How to Use the Record Button in Motion 5
Using the Record button
Be aware, I am warning you now, using the Record button in Motion can be addicting, and it's sometimes actually a little dangerous. I know it sounds ridiculous, but if you don't pay attention what you're doing, you could end up with keyframes all over the place and one heck of a strange animation on your hands. So when you go to actually use the Record button in Motion, first thing I want you to do is determine whether you are a Final Cut editor or a Motion designer. The reason I'm saying that in Motion the A key is mapped to your Record button, and sometimes as a Final Cut editor, that can be a little bit annoying because A will bring up your Selection tool.
In Motion, A brings the Record button up. Now I'm going to go ahead and leave that set up that way, but if you're a Final Cut editor, you can change the keyboard settings. Just go back to that video in the Getting Started chapter and you'll see how to change those settings, but for now, let's move on. I pressed A to turn on my automatic keyframing, so that's how I remember it: A for the automatic keyframing. Now if you go to the Inspector, you can animate any of the properties that are currently populating that screen, and the only way to get properties is to actually select something.
So I'm going to press F5 and select this large circle. Now I want you to notice that all the different parameters that I can keyframe currently are colored red. That's letting me know that anytime I adjust any one of these parameters, a keyframe is automatically going to be added. So if I want to scale up this circle over time, if I press A, it'll turn on automatic keyframing, and now I can just adjust the overall scale by double-clicking on the value and just type zero, and notice I've automatically set my first keyframe.
Now, I'll just move my playhead forwards, okay, 34 frames. Just move it down the Timeline; the frame doesn't necessarily matter right now. I'm going to go and add a second keyframe here, and let's do 120, and I'll move the playhead down just a little bit more and change that 100. The reason I added three keyframes, I want this circle to pop onto the scene and to accentuate that move, I went ahead and added three keyframes so it kind of popped pass the value that we want and then ended on a value.
Now to see the actual values of the keyframes over time, again press F6 to open up your Timing panel and Command+8 to open up your Keyframe Editor. To reframe the keyframes, just double- click the magnifying glass here, and you'll see here are my last two keyframes, and again the first keyframe is just kind of a half keyframe, so you're just going have to trust me that it's actually there. If you want to see keyframes in the Timeline, you can actually turn that on just by clicking this button up here.
So here, now I can see really quickly that I have three keyframes. You're thinking to yourself, wow, you know the automatic keyframe button, pretty cool. Yeah, it's great when you remember that it's on, but if I just left this on and continued working throughout the project, anytime I changed any other parameter on any other object, I would create a keyframe. So let's say I just, I don't know, moved this sphere just to see you know what it look like maybe over on this side, and then let's say I grab this yellow sphere here and moved it over there.
Now, one of the nice things I really like about this latest version of Motion is the fact that I can very clearly see that I'm adding keyframes through these large arrow-type pop-ups that happen. These are the different keyframes showing me I have a keyframe at the start, and then I have a second keyframe here. But regardless, I am randomly adding keyframes all over the place, and I don't necessarily want to do that, so I'm just going to press A to turn that off. And if you press the Home button, move your playhead back to the beginning, and if we preview our animation, you can see the large circle popped up, but then I still have this random set of animations that's happened because of leaving the automatic keyframing on.
Now when things like this happen, there is a way to fix it. Obviously, I could Command+Z to undo what I just did, or I could select the individual object and notice that I've positioned keyframes set up here. I could click on this pulldown menu and when that pops up I can just say Reset Parameter, and notice it automatically placed that sphere right back at the default setting of 0, 0, which is the origin of the composition. So I can move this back over here and then do kind of the same thing with this purple circle. Let's go ahead and reset that parameter, and I'll move that back over to this side. There we go.
Now if I want to preview this animation I can go ahead and check it out, and there you can see what's going on. Now one last thing. I'm going to show you a great, fast, and easy way that you can wrangle in control of the Automatic Keyframe button. If you double-click the button, you'll actually get the recording options, and the two things you want to look at are these two options down here. Don't record keyframes during playback, this way you can accidentally add any random keyframes. Even if automatic keyframing is selected, it won't record any keyframes as the project is playing back, and the second one, which is what I find most helpful, is Record keyframes on animated parameters only.
See, what this does is it requires you to actually cognitively add your first keyframe by selecting the parameter, and clicking on it in the Inspector to create your first keyframe. Then any other time you go back to that parameter if the playhead is at a different point in time, it'll add another keyframe. For those of you After Effects artists, this is probably how you're very familiar with working. Once an initial keyframe has been set, you can automatically add keyframes for that parameter, again, based on whether or not the playhead is currently in that position.
Using the Automatic Keyframing button can actually be a very rewarding experience as long as you pay attention to some of the different recording options, so you can kind of wrangle things in.
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