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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.
Applying one behavior to an object is pretty neat, but what I want you to show you what it looks like to apply multiple behaviors to an object. So let's get started by actually adding an object. Now I have got two examples I want to show you, but we'll get started with the first one. Go up to your Create tools and choose the Ellipse tool and just click-and-drag towards the center of your canvas making sure to hold down Shift as you drag. Just make a pretty decent size circle. Go ahead and grab your Select tool and reposition the circle towards the lower left.
What I want to do is use the Throw behavior to throw the circle off in a specific direction. But then we are going to add some more behaviors to actually create an animation that would be really hard to recreate using keyframes. All right, so let's get started by using the Throw behavior. Now I'm going to leave my HUD up here, because the HUD is kind of important when you are using the Throw behavior. Click on Add behavior in your toolbar, go to Basic Motion and choose Throw. Now click-and-drag in the circle to choose the direction.
I'm going to bring my Zoom down a little bit, because that's a little too sensitive for my liking. Now we have our Throw behavior. If you begin playback in your timeline, you can see the circle just moving left to right. Let's just stop playback for a second and add another behavior. This time under Simulations, let's add Gravity. Now the thing that I really enjoy about working with behaviors is the fact that they completely interact with each other. If you notice when we apply the gravity, it automatically just give an arc to the circle.
So if you move your playhead back to the beginning, you'll notice now it's arcing downwards. We'll just stop playback as I increase the acceleration so you can see it makes the circle move down faster. I don't quite like the fact that this is falling off the screen, so let's add yet another behavior. Under Simulations, let's choose Edge Collision and let's see what happens. You'll notice now it's kind of bouncing off the bottom of the canvas.
That's great, but I would like this bounce to be a little bit more realistic. So drag the slider for bounce strength down and you'll notice now we'll get a much more realistic animation. As you begin your playback again, you'll notice it's bouncing right on the edge. So if we open up our Project pane, F5, you'll see we have a circle with three behaviors applied to it and we've created a pretty organic animation that would be really hard to animate, well, not really hard, but it would be kind of a pain to animate with keyframes.
Now let's go on to the second example. I would like to use the same circle, but actually feather the edges a little bit to give it a little bit of little more organic shape. Let's select the top group and click the Plus button. I'm going to hold down Option+Drag the circle up into the new group. Now we can turn off the old group and I'm just going to lock that layer off, so we have no way of accidentally selecting anything, and go ahead and delete all the behaviors of the bottom of the circle.
Now we are back to our original circle and like I said, I want to feather the edges. If you drag the feather to the right, notice it feathers outwards. If you drag it to the left, the feather inwards. So I'm just going to drag it slightly to the left and we'll change the fill color. If you Ctrl-click right on the color picker, you notice you automatically get this nice window that pops up to let you choose the color. Now I'm going to choose the color that in my opinion looks kind of like a lightning bug. Now if you don't live in a part of the world where you have lighting bugs, they are these little bugs that fly around and they flicker through the woods.
Later on in the particle animations, I'm going to show you how to create a whole system of flickering lighting bugs in the forest. But for right now, I want to show you how adding multiple behaviors can kind of achieve a similar effect. So select the Circle copy and now we want it to flicker and the best way to do that is by applying a parameter behavior. So let's go to the Inspector tab and under Properties, let's look at the Opacity and Ctrl-click and add Randomize. Now nothing is going to happen until you actually choose an amount.
So let's drag the amount up and begin playback. You'll notice very little if nothing is happening and the reason is because the Apply mode is set to Add. So you can set it to subtract from the number and get the flickering effect or I could have gone back and adjusted the Opacity down and had it at the Randomize effect. Either way it will work. So now that I have this kind of flickering effect and I'm just going to increase the amount just a little bit more. What I want to do is create a group of these little flickering circles around the screen.
So I'm just going to stop playback for one second. In the canvas, if you hold down Option- click-and-drag, you can duplicate an object. So I'm going to hold down Option-click- and-drag and position these guys slightly around the screen, like so. Notice they all still have their randomized behavior. That's great other than the fact if you begin playback, you'll notice they are all flickering at the exact same rate. So just make sure to go back to your Randomize behavior in the Behaviors tab and click the Random Seed so that each individual circle has a slightly different random number.
Now if we deselect and hit Play, you'll notice that they are all flickering at slightly different rates. So we are still dealing with one behavior to one object. So let's add another behavior to the master group. Under Add Behavior, go to Simulations and choose Vortex. What the Vortex does is it just spins around the center of your canvas and any objects that are on your canvas it will affect. I know that because under Affects it's saying Related Objects, so any related objects to this group.
If I wanted this to only affect specific objects, I could choose under the pulldown menu Specific Objects, but before we get into that, let's go ahead and hit Play to see what our animation looks like. It's pretty cool, but you'll notice that one was that sort of towards the center really isn't doing anything. So let's click around and see if we can find that guy. There he is. Just move him off to the side and you'll notice as you click-and-drag, this motion path will kind of grow with the motion there. Now it's pretty neat, but I would like to add a little more random motion to each individual firefly.
The easiest way to do that is to add one more behavior to your master group. Go up to Add Behavior > Simulations > Random Motion. Now what's happening right now is it's applied the Random Motion to the master group and it's not affecting all the sub-objects within the group and it won't do that until you check this checkbox. So go ahead and click that and now you'll notice they each have slightly different random motion, and if I just increased the Frequency there and the Noisiness, you might see that a little bit more.
You can also increase the Drag if you wanted to kind of slow that down. There we have two examples of different types of complex animations you can create when you layer multiple behaviors.
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