Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Working with cameras


Motion 5 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Working with cameras

As you manipulate objects around 3D space, I think you might find it easier to actually use cameras to view the different positions of these objects. See, anytime you create 3D space in Motion, you can create a camera and move around that 3D space. It's almost like being your own director. So if we look at our project here, you'll notice I have a 3D scene and there is a camera. Now with that layer selected, notice I have two different view options here.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 20m 39s
    1. Creating 3D text NEW
      4m 5s
    2. Working with 3D presets NEW
      1m 59s
    3. Building custom materials NEW
      5m 32s
    4. Modifying lighting NEW
      4m 37s
    5. Refining looks with multiple materials NEW
      4m 26s
  18. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Motion 5 Essential Training
9h 1m Beginner Aug 05, 2011 Updated Aug 27, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting started with Motion and setting essential preferences
  • Working with layers, groups, and blend modes
  • Animating and adjusting behaviors
  • Building custom presets to create a slideshow
  • Keyframing animation
  • Animating type along a path
  • Creating credit rolls
  • Understanding generators
  • Adding reflections
  • Controlling and animating cameras
  • Creating depth of field in a composition
  • Adjusting audio
  • Exporting, sharing, and archiving a project
Ian Robinson

Working with cameras

As you manipulate objects around 3D space, I think you might find it easier to actually use cameras to view the different positions of these objects. See, anytime you create 3D space in Motion, you can create a camera and move around that 3D space. It's almost like being your own director. So if we look at our project here, you'll notice I have a 3D scene and there is a camera. Now with that layer selected, notice I have two different view options here.

If you're unfamiliar with the split views, just go to this button in the upper right-hand corner and adjust for horizontal split views 2-up. Now on the left-hand side I'm viewing the actual camera, so this is what the camera is viewing, and I have the second window here viewing the Perspective. This way I can orbit around the scene and notice I'm not moving the camera or the lights or anything else. Now one of the things I like to do is have the camera actually selected, so as I orbit around or pan through a scene, I can see exactly where the camera is and what its view is.

Now to manipulate the camera directly, the first thing I recommend is opening the HUD. Press F7 on your keyboard, and in the HUD notice we have an option for Camera Type. So by default, cameras are set up as Framing cameras. And that basically puts the controls of the camera right here on this area of the camera view, known as the focal plane. Now if you increase the angle of view, notice the camera is going to get closer to that focal plane.

And in doing that, it'll actually start to distort the image much like a fisheye lens would. One of the things I really like is the fact that you can adjust the angle of view and Motion will give you the actual focal length. So if you're familiar with things like lenses for your DSLR cameras, you'd know that 13.8 is a pretty darn wide angle of view. Now I can just bring this back out here. Let's set it to around 35 millimeters. Okay. Now at 35 millimeters I'm actually getting a good view of everything that's going on in the scene, including the camera itself.

Now as I make adjustments to this camera, notice my upper view is refreshing, letting me know what's going on in the scene. Now sometimes as you move around, you may find viewing some of the other 3D objects a little distracting. So what I like to do is click on one of the alternate views and go to my View options here and just turn off my 3D Scene Icons only for the Camera view. This way as I move around in my perspective view, I can see exactly what the camera is going to see and I don't have to worry about being distracted by the lights in the scene.

Now one of the great things about working with a Framing camera is it makes orbiting around an object extraordinarily easy. See, if I click on any of these circles around the outside of my control handles, it will allow me to adjust the rotation. And notice since I'm rotating around the center of my focal plane, it's giving me this beautiful arc around my scene. So if you think you're going to want to do some kind of arc like this around whatever it is that's in your project, you want to definitely look at starting with a Framing camera.

Now the other kind of camera in Motion is the Viewpoint camera. And I view this just like as if I were holding a camera on my shoulder. See, I can bounce the camera up and down and it'll refresh up here in the scene and show me how the scene has moved. But one of the things you need to be careful of with the Viewpoint camera, as you adjust the rotation options, notice I'm getting a drastic change in what I can actually see in my scene. So if I can offer you a tip, anytime I go to adjust the rotational values or something, most of the time I'm dealing with the Framing camera.

