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In Motion 4 Essential Training, Ian Robinson shows how to start building outstanding motion graphics and animations for video production. He demonstrates how to build custom text animations with the new Adjust Glyph tool and explores Motion’s amazing real-time 3D tools. Ian highlights working in the 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, and using reflections to add realism. He gives practical advice on how to integrate Motion into a professional video workflow, round-tripping with Final Cut Pro and sending a final project to Compressor. Exercise files accompany this course.
One of the features I'm most excited about in Motion 4 is the new Link behavior. Basically what this does is it allows you to link the parameter of one object to the parameter of another object. And if you don't understand what I mean, don't sweat it, because that's what we are here for. Let's check out this project, press F5 on your keyboard to open the Project pane. You'll notice we have two groups, the Circle of Life and Bugs. I know they don't really look like bugs just yet, but if you hit Play/Pause, you'll see they kind of flicker and if you are joining me from the last video, you'll notice that these are the same kind of flickering bugs.
All it is, is a parameter behavior called Randomize that's on the Opacity. So it makes some kind of flicker a little bit. So what we are going to do is a Link behavior is link the motion of the bugs swarming around the Circle of Life to the opacity of the center circle. So as a circle gets more bright, the bugs will get more active and as the circle gets more dim, they will get less active. So in order to do that we actually have to have the behavior applied. Let's get these bugs spinning around, and the best way to do that is to apply a behavior to the overarching group itself.
So select the Bugs group and go up to Add Behavior. Under Simulations, choose Vortex. Now the Vortex behavior behaves a little bit like what happens when you pull the plug out of a bathtub. You know the water sort of swirls around and anything it's in there sort of sucked towards the drain. Well, that's in essence what happens with the Vortex behavior. Go and click the Play/Pause button and let's look at the scene. You notice the circle of life is actually circling the drain, which we definitely don't want, so let's pause that just for a quick second and make some adjustments.
Click on the Vortex behavior and in the Inspector make sure you are under Behaviors, and you'll notice under Vortex, I have a pop-up menu that allow me to change what this behavior affects. So click on the pop-up menu, then choose Specific Objects. Now we have a nice area where we can drop in new layers we'd like to affect it. So let's add all of the different Circle layers, but be careful because there is a little gotcha. Go ahead and click on the first Circle layer underneath the Vortex behavior and look what happens.
I have lost the menu, no problem. Just click on the Vortex behavior and click the lock button in the Utility window. This locks the Utility window to the Bugs layer or whichever layer you have selected whenever you decide to lock. So click on the first circle, hold down Shift and click on the last one and now we can drag them all into the affected objects area and you notice we have nice perfect circular motion paths, which would look great if this were a planet animation, but it's not.
So let's adjust then drag a little bit and you'll notice it's very sensitive, so let's only set this to around 19. Now go ahead and hit the Play/Pause button and let's look at our animation. All right, so you notice they are all kind of swarming towards the center of the circle. We are halfway there. Let's stop playback for a second. Now that we have the Vortex behavior applied, we need to tie the opacity of the circle to the strength of the Vortex.
So go ahead and select the Vortex behavior and on the word Strength go ahead and Ctrl-click, the Link behavior is actually parameter behavior and you'll see it in the menu, go ahead and select it. You'll notice by default once it's selected, it's not active and that's because it's looking for its Source Object. So it's asking what would you like to be the source. So let's tell it. Drag the circle into the dropwell. So just click and drag and let go once you see that little curved arrow and now since the circle has been added, we need to tell it what parameter of the circle we would like to link to.
So click on the Compatible Parameter's pop-up menu and under Properties, go to Blending and choose Opacity. Now click the Play/Pause button and you'll notice they are moving quite fast and that's because under this pulldown menu, the Apply Mode is set to replace with source and since the opacity of the circle is set at 100, now the strength of the Vortex is set to 100. So let's play with this. Go ahead and select the Circle layer and go to the Properties tab.
Now you want to make sure to uncheck the lock box, so you can actually see the properties of the circle itself. Begin playback and let's adjust the Opacity and see how that affects things. Notice when the opacity is really low, it's not very highly affected, but the second we crank the opacity up, the bugs get attracted to the circle of life. And there you have it Link behaviors completing the Circle of Life.
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