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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.
Now when it comes to creating credit rolls, there are a number of different ways to actually get things done. The only time things get complicated is when you have an extraordinarily large amount of information. Sometimes people can find that amount of text rather overwhelming, and they end up formatting things in all different ways. Now I am going to show you two ways to create a credit roll and hopefully, you'll see how my failsafe way will kind of always work. And then the other way is just kind of utilizing some of the fun features in Motion with the text generator.
Instead of browsing through my exercise files here in the File Browser in Motion, I want to actually jump to the Finder really quick. And if you go to your exercise files in the Media folder, you'll find a folder called Paperwork_Docs. Now in there, you'll find a Word document that's for the credit roll. Now I specifically left this a Word document because that's pretty common you'll end up getting a Word document. Now if you don't have Word on your Mac that you are doing this Motion training with, don't worry about it. If you just right-click on any Word document, you can say Open With and choose TextEdit.
Now I want you to do this first, just so you can see a step up. Now we're going to do this in a little bit, but first, I'm just going to work with a native Word document since we do have Word on this system. Now if you don't have Word on the system, you can open in TextEdit and do basically the same thing. But what I am going to do is open the document and as you notice here, I have got some formatting already built in and there are only two pages of type. So if we select all just by clicking in the document and pressing Command+A, we can go up under Edit and choose Copy.
Now this is loaded into the copy buffer of the operating system. So I'm just pressing Command+Tab to switch over to the Motion application, and we will open that up. Now one of the things that we haven't really gotten into very much is creating text that's actually paragraph text. The way we want to do this is to go to the View menu, and in here you want to enable Safe Zones. I always do this because I am a little old school. There are some tools that allow you to compensate for title safe and action safe, but if you do this this way, it will be awesome because again, you're eliminating steps.
So let's select the Text tool with our title safe and action safe squared away. Let's click in the upper- left corner of title safe. Title safe is the inner box. Now as I click, I'm going to hold my mouse down and drag over to the lower-right corner. The reason I'm doing this, this inner box is letting me know exactly where I can place the text, so no matter what television or computer I'm watching this on, the edges don't get cut off. This is kind of a leftover thing from broadcast video and things like that, so some older televisions have a tendency to really crop in on the video signal.
You don't have to worry about that with this; just click and drag from the upper left to the lower right. I have a blinking cursor and if you just do Command+V to paste that type, it will actually paste all the type from the Word document right into your Motion project. Now I realize it's kind of hard to see, and there is a ruler here letting me know exactly how large I made this space for my paragraph type, and I have a scroller here so I can scroll up and down and see the type.
Notice as I am scrolling up and down, the paragraph bounding box is not moving. It's kind of one of the nice little things here. Now I can go ahead and accept this just by pressing Enter on our keypad. As you can see, the type is still a little hard to read, so let's look at it at 100% magnification. And as you can see over here, it's a little blurry. Now what ended up happening, my Type layer ended up getting placed in a group that currently was already in the project, and I have a Vignette filter on here which blurs the edges.
So we want to make sure to drag that Type layer up above the current group so it occupies its own space. Now we don't have to deal with that blur. So I'll just press Shift+Z to resize my canvas. Now in order to make the type bigger, if we go to the Inspector, you'll notice I don't really have an option for size. If you click and drag in the number field that's empty here, as you click and drag, it will let you change the size of the type. The reason it's not giving you a final number is because the type has multiple different sizes within the document.
So this is a fast, easy way to keep the formatting that you had from the Word document and just making the size of the type bigger. Notice the bounding box hasn't changed its size. Now if you decide you want this to be center justified, you can just click center justify on the alignment. Now one little side note: When I copied the text from the Word document and pasted it into Motion, it did copy-paste the formatting. But it is no longer referencing that Word document, so I can go back to the Word document and make changes and that has absolutely no effect on our credit roll here whatsoever.
So now as I'm looking at this, I can click on this layer and move it up and down, and that will definitely give me my animation. I'll just undo that. But if we use the traditional animation behaviors like Throw or Move, it's kind of hard to time out exactly when this is going to finish. So the behavior you actually want to use is under Text Animation. See down here there's an option for Scroll Text. Well, what's great about Scroll Text is the fact that it'll automatically time the move of the type.
So let's drag and drop it up to the type, and now check it out. It automatically moved it to the bottom of my page, and if I just scrub through the Timeline here, notice it is scrubbing automatically, timing the length of the scroll for the length of the behavior. So if you want this to actually move a little faster--I'll go back over here, let's say we want the scroll to finish in half of the time-- I can just press O to trim the out point and now it'll just scroll that much faster.
So if you want one of those really quick credit rolls, this is a way to actually do that. So that's the basics for how to import your credit roll and do the animation with a typical scroll. But let me show you how you can use a generator to actually have the type type on one line at a time. So if you go to the Generator section of your Library, under Text Generators we have the File Generator. This references a file on your hard drive, so let's drag and drop that right into our project, but I want to drop it into this upper group here so we don't have to deal with that vignette issue again.
Now we can deactivate our Type layer that we just animated, and we need to go to the Inspector to actually link up our Text Generator. Now with the Text Generator, you want to go to the Generator channel down here and browse for your file. Now if I click Browse and navigate on my Desktop to my exercise files--let me go to Media, organize by Name, okay, Paperwork_Docs--notice I can't select that Word doc. That's because Motion is looking for a text document.
Now this is a little trick I am going to show you. Don't use Word to convert this to a text document. Right-click on the Word document and open it with TextEdit. I found this to be a very reliable way to actually work. Now when you're in TextEdit you need to actually go up under Format and say Make Plain Text. When you do that, it'll get rid of all the rich text options, which is fine because rich text isn't supported. So now once we have this set up, we can say File > Save As, and leave the default settings for Plain Text Encoding: Unicode 8.
Okay, I'll just call this credit, and I will type a .txt at the end of it. And when we click Save, if we go back to our Motion document in the Generator section under File, let's browse to that same Paperwork_Docs folder and choose credit. Now we can select this. When we choose that, check this out. The credits are actually dropped right here in the middle of the document and if I scroll my playhead, check it out, it's actually playing everything line by line.
So let's see what this looks like. If I press the spacebar, notice it's moving really, really quickly. And there's some flickering as far as the first line, and then it's blank and then the next line and it's blank. Well, if we go back to our text document, notice there is an extra line in between each. So if you're looking to actually animate your credit rolls like this, line by line, you will want to actually go into TextEdit and make sure that all the lines that you want to appear back to back don't have any extra line spaces in between.
So as you can see, there are many different options for animating type inside of Motion. I hope you find some way to wrangle the beast that is a credit roll.
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