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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.
If you've ever been onstage, you know that where you are on the stage is just as important as what you're performing onstage. So when it comes to creating your projects in Motion, think of the Canvas as a stage. And when it comes to creating and transforming objects, Motion has a couple of different ways to help you move your objects around in both 2D and 3D space. Now in this video we're going to focus primarily on the 2D for now, so to get started let's actually create an object. We can do that right here in the center in the toolbar. And if you click and hold on the Rectangle, you'll see we could create a rectangle, a circle, or a line.
I'll just go ahead and create a rectangle for now. Now if that tool selected when I move my mouse over the Canvas, you'll notice I get the crosshairs. This way I can see precisely where I'm going to be placing my rectangle object. Now in order to create this, I just need to click and drag. If I hold down Shift as I drag, I can create a perfect square; or if I just let go, I can create a rectangle. So for now, I just want to go ahead and create a rectangle, and I'm going to create kind of a vertical rectangle.
And when you let go over your mouse you'll notice in the Layers panel you'll see we have our rectangle here under Group as well as in the Timeline. Now I don't need either the Layers panel or the Timeline right now, so I'm just going to go ahead and press F5 and F6 to hide those accordingly. Now make sure to grab your selection arrow and select the rectangle. Notice once I select the rectangle ,you'll see these dark circles around the outside edges. Also, you'll get this crosshair with a very thin white line-- I know it's kind of hard to see-- that goes out to this other white handle.
See this line lets me know exactly where the anchor point of this object is going to be. And if you come out to the right where this circle is, this will actually allow you to control the rotation. So if you click and drag, notice I can rotate on the object. And if you look in the upper-left part of the Canvas you'll see Rotation actually updating, letting me know exactly how many degrees of rotation I'm actually rotating this object. Now, notice I can drag out really wide or really closely and it's really not changing anything as far as how the rotation function works.
It's just allowing me to create a more sensitive rotation or something that's a little bit more forgiving. So if I hold down Shift as we start moving, notice it will snap in 45-degree increments. Now I don't necessarily want to rotate this, so I'll just let go for now. And if your rectangle didn't stay straight, just press Command+Z to undo. Now this little circle right here, kind of like this little piggy, this little circle right here doesn't go all the way home.
It rounds the edges. So if you click and drag towards the center, notice it will round the edges of this rectangle, and that's actually kind of a look that I'm going for. Over here in the corners, these are bounding control points. So now if I click and drag in one of the corner control points notice again in the upper-left part of the Canvas I can see the exact width and height adjustment that I'm making. And again if I hold down Shift, I can keep things in proportion, but notice it only keeps in proportion based on once I press the Shift button.
So if you want to make sure to scale this in proportion--I'm just going to undo that-- make sure to hold down Shift before you click on the corner. That way when you scale it up and down, it stays perfectly in proportion. Now we know how to rotate, we know how to scale, we know how to disproportionately scale; but how do we actually make an adjustment where let's say I want this one corner to stretch out over here? Well, it's pretty simple. All you have to do is Ctrl or right-click on one of the anchor points. And sometimes you may end up with this menu that pops up. Don't panic; just reselect the object and try it once more, okay.
So when I Ctrl+Click right on that point, now here I get a whole bunch of other options. I can transform this in 3D. I can adjust the anchor point, the drop shadow. I can do a distortion. So let's go ahead and click on Distort. Now notice the edges look slightly different; instead of circles we have squares. So if I click on one of the squares, now notice I can get this cool kind of distortion effect. So again, if you just Ctrl+Click on any one of these points, you can open this menu back up again and transform things in a slightly different manner.
Now I just want to go back to the normal Transform options, and notice here I can still rotate around my anchor point. So how do I actually move the anchor point? Let me just Command+Z undo that. To move the anchor point, if you click and hold on the Transform tool, you'll get all those other options that we had by Ctrl+Clicking on the control handles, but the one we want to adjust is Anchor Point. Now once I've selected that, notice I get the X, Y, and Z control handles.
If I click directly on one of these axis, notice the anchor point moves only on that one axis. If I just click right into the circle here, I can move freely. And notice Motion is kind of smart. It realizes well since you've distorted the shape, the anchor point's center of this object would be right about here. So it will snap to out where that new anchor point is, if I just click and drag. So once you have that set, make sure to click back on your Anchor Point tool and reselect your Transform tool.
That's just good practice, so you don't accidentally start moving anchor points around as you start selecting other objects. Now like I said, we can transform objects in 3D space, but that's something we'll get into a little bit later. So like many of the movies in this chapter, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as there is plenty more to learn. But using these key tools should be more than enough to get you started moving things around and distorting your objects in Motion.
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