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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.
Motion is a great tool to design in, but where it's most fun is when you get things moving. In order to properly get things going, you should have a healthy understanding of just how to control timing with the Timing pane. So if you don't already have it opened, press F6 to open the Timing pane. In here, you'll see I have a Circles layer that actually has the word STRETCH, as well as 3 circles, and I also have a Background_Video layer which contains our Railing video.
So let me just deselect everything and press the spacebar to begin playback. As you can see, I've got this kind of cool, funky, rack-focus-thing going on here. What we want to do is focus on a certain section of this video, maybe right around two seconds here, and I want these three circles to pop on and then have the word STRETCH pop on. So in order to trim a layer within the Timing pane, you want to have that layer selected and then press I to trim the in point for that layer.
Now since I want these to go in sequence, what I want to do is actually work backwards. So I'll select my playhead, move it back in the Timeline just a few frames here. And I can also trim a layer just by clicking on the left-hand side, and notice it'll snap, and I get this nice in and out point contextual menu telling me exactly what's going on. If I want to move my playhead back without clicking on it, I can click right here in the Timing window. Now, if you double-click and then type -10, notice the playhead moves backwards in the Timeline 10 frames.
Now, I'll make sure I have Circle 3 selected, and I can press I to trim that in point. If I press Home to move my playhead to the beginning, I can go ahead and press play and see what's going on here. One, two, three, okay, perfect! So I have my three circles actually appearing, and now I want my type to appear. So to move the type down, all we have to do is click on the word STRETCH and press I. Now what this did is actually trim the in point. To show you the difference between trimming and sliding, let's go ahead and make an adjustment to our Background_Video layer.
Select the Railing_Rack layer, and let's just move our playhead back here to around one second. Now, notice this section of the video right here near my anchor point is rather sharp. If I go ahead and press I, I've trimmed the in point of my layer. Notice it's still sharp. So let me just Command+Z to undo that. To slide a layer, what you want to do is hold down Shift and then hit the left bracket key, which is just to the right of the letter P. Now, notice this area is nice and blurry, because that's my original first frame for this video layer.
So I slid the layer down instead of actually trimming the in point. So now if I press the spacebar from this point, I have my circles and then my type appear. So now that you know how to trim and slide the in points of layers, let's talk about the out point. It's pretty straightforward. If I want to change the out point for any layer, just go ahead and select that layer and instead of pressing I for in, you want to press O for out.
You can do this in real time in addition to actually just doing it with the playhead stopped. So here I am going to play back and then press O. So as you can see, I trim the out point for the circle. Now, to slide, instead of the left bracket, you want to hold down Shift and do the right bracket. So I think you get the idea between trimming and sliding. So last thing, I just want to show you some little things about the interface in the Timeline as you are viewing your media. Notice anytime I select any of these layers, the Mini Timeline changes up here.
That's just showing me the layer that I have selected, and the timing for that individual layer. I can also select the group for an overall layer, and the group can have a different time from the sublayer. So let's say I move this Video layer back, notice the top layer moves with it. I know I said it can have a different time, but that's really only when you have more than one object within the layer. So for example, if I move up to my circles, that's really only if you have more than one object within the group.
So if I move up to my Circles group here, I can slide it back to the left, and now you notice I can move the start point of the different layers, but notice the in and out point is actually going to slide according to the one that's furthest to the left or furthest to the right. So, sliding and trimming groups is slightly different than sliding and trimming individual objects within the layers within a group. Now since I've gone ahead and changed absolutely everything and it's all sort of messed up again, what I am going to do is actually focus on that one section of the video and re-time everything again.
So you can actually set the playback to only play back a certain section of video pretty quickly and easily by adjusting the play range. Now, just like trimming the in and out points by clicking on the left or right side of a piece of media, I can adjust the play range by clicking directly on this little arrow here that's pointing to the right. That will move the in point of my play range. And then I can do the same thing here with the out point. Now, if I want my play range to move based on a key command, I can go ahead and position my playhead and then hold down Command+Option+O to set my out point, and then if I move my playhead again, I can do Option+Command+I to move my in point.
Now, when I press the spacebar, I'm previewing only that one section. So here, very quickly, I can move my playhead back to the beginning of the play range, select the Circle, press I, and just use the spacebar to begin and stop playback. Here I could move the next one, press I, I. I can do this in real time as well.
Perfect! So remember, if you need to adjust the timing of the objects in your project, or just navigate the Timeline, the Timing panel and the Timing Window have you covered.
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