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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.
Now, we all know that Motion was designed to play your graphics back in real time as you're designing your new motion graphics. If you've been doing motion graphics for a little bit, you probably also understand that that's not always going to be the case. Yes, Motion is powerful, but there will be instances where you've built graphics that are pretty complex and require a little bit more processing than what you can get by just playing back with the Play button. So if we look at our project here, you can see I have a bunch of particles.
I have a replicator system. I've all kinds of things going on. So if we press the Play/Pause button, you'll notice I'm getting two-frames-a-second playback. This obviously is not going to give me a good preview as to what the animation is going to look like. So this is the perfect time to load a RAM Preview. See what RAM Preview does, it loads all the frames it can into RAM so it plays back those frames out of the hardware on your computer, as opposed to kind of a hybrid between the RAM and the graphics card and your memory, et cetera.
So to load RAM Preview, you can go up under the Mark menu and go to RAM Preview and choose Play Range or All. Now, since my Play Range is the entire length of everything, we will just go ahead and choose All. So as a RAM Preview loads, a couple of things happen. First thing, this little thumbnail will update and load each frame, giving me a preview of my RAM Preview. I'll get time remaining in status as to how long it thinks it's going to take before the RAM Preview is actually loaded.
And then if you look down here in the Mini Timeline, you'll see this green line moving. See what the green line is telling me, these frames have been loaded into RAM. So let's say for instance all of a sudden somebody comes in and they are like "Hey! Can I just see, I don't know, just the first ten frames?" Well, sure. If you press Stop in the middle of a RAM Preview, as long as you don't go back and change anything in your project, these frames will remain loaded in your project. So I'll just press Home to move my playhead back to the beginning and press the spacebar, and I want you to look in the upper-left area here.
Notice now I am getting playback at 20 frames a second until obviously I crashed into all the frames that weren't loaded into my RAM Preview. Now, instead of always coming up to the Mark menu and going to RAM Preview, the thing that I typically recommend people do, Command+R. That will always load up the preview based on the play range, and it's just a key command you should probably get in the habit of loading. So I am going to press Command+R, and notice it quickly jumped ahead to frame 34 and 35 because it knew what already had those first several frames loaded into RAM.
Now that our RAM Preview has been loaded, let's press the Home button to move our playhead back to the beginning and press the spacebar and watch our animation. Now as I look at that, you can see some jitteriness that's happening, and that's typical for a RAM Preview. See, it's just trying to load everything into RAM and then play it back. So sometimes things may look a little crazy when you're loading it into RAM Preview, but honestly, it should work perfectly well when you go to export your project.
So sometimes instead of doing a RAM Preview, you need to actually do a Preview Render. Now there is one other thing I want to tell you about before we pop out of the RAM Preview section: that's actually previewing audio. So if you press F6 to open the Timeline, down in the lower-right corner there are three buttons, and the middle one will actually show us the audio that's tied to this piece of video. Notice it's already been turned off, so let's turn on that audio of Pablo. And even though we loaded a RAM Preview, notice it's still loaded in the project because the RAM loaded in the video and the audio is just going to play back separately.
So when I play this, we should hear audio in addition to seeing the video. (music playing) So if you ever need to turn off the audio, all you have to do is just disable it in the Timeline. Or if you leave it on, you can hide the audio so you don't necessarily see it as you're making your edits.
Just understand that that's still going to play back. Now if you still want to leave the audio on in the Timeline and play back but not necessarily hear the audio, you can use this button right here. If you turn that off, that will mute the audio track. Then when we play things back, it'll play back with the RAM Preview without the audio. So whether you're trying to preview your animation with just animation or with animation in an audio track, understand RAM Preview is probably going to be one of the features that you will get most comfortable with.
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