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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 you've created your graphic and you want to make it easy to use and easy to customize. Well, drop zones are a great place to start. If you press the spacebar here in our comp, you see I have created an animation for a title card, and with drop zones I can set it up so this background image is always easy to customize for anybody who is using the project. So I'm just going to stop playback here and press F5 to open our Layers panel, and in here you'll see how we have things built.
I've got a background layer and a couple of shapes. I have this stroke drawing on, and here's our image. Now, to create a drop zone is pretty simple, but you want to pay attention to how that image was created. As you can see here, I have a mask and I have a behavior, so when I turn this into a drop zone, both the mask and the behavior will transfer to whatever new object I decide to drop in. So with this image selected, go to the Inspector under the Image tab and you'll notice Drop Zone. Select Drop Zone and you'll now notice that we have type in our Canvas as well as other options for the drop zone.
Once you convert something into a drop zone, you'll see the type, and icon will change-- notice this arrow here that pops up--and then we have our options. So to customize our options, you want to go to the Fit area. See, when you click on Fit there are three different ways something can fit inside this drop zone: One, you can have it automatically scaled to fit. Two, you can have it center on the entire drop zone. Or three, you can have it stretch to fit. I'm going to leave this to Fit and show you just how easy this is to customize.
If we go back to the File Browser, in our exercise files, in the Media folder, go to the Stills folder. Let's just choose another image to drop in. I'll select this Amber image, and if we wanted to go into the drop zone, just drag it and drop it. And notice, if I drag and drop over the Layers area, I get this curvy arrow letting me know I'm going to swap that out. Now, if I drop it over the canvas, I get even more of a sign with this outer yellow glow.
Now, when I let go, now we have our new image that's been dropped in. So the animation and everything has automatically transferred. We're all set. I know this image is a little soft. That was the original photo. But as you see, with drop zones it's relatively easy to create an animation and make it extraordinarily simple to customize. There's one last thing you need to understand with drop zones. This still image is a great thing to convert into drop zones, but you can't convert shapes.
So if I go to, let's say, one of our circle shapes here, in the Inspector there is no option for Drop Zone. The only things you can change into drop zones are still images and video. Now, on occasion you may want to create your own drop zone and not use a source image. To do that, you can go up under Object and choose New Drop Zone. Just understand, when you do that, you will get this extraordinarily large drop zone that you'll probably want to resize with the bounding box. There we go.
And if you need to change its shape or anything like that, you want to add a mask to it with one of the Mask tools. But now this is set up as a drop zone and anything that's dropped into here will take on any of the parameters that we apply to this drop zone. So yes, you can animate it using Position, Scale, all that same sort of thing. It's just not giving you the same visual benefit that you get by using an image as your source for your drop zone.
One last thing about drop zones, after they're built, it's very easy to customize within Motion, but when you take this a step further and create templates for Final Cut, the drop zones will transfer into there as well. And don't worry, we're going to be covering how that works as we continue to move through the rest of this chapter.
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