Motion 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Animating cameras with camera framing


Motion 4 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Animating cameras with camera framing

If you find yourself animating cameras in Motion a lot, you'll probably come to love the new Framing behavior. So to show you what I mean, let's open the project. Press F5 to open the project pane and you'll notice we have a Light, a Spot light, a Camera and two different text layers, and a Background. Now, I don't know if you notice, but when we select this text layer, and notice we can't see anything in the canvas that's selected. Well to better see the scene, let's go up under the pulldown menu in upper left and choose Perspective.
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  1. 6m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 45m 36s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 19s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 56s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 51s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 39s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 18s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 40s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 50s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 15s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 23s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 37s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 32s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 28s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 48s
  12. 19m 8s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 19s
  13. 13m 24s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 39s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 4 Essential Training
6h 21m Beginner Sep 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
  • Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
  • Animating with behaviors and keyframes
  • Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
  • Creating simple and complex particle systems
  • Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Ian Robinson

Animating cameras with camera framing

If you find yourself animating cameras in Motion a lot, you'll probably come to love the new Framing behavior. So to show you what I mean, let's open the project. Press F5 to open the project pane and you'll notice we have a Light, a Spot light, a Camera and two different text layers, and a Background. Now, I don't know if you notice, but when we select this text layer, and notice we can't see anything in the canvas that's selected. Well to better see the scene, let's go up under the pulldown menu in upper left and choose Perspective.

Sure enough there is another graphic right here that looks strikingly similar to this one, but it has different text. Now in the past, if somebody showed me this and said you have to animate a camera from here to there, I probably would have laughed and said, yeah great! I'll see you later this afternoon. Now seriously, it wouldn't take me that long, but honestly animating cameras in strange angles and different things like that sometimes could be a painful task, lots of Bezier handles, and keyframes.

It's never really pretty. But now with the Framing behavior, I can just specify that I want to fly from here to there, and it figures out everything in between. So before we apply the behavior, let's see the behaviors that are already applied to the camera. Open the disclosure triangle on the Camera layer and select it, and let's open the timing pane by pressing Command+7. With the timeline open, you'll see we have a Dolly and a Sweep behavior. To see what this looks like, let's switch back to the Active Camera and press Play in the transport controls.

So there is our move and it stops. So let's stop playback and move the playhead back to around frame 75. I would like to overlap this behavior so there is a little transition between the Sweep and the move, just like between Dolly and Sweep. So let's finally go up, click Add Behavior > Camera and apply the Framing behavior. With Framing selected, you'll notice it automatically goes the length of the timeline. So let's press I to trim in, and now that will be the new starting point of this transition.

Now before we can click Play to see what's going on, we have to tell the framing behavior where we would like it to go. So if you click on the Inspector tab under Behaviors, we can specify a target for the Framing behavior. So let's open Text & Floor 2, since that's the text that's off the screen. Now we'll reselect the Framing behavior and lock the window pane, so when we select Motion 4, we can easily drag it into the dropwell. Now the Framing behavior will fly in frame, Motion 4 directly.

So to see what this looks like, let's press the Play button. You'll see the camera is transitioned and we have a beautiful animation right to our text. Let me pause playback just for a second here. That was pretty good, but I'd still like to tweak things a little bit. First off, I would like the whole animation to be a little bit faster. So let's trim the out point of this behavior. So the whole thing happens faster. Let's move the playhead to around 162 and press O on the keyboard, and now let's check out our animation.

Press Play, and you notice it kind of pops off the one word and moves over to the next. You can tweak the animation by adjusting things like the Framing Offset. This will offset how the final end frame is going to look. I'll just change that back to 0. You can also change that by clicking the pop-up menu, whether you want it to Fit Horizontally, Vertically or Both. To look at the path the camera is traveling let's change back to Perspective view.

You'll notice we have a red motion path. I'm just going to pan through the scene here so I can see things a little bit better. So we have a red motion path and we also have these controls. If we click on that, you notice that's adjusting the path offset over here. Now I like to the motion path. So I'm just going to leave that alone. We can also change the path apex, which if you notice as I'm dragging here, that's adjusting this square. This is how you can adjust the apex, the highest point of the curve for the camera.

Orient to Current or Orient to Final tells the camera where to point as it's moving along the path. Orient to Current means the camera will always try and point at the object that you specified in the target. When you say Orient to Final, the camera won't worry about where it's pointed until it reaches its final destination. Let's leave it Orient to Current. The Transition is set to Constant, which means there is no ease on the motion path. So let's change this to Ease Both. That way the camera will move in a slightly more organic fashion.

And then the last things I would like to cover would be the Position Transition time as well as the Rotation Transition Time. And this just allows you to drag around as the animation is happening, so you can sort of tweak exactly how fast the camera moves into its position change, or its rotation change. So let's preview how this looks right now, and press the Play button. But in order to preview, we have to switch to our camera back to the Active Camera. So move the playhead back and press Play. Okay, so it was a little herky-jerky.

So I'm just going to change that back to 50, and 50. We can look at it one more time. This time let's move our playhead back to the beginning. There we go. Yeah, that looks great. So typically, I had polished this animation off with another camera behavior, Dolly, where I'd have it just slowly pull away from the text. But since this was about the Framing behavior, I think you guys have a pretty good idea.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 4 Essential Training .

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Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space.  One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
  1. Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D. 
  2. Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage. 
  3. Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position. 
  4. Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end. 
  5. To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion. 
    Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position. 
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.
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