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Animating cameras with camera framing


Motion 5 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Animating cameras with camera framing

Camera framing doesn't really sound that exciting, but I have to say that it is one of the true unsung heroes of Motion. Anytime you build some graphics and you need to tie two different elements together and they exist in completely different spaces in 3D space, you might want to try using the Camera Framing behavior. If we look at our project here, you'll notice I have two cameras set up. The reason I have two cameras, I have one set up so I can just easily switch back to an overview of all the graphics I have in the project.
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  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. 20m 39s
    1. Creating 3D text NEW
      4m 5s
    2. Working with 3D presets NEW
      1m 59s
    3. Building custom materials NEW
      5m 32s
    4. Modifying lighting NEW
      4m 37s
    5. Refining looks with multiple materials NEW
      4m 26s
  18. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 5 Essential Training
9h 1m Beginner Aug 05, 2011 Updated Aug 27, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn how to create stunning motion graphics and animations for video production. Author Ian Robinson explains how to format and animate type with the Transform Glyph tool and explores Motion's real-time 3D tools. The course also covers working in 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, keying green screen effects, and working with particle systems. In addition, Ian offers practical advice on integrating Motion into a professional video workflow and explains how to work smarter using rigs and templates.

Topics include:
  • Getting started with Motion and setting essential preferences
  • Working with layers, groups, and blend modes
  • Animating and adjusting behaviors
  • Building custom presets to create a slideshow
  • Keyframing animation
  • Animating type along a path
  • Creating credit rolls
  • Understanding generators
  • Adding reflections
  • Controlling and animating cameras
  • Creating depth of field in a composition
  • Adjusting audio
  • Exporting, sharing, and archiving a project
Ian Robinson

Animating cameras with camera framing

Camera framing doesn't really sound that exciting, but I have to say that it is one of the true unsung heroes of Motion. Anytime you build some graphics and you need to tie two different elements together and they exist in completely different spaces in 3D space, you might want to try using the Camera Framing behavior. If we look at our project here, you'll notice I have two cameras set up. The reason I have two cameras, I have one set up so I can just easily switch back to an overview of all the graphics I have in the project.

So if we go to our Camera pulldown here in the upper-left corner of the Canvas, notice I have Active Camera, a camera called OutsideView, and then a camera called Camera. Usually I leave one camera called Camera, and that's the one that I use for my final output, and then any of the other cameras that I name I just name them basically what I think they are. So this is kind of like an OutsideView of everything that's going on in the scene. Now, we can't see this because we need to press Shift+Z to resize the Canvas, and here you can see I've got one cluster of graphics that my camera is looking at, and I then I have another cluster of graphics that are over here.

Now, I need to do a camera move from this point to that point. The cool thing about this, I am going to do this move without using any traditional keyframes. We'll do this just using a behavior. But before we do that, let's make sure we're actually in the right camera view, so we can see exactly what we're going to be applying our behavior to. So let's switch back to our camera view here, and now we can go to our Library, under Behaviors. Under Camera, let's choose Framing.

Just drag and drop it right to the camera that we're on right now. Now, the Framing behavior when you first apply it seems pretty innocent. If you go to the Inspector here, under Behaviors, it just gives you a target, and then there are a couple of different options here. But once we start expanding these options, you'll notice how things continue to just grow. The Target, let's choose what we want our camera to animate towards. Now, you notice the second I clicked off the behavior, I can no longer specify that well.

So let's select the behavior and lock this window by clicking this lock here. Now I still have access to this drop well next to the target, no matter what I select in my Layers panel. So here I want to move to this vertical layout of the graphic, so I'll drag that and drop it right into my Target well. And as you can see, the move has already started to happen. I have my playhead here at 22 frames, and it automatically started to try and create a move between the two graphics.

And it did a pretty good job, other than the fact that this is not the right orientation. So to fix that, we can make adjustments to the Target Face or the Up Vector. The Target Face, this is just telling me what axis is pointed towards the camera. And right now the front is the +z value, which is correct, so I'll leave that alone. Let's look at the Up Vector. You can set the Up Vector based on the target, which is what we're looking at here, and/or the World, which is in orientation to this grid here.

Let's start with the target. As I'm looking at the target's control handles, as we look at our target, notice how the handles are oriented. See, I have X and Y here, and I can kind of see that green is Y, because this is a rotation handle and it's always going to be in the middle of these three circles. So the X axis is pointed down, which is a negative value. So let's start by choosing Target -X and see what happens. And sure enough, our deductive reasoning has figured it out.

