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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now, it seems like ever since Apple gave Motion the ability to incorporate 3D lights and cameras, I haven't been able to finish a project without incorporating 3D lights and cameras. Now that doesn't mean you can't; it's just kind of funny because I don't know, I love the detail and the way you can actually control a scene with lights and cameras. So in this video, we're actually going to focus on lighting our scene. Now, if you're joining me from the previous chapter, I want you to make sure, if you have access to the exercise files, open this 06_01 file.
I've reset everything to the origin, and I took all the camera moves off. And I did that because I wanted us to make sure that we were just focusing only on the lighting, not anything else. All right! Now before we get started, if your scene doesn't look like this, like if you don't see this grid, go up under the View menu and make sure that you have all 3D Overlays enabled. That way you'll see this grid. Now, let's see what happens when we first light our scene. Go up to the Object menu at the top of your page and then go to New Light.
And now you'll notice the second I added that light, the text got dimmer, but if you notice nothing happened to the particles. Now, I am actually just going to quickly turn off my 3D grid here, so we can pay a little more close attention. I am just going to go ahead and turn this light off, and then you can see what happens with our type-- there we go--and then if we turn it back on. Now I know the type is being affected, but if you can tell, the particles are not being affected at all, and I want this to be kind of a more dynamic scene. So in order to do that, I actually need the particles to be affected as well.
And the best way to do that, select your particle system. Now if we want the particles to pay attention to the light, we actually need to go to the inspector. In the Emitter tab, under Render Particles, change the render from Local 3D to Global 3D and then check out what happens. Boom! Now the light is affecting the particles as well as the titles. Now this is okay, but let's see what happens when we add more materials into the scene. So I want to add a floor into the bottom of my scene.
Now, I know that sounds funny, but when we add the floor, we're going to change blend modes and different things, so really it's just going to accentuate what's going on. All right! Now, let's go up under the Create menu and we want to create a rectangle in our scene. Now, I want this rectangle to be right at the floor of the scene, and one of the cool things when you're working with 3D in Motion, you can add objects based on the view that you're in. So let's go ahead and change the view here with this pulldown menu in the upper-left corner of your canvas. Let's go to the Top view and then once you're in the Top view, let's enable the 3D grid so we can see exactly what's going on, and here's the origin.
Now we want to make sure our rectangle shape is enabled, and let's just click and drag a decent-size floor into the scene. Now once you drag that in the scene, you should notice everything gets dark. Now if we switch our views back to the Camera view, camera should rotate around and now you should see the floor in the bottom of the scene. Now, one other little thing that I recommend most people do, make sure that you keep the floor at the bottom of your composition. I found that when I am working with things if I still keep the same layer hierarchy the way I would expect it in a 2D environment, things just tend to run a little more smoothly.
Okay, well, I still have this dark floor and nothing is going on, and that's because our light is too low in the scene. So, select your light and just drag it up on its Y axis, and now you notice I am starting to get an interesting look on the floor here. Now, the floor did get added in perfect perspective the way we wanted when we went through the Top view. But what we need to do is actually change the size of the floor. Now, I could go in under the Geometry section and typing coordinates here, but since this doesn't have anything with any detail that I have to worry about, pixelation or anything like that, I am just going to go ahead and click on the control handles, and just drag it out in my scene here a little bit.
Okay, so that looks pretty darn good. Now, we could keep adjusting this accordingly, but there is another way to control exactly how far your camera renders out a scene, and that has to do with depth of field. So if you notice when we look at our camera, we have a Near Plane, a Far Plane, a Near Fade, and a Far Fade. Now, let's go ahead and click and drag on the Near Fade and I want you to see something. Notice as I am dragging the Near Fade, the floor starts fading away from here. Now, we could keep adjusting the floor, but we really need to adjust what the camera sees.
So if you notice, we have Near Plane, Far Plane, Near Fade, and Far Fade. So if we adjust Near Fade, look what happens to the floor as I start cranking this number out. Notice now it's not rendering anything within this area of view. So the Near Plane controls how close things are when they render, and then the Far Plane, you guessed it, controls how far out the camera actually renders the scene. So notice as I drag that down, see how now all the sudden I am fixing my fade with the floor.
I think that's pretty cool. Now this fade actually controls the softness of the fade. So as I drag that out, see how I can control the fade all the way through the scene. Let me just go ahead and drag that back towards the back there. Perfect! Now the camera is rendering only what I wanted to render. So as you can see, we've got a pretty good start. We have our floor added into the scene; we've controlled exactly what the camera can see and can't see; and we've enabled the particles to be aware of actual 3D lights in our scene.
So I promise we will pick up right where we left off in the next video.
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