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Learn how to create stunning motion graphics and animations for video production. Author Ian Robinson explains how to format and animate type with the Transform Glyph tool and explores Motion's real-time 3D tools. The course also covers working in 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, keying green screen effects, and working with particle systems. In addition, Ian offers practical advice on integrating Motion into a professional video workflow and explains how to work smarter using rigs and templates.
In an effort to make sure that everyone is on the same page as we move throughout this course, in this video we are going to cover some of the terms that you may not necessarily be familiar with, and we'll get started with Motion-specific terms. These are terms that are specific to the application. So the first term I want you to be familiar with is object. Basically anything that you drop a new Motion project, whether it's footage or a still image or something that you create within Motion, like a text or shape, those are all considered objects.
Now when you drag things into your projects they have to inhabit a space, so at the very base level they are going to inhabit layers. So layers are the containers that hold all the objects in your project. A group is another organizational structure above a layer. You can organize multiple layers together to create a group. This helps for organization within a project, but it also helps when it comes time to animate because you can animate all of the elements as one element in a group, or you can animate each individual layer underneath of the group.
Now behaviors are probably the most important thing in Motion. These are the tools that Motion uses to create more organic movements in your animations. Rather than creating animation with keyframes by moving things from point to point, behaviors just play and you just drag different parameters to see what happens and see what you can create. Now a replicator is something really neat. Basically anything in your Motion project you can turn into a replicator, and what this does is it repeats that objects in different forms and shapes.
You can repeat patterns, you can repeat video files, you can repeat still images, all with the replicator. Now the cool thing when you go to animate a replicator, you have control over everything as one huge group, as well as finite control over each little copy. Parameters are the values that you will adjust to create your animation. It's a basic unit of control for an object or a layer. A rig is something to Motion 5, and it's a tool used to create editable parameters in a project using widgets.
Now editable parameters means a couple of different things, but basically you can group a bunch of smaller parameters all together to get controlled by one rig, and then you can save the project out and actually make Motion media completely integrated and editable within Final Cut Pro. Widgets, since they were referenced by rigs, are tools used within a rig system to manipulate those parameters. Now each widget has its own separate function, and we will definitely get to that, but I just want you to understand, to create a rig, you actually need widgets.
Now here are some more common terms that will actually cover motion graphics in general. A particle system, the easiest way I like to think of particle systems, other than this very scientific definition, it's an easy way to create a very organic animation with a small tiny graphic. So for example if I wanted to create a tornado, I would create a particle system and have one tiny little piece, and then the particle system would put out thousands of those pieces, and I would actually have control over things like spin and velocity and how random all the pieces, are and their size and movement--you get the idea.
It's a very interesting way to create an organic animation out of tiny little pieces. Filters, they are also known as effects, but basically they alter anything that they are applied to. So for example if I dropped a piece of video footage into my project, I can apply a filter to make that footage look more distressed or old, or I could apply a different filter to make it glow. There are many different filters that create many different looks. Cameras, these are tools to simulate real-world cameras.
Now what's great about this is the fact that you can defy gravity, you can defy light. You can defy just about anything that you think you're feeling constrained by in the real world by animating cameras within the 3D virtual world of Motion. Lights, like I referenced earlier when I was talking about cameras, these are really kind of nice because they emulate lights in the real world, but they aren't tied down by all of the different parameters in the real world.
For example, I can create a light and have an object have a shadow cast from that light, but I can also decide whether or not I wanted the light to create a shadow in the first place. Some more common terms, one of which you may have heard earlier, composite. This is a combination of objects, layers and groups, to use Motion terminology. Now to use general motion graphics terms, a composite is made up of things like your video layer. So for example if I had somebody that I shot on a green screen and I eliminated that green background and had that person just on a transparent layer, I could then superimpose that person on a background of Kansas and make it look like they are walking through a field in Kansas.
When I layer that person over top of that background video, in essence I'm creating a composite. You can create composites with video layers or even with just different graphic elements. It's just the process of layering things together to create one end result. Blend modes, these are unbelievably useful and helpful. Whenever you're trying to get a graphic element or a piece of video to blend more smoothly with the elements underneath, you want to actually look at blend nodes in addition to transparency.
See, there are specific mathematic calculations that help determine exactly what pixels are going to blend and how they're going to blend, whether they blend based on their luminance or what have you. A key, I made reference to this earlier when I was talking about green screen. This is a method to remove parts of an image based on luma, alpha, or color channels. So a green screen key would remove green out of the image. A matte is a black-and-white representation of transparency. Whatever is white on the matte will allow you to see that area in the layer; whatever is black on the matte will then be cut out of that layer.
An alpha channel, this is a fourth channel in an image. It determines the transparency of that object, layer, or group. It functions very much like a matte; it's just applied to the fourth channel of the image. It's most commonly used when you go to export your graphics. If you use a codec like Apple ProRes 4x4, it's going to output an alpha channel, as long as you go in and make sure and output that with your RGB channels.
A mask, it's very much like a matte, but it's a tool used to hide or reveal parts of an object, layer, or group. Usually you create masks using things like the Pen tool or Bezier paths. They all allow you to draw specific areas of the image that you would like to reveal or hide. And finally, the real world. Yes, I'm serious. It's a place you should visit if you've been stuck behind your computer for extended periods of time, because let's be honest, folks, how creative can you be if you're stuck in a room 24 hours a day?
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