Tip #1197: Stay Oriented in 3D Space

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1197: Stay Oriented in 3D Space

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key to 3D space is to stay oriented. Top view, and tracking the grid, help.

These are the nine views when working with cameras. Top is my favorite.

Topic $TipTopic

When I first started learning Motion, I got hopelessly lost when exploring 3D space. (I still remember how frustrated I felt when 3D in Motion did not equate to the 3D in my normal life…)

The 3D world opens up when you assign a camera to a project (Object > New Camera). While explaining how 3D space and cameras work requires at least a chapter in a book, there is a cool orientation tip that helps me stay oriented.

Once you’ve applied a camera, the View menu in the top left corner of the Viewer provides nine different perspectives on how to view your scene.

  • Active camera shows what Motion will output; in other words the finished view.
  • Top, for me, is the best way to create a 3D effect because it emulates an architectural floor plan – and I’ve been looking at set designs all my life.

So I use Top to determine position and movement, then tweak based upon what Active Camera shows the results to be.


In the Standard keyboard command set:

  • Active Camera uses Control + A as it’s shortcut.
  • Top can be assigned a shortcut using Motion > Commands.

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *