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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.
In Motion when you click on an object in the canvas and manipulate it, that function is called Transforming. So to get started, let's make sure we have the 2D Select/Transform tool selected. Just click on the arrow on the left side of your View tools. Now let's press F5 to open the Project pane just so we can see what we are dealing with. We have a background layer called the Floor, a couple of lines of text and a Rectangle. Let's start with the Rectangle if you click-and-drag anywhere inside the object you'll be able to reposition it on the screen.
You'll also notice these circles. These are called control handles. These allow you to distort the object or scale the object. If you hold down Shift, as you click-and- drag on one of the corner objects, that will adjust its scale. We'll also get a nice contextual menu that pops up letting you know exactly how much we have changed that specific object. This center of the object is called the anchor point. This is the section that anchors the object. For example, if we want to rotate the object, we click this little circular handle that comes out from the anchor point.
When we click-and-drag, you notice now it's rotating around that anchor point, and again we get another nice contextual menu. And again if we hold down Shift instead of keeping things in proportion, it will make sure to snap on angles of 45 degrees. There is a new handle in Motion 4 on the upper left side, if you click-and-drag it, it will round edges of your object. So now you can easily create round- edged objects directly within your canvas. Let's switch to the text just by clicking XYZ in the Layers tab.
Now with the text selected you notice as I'm dragging, I'm getting these yellow lines that are popping up and I was actually getting that when I was moving the object as well. Those are called Dynamic Guides. If you are not seeing those under a canvas, you want to go up to View and make sure Dynamic Guides is selected. Now with the text selected notice the anchor point was on the lower left side of this text. With the text selected, if we go to the Inspector under the Text tab under Layout, you'll notice the text Alignment is set to Left. If we set that to Center, notice now the anchor point is in the center of the text.
All the handles will function the exact same way to transform and distort and scale. Now that we have covered 2D Transforms, let's click on the 3D Transform tool, with that tool selected now you'll notice we get three rotation handles as opposed to one. And also you'll notice we have axis handles. This allows us to click-and-drag directly on one of the axis arrows to move the position of your objects in X, Y, or Z space.
The red is for X, the blue is for Z. It's moving back and forth towards us in Z space and the green is for Y, which allows us to move up and down. Notice when we move over the rotation handles, the bands will also be color coded letting us know whether we are rotating in X, Y, or Z. Last thing, when you are manipulating objects in your canvas for example, if we zoom in pressing Command+Plus sometimes you'll have to pan around on the canvas.
If you hold down the Spacebar in your keyboard, you'll automatically grab the Hand tool allowing you to click-and- drag in the canvas to move around the screen. If you press Shift+Z that will resize your canvas to automatically adjust as you open and close the different panes in your canvas. And so this concludes our quick tour of transforming objects in Motion.
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