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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.
If you've been following me through this course, you may recognize this background. And truth be told, it was created with the power of generators. Now I did use a generator as the base layer, but I did also layer in a bunch of filters. So just so this specific video doesn't turn into a tutorial on filters, we're just going to create the basic steps to get started with this background. I have made sure to include a finished version of the project, if you would like to go check it and sort of reverse engineer it on your own.
But for right now, let's get started creating a background. Press F5 to open the Project pane and we can delete the MovieTitleBackground QuickTime I use to show you earlier. Just press Minus in the Layers tab with that layer selected. You also notice we've a text layer. Later on, we're going to use this with an object mask to kind of cut out the background. Let's turn that off for now and go to the Library and check out Generators. Now the generator I use for this effect is called Cellular. To apply it, just click the Apply button in the top of your Utility pane.
With that generator applied, just press Play, and you will notice it looks much like little marching ants, not exactly what that background looked like, but with a little help we can definitely get there. Let's stop playback for a second and open the Inspector. Under the Generator tab, you notice we've some controls for Width and Height. Now since we're going to use the text to mask this off, we can leave those alone. Let's change the overall size of this effect. Drag the Size slider up to around 50.
And since we want this to playback a little slower, let's drag the Speed closer down towards 19. Now press Play and let's check it out. Here we go. Little bit more organic. A little closer to what we've done, but not quite. Let's gets started by softening things up with a glow. Go up to Add Filter > Glow and choose Glow. With that selected, you'll notice if we crank up the Radius, nothing really happens. That's because the Threshold is set a little too high. So drag the Threshold down to around 50% and let's crank up the Opacity a little bit to 1.72.
All right, that's looking a little better, but I don't like how gray this is. So let's add in the contrast. Go to Add Filter > Color Correction and choose Contrast. In the Contrast settings, let's crank this way up to a little over 3. And so we can recover some of the data we lost. Let's bring the Pivot point back down. That will reintroduce some of that detail that we've lost. Now we're almost there. All we need to do is soften this back up again. So let's go back up to Add Filter > Blur and choose Soft Focus.
Now that Soft Focus is applied, let's crank that up to around 21 and adjust the Strength up to 0.85 and its pretty close. But for right now, let's stop and apply the mask and see how things look. Select the Cellular generator, go up to Object and choose Add Image Mask and click and drag the text into the Image Mask dropwell. Now that's turned to look a lot more like the example. All we need to do is actually blur out the text.
So select the text layer, go to Add Filter > Blur and Channel Blur. Now even though there's no RGB data, I just like unchecking these things because really the only thing we need to blur is the Alpha Channel. So let's go ahead and crank that up there a little bit, not too much because we still want that interesting spacing. And that's it for now. I hope this has inspired some level of creativity to use Generators to create some interesting motion graphics.
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