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You can have any project open because right now, we are just going to go over some of the essential preferences within Motion. To get to your Preferences, click on Motion in the pulldown menu at the top of your screen. Click on Preferences to bring up the window, and you'll notice Preferences are divided up into different sections. We'll start with the General section. The first item is Startup. You can have Motion automatically create a new project, open the last project or show the Welcome Screen or browse templates. It's important to understand where the library is kept.
By default this is where the library is installed on your computer. Now the Library tends to take up several gigs of space. So, if you want to choose an external drive, this is where you would actually choose to tell Motion, where the new library is residing. So another important preference is let's go through Appearance and you'll notice you can adjust the Opacity of the HUD. And in the Timeline you can have a Name Plus the Thumbnail, a full Filmstrip or an individual Name. The Status Bar is an important section, if you would like to actually show the Color values and Coordinates in the upper left hand side of your canvas.
I do show you this in the canvas video as well. Under the Project settings, you can set a default duration for your project. You can also change your Display Time from Frames to Timecode. But one of the most important preferences I recommend most people change is the Create Layers At preference. This way, if your playhead happens to be in the middle of your project when you add a new object to your canvas, the end point of that object will always start at the start of the project. This pop-up menu is very important if you use, stills a lot.
I do cover this is in-depth, in the Behaviors chapter where I showed you how to animate stills. The Cache is an important setting. You'll want to specify exactly where Motion saves things like your Auto Vault Folder your LiveFont Cache, as well as your Optical Flow Retiming. In the Canvas section, you can change the appearance of your canvas, such as its Color or its Opacity. In the 3D section, you can change different visual cues within 3D for example, the Inset View.
Output is important if you have a video card driving the external monitor. Also if you have dual displays, you can set your Digital Cinema Desktop to Preview on the second display. Under Presets, this is where you can set multiple presets, for both your Exports and your Project Presets. So, hopefully this guide will help you get Motion set the exact way you would like it to behave.
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