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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.
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.
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