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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.
For you Motion designers out there, there is really no need to jump to any other application just to do your text layout. Motion's Unique Style options will make you think about text in a whole new way. Let's get started by adding some style to this text. First, we have to select the text and then let's go to the Inspector under the Text tab and choose the Style option. Before I cover this, let's look at the footage. Press Play in your comp. Now, I happen to be in a park one night, and there were a bunch of fireflies just kind of coming up out of the woodwork and I thought it would be really cool to set up my camera and get some footage.
Now, this doesn't really look too overwhelming, but later on we are actually going to use particles to increase the number of fireflies in here. But for right now, let's get started by stylizing this text. Under our Style options, first thing you will notice there is pulldown for Style Presets, and you can definitely click through and you'll notice it automatically applies a bunch of different presets. That's actually pretty darn good. Add in a blend mode and I would probably call it a day, but that's really not going to teach you styles. So let's go back up and reset the parameters.
Just click this curved arrow on the right-hand side next to Style Preset. The first thing you will notice, the Style section is actually broken down into four individual categories. We have the Face, the Outline, the Glow, and the Drop Shadow. Let's get started with the Face. You will notice its default setting is Fill with Color. You can actually fill text with a Gradient or even a Texture. The texture thing is pretty cool. If I had an image or even footage I wanted to put in the text, you can just drop it in this drop well. But for now, let's go ahead and choose Gradient.
Under the Gradient options, let's just choose a preset. Let's choose Light Metal. We can change the Opacity. Let's just bring that down a tiny bit. Now just so we can focus a little bit more on the style, go to your View options and turn off the Lines. I found that's a little less distracting. We could turn off the Handles as well, but I tend to like to leave those on. At the bottom of the face options, you'll notice we have Four Corner, and if you click-and-drag on the sliders, you can actually create some pretty neat distortion effects, and you'll notice what it's doing is just pulling the corners of each individual character in the word.
So as I click-and-drag in the value sliders, we can really give this kind of a different feel. I sort of like that, so let's leave it there. Close the Face options and let's move on to Outline. Go ahead and select the checkbox, and that's already starting to look a little better. If you'll open the disclosure triangle, Ctrl-click right in the drop well, and let's change this to a kind of yellow green, sort of like some fireflies. That's looking really nice. You'll notice we can adjust some Blur options. We can adjust to just on the individual X and the Y. I just like the effect that it's having just on the X. Also we could change the layer order so it's actually Over the Face or Under the Face.
Now, since the Face isn't 100% opaque, we're not noticing much of a difference. Also notice in the outline feature, we have the same options with the corners. Let's just pull this top value to around -6. Let's move on to Glow. Select the Glow, open a disclosure triangle, and you'll notice the Fill Color is set to yellow. This is nice, but it's a little bright. So let's go ahead and bring that down. And each of these settings is just giving me a little bit more depth. You'll notice we have the same options under Glow that we had under Face and under Outline.
Now, let's add a Drop Shadow. Open the disclosure triangle and select the Drop Shadow checkbox. Now, I know it's hard to see, so Ctrl-click in the Drop well. Let's just change it to a different color for now, so we can see it a little bit better. Here we go, nice and red. We'll pop that Opacity up a little bit, just so as I make my Blur adjustment, I can just want to see exactly what's happening. Now, I'm not a real big fan of that bright red, so let's just make it really, really dark greenish color, again to reinforce that kind of green/ yellow firefly color.
Okay, now that we have our Text style laid out, go ahead and deselect the layer by clicking anywhere in your canvas, move your playhead back to the beginning, and press Play. So style in Motion is a great way to really help your project stand out from the mundane. But be careful. Just because it's there, and we happened to use it all in this project, doesn't mean you should always use it.
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