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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.
Creating particles in 3D is a lot like creating particles in 2D. So to show you what I mean, go ahead and press the Play button and you notice we have a particle system here. Let me stop playback for a second and press F5 to open the Project pane. And you notice I actually do have a Camera in the scene, so let's switch to Perspective view. And we have in a mirror and if we orbit around, you'll notice this particle system is nice and flat. Two-dimensional.
So let's go to the Inspector and enable 3D and sure enough the particles are in 3D space but they're still flat. So you always want to make sure that Face Camera is checked and that's usually on by default when you check 3D. I specifically had it off for this demonstration, just so I could re-illustrate the point that the particles themselves are not actually 3-dimensional particles. So now as you can see in 3D space, we have a truly 3D particle system.
So we could go through all these options again to create the particle system. But it's exactly the same as the 2D particle system. Literally, all we did is check 3D and made sure Face Camera was checked. So there are a couple of things that I want to show you that's pretty neat about 3D particle systems, once you've actually got it set up. Let's go ahead and switch back to the Camera. If you have a Camera in the scene, the 3D particle system does support using all of the Camera behaviors. So let's go to Sweep, so the Camera will spin around the scene.
Just crank up the End value to some high number and we'll click Play from beginning and you'll notice now the particles are spinning around in 3D space. Let me stop playback really quickly and switch back to the Perspective view so you can see this a little bit better. Let me zoom out, and when we press Play here, you'll notice the camera is literally just spinning around the particle system. That's pretty cool. So with the camera spinning around so fast, let's go back to the Active Camera and in our Render settings, enable Motion Blur.
Now, those of you with slower computers might want to do a RAM preview. This computer is pretty fast, so I'm just going to press Play. So we can see the whole scene, press Shift+Z to resize the canvas and you'll notice as the particles reach the edge of the scene, there is actually a slight motion blur on them. You can see it on this one here. Now, if we cranked up the Sweep, I'm sure we could get that Motion Blur even higher. There we go, you can see it on that object. Now, there is one last thing I want to show you about particles in 3D space.
Since they support cameras, they also support lights. So, let's add a light to the scene. Go up to Object and choose New Light. And you may not notice a difference. That's because in the Emitter settings when you're using lights, you need to render particles in global 3D. That way it will actually process the light information. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tweak all the different settings with the point light and the spot light but you can feel free to do that in your own time. Right now, let's just mess with the Ambient light because this is a great way to add a really nice glow to your objects.
If we crank the Intensity up here a little bit, now we have particles that look a lot more like they're floating around in space. I'll go ahead and press Play, and you notice playback is really slow. So this is the perfect time for a RAM preview. Press Command+R and now that the RAM preview is done, let's go ahead and play our animation. So there you have it glowing, spinning particles in 3D space with lights and cameras. Particles in 3D in Motion.
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