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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.
Animating type inside of Motion is definitely a fun process. When you add 3D on top of it, you can take something that's relatively user-friendly and make it amazingly dynamic while still keeping it relatively user-friendly. So to show you what I'm talking about, let's animate this word STUDIO here and open our Project panel by just pressing F5. And in here you'll notice we have a background layer that is currently living in 2D space.
We have a group which contains our studio text, which is currently living in 3D space, and we have a camera in our scene. So with the camera selected, if you just orbit around the scene, I want you to see something with this type. Notice the type is facing the camera; no matter where I orbit around, it's always facing the camera. That's because when the type was created, we went under Inspector and in the Text section under the Inspector, there is the option for Text Rendering called Face Camera.
What this does is it forces the type to always face the camera. See, with that deselected, I can now spin up and down, and notice I'm not seeing the type face the camera. So if you want to create some pretty interesting animations, just turn on Face Camera and then animate your camera, fly it around the scene, do all kinds of interesting things. You can create something kind of fun and something funky. I'm going to deselect Face Camera for right now, because I want to add a sequence behavior. I want to have this text flip around in 3D over the sequence of the type.
Now to do that we can go to the Library and in the Behavior section, go down to text animation. This is one of the core types of animation for behaviors, Sequence Text. So if you drag that behavior right onto the word STUDO, now you notice I have Transform Glyph controls. And one of things that's really cool about this is the fact that I can automatically start distorting my type. Notice I clicked on the top rotation circle of the letter S and all the other letters moved.
Well, that's because when you have a behavior selected and your playhead isn't automatically at the start of the composition, notice there are some different options under Sequence Text, the first one being Sequencing From. Really what's happening, it's sequencing from whatever transformation I sat with this Transform Glyph tool and since the playhead isn't all the way at the beginning of the composition, you're not seeing the distortion for the first letter.
So if I rotate it now, I have a beautiful flip-up that's happening. Now I can compound this 3D effect by animating the camera, but I want to show you one more way to add parameters to the Sequence Text behavior. See, we've already flipped this in 3D space, but you can also go to the Parameter option here under Sequence Text in the Behaviors section of the Inspector. Down here we can animate the face of the type; or if we had an outline, we could animate that separately; if we had glow, we can animate that separately--you get the idea.
So for the face of the type I want to have this kind of blur in, so let's go to Blur and crank up the value of the blur. Now if we move our playhead back to the beginning, notice the text is blurry and then it rack-focuses in. If we want to adjust the spread of this, just increase the Spread, and what it's going to do is force that animation to happen over two characters, three characters, you get the general idea.
If you scroll down, look at all of the different options, you can create using Sequence Text: you can have it loop; you can have it hold once it's finished looping; you can have it wrap back and forth or ping-pong back and forth, Literally the possibilities are endless. The biggest thing you need to remember when animating type in 3D, you want to have the text layer selected, go to the Text options under Layout and pay attention whether you have Face Camera selected. Another thing you want to look out for is this Render Text option.
So you can render in local 3D which will render faster, or you can animate using global 3D which will give you a cleaner animation. Now the last thing, you can flatten your text. Now keep in mind when you flatten it any 3D transformations that happen will be overwritten. So when you're dealing with text in 3D make sure you don't flatten the actual text rendering within the text layer itself. We've covered how to deal with text in 3D within the Text Layout options, but also be very aware of the group that the text resides on.
You want to make sure that that group is a 3D layer, because if you switch that to 2D as well, yes, you'll get the transformation of the sequence text, but if you go to rotate your camera around the scene noticed nothing's happening because this layer doesn't exist in 3D space. See now when I enable 3D for the layer again I can animate the camera around, and notice I'm seeing the full effects of the 3D transforms for the text.
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