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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 Record button in Motion can be extremely helpful in your day-to-day workflow, but there are a few things you need to be aware of. Let's check out the project. Press F5 on your keyboard to open the Project pane and you will notice we have a Background group and a Text group. Go ahead and turn on the visibility of all the layers in the Text group. Let's press the Play button to watch the animation and you notice XYZ is being animated and we have three more words. So in this video, we are going to animate these words using the Record button.
So let's start with the word SPACE, turn off the visibility on all the other layers except XYZ and SPACE. Let's drag the playhead in the mini timeline back towards the beginning so we can see when XYZ stops animating. What I would like to do is animate these words in sequence, so I want XYZ to pop-up and then Space to slide in, you get the idea. Select the SPACE layer and turn on this button in the lower left side of your Transport Controls. That's the Automatic Keyframing button and this will record any parameters that you make changes to on any object you have selected.
So let's take a look in the Inspector Properties tab and you will notice all the Value sliders have turned red. That's basically letting you know it's going to record a keyframe for every single change you make. Let's also open the Keyframe Editor, Command+8 on your keyboard, so we can see a little bit more what's going on as we make these changes. Again, with the SPACE layer selected, let's make sure we have the 3D Adjust tool selected and since I want this word to slide in from off screen, go ahead and drag it off screen using the X arrow handle. If you can't quite get off the screen zoom out, Command+Minus on your keyboard just to get it off the screen.
Now let's look at the Keyframe Editor, you notice there is a red line here. That's letting us know there is a keyframe up above this area that we are not seeing. So, I'm just going to resize this window by double clicking this Magnifying glass and that will resize the Editor to fit all the keyframes. There is a slight problem. When you use Automatic Keyframing and your playhead is not at the beginning of the layer, it will automatically add a keyframe at the beginning of that layer. So for example, the SPACE layer is actually starting on Frame 1.
So when I made this change, it added a keyframe at Frame 1. So if we move our playhead back to the beginning and play, you will notice that's kind of going the wrong way. So I have an idea, if you want to animate things that come in from off screen, it's best to actually re-time them in the mini timeline first. So let's turn off Automatic Keyframing and reset the parameters for position on the SPACE layer. Go to the Inspector, under Properties and you will notice right next to Transform there is this arrow and this will reset any keyframes on any of the Transform options.
So go ahead and press Reset. I'll go ahead and slide SPACE back to where it was before and now let's trim the layer in, in the Mini Timeline just grab the end of the SPACE layer and as you start dragging, you will notice a contextual menu pop-up and we can go ahead and drag it exactly till the end point says Frame 28. And I know Frame 28 is where I want to be, because my playhead Value slider is at 28. Now if we move our playhead back to the beginning, you notice the SPACE layer doesn't even beginning to be seen until Frame 28, this is exactly what we want, because that's where we want our animation to start.
Let's use a shortcut to move our playhead back to the beginning of this layer, Shift+I. Now with our playhead set, click the Record button. Now drag the SPACE layer off the screen and you will notice in our Keyframe Editor, we only have one keyframe, so it's looking good so far. I'm going to drag the playhead in the Keyframe Editor slightly down the timeline and you notice the playhead in the Keyframe Editor is in total parity with the playhead in the Mini Timeline. Now reposition the SPACE layer back on to the canvas where you would like it to stop.
I like it to stop kind of in the middle of the Y there and you notice we have set our second keyframe and again, to properly fit all the keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, just double- click this little magnifying glass. Now with these keyframes set, we have actually animated our first word using Automatic Keyframing. I'm just going to turn the button off and play from the beginning using the Play From Start button, perfect. So let's go ahead and animate the last two words. Stop playback and move the playhead towards the end of the SPACE animation and turn on XYZ Transform, select the layer and this time instead of dragging, let's use the key command I to trim the layer in.
So now it's starting with XYZ Transform at frame 55. Let's turn Automatic Keyframing back on and this time instead of it sliding in left to right, I would like to actually slide it in on the Z axis and I know it's kind of hard to see but, this blue arrow is pointed directly at us and if you roll over with your mouse, click and drag you will actually slide XYZ Transform in Z space. So I want this to come sort of from behind us, so I'll just drag to the right until the word comes off screen. Notice again, we have our first keyframe set.
Go ahead and slide your playhead down the Mini Timeline and reposition XYZ Transform using the same handle. Get it to where you had it before and again, if you want to see all the keyframes, double-click the magnifying glass and turn the Record button off and watch play from beginning. All right, we are almost there. Let's do this one last time slide your playhead back to when XYZ Transform stops moving. Select the ANCHOR layer, press I on your keyboard to trim the layer and turn on the Record button.
This one, we are actually going to have to set two keyframes, one for Rotation and the other one for Opacity. I want the word to kind of flip down from underneath XYZ Transform. So grab the top rotation handle which is the Z Rotation and drag the layer around, till you get to 90 degrees. Now we have our first keyframe set, let's also set one for the Opacity. In the Inspector, just go ahead and drag the slider down to 0. To set our next keyframe just move the playhead down in your Mini Timeline, animate the Opacity up just by sliding the slider back to 100 and you notice with the black diamond there, we have another keyframe set.
And grab our Z Rotation one last time and spin the word back around 90 degrees. Turn the Record Keyframe button off, move your playhead back to the beginning, deselect all the layers and watch what we have just created using Automatic Keyframing.
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