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Working with lights

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Working with lights

There are four different kinds of lights you can create within Motion, and they each have their own set of options to help you recreate something that looks more like the real world. The thing to understand with lights, adding them to the scene is only the first part of the process. Usually you want to select all the other objects in the scene and determine how the light is going to bounce off of that object, so you can make things look shiny instead of dull or have shadows instead of no shadows. So let's look at these lights and see some of the different options we can adjust.

Working with lights

There are four different kinds of lights you can create within Motion, and they each have their own set of options to help you recreate something that looks more like the real world. The thing to understand with lights, adding them to the scene is only the first part of the process. Usually you want to select all the other objects in the scene and determine how the light is going to bounce off of that object, so you can make things look shiny instead of dull or have shadows instead of no shadows. So let's look at these lights and see some of the different options we can adjust.

The first light that I have set up here is a Point Light, and a Point Light, the easiest way I like to think of it, think of it as something like an empty light bulb in a scene. If you had a lamp and you took the lampshade off, the light would come out in 360 degrees. Well, that's how a Point Light functions. If you press F7 to open up the HUD, you'll notice we have an option for the Color, the Intensity, the Falloff Start and the Falloff. These are pretty common sets of options for all of the lights.

So once I teach this to you once, I'm not going to jump back over again with the other lights. First thing with color, again you try and simulate the real world, so if we change this white light to a kind of blue light, now all of a sudden we can make it look sort of like dusk in the winter time. Intensity just controls the brightness of the light, and the Falloff Start determines how far the light can travel before it starts to decay, so the larger the number the brighter you'll notice the scene.

Now the Falloff is actually how fast that transition actually happens once the Falloff Start occurs. So notice as I adjust the Falloff Start here, as my Falloff is at 100%, it's a very sharp contrast from bright to nothing. This next option is for Shadows. If I turn that on, notice as I move this light around now, these letters are casting shadows. Softness just controls the softness of those shadows.

Now there are some other options. If you press I to open up the Inspector, notice that under Shadows, when I open that up here, there is a setting for uniform softness. Let me magnify this image, just Command+Plus until we're up to 100%. Notice how the shadow almost looks like it's darker up at the top. With Uniform Softness on, what it does, it just blurs the shadow the same all the way across everything, and you want to leave this selected while you're building your animation, so your system doesn't start to lag. But just before you go to output your project, you probably want to deselect Uniform Softness and this will actually create a much more realistic blur to your shadow.

Also, I can adjust the opacity of the shadow, so it doesn't necessarily have to be so dark. And yes, of course, I can adjust how soft the shadow is as a whole and again with Uniform Softness deselected, it will feather that out over the length of the shadow. So let's re-enable Uniform Softness and look at our next light in the scene. I want to disable the point light, and notice the scene just pops up to 100% brightness everywhere. Whenever you add a light--you go up under Object and choose New Light-- whenever one is added to the scene, everything else just kind of changes.

So that Ambient light here, which is the next light we're going to look at, if we look at that right here, you notice the only option is for the Color and the Intensity. Notice there isn't even a light to physically grab in the canvas. That's because this is just controlling all the light in the entire scene all the way around. So if you crank up the Intensity or bring it down, you notice everything is adjusting all at once. These circle shapes have gradients on them, so as I adjust the Intensity, it does look like the shape of the objects are changing. But if I just click on one of these in orbit around here, you'll see these are flattering than a pancake.

Okay, there's no real depth to those objects. I just like using the gradient shading, so it does appear more like a 3D object. Now Ambient light, you typically want to use this to add light throughout the scene after you've added something like a Point Light. See with the Point Light, I've tinted the scene blue, and then the Ambient light, it is just making sure that the rest of the scene has some kind of light going on, just to kind of brighten things up a little bit. So yes, as you have multiple lights, you can mix them together to create different feels.

So for example, the Point Light is blue and if we change the Ambient Light to yellow, now notice--that's kind of a heavily saturated yellow, there we go. If I bring that back over here, you notice now over here the light has turned green. That's because yellow and blue mixed together and make green. So as you mix different colors of lights, you can create all different kinds of looks to your scenes. Now let's disable both of those previous lights and look at the Spotlight.

Spotlight is kind of an interesting. Let me just zoom out the magnification here. Spotlight looks literally just like a light you would have at a theater show. You can adjust, yes, the Color and the Intensity like everything else, the Falloff Start in the Falloff, yes, but the cone angle and the softness of the edge of the angle are really aware the power of the spotlight lies. See, if I bring the Cone Angle down, here I can just illuminate one specific area and if you wide in the Cone Angle, obviously you'll brighten everything else.

The Cone Angle can go from 0 to 90. Let's bring that back down to something a little more manageable, around 20, and if you soften the edge, that's just going to soften the transition. So if you want kind of a sunlight feel, I would use a spotlight, have a really soft edge on it, and then just adjust the color with a slight yellowy orangey tint, depending upon the time of day that you want to create. Notice there are no shadows here. You need to enable Shadows just by clicking this box here and then if you go under Show, notice we have the same options for Shadows here. I can adjust the Shadow Opacity as well as it's Softness just like with the Point Light, so Spot Lights and Point Lights have shadow capabilities.

Now with a light like this that's so yellow, you might want actually tint the shadow, so let's up the Saturation here and tint the shadow in kind of a burnt orange color. Now if we bring the Opacity up here, you can really kind of see that color that that's coming through. Now if we disable the Spotlight, the last light you want to check out is this light here, the Directional Light. If I rotate this light around so you can see it from the profile, notice it's just in open ended cylinder. Okay, it's kind of hard to see.

Let me rotate around here a little bit more. There we go. There you can see the open-ended points. All it's doing is casting light in a direction at 100% intensity forever. So it makes no difference if I pull this light way back away from the objects or even behind the objects, it doesn't matter; this light just shoots light in a direction and that's that. As I mentioned earlier, there are setting options for all of the different objects in the scene.

So once you actually start adding lights and blending them together, you can definitely create some different looks and some more natural feels. But to really start to pop things, you need to start getting into the settings for each of the objects in the scene and how they interpret lights. We will definitely jump into that in our next video.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 25562 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  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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