Motion 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating and adjusting shapes


Motion 4 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Creating and adjusting shapes

In Motion there are some pretty powerful tools you can use to create different shapes and lines. In this video, we're going to create some basic shapes that we can use to create some DVD menu buttons and then as we continue we're also going to create an Illustrator style bird so you can see some of the more advanced functions of the different tools. Let's get started with some basic shape tools. Go up to the Create buttons and if you click and hold on the Rectangle tool, you'll notice you can not only create rectangles, but ellipses and circles as well as lines. Let's just choose Rectangle for now, so go ahead and click on that and just click-and-drag in your canvas.
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  1. 6m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 45m 36s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 19s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 56s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 51s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 39s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 18s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 40s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 50s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 15s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 23s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 37s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 32s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 28s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 48s
  12. 19m 8s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 19s
  13. 13m 24s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 39s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 4 Essential Training
6h 21m Beginner Sep 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
  • Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
  • Animating with behaviors and keyframes
  • Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
  • Creating simple and complex particle systems
  • Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Ian Robinson

Creating and adjusting shapes

In Motion there are some pretty powerful tools you can use to create different shapes and lines. In this video, we're going to create some basic shapes that we can use to create some DVD menu buttons and then as we continue we're also going to create an Illustrator style bird so you can see some of the more advanced functions of the different tools. Let's get started with some basic shape tools. Go up to the Create buttons and if you click and hold on the Rectangle tool, you'll notice you can not only create rectangles, but ellipses and circles as well as lines. Let's just choose Rectangle for now, so go ahead and click on that and just click-and-drag in your canvas.

If you hold down Shift as you drag, it will make a perfect square and since I want to make a rectangle, I'll just let it go. And now we've just created our first shape in Motion. Let's go ahead and grab the Select tool and take a look at what we have got. Press F7 to open up the HUD and you notice we have some basic options for this shape. We can tell it whether we want it to be filled or to be outlined. Now, I know it's kind of hard to see the outline with these lines on, so go up to your View menu and just turn off the Lines. The handles, they're okay. You notice in this slider you can adjust the Width.

So let's just make the Width a little larger and the Feather option is only when you have a Fill selected. Now, let's go to the Inspector. You can click this i button in the upper -right-hand corner of the HUD or press Command+3 to open the Inspector. Make sure you're on the Shape tab and let's look at some of the other options that we have. Notice first off, we have a lot more options under Outline in the Inspector. We can change the Brush Color using RGB sliders, the Opacity and we can check this box here called Preserve Width. What's nice about this, with it selected, if you scale this object any size, you'll notice it remains the exact same width.

We'll go ahead and de-select that for now. And there are some minor options you can adjust as far as the Joint, the Start Cap, and the End Cap. Now you might be looking and just going what are you talking about, Start Cap and End Cap? If you go down to the next set of sliders here, you'll notice there is First Point Offset and a Last Point Offset. Go ahead and click-and-drag the First Point Offset and you'll notice that this line actually can animate. And if you press F5 to open up your Project pane, you'll notice this Rectangle.

I'm just going to press Shift+Z to snap my canvas to be smaller and move my HUD out of the way. You'll notice the Rectangle has now switched to a paintbrush. This is really nice because once you create the shape you can fully animate it using all the Paint effects in Motion. We're not going to get into that right now, but I just wanted you to note, anytime you change something to an outline, it will automatically change into a paint shape. Let's go ahead and move the First Point Offset back up here and customize this shape a little bit. I want to cut this corner of the bottom of the shape.

So in order to do that, all you have to do is just double-click directly on the line and that will activate the Adjust Points tool. You can also select this tool by clicking and holding and then choosing it in the pulldown menu. Now with this tool selected, you'll notice when I move back over the line, I'll get a plus button. Go ahead and double-click on the lower line to add a new control point. Double-click on the line on the right to add another control point. Now, all we have to do is delete the corner point. So if you Ctrl-click on that point, you'll notice in the pop-down menu we have an option for Delete Point.

Go ahead and choose that and now we've cut off the corner of the box. You can tweak this just by clicking directly on the control point and holing down the Command key, if you press your arrow keys, you can move it up or down, left or right. I'm just pushing the down key and again if we click on the other control point, we can go ahead and adjust that accordingly. Now that we've created this DVD style menu button, let's go ahead and create a little more advanced shape. In the Layers tab, collapse the Group and rename it MenuButton.

Go ahead and lock it so we don't have any chance of accidentally changing it and add a new layer. Since we're not going to be working with the MenuButton anymore, go ahead and de-select it's on checkbox. Now instead of using a Basic Shape tool, let's go ahead and use the Bezier tool. Now if you have ever used an Adobe application before, you're probably somewhat familiar with the Bezier tool. You will notice it looks like a pen tip and to add some control points, all you have to do is click on the canvas. Now we'll get started just making a beak for our bird. Let's go ahead and click one, two, three and when you roll back over the original point, you'll see the closed circle and now it will let you know it closed the path.

And so now we have our beak. I know it doesn't look like much but just follow along. Now to make the body of the bird, I want it to have some kind of round edges. So rather than using the Bezier tool, I'm going to click and hold and use this other tool that's hidden underneath called the B-Spline tool. I'm just going to start clicking and creating the body of the bird. What the B-Spline tool does is it allows you to create multiple points that easily get rounded as you create the different sections.

So there we have got the tail, come on down to the body. We're going to make a good healthy chubby bird and close that path off. So now we have a basic body shape and it looks kind of funny because he is all one color right now. So make sure to go to the Shape tab in the Inspector and under Style, let's change the Fill from Color to Gradient. The Gradient Adjustment tool you'll find in a lot of other places in Motion. So follow along as I make some adjustments. But understand once I teach this to you once, you'll be able to see it throughout the application.

Anytime you see this menu, it's going to function the exact same way. So on the top, we've a bar that actually controls the opacity of this object. Now, we're not going to make any adjustments to this right now, because I want the bird to be completely opaque. We'll mess with this little bit more when we get into animating particles. Right now, let's go ahead and just adjust some of the options for the Gradient itself. If you notice, to build the Gradient it works from left to right. And you'll notice if you start on the left hand side here, and just click in this little color chip well, it brings up my options to change the color.

Now, I would like the bird to have a nice red head, so I'm actually going to leave that alone. Let's change the body color over here. Go ahead and click on the Blue chip and we'll just mix in some more colors. Let's move down to the Type pop-up menu and if you click on that, you'll notice I can switch between Linear and Radial. I want to keep this Linear but I want to adjust exactly where this gradient goes throughout the shape of the bird. The easiest way to do this is to actually use yet another tool. If you click and hold on the left button in your View tools, the last tool option is the Select Transform tool.

And you'll notice now I have a direct visual representation as to what's going on with the gradient and how it's mapped on to the body of the bird. So if I click-and-drag on the control triangle, you'll notice now I'm adjusting the angle of this gradient. And if I want the body of the bird to be a little bit more red, I can just go ahead and drag this out and it's adjusted. You notice as I drag each one of these control points here, it adjusted the value sliders for the start and the end points in the gradient.

You can also adjust colors directly in here as well just by clicking and dragging on the color clips. So now we have covered the main tools to create different shapes within Motion.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 4 Essential Training .

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Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space.  One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
  1. Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D. 
  2. Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage. 
  3. Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position. 
  4. Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end. 
  5. To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion. 
    Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position. 
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.
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