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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.
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.
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