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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.
Working in a 3D environment does literally add a new dimension to your work inside of Motion, but it really actually creates many, many different situations that you have to deal with, the least of which is orientation. I mean if a project is too simple or layered up with way too many things in the scene, sometimes it's easy to get confused as to which way is actually up. Thankfully, there are a couple of tools inside of Motion to help with that situation. So if we look at our project here, you'll notice I have a camera in the scene.
You want to make sure to have at least one camera in your project. That way when we go through the different menus, your menus will look like mine. In this project as well, I also have a Lights group, which I'm just going to turn off for now, and a background layer which is 2D. But I'm still going to turn that off for right now, because I want to be able to focus on exactly what we're seeing here in this individual layout. When you're looking the upper-left corner of the canvas, as I'm sure you know, this is the Camera menu. When I click on this, I can choose between the Active Camera or the Camera.
Notice I'm not really seeing much of a difference. That's just because my camera is the Active Camera because it's the only one in the scene. Now, there are two different kinds of views that you can use to view a 3D scene. There is a perspective view, so let's switch to that. See, with a perspective view you can actually see what's going on in the 3D environment, orbit around, and see how things look in perspective. But there are also orthographic views. These orthographic views are like Front, Back, Left, Right, so let's choose Left here. And as you can see, I can tell that these circles are actually turned slightly just because they're not completely flat.
See, when an orthographic view is perfectly perpendicular to your object, you'll see lines. So let's switch to the top here. See the lines? That's just letting me know exactly where each one of the objects are in the scene. Now, a lot of times when you have thin lines like this you may want to either zoom in on the scene or just select Objects in your Layers panel. Switching between views in the Camera menu can be helpful, but honestly, most of the time when you're trying to gain perspective on things, you want to have more than one view up at a given time.
So let's switch back to our Camera view and go to the upper-right corner of your camera, so all the way in upper right where you see there's a rectangle. If you click and hold, notice you don't get any words. It's just a graphic representation of multiple views. Since I have a wide screen here, let's go ahead and choose this 2 up Horizontal view. Now, I have two separate views that I'm looking at. Now, I have an active view which is surrounded in yellow and then an Inactive view. See, when I click on a view, that allows me to make adjustments within that one window.
When I click on the other view, that allows me to make adjustments in that window. It also allows you to see previews of animations. So when you're working with multiple views, you want to make sure to pay attention to exactly which view is currently active. Let's look at the 3-Up view. When we go to 3-Up, I personally like using this view because I can keep the camera view up here and at the same time I can still have a perspective view in the other window, so I can orbit around and get a better idea as to where I am in perspectives, and I can still keep one of the orthographic views.
Now whether you choose to have the camera in one of the smaller upper windows or in the lower window, it's entirely up to you. When you change one of these windows, the next time you go to that layout, the windows will be set up that way. So for example, if I go to the bottom window down here and change it from a Top view to the Active Camera view and then I change this Upper-left view to the Front view-- this is perfectly flat right now-- if I switch away from this 3-Up view back to a single view, notice it switched to my active view, which was this Front view.
But also, when I click Back here and go to the 3-Up view, I still have my Front view, my Perspective view, and my Active Camera set up accordingly. Now, let's look at just a few more tools we can use to figure out exactly where we are. First, let's select the upper-left window and change back to that Camera view and go back to our 1-Up view. As you're looking through the camera, when you orbit around or move, we're literally moving the camera. So if we switch to the perspective view-- and let me zoom out here a little bit-- within the perspective view, I can select my camera and notice as I move my camera down here in the lower-right corner, I'm getting kind of an inset view.
This is letting me know exactly what my camera is seeing. Now, you'll get the inset view anytime you don't have the camera as your main view and anytime that you actually start moving the camera. If you're not seeing the camera, you need to go up under the View options and make sure that you have all of these different options selected. So there are 3D Overlays like the 3D View tools, the Compass, which we'll get to in a second, the Inset view, which you just saw a second ago, and let's turn on 3D Grid.
See, the 3D Grid allows you to see exactly where the floor is, if you will, within the Motion project. So thankfully, we have just put the floor pretty much in the same place as where our 3D Grid is. Lastly, the 3D Scene Icons, if we deselect that, notice we can't see the camera anymore. Also, if we turn the lights on, even though we can see the lights, we physically can't click on them and adjust them in the canvas unless we go and turn the 3D Scene Icons back on. Now, I can click right on any one of the lights if I just deselect my camera there.
There we go! I can click on any one of the 3D Scene icons. And last but not least, I want to cover the Compass. The Compass is a fast way of switching between views, just by letting your mouse hover over any one of these blocks. So notice if I click right on this right block, it's going to switch my view to the right view. So it kind of works in the similar fashion to the camera pulldown; it's just a little faster. Now, to switch back to your Active Camera, or your Camera, just Ctrl+Click right over the Compass and choose Camera.
That way we can jump right back into where we are in the scene. As I've been talking, I know I've shown you a lot of different tools and sometimes you can still feel a little bit overwhelmed. But I have a little tip for you and it has to do with cameras. In the next chapter, we're going to get really in depth with cameras, and you'll learn everything about how to control them and set them up in a scene. But basically, as you start building your complex projects, you want to just add cameras, add custom views around the areas of the project where you're going to be working.
See that way, you can just switch back and forth between your own custom cameras, and you'll have a much better idea as to exactly where you're working in the scene.
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