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In Motion 4 Essential Training, Ian Robinson shows how to start building outstanding motion graphics and animations for video production. He demonstrates how to build custom text animations with the new Adjust Glyph tool and explores Motion’s amazing real-time 3D tools. Ian highlights working in the 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, and using reflections to add realism. He gives practical advice on how to integrate Motion into a professional video workflow, round-tripping with Final Cut Pro and sending a final project to Compressor. Exercise files accompany this course.
Welcome to the field of depth, the place where we're going to explore Depth of Field in Motion 4. But before we get going too far, I want to show you something specific about text when it comes to depth of field. So let's select some text and go to the Inspector. Under the Text tab, go to Layout and I want you to notice where it says Render Text, In Global 3D. Your text has to be laid out in global 3D for the camera to actually be able to process exactly where it is to properly interpret the depth of field.
If it's a local 3D, depth of field won't work with text properly. So, I'm only pointing this out, because it's important to understand. By default, when you create text, global 3D will be the option. So most of the time, you don't have to worry about it. But if you ever run into a situation where your text isn't quite functioning properly, that's why. For that matter, paint, replicators and particles are complex objects and the cameras, unfortunately, can't quite compute that for depth of field as well, so all those will be processed at the same blur depth.
Let's go ahead and deselect our text. I'm going to go back to the File Browser and press F5 in your keyboard and select the camera. Then in the Inspector, let's go to the Camera options. Underneath the normal set of options, you'll notice Depth of Field, with the discloser triangle. Go ahead and expand that and you'll notice a couple of different sliders. Now before we start dragging these sliders around, it's really important to go to the Render popup menu, scroll down and enable Depth of Field. Without this on, you won't be able to see any of your changes.
Now you notice as that's been checked, immediately we're starting to see results as depth is out-of-focus and field is out-of-focus. You can adjust the Depth of Field Blur Amount just by dragging the slider. We'll leave that right around 30. Focus Offset allows you to animate the offset of that specific focus setting. We'll set that back to 0. Near Focus determines the distance to the nearest point of focus. So as I drag that out, you notice the word Depth is nice and sharp.
Far Focus does the exact same thing, the farthest point of focus. So if I drag that out, now the whole scene is in focus. Let me drag Far Focus back to the bottom and let's select Infinite Focus. Now you notice the Far Focus slider has been overridden. Let's deselect that so I can show you the rest of these options. Let's bring the Focus Offset all the way to the left so we can see that everything is out-of-focus. Under the filter options, now we can change how this out-of-focus fuzziness looks.
So, by default, it's set to Gaussian, which is pretty straightforward, you can see what that looks like. But if you click on Defocus, you can get some more real world simulations by adjusting the filter shape to Disk or Polygon and you can even get really specific if you crank up the number of sides of the polygon. Now we have a really unique out-of-focus blur. Now this last popup menu, I have to say I rarely use, but you can use it if you ever feel like your blur effect is not rendering to your satisfaction.
Most of the time the Radial option works perfectly well, but on occasion, you may want to switch it to Planar and that just changes how the computer renders the blur effect. So I'll switch that back to Radial and now you can see we could animate the Focus Offset and create some pretty amazing effects. Before you go, I want you to consider this. When you go through animating your scene, don't try and work with this option turned on, because there is a significant hit to the processing on your computer.
So the way I recommend working is to only turn on this option when you feel you really need to animate that specific setting, but if you're still trying to set up and light your scene, wait until you're just about ready to output your project.
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