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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.
Using objects as masks is a common motion graphic technique, and in Motion it's very simple to achieve. Let's see what we have in our project by pressing F5 to open up the Project pane, and you'll notice we have two groups. Open up the Background Graphic and you'll notice we have a QuickTime. That's just a motion graphic background that we'll be creating later in the Filters chapter. Let's look in the Lines group and you'll see we have three separate Rectangles. Go ahead and hit Play so we can see what the animation looks like. Just so you know, these sliding rectangles we'll be building later in the Behaviors chapter.
Let's stop Playback just for a second, so we can apply our first mask. Select the MovieTitleBackground Layer and go to your Object pulldown menu, and at the bottom choose Add Image Mask, and you'll notice a small square with the rounded white corner. That's the Image Mask dropwell. What this means, you can drag any object in your composition into the Image Mask well and you'll use that image as the mask. So let's take this large rectangle here and drag it and drop it into the Image Mask, and you'll notice the mask has been applied.
Also notice by default, the visibility of the Rectangle Layer has been turned off. Now, this Image Mask is always going to be constantly referencing this original image. So if I go and make any changes to this image, like Position, or Blur or anything, it's going to be updated in the mask. We're not going to do anything with this Rectangle right now, but what I would like to do is have all three of these lines act as a mask. So instead of just clicking on one of the rectangles, let's click on the Lines group and drag it into the Image Mask dropwell.
Go ahead and hit Playback and let's look at the animation. Well, it sort of looks right, but if you notice, it hasn't masked out anything for the large rectangle. That's because when it turned the Visibility off by default, it stayed off. So let's go ahead and turn the Visibility back on, and now you notice the mask is active. Go ahead and begin Playback and deselect your layers to take a look at the animation. This is pretty close, but we're going to take it one step further. Stop Playback just for a second, and select the Background QuickTime video and duplicate it by going up to the Edit pulldown menu and choosing Duplicate.
Now, you notice it also duplicated the mask. Since we originally just wanted to create some depth for this animation, go ahead and delete the mask of the lowest QuickTime file. And the way you do that is just by selecting it and pressing the minus button in your Layers tab. Now with that deleted, you notice I'm getting a slight difference between the Background QuickTime file, as well as the Foreground QuickTime file. Now, to heighten that difference, let's go ahead and select the background as the mask applied to it and just scale it up a little bit. Grab one of the corners in your canvas and just hold down Shift as you drag to scale it up.
If you hold Shift and Option, it will scale around the center point. Notice that's accentuating the difference between the different lines. Now I'm just going to deselect that QuickTime and begin Playback, and now we've added a lot of depth to our animation by adding an Image Mask.
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