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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.
Now if you've been at animation for a while and are kind of an old-school animator, you probably find it rather curious that we aren't talking about keyframes until Chapter 4 in this title. That's just because Motion was designed to primarily create animation through the use of behaviors. While behaviors are awesome, by no means does that actually eliminate the need to be able to specify exactly where something should be at a specific point in time. See, that's when you want to actually use a keyframe. So those of you who are unfamiliar with the term keyframe, all it means is that you're recording a specific setting for a parameter at a specific point in time.
Now whether that parameter is the color value of a circle or the position of that object in the screen or the value of the amount of blur on the Blur Filter, whatever it is, you can typically add a keyframe for it in Motion. So what we are going to do in this project, with these circles, we'll actually go ahead and have these animate up from 0% scale up to 100%, so they kind of look like they're popping on screen sort of like a bubble pops into view. Now we will do that by adjusting the Scale parameter like I just talked about.
So let's press F5 to open up our Layers panel and in here select the third circle down--that will be this large circle here. Now to add a keyframe to a specific parameter you want to jump to the Inspector, and within the Inspector, you want to go to Properties section, and that'll show you your Transform options, and in here we want to adjust Scale. Specifically, we want to adjust Scale as a whole, so we don't need X, Y, and Z, so let's just go ahead and collapse that disclosure triangle. Now any time you hover over each one of these different channels within the Inspector, you may notice next of the values this plus symbol with the diamond around it.
What that's letting you know is you can add a keyframe. Now it's important when you add a keyframe to pay attention of exactly where your Current Time Indicator is, which happens to be right here at frame 0. So with my playhead at frame 0, I'm actually going to go ahead and add my first keyframe by clicking that symbol. Now since I've added that keyframe and the value is at 100%, things aren't quite set up properly yet. I need to actually change the Scale back down to 0. Now I've added a keyframe. If we go ahead and press spacebar to see what's going on, notice nothing is happening.
Now nothing is happening because I have only added one keyframe. Now, you know you can see which parameters currently contain keyframes in the Inspector just by looking at this right column. See how there's that diamond? That's letting me know that there is a keyframe on the Scale parameter, but unfortunately, there is only one keyframe. See, you need to have two keyframes on a parameter with different values before you'll actually get animation. So with my playhead here at frame 47, I am just going to go ahead and add a second keyframe at a different value.
Now, this is where something kind of interesting happens with Motion. If I went to change this parameter up to 100%--actually, let me just double-click and type 100-- when I move my playhead back to the beginning and press Play, you notice what happened. Well, it hasn't scaled. See, if you don't add the second keyframe before you change the parameter, it will actually change the first keyframe value, which I know is kind of frustrating, and seems like it's counterintuitive, but trust me this is just how it works.
So what I want to do is move my playhead back to frame 47, double-click in the numbers there and type 47. I'll move my Scale parameter back down to 0, and now at frame 47 I am going to go ahead and add another keyframe just by clicking that button. Now since I have added my second keyframe, if I change that parameter--okay, let me go ahead and change it to 100-- now I actually have animation achieved. Now to move my playhead back to the beginning, I could press Home, but I could also click this little blue arrow. See how it turns blue when I hover over it? To the left of the keyframe, if you click on that, that will actually move your playhead down to the previous keyframe.
Now to visually see where all the keyframes resided in your project, you want to press F6. making sure you have the Timeline open, and then press Command+8. See, when you have an object selected in the Timeline, you can see the object, but to be able to actually edit the keyframes, you want to open the Keyframe Editor, which you can do using Command+8. Now I'm just currently seeing these lines, what I need to do is double-click on this little magnifying glass to reframe this scene. And so it's kind of hard to see, but I can see the right edge of the first keyframe and then my second keyframe there.
So if I click these navigation arrows which appear to the left and right of my Scale keyframes, you can see that I'm moving the playhead back and forth between the two different keyframes. Now, if I want to take these keyframes and apply them to a different object in my scene, I can do that by selecting the keyframes in the Keyframe Editor. I am just going to click and drag to create a lasso around both keyframes. As I am looking at this, it's kind of hard to see both keyframes, but in the Keyframe Editor here, all keyframes look like this diamond. But when a keyframe is applied to frame 0, you're only going to see one half of the keyframe.
So it's kind of hard to see. If I zoom in here, you can maybe see it a little bit better, but it's still that same one half of this diamond. So when I'm drawing the lasso, I'm literally clicking and dragging to draw the Lasso around both keyframes, and now with both keyframes selected, I can just go up under Edit and choose Copy. If I go to a different circle--let's say I select this yellow circle right here-- I can choose Paste, by going up under Edit and choose Paste. Now I want you to pay attention. When I did that, it actually pasted two keyframes, as you can see here in the Keyframe Editor. See how it's a little easier to see the first keyframe now? It put them both down based on where the playhead currently resided, so I have two keyframes here, and they don't start until frame 47.
Now, if I scroll my playhead down the Timeline here, you can see I've got a slight issue because this second keyframe is scaling up to a full 100%. Well, when we first opened the project, this sphere, or circle, wasn't at 100% scale, so we need to adjust the second keyframe. This is really important. When you're adjusting keyframes in Motion you want to make sure to position your playhead directly over that keyframe. The easiest way to do that is to use these keyframe navigation arrows that we use a little bit earlier in the Inspector.
So here next to the keyframe, I am going to click this left arrow to move my playhead back to the second keyframe, and now I can just click and drag directly on the number value to bring that back down to where it was. Now I didn't make an exact note as to the specific size of that circles, so I am just going to guesstimate that it was right around 60%. So now, in order to preview this, I am just going to scrub, so you can see that it's still scaling up from 0, and if I move my playhead to the second keyframe here, you can see it's set at 60.
Now I know my playhead is currently on that second keyframe because I see the brightly colored keyframes populating both my Keyframe Editor and right there in the parameter of the Inspector. So, adding keyframes in Motion is pretty straightforward once you actually get the hang of it, but basically you should use keyframes anytime you want to record a specific value at a specific point in time.
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