Preparing a map for animation
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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Shortcuts for previewing and setting type
- Using type as a design element
- Creating dynamic transitions
- Creating and using color palettes
- Working with particles to create depth
- Adding details with lighting
- Integrating audio in a project
- Editing techniques
- Animating a lower 3rd
- Animating and styling a map
- Building a storyboard
Preparing a map for animation
If you don't follow the, "Hey! We'd like to" rule, sometimes they tend to disappear, so always try and abide. But let's go ahead and jump back here to the homepage. And most of the time, I go to the Collection section, and under Collections, you want to go to Blue Marble. This is one of my favorites. If you look at Blue Marble, these are satellite images that were taken with different options, obviously--like this one has clouds, this one has land surface--but they were also taken at different times of the year.
So obviously January, there is a lot of snow up here, whereas in June, not so much. So what we are going to do is just download one of the maps from June. So if we go ahead and click on that, you'll notice there are several different resolutions. Now, the size you choose depends on how far in you want to zoom into the map? I typically use this 5400 to 2700 because most of the time I'm working at 1920x1080, which still gives me a fair amount of room to zoom in.
So let's go ahead and just download that image to our computer. Now, obviously each web browser functions slightly differently; I'm just right-clicking and saving the downloaded image to my Desktop. So as that's working, I want to show you one other section. If we just go back one level here, go down to the bottom of the page and notice there are three sections. So if we go to the third section here, I want you to look at this BMNG section. If we look at this raw BMNG in the lower-right corner, notice all the landmasses are black.
Anytime you can find a map that has a contrast like this, where the sections you might want to isolate are solid colors, like black and white, we can actually manipulate this. So in Photoshop, I could actually bring up all of these gray levels and actually generate a black-and-white map. So I'll download the exact same resolution of this image as well. So here, Save Image As, and I will just save it right to my Desktop. Now, that we've downloaded the images, let's jump over to Photoshop so we can begin our editing.
So inside of Photoshop, I have two files opened. We have our full-color map, and if I go up under the Window menu, I can switch over to this black-and-white version. Now, what we need to do is isolate the ocean from the land, and I am going to do that actually utilizing levels. So if we go ahead and press Command+L, it will open up our Levels control. So what we need to do is grab this white eyedropper and go ahead and click in the darker area within the ocean that's gray.
So not up here where it's bright white, but down here where it's gray, and definitely don't click where it's black. So when I click on that, notice all of those other areas have pretty much kind of disappeared. If I zoom in here a little bit, there is a little bit of fuzz right there. I can click that one more time. Here we go. Now what this is doing is eliminating any other brighter pixels than that gray that I'd sampled. It's basically crushing the white levels. If you see the output here, notice it just basically dragged it all the way back over.
So you can also tweak by dragging these adjustments here. Now, just to make sure that the black landmass is black, I am going to click on the black eyedropper and click in there as well. So when I click OK, now I actually have a black-and-white representation of my map. So I'm ready to duplicate this into my other project. If I go and right-click or Ctrl+Click right on the layer, I can choose a destination document. So I want to choose the other map, so it's this world.topo, and now we can go ahead and click OK.
So if we go up under Window, now I can switch to the other map, and you notice I have my black-and-white copy over top of my oceans. So in order to actually use this as a map, I am going to use a Channel function. So switch to the Channels palette. And since this is black and white, it really doesn't matter. You can click and drag on any one of the red, green, or blue channels; just click and drag. I am going to drag the red channel down here to this layer Duplicate, and that has now made an alpha channel.
Even though it's called red copy, this is an alpha. The nice thing about Alpha channels, they are pre-programmed to automatically load black-and-white layers. So if we go up under Select, we can choose Load Selection, and it's automatically going to revert to the Alpha Channel, so we'll leave it on red copy, and we'll make a new selection. So click OK, and now all the water is actually selected. So if we enable RGB by clicking right on the RGB label as opposed to the eyeballs, we can enable RGB again and if we go back to the Layers panel, we should just turn off our background copy.
Now to cut out the background scene here, we could go ahead and apply this within Photoshop, but what I am going to do is create another mask layer that I can use the transparency of this layer as a mask source. So with this selection loaded, I can just reset my foreground and background colors, and I am going to go ahead and press Option+Delete to fill from the foreground color. Now, all of my oceans are black, and I can go ahead and just Command+D to deselect.
And now, if I just use the transparency data from this, I can isolate the oceans from the landmasses. So, now we are actually ready to go ahead and import this into a Motion document. but before I do that, I'm just going to delete my Background copy layer here and rename layer 1 Mask Ocean, and go ahead and double-click the Background layer and let's rename this Color Map. Okay.
Now, we can just save this as a layered Photoshop file, and we'll go ahead and bring that into Motion in the next video. But remember, these are maps that we downloaded from NASA, so don't forget to credit where credit is due.
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