Motion 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using advanced paint tools


Motion 4 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Using advanced paint tools

Even though Paint in Motion is a pretty straightforward process, there are a few gotchas that crop up, especially when you are trying to add paint strokes to a 3D environment. For example, just adding the stroke itself can even be a little bit of a challenge. So, just for a moment, put down your mouse and watch me try and add this paint stroke. I'm just going to grab my Paintbrush and click-and-drag to drag a paint stroke around this text. And already there are a couple of crazy things going on. First thing, there is a reflection. So, let me go to the Render menu and just turn Reflections off for right now.
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  1. 6m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 45m 36s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 19s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 56s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 51s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 39s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 18s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 40s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 50s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 15s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 23s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 37s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 32s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 28s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 48s
  12. 19m 8s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 19s
  13. 13m 24s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 39s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 4 Essential Training
6h 21m Beginner Sep 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
  • Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
  • Animating with behaviors and keyframes
  • Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
  • Creating simple and complex particle systems
  • Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Ian Robinson

Using advanced paint tools

Even though Paint in Motion is a pretty straightforward process, there are a few gotchas that crop up, especially when you are trying to add paint strokes to a 3D environment. For example, just adding the stroke itself can even be a little bit of a challenge. So, just for a moment, put down your mouse and watch me try and add this paint stroke. I'm just going to grab my Paintbrush and click-and-drag to drag a paint stroke around this text. And already there are a couple of crazy things going on. First thing, there is a reflection. So, let me go to the Render menu and just turn Reflections off for right now.

And if you rotate around in this 3D environment, you will notice the paint stroke didn't go nearly where I thought it would go and that's what I mean by a gotcha. So go ahead and follow along again as I show you the correct way to add a paint stroke. We'll just do a quick undo to get the Paint Stroke out and let's change our view to a top view. This is an Orthogonal view and it just makes placing objects in a 3D environment that much easier. Now, unfortunately when we switch to the 3D scene we sort of lost the words in the scene.

So press F5 to open the Project pane. We'll just open the Text & Floor and select both words and in the Inspector, let's just rotate them a little bit, so we can see what's going on. Rotate on the x-axis and deselect and you will notice now we can see the words. Now, I'm ready to add the paint stroke, but instead of grabbing the Paint Brush tool, I'm going to grab the Bezier tool. I prefer the extra control this gives me as I draw this paint stroke around behind the words. Now I'm just clicking-and-dragging to bring the Bezier handles around to soften the edges of the curve.

Now, with the path drawn, I'll grab the Select tool and you notice it's automatically created a Bezier Paint tool and if it hasn't done so for you, go to the Shape section of your Inspector and make sure Outline is checked and Fill is not checked. So with the Outline selected, we can make some adjustments to the stroke but you will notice if you look at Brush Color its set to White and we have a Black stroke. Well, that's because this is actually living in a 2D world. To show you what I'm talking about, let's switch back to Perspective view.

And in perspective view, you will notice the paint stroke is pretty flat on the floor. Also, we need to rotate our text back. So quickly select the text, go to the Properties and change the X Rotation back to zero. Back to the Bezier stroke. First off, whenever you have an object in a group, especially in a 3D environment, it's a good idea to look at the Property options under that group and you will notice Reflection is turned on.

Just like in better control the paint stroke in this environment, I'm going to add another group and drag the Bezier paint stroke into the new group. This way, I can control exactly whether or not there is a reflection on this specific object. So with the Paint Stroke selected, let's go to the Shape section of the Inspector and look at some of our options. First off, the default Brush Type is Solid and the option I need to select to make the paint stroke look white again is actually in the Stroke area, and notice it's grayed out.

You won't get any Stroke options until you change the Brush Type to at least Airbrush, if not Image. So, let's switch to Airbrush and now, we have the stroke option. So, jump into Stroke options really quickly and enable Local 3D. Now you notice the stroke is white. We still have a problem with the stroke being flat. I'm just going to move the stroke up a little bit in the 3D environment by grabbing the Adjust 3D Transform tool and grabbing on the y-axis to move it up. Now that the stroke is higher, let's select the Face Camera checkbox.

Now you notice with that selected, our stroke is significantly wider. If we go back to the Style area, I want you to notice when you have an Airbrush, it still made up of little tiny dots. If I drag the spacing out, you notice I still have dots in the scene. Let me zoom in so we can see it a little bit better. I will just pan down. So you notice we have these little paint dots, and as you adjust the Spacing slider, that will give you the appearance of an Airbrush stroke.

I'm just going to make the Width a little wider and you will notice there is a problem, even though the Paint stroke appears to be behind the words when we tilt down, you notice the stroke goes right over the paint. That's because even though we enabled Local 3D and the Stroke options, this is still kind of living in a 2D world and so, the layer order is the overriding principle. So let's grab the Group and drag it just below the text and you will notice now our Paint Stroke is going behind the words.

Now, there is a slight problem, because the floor is above the Paint stroke, so I'll just drag that below the Bezier stroke. Now if we orbit around, you will notice the paint stroke appears to be just behind the words. I see the problem that's going on here and the only way to fix it is to really just go back into the Top view and make sure this one point is in the proper place. So, let's grab our Adjust Control Points tool under the 2D Transform tool and just click on control point 1 and drag it off to the side.

Now, when we go back to Perspective, we have our paint strokes swinging around behind the word and we are not having that problem where it appears it's behind the word. Go ahead and deselect all your layers, reselect the Paint Stroke and let's make the width of the line change a little bit. So, I'll just grab the 2D Transform tool here and in my View Options, I'm just going to turn off Lines, so we can see the stroke a little bit better. Let's adjust the width of the stroke by opening the menu and manipulating the graph.

If you click anywhere on the line, you will get a Bezier control point and if you drag up, you will make that section of the stroke wider. To accentuate this change, I'm going to drag the first section down to make it thinner. It's kind of hard to see from this angle but if I rotate, you will notice I have a nice little pinpoint. Just so that's not so drastic, I'll drag over. If you Ctrl-click on a point, you can go to Interpolation and actually draw out your Bezier handles.

Now, with those handles out, we have smoothed out the transition on the Paint stroke. So I can continue going on throughout the rest of these menus and adjusting and tweaking etcetera, etcetera, but I think you get the general idea. It's just a question of opening the specific parameter and clicking and dragging to see if there is something that you enjoy. So before I leave you, let's go ahead and animate this Paint Stroke. Select the Paint Stroke and go up to Add Behavior, go down to Shape and choose Write On.

This will write on the shape over time. And since the default setting for Write On goes the entire length of the comp, let's slide our playhead down just a little bit and press O to trim its out point. Now we can move our playhead back to the beginning and press Play and you notice our stroke has been animated around the words. Let me pause for a second and rotate down a little bit, so we can see this a little better from this angle, and I want to show you one last behavior. Select the Paint Stroke, go up to Add Behavior, under Shape and let's choose Wriggle Shape.

What this will do is just add a funny kind of random behavior to this shape, and I don't want it to shake all over the place, so I'm just going to drag its amount down to around 20. Let's move our playhead back to the beginning, deselect our Wriggle Shape Behavior and press Play. And there you have it, our animated, advanced, 3D paint stroke wriggling around in a 3D environment.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 4 Essential Training .

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Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space.  One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
  1. Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D. 
  2. Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage. 
  3. Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position. 
  4. Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end. 
  5. To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion. 
    Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position. 
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.
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