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Working with layers

From: Motion 3 Essential Training

Video: Working with layers

Looking at this project you can see we have a box and some text. I know, it doesn't look very promising but with a little help from my layers and some copying and trimming we'll have an interesting animation in no time. So you might be asking yourself, what's a layer? Well, layers are actually created any time you drag anything into your Motion project. So go ahead and hit F5 and open up your Layers tab. Now if you notice my canvas automatically scaled. Let me go ahead and hit F5 once again. And so if it didn't, the key command you want to do is Shift+Z that will automatically rescale your canvas any time you open any of your palettes. So back to Layers.

Working with layers

Looking at this project you can see we have a box and some text. I know, it doesn't look very promising but with a little help from my layers and some copying and trimming we'll have an interesting animation in no time. So you might be asking yourself, what's a layer? Well, layers are actually created any time you drag anything into your Motion project. So go ahead and hit F5 and open up your Layers tab. Now if you notice my canvas automatically scaled. Let me go ahead and hit F5 once again. And so if it didn't, the key command you want to do is Shift+Z that will automatically rescale your canvas any time you open any of your palettes. So back to Layers.

What we've got here are two layers in one group, a rectangle layer, an Old Technology layer, which is text, and a group. Now those of you joining us from Motion 2 are probably, Wha? Yeah, Apple completely changed the nomenclature for the Layers tab between Motion 2 and Motion 3. What used to be an object is now, in my opinion, correctly named a Layer and what used to be a layer is now, again in my opinion, correctly named a Group. So just kind of bear that in mind if you are joining us from the previous version.

If you are in Motion 3 for the first time, go ahead and just enjoy the fact of things are now aptly named. One of the things about the Layers tab is it's completely redundant with the Timing pane. If you hit F6, open up your Timeline and here you'll notice I have the same group, same rectangle, and as I select things in my Timeline notice it is selecting things in the Layer tab. Now I must say I very rarely use the Timeline because most of the time I am changing the timings of things using the mini Timeline and we'll do that a little later in this movie, but for now go ahead and hit F6 and hide your Timeline pane.

Like I said this is not very inspiring. So let's go ahead and spice things up by duplicating this rectangle. Hold down Option and drag the rectangle up and voila! Now we have a copy of this layer. Go ahead and click in your canvas and reposition this anywhere on the screen, I am just going to start randomly copying and positioning these boxes around the screen. You can feel free to place yours wherever. You can Option+Drag in the Layers tab and you can also Option+Drag in your Canvas and now it will duplicate the objects.

So just go ahead and duplicate things randomly around the screen and you will notice my Snapping guides are nicely popping all around as I drag these different boxes. And as you can see very quickly I am starting to run out of distinction between all the different boxes here. So let's go ahead and add some color. Go ahead and select your topmost layer and hit F7 which brings up your HUD, you could also come up hear to the top and click on this.

But this is one of my favorite features. If you right-click right in the Color wall there you can go ahead and change the color. So I am just going to go ahead and try and change these boxes to some primary colors since it's title is called Old Technology. And as you change the color, go ahead and double-click the layer and rename it whatever the color is. So feel free to jump around and color all of your boxes. Now I am going to go ahead and make this yellow and rename the layer Yellow, and I will make this one red and rename it Red.

Let's go ahead and make this one purple, we'll rename it Purple. Next one, let's try orange if I could find orange, come on, there we go. It's kind of a burnt orange, but close enough and we'll make the last one I don't know Light Blue.

And since I have two blues I'll go ahead and rename this blue up here with Dark Blue. Now that we have these named let's go ahead and reposition them around the screen a little more and this time I want you to actually go ahead and scale things. So click in the corner and hold down Shift and the scale, and you'll notice as I scale some of these some of the layers are actually going to become hidden and if you find this is happening with you go ahead and move your Mouse over the area you'd like to expose and utilize this feature called Expose, hit X and it will fan everything else so now I can in my Canvas select the orange layer and scale that and move it accordingly.

And let's go ahead and scale purple. I was just showing you how you can re-organize things in a canvas using Expose but really to move things on top of one another much like in Photoshop you just drag your layers one on top of the other. Now one thing to keep in mind in motion, when you are dragging your layers you want to make sure not to drag them down and to the left or up and to the left because you will get this plus button (+). Now what happens here is it's actually going to group that layer into a new separate group, and we will get to that in a little while but not going to do that right now.

So make sure you haven't actually dragged anything to a new group, and if you have just go ahead and drag it right back up into the main group and delete the old one. So now that we have some boxes positioned around the screen let's go ahead and change the timing. I am going to use the real-time feature here in Motion, and a shortcut that you will probably recognize from Final Cuts, go ahead and hit the spacebar, get your project playing and again, you don't have to match my timings, just go ahead and select individual objects and with the playhead playing go ahead and hit I to mark you in point and your Timeline and then O to mark your out point.

