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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.
As if particles weren't already cool enough, we can really kind of push things a little further by taking our particle systems into 3D. Instead of starting from scratch, let's convert a preset particle system to 3D. So if you go to the Library under Particle Emitters, I want to look at Sparkles, and the one we're going to work with today is Heavy Sparkles. When you click on that you will notice we have the bunch of particles that are coming out and they sort of fall down, and that is pretty perfect because we are going to eventually match these particles back into the 3D replicator that we just recently created.
All right, so let's turn off those background layers and drag our Heavy Sparks preset right up into this layer below the camera. If I grab my camera and just orbit around here, I think you'll notice that these sparkles aren't very sparkly when we look at them from the side; as a matter of fact, they're pretty flat. So to enable 3D you want to select your particle emitter and navigate to the Inspector. And then under the Emitter controls enable 3D.
Now if we orbit around our scene, you'll notice these particles do exist in 3D space. Now to take this step further, I want to take these particles and I have them match the replicator. In order to do that, let's change the particle emitter. Just like with replicators, there is a Shape option. So now that we have 3D enabled, there is the Box option. When we click Box it's going to now increase where the particles are coming from.
It's not just creating one point and then replicating that point with all the particles; now they're all getting shot out from all these different places within the box. Now to match this up with a replicator a little bit better, I'm going to open the replicator layer and select the replicator and look at the dimensions of the box. So we have a width of 1166 and the height of 586, so let's set our size the same. Okay, and then for the Z Depth we have 652.
Our systems are relatively lined up, but I know we only have 3, 3, and 3 for this example of the replicator, so we'll do the same thing for our particle emitter. Just looking at the icons here you can see that things have started lining up a little bit. If I start to orbit around, you should definitely notice that the particles are in 3D space and they do directly correspond to each of the dancers.
So now if we wanted to kind of push things even further, we could change the sparks in the particle emitter. If we go to the particle emitter and look at its options, you want to scroll down to the Cell Controls because the Cell Controls are where we can actually specify the color. This color option is here adjusting this one cell. So I just wanted to go to Color Over Life, and we can still have it start this pale yellow color, but let's have it change to kind of a dark orange as they get a little older, almost red, really dark, dark orange.
To make things loud, let's enable our background purple layer and bring down the color of that just a little bit. We'll make it more of a dark funky purple. There we go. And to get a preview of what's going on, let's disable our grid view, 3D grid, and I want the camera to kind of spin around our system as we get a preview, so in order to do that, we need to add a camera behavior. I know we haven't covered this just yet, but follow along: adding a camera behavior really is not hard.
Select the camera, go to the Library, under Behaviors choose Camera, and drag this Sweep behavior and drop it right on the camera. And if we jump to the Inspector, change that end from 30 degrees to 180 degrees. Now if we move our playhead back to the beginning, I'm going to load up a RAM Preview by pressing Command+R. The reason I'm loading a RAM Preview, we are going to be experiencing true 3D and thousands of particles spinning around in 3D space, so it's probably makes sense that you'd want optimize your system for playback just by loading this into RAM.
So once this is done, we'll check things out. So as you can see, we've got particles emitting out of our dancers rotating around in 3D space, taking full advantage of the 3D capabilities of Motion.
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