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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.
So complex particle systems are just like normal particle systems; they just have more. So if you open your Project pane, F5, let's create a music explosion. So select the clef and click Make Particles. Go ahead and hit your spacebar. And you will see we have a whole bunch of clefs flying out from the center point here. I want to add a whole bunch of other particle cells do the emitter, and the way you do that, is to just drag whatever is in your composition right up to your emitter, and you will get the plus button, when you let go, you'll notice now that has been added to the particle emitter.
What you need to do is un-check your original source, otherwise that will sit there and be stagnant. So let's add the rest of them. The Violin, un-check that, and the Guitar, and turn that off. So it is important to remember that these objects are directly related to your particles cells. So if I deleted one of these, it would actually delete out of the particle emitter. I do not want to do that right now, so I am just going to leave them where they are. But go ahead and select the Clef, and open your Inspector, and we will make some adjustments to this individual particles cell.
Crank the Birth Rate down, I don't need that many clefs bursting out, and let's shorten the Life a little bit down to around 2, and go ahead and crank up the Spin, and adjust the Spin Randomness. So they don't quite spin at the exact same rate. Now I don't want to colorize these, I will just leave them white. Let's move on to the Banjo. We can adjust its Birth Rate down just a little bit, and adjust its speed up, just a tiny amount, and go ahead and adjust its Angle and its Angle Randomness, and we will have them spin as well.
And just see they don't all spin at the same time, adjust the Spin Randomness as well. Let's go to Violin, and we are just going to go ahead and keep making adjustments to each one of these, so they are all slightly different. So each cell has its own character, and at last the Guitar. Now go ahead and select your emitter and hit the spacebar. And you see there is a slight problem here. Each particle cell is directly on top of the other one.
Now to fix that problem, all you do is, check the Interleave Particles box, and now, they are all nice and neatly mixed together. Now if you notice, there is one other problem here. I will stop playback. This area here, is staying relatively the same, and the reason is the Render Order. We want to switch this to Oldest Last, and now when you hit your spacebar, they are all busting out of that individual section here. We will go ahead and stop playback, and look at some of the other options.
We can change the Birth Rate. Now the nice thing about this, you notice it's in percentages; what this is doing, is actually changing the Birth Rate for every single particle cell. So if I crank this down quite a bit, you will notice all of them cranked down. Same with the Life and the Scale. You'll notice there is no option for the Scale Randomness, because it would not know which different particle cell to adjust to make random. So if you want to adjust your Scale Randomness, make sure you are actually in your particle cell options and here you will notice your Scale Randomness, so you can kind of adjust the scale on different ones.
Let's go back up to the emitter here, and you'll notice if you want to change any of your particles, you actually can. So what I want to do, is go to my Particle Library here, and let's say my friend who plays the keyboard felt a little left out; we will go to the content here and scroll down to the keyboard. Let's drag and drop that in to our composition. It's a little big, so let's scale it down. I am holding Shift, so it scales around the center point, and drag that back to the center.
Re-select your particle emitter, go to the Inspector, and you will see the options here. So I don't want a Banjo, we will change that with a keyboard. Just go ahead and drag and drop it right into the drop here, and when you let it go; now we have keyboards where there were Banjos. I am going to un-check the master, so that one does not stay stagnant in the middle of this particle emitter. Last but not the least, this is also where you can change the shape, so if I didn't want a busting out of a point, I could have it busting out of a line or out of a rectangle or just about any other options here, including your own custom geometry.
But I want to leave that as a Line, and let's go ahead and adjust its options by choosing the Adjust Item tool. Drag this over to the side here, drag the other one over to the side, and rewind your playhead back to the beginning. Click anywhere on the canvas to de-select and hit your spacebar. This is relatively close. The only issue I see, is in the fact that these are actually popping on and off, so go ahead and select your particle cell, and down here you will notice under each particle cell you have an option for Opacity Over Life, and the way you adjust, this is to just click on the Line.
And so it works from left to right. If you select the original one and drag it down, now when you start, it will be completely transparent, and when it gets to the top, it will be completely opaque. Let's add a Fade Out as well. Go ahead and fade that back up. So for the clef, these will fade in and fade out. Go ahead and hit your spacebar, and see what I am talking about. So you can feel free to go back through all the different particle cells and adjust the Fade In, Fade out. But for now, that is the basics of creating a complex particle system.
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