And you notice down here in the mini Timeline as I was hitting in and out the layer was trimming in the mini Timeline to my in and out points. So go ahead and let's go through some of the other layers here. Click on your next box down and hit I and hit O. Some of them you can make short I, O and others of them you can make quite long. Go ahead and hit I and O. So feel free to do that with all of your layers.

When you are done trimming your in and out points, go ahead and sit back and admire the handy work, we couldn't created without the use of Layers.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 3 Essential Training
Motion 3 Essential Training

84 video lessons · 16445 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 43s
    1. Welcome
      52s
    2. Why use Motion?
      1m 49s
    3. Important definitions
      2m 22s
    4. Using the example files
      1m 40s
  2. 23m 59s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 0s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      3m 21s
    3. Navigating the Canvas
      5m 26s
    4. Controlling the Timeline
      3m 29s
    5. Using the Toolbar
      3m 2s
    6. Setting essential preferences
      3m 37s
    7. Customizing your keyboard
      3m 4s
  3. 25m 20s
    1. Adding outside assets
      4m 14s
    2. Using Library content
      2m 56s
    3. Working with layers
      6m 59s
    4. Working with groups
      5m 33s
    5. Using blend modes
      5m 38s
  4. 35m 21s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      4m 2s
    2. Applying behaviors to layers vs. groups
      1m 51s
    3. Adding multiple behaviors
      4m 8s
    4. Adding parameter behaviors
      5m 30s
    5. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      9m 23s
    6. Animating stills with behaviors
      10m 27s
  5. 18m 45s
    1. Using the Record button
      3m 33s
    2. Adding keyframes manually
      2m 49s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      5m 36s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 10s
    5. Working with recording options
      3m 37s
  6. 22m 51s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 56s
    2. Creating text on a path
      4m 16s
    3. Animating text
      4m 18s
    4. Using pre-built text behaviors
      2m 1s
    5. Using text styles
      4m 13s
    6. Creating your own text preset
      2m 7s
  7. 15m 59s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      7m 0s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      4m 16s
    3. Being creative with filters
      4m 43s
  8. 8m 46s
    1. Understanding different types of keying
      2m 8s
    2. Pulling a simple key
      6m 38s
  9. 20m 27s
    1. Creating simple shapes
      6m 21s
    2. Adjusting shapes
      3m 1s
    3. Creating simple masks
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a tracking mask
      3m 24s
    5. Creating a complex mask
      2m 15s
    6. Creating image masks
      2m 53s
  10. 6m 48s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 11s
    2. Generating a background
      1m 30s
    3. Generating a transition
      2m 7s
  11. 17m 33s
    1. Understanding particles
      2m 5s
    2. Creating basic particle systems
      5m 18s
    3. Making complex particles
      6m 13s
    4. Modifying particle behaviors
      3m 57s
  12. 17m 59s
    1. Replicating objects
      5m 6s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 32s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 31s
    4. Creating a lower third replicator preset
      4m 50s
  13. 14m 52s
    1. Painting in Motion
      8m 11s
    2. Sequencing paint stroke behavior
      3m 54s
    3. Applying paint dynamics
      1m 26s
    4. Painting from shapes
      1m 21s
  14. 25m 43s
    1. Using 3D space
      4m 52s
    2. Working with cameras
      3m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      3m 41s
    4. Lighting a scene
      4m 56s
    5. Creating 3D text
      1m 53s
    6. Creating 3D replicators
      2m 27s
    7. Creating 3D particles
      3m 59s
  15. 14m 42s
    1. Applying Match Move: Four-corner pin
      3m 11s
    2. Applying Match Move: Transform
      1m 48s
    3. Working with stabilization
      2m 11s
    4. Retiming video
      4m 3s
    5. Retiming with behaviors
      3m 29s
  16. 11m 24s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 51s
    2. Adding audio markers
      2m 56s
    3. Applying the audio parameter behavior
      3m 37s
  17. 7m 31s
    1. Exporting files
      2m 49s
    2. Creating an export preset
      2m 51s
    3. Archiving your project
      1m 51s
  18. 22m 25s
    1. Sending your project to Compressor
      3m 35s
    2. Roundtripping between Motion and Final Cut Pro
      7m 11s
    3. Creating drop zones
      5m 27s
    4. Creating templates for Motion
      2m 19s
    5. Creating templates for Final Cut Pro
      1m 14s
    6. Creating DVD Studio Pro menus
      2m 39s
  19. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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