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Working with layers and groups

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Working with layers and groups

Now one of the things I find most interesting about working in Motion is the way that it's actually organized. It's kind of neat that you can see absolutely every layer involved in a composition, including all of the nested elements, without having to go into each individual pre-composition. Now if you're unfamiliar with what I am talking about, don't worry about it. That's where we are going to get to in this video. So if you don't already have this project open, open 02_03_layers and then press F5 to open your Layers panel. In here you'll notice I have a background layer, and to give myself some more viewing area I am just going to press Command+1 to hide my File Browser.

Working with layers and groups

Now one of the things I find most interesting about working in Motion is the way that it's actually organized. It's kind of neat that you can see absolutely every layer involved in a composition, including all of the nested elements, without having to go into each individual pre-composition. Now if you're unfamiliar with what I am talking about, don't worry about it. That's where we are going to get to in this video. So if you don't already have this project open, open 02_03_layers and then press F5 to open your Layers panel. In here you'll notice I have a background layer, and to give myself some more viewing area I am just going to press Command+1 to hide my File Browser.

Now we should be able to see the full name of all of the layers and groups. Now, most the time you see a disclosure triangle like this. That usually means that there are other elements underneath of that group. So as you can see, my background video group contains my Stripes_Circles Photoshop document that we imported in the previous video, as well as this B-Roll_Piano QuickTime. Now if I press the spacebar here, you'll see our animation is kind of blah, and really we need to spice it up.

So to do that, I want to start duplicating some of these different graphic elements. I am just going to press the spacebar to stop playback and open up our Stripe_Circles comp here, so we can see what we are dealing. Now I have these three bars. I am going to start by duplicating these bars. Now to do that, I am going to select Bar1, hold down Shift, and select Bar3. Now with all the layers selected, I can go ahead and press Command+D to duplicate these layers.

Notice they have been duplicated in the layer hierarchy. So if I want to actually move these individual objects as a group, what I should do is group them all together in one new group. Now with all three layers selected, it's pretty easy to do; all you have to do is right-click or Ctrl+Click on one of the layers and then go out here and choose Group. Now with that group I've automatically added all three of the elements into the new group, and you notice my bounding box is now around all three elements, rather than three individual elements.

So now if I want to rotate this, I can just click on our rotation handle and as I hold Shift, I can make it snap in 90-degree increments, and now if I just click anywhere inside the bounding box, I can go ahead and just reposition this layer. So now I've got some copies up here. Let's duplicate the circles. Now since the circles already reside in a group, I am going to use key command right here within the Canvas. If you hold down Option and click and drag from within the bounding box, notice I automatically create a copy of that group, and you can see it here in the layer hierarchy.

Now one of the issues I'm running into is the fact that my anchor point is way over here. So if I click on rotation, it's going to spin way off this screen. So I'll just click and hold on my Transform tool to access the Anchor Point tool. Now I can just click the x axis control handle and the y axis control handle to move the anchor point back to the center of these circles. Now, when we grab our Transform tool, now my anchor point, as you can see, is right here in the middle.

Now, since these circles are grouped together, if I wanted to scale this group up, I could just click on any one of the corners and hold down Shift as I drag, but notice if I don't hold down Shift until after I start transforming, there will be a distortion. So make sure to hold down Shift first and then click and drag. Now, look what happens if you expand a layer group and select the individual elements. Okay.

I'm just holding down Shift as I'm clicking, but now watch what happens. If I hold down Shift and click on one of the corners and start scaling, notice they're scaling around the center point of each individual element, not the whole group together. So now I've got kind of these disjointed circles, which isn't quite what was going for, so I will just Undo that command and then move these circles over here to this side. So this is already starting to look a little more interesting, but what I want to do is go ahead and group the Circles copy in my new bar group here.

So I will rename the bar group L_BarGroup, L for left, and then here's my Circles copy. So click on Circles copy and if you hold down Command and click on L_BarGroup, that will allow you to select both groups without selecting the intermediary layers in between. So now if I go ahead and right-click, I can group these groups, and now I can go ahead and move this as a unit. Or if I hold down Option again, I can make copies of this.

So this is starting to look a little more interesting. Now I am going to hold down Shift and click on the corner to scale this down. Again, let's go ahead and move our anchor point. So I think you're probably sensing a theme. Using Option+Drag or Command+D or right- click to group objects, it's very quick and easy to actually group multiple layers into multiple groups.

Now one of the things that also translates as you're moving things around and making copies is the ability to apply filters and behaviors to groups as opposed to individual layers. And we will get to that in a little bit, but for now we've covered a lot of the basics when it comes to dealing with multiple layers and creating groups.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25093 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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