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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.
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.
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