Apple Motion 4 Operating instructions

Apple Motion 4 Operating instructions
Motion 4
User Manual
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Contents
Preface
13
13
14
14
Welcome to Motion
About Motion
About the Motion Documentation
Additional Resources
Chapter 1
15
15
17
18
About Motion and Motion Graphics
General Motion Graphics Tools
Tools and Techniques Specific to the Motion Application
About Motion Projects
Chapter 2
21
22
23
44
53
84
101
128
134
The Motion Interface
Workspace Overview
Utility Window
Toolbar
Canvas
Project Pane
Timing Pane
Window Arrangements
HUD
Chapter 3
137
138
138
139
140
141
141
141
142
143
146
156
158
160
User Interface Controls
Toolbar Controls
Slider Controls
Coordinate Controls
Dial
Value Field
Activation Checkbox
Menus
Source Well
Color Controls
Gradient Controls
Mini-Curve Editor
Generic Inspector Controls
Rasterization Indicator
3
4
Chapter 4
161
161
162
164
166
168
171
171
177
179
Motion Menus
Application Menu
File Menu
Edit Menu
Mark Menu
Object Menu
Favorites Menu
View Menu
Window Menu
Help Menu
Chapter 5
181
182
184
186
189
191
193
195
197
202
Preferences
General Pane
Appearance Pane
Project Pane
Cache Pane
Canvas Pane
3D Pane
Output Pane
Presets Pane
Gestures Pane
Chapter 6
205
205
219
226
232
243
248
251
252
253
259
264
280
Creating and Managing Projects
Creating New Projects
Managing Projects
Browsing Media Files in Motion
File Types Supported by Motion
Adding Media to Your Project
Managing Layers in Your Project
Deleting Objects from a Project
Exchanging Media in a Project
Object Media Tab Parameters
Using Media in the Library
Organizing Groups and Layers in Motion
Customizing and Creating New Templates
Chapter 7
289
290
291
293
296
312
Basic Compositing
Compositing Workflow
Group and Layer Order
Transforming Objects and Layers
2D Transform Tools
Adjusting Object Properties in the Inspector
Contents
317
319
343
345
349
Making Clone Layers
Editing Opacity and Blending Parameters
Drop Shadows
Retiming
Expose Commands
Chapter 8
351
352
354
361
365
370
386
393
Using the Timeline
About the Timeline
Timeline Layers List
Adding Objects to the Timeline Layers List
Adding Objects to the Track Area
Editing Objects in the Timeline
Working in the Ruler
Adding Markers
Chapter 9
399
399
403
404
415
417
423
431
434
437
460
489
494
522
522
Using Behaviors
Behavior Concepts
Browsing for Behaviors
Applying and Removing Behaviors
Modifying Behaviors
Working with Behaviors
Changing the Timing of Behaviors
Animating Behavior Parameters
Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors
Basic Motion Behaviors
Parameter Behaviors
Retiming Behaviors
Simulation Behaviors
Additional Behaviors
Behavior Examples
Chapter 10
535
536
539
541
545
546
549
551
552
553
558
566
Keyframes and Curves
What Is Keyframing?
Using the Record Button
Applying Movement to a Clip
Animating Filters
Animating Behaviors
Animation Menu
The Reset Button
Animating in the Timeline
Modifying Keyframes in the Timeline
Animating in the Keyframe Editor
Filtering the Parameter List
Contents
5
6
573
581
591
593
595
Modifying Keyframes
Modifying Curves
Mini-Curve Editor
Animating on the Fly
Keyframe Thinning
Chapter 11
601
602
603
605
623
625
628
649
653
654
655
655
664
Working with Particles
About Particle Systems
Anatomy of a Particle System
Using Particle Systems
Creating Graphics and Animations for Particle Systems
The Difference Between Emitter and Particle Cell Parameters
Emitter and Cell Parameters
Animating Objects in Particle Systems
Viewing Animated Emitter Curves in the Keyframe Editor
Using Masks with Particle Systems
Applying Filters to Particle Systems
Particle System Examples
Saving Custom Particle Effects to the Library
Chapter 12
665
666
668
672
680
684
689
692
722
724
725
727
733
748
750
751
Using the Replicator
Replicator Concepts
Anatomy of a Replicator
Getting Started with the Replicator
Basic Replicator Parameters in the HUD
Replicators and the Properties Tab
Using the Replicator Onscreen Controls
Advanced Replicator Controls
Using Image and Geometry Objects
Using Replicators in 3D Space
Applying Masks to Replicators
Animating Replicator Parameters
Using the Sequence Replicator Behavior
Using Behaviors with Replicators
Applying Filters to Replicators
Saving Custom Replicators to the Library
Chapter 13
753
754
755
756
768
769
Creating and Editing Text
About Text in Motion
Setting Motion Preferences for Text
Adding Text
Using the Text Tools
About Fonts
Contents
772
775
776
779
781
782
789
808
812
813
825
835
837
844
845
Editing Text in the Inspector
Editing Text Format
Text Controls in the Format Pane
Text Format-Related Tasks
Editing Text Style
Text Controls in the Style Pane
Text Style-Related Tasks
Using and Creating Preset Text Styles
Editing Text Layout
Text Controls in the Layout Pane
Text Layout-Related Tasks
Text Margin and Tab-Related Tasks
Working with Text Glyphs
Adding Behaviors and Filters to Text
Using the Text HUD
Chapter 14
849
850
853
876
879
880
882
888
889
890
891
893
895
Animating Text
Text Animation and Text Sequence Behaviors
Sequence Text Behavior
Scroll Text Behavior
Text Tracking Behavior
Type On Behavior
Preset Text Sequence Behaviors
Saving a Modified Text Behavior to the Library
Using Other Behaviors with Text
Using Behaviors to Animate Text in 3D
Animating Text with Keyframes
Animating with the Adjust Glyph Tool
Using LiveFonts
Chapter 15
901
901
902
903
916
939
Working with Generators
About Generators
Adding a Generator
Modifying Generators
Generator Parameters
Text Generators
Chapter 16
947
948
948
949
952
957
Using Filters
About Filters
Browsing For and Previewing Filters
Applying and Removing Filters
Adjusting Filters
Enabling, Renaming, and Locking Filters
Contents
7
8
957
959
959
961
972
974
992
1014
1021
1027
1028
1029
1052
1058
1061
Copying, Pasting, Moving and Duplicating Filters
Reordering Filters
Changing Filter Timing
Blur Filters
Border Filters
Color Correction Filters
Distortion Filters
Glow Filters
Keying Filters
Matte Filters
Sharpen Filters
Stylize Filters
Tiling Filters
Time Filters
Video Filters
Chapter 17
1063
1064
1065
1066
1076
1105
1105
1128
1129
1131
1132
1133
1133
1151
1153
1157
1170
1174
1177
1178
1182
1184
Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes
About Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes
The Difference Between Shapes, Paint Strokes, and Masks
Shape and Mask Drawing Tools
Creating and Editing Shapes
Adding Shapes from the Library
Shape Parameters
Shape Controls in the HUD
Creating Illustrations Using Multiple Shapes
Creating Holes and Transparency in Shapes
Applying Filters to Shapes
Animating Shapes
Shape Behaviors
Keyframing Shape Animation
Saving Shapes and Shape Styles
Using Masks to Create Transparency
Mask Parameters
Applying Image Masks to a Layer
Image Mask Parameters
Using Masks to Aid Keying Effects
Converting Between Shapes and Masks
Manipulating Alpha Channels Using Filters
Chapter 18
1187
1187
1189
1199
3D Compositing
Real-World Coordinates
3D Transform Tools
3D Workspace and Views
Contents
1208
1221
1224
1231
1241
Cameras
2D and 3D Group Intersection
Lighting
Shadows
Reflections
Chapter 19
1247
1248
1249
1250
1252
1252
1252
1257
1271
1274
1277
1278
1282
1283
1285
1304
Motion Tracking
About Motion Tracking
How a Tracker Works
Motion Tracking Behaviors
Shape Track Points Behavior
Track Parameter Behavior
General Motion Tracking Workflow
Match Move Workflows
Using a Non-Match Move Four-Point Track for Corner-Pinning
Stabilize Workflow
Unstabilize Workflow
Track Points Workflow
Track Parameter Workflow
Adjusting the Onscreen Trackers
Strategies for Better Tracking
Tracking Behavior Parameters
Chapter 20
1327
1327
1328
1337
1345
1347
1347
1347
1350
1350
1353
1357
1358
Working with Audio
About Audio in Motion
Audio Files in Motion Projects
Working with Audio Tracks
Keyframing Level and Pan Changes
Crossfading Audio Tracks
Syncing Audio and Video Tracks
Retiming Audio
Using Markers with Audio
Audio Behaviors
Audio Parameter Behavior
Using Soundtrack Pro with Motion
Exporting Audio
Chapter 21
1359
1359
1367
1367
1373
1386
Outputting Motion Projects
Exporting from Motion
Exporting an Audio File
Using Export Presets
Sharing Your Project
Exporting Portions of a Project
Contents
9
10
Appendix A
1389
1389
1392
1393
1393
1395
1397
1399
About Rasterization
Groups and Rasterization
Text and Rasterization
Shapes and Rasterization
Particles and Rasterization
Replicators and Rasterization
Filters and Rasterization
Shadows and Rasterization
Appendix B
1401
1401
1404
1408
1410
1411
1413
1413
1414
1414
Video and File Formats
Supported File Formats
Standard Definition Versus High Definition Video Formats
Popular Video Codecs for File Exchange
What Is Field Order?
Using Square or Nonsquare Pixels When Creating Graphics
Differences in Color Between Computer and Video Graphics
Using Fonts and Creating Line Art for Video
Scaling Imported High-Resolution Graphics
Creating Graphics for HD Projects
Appendix C
1417
1418
1419
1420
1421
1421
1422
1423
1424
1426
1427
1427
1427
1428
1429
1432
1434
1434
1436
1436
1437
1437
Keyboard Shortcuts
Enabling Traditional Function Keys on Mobile Macintosh Systems
General Interface Commands
Motion Menu
File Menu
Edit Menu
Mark Menu
Object Menu
View Menu
Window Menu
Help Menu
Audio Editor
Audio Tab
View Tools
Create Tools
Mask Tools
Transport Controls
View Options
Miscellaneous
HUD
File Browser
Inspector
Contents
1438
1438
1439
1440
1440
1442
1442
1443
1444
1445
Keyframe Editor
Layers
Library
Media Tab
Timeline Editing and Navigating
Keyframing Commands
Shape and Mask Commands
Toolbar
3D Commands
Using the Command Editor
Appendix D
1453
1453
1458
1458
1462
Working with Final Cut Pro
Using Motion with Final Cut Pro
Rendering Motion Projects for Use in Final Cut Pro
Using Motion Templates in Final Cut Pro
Master Templates in Final Cut Pro
Appendix E
1467
1467
1472
1477
1479
1486
Obsolete Text Behaviors
Using the Sequence Text Behavior (Motion 3.0.2 and Earlier)
Sequence Text Controls
Using the Sequence Text Custom Behavior Option (Motion 3.0.2 and Earlier)
Preset Text Sequence Behaviors (Motion 3.0.2 and Earlier)
Using the Crawl and Scroll Behaviors (Motion 3.0.2 and Earlier)
Appendix F
1489
1489
1491
1492
Using Gestures
Configuring Gesture Setup
Wacom Settings
Using Gestures
Contents
11
Preface
Welcome to Motion
Motion is a behavior-driven motion graphics application that allows you to create stunning
imaging effects for a wide variety of broadcast, video, and film projects.
