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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.
Now, I find it interesting that all too often Motion designers get a little caught up with having to re-create absolutely everything from scratch, or creating individual graphics for each section. A lot of times you can shorten your workload and come up with some creative solutions if you actually use some traditional editing techniques you'd probably find in an edit bay. We are not going to jump right over to Final Cut or anything like that. We're just going to create some basic cuts and use some mattes to add a lot of visual interest to the scene, without necessarily getting bogged down with having to create new graphic elements and keyframes.
So, let's look to our project the way it stands currently. (video playing) Okay, so I think it's kind of cool, got some graphics sort of timed out to the audio and such, but what I want to do is just take this up a level. So if we press F5, we can open our Layers panel, and the first thing I want to do is treat this as one self- contained piece of footage.
A lot of times when I do techniques like this, I will actually render out a QuickTime and then have it imported back into the project and actually edit the QuickTime. But in this instance, I think it makes more sense to leave all the graphics separate, so we do have the ability to go back and edit right within the comp. So, to get started, select the topmost layer and then just click the Plus button. Now, we have our Group layer at the top of our layers hierarchy, and now we can just select all the other layers below and click and drag them up into our new group.
If we collapse the group, I can just turn off and on every single layer all at once. So let's rename this "Graphics Built." Okay, so we have our Graphics Built layer; now we have to just determine when we want to start editing things. Let's move our playhead back and just preview some sections here. (music playing) First I'm just going to add an edit right here at this point. If we scrub the audio-- (music playing) I'm just going to have a section of this actually pop up extraordinarily large. So to do, that select the Graphic Built layer and press Command+D to duplicate it.
If you grab your Mask tool, let's go ahead and just create a square mask and just click and draw to create a mask around one individual section. Now, with this section masked off, we can go ahead and rename this Zoom. Okay. Now the Zoom layer, I just want to go ahead and scale, so in the Inspector, let's open up the Properties and scale this up. Now that's actually looking kind of cool, but just to kind of add to the effect, let's add a slight glow.
So go to the Add Filter option, and go to Glow, and Add Glow. Okay, so that's kind of neat. Let's select the overarching Zoom layer here and just bring its opacity down a little bit, and I'll press F7 to just do that very quickly in the HUD. I wanted to determine an out point for this. Usually with little things like this, it's just kind of a flutter effect, and it just pops up very quickly. So to perform the edit, let's make sure Zoom is selected in the mini timeline, and go ahead and press O to trim the out point.
Now we should also obviously trim the in point, so if you hold Shift as you drag your playhead back, it'll snap to that initial marker. Let's press I to trim the in point. And if it's not quite doing that, make sure it's selected on the mini timeline, just keep pressing I until it actually trims in. Now, we should just have a little flutter that appears, so let's deselect all the layers and just press Play to see what we have. (video playing) Okay, that's looking pretty cool.
I want to do the same thing a little further down the Timeline as well, so let's just move down the Timeline, and we'll select the Graphic Built layer here and duplicate it. This time I went to mask off an individual section, but then we are going to add a different filter to it. So let's grab our Mask tool, and yeah again, we'll just use a typical square mask. Let's just mask off half, and this time just make sure to select the layer again, and let's rename this "Fan," and you'll know why in a second.
If we go to the Library tab here, I want you to look under Filters, and under that, let's go to Distortion. Now under Distort, there are a bunch of different cool filters, but the one that we want to use is Stripes. To apply that, let's just drag and drop it right onto our new layer group here, and now we have some stripes that appeared, and we want to go ahead and animate that angle of this. There we go.
I want this to actually start this way and then just sort of rotate around. Let's turn on automatic keyframing and just scrub our angle here, so we know that we've created a keyframe. I can double-check that by pressing F6 and opening our Timing pane, and let's just scroll down until we get to the actual filter here. There we go. And you can see we have our keyframe, so let's scroll down the Timeline here. And I want this to last a little bit longer, so we'll have this go to this second marker here, and again, I am holding Shift to snap.
Now, we can just go ahead and crank up the angle--there we go--and now we'll just trim the entire group. So make sure you have Fan Built select-- let me close the HUD--and this time let's just click and drag right here in the Timeline using our Trim function. Even though I'm using this function, if we hold down Shift, it should snap to the Timeline. And even though I'm seeing areas down here, since I'm actually dragging the topmost portion of this layer, don't worry.
You're not going to see any graphics until it actually appears right here. So now I'm going to drag the playhead to the right, making sure to hold Shift, and we'll snap that to the second marker, and when I press O, there we go; we've trimmed the out point. Okay. Let's turn off automatic keyframing, and watch from the beginning. Let me just minimize our windows here and make sure everything is deselected. (video playing) So, I hope this kind of whets your appetite for the process.
I encourage you to continue pushing this and see what else you can come up with using masking and some basic in and out editing techniques for motion graphics.
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