Course notes 1-4
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Motion is a compositing and special effects application that allows you to do real-time effects as well as rendered out animations.

You can drag builtin behaviors or filters onto an object in the canvas to animate them over time or use the keyframing in the timeline.

Motion has graphic design tools like grids, alignment, guides and text so you can do time-based graphic design.

Motin has basic audio mixing tools.

Motiion has many compositing tools such as 25 different blending options.

Motion has both 2D and 3D capabilities and you can mix them both in the came image.

There is also many special effects such as masking, particles, keying...

There are behaviors that can be programmed, a tool called the replicator for image generation, shape tools, and painting capabilities

There is a HUD (head mounted display) that you can use to change the parameters of things.

You can import assets (images, audio, animations, video) from Photoshop, Illustrator, as a QT, variety of audio formats,and as image sequences.

The basic concept is that you work on a canvas and you have projects with 2D or 3D groups that contain layers and you can add FX to layers or groups. (Groups are the parents of layers). When you apply an effect to the group it applies it to all the layers. When you apply an FX to the layer, only that layer is effected.

You can add cameras to a project and when you do you have the option of switching to 3D or staying in 2D. 2D can exist in 3D projects and 3D can be nested in a 2D project but when you do, it is flattened and the camera is ignored.

Starting a Project


Select the Template and CONTINUE to go through all the templates to see what can be done with Motion> We will not use a Template, so CLOSE WINDOW after you look through them all. No need to look through the PAL versions.

To start a project:

File - New...

New Proj

Make sure you select NTSC DV

To change the Project Properties:

Edit - Project Properties



Motion Interface

Motion Interface

Utility Window

File Browser: Add files to the project
Tabs to display the Library or other Tabs (windows or panes that have been moved there such as the Inspector - this is the default)

Library: A collection of Effects, Templates, Audio, Particles, etc.

Inspector Window

Can manipulte individual settings (by default it is a tab in the Utility Window)


Cinema Layout


Can drag things from the Utility Window to the Canvas.
Canvas shortcut menu: (CTRL Click an empty spot on the canvas)

New Group - adds a group above any existing group
Import ... - opens a dialog box to import a file
Paste - will paste an item in the clipboard
Project Properties... - allows you to modify the width, height, color, duration, etc. of the project.

Status Bar (Control Click the Status Bar and choose an option)
This lets you see the status of the item you select.

status bar

Canvas View Options


Zoom Level - helps to speed up playback when you view it smaller
     Dynamic Zoom - CMD Space bar drag in the Canvas
     Dynamic Pan - Space bar and drag
Resolution - Also affect speed of playback
Color Channels - different color and alpha options
View and Overlay - Overlays are guides, grids; the bottom of the menu allows you to tun off render intensive items

Transport Controls (bottom of the Canvas Window)

The mini timeline under the canvas and above the Transport Controls that you can scrub through the animation.

Project Pane (Select Windows - Show Project Pane F5)

Three tabs:

Layers - hierarchy of objects (groups, layers, cameras, lights, behaviors...)
Media - all items imported (can show stuff not added to the canvas or not)
Audio - access and control of audio assets

Timing Pane

Three tabs:

Timeline - overview of objects and how they are laid out over time.
Keyframe Editor - can edit the animation curves of keyframed items
Audio Editor - adjusts levels and pans

Window Arrangement

Preset layouts (Windows menu - Layouts):


Can make your own layout:

Move windows by draging on the title bar
Resize the window by dragging the lower right corner
Resize 2 windows by positioning the cursor between the windows and dragging
Minimize the window by double clicking the title bar or clicking the minimize button
Close the window by clicking the Close button or Command W

To arrange tabs:

Can drag tab out to make your own window (Detach it)
Can drag the tab to a new window
Can reattach it to the window by dragging it back
Can hide or show windows and tabs by using the Windows menu
Can reorder the tab by dragging it to the left or right of where it is located

Windows menu - Layouts - Swap Project Pane and Canvas

You can save the layouts: Windows - Save Current Layout, name it and SAVE
Can alter existing layouts with Windows - Manage Layouts...

Full Screen Mode

View menu - Full Screen Mode or F8
To Return to Normal: Position the cursor over the menu area and pull down View - Full Screen Mode or hit F8


The Hud is context sensitive and will appear with a subset of controls that can be adjusted.

Tool bar

Tools are grouped into categories

. toolbar

View Tools (press S to cycle through these tools)

View tools

1. Select/Transform tool
2. Adjust Anchor Point tool - rotation and scale pivot point
3. Adjust Shear tool - slants the image
4. Adjust Drop Shadow tool
5. Adjust Four Corner tool - distort
6. Adjust Crop tool - crops of part of the image
7. Adjust Control Points tool - adjusts edges of a mask, bezier curve or motion paths
8. Adjust Item tool - modify special items like the center of a blur, shape of a particle emitter or replicator.

9. Adjust 3D Transform tool - manipulate objects in 3D space using 3D transform and rotation manipulators.
10. Pan tool - move the view
11. Zoom tool - magnify or decrease view size
12. Walk Camera tool - Use up, Down, Right and Left arrows with this to move through the scene like you are walking with a camera

TRY THIS: Click Tool, then click object in the canvas then hit TAB to cycle throgh the tools

Create Tools

Create Tools

1. Rectangle tool
2. Circle tool
3. Line tool
4. Bezier tool
5. B-Spline tool
6. Paint Stroke tool
7. Text tool

Mask Tools

Mask tools

1. Rectangle Mask tool
2. Circle Mask tool
3. Freehand Mask tool
4. Bezier Mask tool
5.B-Spline Mask tool

Camera and Effects Icons

New Camera - will ask if you want to change it to a 3D group if you add it to a 2D group (it has no effect on a 2D group)
Add Behavior - Applies the chosen behavior to the selected item
Add Filter - pull down menu with options to add to the selected item
Make Particles - It will use the selected layer to apply the particles and disable the graphics of the existing layer.
Replicate - Uses the selected layer to create a replicator object. The original layergraphics is disabled.

Interface Buttons

Interface Buttons

HUD - F7 - Turns off and on the HUD
File Browser - CMD 1 - Shows/hides the file browser
Library - CMD 2 - Shows/hides the Library
Inspector - CMD 3 - Shows/hides the Inspector
Project Pane - F5 - Shows/hides the Project Pane
Timing Pane - F6 - Shows/hides the Timing Pane

Basic Animation of Objects

A simple way to move an object from one side of the screen to the other is using Behaviors.

1. Import and place the object on the Canvas
2. Select theobject and choose Add Behavior Button - Basic Motion - Motion Path
3. Move the red circles to either end of the screen