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The real-time engine in Motion 3, a component of Apple's Final Cut Studio 2, gives motion graphics designers the freedom to continually experiment and adjust while they work. Ian Robinson explores how to get the most from this unique application, while also sharing his own essential motion graphics techniques. Along with teaching the fundamentals of video and audio work, he looks at Motion 3's new 3D tools in depth. Ian demonstrates the use of behaviors to create organic movement in particle systems and camera moves without keyframes. He also discusses effective integration with the other Final Cut Studio applications, and much more. Example files accompany the course.
3D Particles is one of the most exciting new features for me personally, because I always love adding different senses of depth to things, and 3D particles have always been something that, well, I guess it has been a slow process. Typically, in most other motion graphic applications, when you are dealing with particles in 3D, you have to either deal at lower resolutions, or you have to do RAM Previews, or you have to keyframe a bunch of stuff and then sort of Preview what it looks like, and then go back and adjust and Preview, and it's this whole long, drawn out thing.
Well again, in Motion since it's real time. I can actually preview my 3D particles as they are being adjusted. So this is a huge, huge thing for me, personally, and honestly, I think it's a pretty huge thing for Motion as well. If you don't have it open, we are in the 07_3DParticles Project. Now, hit F5 to open up your Layers tab and just turn off the Blue Layer for right now, because I want to show you how we can change any of the Particles Presets into 3D particles. Go ahead to your Library and go to particle emitters, and under Pyro let's just choose Explosion.
Go ahead and drag and drop that right out onto your Canvas, and you notice, when we hit the spacebar, we have a nice explosion. Let's go ahead and set the Play Range to end around 02.11. Cmd+Option+O. If I play this back and just pause it right in the center of the explosion and add a camera to the scene, its going to ask me, do I want to switch it to 3D, and the answer is yes. Now, a couple of different thing will happen. First off, it has added a camera to the scene, but if you select your particle emitter, and hit F4 to open up its options, you notice it still isn't truly in 3D space, even though I have my 3D Transform tool selected.
So let's go ahead and select the Camera. Hit F7 to open the HUD, and just rotate around a little bit. You will notice this particle system is nice and flat. Go ahead and choose Blue, and you will notice it too is nice and flat. Let's go ahead and Make Particles. Again, if I click on the Camera and Rotate around, it's still flat. So let's select the emitter and choose 3D. Now it automatically had Face Camera checked.
If that's off, you notice the Particles no longer face the camera. I like leaving that checked for the most part; I am going to stop playback here, so go ahead and leave that checked. Let's go ahead and adjust some things like the Scale. I want it to randomly scale these objects, and I don't need it to have such a high Birth Rate, but I would like them to live a little longer, and to be a little faster. So let's crank the Speed up to around, I don't know, 230.
Hit the spacebar, and you will notice we have this Particles just kind of popping on the scene. This would be kind of cool in and of itself, but let's go ahead and make it a little more complicated by adding a camera move. I am going to stop playback just for a second. Choose the Camera, Add Behavior, Camera, and choose Sweep. All I want to see happen is this camera just spinning around in Y space, just creating an interesting effect. So go ahead and just drag the end, and you will notice, if you drag in your HUD, it won't go far enough, so open up your Inspector and drag the end; drag it right around to 4500.
So now go ahead and hit your spacebar and you will notice we have a whirling dervish of 3D Particles. That's the basics of changing your particles from 2D particles into 3D.
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