… for Apple Motion

Tip #653: Adjust Keyframe Landing Speed

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Ease In/Out Behavior can be changed in the Keyframe Editor

Control click any keyframe in the Keyframe timeline to display timing options.

Topic $TipTopic

Normally, keyframes move at a linear rate. However, this can be altered. Here’s what you need to know.

To adjust the speed with which animation approaches or leaves a keyframe:

  • Display the Keyframe Editor (Window > Keyframe Editor)
  • Control-click any keyframe and choose:
  • Ease In to slow animation as it approaches a keyframe.
  • Ease Out to accelerate from a keyframe
  • Ease Both to slow as animation approaches a keyframe and accelerate animation as it leaves it.

For additional control, experiment with the options in the Interpolation menu.

NOTE: Keyframes must be applied before they can be modified.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #643: Change the Default Settings of an Effect

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The rigging, elements and effects in the Aged Paper effect, displayed in Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

Virtually all the effects in Final Cut Pro X were first created in Motion and saved as a template for Final Cut Pro X. This means that, in many cases, if you don’t like the default settings, they are easy to change.

For example, these are the settings for Aged Paper. You can change the look itself by adjusting elements on each layer.

However, if all you need is to adjust a default setting:

  • Twirl down Rig.
  • Select one of the widgets, like Mask Size.
  • Go to Inspector > Widget and adjust the settings to suit.
  • Save the file, give it a name that reflects your changes and save it in a category that makes sense to you.

Done.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #648: Keyframe a 3D Move

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Once you set a keyframe, whenever you change a parameter, a new keyframe is set.

Position and rotation keyframes are set in Inspector > Properties for the selected element.

Topic $TipTopic

Behaviors make it easy to animate text. But, many times, the behavior is just too manic – especially for 3D text. In those situations, keyframes are a better choice. Here’s a quick technique.

Keyframes are set in the Inspector. You can use the Record Keyframe control (the big red circle below the Viewer) but, I find that sets too many keyframes which makes editing harder.

Instead, to animate position or rotation:

  • Position and rotate the element to its starting position.
  • Position the playhead in the mini-timeline where you want to set the first keyframe.
  • Go to Inspector > Properties.
  • Twirl down Position and Rotation to review additional X, Y, and Z axis controls.
  • NOTE: I find Y-axis rotation to be the most effective way to display 3D text.

  • Click one of the gray gray diamonds. Gray diamonds indicate frames without a keyframe. Gold diamonds indlcate a rame with keyframes.
  • Change the position of the playhead (FIRST!) then reposition the element. New keyframes are created automatically.
  • Repeat until the move is complete.

EXTRA CREDIT

  • Move between keyframes by clicking the left / right arrows in the Properties panel.
  • To change a keyframe, position the playhead on the frame you want to change, then reposition the element. Keyframes are modified automatically.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #620: Clone vs. Copy in Apple Motion

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Clones simplify syncing style changes.

Control-click any layer and choose Make Clone Layer.

Topic $TipTopic

I just discovered clones in Motion recently. Clones are an easy way to make multiple elements all look the same and change their look in sync with each other.

Create an element and make of copy of it. These become independent elements. When you change the color of one, it doesn’t affect the other.

Clones, though, are different. Clones are EXACT style and geometry replicas of the original. While you can apply different effects and transform settings to each, all the options in Inspector > Shape disappear for a clone.

When you change any of the Style or Geometry settings of the master, they are instantly reflected in the clone. And you can’t change the color or geometry of a clone – the options themselves don’t exist.

The more you play with this, the more ways you’ll find to use it.

EXTRA CREDIT

To create a clone, control-click an element in the Layer panel and choose Make Clone Layer (shortcut:K).


… for Apple Motion

Tip #627: Use Replicators for Repeating Effects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Replicators duplicate and animate objects.

Replicator controls, along with keyframes for Offset.

Topic $TipTopic

This is a tip where I’m giving you a recipe, but you will need to figure out the ingredients.

Replicators are a little-used behavior in Motion. Replicators take elements, which could be anything from a simple line to a logo, duplicate it and, depending upon the settings you apply, animate it.

You can see examples of these in Library > Replicators.

