Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding and adjusting behaviors, part of Motion 5 Essential Training.
So if you're new to animation or creating motion graphics, behaviors will make total sense and you may not completely understand what all the hype is about. But if you're coming to Motion from another application like After Effects, using behaviors might be rather liberating or quite possibly frustrating. See, if you're an After Effects artist, I'm just going to stop for a second and speak to you just for this one minute. I just want you to free your mind and stop thinking about animation in such a precise keyframe-driven manner. Just think about what it was like the first time you rode your bike.
Remember how great you felt just to ride? You didn't have to think about turning the handlebars or remembering to lean when you turn; you just turned. Well, that's what we are going to do with behaviors. You might want to think about behaviors more like expressions. Now that's my little note to After Effects users. Now let's go ahead and just jump into actually using behaviors, because like I said, those of you who are unfamiliar with motion graphics, using behaviors may be very natural. So I want to browse through some of the behaviors. So if you press Command+2, that will open up your Library and if you go to the Behaviors section here on the left, go ahead and select that, you can see we have all kinds of different behaviors.
So if you notice on the right side of the window here, we have audio behaviors, some Basic Motion. Well, let's look at some of the Basic Motion. You can control things like the fade-in and fade-out of an object. You can make objects grow or shrink. Motion Path, it's very much like just drawing a Bezier path and having that object move along the path. So as you can see, you know we can click through and check out each of these individual behaviors, but I just want you to understand how to use the Library and browse through a couple different behaviors before you actually start applying behaviors.
Now the behavior I want to start with is specifically designed to work with shapes. Remember how I was talking about how these shapes were built within Motion? Well, one of the things that I want to do, since these look like bubbles, I want them to sort of jiggle like a bubble would. This is one of the strongest features for behaviors, the ability to create organic motion. Let's go ahead and choose Randomize Shape and if you notice here, it randomly animates the control points of a shape over time.
So to apply this, since I already have the yellow circle selected, all we have to do is click the Apply button here in the top of the Library. Now that that behavior has been applied, you can see the four control points that were actually used to create the shape. Also, the random behavior actually appears underneath of my shape and it populates the Mini Timeline down here. So if we go ahead and make sure we have the Timeline selected, just by clicking anywhere over here, you can go ahead and press the spacebar and preview the animation.
I am just going to deselect the shape so we can hide all the edges here, just by clicking down in the lower section of the Layers panel. That's actually moving kind of quickly, so what I want to do is pause playback just for a quick second here and go back to my Inspector and reselect my behavior, if it's not already selected. You want to make sure in the Inspector to go to the Behaviors tab and in here I can actually control the amount of randomization as well as the frequency and the noisiness.
Now usually as I make adjustments to this behavior, I want the playback of Motion to continue. That's the main idea behind Motion. So I am going to go ahead and press the spacebar to begin playback and just adjust the Amount here for one second. So we can increase the Amount but bring the Frequency down so it doesn't wiggle quite as much, and then we can bring the Noisiness down, which again will kind of limit the amount of difference between the separate adjustments.
Now I am going to stop playback just for one second here and show you the Apply mode. Notice right now it's set to Add. What it's going to do is add an amount of 14 units to the position of the X or Y of any one of these points that make up the shape. If we choose a different Apply mode, such as Add and Subtract, it'll actually double the Amount, 14 one way, 14 the other way. So I just kind of wanted you to be aware of how that function actually worked. Now one of the cool things about behaviors is the fact that you can easily copy those behaviors from one object to the other.
Now right here in the Layers panel, if you go ahead and hold Option and click and drag, you can drag the same random behavior right down to the purple circle. Now if we press the spacebar to begin our playback, look what happens. Well, that's not very realistic; they're actually moving the exact same way. So I will just stop playback for a second here and go down here to this Random Seed button. Right there where it says Generate, click on that, and that generates a different Random Seed number, so the shape looks slightly different, but it will still wiggle around the same amount, the same frequency, et cetera, as long as you don't change those settings.
So I'll just deselect this behavior and watch playback again and as you can see, we've got some slightly different moves from one shape to the other. Now there is one more type of behavior I want you to be aware of, and that's actually called a parameter behavior. I love parameter behaviors because you can tie them to a specific parameter. Let me show you what I am talking about. This gray circle here in the center, let's say I just want the position of that to kind of move left and right on the X axis back and forth.
Well, with that circle selected, if you go to the Properties section of your Inspector, open up the Position disclosure triangle, and just Ctrl+Click or right-click on the X parameter and you should get this dropdown menu, and right here you should see Add Parameter behavior. Now since I want this to slide back and forth on the X axis, I will just choose Oscillate. Now this behavior is applied only to the X axis of this individual parameter, and you can see that down here under Apply To.
And if you wanted to change that, you could click this button and choose a different parameter or have it do X and Y, X, Y, Z, you get the general idea. Now, in order to preview this, you can go ahead and press the spacebar again and see exactly how that's moving. Now, I'm going to adjust the Amplitude down here quite a bit, so it's a little less long in terms of its moves back and forth across the screen, and let's just go ahead and stop playback there for a second. And I could definitely adjust the Speed or some of the other different parameters just by clicking and dragging in the Inspector.
So obviously, I could sit here and keep applying parameter behaviors and different things all day long, but I think you get the general idea of how to use behaviors, and as you can see, it's a very natural way to animate.
- Getting started with Motion and setting essential preferences
- Working with layers, groups, and blend modes
- Animating and adjusting behaviors
- Building custom presets to create a slideshow
- Keyframing animation
- Animating type along a path
- Creating credit rolls
- Understanding generators
- Adding reflections
- Controlling and animating cameras
- Creating depth of field in a composition
- Adjusting audio
- Exporting, sharing, and archiving a project