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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.
Using the Paint tool is sort of a hybrid between creating shapes and creating particle systems. Let's get started exploring Paint by actually creating a shape. Go up to the Create tools in your toolbar and click on the Rectangle tool, just click-and-drag it anywhere on the canvas. Now, let's open the Inspector and change it from a Solid Fill to an Outline. If you press F5 on your keyboard, you will now notice the rectangle icon is a Paint icon. Anytime a shape changes to an Outline from a Fill, it changes into the Paint icon and that enables all the different options that you get with the Paint tool.
Now let's create a line that's a little bit more organic than a rectangle. So let's delete the Rectangle by pressing Minus in the Layers tab and actually grabbing the Paint tool, and let's create a line that sort of comes off the canvas and arcs around the word and goes back off the canvas. Now, even though this isn't very smooth right now, we are going to deal with this in a little bit, so don't sweat it. With the Paint Stroke selected, let's look at some of the different options. By default, Solid is set and we can change things like the Brush Color and the overall Opacity and its Width just by clicking-and-dragging.
But let's jump down to First Point and Last Point Offset. If we keyframe these, we could actually keyframe the stroke drawing on to the screen. But there is a behavior for that. So, let's go to Add Behavior > Shape and choose Write On and by default, it's going to write on over the length of the comp. So let's just click the right edge and trim the duration down, so the paint strokes animated on over the first 50 frames. Now, press Play and you will see it's writing right on the screen.
Now, Write On by default will draw in a constant speed, I like to actually have it sort of Ease In and Ease Out. So, let's just choose Ease Both. That way when it starts drawing, it's a little slower and then it speeds up and it slows back down. You can choose whatever you like, I just happened to like Ease Both. So now that we've the Paint Stroke animating on, let's go back and select Paint, make sure our strokes are on the screen and go through some of the other options under the Style section. With the Brush Type Solid, honestly this is pretty much what you get.
You can go to the Geometry section and actually switch the Shape from Bezier to B-Spline and that will smooth things out a little bit, but you could also drag the Roundness slider and that will smooth things out quite a bit. Let's go back to the Style section and change the Brush Type from Solid to Airbrush. And you notice this is already helping the shape. Airbrushes are actually made up of little dots. So to show you that, drag on the Spacing slider and you will notice we have increased the spacing and all we are getting is a bunch of dots.
So, if we saw that in motion, it would just like dots animating on the screen. This may not seem like a big deal now, but as you start tweaking some of the different settings, this is a neat thing to check out. Let's look at Brush Profile, open the disclosure triangle and you will notice its set to White to Black and this is again, working from left to right. So this is working from the center of each little dot out to the edge. So, let's change it slightly by clicking in the center and changing the Opacity and now you'll notice we are getting a slightly different shape to the Brush stroke.
Let's add one more and crank it up, now it's starting to look a little bit more like a shiny bubble. Feel free to add more and adjust as you like, I'm going to leave this like that. Okay, now that we have out Brush Profile, let's drag the Spacing a little closer together and look at the options under Stroke. Now, I'm not going to go through each one of these options, I want you to feel free to explore at your own leisure. For right now, let's change the Color Mode from Use Brush Color to Pick From Color Range and just choose anyone of the preset gradients.
I'm going to choose Dusk, I sort of like that and I think it fits well with the background. Now, let's randomize the scale of all these different little bubbles. And we can increase the overall scale, so it looks a little more bubbly, if you will. Again like I said, feel free to click through and adjust some of the different settings like the Jitter is sort of the offset. So now let's go back to the beginning and press Play.
That's pretty cool. But remember at the beginning I had said they act a lot like particles. Well, in order to enable that, you need to go the Advanced section. Under Advanced, just check the Dynamics box. Now, if you move your playhead back to the beginning and click Play, you will notice it looks just like an animated particle system. We stop playback for a second and just adjust the Dynamics a little bit. Move your playhead back to where you can actually see the formation of the path a little bit and let's just bring the Speed back down.
We'll bring the Speed down to 22 and adjust the Speed Randomness to 51. Now, let's go ahead and press Play. And there you have it, your paint stroke, a hybrid of shapes and particles. So, one last thing about Shape, even though this is really cool the way it is, if you go back under the Style options, you can change your Brush Type from Airbrush to Image. And if you had any other images in your comp, you could drag that image into the Brush Source and it will behave just like our bubble dots and while that's pretty amazing, just keep in mind all this does take processing power.
So, be aware of the size of the object you add into your Brush Source. So I hope you've enjoyed our little overview of brushes.
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