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Creating a pre-render

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Creating a pre-render

Now believe it or not, I have a bunch of friends that kind of make fun of me for doing this technique, but honestly, I really kind of enjoy pre-rendering. So if you're an old-school designer, you probably know exactly what I am talking about, but if you've always been in the world of real-time motion graphics with Motion, you may not completely grasp the advantage of pre-rendering something. So let me take you through a typical workflow that I would do when I know I'm going to be creating a rather complex animation. So let's look at our project here and as you can see, we have a video layer with the Keyer attached to it.

Creating a pre-render

Now believe it or not, I have a bunch of friends that kind of make fun of me for doing this technique, but honestly, I really kind of enjoy pre-rendering. So if you're an old-school designer, you probably know exactly what I am talking about, but if you've always been in the world of real-time motion graphics with Motion, you may not completely grasp the advantage of pre-rendering something. So let me take you through a typical workflow that I would do when I know I'm going to be creating a rather complex animation. So let's look at our project here and as you can see, we have a video layer with the Keyer attached to it.

Now we definitely went over how to create this in the Green Screen chapter, so I am not going to jump into the Keyer options and things like that. I just want us to look at the playback here by pressing the spacebar on our computer, and you notice immediately that it's going to play back rather slowly. That's because Keying is somewhat processor intensive. Now I know this key is a little rough, but that's perfectly fine because the treatment that I want to do, I am going to change her into a silhouette, and then I want to replicate that silhouette all over the place.

Let's think about the processing that's going on right now. See, I have got the green-screen footage, which if we zoom out here--I will Command+Minus--you notice it is larger than our project. So let's go to the Inspector with that piece of footage selected and in the Properties section change the Scale down to 67%. That way as she dances around, she's not getting cut off on the edges and then she really moves out of the scene. Now this process of just choosing the green-screen color and keying out the background is pretty intensive.

Now we're also scaling the image down as well. The second we try and load this into the replicator, imagine what's going to happen. You're going to have, I don't know, twelve copies of this or sixteen copies of this, and each time, yes, it loads the keying once, but it has to replicate that multiple times. So as you would imagine, this can be very processor intensive. To make the work a lot faster, one of the things I like to do is just pre-render something if I know that I'm going to be using it for a specific task.

I like how her T-shirt is cut out of the background because of the style it's going to create. So select the QuickTime file and let's go to the Library and in the Filter section I want to go to Color Correction. See what we are going to do is change her into a silhouette. So grab the Colorize filter and just drag it and drop it right on top of her QuickTime layer. And in the Inspector, let's remap black back to black and we will remap white all the way to black, and now we're getting that kind of famous silhouette look.

If I press the spacebar here, you'll see the playback is a little slow and I do have a little bit of degradation that's going on within our dancer, and that's just because the black and white values aren't quite covering absolutely everything the same. If we go to the Inspector under Remap Black and Remap White, you can just make doubly sure that that's 100% black when we make that adjustment, same thing here with the white. Okay, so now that we have got our silhouette set up, now it's time to actually export this.

Now in the past, if I had to go to Share right now and say Export Movie, it would export of this black silhouette and the red background married together. Now the old way to fix this is to deselect the background and then go up under Share and export the movie. But there's a faster way to do this and if you have many, many layers underneath of something that you've keyed and you just want to export the one keyed layer, all you have to do is select that one layer and then go up under Share and choose Export Selection to Movie.

See, when I do this, it's automatically going to only export that one layer. Now I know it doesn't look like that based on the thumbnail, but it will. So let's look at some of the options for this. Under the Export options, yes, I want to export ProRes 4x4, because in the Render settings I do want to export my Color channel plus the alpha, which is the transparency of the image. Now for the Render Quality, instead of using the Canvas settings, I am going to set that to Best, and in this one instance I don't want to enable Motion Blur.

Now I can continue going through and showing you all the different options, but this is the look we are going for. So all we have to do is click Next, and now we can pre-render this element. If you go into your exercise files folder, in the Media folder there is a folder for Footage. In there we have an option for Exported_Sources. So when I click on that, you will see I have my KeyedDancer video file that I already output earlier. Now just so you can see exactly what happens when I do hit the button, I'll go ahead and just add a 2 at the end of KeyedDancer here and click Save.

Now what's going to happen? It will render the dancer, key it off of the background with an alpha channel, and then open that QuickTime and show us exactly what's going on. So notice when I open the QuickTime, even if I press Play, not really seeing anything. That's because it did output the transparency data and since all I had was her filled with black, we are not seeing anything. What we need to do is actually view the alpha channel. So to do that, I'll just collapse my two layers and turn off their visibility.

And if we go to the File Browser, let's navigate in our exercise files folder, in the Media folder under Footage, there is an option for Exported_Sources, and here's our version 2. Notice I get a preview right up here in the File Browser. If you want to see it in your project, just drag and drop it right into the project. Now, as I'm looking at this, I still can't see this, so you may have to come to this color window up here in the upper right and change it from Color to Alpha Overlay, or change it just to straight Alpha.

That way you can see exactly what's going to actually be transparent and what's going to be filled in. Now there is one last setting you should pay attention to when you go to export your movie as a pre-render, and that's the actual size of the movie. See, if I knew I was only going to make our dancer 50 pixels high and make duplicate copies of her, I would just make a QuickTime that's only 50 pixels high, and then I would just use that as the source for my replicator.

By not including all those extra pixels to making her large, I'm just making the pre-rendering that much more efficient, and that will make the replication that much more efficient. So the easiest way to think about pre-rendering, anytime you think you're going to be building a project that might look like it's going to actually bog down your system, you may want to look at the individual elements to see exactly which ones you'd like to pre-render.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25602 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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