Motion 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor


Motion 4 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor

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.
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  1. 6m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 45m 36s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 19s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 56s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 51s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 39s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 18s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 40s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 50s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 15s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 23s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 37s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 32s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 28s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 48s
  12. 19m 8s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 19s
  13. 13m 24s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 39s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 4 Essential Training
6h 21m Beginner Sep 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
  • Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
  • Animating with behaviors and keyframes
  • Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
  • Creating simple and complex particle systems
  • Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Ian Robinson

Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 4 Essential Training .

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Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space.  One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
  1. Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D. 
  2. Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage. 
  3. Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position. 
  4. Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end. 
  5. To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion. 
    Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position. 
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.
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