Applying colors to motion graphics
Video: Applying colors to motion graphicsNow I've found color management with motion graphics can get kind of tricky. There are so many different ways to apply colors and then animate those colors. Things can get a little confusing. For example, if you have a shape that has a color fill, that's great. Then if you apply a filter on top of that that affects colors, that adds one layer of complication, and then if you change the layer's blend mode, then you have another layer of complication, and we can just keep playing that game on and on. The more you add effects and other objects, you can quickly and easily start adding things up and randomly changing colors.
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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
Applying colors to motion graphics
Now I've found color management with motion graphics can get kind of tricky. There are so many different ways to apply colors and then animate those colors. Things can get a little confusing. For example, if you have a shape that has a color fill, that's great. Then if you apply a filter on top of that that affects colors, that adds one layer of complication, and then if you change the layer's blend mode, then you have another layer of complication, and we can just keep playing that game on and on. The more you add effects and other objects, you can quickly and easily start adding things up and randomly changing colors.
So I'm going to show you a way I like to apply colors within Motion. So we have precise control over the exact color values. So let's get started. If you're joining me from the last video, you may recognize the scene, but if not, we just have a general scene going on here. If I press Play, you can see I've got these birds flying and general type treatment with this kind of funky backdrop. Now, if we select the Rectangle, go to the Inspector tab and make sure you're under the Shape section, under Style. First thing, if you click on the Fill Color drop well, that's obviously where you can set a color.
So if you didn't go through the last video, you want to make sure to go ahead and go through that, because that's how you can create your own custom palette. If you didn't go through the last video, you won't see these colors. They don't save within the file itself; they saved within the Finder. So again if you don't have these colors, go back through the last video. Now, most of the time the preset is this color wheel, but we went ahead in our last video and saved our own color palette. So let's say I want to change this color. I'm going to go ahead and change it to this kind of orangey brown color.
Okay, so now that's set. Now if I want to change the color of the background here, you notice down in the Color Background layer, I've got this white tree and I have this white paper. So I'm going to actually after introduce color into the scene and the easiest way to do that so it affects absolutely everything is to use a filter on the overarching layer, which is Color Background. So in order to colorize this, I'm going to go up under Add Filter, choose Color Correction, and sure enough choose the Colorize effect.
The thing I love about the Colorize effect is the fact that it actually remaps black and white tones. So a lot of times when I am building graphic elements that I know I might use in future projects, I'll just build those elements as black-and-white and then use the Colorize filter to have precise control over that color's animation. So let's go ahead and colorize our background here. Click on the Color Map right next to the Remap White To option. So if we go ahead and click on this color well, let's change this to the top color here. So now we have this dark brown and this kind of salmon color.
So we can go ahead and close that for now. We've colorized our background. Now if we want to change the color of the birds, we can click on the Emitter and if we go to the Emitter settings here, we have cell controls where we can change the Color mode and definitely choose Colorize within each individual channel. See here I've the same color options, etcetera. But I actually like still applying the Colorize filter to the overarching layer, and I do this because sometimes I like to make changes to my Emitter by adding different particle cells, and I don't want to necessarily have to go into each cell and recolor everything.
So if you just go ahead and select the Birds layer, we can go back up under Add Filter > Color Correction and choose Colorize, and in here let's do the same thing. We can remap the white to this darker color so it matches the background, but then let's remap the black as well. Let's go ahead and remap the black to this lighter brown and now it looks like a little bit more of a silhouette. Actually as I'm looking at it, let's change it to this bright green, just so they pop off the background here a little bit. So now if we close our Colorize filter and we press Play, you can see I've already got some colors going within our individual color palette.
Now the problem I'm running into is the fact that the birds here don't actually appear underneath this color rectangle. Now I can click directly on the color rectangle and adjust its Opacity by opening the HUD and a lot of times that's what I'll do. But if you want the colors to blend from one color to the other, then change the blend mode. I like trying Soft Light with lighter and darker colors, because it does create kind of an interesting effect. So if I go ahead and deselect everything here, you can see now all the colors are blending together.
Now, if I had to stick to specific colors with in my individual color palette, I probably wouldn't change the blend mode, I just adjust the Opacity, but even then you're still going to get the colors mixing between the layers. So sometimes you just have to kind be aware of that when you're manipulating colors in motion graphic applications. So obviously there are other ways that we can continue tweaking the color here. Most of the time I'll go ahead and apply some other effects to add a little bit more depth, like maybe a vignette or adding some lighting effects, but those are topics for another chapter.
But for now, you see the true power that lies within actually using the Colorize filter as opposed to colorizing each individual object separately.
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