This preface covers the following:
• About Motion (p. 13)
• About the Motion Documentation (p. 14)
• Additional Resources (p. 14)
About Motion
Motion lets you create sophisticated moving images and other visual effects on the fly
and in real time. Simply drag one of Motion’s built-in behaviors (such as Spin or Throw)
or filters (such as Glow or Strobe) onto an object in the Canvas and watch your composition
spring to life—twirling, zipping across the screen, pulsing with luminescence, or any of
hundreds of other effects.
You can also animate the traditional way, using keyframes, but Motion behaviors give
you instant feedback, so you can sit with your clients, art directors, or friends and
interactively design a motion graphics project on your desktop. You want a title to fade
in, do a little shimmy, and then slide out of view? Simply click Play, then drag the Fade,
Random Motion, and Gravity behaviors onto the title in the Canvas—no preview rendering
time is necessary.
Whether you need simple text effects like lower-thirds and credit rolls, a complex motion
graphics project for a show intro or television commercial, or more advanced image
manipulation techniques to stabilize footage or composite green screen effects, Motion
has a flexible tool set to meet your motion graphics needs.
13
About the Motion Documentation
The Motion 4 User Manual (this document) contains detailed information about the Motion
interface, commands, and menus and gives step-by-step instructions for creating Motion
projects and for accomplishing specific tasks. It is written for users of all levels of
experience.
Additional Resources
Along with the documentation that comes with Motion, there are a variety of resources
you can use to find out more about the application.
Motion Website
For general information and updates as well as the latest news about Motion, go to:
• http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/motion
Apple Service and Support Websites
For software updates and answers to the most frequently asked questions for all Apple
products, go to the general Apple Support webpage:
• http://www.apple.com/support
For software updates, documentation, discussion forums, and answers to the most
frequently asked questions for Motion, go to:
• http://www.apple.com/support/motion
To get more information on third-party tools, resources, and user groups, go to:
• http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/resources
To provide comments and feedback about Motion, go to:
• http://www.apple.com/feedback/motion.html
For discussion forums for all Apple products, where you can search for an answer, post
a question, or answer other users’ questions, go to:
• http://discussions.apple.com
For more information on the Apple Pro Training Program, go to:
• http://www.apple.com/software/pro/training
14
Preface
Welcome to Motion
About Motion and Motion
Graphics
1
Motion graphics is a type of visual effects work most commonly associated with title
sequences and show openers, bumpers and interstitials, and interface design like DVD
menus. It is also frequently used in technical settings for simulations of moving systems
such as traffic patterns or scientific models.
Motion graphics usually incorporates multiple objects onscreen simultaneously and is
typically governed by design considerations and a strong sense of visual impact.
Sophisticated motion graphics artists often combine traditional layout and design
techniques with tools borrowed from special effects work such as keying, masking,
compositing, and particle systems to create dynamic moving designs.
This chapter covers the following:
• General Motion Graphics Tools (p. 15)
• Tools and Techniques Specific to the Motion Application (p. 17)
• About Motion Projects (p. 18)
General Motion Graphics Tools
The tools commonly used for motion graphics fall into several categories.
Design Tools
Graphic designers have been using software to facilitate their work for many years. Motion
has incorporated many of the most valuable tools commonly found in layout and design
applications, including guides, alignment, and direct manipulation for positioning,
transforming, and distorting layers. Motion also contains some of the most flexible and
sophisticated tools for creating and handling text elements. This is especially important
because text is such a critical component of motion graphics design.
15
Timing Tools
The principal difference between traditional design and motion graphics design is that
motion graphics design is time-based. Motion graphics artists are concerned with creating
a well-composed and readable layout that can be manipulated over time. Motion provides
a Timeline that contains tools usually found in a video editing application (such as tools
for trimming, setting markers, slipping, and snapping) to allow a motion graphics artist
to hone and compose the temporal aspects of a kinetic project.
Motion also supports audio files, including basic audio mixing, so you can create a
soundtrack for your project and make timing decisions based upon the audio as well as
visual components. You can animate layers, filters, behaviors, and other elements to
create elegant and precise compositions. Furthermore, you can smoothly retime your
footage using optical flow technology, or apply Retiming behaviors to clips for some
funky effects such as stutter and flash frames.
2D and 3D Compositing Tools
Any time you have more than one layer onscreen simultaneously, you must employ some
version of compositing to combine the elements. This might mean moving the layers
onscreen so they don’t overlap, adjusting the layers’ opacities so they are partly visible,
or incorporating blend modes that mix the overlapping images in a variety of ways.
Compositing is fundamental to motion graphics work. Fortunately, Motion makes it easier
than ever before, allowing you to control layer and group order, lock and group layers,
and apply more than 25 different blending options to create unique effects.
You can also mix 2D and 3D groups in a single project. This allows you to do basic
compositing with some elements of your project and complex 3D animations with other
elements.
Special Effects Tools
You can further enhance your motion graphics projects by employing many of the same
tools used in movies to combine dinosaurs with live actors, sink luxury liners in the ocean,
or create space battles. Motion provides many of these tools such as keying (to isolate an
object shot against a solid-colored background), masking (to hide wires or other objects
that should not be seen in the final image), and particle systems (to simulate natural
phenomena such as smoke, fire, and water). Motion can be used to create special effects
shots like these, but its real power is in integrating these tools with the design and editing
tools described above.
16
Chapter 1 About Motion and Motion Graphics
Tools and Techniques Specific to the Motion Application
As the field of motion graphics design has evolved, the tool sets in the most common
applications have grown, but Motion takes a completely fresh approach to the task. It
incorporates the cutting edge of software design and takes advantage of the latest
powerful Apple hardware. And while it does include the tools and techniques artists have
grown accustomed to, it also incorporates a streamlined and new set of tools called
behaviors that make previously complex procedures as simple as dragging and dropping.
A tool called the replicator creates a customizable pattern from copies of a layer, quickly
creating complex design effects that would take hours to build in other applications.
Flexible paint and shape tools allow you to add or create shapes that are drawn on the
Canvas over time.
Behaviors
The Motion behaviors simplify the most common tasks such as scaling, fading, and moving
elements. Behaviors also allow you to create complex 2D or 3D interactions such as Edge
Collision (making elements bounce off of designated boundaries) or Attractor effects
(giving one element a gravitational pull on surrounding elements). And because text is
such a critical element of motion graphics work, Motion includes more than 140 behaviors
specifically designed for text elements that treat individual letters uniquely while
simultaneously affecting the entire text layer in which they reside.
Heads-Up Display (HUD)
Motion uses a special floating window called the heads-up display, referred to as the HUD,
to provide at-your-fingertips access to your most frequently used parameters. The HUD
changes dynamically, depending on what is selected. The HUD also provides access to
unique visual controls for some of the behaviors.
The HUD also allows you to quickly add behaviors to specific parameters of an object.
These Parameter behaviors allow you to affect a single aspect of an object (its position,
scale, or opacity, for example) rather than the object as a whole.
Real-Time Feedback
With the right hardware configuration, nearly every effect and adjustment you make can
be viewed in real time. This means that you can watch how the various elements of your
composition interact as you modify them. Not only does this mean less waiting time
while the computer converts your various clicks and drags into a viewable movie, it means
that you can interact with your creation in a more fluid and engaging way. Rather than
making a set of assumptions and then waiting to see how they turn out, you can
immediately see how your ideas work, then make adjustments on the fly.
Real-time feedback turns the act of designing a motion graphics sequence into an act of
exploration and discovery, which is the way most artists prefer to create. Motion provides
not just a new set of brushes for the motion graphics artist, but a whole new type of work
environment.
Chapter 1 About Motion and Motion Graphics
17
Mouse and Keyboard Shortcut Considerations
If you have a two- or three-button mouse connected to your computer, you can right-click
to access the same controls specified by the Control-click commands in the user
documentation (for example, Control-click the Toolbar, then choose Customize Toolbar
from the shortcut menu). If you are working on a MacBook or MacBook Pro, keep in mind
that some keyboard shortcuts may require you to use the Function key (Fn—next to the
Control key) in conjunction with the keys specified in the user documentation. For more
information about keyboard shortcuts in Motion, see Keyboard Shortcuts.
About Motion Projects
In Motion, you create 2D or 3D motion graphics and compositing projects with imported
images (such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator files), image sequences, QuickTime movies,
audio files, as well as objects created within Motion. These objects include text, masks,
shapes, particles, paint strokes, and so on.
A Motion project is made up of groups that contain layers. All media imported into Motion,
or elements created within a project, are referred to as layers. A layer must live within a
group. The group acts as a “parent” to its layers. You can select multiple layers within a
group to create a nested group. A group can be 2D or 3D. For more information on layer
and group basics, see Transforming Objects and Layers.
Cameras and lights can be added to projects. When a camera is added to a project, you
have the option to switch the project to 3D mode or to remain in 2D mode (unless the
project is empty or completely 2D, in which case it is automatically switched to 3D mode).
2D groups can exist in a 3D project. A 2D group can be nested in a 3D group. A 3D group
can be nested in a 2D group. Once a 3D group is nested in a 2D group, the group is
flattened. This means that the nested 3D group acts like a flat card and ignores the camera.
In addition, the flattened group does not intersect with layers of the 2D group or other
groups in the project. For more information on working in 3D, see 3D Compositing.
Any transforms, filters, or behaviors that are applied to a group are applied to the layers
within the group. If you move or apply a filter or behavior to a group, all layers within
that group are affected. You can also apply filters and behaviors to the individual layers
within a group.
A filter is a process that changes the appearance of an image. For example, a blur filter
takes an input image and outputs a blurred version of that image. For more information
on using filters, see Using Filters.
A behavior is a process that applies a value range to an object’s parameters, creating an
animation based on the affected parameters. For example, the Spin behavior rotates an
object over time at a rate that you specify. For more information on using behaviors, see
Using Behaviors.
18
Chapter 1 About Motion and Motion Graphics
Groups and layers can be moved and animated by using behaviors or by setting keyframes.
Filters can also be animated.
A project represents a single flow of image data built from the bottom up. In a composite
with a single group, the layers within that group are stacked above one another. Filters
and behaviors that are applied to a layer appear beneath the object in the Layers tab.
The group represents the image that results from its combined layers and their applied
behaviors, filters, and composite modes (blend modes). For more information on building
projects, see Creating and Managing Projects. For more information on basic compositing,
see Basic Compositing.
In a simple example, a group contains a single image with applied color correction and
blur filters (in that order). The image provides the input data to the color correction filter.
The output data of the color correction is the input data for the blur filter. The group
represents the result of that image data flow. Groups and layers are also stacked one
above the other in a project—the output of the lower layer is the input to the layer above
it in the list.
When working in 3D mode, a layer that is below another layer in the Layers tab can appear
above that layer in the Canvas if its Z position is closer to the camera. You can force the
layers to respect their order in the Layers tab by selecting the Layer Order checkbox in
the Group tab of the Inspector.
Chapter 1 About Motion and Motion Graphics
19
The Motion Interface
2
This chapter introduces you to the Motion interface. It also describes how to work with
all of the basic tools you need to get started.
