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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Most of the time when I use generators, I am using them to generate individual graphics that I can use in my projects. But a lot of times I'm just using them to accent the graphics that are already in the scene. Now, if we look at the project that we have opened right now, go ahead and just press Play, and you can see I've got a bunch of colors changing and a general title treatment and these birds flying off. Now, if we look at the rest of our scene, you'll notice that I've got a camera here. A lot of times I'll work in two dimensions like this until I know I'm ready to actually jump into 3D, or see if 3D is actually warranted for the project.
And since this was just going to be a quick element, I didn't actually take it into 3D. So if you turn the camera off and back on, notice it's really not making that much of a difference, because again I'm not really utilizing any 3D features in here with these layers. But I would like to add a little bit more depth into the scene, because these colors are rather flat. The easiest way to do that is to use a generator. So let's expand the Gradient & Grid layer, and you notice so far I only have a grid on this layer.
So if we go to the Library tab, go to the Generator section, and the generator we want to use is pretty simple. It's the Gradient generator. Now, let's just click Apply to add it to the scene. So obviously we can't get a vignette with this, so let's go to the Inspector and make some changes. Under the Generator tab, we have our gradient. Go ahead and expand its disclosure triangle. Now, let's get the color set up properly in the first place. So click on the left color swatch and let's change that color to white, and we can change the other color on the right over here.
Let's change that color to black. Now usually I've blend this into the scene by changing its blend mode, but right now I want to make an adjustment using Transparency options. So I'd like this white area to be transparent and this dark area to actually be filled in. The easiest way to do that is this bar up here at the top. Notice when I click on a color swatch, I can see the color area is illuminated and I can click and drag and change colors, right? Well, if I click on the swatch up here in the upper-left, notice colors have grayed out, but now I can adjust the opacity.
So I want this area to be completely transparent, so let's click and drag on the Opacity to bring it back down. Now, that's made the entire thing transparent, so let's click up here in this upper bar and just drag to the right. So we have another swatch up here for Opacity, and let's crank that up to 100. Okay, perfect! Now this is actually starting a blend quite nicely, but we need to change this from Linear to Radial. So if we go to the Type down here at the bottom of our Generator tab, let's change that pulldown to Radial. Now the fastest way to adjust the position of your gradient is to go up and choose the Select/Transform tool.
So click and hold and then go down and choose the tool. Now, we have our controls. All we have to do is click on this triangle on the bottom center of your screen--click on that and drag it to the lower-left corner. Don't drag it all the way off the canvas, because I would still like to have some kind of edge to my gradient, but we need to actually move this top triangle into the center of the scene. Now, I would like to reposition my vignette, but if you notice, when I hover over here I can't actually click on this because I have my navigation compass up here. So if you go up to the View menu and go down and choose Compass, we can deselect that.
Now, I can just click right on the gradient and actually make that a little harder or a little softer. Now, I still think the gradient's a little too dark, so I'm going to press F7 to open up the HUD, and under the Blend mode, let's go ahead change that to Soft Light and that will soften everything up, and you notice it's also affecting the color. See if I turn that off and then turn it back on, it's kind of giving this nice sort of burnt-in look. So as you can see, when you start manipulating your colors and contrast using generators, you can add depth to the scene without necessarily having to be in three dimensions.
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