Join Damian Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video A first look at Motion, part of Final Cut Studio Overview.
Welcome to this getting started course for Apple's Motion 4. In the next few lessons, we'll get you up to speed on working with the fundamentals of designing ,otion graphics using this powerful software package. A huge part of the appeal of Motion is the freedom for experimentation that comes with its real-time design engine. So to get acquainted with Motion, we'll hold off the usual dry interface tour until the next lesson, and just do a little free-form experimentation right now. When you start Motion, you'll first see the Welcome screen with options to View Quick Tours, Tutorial materials, work with Templates, or Start a New Project.
To get started, we'll choose this last option, the default. And click Continue. Now it's time to choose a project setting. Several presets are available from popular formats or you can choose the Custom option at the base of the list, to create settings for less common formats. Here, let's choose a modest format to play with, DVCPRO HD 720p24. After clicking OK, the main interface will open. For those of you familiar with non- square pixels formats like DVCPRO HD, you'll notice that Motion has automatically stretched the display to the correct 16x9 aspect ratio.
If for some reason you want to view things pixel per pixel, choose View, and then deselect Correct for Aspect Ratio. Let's start by exploring particles. Now while you might think of particles as small specks of dust and the like, Motion's particle engine can actually create a vast number of effects from fire and smoke to psychedelic backgrounds. Click to the Library tab on the left, and then select Particle Emitters. From the sub-categories to the right, choose Pyro and then select Corona from the list below.
You will see a preview at the top of the Library. You can drag in the Preview window, to see how the effect looks animated. Click Apply to add the effect to your project. Now click the Play button at the base of the Canvas to begin previewing your project. Click the Play button again to pause at anytime. Now let's experiment with Motions keyframe with it's animation system called behaviors.
Click the Project button to open the Project pane. Select the Group at the top of the Layers list. The Group is a container for the Corona particle effect we added. It's kind of like a folder. Let's create an animation so that the Group moves up and to the right. Now because the Corona particle system belongs to the Group, moving the Group also moves the particles. Click Add Behavior, then choose Basic Motion > Throw. You should now see a circular control and a heads-up display or HUD.
Click the HUD button to show or hide the display. Let's click the Play button again to resume playback. Drag in the circular control window to choose a direction and speed for the throw. We'll only need a very modest adjustment to produce the move we are after. Remember, this is a real-time preview, so you may need to wait until the playhead loops around to see the full animation.
If you want to focus on just a section of the Timeline, drag the play range outpoint marker to the left. You'll find it in the lower-right corner. Here I'll set it to around 120 frames. Here you'll see that when the playhead reaches the marker, it loops back to the start. You can also move the play range in point if you want to begin the preview somewhere other than frame 1. Now a great feature of behaviors is that you can combine them to create extremely complex animations without creating a single keyframe.
Click Add Behavior again and this time choose Simulations > Gravity. Now as the Throw pushes the Corona up into the right, Gravity acts against it to pull it down. Let's wrap by taking a quick look at filters. Motion includes the same powerful effects plug filters available in Final Cut Pro and you can experiment easily with them in real-time. Click Add Filter > Glow > Dazzle.
Now the result is a little too much for the Corona effect that we're working with. So we'll increase the Threshold in the HUD to around about 95 or so. That means that only the very brightest pixels in the Corona will trigger the effect. Now we have a nice stylized enhancement to the image. Obviously, we have only scratched the surface here. If you select the Corona object and then click over to the Inspector tab and then choose say the Emitter tab here, chances are you'll be quite intimidated by what you see.
Don't panic though. You've just discovered one of the great strengths of Motion. Using the HUD, you can make very simple intuitive adjustments to your motion graphics. But when you're ready to fine-tune and go deeper with the software, there are plenty of controls in the Inspector to help you dial-in the exact look. Over the next few lessons, we'll cover everything you need to know to really start experimenting with Motion's features. To become expertly acquainted with all of the dials and sliders and what they do, be sure to checkout the Motion for Essential Training course, part of the lynda.com Online Training Library.
- Editing and compositing in Final Cut Pro 7
- Working in 3D space in Motion 4
- Sending a mix to Soundtrack Pro 3 for sweetening
- Encoding for the iPhone with Compressor 3.5
- Roundtripping a sequence to Color 1.5 for grading
- Burn Blu-ray discs of your Final Cut Pro sequences
- Adjusting the speed of a clip with the retiming tool in Final Cut Pro 7
- Building templates for Motion 4 in Final Cut Pro 7