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Understanding generators

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Understanding generators

One of the hardest things about any type of design, whether it's motion design or still graphic design, you still end up starting with this kind of intimidating blank canvas, and sometimes it gets even worse when you are talking about motion design, because you have so many options, from moving video to still images, you can adjust timing, colors, composition. You can sync things to audio. You get the general idea. Now one of the things that generators are actually great for is giving you a starting point.

Understanding generators

One of the hardest things about any type of design, whether it's motion design or still graphic design, you still end up starting with this kind of intimidating blank canvas, and sometimes it gets even worse when you are talking about motion design, because you have so many options, from moving video to still images, you can adjust timing, colors, composition. You can sync things to audio. You get the general idea. Now one of the things that generators are actually great for is giving you a starting point.

So to show you some of the generators, go to the Library section. And again, much like filters, you'll see there are two different sections. There are Generators which have a color bar icon and an Image Units which have the color bar icon. They're both Generators; it's just the Image Unit ones are built off of the core animation technology built into Mac OS X. Okay. So let's go to Generators here, and I'll just show you some of the basic things that you can create with a generator.

One of the most basic things out there is a color solid. Rather than having to go to Shape tool and zooming out in your canvas and trying to click perfectly right on the edge to create a shape that matches the size of the comp, if you just choose Color Solid and click Apply, boom, you've just created a solid layer that, if you go to the Inspector, you'll notice matches perfectly the size of the composition. Now by all means, we can adjust the scale of that solid, and we can keyframe that adjustment, and we can even adjust the color and keyframe the adjustments of the color. But as you see here a generator just creates a graphic.

Now, Color Solid is probably the most basic generator. If we go back to our Library here, another one that's very common is Gradient. It's just like the solid except you also have grading controls. Now, I'm not going to show you that, because that's kind of boring based on some of the other things that we could create. If you look at Cellular, this is probably one of my favorite generators out there. If you go ahead and click Apply, that will add it to the scene. Now open up your Inspector, and let's look at some of the options. And it looks kind of boring so far.

All we have are the Height, Width, Aspect Ratio, the Size, but we do have a Speed option and there is an option for adjusting the gradient. Well, press Shift+Z so we can see things a little better here, and let's hide our Layers panel by pressing F5 and press the spacebar so we can see our animation. Now it looks a little boring just because of these little marching ants, but we can definitely stylize list by adjusting the gradient.

Now I am just going to choose a preset gradient by clicking under Save Gradient, and let's choose this Desert Sun Gradient option. You notice it's a transition from orange to yellow. Now I know you are thinking to yourself, well, how am I going to use this and what is this going to do for me? Yeah, you can layer it in and adjust the blend modes to try and mix it into the background, but really you can get some pretty interesting effects with a generator if you just sort of play with it a bit. So to do that let's adjust the width of this by clicking in the Width slider and dragging it down to around 45 points.

Now since we've adjusted the width of the Generator, I am going to go back to the Properties for this layer as a whole, And under Scale I'm going to just X Scale out just by clicking and dragging. Now, all of a sudden you notice this is taking on a slightly different look, don't you think? If I press the spacebar here, now you will notice I am getting this kind of cool flowing effect, and this was created out of nothing, just by using a generator.

So I am going to stop playback for second to jump back to the Library. I want you to look at some of the other options that are in here, and you can see that you can create all different kinds of effects just by choosing different generators. Personally, one of my favorites is this Concentric Shape one, if you click Apply here. If we go to the Inspector, you notice we have a lot of different controls here and all of these are fully animatable with keyframes. So if I want to send somebody into a trance or create kind of a funky Batman-style transition, I could just keyframe the animation of this specific generator.

But as you can see, when it comes to creating graphics out of nothing generators are always a good place to start.

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This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25089 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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