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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.
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.
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