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Navigating the Canvas

From: Motion 4 Essential Training

Video: Navigating the Canvas

The Canvas is really where the magic happens in Motion. Motion was designed to work visually, and this is where you cannot only see but also manipulate your work. So basically the canvas is your main work area in Motion. And since the essence of Motion is movement, let's start at the bottom of the canvas in this area here with the buttons. These are called the transport controls. If we click this under Play button, you'll notice playback begins on the Canvas and that automatically toggles to a Pause button. So let me pause right now, and point out the green triangle with the line underneath.

Navigating the Canvas

The Canvas is really where the magic happens in Motion. Motion was designed to work visually, and this is where you cannot only see but also manipulate your work. So basically the canvas is your main work area in Motion. And since the essence of Motion is movement, let's start at the bottom of the canvas in this area here with the buttons. These are called the transport controls. If we click this under Play button, you'll notice playback begins on the Canvas and that automatically toggles to a Pause button. So let me pause right now, and point out the green triangle with the line underneath.

That's the playhead. If you click on it, you can click-and-drag around in this light-gray area called the mini-timeline. Notice even if I click anywhere else in the mini-timeline the Playhead will automatically snap to wherever I click. When you select an object in the canvas the mini-timeline will update showing you the timing of that object. So I know when I select to this rectangle it comes into existence at frame 55. Now you might be asking, how did I know it's frame 55? Down here on the left-hand side we have a Value slider and this Value slider on the left will always show you where your Playhead is.

So when I press Play, notice that Value slider number is moving up. If I stop playback for a second on the right-hand side, you'll notice I have the entire length of this composition, which happens to be 240 frames. To the left of this Value slider, you'll see a clock, and if I click on that it'll switch between Time Code View and Frame View. The time clock on the left side works the exact same way. Now that we have the basics of the time controls down, let me show you these little triangles at the beginning and at the end just above your mini-timeline.

Notice if you click-and-drag on them, we'll get an update window that pops up letting us know exactly what frame we are dragging it to. We are now setting what's called the Playback Range. So the one on the left is the In point and the one on the right is controlling the Out point. If we put the Playhead in between and press Play, now you'll notice Motion will only cycle in the playback range area. Now that we have that set, let's move out to the upper right-hand side of the Canvas. These are the pop-up menus that help control while you are seeing in your project.

For example, this is your Zoom Level pop-up, so if I click 100% notice my Canvas zooms up to show me 100%. Now a quick key command you'll probably be using a lot throughout this course is Shift+Z, which will automatically resize your Canvas no matter what window you have open. This next pop-up menu will show you each individual color channel, just like Photoshop or just the color value itself or just the alpha channel. This render pop-up menu is kind of important.

If you are working with a project that has a lot of graphics and it's very intensive, sometimes you'll have to change the resolution, so Motion can playback in real-time. You can also adjust the quality. Underneath this is where you can control Lighting, Shadows, and Reflections. Also your Motion Blur, Field Rendering, and Frame Blending. The View pop-up menu allows you to control what you see in the Canvas, for example, the Safe Zones. If you are designing graphics for video a lot of times you want to make sure that text is inside the inner safe zone and your graphics are inside the outer safe zone.

Another feature in here you'll probably be adjusting quite a bit is Correct for Aspect Ratio. Notice if I deselect that, my Canvas looks slightly distorted. That's because of the resolution we are working at. Let's make sure to change that back on so we can see what this would look like when it's finally output. This final pop-up menu has to deal with 3D and we'll get to that in the later chapter. So the last things I want to show you on the Canvas are your Project pane. If you press F5 on your keyboard you can open the Project pane, or you can gum up under Window and choose Project pane.

Also the Timing pane, if I press F6 on the keyboard that will open the Timing pane. So another way to open and close these windows is by clicking the buttons in the top of your toolbar. For example, I can close the Project pane and under these arrows I can close the Timing pane. So the Project pane and the Timing pane are so in-depth, we've actually created new videos that you'll see later on in this chapter. Even though we covered the essentials of the Canvas in this video, believe it or not there are even more options when we turn on 3D.

We'll cover those features in an upcoming chapter on 3D, but for now you have the core knowledge to move around in the Canvas. So when we do finally get to 3D you'll already been old pro.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 4 Essential Training
Motion 4 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 22752 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 6m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 45m 38s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 20s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 57s
    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 52s
    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 40s
    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 19s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 41s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 24s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 49s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 16s
    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 24s
    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 38s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 33s
    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 29s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 49s
  12. 19m 9s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 20s
  13. 13m 25s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 40s
  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
      22s

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