Motion 3 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Adjusting shapes


Motion 3 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Adjusting shapes

Now we are going to adjust shapes. As you can see we have a rectangle, circle and an arrow. The arrow was actually generated by the Line tool and I tell that when I click on it, the bounding box ends right here, and arrowhead is on top and that's indicative of the Line tool with the arrowhead Cap on it. Go ahead and select the Rectangle. And if I want to change, how this looks, let's say I want to make it a trapezoid. There are a couple of different ways of doing it.
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  1. 6m 42s
    1. Welcome
    2. Why use Motion?
      1m 49s
    3. Important definitions
      2m 22s
    4. Using the example files
      1m 40s
  2. 23m 53s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 0s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      3m 20s
    3. Navigating the Canvas
      5m 25s
    4. Controlling the Timeline
      3m 29s
    5. Using the Toolbar
      3m 0s
    6. Setting essential preferences
      3m 36s
    7. Customizing your keyboard
      3m 3s
  3. 25m 19s
    1. Adding outside assets
      4m 14s
    2. Using Library content
      2m 56s
    3. Working with layers
      6m 58s
    4. Working with groups
      5m 33s
    5. Using blend modes
      5m 38s
  4. 35m 19s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      4m 1s
    2. Applying behaviors to layers vs. groups
      1m 51s
    3. Adding multiple behaviors
      4m 8s
    4. Adding parameter behaviors
      5m 30s
    5. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      9m 23s
    6. Animating stills with behaviors
      10m 26s
  5. 18m 45s
    1. Using the Record button
      3m 33s
    2. Adding keyframes manually
      2m 49s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      5m 36s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 10s
    5. Working with recording options
      3m 37s
  6. 22m 49s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 56s
    2. Creating text on a path
      4m 16s
    3. Animating text
      4m 18s
    4. Using pre-built text behaviors
      2m 1s
    5. Using text styles
      4m 12s
    6. Creating your own text preset
      2m 6s
  7. 15m 58s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      7m 0s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      4m 16s
    3. Being creative with filters
      4m 42s
  8. 8m 45s
    1. Understanding different types of keying
      2m 8s
    2. Pulling a simple key
      6m 37s
  9. 23m 24s
    1. Creating simple shapes
      6m 21s
    2. Adjusting shapes
      6m 0s
    3. Creating simple masks
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a tracking mask
      3m 24s
    5. Creating a complex mask
      2m 14s
    6. Creating image masks
      2m 52s
  10. 6m 48s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 11s
    2. Generating a background
      1m 30s
    3. Generating a transition
      2m 7s
  11. 17m 29s
    1. Understanding particles
      2m 4s
    2. Creating basic particle systems
      5m 17s
    3. Making complex particles
      6m 12s
    4. Modifying particle behaviors
      3m 56s
  12. 17m 56s
    1. Replicating objects
      5m 5s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 32s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 30s
    4. Creating a lower third replicator preset
      4m 49s
  13. 14m 50s
    1. Painting in Motion
      8m 10s
    2. Sequencing paint stroke behavior
      3m 53s
    3. Applying paint dynamics
      1m 26s
    4. Painting from shapes
      1m 21s
  14. 26m 6s
    1. Using 3D space
      4m 51s
    2. Working with cameras
      3m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      3m 40s
    4. Lighting a scene
      4m 55s
    5. Creating 3D text
      1m 53s
    6. Creating 3D replicators
      2m 27s
    7. Creating 3D particles
      4m 25s
  15. 14m 40s
    1. Applying Match Move: Four-corner pin
      3m 11s
    2. Applying Match Move: Transform
      1m 47s
    3. Working with stabilization
      2m 11s
    4. Retiming video
      4m 3s
    5. Retiming with behaviors
      3m 28s
  16. 11m 24s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 51s
    2. Adding audio markers
      2m 56s
    3. Applying the audio parameter behavior
      3m 37s
  17. 7m 31s
    1. Exporting files
      2m 49s
    2. Creating an export preset
      2m 51s
    3. Archiving your project
      1m 51s
  18. 22m 21s
    1. Sending your project to Compressor
      3m 34s
    2. Roundtripping between Motion and Final Cut Pro
      7m 10s
    3. Creating drop zones
      5m 27s
    4. Creating templates for Motion
      2m 18s
    5. Creating templates for Final Cut Pro
      1m 13s
    6. Creating DVD Studio Pro menus
      2m 39s
  19. 16s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 3 Essential Training
5h 17m Beginner Jul 30, 2008

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The real-time engine in Motion 3, a component of Apple's Final Cut Studio 2, gives motion graphics designers the freedom to continually experiment and adjust while they work. Ian Robinson explores how to get the most from this unique application, while also sharing his own essential motion graphics techniques. Along with teaching the fundamentals of video and audio work, he looks at Motion 3's new 3D tools in depth. Ian demonstrates the use of behaviors to create organic movement in particle systems and camera moves without keyframes. He also discusses effective integration with the other Final Cut Studio applications, and much more. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Adding assets to the Library Working with layers and groups Applying single or multiple behaviors Manipulating keyframes Animating text Applying and adjusting filters Understanding different types of keying Using masks and shapes Generating a background or transition with generators Replicating an object or video file with replicators Understanding paint Using lights and cameras Retiming footage using behaviors and the Inspector Tracking motion with Match Move
Ian Robinson

Adjusting shapes

Now we are going to adjust shapes. As you can see we have a rectangle, circle and an arrow. The arrow was actually generated by the Line tool and I tell that when I click on it, the bounding box ends right here, and arrowhead is on top and that's indicative of the Line tool with the arrowhead Cap on it. Go ahead and select the Rectangle. And if I want to change, how this looks, let's say I want to make it a trapezoid. There are a couple of different ways of doing it.

