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The real-time engine in Motion 3, a component of Apple's Final Cut Studio 2, gives motion graphics designers the freedom to continually experiment and adjust while they work. Ian Robinson explores how to get the most from this unique application, while also sharing his own essential motion graphics techniques. Along with teaching the fundamentals of video and audio work, he looks at Motion 3's new 3D tools in depth. Ian demonstrates the use of behaviors to create organic movement in particle systems and camera moves without keyframes. He also discusses effective integration with the other Final Cut Studio applications, and much more. Example files accompany the course.
Lights can do a lot to add depth and more perspective to your 3D scene. I often use lighting to set a mood for my graphics. In this video, we are going to cover a lot of the different kinds of lights and their options available in Motion. If you don't already have it open, we are in the 04_Lights project. Hit F5 to open up your Layers tab and one of the first things I noticed in Motion 3 was the fact Add a Light was not an option up here on my toolbar, so let's change that. Make sure your canvas is selected, go to View, Customize toolbar and here is the icon for New Light.
So let's just drag that up next to the New Camera and click Done. Let's add a new light and you will notice immediately, it drastically changes the look of this project. Now let's go to over View Layout options and choose Split Horizontal and you will notice here is the little icon for our light. If you are not seeing that, go to your View options and choose 3D Scene Icons. Make sure that that is checked.
Now this type of light is a Point Light. If your HUD is not up, hit F7 and let's look at some of the options for the Point Light. You can adjust the Color, so if I wanted to change the scene to something little darker, I could make it this kind of yellow color and you can adjust the Intensity. Now with this Intensity up, I can adjust the Falloff Start. This adjusts how wide the light is before the light actually starts to fall off. And the next option here is the actual Falloff itself.
So if I make the Falloff Start kind of large, you notice it brightens the scene up here, but then if I adjust the Falloff, you'll notice now I have got a much more high contrast lighting option here. That is the basics of a Point Light. Let's go ahead and choose Ambient Light. Basically, with an Ambient Light, all you can do is adjust the color and the intensity and you'd notice that it adjusts everything evenly throughout the scene. So let's go to Light Type and adjust that to Directional.
Directional Light is kind of interesting. If you notice, it's represented by this circular icon here. Let me make sure my light is selected and we move it back here in Z space, so you can see it a little bit better. And you notice, I don't have any options for the cone of the light; it's thoroughly just shinning in one specific direction as though this is a big one plane and it is just shinning light in that specific direction. So I could adjust the rotation of that light just by clicking and dragging its rotation and you notice there is no Circular Falloff or Edge or anything like that again because this is a Directional Light.
If want to control things like the Falloff and that Cone Angle and that sort of thing, you want to choose a Spot Light. So let's change that to Spot Light and you will notice here with the Spot Light selected, I have a small cone. So let's adjust the Cone Angle. If I adjust it here, I can make it wider or more narrow and we could adjust the Falloff Start just like last time or the Intensity. Crank that intensity way up. Now it is not adjusting anything in the scene, because I have it pointed way up to the sky and frankly, it is a little far away.
So let's go ahead and move that closer to our scene here and I will position it down. And you will notice, I have a couple of different options within a Spot Light dealing with the actual Cone Angle itself as well as Soft Edges, so I can make a really soft spot light. Now one of the really neat things about Light is the fact that everything is totally keyframe-able. So for example, if I wanted this to be really moody and kind of have a sort of film flicker to it, I could animate the intensity.
So let's go ahead and do that. In the Inspector, go to the Intensity and right click and choose Wriggle. I want this to wriggle at a Frequency of about 24 and I only want it to wriggle just a little bit, so we will just set that around 15 and now go ahead and select your canvas and hit the spacebar and you will notice, I have this flickering light. And if I adjust the Amount of Wriggle or the Frequency or its Noisiness, I can drastically change how distinct and different this lighting effect can become.
So let me stop playback just for a second. Typically, when I light a scene, I try and use two or three different lights usually made up of a Spot Light, a Point Light and some Ambient Light to actually create a slightly more realistic scene. But with this movie, as you can see, we have covered a lot of the basics of all of the different lights. So, have fun lighting your next scene.
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