Now anytime I'm going to move the position of the camera, a lot of times I'll switch to the Viewpoint camera. Now there is one other big option here down at the bottom of the HUD I want you to be familiar with. And this is the Adjust Around setting. Notice there's a pulldown, and by default it's set up to the Local Axis. So the way this works, let's change our Camera Type back up to Framing, so we can see exactly where our control points are in the center of our focal plane, okay.

Now since I'm off at this strange perspective angle, you can see I've got the Z axis kind of pointing off at an angle. It's not parallel to the Z axis of the origin at all. I could rotate this to make it a little more drastic. So as you can see, I've got my adjustments happening here just by clicking on the handles and rotating things around the Framing camera. But if you adjust around the World Axis, watch our axis control handles.

When we choose World Axis, now the camera will stay at that angle, but I can move back and forth on the Z axis and it will snap in line with the Z axis of our scene. This is a great way if you have kind of a cool angle and you want to just run across a section of a scene, you could just keyframe the position of the Framing camera along the X axis here. Okay. Now we've looked at World Axis and Local Axis, the last thing I want you to pay attention to here is the View Axis.

See, if I orbit around to the side of the scene, notice the Z axis is still pointed relatively close to the Z axis of the origin. But if I change the Adjust Around settings to View Axis, look what happens: now the Z axis is pointing directly at me. This is because it's looking at my view. So there are three different ways you can manipulate the camera around the scene just by adjusting the Adjust Around settings.

Now in the HUD, there are ways you can control the camera as well. This well back here allows me to move back and forth along the Z axis. The Move option allows me to pan back and forth, up and down, throughout my scene. You'll notice these controls function in a very similar fashion to these controls. You'll notice these controls work in a somewhat similar fashion to the controls that I've been using in the upper-right section of the canvas. Now there's one last thing I want you to be familiar with with the camera before we move on to another video, and that has to do with these planes.

See, there's a Near Plane and a Far Plane, and what this is going to do is determine exactly how much of the image the camera is actually going to see. And that value is going to be determined based on how far the image is away from the camera. So if I adjust the Near Plane, the camera is going to slowly start to crop out the visibility of the things that are closest and work its way back through the scene. Now one of the interesting things, as you adjust either of the planes, there are Fade options.

So notice here on the edge the graphic is missing. I could adjust the Near Fade and fade that a little more and all of a sudden, it'll look a lot more natural in the scene. Now a lot of times people will do this as a method to trick you because they only created a solid of a certain size but they don't want your camera to reach all the way out to the edge of that solid to show people that, hey, this isn't a fully never-ending floor; it's just this one here and it ends because we've set up the options for the Far Plane.

So if we go to the Far Plane options, let's drag this back to the left and notice again the plane is moving in direct relation to how close it is to the camera itself. So if I drag the Far Plane into my scene, notice it's definitely dimmed my upper scene here a little bit. If we adjust the Near Plane, we can pull it back out and adjust the Far Plane back in again. And sure enough, we'll see the Far Plane start cropping in on our image. Now if that's the case, just don't panic; increase the Fade options.

So to recap, there are two different kinds of cameras. There are ways of viewing exactly what's going on in the scene with split view. We can reset what camera we're actually viewing things through the Camera pulldown. And in the upper right, we can adjust how we're viewing things by adjusting the 3D View tools. Now I know we've covered a lot in terms of how to actually manipulate and position the cameras. One of the things I'll encourage you to do is take some cameras, drop them into your scene, and actually switch between multiple cameras so you're not constantly having to jog around the perspective view like I've been doing for the last few videos.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Motion 5 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: This course was updated on 08/27/2015. What changed?
A: We added a brand new chapter, "16. Creating 3D Text," which covers the 3D titles included in Motion 5.2.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Motion 5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.