This chapter covers the following:
• Workspace Overview (p. 22)
• Utility Window (p. 23)
• Toolbar (p. 44)
• Canvas (p. 53)
• Project Pane (p. 84)
• Timing Pane (p. 101)
• Window Arrangements (p. 128)
• HUD (p. 134)
21
Workspace Overview
When you open Motion, the workspace fills your entire monitor, but the interface is
actually made up of several independent windows. The sizes and arrangements of these
windows are flexible to allow for the varying needs of different projects. There are
additional panes and windows that can be displayed along with the default set. In the
following example, the Project pane and Timing pane have been opened.
Project pane
Utility window
Toolbar
Timing pane
Canvas
The Motion workspace contains the following major components:
• Utility window: The utility window includes the Preview area, File Browser, Library, and
the Inspector (when layout is set to Standard). For more information, see Utility Window.
• Toolbar: The Toolbar contains controls to create and edit elements in your project,
such as text, shapes, and masks. There are also icons to apply filters and behaviors, to
create particle systems and replicators, and to show and hide the various windows and
panes of the Motion interface. For more information, see Toolbar.
• Canvas: The Canvas is the main work area of the interface, where you can view and
manipulate elements, as well as control playback of your project. The Canvas also
contains the Status bar and the project view options. For more information, see Canvas.
• Project pane: The Project pane can appear on either the left or right side of the Canvas
window and can be hidden to maximize the Canvas working area. The Project pane
contains three tabs that allow you to see and manipulate the contents of the current
project in a variety of ways. For more information, see Project Pane.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
• Timing pane: The Timing pane appears at the bottom of the Canvas window and can
be hidden to maximize the Canvas working area. The Timing pane contains three tabs
that allow you to see and manipulate different aspects of the current project with an
emphasis on how they are arranged in time. For more information, see Timing Pane.
Utility Window
When you open Motion, a utility window appears on the left side of the screen and
contains the File Browser from which you can add files to your project. The utility window
also has tabs to display the Library, which contains all of the effects, templates, and other
goodies that come with Motion, and the Inspector where you can manipulate individual
settings for those effects.
The utility window is where you locate, organize, and modify the media, effects, and
parameters that go along with your project. This includes sorting through the media on
your disk, browsing all of the effects, presets, and other content, and viewing and
manipulating all of the parameters that control how your objects and effects behave.
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In the default window layout, File Browser, Library, and Inspector tabs reside in a utility
window on the left side of the Canvas. If you choose the Cinema layout, two utility
windows are displayed, one on the left of the Canvas, containing the File Browser and
Library, and one on the right side of the Canvas, containing the Inspector. As each of the
three tabs can appear independently of one another, they are treated as separate entities
below.
File Browser
Library
Inspector
File Browser
In the utility window, the File Browser tab displays all of the files on your computer.
Navigating the File Browser is similar to navigating a window in the Finder. You can drag
items directly from the File Browser into your project.
File Browser Preview Area
The top area of the File Browser contains a preview of the selected layer. The Preview
area includes both a visual preview, complete with a Play button to show the multiple
frames of moving footage, and text information about the file: filename, media type, file
size, and frame rate. The Preview area also contains an audio mute button.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Note: When displayed in the Preview area, audio files contain a text description but no
image preview.
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To play a preview of a file on disk
Select the file in the File Browser.
The preview starts playing.
Note: If you do not want items to play automatically in the Preview area when you click
them (in the File Browser or Library), you can turn off the “Play items automatically on a
single click” checkbox in the General pane of Motion Preferences.
To import a file displayed in the Preview area
1 Select the file in the File Browser.
2 Click the Import button in the Preview area.
The file is added to the project (to the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline layers list, and Media
tab).
Note: For a larger preview, you can double-click any file listed in the File Browser. This
opens a viewer window where you can preview the file at its native size. You can also
Control-click a file and choose Open in QuickTime Player from the shortcut menu.
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File Browser Sidebar
The middle section of the File Browser contains navigational controls as well as a sidebar
containing a list of servers, drives, and folders available on your computer.
Forward/Back buttons
Path pop-up menu
View buttons
Search field
Clicking a drive or folder in the sidebar displays its contents in the file stack below. Above
the list of drive and folder icons in the sidebar are several controls to navigate and sort
the contents of the window.
Forward and Back buttons: Step backward and forward through the folders most recently
viewed. This works similarly to the Forward and Back buttons in the Finder.
If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use a three-finger swipe
left or right to navigate up and down the directory tree.
Path pop-up menu: Displays the file system hierarchy (folders inside of folders) for the
currently viewed folder.
Icon View and List View buttons: These buttons control the view of the file stack. Click
the left button to set the display to icon view. Click the right button to set the view to
list view.
Search field: Filters the contents of the file stack to include only files whose names contain
the text you type into the Search field. To clear the Search field, click the Clear button at
the right side.
Note: Folders are not filtered out.
File Browser Stack
At the bottom section of the File Browser is the file stack, which displays the contents of
the folder selected in the sidebar. You can scroll through long stacks using a scroll bar or
with a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
You can Control-click a file in the File Browser stack to display a shortcut menu. For most
items, the following options are available in the menu:
• Open in Viewer: This option opens the file in a viewer window.
• Open in QuickTime Player: This option opens the file in a QuickTime window.
• Reveal in Finder: This option displays the location of the file in the Finder.
• Rename: This option turns the name of the file into an active text field so that you can
type a new name for the file.
• Move to Trash: This option moves the file into the Trash.
Moving around the stack is easy.
To view the contents of a folder displayed in the file stack
Do one of the following:
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Double-click the folder.
Select the folder, then press Return.
The contents of the folder replace the current file stack view.
To return to a previously viewed folder
Do one of the following:
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Click the Back button directly beneath the Preview area (to the left of the Path pop-up
menu).
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Choose a new folder from the Path pop-up menu directly beneath the Preview area.
Press Command–Up Arrow.
Three-finger swipe left on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
Working in the File Browser
You can easily organize files in the File Browser. You can also customize how files are
displayed there.
To rename a folder or file
Do one of the following:
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Control-click the file or folder, then choose Rename from the shortcut menu. When the
text field becomes active, type the new name, then press Return.
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In the stack, click the name of the folder or file once to select it, then click it again to
activate the text field. Type the new name, then press Return.
Warning: Renaming folders or files from within the File Browser renames the item on
your hard disk or network. If projects are using files from the originally named folder,
Motion may list the footage as missing.
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To delete a folder or file
Do one of the following:
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In the stack, Control-click the file, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.
Drag the file from the stack to the Trash icon in the Dock.
Warning: Deleting folders or files from within the Motion File Browser removes the files
from your hard drive or network and places the files in your Trash.
Organizing Your Files
You can organize the files and folders displayed in the File Browser just as you manipulate
files in the Finder. You can move files in and out of folders and create new folders. All of
the changes you make to your file structure from within Motion are reflected in the Finder.
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To create a new folder
Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the utility window.
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To move a file into a folder
Drag the file to the folder icon.
The file is moved inside that folder.
Icon View and List View
The file stack can be displayed in icon view or list view. Each view is useful for different
situations. There are certain options that only affect the icon view (such as icon size) and
certain options that only affect list view (such as sorting by columns).
Icon view
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28
List view
To view the File Browser in icon view
Click the Icon View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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To view the File Browser in list view
Click the List View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.
List View
Icon View
In icon view, you can control the size of the icons using the scale slider at the bottom of
the window.
Scale slider
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To change the icon size
Drag the icon scale slider to the right to make the icons larger and drag to the left to
make them smaller.
On a Multi-Touch trackpad, use a pinch open to make the icons larger or pinch closed to
make the icons smaller.
In list view, the contents of the selected folder are displayed as a series of columns: Name,
Date, Size, Duration, and Kind.
You may need to expand the width of the utility window, or use the scroller at the bottom
of the window (or a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad), to see all of the columns.
Sorting Columns
You can sort the list by any of the columns. This can be helpful if you are looking for a
particular file and you know the approximate size or modification date.
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To sort the File Browser list
Click the header for the column you want to sort.
The column header darkens and the contents of the window are sorted by that column.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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Collapsing Animations
Frequently, animated sequences may be delivered as a series of sequentially numbered
still images. Motion can save you time by allowing you to import these sequences as a
single object where each image becomes a sequential frame in a movie.
To import a series of numbered still images as a single object
1 Click the “Show image sequences as collapsed” button.
The File Browser displays multiple items collapsed into a single object.
2 Drag the object from the File Browser to the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline, or Media tab.
Note: Images from digital cameras are often numbered sequentially but are not part of
an animation sequence. You may want to turn off this option to import a single still image
from a digital camera.
Library
The second tab in the utility window is called the Library. This is similar to the File Browser,
but rather than showing the files on your disk, it shows all of the effects, content, presets,
fonts, music, photos, and other elements available from within Motion.
Library content can be expanded by adding certain plug-ins, fonts, music, or photos, as
well as by saving content that you create within Motion. You can also save modified
versions of existing effects (such as customized behaviors or camera animations) as custom
additions to the Library.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Like the File Browser, the Library is divided into three sections. The top section is the
Preview area; the middle section is the sidebar; and the bottom section is the file stack,
where the actual effects and other objects are displayed.
Library Preview Area
The Preview area contains a visual preview and a Play button to show the multiple frames
of moving footage, previews of filters, behaviors, generators, particle emitters, replicators,
and so on. The Preview area also contains text information for the selected object, such
as a description of the behavior, filter, or generator. The Library Preview area is almost
identical to the File Browser Preview area, but instead of an Import button, it has an Apply
button.
Note: When certain particle emitters are selected in the stack, an animated preview plays
in the Preview area. While it is playing, you can drag the pointer around in the Preview
area to see how the particle looks when moving.
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To play a preview of an element such as a replicator
In the Library, click the Replicators category, click a replicator subcategory, then click the
replicator you want to preview from the stack.
The preview begins playing in the Preview area.
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Library Sidebar
The middle section of the Library contains navigational controls as well as a list of folders
of effect types and content available in Motion.
Theme pop-up menu
Forward/Back buttons
Path pop-up menu
View buttons
Search field
Clicking a folder in the sidebar displays its contents in the file stack below. Above the
Library categories in the sidebar are several controls to navigate and sort the contents
of the window.
Forward and Back buttons: Step backward and forward through the folders most recently
viewed. These work similarly to the Forward and Back buttons in a web browser.
You can also use a three-finger swipe left or right to navigate up and down the directory
tree.
Path pop-up menu: Displays the file system hierarchy (folders inside of folders) for the
currently viewed folder.
Icon View/List View buttons: These buttons control the view of the file stack. Click the
left button to set the display to icon view. Click the right button to set the view to list
view.
Theme pop-up menu: Allows you to sort and organize Library content by theme. You
can choose an existing theme or create a custom theme and add content to the custom
theme.
Note: Behaviors, filters, fonts, LiveFonts, images, image sequences, and movies cannot
be added to a theme. However, layers and groups that contain these types of items may
be added to a theme.
Items that can be added to a theme include the following:
• Replicators
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
• Emitters
• Shapes
• Gradients
• Text styles
• Shape styles
• Layers or groups
For more information about working with themes, see Working with Themes in the Library.
Search field: Filters the contents of the file stack to include only those objects whose
names contain the text you type into the Search field.
Note: Folders containing no matches are filtered out.
Library File Stack
At the bottom section of the Library is the file stack, which displays the contents of the
folder selected in the sidebar. You can scroll through long file stacks using a scroll bar or
with a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
To view the contents of a folder displayed in the file stack
Do one of the following:
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Double-click the folder.
Select the folder, then press Return.
The contents of the folder replace the current file stack view.
To return to a previously viewed folder
Do one of the following:
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Click the Back button directly beneath the Preview area.
