. It's the important parts of a scene locked in time and then the computer figures out, how to create all the frames in between. So, let's get started with this animation. Press F5 on your keyboard to open up the Project pane. Let's look at the Project. We have a Text group with four words in it and a Background layer. Let's get started by animating XYZ. Turn off the visibility of all the other words and select XYZ. Now, if you are not seeing the Adjust 3D control handles, make sure it's selected in the View tools section of the toolbar.
So in a motion graphic application, keyframes are applied to each specific parameter. So to see the parameters, let's open the Inspector and make sure we are on the Properties tab. I would like to animate the rotation of this Text, so it looks like it was lying on the ground and it pops up, so we can see it. So open the Rotation disclosure triangle and let's look at all X, Y, Z rotation. If you click and drag in the Value slider next to Z, we can watch how the word rotates. It kind of spins around. So that's not quite what we are looking for, Command+Z, undo.
Let's look at Y, swings it like a door, pretty cool but not quite. Click and drag on the X Value slider and this is exactly what we are looking for. But before we position the Text lying down let's enter first keyframe, so we can lock the X parameter to a specific point in time. So if you notice next to each individual parameter there is this little dash line and if you move your mouse over it, there is a pulldown menu. So go ahead and click on that and choose Add Keyframe. Now we have added our first keyframe, but it's important to understand, this keyframe was actually added on Frame 1 and I know that because my playhead Value slider was set to Frame 1.
I also know that because this diamond is black and solid. If you move your playhead anywhere else in the Timeline, you will notice the inside of that little diamond is now hollow. That's letting you know that there is a keyframe on that parameter, but the playhead is not currently directly on a keyframe. So, let's go ahead and move our playhead back to Frame 1 and set the proper value. Click and drag in the Value slider to -90. Now we have set our first keyframe.
To better see adding keyframe, let's open the Keyframe Editor, press Command+8 on your keyboard. And in the Keyframe Editor, you will notice we have X Rotation Transform, the value, a solid filled black diamond and the keyframe visually represented in the Timeline. Now we are ready to set our second keyframe. Move the playhead down the Timeline, I'm just going to move it in the Keyframe Editor, move it down to frame 12. I want it to happen kind of fast and we are editing at 24 frames a second, so 12 frames is half a second, I think that's pretty fast.
Now let's go back to the Properties Inspector and add another keyframe, click on the pulldown menu next to the X Rotation and choose Add Keyframe. So now that we have set the second keyframe, let's go back up and adjust the value back to 0. Go ahead and click in the dropwell and press 0 and Enter and now we have set our second keyframe. If you are looking at the Keyframe Editor don't panic because the second keyframe is disappeared. If you go to this little Magnifying Glass button over here it will auto scale. So, double-click that button and it Auto-scales this window, so you can better see the keyframes.
You can also adjust the scale horizontally by clicking on this slider. Now that we've zoomed in, I'm just going to drag the scroll bar back to the left, so we can see both keyframes. Now let's deselect our layer, move the playhead back to the beginning and watch the animation. So we have our first animation using keyframes but I did see something when we move the playhead back to the beginning. So go ahead and stop playback and move your playhead back to the beginning, look in the canvas closely and you should see this little white line.
That's actually the text and I don't like having little details like that still in my projects. So, we are going to fix that by animating this layer's opacity. Go ahead and select XYZ and let's add a keyframe on its opacity. Click in the Pull-down menu next to Opacity and choose Add Keyframe. Now drag the slider back down to 0. All we have to do is move our playhead a couple frames, so you can click on the right arrow the Value slider right in the Keyframe Editor.
Let's move to Frame 3. Now last time I added a keyframe in the Inspector, this time I'm going to add the keyframe right here in the Keyframe Editor, making sure I'm adding it on the Opacity. Click in the Pull-down menu and choose Add Keyframe, just like we added the keyframe in the Keyframe Editor, we can also adjust the values in the Keyframe Editor. Just click right on the number and drag and it will behave just like a Numbers Value slider in the Inspector. So we'll bring that up to 100%, move our playhead back to the beginning, deselect the layer, look no line.
Go ahead and playback the animation. So to bring it back to the beginning just like the senior artist would pass off the keyframes to the junior artists, Motion has taken these keyframes and created all the frames in between, and you may notice we still have some more words left to animate but don't worry, we are going to cover that in our next video on automatic keyframing.
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