… for Apple Motion

Tip #341: Uses for Emoji in Motion

Emojis add interest to any title and greater clarity to labels.

The emoji panel in Apple Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

You may have missed the memo, I certainly did, but we can now add emojis in any field that accepts text; including layer labels! Here’s how.

  • In Motion, open any object that allows you to type text. For example, titles, layer labels, even some parameter names.
  • Type Control + Cmd + Spacebar. This displays the emoji panel.
  • Double-click any emoji icon to add it to the text field.

Now that I’ve discovered how this works, I’m adding emojis everywhere!

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Apple Motion

Tip #376: Use Walk 3D View to Position Cameras

Walk 3D offers a more intuitive way to position a camera.

The Walk 3D View control in Apple Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

This first appeared in an Apple KnowledgeBase article.

The Walk 3D View tool lets you position a camera in 3D space as you would in a computer game, using a keyboard-and-mouse navigation method.

  • In Motion, select a camera, click and hold the view tools pop-up menu in the canvas toolbar, then choose Walk 3D View. The pointer changes to indicate that the Walk 3D View tool is active.
  • Use the Up, Down, Right, or Left Arrow keys to move the camera in 3D space; press and hold the Option key while using the arrow keys to move the camera more slowly. You can also drag in the canvas to orient the camera.

NOTE: The Walk 3D View tool is available only when Active Camera, Camera, or Perspective is selected from the Camera pop-up menu.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #377: The Record Button Easily Adds Keyframes

The Record Button simplifies adding keyframes to projects.

The Record Button in “add keyframe” mode.

Topic $TipTopic

This first appeared in an Apple KnowledgeBase article. There are two ways to apply keyframes in Motion: Automatically and manually. Here’s the automatic method – using the Record button.

Turn on the Record button (Shortcut: A), located at the bottom left of the Viewer, to create a new keyframe whenever you adjust any parameter. This method is useful when you want to create keyframes for multiple parameters in your project.

Here are the steps:

1. In Motion, do one of one following:

  • Click the Record button on the left side of the timing toolbar.
  • Press A.
  • Choose Mark > Record Animation.
    The Record button is highlighted.

2. Select an object in the canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.

3. Drag the playhead to a new position in time.

4. Modify one or more parameters by doing any of the following:

  • Use the onscreen controls to move, scale, or manipulate objects.
  • Use the controls in the Inspector or HUD to move, scale or manipulate objects

Keyframes are added at the current playhead position for any parameters you modified.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add additional keyframes.

NOTE: As long as the Record button is enabled, any parameter modifications your make in your project are recorded as new keyframes. In the Inspector, all modifiable parameters are highlighted red to remind you that parameter changes are being recorded as keyframes.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #288: How to Do a Match Frame Edit

Match frame edits are a very fast way to find the source clip.

The Premiere Pro CC Source Monitor.
A Match Frame edit loaded into the Source Monitor, matching the In, Out and playhead.

Topic $TipTopic

Let’s say you are editing the video of a clip into the timeline, only to realize, later in your edit, that you also needed the audio. How do you fix this quickly?

The answer is a Match Frame edit.

  • In the timeline, put your playhead in the clip you want to locate and type F.

This opens the source clip into the Source Monitor, matching the position of the In, Out and playhead of the clip in the Timeline.

From there you can edit whatever you need back into the Timeline.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #325: Add a Widget and Parameter in One Step

Rigs and Widgets are used to create templates in Motion for Final Cut Pro X.

Access this menu by clicking the downward pointing arrow next to any parameter, like Scale.

Topic $TipTopic

This was first reported in an Apple KnowledgeBase article.

Rigging is the process of creating effect controls in Motion that can be used in Final Cut. Normally, you create a rig, then add a widget (effect control), then add one or more snapshots (settings for the widget).

A rig in Motion has no effect until it contains a widget with assigned snapshots (parameter states).

As an alternative to creating a widget using the buttons in the Rig Inspector, you can create a rig and a widget and then apply a parameter to the widget in a single step.
In Motion, do one of the following:

  • In the Inspector, click a parameter’s Animation menu (the down arrow that appears when you position the pointer over the right side of a parameter row), choose Add To Rig, choose a rig, then choose a widget type from the submenu.
  • Drag a parameter row from any Inspector pane to a rig object in the Layers list.

    Dropping the parameter row immediately on the rig object creates a slider widget. Pausing briefly causes a drop menu to appear, allowing you to select the widget type you want to create.

A new widget appears in the Layers list, under its parent rig. In the Widget Inspector, the parameter you chose appears under the Edit Mode button, ready for snapshot assignment.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #343: Move Motion Assets to a Different Computer

Copy a Motion project file to another computer.

Collect media options in Apple Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

This first appeared as an Apple KnowledgeBase article.

To move a Motion project file to another computer, you must also move all media that the project uses, including all QuickTime, still image, and audio files. In addition, any third-party Motion plug-ins or nonstandard fonts used in the project must be installed on the new computer, or they’ll be unavailable to your project.