Choose a new folder from the Path pop-up menu directly beneath the Preview area.
Press Command-Up Arrow.
Use a three-finger swipe left on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
Library Content
The Library contains all of the effects, presets, fonts, and other content available within
Motion. These are grouped into categories that are listed on the left of the sidebar. Choose
any of these items to display a list of subcategories on the right. The Library also contains
two additional categories—Music and Photos—which provide quick access to your iTunes
and iPhoto libraries.
For information on adding Library content to your project, see Adding Library Elements
to a Project.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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The Library contains the following categories:
• Behaviors: Contains the Audio, Basic Motion, Camera, Motion Tracking, Parameter,
Particles, Replicator, Retiming, Shape, Simulations, Text Animation, and Text Sequence
behaviors. Different kinds of behaviors can only be applied to specific types of objects.
For example, Text Animation and Text Sequence behaviors can only be applied to text.
For more information on how to apply behaviors, see Applying Behaviors.
• Filters: Contains all filter effects divided into individual subcategories. Third-party FxPlug
filters will appear in the category to which they belong. Most filters can be applied to
any layer (text, images, shapes, footage, particles, and so on) or mask in your project.
For more information on filters, see About Filters.
• Image Units (Filters): Contains all of the processing plug-ins based on core image
processing that are installed on your computer.
• Generators: Contains a selection of checkerboards, noise patterns, color rays, animated
text objects, and other computer-generated elements for use in your projects. For more
information on generators, see About Generators.
• Image Units (Generators): Contains all of the generators based on core image processing
that are installed on your computer.
• Particle Emitters: Contains a selection of preset particle systems organized into
subcategories. For more information on the particle systems presets, see Using the
Particle Library.
• Replicators: Contains a selection of preset replicators organized into subcategories. For
more information on the preset replicators, see Using the Replicator Library Presets.
• Shapes: Contains a collection of preset shapes. Shapes are added to a project like other
Library elements.
• Gradients: Contains a selection of preset gradients that can be applied to shapes or
text. You can drag the gradient directly to a shape or text, or select the shape or text
in the project first, select the gradient in the Library, then click Apply.
• Fonts: Contains all of the fonts available on your system. It includes both TrueType and
Type 1 fonts. You can drag the font directly to text in the project, or select the text in
the project first, select the font in the Library, then click Apply. For more information
on changing fonts in this browser, see Changing Fonts.
• LiveFonts: Contains all of the LiveFonts currently installed on your computer. LiveFonts
can only be applied to text. For more information, see Using LiveFonts
• Text Styles: Contains a collection of preset type styles that can be applied to text. You
can drag the text style directly to text in the project, or select the text in the project
first, select the text style in the Library, then click Apply. Text styles also appear in the
Text Inspector. For more information, see Using and Creating Preset Text Styles.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
• Shape Styles: Contains a collection of preset shape styles that can be applied to shapes.
You can drag the shape style directly to a shape in the project, or select the shape in
the project first, select the shape style in the Library, then click Apply. Shape styles also
appear in the Paint Stroke Tool HUD and the Shape Inspector. For more information,
see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
• Music: This Library category allows you to browse for and import audio files directly
from your iTunes library. The Music subcategories include the library and any playlists
created in iTunes. The contents of each playlist appear in the file stack. When displayed
in list view, the Music category shows the Name, Artist, Album, Duration, and Size
information created in iTunes.
Note: Rights-protected AAC files cannot be imported into Motion and do not appear
in the file stack. This includes all music purchased from the iTunes Store. Video content
from iTunes cannot be imported to a Motion project.
• Photos: This Library category allows you to browse for and import image files directly
from your iPhoto library. The Photos subcategories include the library and any albums
created in iPhoto. The contents of each album appear in the file stack.
Note: When importing a large-scale image into Motion, you have the option to import
the file as is, to scale the image to the size of the Canvas, or to change the resolution
of the image to fit the Canvas. For more information, see Using High-Resolution Still
Images.
• Content: Contains individual elements used in the templates and other presets. These
can be used to create your own custom elements, such as particles and replicators,
which can be saved to the Library for later use.
• Favorites: As you make custom versions of any type of effect, including particle systems,
customized filters, animation curves, cameras, groups, or layers, you can store them in
the Favorites folder. You can also add shortcuts to frequently used items. By default,
this folder is empty.
Note: The Preview area does not display descriptions of built-in presets copied to the
Favorites category. Control-click the favorite, then choose Edit Description from the
shortcut menu to add a description that appears in the Preview area of the Library.
• Favorites Menu: This is another category of favorites. Items stored in this folder appear
in the Favorites menu in the menu bar.
Working in the Library
You can easily create, save, and organize files and themes in the Library.
Adding Library Elements to a Project
Effects and content elements can be added to a project from the Library in two ways.
You can drag an element from the Library stack directly into your project or select an
element in the Library stack and then click the Apply button in the Preview area.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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Note: To add behaviors and filters, a third option is available. You can select an object or
objects in the project and use the Add Behavior or Add Filter icon in the Toolbar. You
can also create custom particles and replicators (using an existing layer in your project)
via the Make Particles and Replicator icons in the Toolbar. For more information on making
custom particles, see Creating a Simple Custom Particle System. For more information
on making custom replicators, see Creating a Simple Custom Replicator Pattern.
To add a Library effect or element to a project
1 Select the layer or group (in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline layers list) to which you
want to apply the effect or content element.
2 Select the element in the Library.
For example, click the Filters category, click a filter subcategory, then click the filter you
want to apply from the stack.
3 Click the Apply button in the Preview area.
The element is added to the selected layer or group in your project.
You can also drag an element from the Library directly to a layer or group in the Layers
tab, Canvas, or Timeline. For more information about placing and reordering objects in
a project, see Organizing Groups and Layers in Motion.
Working with Themes in the Library
The Library allows you to create new custom themes (categories that contain effects and
content), add content to existing themes, edit how themes are displayed, remove themes,
and search for themes.
To create a new custom theme
1 Choose New Theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
2 In the Create New Theme dialog, type a theme name, then click OK.
A new theme is added. New themes appear in the Theme pop-up menu.
Custom themes are saved in your /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder in the Themes file.
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To add content to a theme
Control-click an item in the Library, choose Theme from the shortcut menu, then choose
the theme in which you want to save the content. An item must be saved in the Library
in order to add it to a theme. For more information on saving items to the Library, see
Saving and Sharing Custom Library Elements.
To sort using the Theme pop-up menu
Do one of the following:
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36
Select a category in the Library, then choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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To sort using the default themes, select the Content category, then choose the Folio,
Traditions, or Learning theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
Default themes are stored in your /Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder in the Themes file.
To remove a theme
1 Choose the theme you want to remove from the Theme pop-up menu.
The Remove Theme item becomes available in the Theme pop-up menu.
2 Choose Remove Theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
The theme is removed from the list.
Note: You can only remove custom themes.
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To clear the Search field
Click the Clear button at the right of the Search field.
Organizing Your Effects
You can organize the effects, elements, and folders displayed in the Library just as you
manipulate files in the Finder. You can move effects and elements in and out of folders,
create new folders, and even delete some files or folders.
Note: You cannot modify the effects, elements, and folders that are built into Motion.
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To create a new folder
Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the utility window.
A new folder is added to the current Library subcategory.
For more information on organizing custom folders and content, see Adding Your Own
Content to the Library.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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Icon View and List View
The file stack can be displayed in icon view or list view.
Icon view
List view
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To view the Library in icon view
Click the Icon View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.
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To view the Library in list view
Click the List View button to the right of the Path pop-up menu above the sidebar.
List View
Icon View
In icon view, you can control the size of the icons using the scale slider at the bottom of
the window.
Scale slider
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To change the icon size
Drag the icon scale slider to the right to make the icons larger and to the left to make
them smaller.
On a Multi-Touch trackpad, pinch open to make the icons larger and pinch closed to
make them smaller.
Saving and Sharing Custom Library Elements
You can save nearly any object in Motion to the Library. These include animated cameras
and lights, customized behaviors, filters, particle systems, or replicators, shapes and text,
as well as layers and groups. To save an object for future use, you can drag it to an existing
or new folder in the Library. Once an object is placed in the Library, it can be added to a
project like any other element in the Library.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
You can save multiple objects to the Library as one file or multiple files. For example, if
you create an effect using multiple filters and you want to save the cumulative effect of
those filters to apply to other objects, you can save all of the filters as one item in the
Library.
Although you can save custom objects into their namesake folders, it is generally
recommended that you save customized objects that you use frequently in the Favorites
category. This is because some Motion Library categories contain so many items that
utilizing the Favorites or Favorites Menu categories may save you search time. Within the
Favorites category, you can create additional folders to assist you in better arranging your
custom items.
Note: You can create new folders in the built-in categories, such as the Color Correction
filters subcategory; however, those folders only appear in the Library stack and not the
sidebar. Folders added to the Favorites category appear in the Library sidebar.
To save an object to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or other category.
2 Drag the customized object you want to save from the Layers tab, Timeline, or Inspector
into the stack at the bottom of the Library.
Objects that are saved to the Favorites Menu category can be quickly applied to objects
using the Favorites menu.
When you save a customized object, it’s saved in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.
Note: Items dragged to the wrong category are automatically placed into their namesake
categories. For example, if a custom behavior is dragged to the Filters category, it is
automatically placed in the Behaviors category and the Behaviors category becomes
active.
To save multiple objects to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or another category.
2 In the Layers tab, select all of the objects you want to save, drag them to the stack, and
keep holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3 Choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files.”
“All in one file” saves all the objects together and they are listed as one item in the Library.
“Multiple files” saves the objects as individual objects in the Library.
4 To name the file or files, do one of the following:
• Control-click the icon in the Library stack, choose Rename from the shortcut menu,
then type a descriptive name.
• Select the icon, click “Untitled,” then type a descriptive name.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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When you Control-click the icon, the Edit Description option becomes available. This is
a handy tool that allows you to enter custom notes about an item saved in the Library.
Once you choose Edit Description, enter your notes in the text field and click OK.
Inspector
Every effect and element in Motion, from behaviors to particle systems to gradients, is
controlled by a collection of parameters that modify the various attributes for that effect.
For example, a Blur filter has an amount slider that controls how much blur is applied.
Some parameters are controlled with sliders, some with dials or pop-up menus. In fact,
there are thousands of parameters using many types of controls. All of them are accessed
in the Inspector. For more information on Inspector controls, see Generic Inspector
Controls.
Important: The Inspector is contextual—what appears in the Inspector is based on the
selected object. An object must be selected for parameters to appear in the Inspector.
Even objects without applied effects have many parameters that you can modify to alter
the nature of the object and how it behaves in your project. These include an object’s
scale, opacity, and position onscreen, as well as more obscure attributes such as a clip’s
pixel aspect ratio or field order.
The Inspector consists of four tabs, each of which contains a set of parameters for the
selected object. The first three tabs, Properties, Behaviors, and Filters, are present for any
selected object. The fourth tab, generically called the Object tab, changes its name and
contents depending on the type of object selected.
Inspector Preview Area
The Preview area contains a visual preview of the selected object and a Play button to
show the multiple frames of moving footage. The Inspector Preview is almost identical
to the File Browser and Library Preview areas, but it has no Apply or Import button.
Properties
This tab contains controls for setting basic attributes of the selected object, such as
Transform controls (position, scale, rotation, and so on), Blending controls (opacity, blend
mode, and so on), Shadows controls, Four Corner controls, Crop controls, and controls
for designating the object’s In and Out points.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Note: Different parameters are available in the Properties tab depending on the type of
object that is selected. For example, when a 3D group is selected, the Lighting parameter
appears in the tab and the Crop, Drop Shadow, and Four Corner parameters do not.
