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The real-time engine in Motion 3, a component of Apple's Final Cut Studio 2, gives motion graphics designers the freedom to continually experiment and adjust while they work. Ian Robinson explores how to get the most from this unique application, while also sharing his own essential motion graphics techniques. Along with teaching the fundamentals of video and audio work, he looks at Motion 3's new 3D tools in depth. Ian demonstrates the use of behaviors to create organic movement in particle systems and camera moves without keyframes. He also discusses effective integration with the other Final Cut Studio applications, and much more. Example files accompany the course.
Here we are going to key this footage to create a little news promo. I would like to thank my friend Jake for helping me out and letting me shooting him on some green screen. Now as you'll see keying is never quite an exact science. It's a little bit more of an art. The key to keying is actually in a shoot. And you want to make sure to separation between your subject and the background, so the background color doesn't bleed on to your subject at all. You also want to make sure your subject doesn't cast a shadow on to the background, that way you'll end up with a nice, smooth constant color and will be easier to pull the key.
If it's not already open, we are in the 02_PullingKey project. Hit F5 to open up your Layers tab and Cmd+2 to open up your Library. Go to Filters and Keying. And you'll notice there are a number of keyers supplied in Motion. The one I have had the most success with is Primatte RT, so go ahead and drag and drop that right on to your footage. And you'll notice it immediately starts taking effect. Hit F7 to bring up your HUD, and you'll notice right now it's keyed out Brown.
Let's Auto Sample Green since we know it's a green screen shoot. And you'll notice it's beautifully keyed out all the green but it's also keyed out about 90% of my talent. One of the things I like about Primatte RT is the fact that I can look at the different elements of my key for example the Matte. Now if your output if you click you'll notice, I can look right at the Matte. And so this is showing me my transparency values for this image. I can also go back to my original Foreground image, or the Background itself, which is just what's underneath my image.
So let's go look at the Matte and make some adjustments. The first thing I typically do is drag Noise Removal all the way to the left. This way I get a clear picture as to what I am dealing with. Let's go ahead and drag the Matte Density down to the left. Now what the Matte Density is doing, it's adjusting your pixels. It's making the lighter pixels more light, and the darker pixels more dark. So let's drag this down to around 0.14, that way we have got a nice solid Matte to allow Jake to pop through. But you notice the background is still really noisy.
So let's go ahead and drag the noise removal back up to around 0.8 and that'll cut out the background. Now you notice the edge of our Matte is a little jaggy and now we are going to deal with this is just a quick second. Go out to your Output Type and adjust it to Processed Foreground and you'll notice, Jake's skin tone really isn't much of a skin tone. The Spill Suppression is set way too high. Basically it's desaturated every single green value out of his image. So let's go and drag that back down to the left to around 0.14.
Now select your canvas and hit your spacebar. And so you notice we have got a decent key but the edges are so little jagged and noisy. So let's deal with that. Let's stop playback for a second. And what we are going to do to deal with the hard edges is blur this entire image. Now before we do that, I want to make sure I have a copy of this image. So select the Layer, go to Edit and choose Duplicate. We'll turn off the top most Layer and re-select Green screen.
Now let's blur it. Click Add Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. And now we have blurred the image, but it's a little too soft. So let's go ahead and drag this down to around 2 and we'll turn our copy back on, so we can see what's happened here. Hit your spacebar and you'll notice now I have a softer but still really noisy. So lets stop playback and now we want to pinch this Matte down a little bit.
So the way we do that, select Matte and choose Matte Magic. Let's drag it right on to top Green Copy here. And let's turn off our Background Layer so we can see exactly what Matte Magic is doing. If I turn Matte Magic On and Off, you'll notice it's cutting a fair amount of this image away. And what we want to do is shrink this down and we can actually leave this top most layer nice and jagged. Because when we turn the Background layer on here, that's when we introduce our softness back into the image.
Now if you hit your spacebar you'll notice it's still little noisy. So I would like to pinch this Matte back just a little bit as well. Scrap Matte Magic and apply it to that Layer as well. And I don't want it to shrink nearly as much. So we'll go ahead and drag that back out again, reintroducing this and feather it just a tiny, tiny bit. So we'll drag that to around 2.2. Now hit your spacebar and you'll notice while it's a little noisy, it's considerably better.
Now if we stop playback here for a second, you know that there's a problem. Jake's tooth right here actually has keyed out as well. I am going to use a technique that you don't always have to use, but sometimes it's helpful. And what I am going to do is just mask out this one section. So select the top most layer, go to Edit and choose Duplicate. And Delete Matte Magic and you'll notice we get the edges back here. But if you just create a mask just around his tooth, now we have actually fixed that problem.
If I isolate this layer by itself you'll notice, there it is, I can still see a little bit in there so let me adjust the Primatte RT down just a little bit. Take the Noise Removal back down to 0.1. And now when we hit the spacebar, his teeth are fixed and we have decent edges. So let's start playback and position Jake. Select your Key footage there and resize it, just click on one of the corners and drag and make sure you hold down Shift, so you don't distort the image and we'll just drag that down to around 65% and deselect them, hit the spacebar.
And now we have a Key. Hit your spacebar to start playback, and like I said not quite an exact size. We pulled the decent key out of some pretty rough footage. Now I use this rough footage on purpose to show you a couple of different techniques you can use. The next time you try and pull the key with your own footage. If you find yourself pulling a lot of keys, you may want to look at Apple Shake or After Effects with the Key Light Filter. But for a lot of situations, as you saw Motion still has plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
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