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The real-time engine in Motion 3, a component of Apple's Final Cut Studio 2, gives motion graphics designers the freedom to continually experiment and adjust while they work. Ian Robinson explores how to get the most from this unique application, while also sharing his own essential motion graphics techniques. Along with teaching the fundamentals of video and audio work, he looks at Motion 3's new 3D tools in depth. Ian demonstrates the use of behaviors to create organic movement in particle systems and camera moves without keyframes. He also discusses effective integration with the other Final Cut Studio applications, and much more. Example files accompany the course.
Groups are for all intents and purposes containers for layers. For those of you coming from Final Cut or After Effects, I would liken Groups to what happens when you nest or pre-compose something. The difference with Motion, you don't have to go a separate sequence or composition to view the layers you just group together. And if you have no idea of what I was just talking about, don't sweat it. Let's get started by getting organized. What we have is one group with a bunch of graphics and a text layer, and what I'd like to do is group my text layer into one group, and my graphics into another group.
So I am going to show you two different ways to do that. So the first way is to select your Group layer here and go ahead and click the plus button. Let's go ahead and drag your text layer up into the group you just created. And voila! There we've got one group containing our text and one group containing our objects. Now I am just going to Undo here and show you the second way. I typically use the second way to create groups. So click on your text layer and drag it down and drag it to the left and you will notice the second that T box crosses this little gray line right here, I get this green plus button and what that's doing is letting me know that Motion will create a new group for this text layer.
So go ahead and rename your group here Text and we will rename this other group, Boxes, and since I'd like my title to actually appear on top of my graphics, go ahead and drag this group up to the top and you'll notice when you get up there you will get the green plus button again, but don't worry, Motion will not create another group for you. It will just organize this group on top of the next one. So we can go ahead and collapse these groups and let's hit the spacebar and see what we've got.
Okay, so we have a bunch of boxes that are just popping on and off, and well, that's somewhat indicative of old technology, I'd like to actually go ahead and layer a bunch more of these boxes. And the way we are going to do that is by duplicating our groups. So in the last movie we duplicated layers and that was all well and good, but right now let's go ahead and duplicate groups. So hit the spacebar to stop playback and rewind your playhead to the beginning nearby clicking this little button, and let's hold down Option and drag the Boxes layer and there we go, we have a copy, it automatically put at the top of our copy, I am just going to leave it called Boxes copy and what I'd like to do is actually reposition this in a different part of the screen.
Let's go ahead and move that to the bottom, and again make sure it's to the left, see you get this plus button because if you don't let me Undo and show you. You can actually drag a group into another group, and we don't really want to do that right now. So make sure when you are dragging your group, you drag it down to the bottom and you get the little plus button, in that way it stays in its own group. So go ahead and drag this one more time. Here we go and move that to the bottom here, and now we're all set we've got multiple boxes, let's go ahead and reposition this next one here down to the bottom, and let's rotate this, so it is a little bit different.
You all remember from the last movies to rotate, just grab this handle and drag it around and if you hold Shift do the snap to 45 degree increments and so now I can go ahead and layer this. If you hit your spacebar you will notice everything is playing at the exact same time, and I really don't want it to appear that way, what I'd like to do is change the timings of this. So you don't get distracted from everything moving around, I am just going to stop the playhead for the time being and we will watch this here again in a second.
So let me stop that, and rewind my playhead. The way you changed the timing of things just go and select your group and click in the mini Timeline and drag it. And you notice as you drag you get this wonderful in and out contextual menu that's showing you exactly when that group is starting and when it's stopping. So go ahead and just change the timing of your different groups here, and go ahead and hit spacebar and we'll see what we've got. Starting to look kind of cool. I think I want to duplicate one more, I'll go ahead and stop that, rewind, let's go ahead and duplicate one more group, hold down Option or drag and move it to the bottom, and this time I want to actually scale this group, so it takes out more of the screen.
Again if you drag on a corner and hold down Shift it will scale in proportion. So now I am going to have a bunch of big boxes here in the center and let's go ahead and retime that just a little bit, drag it out, and so let's hit the spacebar and see what we've got. Hey, what do you know? Now we've got a whole bunch of boxes and they are neatly organized in our Layers tab and we've got a bunch of semi-different timings. To recap, groups are like containers for layers rather than affecting individual layers you can throw them all into a group and move that around.
Grouping layers is the same as nesting or pre-composing things in other applications like After Effects and Final Cut. And both groups and layers can be trimmed or sled in the mini Timeline. Now if only organizing my office were so simple.
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