Behaviors
When behaviors are applied to an object, the parameters associated with the behaviors
appear in the Behaviors tab when that object is selected.
Filters
Whenever a filter is applied to a layer (or mask), the parameters associated with that filter
appear in the Filters tab.
Object
The appearance of the Object tab is context-sensitive—the name of the tab and the
controls therein are based on the type of the currently selected object. The different types
of Object tabs are described below:
• Object: Appears when there is no currently selected object. There are no parameters
in the Object tab of the Inspector.
• Image: Appears when an image, image sequence, or movie is selected. This tab contains
the Drop Zone checkbox, the state of which determines whether the image selected
is a drop zone target. The Fit parameter determines how a dropped layer is sized within
the drop zone, and the Clear button removes the reference layer from the drop zone.
For more information, see Drop Zones.
• Group: Appears when a group is the selected object. The tab contains the Type
parameter, which allows you to convert a group from 2D to 3D, and vice versa. A 2D
group has different available parameters than a 3D group.
When set to 3D, the Flatten and Layer Order parameters become available. When the
Flatten checkbox is selected, all of the elements in the 3D group are flattened like a
card or billboard. When the Layer Order checkbox is selected, the project elements are
sorted by their order in the Layers tab rather than their order in Z space. For more
information, see Layer Order and Depth Order.
When set to 2D, the Fixed Resolution parameters become available, which allow you
to manually define the size of a group. By default, Fixed Resolution is disabled and the
size of the group is determined by the layers within that group. For more information,
see Fixing the Size of a Group.
Note: When selected, Fixed Resolution crops the group to the size specified in the
Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters around the anchor point of the group.
• Camera: Appears when a camera is selected and contains controls specific to a scene
camera, including the type of camera, its angle of view, and depth of field parameters.
For more information on working with cameras, see Cameras.
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Note: A scene camera is a camera that is added to a project, as opposed to a default
camera view that you choose in the upper-left corner of the Canvas, such as Top, Right,
or Perspective.
• Light: Appears when a light is selected and contains controls that allow you to change
the light type, color, intensity, and so on. For more information on working with lights,
see Lighting.
• Media: Appears when an item is selected in the Media tab of the Project pane (for more
information see Project Pane). These parameters deal mostly with attributes of the file
on disk or how the file is interpreted by Motion. Because multiple project objects can
reference a single media file, the tab contains a list of linked objects including the name
of the group where they exist. Making changes in this tab affects all objects that refer
to the selected media file. For more information on working with media parameters,
see Object Media Tab Parameters.
• Text: Appears when a text layer is selected and contains all of the controls that affect
the text. This tab is divided into three panes: Format, Style, and Layout.
• Format: Contains standard type controls such as font, size, tracking, kerning, and so
on. It also contains a large text entry box called the Text editor where you can edit
the contents of the text (in addition to onscreen editing).
• Style: Controls the color, texture, and similar attributes for the typeface, outline, glow,
and drop shadow. Each of these sections is grouped and can be s or off by selecting
the activation checkbox next to the category name.
• Layout: Contains paragraph style controls such as justification, alignment, and line
spacing (leading). This pane also contains controls to create a type-on effect or to
modify text path options. For more information on working with text parameters,
see Creating and Editing Text.
• Mask: Appears when a mask is selected and contains the Feather (softness) parameter.
This tab also contains controls to change the mask’s shape type and how multiple
masks interact, an Invert Mask checkbox, and position value sliders for the mask control
points. For more information on working with mask attributes, see Mask Parameters.
• Shape: Appears when a shape layer is selected and contains all of the controls that
affect the shape. This tab is divided into four panes: Style, Stroke, Advanced, and
Geometry.
• Style: Contains controls to modify the fill and outline of a shape, including changing
the brush type for an outline or paint stroke.
• Stroke: Once a paint stroke has been created using the Paint Stroke tool, or the Brush
Type for a shape outline is set to Airbrush or Image, the Stroke pane becomes
available. Use these controls to set the stroke color and brush scale, to adjust the
opacity, spacing, width, and other parameters.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
• Advanced: Contains controls that allow the dabs of a paint stroke to be animated
like particles.
• Geometry: Contains controls that allow you to change the shape type, to close or
open a shape, and to individually adjust the position of a shape’s control points using
value sliders. For more information on working with shapes, see Using Shapes, Masks,
and Paint Strokes.
• Emitter: Appears when a particle emitter is selected. The parameters in this tab control
all aspects of the emitter, such as the emitter shape, space (2D or 3D), angle, and range.
This tab also provides access to cell controls. For emitters with multiple cells, these
controls affect all cells. For more information on using particles, see Working with
Particles.
• Particle Cell: Appears when a particle cell is selected. Particle cells can only be selected
in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list. This tab contains controls for attributes such
as birth rate, speed, angle, and color.
• Replicator: Appears when a replicator is selected. Replicators can only be selected in
the Layers tab or Timeline layers list. This tab contains controls for attributes such as
replicator shape, space (2D or 3D), pattern, size, and cell controls. For more information
on using the replicator, see Using the Replicator.
• Replicator Cell: Appears when a replicator cell is selected. Replicator cells can only be
selected in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list.
• Generator: Displays the parameters and attributes of the selected generator, such as
the Center, Size, and Intensity parameters of a Lens Flare generator. The specific
parameters listed depend on the selected generator. For more information on
generators, see Working with Generators.
Locking the Inspector
The Inspector typically changes dynamically based on the object that is selected. However,
sometimes you want to select another object while you continue looking at the parameters
for the current object. When you lock the Inspector, it does not change based on your
selection.
To lock the Inspector
Do one of the following:
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Click the lock icon in the upper-right corner of the Preview area of the Inspector.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
43
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Choose Window > Create Locked Inspector.
To unlock the Inspector
Do one of the following:
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Click the unlocked lock icon in the upper-right corner of the Preview area of the Inspector.
Choose Window > Create Unlocked Inspector.
Toolbar
Motion’s Toolbar is located at the top of the main window. The default set of controls
provides access to all of the tools you need for manipulating objects in the Canvas and
elsewhere in the application. There are tools that create new text layers, shape layers,
and masks. There are also icons to apply filters and behaviors, and to create particle
systems and replicators. Finally, there are icons to show and hide the various windows
and panes of the Motion interface such as the Timeline, HUD, and others.
Tool Groups
Tools are grouped in different ways. Several tools have multiple modes or options, such
as Shape tools that can be set to Rectangle, Circle, or Line. The Circle and Line tools are
hidden until you click the Shape tool and hold down the mouse button, invoking a pop-up
list of additional tool states. Tools with additional states (subtools) are indicated with a
tiny downward arrow in the lower-right corner of the tool.
Arrow indicates hidden
tool states.
Tools are also grouped into categories of use. The first set is called the View tools because
they deal with changing the view and manipulation method in the Canvas. The second
set is called Create tools, because they add new content to the project, such as text and
shapes. The Mask set contains tools that add a mask to an existing layer or group.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
On the top-right side of the Toolbar is a series of icons that adjust the Motion interface.
These controls hide and show the various panes, tabs, and windows that comprise the
Motion interface.
The following tables itemize each of the tools in the default tool set, by group. The first
group is the View set. Once you have selected a tool and an object in the Canvas, you
can switch between tools by pressing the Tab key. Press Shift-Tab to cycle through the
tools in the reverse order.
View Tools
The View tools enable you to adjust and manipulate objects in the Canvas. The first button
in this group activates eight subtools. Click this button and hold down the mouse button
to see a pop-up list of all the subtools.
Button
Tool name
Keyboard
shortcut
Description
Select/Transform
tool (arrow)
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools. An
object must be
selected in
order to tab
through the
tools.)
Select/Transform tool is the default. This tool
selects and moves objects in the Canvas. You can
scale objects by dragging their corner points or
rotate an object by dragging its center point.
If you have another tool selected, such as a mask
tool, pressing the S key selects the previous tool
option selected in the Select/Transform tools. If
you are using the Adjust 3D Transform tool, press
Shift-S to choose the Select/Transform tool.
Adjust Anchor
Point tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Changes the point around which an object scales
or rotates. To use it, drag the current anchor point
to a new position.
Adjust Shear
tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Distorts an object by moving two adjacent corners
at the same time, leaving the other two corners
locked into place.
Adjust Drop
Shadow tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Changes the direction and offset of an object’s
drop shadow. This tool never moves the object
itself.
Adjust Four
Corner tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Allows you to distort an object by moving one of
the corner points, leaving the other three corners
locked into place. The image is stretched and
distorted to fit the shape you create.
Adjust Crop
tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Allows you to hide portions of an object by
dragging the edge or corner of the object.
Adjust Control
Points tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Allows you to modify points and Bezier handles
for masks, shapes, and motion paths.
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Button
Keyboard
shortcut
Description
Adjust Glyph
tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
Available when a text object is selected, allows
you to modify the position and X, Y, or Z rotation
for individual characters (glyphs) in a text object.
Adjust Item
tool
S (Press Tab to
cycle through
tools.)
A contextual tool that allows you to modify special
controls such as the center point of a Circle Blur,
or the shape of a particle emitter or replicator, or
the start and end points of a gradient.
Adjust 3D
Transform tool
Q
Allows you to manipulate objects in 3D space
using 3D transform and rotation manipulators. To
return to 2D controls, click the Select/Transform
tool. To display rotational controls in the Canvas,
press the Command key.
Pan tool
H
Allows you to drag your view of the Canvas in
different directions. The Pan tool never moves
individual objects. To reset the pan, double-click
the Pan tool. To pan the Canvas without selecting
the Pan tool, press the Space bar and drag in the
Canvas.
Zoom tool
Z
Allows you to zoom in and out on the Canvas.
Click the point in the Canvas that you want to
zoom toward or away from and drag to the right
to zoom in or drag left to zoom out. To reset the
zoom, double-click the Zoom tool. To zoom into
a specific area of the Canvas, press
Command-Space bar (in that order) and drag an
area of the Canvas. While still pressing the keys,
click to zoom in to the Canvas in 50 percent
increments of the current zoom level. Press Space
bar-Command-Option (in that order) and click in
the Canvas to zoom out in 50 percent increments.
Walk Camera
tool
None
Allows you to navigate through your scene as if
you are walking with the camera. Click the Walk
Camera icon, then use the Up Arrow, Down Arrow,
Right Arrow, and Left Arrow keys to navigate.
Tool name
Create Tools
The Create tools generate new layers. You can modify the attributes for the newly created
layers in the Inspector. The first button in each group activates any available subtools.
Click this button and hold down the mouse button to see a pop-up list of all the subtools
for that group.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Button
Tool name
Keyboard
shortcut
Rectangle tool
R
Creates a new rectangle shape in the Canvas and
adds a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the
position where you want one corner to appear
and drag to the position of the opposite corner.
Pressing Shift while you drag constrains the layer
to a square.
Circle tool
C
Creates a new circle shape in the Canvas and adds
a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the
position where one edge of the circle should begin
and drag toward the opposite edge. Pressing Shift
while you drag constrains the shape to a circle.
Line tool
None
Creates a new line shape in the Canvas and adds
a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the
position where one end of the line should begin
and drag toward the opposite end. Pressing the
Shift key while you drag constrains the line to
specific angles.
