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Working with cameras


Motion 4 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Working with cameras

Before we get into the intricacies of working with our cameras and all their different settings, it's important to understand that cameras in Motion are literally a virtual representation of a real world camera. So, if you have had any experience directing shoots or working with photo and video cameras, you've already got a head start. Let's start by looking at the Camera settings and options. Press F5 and open the Project pane to select the camera, and let's open the HUD and go to the Inspector. Make sure you are on the Camera tab in the Inspector.
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  1. 6m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 45m 36s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 19s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 56s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 51s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 39s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 18s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 40s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 50s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 15s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 23s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 37s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 32s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 28s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 48s
  12. 19m 8s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 19s
  13. 13m 24s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 39s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Motion 4 Essential Training
6h 21m Beginner Sep 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
  • Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
  • Animating with behaviors and keyframes
  • Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
  • Creating simple and complex particle systems
  • Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Ian Robinson

Working with cameras

Before we get into the intricacies of working with our cameras and all their different settings, it's important to understand that cameras in Motion are literally a virtual representation of a real world camera. So, if you have had any experience directing shoots or working with photo and video cameras, you've already got a head start. Let's start by looking at the Camera settings and options. Press F5 and open the Project pane to select the camera, and let's open the HUD and go to the Inspector. Make sure you are on the Camera tab in the Inspector.

Let's go through some of these different options. First off you notice in the HUD, we have a couple of different visual controls that we don't have in the Inspector. But I also find it interesting if there are certain settings in the HUD that are not in the Inspector. This is kind of rare in Motion. So, a lot of times when I work with cameras, it makes sense to have both the Inspector and the HUD open. Let's get started by looking at Near Plane and Far Plane. What this allows you to do is setup objects that are really close to your camera in the scene, and far away from your camera in the scene, and if you adjust the Near Plane and Far Plane settings, you can tell Motion to render those specific areas.

Notice as I'm dragging the Far Plane to the left, the edge of the 3D Grid starts creeping up. That's because Motion is not going to render anything past is Far Plane. So, if I crank the Near Plane up, you'll notice eventually, objects on the canvas start disappearing. Now, this is kind of a harsh disappearance, but you can smooth that out by adjusting the Fade settings. So, since this is the Near Plane that's making these objects disappear, let's drag the Near Fade slider, so we can make that transition a little more soft.

This is a neat way to actually make objects appear and disappear as you're moving your camera through the scene in Z space. Now, let's check out the Camera Type, so we can better understand what's going on as we make these changes. Let's go to the pulldown menu in the upper left side of the canvas, and choose Perspective. Let's pane and zoom out just a little bit more so we can see the entire camera. So, with the Camera Type Framing, you'll notice the 3D controls for that camera are actually on the camera's focal plane.

So, as I click-and-drag on the Y axis here, you'll notice the changes are all tied to the camera's focal plane. But if we change the Camera Type to Viewpoint, you'll notice the handles are now on the camera directly itself. So as I make adjustments, some of these adjustments are a little more drastic in terms of what the camera is actually viewing, and if you are not seeing this window pop-up in the lower right corner of your canvas, go up to your View options and make sure Show 3D Overlays is selected, and that all the different options underneath are also selected.

So, as we make adjustments that pop-up window will actually show us the view from that specific camera we're manipulating. Now that we understand Camera Type, let's look at Angle Of View. If I drag this up, you'll notice the Focal Length is changing. So as I drag to the right, the focal length is getting really small, and that's making the lens act more like a wide-angle lens. So, if I drag the Angle Of View further to the left, you'll notice the Focal Length is acting much more like a telephoto.

Now as we continue manipulating the camera, it's important to understand this Adjust Around pop-up menu. By default things are set to Local Axis. To better show you the point, let's switch the camera back to Framing. Right now, with Adjust Around set to Local Axis, as I orbit around the scene, you'll notice the blue axis handle is always pointing directly at the camera. But if we switch the Adjust Around to the World Axis, notice now the camera handles have changed to be perfectly aligned with Z and X in the canvas.

What's great about this, as I make adjustments to this camera, I'm not changing the overall angle of that camera's view. Let me switch to an angle, so you can see it a little bit better. So, that's World Axis. It will always make the axis snap to the World Axes. Under View Axis notice the Z-axis will switch to point at you, the user. So, let's switch back to World Axis just for a second and orbit around, so this is a lot more noticeable.

Now switch to View Axis and you'll notice that axis has switched. So now, if I drag on the camera's X, it's really moving in Z space throughout the scene. Let's change Adjust Around back to the Local Axis and quickly reset some options. Let's close the HUD here, and if you are ever in a view like this where things just look kind of strange, if you double-click the Pan tool, it will automatically reset your view to the default view. Now, a little bit of a problem with this.

The camera is still kind of out of whack. So, if you click on the pulldown menu and choose the Camera, you can double-click that again, and it resets the position of the camera itself. Let me orbit and pan, just to get a better angle there. Another way to switch quickly between views is this button right here. So, as we click on this pulldown, go ahead and click on that and change it to Left. And you notice we've snapped to the Left View, I'm just going to pan, so I can see some objects in the scene.

Now, if we just click this button next to the camera, it will automatically switch back to the Camera view. Notice there is a toggle button. So, if I click it again, it's going to switch back to the Left View. So, if I toggle back to the camera and now switch to the Top View, if I click that button again, it's going to click back to the camera and then toggle to the top. There are similar buttons on objects within your scene. For example, if I select the word Pivots, you'll see the icon, if you click on it, it has automatically isolated that word so I can easily grab the Text tool, and make edits if I had any changes.

I'm not going to make any changes, but you get the idea. If you click on that button again, it just takes you back to your previous view. Now that we have kind of switched our views around really quickly, let me show you another way to move your camera around the scene very quickly. If you select the camera itself, there is a tool in your View section of the toolbar, called the Walk Camera. It allows you to use your Arrow keys on your keyboard to zoom in, and move left and right. The last thing I want to talk about is the fact Motion supports more than one camera in your scene.

So, for example, if I wanted to cut from this view to a different view, I could easily do that just by adding a new camera in the scene. So, let's make sure we have camera 1 selected, and just click on the button right here to make it active and let's orbit around somewhere at a lower angle. Let's switch back to the original camera just by clicking on the button, and now we can trim from one camera to another. The higher camera takes priority. So, we are actually going to have to switch back to camera 1 if we want to trim, so we can cut from one camera to the other.

So, drag your playhead down to around frame 145, and press I on your keyboard to trim the in point. And now, I could go back and switch to the original camera and trim that out, but I don't have to because like I said, whichever camera is higher in the Layers palette will actually take priority, and that's known as the active camera. When you go to export your Motion project with multiple cameras, the active camera will always be the one that exports. Let's move the playhead back in the Timeline a little bit, go up to your pulldown menu and make sure Active Camera is selected.

Now press Play and you notice Motion will cut from the original camera to camera 1. With all these options we just went over, I want you to ponder something. Imagine just how amazing your projects could look, if you keyframe these parameters.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 4 Essential Training .

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Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space.  One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
  1. Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D. 
  2. Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage. 
  3. Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position. 
  4. Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end. 
  5. To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion. 
    Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position. 
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.
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