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Learn how to create stunning motion graphics and animations for video production. Author Ian Robinson explains how to format and animate type with the Transform Glyph tool and explores Motion's real-time 3D tools. The course also covers working in 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, keying green screen effects, and working with particle systems. In addition, Ian offers practical advice on integrating Motion into a professional video workflow and explains how to work smarter using rigs and templates.
We're going to build kind of a kaleidoscope, funky animation using shapes and shape behaviors. Now when you want to create something that looks pretty complex, all you have to do is start with a simple object, begin the animation, and then just start layering. So as you can see in our scene here, we have our background video, our background texture of circles, and a kind of diamond shape, which is just a square turned on its axis. Now, to begin the animation, I just want to use some behaviors from the Library.
So in the Behaviors section of the Library, go to the Shape area, and the one thing that I want to do is oscillate the shape. This is what's going to start the animation for our kind of kaleidoscope effect. So to apply that, since the shape is already selected, just click the Apply button. If I press the spacebar, we can get a preview of the animation. Notice with the shape selected, I'm still seeing the bounding box, but I am getting a pretty good preview of the animation here.
To tweak this, you want to make sure to pay attention to the actual Frames Per Second, so you can see exactly how fast it's really moving, and you also want to make sure to select the behavior as you make your adjustments. That way, you'll be able to see the different parameters in the Inspector. So I am just going to stop playback for a second here, and I want to increase the speed. You can have it oscillate around the point origin, which is right here in the center, or you can have it oscillate around a specific Line.
I'm just going to leave Point Origin selected. Notice down here I can choose different parameters for that, but since I want to create this kind of kaleidoscope effect, this will be perfectly fine. Increasing the speed, I'm not really getting real-time playback. So just to make sure I know what I'm looking at, I will move my playhead back to the beginning and press Command+R to load up a RAM Preview. Just like with anything else with RAM previews, at any given time, you can just stop the RAM Preview, and just make note of the area of the Timeline that's highlighted in green.
That will let you what is most likely going to play back in real time. So that's much closer to the speed that I was looking for. So we've already created the first part of our animation. Now all we have to do is start layering. So I am going to stop playback for a second here, select my shape, and then hold down Option as I drag up in the Layers panel. Now with this duplicate shape, I could adjust the scale just by clicking and dragging while holding down Shift and Option, so it scales in proportion around the center point.
For this one, I just want to add a slight feather to the edges. That looks pretty good. And we can adjust the color a little bit, so I'll bring the color a little bit more towards this vibrant sort of teal effect. Just so this stays mirrored with the center point, I'm going to leave the behavior alone. To add another effect on top of that, let's hold down Option and make a copy of our larger shape. Now with this, instead of leaving it as a fill, I will turn off Fill and just turn on Outline.
Now you can see we are really starting to get some interesting kind of shapes happening, and just to kind of create a little bit more of that kaleidoscope flavor, instead of leaving the behavior alone, I am going to go back and select the behavior in the Behaviors tab, and make sure that I adjust the phase of this a little bit. So now this line will actually be out of phase when I began playback again. Notice how it's kind of leading the animation now, sort of neat.
Just so we have some other shape behaviors, I'll make one more copy by holding down Option and dragging, and notice when we went to the Outline, instead of having this Shape icon, we now have a Paintbrush icon. That's because now, technically, this is painted into the scene. Now just so we can see a difference between this line and the next one, I will scale this down again, making sure I hold down Option and Shift.
Now with this scaled down, let's add a different style to this brush. I can choose Airbrush or I can choose Image. If we choose Image, look what happens. There isn't much of a change, but it's going to ask for a Brush Source. Since I don't really have anything else in this comp, I'd have go to the Finder to drag something else as a Brush Source. So instead of using Image, let's just choose Airbrush.
When you choose the Airbrush, the Airbrush is made up of little dots, so in order to see those dots, what we need to do is adjust the Spacing. As I increase the Spacing out here a little bit, you can see the dots that populate the scene. Let me go ahead and change the magnification up to 100, and now I can see it a little better. Just to add a different behavior to this, I am going to layer another behavior. I am going to go back to the Library, and in the Shape behaviors I want to apply Sequence Paint.
This will automatically animate any parameters through this sequence. So let's click Apply, and now to sequence this paint I will go to my Inspector. Under the behaviors, I need to add the parameter I'd like to sequence. I want the color of this to kind of strobe through, so under the parameter, I want to choose Color. And let's change the color to kind of a vibrant green, and I don't want it to go To; I want it to sequence Through.
So this way it'll start and sequence around the entire shape. It's hard to see like this, so what I want to do is increase the number of loops, so that way once it goes around once, it will continue moving around, and just so I can see this a little bit better, I do want to change the size of these little paint dabs. In order to do that, I just increase the width of the brush, and sure enough, now I can see the green a little bit more.
If we press Shift+Z, we will resize this, and I can go ahead and preview this just by pressing the spacebar. And as you can see, even though the points are moving around, that color is strobing through the shape. Now traditionally, what I would do is continue layering the different elements, and I probably would've kept a more narrow number of points. But as you can see, we've already got our kaleidoscope effect created just by manipulating a number of these small different shapes.
When it comes to applying shape behaviors to different shapes in your project, understand that whether it's a fill or an outline, you actually can create different animations because the shape will change from a filled shape, to an actual paintbrush brushstroke. And we'll actually cover how to animate paintbrush brushstrokes in another chapter.
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