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Using camera behaviors

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Using camera behaviors

If you've ever struggled to animate your camera in a 3D environment, fret not, because there are things called camera behaviors, and they do nothing less than make your camera actually behave. It's truly amazing. I know I sound completely ridiculous right now, but honestly, if you've ever struggled with moving your camera in a 3D environment this will change how you view things. So let's get started by scrubbing through our project here. And you'll notice I've just got a couple of spheres in 3D space, and as I scrub through here, we've got some letters that are kind of floating up that reveal our title, saying "Everybody Dance Now." Now I could definitely load this up into a RAM Preview, but I just wanted to see if everything was staying relatively the same in terms of where it is within the environment.

Using camera behaviors

If you've ever struggled to animate your camera in a 3D environment, fret not, because there are things called camera behaviors, and they do nothing less than make your camera actually behave. It's truly amazing. I know I sound completely ridiculous right now, but honestly, if you've ever struggled with moving your camera in a 3D environment this will change how you view things. So let's get started by scrubbing through our project here. And you'll notice I've just got a couple of spheres in 3D space, and as I scrub through here, we've got some letters that are kind of floating up that reveal our title, saying "Everybody Dance Now." Now I could definitely load this up into a RAM Preview, but I just wanted to see if everything was staying relatively the same in terms of where it is within the environment.

The reason I wanted to know that, we're going to fly this camera in towards the scene and then we're going to have it kind of spin around to the left. Now using keyframes we could definitely do this, but you know when you change directions with keyframes sometimes there are some funny things that can happen: keyframe interpolation shifts, all kinds of things. So let's check out how behaviors can handle this. First let's work on the move in. Now since the camera's already relatively close to where I wanted it to be in when we start to spin, I'm going to select the camera and just move it back out.

Now as I'm looking at this, I'm kind of wondering if that orientation is correct for this camera. So let's open up the HUD, and notice it's set up as a Framing camera, that's fine, but ah, okay, here it's set to adjust around the World Axis and I want it to move on a Local Axis, meaning, as I move it back in Z space, I just wanted to move straight out in the direction of the camera. Now if you're having problems with how slow the refresh is on your system, you want to go up to your Render settings and change your Resolution from Full to let's say Half.

And honestly, we don't really need the shadows or the reflections just yet, because all we're working on is the move in. So go ahead and feel free to turn those off, and now we can work on applying our camera behavior. If you go to the Library tab--and let me close my HUD here--go to the Camera section of the Behaviors, you'll see we have Dolly, and this moves the camera forward or backwards in 3D along its Z axis.

Well, as luck would have it, it's definitely pointed to the scene on its Z axis. So let's drag and drop the Dolly behavior right there onto the camera. Now notice when we applied the Dolly behavior it automatically went the length of our comp. Now I don't want this Dolly to go over the entire length of the comp, so I'm just going to drag the right edge of the behavior and drag it back to the left. Now notice as I did that it actually sleet the entire layer, which isn't quite what I want to do. So I'm just going to undo those last two moves, and I'll move my playhead down to around 2 seconds in the Timeline and just press O. That way it trims the out point of that Dolly move.

Now if you scrub through and notice there is no move happening, it's probably because we haven't set a value for this Dolly move. So if we open the HUD, notice, yeah, we have Distance is set to 0 and the Speed is set to Constant. Well, let's make this move in, so we'll drag towards the right in a positive value, and let's place our playhead towards the end of the behavior. That way we can see exactly where it's going to be when it stops. Now one of the nice things about the Dolly behavior, the fact that when it does stop the camera stays exactly where it was at the end of the behavior.

That's a really good thing. So just so our playhead is right at the end of the out, I'm going to press Shift+O, and that will move our playhead right there. Now I'm just going to zoom in a little bit more. So when you have a situation like this where the zoom is kind of moving drastically if you hold down Option and just click on the left or right side, you'll get to move in one-point increments. That's one way of scrubbing a little more slowly. Now this is looking relatively okay, so I'll just leave this alone.

The only other thing, typically speeds set to Constant look very robotic, and that's not what we want. So let's adjust the Speed to Ease Both. So what that's going to do is make it move much more like a car. When you leave a stop light, you accelerate, and then when you hit the next one you just slow back down again or, at least I hope so. All right, so let me close the camera dolly and we can load up a quick RAM Preview here, just to see what we're dealing with. I'm just going to press Command+R, and notice when I press Command+R it's loading up a RAM Preview of my active view, which is this one down here.

So I'm not really going to see what the camera is doing, but that's fine. I'll get to see its overall movement kind of as a third-party viewer. So yeah, that looks pretty neat. Now I want the camera to start spinning around towards its left. Now to do that, in the camera behaviors, we can do a sweep. A sweep rotates a camera around an axis. Well, let's apply it. Drag and drop it right to the camera, and since I want this to actually start towards the end of the dolly, I'll select the Dolly behavior and press Shift+O to move my playhead there, and we can select the Sweep Behavior and press I to trim the in point.

Now I do want there to be a little bit of an overlap, so I'll just drag the sweep back to the left, and notice on the right-hand side of those values. It's letting me know exactly how many frames I'm overlapping here. So our composition is 29.97 frames, so I'll have it have a 15-frame overlap, which will be roughly a half a second. Now notice the sweep is headed in the wrong direction. So we can fix that easily enough by pressing F7 and instead of having it end at 30 degrees, we'll have it end at -30 degrees.

Okay, again with the Speed, we will Ease Both, and as I'm looking at this, I am realizing that we might need to do a little bit of a tweak to our move, but I think so far we're doing okay. Now this time I want to see exactly what the camera is going to see. So let's select the Active Camera and press Command+R to load up a RAM Preview. All right, so now that our RAM Preview is loaded, we can go ahead and check this out and move the mouse here. Well, that's looking kind of interesting.

The only issue, the type is floating out of the scene. Now there are two ways I could fix this. I could sit here and keep tweaking with the camera behaviors, or I could just as easily select the type layers and shift them over to the left. Now since the last set of behaviors worked out so well, why don't we not chicken out and actually apply one more behavior to make sure that we get this animation set up the way that we want? I want to use the Framing behavior, so let's drag and drop that right on top of the camera.

Now, for the framing what I want to do is frame our type layer. So I'm going to drag the type layer by clicking on it in the Layers panel and drop it right down here in the Target well. Now when I do that, that's going to frame my key subject. Now you can set a bunch of different options as far as how it's going to frame its orientation, you can adjust the transition, but let's just see what happens with this default setting. Move our playhead back to the beginning, press Command+R, load up one last RAM Preview and see what our scene actually looks like.

And I think you'll be kind of surprised to see exactly what happens. Now it's kind of given us this funky pop, and the reason it's done that, it's kind of fighting between the different options, and also the Transition is set to Constant. Now if we adjust that, I think we could probably tweak this a little bit more. So let's Ease Both and if we let Motion keep playing back, we'll actually get a little bit of a preview, so we can see exactly what's happening here.

And now you notice, yeah, I still have that pop, but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. If we just adjust maybe the Position Transition Time, maybe it won't be so bad. So here we go. Cool! Let's adjust the Rotation Transition Time. Let's have it rotate a little later. Okay, and then lastly, we can adjust the ease-out time.

That will be how it eases out of this behavior. Now notice it framed the specific text itself, and as the text is rising, it's making the camera rise. So it's a pretty interesting behavior, but it is something that can definitely be of service when you've got a basic move set up and you want to tweak things just a little bit more. As you can see, when you start working with cameras and behaviors, even if you layer them one right on top of the other, you can definitely get some pretty amazing animation results with just a little bit of drag-and-drop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25098 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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