The first one is to click up here, and choose your Adjust Control Points tool. And if you just click and drag, and click and drag, there we go, we have easily adjusted that. Just Apple+Z to undo and undo. There's another way to adjust it, if you hold down the Command key and click and drag on a point, it will bring out your Bezier handles. I am going to go ahead and undo. And there's one last way we can adjust things, and that's not just with the control points.

If you get back to your Selection tool, you can actually make adjustments with the bounding box. Now obviously you can do basic things like Scale, that's no problem but notice when we do that, it is distorting the edges. But if you right click on any of the corners, you get a whole bunch of options. Let me just show you a couple, here's Sheer and that will go ahead and distort the shape that way, if you Control-click, you could Crop, and with Crop if you just go ahead and drag it starts cropping in that fashion.

Again go ahead and Control-click, you can choose Edit Points, and notice even with that crop happening, I still have my control points here. And notice how the crop stays exactly where it was with the layer as I drag my control points. So we have adjusted the Rectangle, let's move on to the circle. Since I have my adjust Control Points tool active, I can click on any of the control points and adjust them accordingly. Now what I would like to do is adjust this Gradient.

Go ahead and grab your Selection tool again and head to the Inspector under your Shape and let's open up the Fill options here. Here we have our gradient. In order to adjust this Gradient, I could adjust the Start points and End points by just typing them in here or clicking and dragging and that all adjust but I really don't have a visual reference as to where the Gradient starts and where the Gradient ends. And I would also like to change this to a Radial Gradient. So go ahead and click on the Type of Gradient and adjust it to Radial.

And now let's go ahead and grab one last tool, the Adjust Item tool. And you notice what happened, when I grab that and I had my Gradient selected, I have a visual representation of my Gradient going on right here. So you notice this yellow box, matches this yellow box. This white box for transparency, matches this box for transparency. So let's go ahead and adjust this. I want the center of my Gradient to be in the center of the circle. So I am just going to drag that down, notice how it nicely snaps.

You can turn off your snapping, just hit N, and free transform this. Let me go ahead and move that there. And if you want to actually change your color, you can do that here visually just right click right in the Well, I could do that again up here, just right click in the Well. If I want to adjust how fast this Gradient is adjusting. Let's go back to our Gradient tool and just click this little arrow here, and drag it one direction or the other.

So that's how you edit Gradients with the Adjust Item tool. The last one I would like to adjust is the Line tool. So I am going to go ahead and grab my Selection tool, and select my Line. So go ahead and hit F5, I want to show you something. Notice how my Line tool has changed into a Brush, and by the way so as my rectangle. This happens automatically now in Motion 3. Any time you draw a shape and make it just an Outline without a Fill it will automatically assume, you want to make it a paint brush.

And that brings up all the different paint options. If I click on Brush type here, now I can change it to an Airbrush. I am not going to do that right now because I have a whole section dedicated to Paint. I just wanted you to know this when you change things to an Outline in Motion 3, it automatically changes to paint. And if I want to change my Arrowhead and turn that off, just go ahead and change your Start Cap back to Square and it will be all set with that one. The last two shapes I would like to edit are our Custom Shapes. The first one here is the B-Spline.

And I just turned Bezier so I could see the B-Spline. I have the same set of adjustments if I right click on the corner, I can do all the same Sheers, and Four Corners, and Crops etcetera. But what if you drew a B-Spline and you really wanted it to be a Bezier shape. And you might be asking why would I want to do that. Well let me just show you, if you click and choose your Adjust Points tool, now you can see what if I wanted this to be completely filled in all the way to the corners.

Well you can actually adjust that, and that's in your Geometry Settings. Under there we have an option for shape types, so if I click on B-Spline, now I can go ahead and change it right back to Bezier, and it completely fills out that point. And now again with the Adjust Points I can go ahead and Cmd-click on any of the points and bring out my handles, and make any adjustments I would like to this shape. And you can do the same thing switching from Bezier back to your B-Spline and adjust the points accordingly.

So that's just a little bit about how to adjust shapes in Motion 3.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 3 Essential Training .

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Q: When attempting to use an Illustrator file in Motion (the exercise file), the file will not import.  What is causing this issue?
A: If Motion is not importing the .AI (Adobe Illustrator) files correctly, see the instructions for using Illustrator files with Motion here:
An important step is to make sure the Illustrator files have PDF compatibility turned on. To do this, open the files in Illustrator and check the “Create PDF Compatible File” option in the Save dialog box. Another option is to save the file as a PDF before importing it into Motion.
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