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Adjusting lighting and reflectivity

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Adjusting lighting and reflectivity

If you've ever shot video or still photography yourself in a studio environment, you understand how important lighting actually is. But also, you understand that some of the process can be rather tedious and a little frustrating, especially when you want something to be lit, but let's say you don't want a huge shadow cast off that object. The beauty of doing lighting with a software package like Motion is the fact that you can actually do things that you can't do in the "real world." So for example, I could illuminate this type but have it not cast a shadow, or I can have it cast a shadow on the floor but not on another object that might be right behind the text.

Adjusting lighting and reflectivity

If you've ever shot video or still photography yourself in a studio environment, you understand how important lighting actually is. But also, you understand that some of the process can be rather tedious and a little frustrating, especially when you want something to be lit, but let's say you don't want a huge shadow cast off that object. The beauty of doing lighting with a software package like Motion is the fact that you can actually do things that you can't do in the "real world." So for example, I could illuminate this type but have it not cast a shadow, or I can have it cast a shadow on the floor but not on another object that might be right behind the text.

See, anytime you add a light to a scene, there are lighting options, lighting parameters you can adjust, but then there are also lighting object options that are available for each object in the scene, in terms of how they will accept that light. So to see exactly what I'm talking about, let's open up our Floor group here in the Layers panel and just select this generator, the Color Solid 1 Copy. This is the Floor layer. So if we open the Inspector, with the floor selected, go to the Properties tab, and down here notice there are Transform properties, Blending properties, which I'm sure we've seen before, but there's also Lighting properties, Lighting and Shadows, and there's a separate section for Reflections.

In the Blending area there is an option where you can cast reflections. So if this were close to another object, the other objects, if it had Reflections enabled, would be able to see it. But let's look at the Shadows section. Notice the floor can cast shadows, which is kind of redundant. We don't need it to do that because it's going be the Floor, so we might as well turn that off. It's one less thing Motion has to process. Receive Shadows, I could disable that, and now all of a sudden you notice there are no shadows on the floor.

There's no shadow behind the circle. There's no shadow behind the Type. You get the idea. I could also just say Shadows Only. It's kind of cool. I am seeing the red for the shadows, but you get the idea. You can set up Shadows Only or have it set up to receive shadows. So let's leave Receive Shadows selected and look at the Reflection options. Notice there are no Reflection options for the Floor. Well, what if I wanted these circles to be reflected in the floor, or better yet, the type? Well, sure, enable Reflection.

Now when I click on that, you can see a very clear reflection of what's going on in the scene. We have some more controls that could make this a little more polished. First thing, the amount of Reflectivity adjusts how bright the reflection is going to be, basically. Let's crank that back up to around 80 and look at the Blur Amount. If we drag that to the right, that's going to blur the reflection, so this is a great way if you want something to look like a dull blurry metal, you can have something set up like this.

My favorite option here is actually the Falloff. So I am going to bring the Blur back down and enable Falloff. Now, with Falloff enabled, what we can do is adjust both the Beginning and End Distance. So if I drag the End Distance back to the left, notice the spheres are starting to fade, and if I drag further, notice I'm starting to get a fade on the type itself. If we orbit around the scene, here you'll notice that the spheres, these uppers spheres, are significantly farther from the floor than the type layer.

So that's why those spheres are starting to disappear before we actually start to see a fade in the type. So let's just crank the End Distance back up here a little bit, and we can adjust the Exponent, which, this is just the softness of the transition between a reflection and no reflection. In some instances you may want to actually blend how the reflection blends with the object itself. So for example, if I said Add, it's going to add the reflections into the floor.

Now check this out. This really kind of gives a neat illuminated effect to the floor as though these spheres are casting color into the Floor. This is kind of a neat way to achieve that effect, adjusting the blend mode. Now, I am going to set that back to Normal. And there is one more thing we need to look at in terms of objects properties for lighting, and that's actually lighting itself. See, in the Properties section of the Inspector, the top option here is Lighting.

So if we enable that for the floor, look at what happens. It doesn't appear as though hardly anything happened. Well, if you crank up the Shininess, you should notice a difference when let's say a light is relatively close to the floor. So if I bring this light down here to the floor, let me go ahead and move that back in the scene so you kind of see what's going on here and move that a little closer. Now, we've got things a little closer in the scene. Now if we go back to our Floor options here, look what happens as I adjust the Shininess.

It's going to allow me to make changes to the floor itself. So if the Shininess is set to 0, I get this kind of funky matte blown-out look. And as I increase the Shininess, things get more and more glossy. And the materials, all in all, will start to appear a little more shiny, if you will. This is a great way to help make things look a little more plastic ,if you're applying polish to your image. To make things a little more complicated, there are Lighting options for each layer in your Layers panel. But if you go up to the Group, there are Group Lighting options as well.

So notice within the group I still have an option to cast reflections, I have an option for the shading itself for the lighting, for shininess, and that kind of thing, and then I have an option for reflections. So you can set options that override the individual objects-- here, let me enable reflecting here-- but notice when you make those adjustments, it's just kind of mixing things together. If I crank up the Reflection here and then go back down and adjust my Shininess down here, I'm still getting a combined result between the two.

Just when you add the group aspect into it, Motion has to look at everything and determine exactly how to process the image. So sometimes within a group you may need to go over and decide whether something is going to be 2D or 3D. See what happens when I change this to 2D. Now the entire group is gone. Even though I may have some Reflection options for this layer here, you are not going to see anything because it's no longer a 3D layer.

So as you go through and make changes, you may notice that different things will look slightly different as you apply the different Lighting options to groups as opposed to objects. So as you are first getting started what I recommend is making your adjustments to the lighting within individual layers as opposed to the group as a whole. Another thing that does, when you add different options to a group, sometimes you'll see things like this, which is this R. See, what the R is telling me, this image is now rasterized, meaning it is no longer something that I can just go ahead and scale randomly.

It has to do that in order to process this reflection in addition to the other reflection that I applied down here to the layer contained within the group. So another thing I can recommend as you're moving around with different groups, if you want to enable reflection for a whole bunch of objects, just have Reflections turned off for each individual layer and then enable it for the group as a whole, but don't sit there and try and blend things back and forth between individual layers and individual groups.

I know this may seem a little bit confusing, because each individual object has its own set of options for lighting and blending, shadows, and reflections, but you have to trust me when I tell you this will give you the best amount of control when it comes to actually getting the composite image to look exactly the way you want. Because again, I can determine exactly how each object looks, whether it accept lights, whether it transmits shadows, whether it receives shadows, or even if it casts reflections.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25085 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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