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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.
No doubt, the first time you create an animation based off keyframes you'll want to go back and actually change that animation. See, that's just a normal part of the process when you're creating animations using keyframes. You get the base animation set up, and then after you have that rough, you go ahead and adjust those keyframes to create your finished, polished animation. So for this animation, let's go ahead and press the spacebar and see what we are dealing with. As you can see, we have a rather robotic animation. There are a couple of things I want to fix.
First thing, I don't like how each one of these circles are coming in the scene and then just abruptly stopping. Secondly, I don't like how slow this larger circle is moving in order to scale into the scene. I want it to pop in there kind of quickly. So let's get started by making an adjustment to this larger circle. I am going to press F5 to open up the Layers panel, and I'll select this larger circle-- it's the third one down here. And if you press Command+8, that'll open up your Keyframe Editor.
Now within the Keyframe Editor, I want you to click on this curve set right here, this button that says Animated. If I click on it, you notice I've got all these different things right here, and these are called curve sets. And basically, if you choose Animated, any object that already has a keyframe applied to it will populate this scene. You can choose something else like Rotation that doesn't have any keyframes and it will give you the value of that speed, which is set to zero, but it won't show you any keyframes, because again, this parameter doesn't contain any keyframes.
So let's go back to Animated, and I like how this actually kind of over-modulates as it pops in. That's really nice, but I want this to happen much more quickly. I could click on a keyframe and just start moving it in the Timeline, but you notice I have my X keyframe, which is separate from my Y, which is separate from my Z, and all that stuff. I don't really like just clicking on one and dragging. What I want to do is select all of these and then compress, or stretch, how those keyframes are moving through the Timeline in proportion to each other, and the way you do that is with this tool right here.
See, it's the Transform Keyframes tool and if you go ahead and click on that, it'll give you crosshairs that you could then in turn draw over the keyframes, and now you get a bounding box for the keyframes. So, within the bounding box, I could kind of scale things up just by clicking on the corner, or I could adjust how things move on the time overall, just by clicking on this right handle. So since I want this to be faster, I'll just move it further up in the Timeline. Now we've shortened this significantly.
Now once you've finished adjusting, you want to go back and make sure that you have your Edit Keyframe tool selected. Now if I press my Home button and the spacebar, you can see boom! It's popping up in the scene. Still a little slow, so I'll just grab that tool one more time, see if I can speed it up a little bit more. That should work for now. Let's look at how we can actually polish the animation of these other two objects. Well, in order to change how these move, we need to adjust something called the keyframe interpolation.
Notice when I have this yellow circle selected, you can see the motion path that's actually moving throughout the scene, and these darker dots in the middle of the line are showing me how fast it's actually moving. Now if you look in the Keyframe Editor, you can see it's moving in a linear fashion, just because of how this line is actually moving. Now since I only have two different values on the X axis, even though I have four keyframes populating my Keyframe Editor, notice it's only the X options here that I'm seeing that drastic change.
Now, in order to smooth things along, I want to ease my animation. Now those of you who are coming from After Effects should be very familiar with this term, but basically what you want to do is select the keyframe. I am going to choose this first keyframe here. And just so I can actually see things a little better after I select that, I am going to click this button right here. See, this will fit the curves to the window. So when I click on that, it sort of maximizes this window. Another way you can adjust this is by clicking on the scale here. I like clicking the button because it actually moves the zoom so I can see things more clearly.
You can do the same thing here by autoscaling the curves vertically, and now I've got things more optimized. I can see exactly what's going on. Now with that first keyframe selected, if I can go ahead and Ctrl+Right-Click, I can choose Ease Out, and what this is going to do, it will ease the X position out of its current stagnant state into the animation. So when I do that, notice I get a nice smooth move into the animation, but I still have a rather abrupt ending.
So if I right-click here, I could choose Ease In, but notice that's kind of changed this. So what I want to do is actually just select both of these keyframes. And if you right-click or Ctrl+Click on one of them, instead of messing with the eases, if you go to Interpolation, change it from Bezier to Continuous. What this will do is allow Motion to automatically figure out how you're trying to ease things and set up the animation accordingly.
Now the disadvantage to this not being a Bezier curve is the fact that you can't actually go in and adjust handles. So to show you handles, we'll make an adjustment to the purple sphere, but for right now, let's go ahead and just see what this new animation is looking like. And already you should notice a significant improvement. Okay, there we go. Now if you are seeing stuttering, that's just playback for the preview. If you press Command+R, you can load a RAM Preview, and then nine times out of 10, it will play back perfectly seamlessly.
So let's select the purple circle here, and let's look at some of the different options. Again, I'm just going to click on the Fit Curves in Window button to automatically reframe where I am looking in the scene. Ad now instead of actually having Motion automatically interpret what's going on, I want to actually control the specific Bezier handles, and in order to do that, if you hold the Command key and then click and drag on a keyframe, you can get a control handle that pops out.
So in here, what I'm doing is just easing this manually myself. I can do the same thing with the first keyframe. Again, I'm holding Command, click and drag. Now I've actually got precise control over how this is animating using Bezier handles. So there we go. Now the last thing we need to do is actually move the keyframes so they aren't all animating at the exact same time. I like where the first bubble is popping in, so let's just kind of move the purple one to come in next and then the yellow one to come in last.
So the easiest way to do this is just adjust the magnification back on the Timeline here, and I'll select the first gray circle and make a note of where the last keyframe is. Well, it's right here at nine frames. So that's pretty darn quick. So I am just going to move my playhead down here to around 28 frames and select our purple sphere. Now, I can see my two keyframes here-- I am just going to go ahead and draw lasso around those--but I'm also going to hold the Command key and click on the yellow sphere, just so I can see how these two are working in conjunction with each other. And as you can see, they are both actually animating, one right on top of each other.
Unfortunately, when I reselected both layers in the Layers panel, it deselected the keyframes I had set up for the purple circle. So what I am going to do is actually select the keyframes for the yellow circle just by clicking and Shift+Clicking on these parameters, and now I can see exactly which ones I want to move in the Timeline. So it's these keyframes and if we move our playhead towards the end here, if I click on one and start to move, it's not going to move, so what I actually need to do is just turn off the Purple keyframes for a second--and I'll reselect those keyframes--and just drag the keyframes down the Timeline.
Now it's really important as you start to drag--see, I'm having issues here, let me undo--before you start to drag, you want to make sure all the keyframes are selected and hold down Shift on your keyboard. That way when you start to drag you won't accidentally change the value of that parameter; you're just having it slide down the Timeline. Now, I can go ahead and turn off the yellow circle visibility after I move my playhead down to the end of that animation. There we go.
So with the purple circle set up, I can select all four keyframes, hold down Shift, and start dragging down for that. Now if we turn on both, you can see I've got one set followed by the next set. Now there's an easier way of actually adjusting this, other than just within the Keyframe Editor, and that happens when you open the Timing panel. If you press F6, that will open your Timing panel and if you're not seeing it, press Command+8 to hide your Keyframe Editor and then press F6 to open the Timing panel.
So with the Timeline open, notice there's this button right here. If I click on this button, it will actually show me those keyframes, and yes, I can actually select those keyframes right here in the Timeline and drag them accordingly. You just want to make sure to select one and then press Shift to select the next one. So as you can see, you can create your polished, finished animation by making your final adjustments to your keyframes within the Keyframe Editor.
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