Tip #1554: Just Playin’ Around

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1554: Just Playin’ Around

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Don’t forget to adjust opacity or blend modes to help blend elements.

The “Flying Space Rock (and shadow)” along with the the Layers pane.

Topic $TipTopic

Here’s an interesting technique that creates synced movement using a copied motion path… and a flying space rock.

What, I wondered, would a flying space rock look like? Clearly, it needs to move and, because I could, I added a floating green cloud behind it – tracking it’s movements.


The Rock is a 3D shape in the Motion Library (3D Objects).

  • Add it to the Viewer
  • Apply Basic Motion > Motion Track
  • Option-click the red motion track line to add a keyframe to the track and create a curve.
  • Change Inspector > Properties > Opacity to 80% to blend the Rock with the Cloud.


Blurry Cloud is in the Motion Library (Content > Particle Images).

  • Add it to the Viewer
  • Change Inspector > Properties > Opacity to 50% to soften and add translucency.
  • Change Properties > Scale to 300-400%; make it lots bigger.
  • Apply Filters > Color > Colorize and pick a color you like
  • Apply Behaviors > Basic Motion > Spin
  • Apply Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and make this much blurrier.
  • Option-drag the Motion Track from the Rock to the Blurry Cloud. This copies the effect from one element to the other.


Play this, then tweak things as much as you want. Consider adding Parameter behaviors to add jitter or oscillation to the movement.

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

2 replies
  1. Philip Snyder
    Philip Snyder says:


    I added Spin to the Rock as well and played around with the Latitude and Longitude and got a very interesting effect of the Rock spinning through the universe.


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Your email address will not be published.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 *