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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.
Don't you think it's kind of funny how filters in your car or your house are designed to capture all the nasty things and protect you from it, but filters in video are actually really fun exciting things that you want to actually interject into your projects? I don't know. I just think that's kind of strange. But kidding aside, inside of Motion, filters are pretty darn amazing. The reason is the fact that they're actually graphically represented. So I can choose exactly what section of video I want treated with a filter, just like I could choose exactly how long I want a piece of footage to be.
So to get started let's press F5 so we can open up our Layers tab and see exactly what's going on here. You might notice we have two pieces of video. Now those two pieces of video butt together. So let's play back our video. As you can see, we've got a quick jump cut right around 2 seconds. So, we are going to use filters to go ahead and fill this in. To get started, let's select the Video layer. Now, notice once it's selected, we can choose Add Filter up here in our toolbar.
So go ahead and click on Add Filter. Now, I want to get started by actually making the footage jitter a little bit just before the jump cut. Now to do that we should go to the Time section of the filter and choose Scrub. Now, notice here in the mini timeline, the second I chose Scrub, it took up the entire length of the composition. So, if I only want this to affect a small area, I need to trim it. So press I to trim the end point and you can press your Spacebar to begin playback and then you can press O anytime you wanted to trim out.
Now, this is still a little long for what I'm going for. So, let's go ahead and click-and- drag on the right edge of the effect. Notice I get the same contextual menu, letting me know the new duration and exactly what I'm changing in terms of where the endpoint is or the outpoint is. So, now that we have shortened up that a little bit, let's go ahead and drag that in front of our edit point. Here, now I know it's being placed right at 116. So that's pretty good. Let's move our playhead back so we can check it out.
That's definitely a little bit more of what I was looking for. Now let's apply the Scrub filter again, but instead of going up to the Add Filter button, in the Layers tab select the Scrub filter. Now hold down Alt or Option and just click-and-drag up and you can drop it right back on the same layer and notice it made an exact duplicate. However, if you look in the mini timeline, notice the duplicate is right at the start of the comp. So, now we can move this around and have two effects go back to back.
Now I'd like these to be slightly different. So let's go ahead and shorten this up just a little bit. Now since we have it selected, let's go to the Inspector and look in the Filters tab. Now there are options here for the Frame offset. So, I want this to jump to an earlier point in the timeline. So I am just going to move back about 9 frames here for the setting. So now if we move our playhead back to the beginning, we should have a little jump there and a little jump there and our jump cut, which looks pretty good. But I want to actually cover up the transition.
So you may get some inkling that something is coming with this double jump here, but really I want this to be covered. So to do that we should use the Pixellate filter. Now, I'm just choosing that filter, because it's one of my favorites. If you want to see what a filter actually looks like before you apply it, you should go to the Library tab and there we can go to the Filters section and if we go down under Stylize, scroll down a little bit and you can find Pixellate. Now when we select Pixellate, notice it makes a giant mosaic or small mosaic of whatever you apply it to.
So, since we have the Video edit layer selected and the filter selected, all we have to do is press Apply. Now, you notice Pixellate is right here at the top and now our footage is pixelated. So, just to cover the edit point, let's go ahead and trim our Pixellate effect. So press I to trim the endpoint and if it didn't work, make sure you're actually selected in the Layers tab and have the timeline selected. Now, let's press I, there we go! If we move our playhead down past the edit point, there we go.
Let's move it to around 205. Now, we can press O for the out point. Now, this is just a stagnant filter effect. So let's keyframe the amount of pixelation. So, when you have your playhead on a piece of footage or a filter, if you want to jump the playhead to the beginning, all you do is hold down Shift and press I and it will automatically jump to the beginning of whatever you have selected. Now, let's turn on automatic keyframing. Just click the button right there in the timeline and let's go to the Pixellate options in the Inspector.
Now if we want to adjust the Scale, just go head and click-and-drag on the Scale slider and let's drag it right down to 1. So, it's going to be very minor right at this point. But if we move our playhead right to the jump cut, there we go. Let's go ahead and crank up the scale so we can't tell what's going on. Now, it just looks like a bunch of colorful boxes. Now, if we move our playhead to the out point, we could just press Shift+O, making sure we are all the way at the edge. Now, we can just bring the scale right back down to 1 so when the playhead goes off the right side, it's just going to look like normal footage.
Now it's important once you turn on auto keyframing, go ahead and turn that off. Now if we move our playhead back to the beginning, we can go ahead preview what we have done. Okay, that was pretty darn cool, but I still want to take it up one level more. And the way to do that is to choose yet another filter. So, let's go back to the Library tab and this time I want to go ahead and use a filter called Overdrive. Now when you know what the filter is that you are looking for, just click in the search area.
So, I am going to say Overdrive. There we go! It was in the Glow section. So to apply that, we can just drag-and- drop it right on top of our Video layer there in the Layers tab. Now, with Overdrive selected, let's trim our in and out points. So, I want to in point to be around 108. So I will press I and then again I'll move just past the edit point, which I know is at 2 seconds and then we can go ahead and crank that out by trimming it to O. Now obviously this is pretty drastic.
So, let's press F7 and open up the HUD. If you want to change the color scheme, that's fine. But you can bring the intensity down pretty quickly by adjusting its Intensity as well as its Size. So, now you notice I'm actually starting to see the pixels again. Now, I want to show you one last thing before we preview this. It's really important to understand filter hierarchy. So, right now, we have two filters that are directly on top of each other. We have Overdrive and Pixellate and what's happening, the filter that's actually on the bottom gets applied first and whatever is on the top gets applied next.
So as you can see, this footage has been pixelated and then it's gone into Overdrive. Now if you want to turn a filter off, just turn its visibility off right there in the Layers tab. Now, let's move our Pixellate so there we can see it a little bit higher and now turn Overdrive back on. Now let's see what happens when we move Pixellate above Overdrive. I know it may not have looked like much, but if we turn off Pixellate, you notice Overdrive is now set up here.
So if we go ahead and bring it back, you are not getting nearly as much distortion as we had before, because the Pixellate is only affecting the overdriven section of the video edit whereas if I overdrive the Pixellate, then you can see we have all these funky blurry edges. So enough talking about filter hierarchy. Let's go ahead and watch what we've got. So move your playhead back to the beginning and press Play. So, I think that was darn awesome and pretty drastic.
And all in all, if you look at filters in the Motion interface, they're pretty darn simple. Everything is laid out very clearly, just like you'd be able to manipulate footage. Just remember, even though interface may appear simple, it's that simple implementation that gives Motion its power.
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