Bezier tool
B (Switches
Bezier/B-Spline
tool.)
Creates a new freeform shape with Bezier point
vertices. To create a shape, click repeatedly in the
Canvas to add points to your shape. To close the
shape, click the first point of the shape or press
the C key. To create an open-ended shape,
double-click the last point.
B-Spline tool
B (Switches
Bezier/B-Spline
tool.)
Creates a new freeform shape with B-Spline
vertices. To create a shape, click repeatedly in the
Canvas to add points to your shape. To close the
shape, click the first point of the shape or press C.
To create an open-ended shape, double-click the
last point.
Paint Stroke
tool
P
Creates shape-based paint strokes. Click where
you want to start the stroke, then drag to create
the stroke. Command-drag to adjust the size of
the brush stroke before you create the stroke.
Text tool
T
Creates new text and lets you edit the text of
existing text layers. To create a text layer, click the
tool in the Canvas at the position where you want
the text to appear, then begin typing. Choose the
Select/Transform tool (or press Esc) to grab or
move the new text layer. To change the text of an
existing text layer, select the Text tool, then click
the text. The text becomes editable.
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Description
47
Mask Tools
The Mask tools can only be accessed when a layer (a visible object in the Canvas, such
as an image or replicator) or 2D group is selected. Using a Mask tool creates a new mask
that hides portions of the selected layer. By default, the area inside the mask remains
visible. Masks have their own set of controls available in the Inspector. For more
information about masks, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
The first button in each group activates any available subtools. Click this button and hold
down the mouse button to see a pop-up list of all the subtools for that group.
Icon
Tool name
Keyboard
shortcut
Description
Rectangle
Mask tool
Option-R
Creates a new rectangular mask in the Canvas.
Click at the position where you want one corner
to appear and drag to the position of the opposite
corner. Pressing the Shift key while you drag
constrains the mask to a square.
Circle Mask
tool
Option-C
Creates a new circular mask in the Canvas. Click
at the position where one edge of the mask should
begin and drag toward the opposite edge.
Pressing the Shift key while dragging constrains
the mask to a circle.
Freehand Mask
tool
None
Creates a freeform mask in the shape that you
draw. Drag to create the freeform shape. The
shape automatically closes the mask between the
first and last points.
Bezier Mask
tool
Option-B
(Switches
Bezier/B-Spline
Mask tools.)
Creates a new freeform mask with Bezier point
vertices. To create a mask, click repeatedly in the
Canvas to add points to your mask. To close the
mask, click the first point of the mask or press C.
To create an open-ended mask, double-click the
last point.
B-Spline Mask
tool
Option-B
(Switches
Bezier/B-Spline
Mask tools.)
Creates a new freeform mask with B-Spline
vertices. To create a mask, click repeatedly in the
Canvas to add points to your mask. To close the
mask, click the first point of the shape or press C.
To create an open-ended shape, double-click the
last point.
Camera and Effects Icons
The first icon on the right side of the Toolbar adds a new camera to a project. The next
four icons make up the effects controls. These are special controls providing instant access
to the most common effects. Because these controls apply effects to existing objects,
they are not available unless an object is selected.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Icon
Icon name
Description
New Camera
Adds a new camera to the workspace. When you
add a camera to a 2D project, a dialog appears
asking if you want to convert your 2D groups to
3D groups. Although a camera can be added to a
2D project, the camera has no effect on a 2D
group.
Add Behavior
Activates a pop-up menu of behaviors. Choosing
an item from the menu applies that behavior to
the selected object(s). Objects to which behaviors
can be applied include layers (images, particle
emitters, and so on), groups, cameras, and lights.
Generally, a subset of the controls for the behavior
appear in the HUD; all of the controls appear in
the Inspector. When the Adjust Item tool is
selected, onscreen controls (if any) become
available for the behavior.
Add Filter
Activates a pop-up menu of filters. Choosing an
item from the menu applies that filter to the
selected object. Filters can only be applied to
layers (images, text, shapes, particle emitters,
masks, replicators, generators, and so on). Filters
cannot be applied to cameras or lights. Most of
the controls for the filter appear in the HUD; all of
the controls appear in the Inspector. When the
Adjust Item tool is selected, onscreen controls (if
any) become available for the filter.
Make Particles
Uses the selected layer (shape, text, image, and
so on) as the source for a particle cell. The
originally selected layer is disabled. A subset of
the controls for the particle system appear in the
HUD; all of the controls appear in the Inspector.
When the Adjust Item tool is selected, onscreen
controls become available for the particle emitter
(except when Point is selected from the emitter
Shape pop-up menu).
Replicate
Uses the selected layer (shape, text, image, and
so on) as a source cell for the replicator. The
originally selected layer is disabled. A subset of
the controls for the replicator appear in the HUD;
all of the controls appear in the Inspector. When
the Adjust Item tool is selected, the replicator
onscreen controls become available.
Interface Icons
The interface icons on the far right of the Toolbar provide access to the main elements
of the Motion interface. Click any of these icons to show or hide the corresponding
window, tab, or pane.
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49
Icon
Icon name
Keyboard
shortcut
HUD
F7, D
F7 turns display of the HUD on and off. If the HUD
is not displayed, press D. Once the HUD is
displayed, pressing D cycles through the HUDs for
the selected object.
File Browser
Command-1
Shows/hides the File Browser. Hides and shows
the utility window if the File Browser is the only
open tab.
Library
Command-2
Shows/hides the Library. Hides and shows the
utility window if the Library is the only open tab.
Inspector
Command-3
Shows/hides the Inspector. Hides and shows the
utility window if the Inspector is the only open
tab.
Project Pane
F5
Shows/hides the Project pane.
Timing Pane
F6
Shows/hides the Timing pane.
Description
Customizing the Toolbar
You have many options for personalizing the Toolbar. You can change which controls
appear on the Toolbar as well as the order in which they appear. You can put spaces and
separators between the tools to group them to your liking. You can view all of the controls
as icons, icons with a text description, or just as text.
To add controls to the Toolbar
1 Do one of the following to display the Customize Toolbar dialog:
• Choose View > Customize Toolbar.
• Control-click the Toolbar, then choose Customize Toolbar from the shortcut menu.
2 Drag the buttons or icons you want to add to the position of your choice in the Toolbar.
3 Click the Done button to close the dialog.
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To remove an item from the Toolbar
Control-click the button or icon you want to remove, then choose Remove Item from the
shortcut menu.
Note: You can also remove items from the Toolbar when the Customize Toolbar dialog
is open by dragging the items away from the Toolbar and releasing the mouse button.
A “poof” animation appears to indicate that the button has been removed.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Spaces and Separators
In addition to adding and arranging controls in the Toolbar, you can add spaces, flexible
spaces, and separators to arrange and group the contents of your Toolbar.
• Separator: A separator adds a dotted vertical line between two controls. The separator
has no function other than as an organizational tool. The default layout uses a separator
between the effects icons and the interface icons.
• Space: A space adds a single icon’s width of space between other controls.
• Flexible Space: A flexible space distributes controls evenly across the Toolbar, taking
up as much or as little space as needed to fill the empty parts of the bar. The default
layout has a flexible space between the Mask tools and the Effects icons.
Additional Buttons and Icons
The Customize Toolbar dialog provides access to additional icons that are not present in
the default set.
Button
Icon name
Description
Customize
Opens the Customize Toolbar dialog.
Colors
Opens the Colors window.
Fonts
Opens the Mac OS X Font panel. You can also
browse fonts within the Motion Library. For more
information, see Using the Library Font Preview.
New Generator
Opens a menu from which you can select any
generator and add it to the project.
New Light
Adds a new light to the project, visible in the 3D
workspace.
Layers
Shows or hides the Layers tab in the Project pane.
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Button
Icon name
Description
Media
Shows or hides the Media tab in the Project pane.
Audio
Shows or hides the Audio tab in the Project pane.
Timeline
Shows or hides the Timeline in the Timing pane.
Keyframe Editor
Shows or hides the Keyframe Editor in the Timing
pane.
Audio Editor
Shows or hides the Audio Editor in the Timing
pane.
Template Browser
Opens the Template Browser. For more
information on using the Template Browser, see
Creating New Projects from Templates.
External Video On
When you have an additional monitor connected
to your system, clicking this icon automatically
sends output to the external monitor. Clicking it
again turns off output to the additional monitor.
Without using this icon, you must choose Motion
> Preferences (or press Command-Comma) and
change the Output settings.
External Video Off
When you have an additional monitor connected
to your system, clicking this icon turns off output
to the additional monitor. Without using this icon,
you must choose Motion > Preferences (or press
Command-Comma) and change the Output
settings.
Changing the Icon View
The Toolbar controls can be viewed as icons, text, or both. By default, both names and
icons are displayed. Once you get familiar with the icons, you can choose to hide the
names to save desktop space. Alternately, go with just the names to save the most space.
To change the view in the Toolbar
Do one of the following:
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Control-click the Toolbar, then choose an option from the shortcut menu.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
µ
Choose an option from the Show pop-up menu in the lower-left corner of the Customize
Toolbar dialog.
Icon & Text
Icon Only
Text Only
Hiding the Toolbar
Once you get familiar with the common controls and the keyboard shortcuts, you may
want to hide the Toolbar altogether to simplify the interface and provide more room for
the Canvas.
To hide the Toolbar
Do one of the following:
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µ
µ
Click the Toolbar button in the upper-right corner of the main window.
Choose View > Hide Toolbar.
Press Command-Option-T.
Toolbar button
If the Toolbar is currently hidden, these same controls all show the Toolbar instead of
hiding it.
Canvas
The majority of your screen is occupied by your main work area, the Canvas. This is similar
to the document window in many other applications. It is here that you arrange and lay
out the layers that comprise your composite. Adding layers and effects to your project is
as simple as dragging them from the utility window to the Canvas.
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When you want to watch your project play back, the transport controls at the bottom of
this window (below the Canvas) allow you to play your project at regular speed or frame
by frame. The mini-Timeline lies just above the transport controls and below the main
body of the window. This control provides a view of where selected layers in the Canvas
begin and end in time.
Mini-Timeline
Transport controls
Whatever you see in the Canvas reflects exactly what you get when you export or output
your project. However, this window is not just a place to view the results of your work;
this is where you modify and arrange the elements of your project.
You can directly manipulate the items in the Canvas to modify physical attributes such
as position, scale, and rotation, or use familiar drag-and-drop techniques to apply behaviors
or filters directly to the items in the Canvas. See Using Behaviors and Using Filters to learn
more about how to use these features.
Canvas Shortcut Menu
The Canvas has its own shortcut menu that allows you to access some tools you may
need while working in the Canvas.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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To use the Canvas shortcut menu
Control-click an empty area of the Canvas (in the gray area outside of the actual project)
and choose an option from the shortcut menu:
• New Group: Adds a new group to the project above any existing groups in the Layers
tab.
• Import: Opens the Import dialog, which allows you to import files from the Finder.
• Paste: Pastes any item that has been copied to the Clipboard into a new group in the
project. The new group is added above any existing groups in the Layers tab.
• Project Properties: Opens the Project Properties dialog, which allows you to modify the
project’s background color, aspect ratio, field rendering, motion blur, and so on. For
more information on the Project Properties dialog, see Creating Blank Projects from
Project Presets.
Status Bar
A Status Bar appears at the top-left of the Canvas, below the Toolbar, and provides
information about your project. There are three types of information that can be displayed
here: color, coordinates, and frame rate.