Now, if we scrub with our playhead back towards the beginning here, notice the animation actually kind of works. We could load up a RAM Preview of this and see what things look like, so why not? Just pressing Command+R, and pretty quickly here our system will load up the RAM Preview, and we can check out exactly what things look like. All right! Let's check it out.

Hey, that's looking pretty cool. I sort of like this move, but we can definitely tweak things. It's a little too linear for my personal taste, so what I am going to do is pause playback here for a second and get kind of the bird's-eye view by switching our cameras back to this OutsideView camera. Now, if we select our camera that contains the behavior, we'll see what the camera looks like here in our Canvas. Now, don't panic if you start getting the pinwheel; it just means that the project is rendering all these little particles and things that are in each one of these graphic builds.

You can see the arc of our animation. Now, you can adjust the Framing Offset. The Framing Offset just adjusts the final placement of the camera as it frames the object. I liked how that was set up, so I am going to leave it alone. One thing you might want to look at is this Path Offset. See, this is a motion path that was created and if we adjust the offset by clicking and dragging on one of the numbers, let's click and drag-- I'm dragging to the right here--and we'll click and drag the Y axis to offset to a value of 2000.

Let's just see what this looks like. Now, it's going to take a second to render the scene, but you should notice a significant difference in how the animation actually happens. Notice now I'm getting this kind of crazy animation. And if we scrub through, you'll see the camera kind of spins up and then orients down. It kind of gives that a crazy roller-coaster effect. Now, to see what this looks like, we can just switch back to our camera view here, and rather than loading up a RAM Preview, let's just go ahead and see if we can watch a playback to see exactly what it looks like, just by pressing the play button.

Now, up in upper-left corner here I'm looking, it's only showing me 6, 7, 8 frames a second. I think that that's kind of cool how it landed sort of harsh, but I really don't like how it's out in the purple by itself for an extended period of time. So I'll just stop that playback here and switch back to my OutsideView camera and change my Path Offset on the Y axis back to 0. Obviously, this Path Offset at 2000 was a little ridiculous, but I just kind of wanted to show you how much you can adjust the actual move of the camera itself by adjusting the Path Offset parameters, so I'll set this back to 0 here.

For the Orientation, you can have it set to Orient to Current, which is currently how it's trying to orient the scene, or Orient to Final. Let's see what the difference is. See, when you say Orient to Final, what it's going to try and do is get that orientation as close to the final placement as it can, slightly before the final transition. So here, notice the camera is tilting and orienting rather quickly because, again, it's trying to get that final point a little more quickly.

I'll leave this set up like this, but I want to adjust the Position Transition Time and the Rotation Time. Let's drag the Position Transition Time back down to the left. What these percentages refer to are how long it takes to actually get to that transition. For example, that means a value of 50% means the overall length of this behavior-- let's say it's 10 seconds--at 50% Transition Time, at 5 seconds it will reach where it's supposed to be.

Now, if I make this faster by choosing a smaller number, notice we'll get this kind of crazy jerk that happens here in the scene. So instead of making the position move faster, let's make it move a little bit slower, and we'll have the rotation move a little bit faster. This way we'll see the camera start to rotate before the move actually starts to happen. Notice we get a nice arc here and the camera looks like it's kind of peeling out. This will give us more of kind of like a dog-fighter view, where the plane is just sort of banking really hard to get to our next view.

Let's preview what this looks like really quickly by switching our cameras back from the OutsideView to the Camera view. If we move our playhead back to the beginning, we can watch a preview of our animation. And notice the rotation is what's happening first and then the position, and we're getting this kind of more flight-like pattern as we zoom right into our graphic. I don't like how it just kind of slapped to where it was, and that's when I can turn around and adjust the offset of the path apex.

But as you can see, I can sit here and make adjustments to this all day. The one thing that I do want to tell you before we wrap this up is, make sure and pay attention to the transition. Most of the time when you're trying to create an animation, whether it's a camera move or something moving in the scene, you don't want this really harsh transition unless you're trying to create something rather mechanical. So most of the time when I do these framing moves, one of the first things I'll do is adjust the Transition to Ease Both.

Then you can look at Ease Out Time or the Ease Out Curve and see exactly how smooth the transition is as it eases out of being still and back into its final placement. So to wrap up, the Framing behavior does have a lot of different options. Just to understand, when you get ready to start working with the Framing behavior, you might want to go to your Render options and adjust the Resolution down, or the Quality, down a little bit, so as you make your changes, you can get more real-time previews happening faster and faster.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 5 Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 08/27/2015. What changed?
A: We added a brand new chapter, "16. Creating 3D Text," which covers the 3D titles included in Motion 5.2.
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