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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.
Animating type on a path is just another way to add a little bit more control into your scene. Now the dance group that we've been creating all these graphics for, their name is Everybody Dance Now, and what we're going to do is actually create a transitional graphic element that we could layer in within Final Cut, but in order to create that, I need to actually add some animated type within this transition. As you can see, I've already got a type layer set up here, and you may notice I have a camera, and these layers are 3D. And I'm not really going to get hardcore into the 3D right now, but I just wanted to draw that to your attention, and for now, what I want to do is have the words Everybody Dance Now repeat multiple times so as it flows through the scene, it creates this kind of a seamless graphic element that repeats the words that you see.
So to get started, let's select our Type layer and open the Inspector. In the Text section, under the Inspector, I want you to go to Format and scroll down to the bottom. Check this out, there's a field for text in here. So even though I only have one line of text, I can actually repeat this text numerous times just by highlighting it, in the text field copying it, I'm just going to create a space and paste, Command+V, space, Command+V, space, Command+V. I don't necessarily have to go crazy with that. Let me stop playback there. I accidentally hit the spacebar, sorry about that. But notice once I've created all those copies, now I've got this nice long text element that is moving through the scene.
Again, we're going to be using this text line as more of a graphic transition just to reinforce the title of the group. It would be fun to make this text flow a little bit more like these lines here in the background and to do that, we'll create path text. Now one of the things I love about creating path text in Motion is the fact that you don't necessarily have to draw a custom path. All you have to do is go to Text section and under Layout there's a Layout Method and by default it's set up to Type or Paragraphs. What we want to choose is Path.
When you choose Path, it automatically puts a Bezier path underneath the type. Now you can't see that until you actually grab the Type tool and click within the Type layer. Now, I can actually see that path, and here's one of the anchor points, so I'm just going to zoom out, Command+Minus to zoom out in the scene, and you can see as I zoom layout, when you convert Type to Path Type, it automatically creates three points for the path. Now one of the nice things, I can easily just adjust the curve of this path just by clicking on that point and dragging up.
That's a little large of a swoop. What I want to do is add a couple of different ones to the line. In order to do that, if you hold down Option as you hover over the path, you'll see this plus button. When I click here I've just added a new point. Let's do the same thing on the other side between the right two points. Okay now I can select one, and I'm just hovering my mouse over the points and it's automatically changed the Move tool. And I can Shift+Select too and now with both points selected, I can click and drag up.
Now I've quickly and easily created the wave that I can have the type animate along. If you want to adjust the handle for the first or the last point, if you hold down Command and drag out from a point, that will allow you to change that curve. So Command and drag out, that will pull out your Bezier handles. Now for some reason--let me zoom in here so you can see things a little better-- if you decide that you don't want this nice smooth path, what you can do is Ctrl+Click right on the path itself and choose Linear. That'll give you a hard break to the curve.
So to undo that I'm just going to Ctrl+Click on that and change it back to Smooth. If you want to control one side or the other, you need to Ctrl+Click on either one of the handles and choose Break Handle. That way once I've done that, I can click on one side and make an adjustment. Now that's not what I'm looking for, but as you can see, it's pretty easy to go back and change. I can just change it to Linear. I'll go back here, choose Smooth, and now we're set back to our original smooth curve.
This is all well and good if you want to work with in the path that automatically gets created when you choose Path under your Layout controls, but what happens when you have a custom path? Well, it's pretty easy to deal with. Let's create a custom path here first. So I'm just going to grab my Selection tool just so I can deselect the Type layer, and with my Bezier tool, I'll just click in my Canvas here and click and drag on a second point, and I'll click and drag on another point and click and drag on another point.
So you can see I've created this rather custom-looking path. Now I know since the length of the type is so extraordinarily long, I might want to lengthen these points. So I can just grab my Transform tool again and once I select that, notice the Bezier path automatically tries to fill itself. So let's fix that by just deselecting Fill under the Shape Style, and we'll leave it set up to Outline. I do like to leave a brushstroke on my path just so I know exactly what's going on as I'm making my adjustments.
If you switch back to the Edit Points tool, here I can move the individual points just by clicking on them and I can create an actual custom move or custom path that's a little bit longer. Let me zoom out, Command+Minus, and you can check this out. Now though we have this set up the way that we want, we just need to take the type off of its current path and apply it to this path. The easiest way to do that is select the path layer. Now under layout method, if you look at Path, notice I have Scroll and Crawl.
There really aren't that many other options. So what we need to do is scroll down under the Layout options here, and you'll notice we have path options. So by default it was set up for Open Spline, but check this out. There is this option for geometry. The easiest way to think of that is custom. Once you choose Geometry, it gives you a nice Shape Source drop well that you could then in turn drag your custom shape right into the drop well.
Now once I do that, the type is flowing right along the path. Don't freak out if it actually flips over or anything like that. The direction you draw the path will also determine how the type orients along the path. You can usually fix this by toggling some of the other options, like Inside Path. Now it's automatically choosing the inside of this path. Now if don't want to see the actual path in the scene, I can turn off the Visibility and it's still going to reference the position of this path.
Now the other cool thing, I could layer some behaviors onto this Path using different shade behaviors or a brush behaviors, but I don't want to do that. I'll just leave this alone for right now. To create a simple animation, under Text Format you can adjust under Advanced Formatting the offset of the type. As I scrub up and down on the X axis, you'll notice the type flows nicely and evenly right across the custom Bezier path that we've created.
So when it comes to creating animations using path type, notice you can create a level of animation that gives you a whole bunch of more control.
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