Status Bar
Color
Some motion graphics projects may require you to match or align different colors in your
project. The Status Bar can provide visual and numerical information on the color of the
pixel currently under the pointer, as well as the value of the alpha channel. No clicking
is necessary—as you move the pointer, the Status Bar updates.
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To display the current pixel color in the Status Bar
Control-click the Status Bar, choose Color from the shortcut menu, then position the
pointer over the Canvas.
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This procedure allows you to see the exact color and alpha values of the examined pixel.
You can view the color numerically in one of three formats:
• RGBA: The red, green, blue, and alpha components of the color are represented in
values from 0–255.
• RGBA (percent): The red, green, blue, and alpha components of the color are represented
in values from 1–100.
• HSV: The hue is represented from 1–360, and the saturation and value (luminance) are
represented in values from 1–100.
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To choose between viewing color in RGB, RGB (percent), and HSV
Control-click the Status Bar, then choose the color space option you want from the
shortcut menu.
Note: Color must be enabled in the Status Bar to choose a color space.
Coordinates
For precision placement of objects in the Canvas, it may be helpful to know the exact
pixel position of the pointer at any given time. The Status Bar can display this information
in an X and Y coordinate system (Cartesian). The center point of the Canvas is 0,0.
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To display the current pointer position in the Status Bar
Control-click the Status Bar, then choose Coordinates from the shortcut menu.
Frame Rate
Part of the way Motion plays back your project in real time is by lowering the frame rate
when the sequence is too complex to render at full speed. You can monitor the current
frame rate in the Status Bar. It is measured in frames per second (fps).
Note: This number only appears while the project is playing.
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To monitor the project’s playback frame rate
Control-click the Status Bar, then choose Frame Rate from the shortcut menu.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
You can also turn the Status Bar items on and off in the Appearance Preferences pane.
To display Motion Preferences, choose Motion > Preferences.
Canvas View Options
This section discusses the various ways to view the Canvas using the view options menus
just above the top-right corner of the Canvas.
View options
Zoom Level pop-up menu: The Zoom Level pop-up menu offers several different default
zoom levels. Zooming the Canvas does not actually change the size of the images in your
project. It merely changes the current view of the entire window.
You can choose to set the view to percentages of 12, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1600,
or to Fit In Window.
For more information on zooming in and out of the Canvas, see Canvas Zoom Level.
Zoom Level
View Layouts
Channels
Render
View and Overlay
Channels pop-up menu: The Channels pop-up menu controls which color channels are
displayed in the Canvas. You can use this menu to view a single color channel in the
Canvas, to examine layers’ alpha channels, or to manipulate effects that affect only a
single color channel. This menu displays the following options:
• Color: Shows the image just as it would appear on a video monitor. Visible layers
appear in natural color and transparent areas reveal the background color as set in the
Project Properties dialog. This is black by default. To change the project background
color, choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J), then click or Control-click
the Background Color well.
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Note: The Background pop-up menu in the General tab of the Project Properties dialog
must be set to Solid in order to export the background color with the project. This
option creates a solid alpha channel on export (when exporting using a codec that
supports alpha channels). When the Background pop-up menu is set to Transparent,
the color is visible in the Canvas, but does not render as part of the alpha channel.
• Transparent: Shows the background area of the Canvas as transparent. A checkerboard
pattern appears by default where no images block the background.
• Alpha Overlay: Displays the image in normal color, but adds a red highlight over
transparent areas of the image.
• RGB Only: Displays the normal mix of red, green, and blue channels but displays
transparent areas (including semi-transparent areas) as opaque.
• Red: Displays only the red channel as a range of black to white.
• Green: Displays only the green channel as a range of black to white.
• Blue: Displays only the blue channel as a range of black to white.
• Alpha: Displays the alpha (transparency) channel of the layers in the Canvas.
• Inverted Alpha: Displays an inverted view of the alpha (transparency) channel.
Render pop-up menu: The Render pop-up menu controls the quality and resolution of
the Canvas display, as well as facilitating the enabling/disabling of certain features that
can significantly impact playback performance.
If you have a complex project that is causing your computer to play at a very low frame
rate, you can make changes in this menu to reduce the strain on the processor. This frees
you from waiting for the image to be rendered at full resolution each time you make an
adjustment, allowing you to watch complex projects at high frame rates while you’re
constructing projects.
Note: These options are also available in the View pull-down menu (View > Resolution,
Quality, or Render Options).
The Render pop-up menu displays the following options:
• Full: Displays the Canvas at full resolution.
• Half: Displays the Canvas at half resolution.
• Third: Displays the Canvas at one-third resolution.
• Quarter: Displays the Canvas at one-quarter resolution.
• Draft: Renders objects in the Canvas at a lower quality to allow optimal project
interactivity. There is no antialiasing, and 32-bit (floating point) footage is truncated to
8-bit.
Tip: When working in your project, work in Draft or Normal for better interactivity.
When you are ready to export your project, use Best or Custom.
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• Normal: The default setting, renders objects in the Canvas at a medium quality. Shapes
are antialiased, but 3D intersections are not. Floating point (32-bit) footage is truncated
to 8-bit.
• Best: Renders objects in the Canvas at best quality, which includes higher quality image
resampling, antialiased intersections, and antialiased particle edges. If the project
contains any floating point QuickTime images, the floating point versions of those files
are loaded and rendered in float. This option slows down project interactivity.
For more information on float space, see About Bit Depth.
• Custom: Allows you to set a variety of additional controls to customize render quality.
Choosing Custom opens the Advanced Quality Options dialog. For information on the
settings in the Advanced Quality Options dialog, see Advanced Quality Settings.
Note: 10-bit YUV (Y′CBCR) files render at 8-bit in the Canvas unless render quality is set
to Best.
Tip: When exporting a project using the “Movie - current project and canvas settings”
option (from the Use pop-up menu in the Export dialog), set Render Quality to Best
prior to exporting.
• Lighting: Turns the effect of lights in a project on or off. This setting does not turn off
lights in the Layers tab (or light scene icons), but it disables light shading effects in the
Canvas.
When this setting is selected and you are using a default export preset (such as DV
NTSC Movie), your project is exported with lighting. This is because export presets are
exported with the “Use current project and canvas settings” option selected by default
(in the Output tab of the Export Options dialog). When this checkbox is selected,
whatever is enabled in the View pop-up menu is also exported.
For information on overriding current project settings for lighting on export, see
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Shadows: Turns the effect of shadows in a project on or off.
For information on overriding current project settings for shadows on export, see
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Reflections: Turns the effect of reflections in a project on or off.
For information on overriding current project settings for reflections on export, see
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Depth of Field: Turns the effect of depth of field in a project on or off.
For information on overriding current project settings for depth of field on export, see
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Motion Blur: Turning this setting off disables the preview of motion blur in the Canvas.
This may result in a performance improvement.
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When Motion Blur is enabled in the View pull-down menu (View > Render Options >
Motion Blur) and you are using the default export preset (“Movie - current project and
canvas settings”), your project is exported with motion blur. (The default codec used
is Apple ProRes 4444.) When this default setting is used, any options chosen in the
View pop-up menu (or the View pull-down menu), as well as settings in the Project
Properties dialog, are exported.
However, if you choose any another preset, motion blur is disabled and must be
manually enabled. For example, if you choose DV NTSC Movie, motion blur is disabled.
You can override a preset’s settings, as described below.
Note: When opening a Motion project in another application such as Final Cut Pro,
Motion Blur in the View pop-up menu controls whether or not motion blur is applied.
For information on overriding current project settings for motion blur on export, see
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Field Rendering: Turning this setting off disables field rendering, which is required for
smooth motion playback on a TV monitor. Field rendering nearly doubles rendering
time, so disabling this item will typically result in a significant performance improvement.
When Field Rendering is enabled in the View menu and you are using the default export
preset (“Movie - current project and canvas settings”), your project is exported with
field rendering. (The default codec used is Apple ProRes 4444.) When this default setting
is used, any options chosen in the View pop-up menu (or the View pull-down menu),
as well as settings in the Project Properties dialog, are exported.
However, if you choose another preset, field rendering is enabled based on the selected
preset itself (whether that particular codec requires fields). For example, if you choose
DV NTSC Movie, field rendering is enabled because fields are expected. If you choose
DVCPRO HD 720p24 Movie, field rendering is disabled because it is a progressive-scan
(no fields) movie format.
Note: When opening a Motion project in another application such as Final Cut Pro or
DVD Studio Pro, the Field Rendering setting in the View pop-up menu does not control
whether field rendering is applied or not. This is controlled in the Project Properties
dialog (press Command-J). When Field Order is set to anything other than None, field
rendering is used in the other application, regardless of the Field Rendering status in
the View pop-up menu.
For information on overriding current project settings for field rendering on export,
see Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Frame Blending: Turning this setting off disables frame blending in the Canvas. Frame
blending can smooth the appearance of video frames by interpolating the pixels
between two adjacent frames to create a smoother transition.
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When this setting is turned on in the View menu and you are using the default export
preset (“Movie - current project and canvas settings”), your project is exported with
frame blending. (The default codec used is Apple ProRes 4444.) When this default
setting is used, any options chosen in the View pop-up menu (or the View pull-down
menu), as well as settings in the Project Properties dialog, are exported.
However, if you choose any other preset, frame blending is enabled based on the
selected preset. For example, if you choose DV NTSC Movie, frame blending is enabled.
For information on overriding current project settings for frame blending on export,
see Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu.
• Preview for Float Bit Depth: When working in float space, turning this setting off drops
the preview in the Canvas to 8-bit. Because working in float space drastically increases
processing time, turn this setting off to speed your workflow. This setting does not
modify the actual output of the project.
Note: For more information on float space, see About Bit Depth.
View and Overlay pop-up menu: The View and Overlay pop-up menu provides access
to the various types of guides and controls that can be viewed in the Canvas. When an
option is active, a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
Note: These options are also available in the View pull-down menu.
• Show Overlays: Turns the display of all overlays in the Canvas on or off. This setting
must be on in order to view any of the other overlay items (grids, guides, and so on).
To turn the camera overlays on or off, use Show 3D Overlays.
Note: You can also press Command-Slash (/).
• Rulers: Turns display of the rulers along the edge of the Canvas on or off. You can
specify where the rulers appear in the Canvas section of Motion Preferences. For more
information on using rulers, see Canvas Rulers.
Note: You can also press Command-Shift-R.
• Grid: Turns a grid display on and off over the Canvas. You can set the spacing and color
of the grid in the Canvas section of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Command-Apostrophe (’).
• Guides: Turns display of manually created guides on and off. Guides can only be created
if rulers are also displayed. You can change the color of the guides in the Canvas pane
of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Command-Semicolon (;).
• Dynamic Guides: Turns display of automatic dynamic guides on and off. These guides
appear when dragging a layer past edges of other layers. You can change the color of
the dynamic guides in the Canvas pane of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Command-Shift-Colon (:).
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• Safe Zones: Turns display of the title safe and action safe guides on and off. By default,
these guides are set at 80% and 90%. You can change these settings and the color of
the guides in the Canvas pane of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press the Apostrophe key (’).
• Film Zone: Turns display of the film aspect ratio guides on and off. This can be helpful
if you are creating a project for videotape that is to be transferred to film. You can
change the size of the guides as well as their color in the Canvas pane of Motion
Preferences.
Note: You can also press Shift-Quotation Mark (”).
• Handles: Turns display of object handles in the Canvas on and off. Viewing object
handles is necessary to perform certain onscreen transformations, such as resizing.
Handles only appear on selected objects.
