Animating and styling a map
Video: Animating and styling a mapNow, in this video we're going to animate our layered Photoshop document that we created in the previous video. Now, keep in mind I have a layered Photoshop map right here, and it's not going to be a part of your exercise files because its copyright protected. So if you want to download this, by all means watch the previous video and go through and prepare your own graphic. So to get started, we need to create a new project from within Motion, and it's important to choose whatever resolution you plan on working in for your file output.
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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Shortcuts for previewing and setting type
- Using type as a design element
- Creating dynamic transitions
- Creating and using color palettes
- Working with particles to create depth
- Adding details with lighting
- Integrating audio in a project
- Editing techniques
- Animating a lower 3rd
- Animating and styling a map
- Building a storyboard
Animating and styling a map
Now, in this video we're going to animate our layered Photoshop document that we created in the previous video. Now, keep in mind I have a layered Photoshop map right here, and it's not going to be a part of your exercise files because its copyright protected. So if you want to download this, by all means watch the previous video and go through and prepare your own graphic. So to get started, we need to create a new project from within Motion, and it's important to choose whatever resolution you plan on working in for your file output.
So, I'll choose this 720p24 and click OK. Now, most of the time when I'm working in Motion, I go up under Window and make sure there aren't any other projects opened, and then I also save my projects. So I'm just going to go ahead and save this right to the Desktop, and I'll call this MapAnimation. Now, let's navigate in our file browser to our Desktop, and there is our project file and our layered Photoshop document.
Now, this is extraordinarily large. Sometimes if this is too large, you'll get an error message and you can just go ahead and open that up in Photoshop and resize it if you have to. But what we're going do to is import this one right into our Motion project by dragging and dropping, and if you hold and wait before you let go, you will get this contextual menu. What we want to do is import all layers. So with Import All layers selected, it will take a second, and there we go.
So if we press F5, we can see that there is an overarching group that's been created and then our individual layers. Now, a lot of times what I like to do is to select both of these layers and bring them up to the top of that group and just get rid of this one in the middle. Now, so we can see everything in the canvas, let's press Shift+Z to make sure our window has reframed. Now as you can see, I have my Ocean Mask and my Color Map. Now, they appear to have shifted slightly.
If you need to nudge a layer, you can hold down Command and just use your arrow keys to make things line up. So, I'm holding Command and move my Arrow keys down, so now the mask lines up with the fill. So I'd like a copy of the map at full color in the background all the time, as well as another copy where I've applied the mask. So let's make a copy of the Color Map layer. Hold down Option, click and drag on the Color Map, and just drag it down to the bottom of the layer hierarchy.
If it popped up into a new group, no problem; just drop it right back onto the main group here, and actually I'm just going to position that at the bottom of the hierarchy. And we don't need this other new group. So to apply this mask to our Color Map, let's turn off the visibility of our duplicate, select the Color Map, and go up under Object and say Add Image Mask. Now, we have our Image Mask drop well. We can go ahead and drag and drop our mask right into the well. Now, this has done a great job of isolating the land, but the oceans are being shown through.
Now, we need to fix this, and in order to fix this, all you have to do is press F7 to open your HUD. And notice right here I have a Source option, and right now it's looking at the alpha channel, which is exactly what I want it to do. But I just need to invert the mask. So let's go ahead and just select that and check it out. Now, I've isolated my landmass off the background. If we want to see the alpha channel, press Shift+A and that will show you the alpha channel, which is showing me my transparency.
So lets press Shift+C to jump back to our colors, and now if we want to animate our map, all we have to do is animate this overarching layer group. But before we do that, let's determine exactly how much of the ocean I'd like to see. So if we select the Ocean layer, we can actually just adjust its visibility. So in HUD, again, let's just bring the transparency down here little bit. Now since I don't have this layer below this, this is going to be semi-transparent, so you want to be careful if you drop this in over some other video, because it'll make the ocean semitransparent.
But most of the time I just render out my map animations full res, full color, without an alpha channel, because I'm doing the final animation within Motion. So to start our animation, selected the overarching group layer, and if we zoom out in our canvas here--I'm just pressing Command+Minus to zoom out-- check it out. That's how large our map is. So I'm just going to turn on automatic keyframing by enabling the Record button here on the left side of our transport controls. Now, we can resize the map. Just go ahead and click on any of the corners-- I'm going to click in the upper-right corner here--and hold down Shift and then also hold down Option, and that will allow me to scale the map around the center point.
Now, I'm going to scale it until I just get relatively wide enough to see everything, but not so close that I'm actually ending up with black bars at the top and bottom of the scene. So to zoom in a little bit, I'm just going to Command+Plus, but I'm not going to go all the way; I just want to zoom in so I can still see my handles here. So to create an actual zoom move on a specific area of the map, I'm going to go ahead and move my playhead down the Timeline to around 2 seconds. Now, I'll just reposition the map to the area I'd like to zoom in on, and then we can go ahead and scale the map up here.
So I will go ahead and just do that. Now, as you're scaling maps and that kind of thing, you do want to pay attention to the overall percentage that you're scaling it. So right now see the contextual box that's popped up in the upper-left there? It's saying 89%, 90%. So it's 90% of the full size of the map. That's perfectly fine. I would warn you if we're zooming over 100% magnification, because then you'll actually start losing image quality. So again, I'll just drag this.
We're just going to zoom in to this general eastern portion of the United States. Now, since I've created an initial move, let's go ahead and preview our animation. You notice I'm getting kind of a funny move that happening there. That has to do with keyframe interpolation. Watch when it goes back again. We can fix that by making an adjustment to our keyframe interpolation. So let's turn off our Record button here and press Command+8 to open up our Keyframe editor.
Now if we go ahead and just adjust our second keyframe here, draw a lasso around the second set of keyframes, and Ctrl+Click or right-click on the keyframe and go to Interpolation. Notice we have Linear and Bezier. Let's go ahead and change them all to Linear, and that's going to give me a very sharp move, but it will get rid of that drift. So if we go ahead and move in this way, there we go. It's gotten rid of the drift. Now, let's reselect the map, and one more time, we'll go ahead and select all the layers here.
Right-click, go to Interpolation, and let's change it back to Bezier and see what happens. Now, we have a nice smooth move in on our map, and no strange drift. So we've actually created our first move in the map animation, and if we wanted to create any other graphics, we most definitely could. I'd just recommend creating a new group layer and creating your graphics on top. So, as you can see, creating map animations in Motion is relatively easy with the Record button.
You could have also created the same animations using behaviors. I just tend to use keyframes for map animations because keyframing tends to be a very precise and analytical way to animate, and when you're trying to animate maps, what's better than precision?
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