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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.
Sometimes when you're editing, it's the little things that can be really, really frustrating. If you've ever had that extra long credit roll or somebody just wanting a time clock to count down, sometimes those things can get a little bit complicated. Well in Motion 4, Apple actually created some pretty neat text tools built into the Generators. So to see what I'm talking about, click on the Library tab and under Generators let's look at the Text Generators. The first one is File.
This is pretty neat. It will reference an external file and bring it up one line at a time. This is great because you can go back and edit the file and then once it's finalized you can render your files out. The two text generators we're going to use for this project are Numbers and Time and Date. Let's get started with Numbers and they apply just like any other generator. So just drag the Numbers Generator right out into the canvas and you'll notice it immediately just dropped wherever I let go with my mouse. Let's keep it down here in the lower left corner.
Now when you're doing text graphics, you always want to go up under View and turn on your Safe Zones. This is if you're making a DVD or going to watch it on television, you want to make sure the text is within this area. It's kind of a holdover from the analog days where old TV sets would cut off the edge of the images, but it's something I always adhere to and you'll never have any problems if you do. So let's turn that right back off and press the Play button and you'll notice by default, the Numbers Generator automatically starts counting.
Let's look at its controls. Let me stop playback and go to the Inspector. Under Generator you can actually set the specific number you would like it to start on. So let's set 100, and you can set the exact number you would like it to end on. We'll just leave that at 240. This is the part I'm kind of excited about because sometimes you need to count Currency or Percent or Scientific measurements. Right now let's just leave it on Number. And you'll notice we've a couple different options with decimals and we can also add the minimum number of digits.
Now another great feature is the Random button. If you click the Play button, I can click Random and then it just creates random numbers. This is great if you just want to create some number graphics where things look like they are calculating and fluttering around the screen. And if you have more than one, you can click the Generate button for the Random Seed and it will generate random numbers at a different algorithm. So what if I want to slow this down? Well, it's pretty easy. Let's stop playback and move it to the head of the timeline and let's turn the length of the generator, and this time let's have it count from 150 to 155.
So now when we click Play, so I still have my Random checkbox selected, so let's de-select that. Move my playhead back to the beginning and count, and you notice it's moving in a much slower rate. If we extend this even longer, it will count only 5 over a longer period of time. So that's Numbers. Let's look at the next option. I'll just press Delete and choose Time and Date and click the Apply button.
Now let's drag this back over to the side. I roughly know where title safe, so I don't have to necessarily pull those guides up again. And let's look at the options for Time and Date. This is pretty cool. To animate all you do is select the checkbox and press Play. And you can choose the Start date and the End date specifically. You can set it to the Current Time, so whatever time your computer thinks it is, it will reset. And you can specify exactly the time units.
Whether you want Minutes, Seconds, you get the idea. Feel free to click through these menus and check it out. Under Time Format, this is a little bit more fun, because you can make it a Short format where it's not counting all the extra information, and you could do the same thing with the Date Format, where it puts your date in slashes instead of spelling it out long hand. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty darn cool. So Text Generators, another way Motion is making your life easier.
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