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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you're joining me from the last video, this was the title design that got approved. So, we're going to use this as inspiration. In the last video, I did mention that there were textures that were sent off for inspiration again, and they were approved. Now, one of the things I'd like to do when I start animating is pre-render as much as possible. Obviously, I haven't done very much animation just yet, but I want to show you the QuickTime that I've pre-rendered, and I'll explain why in just a second. If you go to the File browser, in your Media folder, head to the PreRenders folder, and in there, you'll find a Background Materials movie.
Let's just go ahead and drag and drop that right into our canvas. If we press Play, we can preview our animation, and here you can see all this is just these textures cutting back and forth. The animation stops after a few seconds. So we're going to go ahead and deal with that, but the title open needs to be 10 seconds long. So even if I'm just working on noodling around to create a general direction, if I know it's going to be 10 seconds long, I do like to rough out very rough timings.
Most of the time when you're designing a title, you'll have some element that is repeated in the background. Now, that could be a video that's edited and you've stylized a color treatment for, or it could be a graphic element that's constantly repeated. I'm actually going to use this background element that I pre-rendered, which obviously is just a bunch of cuts. I'm going to use that as the main impetus for my inspiration outside of the text treatment. So the first thing we need to do is look at how long this file is.
To do that, select the QuickTime file and go to the Inspector, and in the Properties section, if you scroll down to the bottom, when you have video selected, notice there's a whole Timing pane, and in here, we have our QuickTime and it's playing back. So let's go ahead and play that. Okay, for a title open, I think that's moving a little slow. Now again, its preference, and since we're not completely in the animatic phase yet, I'm just doing this sort of off the cuff.
But we'll change our speed here, and I want to speed it up, so let's just change it to 200%. Now we should also deal with the fact that the clip ends at 119. If you look down all the way at the bottom, there is a pulldown for End Condition. Let's change that to Loopable. This way with this QuickTime file, I could just click right here on the right side of it and drag it out and loop it for as long as I needed it to be, in the comp. Again, since this element is going to be repeating, I just wanted to make sure it was as long as it needed to be.
I know this is going to work fine based on what the element is, but a lot of times when we have a looping piece of video, you want to move your playhead down and just go ahead and check the transition, which this one works perfectly fine, and I definitely love that pacing. So you may notice in our project, I already have a 3D camera, and I did that because I know I'm going to want to move in Z space. This section right here contains our title. Let me go ahead and turn off my background video. I know this title got approved based on its font, size, and placement, so I'm actually going to leave it in this placement for right now.
Now, the next section down is Open Textures. I am just going to drag and drop my background video right in there, and we're going to work on building an open texture that we can again repeat throughout. Now, these other two groups contain transitional elements. See, when I'm designing a 10-second title, I know there's most likely going to be at least two, if not three, transitions and that's just, again, me sort of roughing it out in my head. Obviously, you can decide what you want to do with your own projects, but based on what I was thinking, two or three transitions.
That's why I have these comps, and you notice I've also made them roughly three seconds apiece. Obviously, all of this timing can change once we start the actual animation phase; I am just trying to build some animated elements to see if I could inspire the overall design. Being in Motion, I can't help but think about using the Replicator in my project. I just love using the Replicator. Part of the reason I've pre-rendered this file as a QuickTime is the fact that Replicator can do some amazing things with video files.
So let's get started building our open texture. Make sure you have the background QuickTime selected and go up to Replicate in the toolbar. I know this looks kind of crazy right now because the video file is extraordinarily large, but what we want to do is just reposition this out to the sides. Now, I'm just dragging one of the corners out to the sides, and since the video is so large, I can't really see what's happening. So what we need to do, in the Replicator section, go to the Inspector tab, under Replicator, and we need to adjust the scale.
So let's go down and look at the scale and just drag that down to the left until everything gets kind of small. I would like these to be really kind of tiny, so let's set it around 15. And that's an off a lot of black space, so let's look at the number of rows and columns. So all that Replicator is doing is just repeating the same graphic element, and now we actually have control over how many columns and how many rows. So, let's go ahead and crank that up to 6 and 6.
Now, I like how this is looking, but there's still a little bit too much black space, so what I'm going to do is go back to my Replicator tab here and I'm just going to a tweak the Size settings. So initially when I was making adjustments to the Replicator, I was adjusting in the canvas, but once you set your initial adjustment, I recommend going in and adjusting the size with these menus here. If you try and drag the slider, notice it doesn't quite go far enough, so click in the number well and drag it out towards 1090. Let's resize the height as well, and as I'm resizing this, I just want to get the black area really tight and precise so it's the same horizontally and vertically.
So yeah, okay, we can leave it at 666. All right! So, now we're ready to actually look at our animation. If I move down and press my play from beginning here, we'll go ahead and check it out. And as you can see, everything is changing all at once. So, one of the great things about the Replicator is the fact that you can tell the video to just play random frames. So scroll down to the bottom of the Replicator tab in your Inspector and choose Random Start Frames, right underneath the Play Frames options.
Now, if we play from the beginning, you'll notice it's actually looking pretty darn cool. This is relatively close to where I want to be in terms of my inspiration. I just like to see these actually build on, because graphically, I'm trying to recreate a representation of what happens in the show, which is redesign, remodeling, rebuilding. So I want these graphics to actually build on. I'll just do a rough build right now. So, if you select the Replicator, you can go up to Add Behavior, and we want to sequence the Replicator, so if we go to Replicator, choose Sequence Replicator.
By default, nothing is set up to Sequence, so we need to add a parameter. So let's change that to Opacity, and we'll have this build on. And for this to function, we want to start at 0 and actually build to full Opacity. If we start at 0 and we look at the Sequence Controls down here, we don't want to Sequence To; we want to Sequence From 0. And then let's go ahead and play and see what that looks like.
It's going to continue building on like this for 10 seconds, so let's actually move our playhead right to around two seconds, because I want this to be fast, and press O for out. And now, if we go ahead and watch our Sequence Replicator, you should see it kind of build on till two seconds. Now I know I'm not getting a real-time preview, but this is definitely the look that I was going for. We'll obviously tweak this animation when we actually get to the animation phase, but again, I just wanted to use this as inspiration, so I can sort of visually confirm what I was thinking mentally, and that has occurred.
The next phase usually is building the animatic. Now to recap, I used the Replicator to inspire my open. Now obviously we haven't really started building the open yet. But I did have a theory behind what I was building, and that's really one of the core principles of animation and creating motion graphics. If you're creating a title open, you don't want to just build something because it looks cool. I mean a lot of us will start there, but for this graphic specifically, I started with the textures that were inspired by remodeling, and then graphically, I tried to rebuild the process of building with our graphics using the Replicator.
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