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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.
Generators in Motion do exactly what their name implies, they generate, they generate something out of nothing. And to see exactly what I'm talking about, let's go to the Library tab in the utility window. Click on Library and go down to Generators. If you're coming from Motion 3, you'll notice we have a new category called Text Generators, which we'll get to in another video. But for now, let's just look at the main set of generators. If you click on the generator at the bottom of the utility window, you'll notice you get the preview up here just like with filters or behaviors.
So what I'd like to do in this project is use a generator to actually add some light and texture to this title animation. Go and click through some of the generators, so you can see some of the different things we can create. Let's go ahead and apply this Spirals generator to the title. Now we can click the Apply button, but since there's a title on here and some background video, let's press F5 and actually check out the project. So sure enough, we have two groups, Title and Background_Video. Since I want this spiral to go in between the two, I'll click the Plus button while I've highlighted the background video to add a layer.
Let's drag the behavior directly into the newly created group and double-click it and we'll just call this Generator. Now select the behavior and let's go to the Inspector tab. If you hit the Play button, you'll notice the only thing animating right now is the text. It's very faint in there. But by default, this specific generator doesn't animate at all. Since this isn't blending with the background at all, let's change the colors. Ctrl-click in color well 1 and let's change it to a dark green.
Let's do the same Ctrl-click with color well 2 and choose kind of a light green. Still not blending very well, so let's open the HUD and you notice we have an option here for Blend Mode. So let's change this to Overlay. This is looking a lot better and a lot closer to what I was looking for. It's still a little sharp on the edges though, so let's see if we can fix that. Notice as you drag Tightness, you can make the Spiral really tight, really loose. Let's go ahead and get it really kind of loose like this. That's perfect! We can also adjust the Contrast, so let's blow that out a little bit.
So we sort of soften this up. Now if you click-and-drag on Rotation, you'll notice it's kind of spinning in. Now, I still don't like how dark this is, so we'll Ctrl-click right back on the green and just bring it up to a slightly more saturated lighter version. There we go. That's a lot better. So now in order to get Rotation to constantly spin, we'll just add a parameter behavior. Ctrl-click on the word Rotation and choose Rate. Now, we can drag the Rate up or we can drag the Rate down.
Let's click Play so we can see what direction we're going. I'd actually like this to radiate out from the title, so let's drag it to the left. And there we have it. We've just created a generator and animated it using a parameter behavior. You notice we've used this to just create a type of lighting effect. So we've applied our first generator and integrated into a clip. As you can see, generators are great way to add texture and interest to your motion graphics.
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