Tip #1229: Enable Dramatic Lighting in Motion

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1229: Enable Dramatic Lighting in Motion

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The lighting technology in Motion is amazing! The key is to turn off the ambient lights first.

A 3D torus, with Dramatic Right lighting and colors applied.

Topic $TipTopic

Motion has some very dramatic lighting presets built into it. But, to see them, you need to turn the ambient lights off first. Here’s how.

The screen shot illustrates the Dramatic Right lighting setup, with ambient lights turned off. Here’s how to achieve the same look.

  • Drag the 3D object of your choice from the Library to the Viewer, then select it in the Layers panel. (I used a Torus.)
  • From Object > New Light Setup, choose a lighting arrangement that appeals to you. (I used Dramatic Right.)
  • In the Layers panel, move the 3D object from its own group into the same group as the lights.
  • Select the 3D object, then go to Inspector > 3D Object and click the Reveal Environmental Lighting button.
  • Scroll down toward the bottom and set 3D Object Environment to 0. This turns off the inherent lighting of the object. (If the object goes black, remember that you need to move it into the same group as the lighting setup you just added. Put it below the lights in the Layers panel.)
  • Finally, select each light individually in the Layers panel, go to Inspector > Light and change the color to something you like.

Adjust until you get the look you want — or, until its time for dinner, whichever comes first.


As is also true on set, you can adjust lights until there’s no time left for production. Feel free to tweak.

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Your email address will not be published.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 *