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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.
The beautiful thing about creating advanced particle systems in Motion, it doesn't really require advanced techniques. So to show you what I'm talking about, let's go ahead and create our own advanced particle system. Press F5 on your keyboard, and you will notice we have a Title layer and we had our text and then we have our Particles layer, which contains little fireflies. If you press Play, you will see them popping up off the ground. Now, what I would like to have happen is some type of particle transition between the fireflies and fun colorful text title called imagine.
And the way we'll do that is to create a circle particle cell. So let's create a circle. Go to the Create section of the toolbar, click and hold on the Rectangle tool and choose the Ellipse tool, and any where in your canvas just click-and-drag. I am going to hold down Shift so we get a perfect circle and to use that as a particle, so all we have to do to add the circle is click and hold and drag it down to the Emitter, making sure to hold your mouse button down and then just wait for a second, you will see a pop- up menu and we want to make sure to just choose the Emitter Cell option.
Now, with that being selected, you will notice our circles have now populated through the Emitter just like our little lightning bug particle cells, the Hives. One thing to remember when you add a new particle cell, by default, Motion will not turn off the original source. So let's turn off the visibility of the original source. That way when we play the animation back, the original circle isn't just sitting there stagnant in the middle of the canvas. Now click Play/Pause and you will notice we have circles just popping out like the lightning bugs.
So let's tweak the circles a little bit, just give a stop playback and select the Circle particle cell. Go to the Inspector and first off, I don't like how these were popping on the screen. So let's go to Opacity Over Life, open the disclosure triangle, click on the first chip on the left and adjust the Opacity down to 0. Let's click in the bar to create a second chip and with that automatically selected, drag the slider back up to 100%, now you notice our particles are actually fading in.
Next, let's adjust the Color. Click on the pop-up menu for Color Mode, and choose Pick From Color Range. This is starting to look a little better but it's a little busy, so let's make the colors match and fade back a little bit. So first let's change the colors. Click on the left Color chip and let's adjust it to one of those really light washed out colors, like what fills our text and let's add a couple more colors. Click in the Color bar, Ctrl- click in the Color chip and just drag.
Okay, click in the Color bar, Ctrl-click, just drag and let go. I'm just going to change this blue. It's kind of a more pale green. There we go and still this is a little too bright. So if you click on the Opacity chip again, let's bring that down to around 44% and just so they don't all have the same opacity. Let's go ahead and add some more chips in here and give them slightly different opacity values.
All right this is looking pretty good, but let's add some more fun by adding some Scale Randomness, and we'll bring the overall Scale down. So now it looks a little bit more like bubbles and it's a little more playful. Let's click the Play/Pause button and check out what we have got. This is pretty good, but the circles are still moving a little too fast, so let's go back up and adjust the Speed. Let's bring that down to around 43 and we'll change the Birth Rate as well. Let's change that to around 13.
That's looking a little better but I think I want the circles to actually fade in a little bit later. Let's use a different technique and actually trim the Circle Emitter Cell in the mini timeline. Click and drag your playhead to around 70 frames, press I on your keyboard and you will notice the Circle Emitter Cell has now trimmed. So if we hit the Play/Pause button, now the circles start to appear. This is looking a lot better. So to add another little finesse piece, let's go up to the Particles layer itself and add one more behavior.
Go up to Add Behavior down to Simulations and let's choose Vortex, because I would love for all these particles to actually come in and spin around towards the center. Now, something really interesting happened. When we applied the Vortex, if we hit the Play button, you will notice it's actually spinning the title as well. Now, I think that's pretty cool and a lot of you might actually like to keep that. But I'm just going to stop playback and change some of the Vortex settings.
Instead of Related Objects, let's choose Specific Objects and to specify all the particles, I'm going to lock this Utility window. So when I click off of this behavior, the Utility window will not update. This will allow me to actually drag these elements into the well. Let's click on the Hives Emitter Cell and the Circle Emitter Cell holding down Shift to make sure both are selected. Click and hold with your mouse and drag them into the window.
When you let go, now they are both in there and if we hit the Play button, you should notice everything that's kind of swirling around in a Vortex, and that's a little bit more what I was looking for. Now, if you want to keep tweaking this, you could keyframe the Strength of this. So when they came up originally they wouldn't be moving and then as the strength goes up, they can swirl around within the text, you get the idea. Feel free to keep playing with this, but for now, you have actually created an advanced particle system, with not one, but two particle cells and a behavior that affects your particles.
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