Similarly, when you finish a project and want to archive it, it’s a good idea to archive the project file and all media, graphics, fonts, custom behaviors, filters, and third-party add-ons used in the project. If you need to restore the project for later revisions, you’ll have everything you need to get started quickly.

  1. In Motion, save the project file using File > Save as, then choose the Collect Media option and collect all project media into a folder.
  2. Copy the folder containing the saved project file and all media used in the project to another computer or location.

As you can see in this screen shot, archived projects can be saved anywhere.

NOTE: If you move a project to another computer without selecting the Collect Media option, media can go offline (even if you’ve manually moved the media files) due to broken links.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #344: Copy a Motion Preset to Another Computer

Presets are easy to move from one computer to the next.

Motion presets are stored in the Library, not the Movies folder.

Topic $TipTopic

This first appeared as an Apple KnowledgeBase article.

Each custom project preset you create (such as Broadcast HD 720) is saved as a separate file in your computer’s /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Presets/ folder. If you create custom presets that you rely on, you can move them to other computers that have Motion installed.

  • In the Finder, open your custom preset files stored in: [ Home directory ]/Library/Application Support/Motion/Presets/.
  • Copy a custom preset file (which has a .preset filename extension) to the new computer and store it in: [ Home directory ]/Library/Application Support/Motion/Presets/.

NOTE: If the Library folder is hidden, switch to the Finder, press and hold the Option key, then choose Go > Library.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #330: What’s a Parameter Behavior?

Animated settings, not just elements.

Settings for the Randomize parameter behavior applied to a color chip.

Topic $TipTopic

Parameter behaviors are a very intriguing part of Motion that allow you to animate a setting, not just an element. For example, rather than oscillate an object so it changes position randomly, you can randomize the colors applied to an element.

These provide unlimited creative potential and the best way to see what they can do is to play with them. While this effect can be applied to anything, including video clips, let’s keep this simple.

  • Create a new Motion project.
  • From Library > Shapes, drag a shape into the Viewer. (I used the Club Suit shape.)
  • Select the shape in the Layers panel.
  • Apply Filters > Color > Colorize to the selected shape. This changes the color of the shape based upon the color settings of Remap White to.
  • In Inspector > Filters, hover your mouse over Remap White to and look to the right side of the line. There will be a small downward pointing arrow. Click it.
  • From the pop-up menu, select Add Parameter Behavior > Randomize. This randomizes the colors of this filter.
  • Then, using the settings in this screen shot, slow everything down to prevent visual whiplash.

Now that you know how this technique works, experiment with other settings and other parameters.

NOTE: I show how to apply a parameter behavior to a behavior in Tip #326.


To remove a setting, simply select it in the Layers panel and delete it.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #315: Use the Snap Alignment Behavior in Motion

Keeps moving objects pointing in the direction of their movement.

The Behavior Inspector in Apple Motion.
Three motion behaviors applied to a moving object: Throw, Orbit Around & Snap Alignment to Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

The purpose of the “Snap Alignment to Motion” behavior is to keep moving objects, like arrows, pointing in the direction of their movement, regardless of how their position changes.

Here’s how this works.

  • Create an object, then apply behaviors to get it moving.

NOTE: In my case, I created an arrow, then applied a Throw behavior to get it to move, then Orbit Around to get it to circle another object.

  • Once you have the motion applied the way you want, apply Behaviors > Basic Motion > Snap Alignment to Motion.

Now, when you play the timeline, the arrow – or your object – should now point in the direction it moves.


If your object, like mine, is stubbornly pointing 90° away from its line of motion, change the Axis setting from Horizontal to Vertical. Now, the object will track properly.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #326: Animate a Shape Using Behaviors

Parameter Behaviors can be applied to any setting to create much more interesting movement.

The Oscillate parameter behavior settings applied to Noisiness in the Randomize behavior.

Topic $TipTopic

In another tip (#330), we learned how to apply a Parameter Behavior to a filter. In this tip, we’ll learn how to apply a parameter behavior to another behavior; and, along the way, we’ll create our own version of a friendly ghost. Here’s how.

  • Create a new Motion project.
  • From Library > Shapes, drag a shape into the Viewer. (I used the Club Suit shape.)
  • Select the shape in the Layers panel.
  • Apply Behaviors > Shape > Randomize. This causes the shape to wiggle. To make it more amorphously ghost-like, match my settings in the lower half of the screen shot.
  • Next, hover your mouse over Noisiness and click the small downward-pointing arrow on the right.
  • From the menu, select Oscillate. This causes the values in Noisiness to change over time.
  • Again, match my settings in the top half of the screen shot. Notice the different results you get by changing the wave shape.

NOTE: To remove a setting, select it in the Layers panel and delete it.


To make this shape more “ghosty,” I also:

  • Changed Properties > Opacity to 25%
  • Changed the color to light blue using Filters > Color > Colorize
  • Softened the edges using Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur

Have fun playing.