Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Motion interface, part of Motion 4 Essential Training.
This video is meant to get you familiar with the interface of Motion as a whole. So don't worry we'll get more in- depth as we move throughout the rest of videos in this chapter. But overall as you work in Motion you will find the Interface to be very unobtrusive and sleek. To understand just what that means lets explore the interface as we analyze the inter workings of a typical Motion project. Launch Motion and go up to the File pulldown menu and choose Open, navigate your Exercise Files folder and choose Chapter_ 01 and open the 01_02 Understanding the Interface Motion Project.
Go ahead and click Open, now if you are joining me from the last video and you still have the Untitled project open, navigate to the Window pulldown menu and choose the Untitled Projects and go ahead and close that out with the Close button at the upper left of your canvas. It's always a good idea to just be working in one or two projects in Motion, so throughout this course I'll just practice that theory and basically only work with one project open. So now with our project open, let's analyze the Interface and you will notice Motions divided up into two main sections.
Utility window on the left-hand side and the Canvas window on the right-hand side. In the Utility window you will notice it's divided up into three tabs. The File Browser, which works very much just like the Finder where you can navigate through your hard drive and find files to import into your Motion project. The Library pane, similar to the File Browser but instead of looking at files on your hard drive, this is well a library of all the possibilities available to you in Motion, from the filters to text to prebuilt graphic animations and elements.
The next tab is the Inspector, and this has so many options. It was divided into four sub-category tabs but basically the Inspector is where you can not only see but also manipulate the settings of all the elements in using your Motion project. So let's move over to the Canvas. This is your main work area in Motion where you can view and layout your project. So navigate to the bottom of your canvas and you will see the transport controls where you can control playback of your project. Go ahead and click the center button, which is the Play button, and you will notice the project start to play.
You see this line moving down at the bottom that's actually your playhead. So as your playhead gets towards the end of your project, go ahead and click the Play button again noticing that it actually toggles between Play and Pause. Now that we can see what our project looks like, let's explore the panels hidden within the Canvas. Much like the Utility window the Canvas is also divided into sections. Come up to the top of your Canvas to the toolbar and open the Project pane by clicking the Project button. You can also open this by pressing F5 on your keyboard.
You will notice the Project pane is divided up into three sections: Layers, Media and Audio. The Layers tab functions a lot like layers in the Photoshop document, whereas the layers control the hierarchy of all the elements within your Motion project. The Media tab is where all of the elements in using your Motion project live once they are imported. The Audio tab is where the audio lives in your project, and you will notice this project actually doesn't have any audio. Navigate backup to your toolbar and look for the Timing button.
Now, on my screen I can't see it so I have to click on these double arrows and choose the Timing button and now you will notice the Timing pane open. You can also open the Timing pane by hitting F6. The Timing pane is where you can edit the timing of any element in your project from your video and graphic files to your filters, behaviors and keyframes. And yes, notice the Timing pane is also divided up into three tabs as well for more control over the timing of your keyframes within the Keyframe Editor as well as the timing if your audio within the Audio Editor.
Now, I realize you might be feeling a little overwhelm round right now, so let me show you a pretty cool tip about the keyboard shortcuts for the Interface in Motion. Basically if you can count to nine, you are good to go. So follow along with me for one second, hold down the Command key on your keyboard and then press the number one and you will notice the File Browser is now active. Holding down the Command key, if I hit Command+2, that will open the Library tab. Now, if you hit the same key twice in a row you will notice that tab will toggle its visibility on and off.
So let's go ahead and hit these keys in succession, Command+1 through Command+9. So Command+1 for the File Browser, 2 is the Library, 3 is the Inspector. You get the idea as you continue clicking each one holding down the Command key, you will open up each individual tab within the Motion Interface. So just remember even if you are not quite sure where to go in Motion to change something you can always take Command with one through to nine and hopefully that will jog your memory.
- Understanding the toolbar and setting the essential preferences to get started
- Adding .mov files, still images, and Photoshop and Illustrator assets to a project
- Animating with behaviors and keyframes
- Creating 3D animations with lighting accents, shadows, and reflections
- Creating simple and complex particle systems
- Creating real viewer interest with Focus Behavior and the 3D Camera Framing behavior
Skill Level Beginner
Q: In Motion 4, is it possible to create an intro with multiple pictures, where some pictures enter from the left side and some from the right side of the frame, with all fading as they approach the center of the canvas?
A: The effect described is a very specific move utilizing 3D space. One effective method is to work in true 3D space, instead of trying to use a behavior, by keyframing the animation. Try these steps:
- Place a camera in the scene and switch the scene to 3D.
- Rotate the first image to an angle that achieves the desired effect, and slide it on the X axis until it is out of the scene on the right of the stage.
- Turn on Auto Keyframing and make sure a keyframe is recorded for the rotation and position.
- Move the playhead down the Timeline and move the picture to it's ending point and adjust the rotation a little for the end.
- To get the image to disappear, adjust the camera's far plane of view, making sure to soften it so it has a smooth transition into oblivion.
Then simply duplicate the picture and change the rotation and position keyframes to the exact opposite values for rotation and position.
Q: When attempting to change views as the instructor demonstrates in the “Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts” video, I only see the text in the Perspective view. When the instructor uses the Top and Bottom screen split, and uses the Top view, my screen does not show the four horizontal lines that represent the four words used in the tutorial.
Are there settings that need to be changes in order to view all the objects as demonstrated in the tutorial?
A: It’s possible that when viewing the project from different?angles, the letters may be sliding way out of the view area.
Here’s how to fix it: Whenever you can't see your objects in the?scene, select at least one of them in the Layers panel and then press?F or Command+F to frame the selected objects in the scene.