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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.
Sometimes you just can't get the right look for your text just by using a solid color alone. I personally think it's a good thing because in Motion there are a number of ways you can create different textures for your type. So let's check out our scene. Now as you can see, we've got a basic 3D move with some stars and this white space text. Now I'd like to blend that into the background a little bit more by adding some textures. So first make sure you have your layers tab opened and select the Space type layer.
Now, let's look under the Style section of the Text area in your Inspector and open up the Face options. The first option to Fill with is set to Color. Now, I want to change that to Gradient and we can see whether or not that works a little bit better. So as you can see, when you choose Gradient it automatically, properly maps the gradient right into your type layer. I think all looks pretty cool. In fact, if you want to change your gradient, there are bunch of presets right here that you can actually scroll through and see if you end up with something that you really like.
In this instance, I think this could use a better texture that kind of looks a little bit more like the moon. So in order to apply a texture to a type layer, all you have to do is change the Fill with option from Gradient to Texture. Now, we have an image well waiting for an image for us to supply. So if you go to your file browser, in the Still Textures folder in your Media folder, you'll find a Slate file. So we need to import the Slate texture into our project, but we don't need to drop it in as an active element just yet.
So change from the layers tab to the Media tab. Now, just drag the slate and drop it right into the Media tab. If we jump back to our inspector in the Utility window, noticed now the Media tab is in the contextual window. So what we need to do is navigate back to our Layers tab, select the type layer, lock off my Utility window, so when I go back to my Media tab I can just click on the slate and drag it and drop it right into the image well. Okay, so as you can see, that's added a nice texture right into the text itself.
Now when you have a large texture like this you can actually adjust the offset of that texture. So we could animate this texture moving through the type, and I know this because obviously right here we can add keyframes. But I'd like to actually animate a highlight moving over the type layer, and the easiest way to do that is to actually use a generator. So let's jump back to our Library section within the Utility window, go to the Generators area, and under Generators, I want you to scroll all the way to the bottom and look for stripes.
Now let's add this into our project just by clicking the Apply button. Now if we jump back to our inspector, we need to make sure that we have everything unlocked, so we can see exactly what we have selected in our Layers panel, and thankfully it's the Stripes generator. Now if we move back in the scene here a little bit, you'll notice that the generator is not quite in the same exact space as the type layer, but it is in fact covering the type layer. So for the most part I'm just going to leave this alone, and we'll go ahead and just animate the stripes over top of our text layer.
So in order to have the stripes not be this huge box, we need to use the text layer as a map. So with the Stripes layer selected, if we go up under Object, we can add an image mask. Now all you have to do is click and drag on the type layer, click and drag it right into the Mask Source drop well of the inspector. Now we have cut out our stripes, but the texture has disappeared, so if we turn our text layer back on, we are still not going to see anything, and that's because we need to change the blend mode.
So if we select our generator and press F7 to open up the HUD, we can change the blend mode. I want to change it from Normal to Add. Since I just want to add the highlights, that's going to be the fastest way to have the white pop out while knocking out the black background. Now, if we zoom in here a little closer, you can see that the edges of the white area are way too sharp, and there's no soften option for stripes, but there is a Contrast option, and if you drag your Contrast almost back down to nothing, you can see that now we've softened out those edges.
Now just to blend things a little bit more, I'm going to lower the Opacity just a tiny amount, and to actually animate the stripes moving across the text, we need to add some keyframes. So move your playhead back to the beginning of the timeline and turn on automatic keyframing. So once you clicked the Record button there on the left-hand side of your Transport controls, just go ahead and click and drag on the X drop well for the center of the generator. Now, it doesn't matter exactly where you drag it because we're just trying to create this first keyframe.
So now if we jump to the end of the Timeline, we can go ahead and just click and drag and make sure that we've changed that parameter a fair amount. And now if we move our playhead back to the beginning and press play, you'll see that we have the highlights moving over the text with a textured background. Now I'm just going to stop playback here for a second and turn off automatic keyframing just so I don't add more keyframes. Now we could continue polishing this by adding some filters and really adjusting the glints in the highlights, but we're actually going to do that in the next chapter.
So I hope you can see how adding a textured any type element is the perfect way to polish what's on your screen.
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