Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating the Canvas, part of Motion 3 Essential Training.
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Now the Canvas is really where the magic happens in Motion. Motion was really designed, so you don't have to use your Timeline all the time. And Apple really wants you to do things visually, so let's check it out. If don't already have it open, run the 03_Canvas project, and we are going to go through the Canvas working from the top down. Canvas is on the right side of Motion, and in the upper left here, we have a bunch of tools that will allow you to select and manipulate objects in your Canvas. The next other tools allow you to create things from squares to circles, to lines, to custom shape or Paintbrush strokes or text.
Masking, we will get to in a second but basically it allows you to cut things up, and these options right here will allow you to add filters or different parameters to your objects to create animations or different looks for things. These options on the right are buttons to open up different sections of the Interface, just in case you forget some of those key commands. The pull downs here are just how the Canvas looks. For example, the magnification or the resolution you are working at.
One of the things I want you to know are the View options. Now, the first thing most people ask questions about is the Render quality. You don't have to be working at Best quality all the time because you can change these options when you go to export your project. Typically, I work at Draft resolution because it's less tasking on the computer. And since we are working in 24p, you don't need Field Rendering checked. So make sure that's unchecked. The next big section of the Canvas is the Canvas itself, and I have a couple of key commands that are used to navigate around the Canvas.
The first one is Space+Cmd and that will open up the magnifying glass. So now if I click-and-drag in a specific area, it will magnify where I started that click-and-drag. Make sure to hit Space and then Command as opposed to Cmd+Space, because that will open your Spotlight and we don't want to that. Another key command I use often to navigate the Canvas is the spacebar. This will bring up your Hand tool and allow you to drag around the Canvas without actually moving any of the objects on your Canvas.
And the last one is Shift+Z. I use this almost instinctively, this will resize your scene to fit in your Canvas. So let's look at the bottom down here. We have our mini Timeline. That basically allows you to adjust the timing for whatever object you have selected. This is how I trim and slide objects within Motion about 90% of the time. I very rarely ever have to open up the Timing pane. This next section here is the Transport controls, which control playback of your project.
On the lower left I can use this to actually control where my playhead is. If I just click in this field, I can type a number, let's say 3 seconds, 300 for 3 seconds and when I hit Enter, the playhead will automatically jump to that specific section. I can also click directly on the playhead and scrub through my project as well and you will notice, it updates exactly where I am. If use these arrows it will move the playhead in single frame increments. Now this stopwatch will adjust how this is being measured whether it's being measured in time code or in actual frame numbers themselves.
This window over here to the right functions in a similar fashion, but this is actually the entire duration of your project. So if you click in here and change the number, let's say to 20, now my project will be 20 seconds. Now this little arrow with the flat side right next to it is the playback range and the way that works. When I go ahead and hit Play in my project, when the playhead gets to the end of my playback range, it will start back at the beginning, because I have my Loop options checked here.
That's really kind of important because as we are using Motion, you want to be able to change your play range just by dragging around and that way Motion will only loop on a specific section that you are working with. So the one pane that's hidden that I do work with on a very regular basis is the Project pane. So hit F5 to open your Project pane, that's divided up into Layers, Media and Audio. For now we are going to focus on Layers. Layers are made up of Groups. So Groups contain Layers and Layers contain Objects.
Whenever you drag something into your Canvas, for example, this text, whenever it was added to this Canvas, it automatically created its own Layer. You can also select things like Behaviors, or if you have Filters you can select those as well. So the Layers tab works in a similar fashion to Photoshop from the standpoint of visibility. Whatever is on top will be on top of my Canvas, whatever is on bottom will be hidden based on what's tagged on top of it. And wisely these check boxes determine the visibility of that group or that specific layer itself.
So I know we have covered a lot of information in a very short time, but I wanted to give a basic overview of some of the different aspects of the Canvas, because as we move throughout this course, we will get more in depth and I want you to be somewhat familiar with where these things are. So we are going to pick up in the next movie with the Timing pane.
- Adding assets to the Library Working with layers and groups Applying single or multiple behaviors Manipulating keyframes Animating text Applying and adjusting filters Understanding different types of keying Using masks and shapes Generating a background or transition with generators Replicating an object or video file with replicators Understanding paint Using lights and cameras Retiming footage using behaviors and the Inspector Tracking motion with Match Move