However, you can also create your own:

  • Import a logo or use elements from the Library.
  • Click the Replicate button in the top right of the Motion interface.
  • Go to Inspector > Replicator and play with the Replicator Controls.
  • One way to animate this is to apply two keyframes to Offset. Put the first keyframe at the start of the project and the last keyframe on the last frame of the project. If the Offset amount is a multiple of 100%, the animation will seamlessly loop as the project repeats.
  • For other animation, apply Behaviors > Replicator > Sequence Replicator.

The controls are simple – but, depending upon what you are replicating, the results could be very interesting!


… for Apple Motion

Tip #628: Cool, Pre-Built 3D Lighting Effects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Lights can create very interesting backgrounds – especially with particles.

The Diagonal Left lighting setup, colored with blue and red lights and one light converted to Spot.

Topic $TipTopic

Motion has extensive lights and lighting controls available within the app. In fact, they are one of the few elements in Motion that fully exist in 3D space. But, while powerful, they also require an understanding of 3D space, which is confusing to many.

Here’s a way to get started with 3D lights, without causing your brain to explode.

In this example, we’ll apply lights to a particle cloud.

  • Create a new project.
  • Drag Library > Particle Emitters > Smoke > Rising Smoke into the center of the Viewer.
  • Click the 3D icon just to the left of the lock icon in the Layer’s panel to convert the layer from 3D to 3D.
  • Go to Object > New Light Setup and apply any set of lights you like.
  • Select any light in the Layers panel, go to Inspector > Light and change its color, or type, or, anything. Watch what happens.

The particle system provides a cloud that picks up every light. Play and see what you discover.

EXTRA CREDIT

Each light can be animated for movement, color and direction. This is a great way to create a background for an infographic.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #604: Fill Elements Fast in Motion

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Fill adds color or gradients to any selected element.

The original shape is on top, the filled gradient is on the bottom.

Topic $TipTopic

The Fill filter replaces an element in Motion with either a solid color or gradient. To use it:

  • Import or add any element that has an alpha channel (transparency). In this screen shot, I used a gadget called “Atom 01.”
  • Add Filters > Stylize > Fill
  • Go to Inspector > Filters and switch Color to Gradient, then pick your style or color range. In the screen shot, this is the Candy Corn style.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the YouTube video this article was based on.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #605: Add Motion Blur to Animation

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Smooth animation and reinforce movement with Motion Blur.

In Inspector > Properties for a Project set Samples and Shutter Angle.

Topic $TipTopic

Motion Blur smoothes animation and reinforces the illusion that an object is moving. Once your animation is complete, here’s what you need to do.

  • Select the project at the top of the Layers panel.
  • In Inspector > Properties set Samples to 16 and Shutter Angle to 180°
  • Finally, at the top right corner of the Viewer, in the Render menu, turn Motion Blur on.

NOTES

  • Increasing the shutter angle increases the amount of the blur.
  • Increasing the samples increases the quality of the motion blur, but also increases render time.

You won’t be able to play this in realtime unless you render the project, or export it and play the resulting movie.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the YouTube video this article was based on.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #606: Motion: Password Protect Still Frame Exports

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Secure PDFs are far smaller than media stills and excellent for emailing.

Select Save as PDF from the Print menu to create a secure PDF of a still frame.

Topic $TipTopic

It’s easy to export a still frame of a project using File > Share > Save Current Frame. But… what if you need to password protect that still frame so that only the people who need to see it can see it?

Simple. Watch.

What we are going to do is print a PDF of the current frame.

  • Choose File > Page Setup to set the page size.
  • Choose File > Print to print the current frame under the playhead.
  • In the Print window, choose Save as PDF from the PDF menu.
  • In the PDF window, click Security Options.
  • In the Security Options window, enable the level of security you need, then assign a password.
  • Click OK to accept all settings.
  • Give the file a name and storage location and click Save.

Done.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #607: Autodesk Flame & Smoke Shortcuts

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

A searchable list of Flame and Smoke Classic Shortcuts

The Flame logo.

Topic $TipTopic

Autodesk published a searchable list of keyboard shortcuts for both Flame and Smoke, organized by function.

You can find them here.