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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.
You may have heard we say this before, but the keyframing capabilities of Motion is actually quite powerful and it's all controlled through the Keyframe Editor. So, let's get started by pressing F5 to open the Project pane and F6 to open the Timing pane. Make sure you are on the Keyframe Editor tab and let's watch the animation. Press Play and you will notice we'll have our text animating on the screen. So, let's use the Keyframe Editor to tweak this animation. Let's get started by checking out XYZ. Go ahead and select it in your Layers tab and you will notice it pop-up in the Keyframe Editor.
Make sure in the Show menu that you are actually on Animated, so you can see all the different parameters that have been animated. We'll touch a little bit more on this pulldown menu a little later in this video. Now, I know there are keyframes applied to these two parameters because I can see them listed, as well as, see their little dash lines in the Keyframe Editor. So, drag the Magnification slider back to the beginning of the Timeline and if you want to see these a little more closely, click on the edge of the slider to zoom in or zoom out. Let's move our playhead back to the beginning of the timeline and watch the animation, click Play.
And you'll notice it is kind of a rigid animation. You could see it when you watched it, but you can more so see it in the Keyframe Editor. This line is just going at a sharp angle right into the next one. Now, what do these lines represent? This is the velocity or the speed at which the transition is actually happening. So, if I click on this keyframe and drag it up or down on the timeline, I'm actually changing that keyframe parameter, which I don't necessarily, want to do. So, Command+Z to undo that.
But let's look at how we can smooth this animation out a little bit. First off, I think it's happening a little bit fast. If you move your playhead back to the beginning and watch, you will notice it's flipping up over a very short amount of time and if you move your playhead right over to the keyframe, you'll notice it is only 12 frames. So, to slide a keyframe in the timeline all you have to do is just click directly on it and drag it left or right. Now, like I said a second ago, if you move up down that actually changes the keyframe value. So you want to make sure to hold down Shift after you started dragging to drag it down the timeline.
So, let's move this down to about a frame 20. Move our playhead back to the beginning and click Play. It's still rather rigid, but it's definitely a little slower. So let's smooth this out and the way we are going to do that is by exploring keyframe interpolation. If you Ctrl-click directly on the keyframe in the Keyframe Editor, you will notice in the pulldown menu there is an option called Interpolation. By default with rotation, this is set to Linear. So that by default will give you a rather jagged animation.
Let's change this to Bezier and you notice we have a nice smooth curve, kind of smoothing out the animation. Let's see what that looks like. Click the Play from beginning button and you notice it's a lot more smooth. I'll go ahead and stop playback and let's go analyze the next word. Click on the word Space and if you are not seeing these in your Viewer go ahead and drag this slider at the bottom of your screen to make sure that the keyframes are in the center of your Keyframe Editor. Let's look at the red line here. You will notice it's color coded, telling me it's TransformPositionX.
So, the X position is actually smoothly transitioning from one value to another and if we move our playhead back over that value and press Play, you will notice it does nicely kind of slide from one to the next. This is because when position keyframes are set, their default setting is Bezier. Ctrl-click on the keyframe and look under Interpolation and you will notice that. Let's change it to Linear and see what happens.
Now you notice the animation is much more severe. Let's go ahead and just move our playhead back, Ctrl-click back and change our interpolation back to Bezier. Now for you After Effects users, you might be wondering what's going on. If you Ctrl-click and look under Interpolation, you want to do Ease In and Ease Out. Well, ease in and ease out work just fine to degree, but let me show you what I'm talking about. Let's choose Ease Out and what this does is it slowly eases the transition of this keyframe value out of the setting it had earlier in the timeline into the new setting.
Now, in After Effects typically you would set the first keyframe to Ease Out and then the next keyframe to Ease In. But in Motion when you do that, it doesn't get very happy. So, what you have to do is actually just use Bezier and when you do that for both, it will actually give you a nice smooth transition from one to the next. Now, if you want a Custom Transition, notice when I Ctrl-clicked on Bezier, I got this control handle and if you click -and-drag, what you can do is actually create a Custom Transition.
So, feel free to play around with this and click-and-drag and see how the different settings adjust. Notice I just made this move kind of fast and then slowly come into its new setting. That's pretty cool. Go ahead and drag the handle back to where it was and let's get started retiming the keyframes. So, to see the keyframes of more than one object, go ahead and click on one layer and then hold down Shift and click on the next layer. So, let's zoom out in the timeline and if you can't see all the keyframes, double-click the Auto-Scale button to make sure this is all setup.
Now, let's time XYZ and Space to happen very closely in succession. Right after XYZ is done, I want space to come in. So, to slide all the keyframes all at once, just draw a box around the keyframes you would like to move and click-and- drag and that will move all of them and if you hold Shift as you click-and-drag it will make sure not to change the actual value of that keyframe parameter. Now, another way to change your keyframes-- What if you like how all of this animation is actually happening, but you want it to happen over a longer time period? If you select the Box tool and draw a box around all of the keyframes you would like affected, you'll notice you'll get a bounding box just like the one in the canvas.
And if you click-and-drag, you will notice it is changing the length overall of all the keyframes. Go ahead and click Play from beginning to check that out. There is one last thing, I made reference to this pulldown earlier and you will notice it's called Show. This is allowing me to see all the different things in my Keyframe Editor. So, if I only wanted to show let's say Position keyframes, I'll click on the pulldown menu and choose Position and now it has kind of filtered out all the other keyframes that are in the timeline.
So, as you are working in the Keyframe Editor, it's a great way to filter things out. So you can just work with the parameters that you choose. So, now that we have covered the basics of working with the Keyframe Editor, feel free to animate the rest of the words in this project and have fun.
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