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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.
With Text behaviors, you get the same flexibility you have always had with any behavior in Motion. Just now you can translate that to your text. Let's get started by selecting the text at the bottom of the screen and let's move to the Library, so we can check out some of these Text behaviors. Select Behaviors. The first thing I want you to notice, there are two different folders for text. There is Text Animation, which are the most simple animations. Scroll Text for example is great to use for credit rolls. But the fun really begins when you select Text Sequence. Under the Text Sequence folder, you notice there are so many options, they had to break them down into sub categories.
Let's get started with Text-Basic. So if you highlight any of the text behaviors, we'll get the preview in the top of the screen. Now I like that. So let's go ahead and apply it to Fireflies at NIGHT. Just drag it and drop it directly into the canvas. You know you are on the right place when you get the green plus button. Now with that text selected, go ahead and press the Play button and you notice it's animated in. Now if you are joining me from any of the previous movies, you might recognize this as the Adjust Glyph tool and that's correct. The Adjust Glyph tool is actually the big man or woman behind the screen that's really controlling all the Text Sequence animations.
The fact is Text Sequence behaviors have been completely overhauled for Motion 4. That gives us an unparalleled amount of control, and I'll show you that in just a second when we apply our own Text Sequence. But for now, let's animate this text off the screen. Now just because I applied Arrange In, it doesn't mean that I have to apply Arrange Out. I can apply any other behavior. So, let's go down here to Text Energetic and yeah, let's do Blast Out. Again, we can just drag-and- drop this right onto the text.
One of things you want to watch out for when you applying Out behaviors, they will default to the beginning of the layer. So, click on the behavior and drag it towards the end of the Timeline. Now if you want to lengthen or shorten any of these behaviors, all you have to do is click on one edge or the other until you see this Bracket tool,and slide the in-point or the out-point out. So right now we are going to make this transition out a little longer. Let's press the Play button, and let's Preview the animation. That is pretty cool. Now let's check out that unparalleled control I was talking about.
Press F5 to open up your Project pane. Let's deactivate the two behaviors we just applied and reselect the Fireflies text. We are going to start over with our own behavior just by clicking Add Behavior > Text Animation and choose Sequence Text. Now with Sequence Text, there are two different ways you can adjust this behavior. The first way is visually directly on the screen. Let's move our playhead back to the beginning and click-and-drag on the different handles to move the text up into position. I just moved it up on the X, Y, and Z axis.
We'll go ahead and rotate the text a little forwards. Now let's press the Play button and see what's happening. It's pretty cool. It's sequenced the text over the entire length of the composition. So again, if we want to change length, let's go ahead and stop playback, grab that end of the behavior and drag it to a length of your choosing. I'm going to a duration of around 60 frames. Move the playhead back to the beginning and let's Preview. Yeah that's a little better. Now the second way, we could have done this animation is in the Inspector.
So, let's go to the Inspector tab. You notice we have these different controls up here at the top, Position and Rotation. That's because when we move this first character, we did change its position and its rotation. So, this parameter will automatically update with whatever changes you make in the canvas. So right now, I can still see the text at the beginning of the Timeline with these little white dashes. So, let's go ahead and add a Fade behavior to this sequence. Click on the Add pulldown menu, go to Format and choose Opacity.
Now just bring the Opacity all the way down to 0 and you notice those white dashes are gone, and the text is actually kind of fading in. Move your playhead back to the beginning and let's check it out. There we go. Text behaviors and Sequence Text. Now remember the best way to animate your text is to just tell it to behave.
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