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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.
Preferences are just that, your preference for how Motion should function. And of course everyone has their own opinion, but as someone who has been using Motion since version one, I definitely have some tips for you. And I know sometimes the thought of changing preferences can be a little scary since they do change how the app actually functions. Don't worry, when we were done with this, playing around with your preferences would be fun and maybe even a happy experience. So to access your preferences go up to Motion and choose Preferences.
So as you can see, there are quite a few options here, but let's focus on some of the key specific areas. First thing: at startup when you first start Motion do you want it to create a new project or open the last project you had working? I typically like to have the last project set up on my machine, but for now I'm just going to leave Create New Project setup. Now look all the way down to the bottom in this Media section here. Notice Automatically manage unused media is selected. Those of you who like to actually go ahead and collect a bunch of media into your project before you actually ever drop it into the Timeline, you should deselect this option.
Now, if you're the kind of person that only adds things as they need it then leave this button checked, because basically what this does, anytime you delete something out of your Timeline, if it's of no use in your project anymore, Motion is automatically going to delete out of your project. Now does that mean it's going to delete off the hard drive? No, it just means that it's deleting it out of this individual project that you're working on at this specific time. So let's jump over to the Appearance section. In here this is where you can set up your Timebar display.
Right now, I have it set up for Name Plus Thumbnail. I could also set it up for Filmstrip. So let's scroll down here, so you can see my video here. Let me open it up so you can actually see the video layer. Let's change that to Filmstrip, and here now you can see each of the frames for each piece of my video, and it actually does something kind of cool with the graphics too. So you can see it's repeated the circle as well as the type. Now typically, I like to just leave this as Name Plus Thumbnail because it's a little less processor intensive.
Now up here in the top of your Canvas you may remember as we're removing things around I was getting an update as to what was going on. That was because I had Dynamic Tool Info selected. That's on by the default. But those of you who are hardcore into your color or specific coordinates in your Canvas, you want to go ahead and select those options as well. You can choose to display your color as RGB, RGB (Percent), or have the actually Hue Saturation Value. Now let's move on to Project section.
This is where you can set your Default Project settings, so anytime a new project get started you could have it let's say have a project duration of 5 seconds instead of 10. You can choose a different background color, and I don't know if you remember, but this is where we had the Project Browser get turned off. Now those of you who haven't followed along, you may have this Show Project Browser selected. Don't panic. If it is, that's perfectly fine. Just every time when you start Motion the Project Browser is going to pop up. If you want to turn that off, go and select this Use Project and then choose a specific project that you want to have Motion open.
Now, if you're unfamiliar with exactly what I'm talking about, go back and watch the "Launching Motion for the first time" video. Now one of the first things that I always change in all of my Motion projects, and I'm going to do this now for the rest of the course--pay special attention--Create Layers At. This is something that drives me absolutely up the wall, because I have a tendency to start playback and stop playback and then decide, oh wait, I want to add a new graphic. Well, the problem with that, if I go ahead and let's say move my playhead down the Timeline here, and I want to go ahead and create a square.
I'm just going to drag that out. Notice as I created the rectangle here, even though it's in a square shape, it actually is starting at the start point of my playhead. Now this would be fine if I were working in a linear fashion through the Timeline, but my brain has a tendency to jump around, so for me, I like to actually have this set up where it creates layers always at the start of a project. That way whenever I go to create a new object, it's automatically going to start that layer at the start of a project.
Now, there are couple more preferences I want you to check out, and then we'll wrap things up. Time, this is where you can set whether you want your display as timecode or frames, and if you're working in a workgroup, you can set your frames to start from 1 or from 0, just so you can match everybody else. Down here, this is kind of important, if you have a system that isn't the most powerful in the world, sometimes you'll need to make sure that Motion can actually keep up if it's trying to play both the video and the audio.
So you can tell Motion to skip video frames during playback or actually just pause the audio playback. That's entirely personal preference. Down here under Keyframing, it's really important, pay attention to these options here. By default, neither have been are selected, but if you find as you're moving keyframes in the Timeline, if you find that things are shifting, you might want to actually lock the keyframes in time. That way you can make adjustments to how the interpolation happens between the keyframes, but you can't actually move them up and down the Timeline.
And if you've got really, really precise animations, you can actually allow for subframe keyframing, meaning you can have a keyframe that actually lies in between two frames. I really don't like that, but it's definitely an option if you need that precision. For Cache, I usually just leave all of these preferences their default, unless I'm on a system that has more than one hard drive. Then I like to set up my Autosave to a separate hard drive as well as my Optical Flow Retiming. What this does, as you're retiming objects in your project, it will actually create cache files so Motion doesn't have to try and speed up or slow down in writing those files.
It will just write it once and save it off to cache until the next time you make that change. Feel free to explore the rest of these options from Canvas to 3D to Presets on your own time, but for now you should have the confidence to know some of the most key features that you will want to be changing. In the future, you'll know you don't need to hesitate if you need to change things up with your Preferences. Who knows, you might end up actually working a little bit faster.
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