• Lines: Turns display of the lines that outline an object on and off.
• Animation Path: Turns animation paths on and off. These editable paths indicate the
route along which animated objects travel. If the selected object is not positionally
animated, this command does not appear to have any effect. If handles are not
displayed, the path curves cannot be adjusted in the Canvas. Animation paths created
by behaviors, with the exception of the Motion Path behavior, are for display only and
are not editable.
• Show 3D Overlays: Turns all 3D overlays in the Canvas on and off, including Camera
overlays, 3D View Tools, Compass, Inset view, 3D grid, and 3D scene icons. (3D overlays
appear only in projects that contain 3D groups.)
Note: You can also press Command-Option-Slash (/).
• 3D View Tools: Turns the Camera menu and 3D View tools in the Canvas on and off.
Pan
Dolly
Editing
camera
Orbit
Camera menu
3D View tools
• Compass: Turns the 3D Compass in the Canvas on and off. Using red, green, and blue
axes, the compass shows your current orientation in 3D space. The red axis is X
(horizontal), the green axis is Y (vertical), and the blue axis is Z (depth).
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Holding the pointer over the 3D Compass exposes color-coded shortcuts to the reference
camera views. Click any of the colored view icons, such as Front, Left, Right, Perspective,
and so on to switch to that corresponding camera view. The Canvas animates as it
changes to the new view. For more information on working with the 3D Compass and
the different views, see Views.
3D Compass
3D Compass showing
camera shortcuts
• Inset View: Turns the Inset view in the Canvas on and off. When enabled, a temporary
window appears in the lower-right corner of the Canvas displaying a Active Camera or
Perspective view of your project helping you stay oriented as you move objects in 3D
space. You can change the size of the Inset view, as well as control whether the Inset
view appears on transform changes, on all changes, or manually.
The Perspective view dynamically changes to fit the objects in the Inset view (even if
objects are no longer visible in the main window). This view is triggered when you are
already looking through the camera. The Active view is triggered when you are using
a camera view other than the active camera (such as Front). For more information on
the Inset view, see Inset View.
Inset view
Note: Because project elements are 2D (flat) objects, the elements are not visible when
you use orthogonal camera views (Left, Right, Top, and Bottom) unless the elements
are rotated in 3D space (or unless text, particles, or the replicator is using the Face
Camera parameter in its Inspector). This is because orthogonal views are at right angles
(perpendicular) to the elements. When an object is selected, a thin gray line represents
the object in the Canvas. For more information on using cameras, see Cameras.
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• 3D Grid: Turns the grid in the Canvas on and off. The 3D grid helps you stay oriented
and can be used to guide the placement of objects in your project. The 3D grid only
appears when you are in a 3D workspace.
• 3D Scene Icons: Turns the display of the cameras and lights in the Canvas on or off. The
scene icons appear in the Canvas as yellow wireframe icons. Lights appear with red
(X), green (Y), and blue (Z) adjust 3D handles that let you transform and rotate the light
object. The handles are still displayed when the 3D Scene Icons command is turned
off. For more information on the 3D scene icons, see 3D Scene Icons.
Light
Camera
• Correct for Aspect Ratio: Applies an artificial distortion of the Canvas in projects with
nonsquare pixels. When the setting is on, the computer monitor simulates what a TV
monitor displays. When the setting is off, projects with nonsquare pixels appear
stretched. This is because computer monitors have square pixels. This setting does not
modify the actual output of the project.
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• Show Full View Area: When enabled, this setting lets you see the portion of a layer that
extends beyond the edge of the Canvas. This setting is disabled by default, as it slows
your project’s interactivity.
• Use Drop Zones: Turns drop zones on and off. When turned on, a checkmark will appear
next to the menu item, and drop zones will accept objects dragged to them. When
turned off, drop zones will ignore objects dropped onto them. For more information
on using drop zones, see Drop Zones.
• Save View Defaults: Saves the current state of all the settings in this menu as the default
state for new projects.
View Layouts pop-up menu: This pop-up menu lets you specify how you want to view
your project in the Canvas. You can view the Canvas as a single workspace, or choose
from the available window arrangements in the menu. The following examples show two
of the available window arrangements.
Note: Although the different workspace views are available for 2D projects, they are most
useful when working in 3D space.
Two top windows; one lower window arrangement
Four windows arrangement
• Single: The default value, displays a single window in the Canvas.
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• Two-up, side by side: Displays two windows in the Canvas, one next to the other.
• Two-up, top and bottom: Displays two windows in the Canvas, one on top of the other.
• Three-up, large window below: Displays three windows, two next to each other on top
and a larger window below.
• Three-up, large window right: Displays three windows, two stacked on the left side and
a larger window spanning the right side.
• Four-up, large window right: Displays four windows, three stacked on the left side and
one larger window on the right side.
• Four-up: Displays four windows, all the same size.
Advanced Quality Settings
When the Canvas view quality is set to Custom in the Quality section of the Render pop-up
menu (or in the View > Quality pull-down menu), the Advanced Quality Options dialog
opens.
The Advanced Quality Options dialog provides additional controls to fine-tune your
rendering performance and quality.
Quality: A pop-up menu that sets the quality to Draft, Normal, Best, or Custom. These
options are identical to the Quality settings in the Render pop-up menu.
For more information on the Render popup menu, see Canvas View Options.
• Draft: When Draft is selected from the Quality pop-up menu, none of the quality options
are turned on, and Text Quality is set to Low. This option allows optimal project
interactivity.
• Normal: When Normal is selected from the Quality pop-up menu, “Shape antialiasing”
is turned on and Text Quality is set to Medium. This option allows project interactivity
that is slower than Draft, but much faster than Best.
• Best: When Best is selected from the Quality pop-up menu, “High quality image
resampling,” “Shape antialiasing,” and “Antialias 3D intersections” are turned on. Text
render quality is set to High. Additionally, if the project contains any floating point
QuickTime images, the floating point versions of those files are loaded and rendered
in float space. This option slows down project interactivity.
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• Custom: Whereas Draft, Normal, and Best automatically define the render quality
settings, Custom allows you to pick and choose the individual quality settings in the
Advanced Quality Options dialog.
High Quality Resampling: Turns on high-quality resampling.
Text Quality: Sets text render quality to Low, Medium, or High. When High is selected,
it may slow down project interactivity.
Shape antialiasing: Renders shapes at a higher resolution, then scales objects back to
regular resolution to ensure smooth edges.
Antialias 3D intersections: Renders objects intersecting in 3D space at a higher resolution,
then scales objects back to regular resolution to ensure smooth edges.
Use floating-point footage when necessary: Floating point versions (if any exist in the
project) of floating point QuickTime images are loaded and rendered in float space. This
option slows down project interactivity.
Overriding Project Settings Selected in the Render Pop-Up Menu
Lighting, shadows, reflections, depth of field, field rendering, motion blur, and frame
blending severely impact rendering time. The options selected in the Render pop-up
menu are exported with your project when using the default export presets (“Movie current project and canvas settings”). These effects can be turned off temporarily while
exporting. This section describes how to override these settings.
To override the current project settings during export
1 Choose File > Export.
2 Optional: Select a name and location for the saved file.
3 In the Export dialog, click the Options button next to the Export pop-up menu.
4 In the Output tab of the Export Options dialog, deselect “Use current project and canvas
settings.”
Note: If you have already chosen another export preset from the Use pop-up menu in
the Export dialog, “Use current project and canvas settings” is deselected.
The options in the Output tab become available, including Resolution, Color, Frame Rate,
Camera, Lighting, Shadows, Reflections, Depth of Field, Render Quality, Field Rendering,
Motion Blur, and Frame Blending settings.
5 Select the settings you want enabled during the export, such as Lighting, Shadows,
Reflections, Frame Blending and so on.
The exported file will include the settings chosen here, but the Canvas will continue to
display only the settings chosen in the Render pop-up menu.
To override the current project settings for field rendering on export
1 Choose File > Export.
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2 Optional: Select a name and location for the saved file.
3 In the Export dialog, click the Options button next to the Export pop-up menu.
4 In the Output tab of the Export Options dialog, turn off “Use current project and canvas
settings.”
5 Deselect the Field Rendering checkbox.
Note: If you have already chosen another export preset from the Use pop-up menu in
the Export dialog, “Use current project and canvas settings” is turned off.
The options in the Output tab become available, including Resolution, Color, Frame Rate,
Camera, Lighting, Render Quality, Field Rendering, Motion Blur, and Frame Blending
settings.
When the Field Rendering checkbox is selected in the Output tab, the project is exported
with field rendering regardless of the Field Rendering status in the View pop-up menu.
To override the current project settings for motion blur on export
1 Choose File > Export.
2 Optional: Select a name and location for the saved file.
3 In the Export dialog, click the Options button next to the Export pop-up menu.
4 In the Output tab of the Export Options dialog, turn off “Use current project and canvas
settings.”
5 Deselect the Motion Blur checkbox.
Note: If you have already chosen another export preset from the Use pop-up menu in
the Export dialog, “Use current project and canvas settings” is turned off.
The options in the Output tab become available, including Resolution, Color, Frame Rate,
Camera, Lighting, Render Quality, Field Rendering, Motion Blur, and Frame Blending
settings.
When the Motion Blur checkbox is selected in the Output tab, the project is exported
with motion blur regardless of the Motion Blur status in the View pop-up menu.
To override the current project settings for frame blending on export
1 Choose File > Export.
2 Optional: Select a name and location for the saved file.
3 In the Export dialog, click the Options button next to the Export pop-up menu.
4 In the Output tab of the Export Options dialog, deselect “Use current project and canvas
settings.”
5 Deselect the Frame Blending checkbox.
Note: If you have already chosen another export preset from the Use pop-up menu in
the Export dialog, “Use current project and canvas settings” is deselected.
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The options in the Output tab become available, including Resolution, Color, Frame Rate,
Camera, Lighting, Render Quality, Field Rendering, Motion Blur, and Frame Blending
settings.
When the Frame Blending checkbox is selected in the Output tab, the project is exported
with frame blending regardless of the Frame Blending status in the View pop-up menu.
Canvas Zoom Level
You can zoom in on the Canvas to allow precision alignment and placement of objects,
and you can zoom out to get a sense of the big picture or to see the path of a moving
object. You can also use the dynamic zoom modes to quickly zoom in or out of the Canvas,
or to zoom specific areas of the Canvas. If you are using a Mac computer with a Multi-Touch
trackpad, you can pinch open to zoom in and pinch closed to zoom out.
Zooming the Canvas does not actually change the size of the images in your project. It
merely changes the current view of the entire window.
µ
To zoom in or out on the Canvas
Choose a zoom level from the Zoom Level pop-up menu.
In the following image, 50% is chosen from the Zoom Level pop-up menu.
µ
To use the dynamic zoom mode
Hold the Space bar and Command key (in that order), then drag diagonally in the Canvas.
The zoom occurs around the spot clicked in the Canvas.
µ
To zoom in and out using a Multi-Touch trackpad
Place two fingers on the trackpad and move them closer together (“pinch closed”) to
zoom in or farther apart (“pinch open”) to zoom out.
Once zoomed in, you can use a two-finger swipe in any direction to scroll around.
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µ
To zoom in and out of a specific area of the Canvas
Hold down the Space bar and Command key (in that order), then drag the area of the
Canvas you want to zoom. While still holding down the keys, click the mouse button to
zoom in 50 percent increments of the current zoom level. Press Space
bar-Command-Option (in that order), then click to zoom out in 50 percent increments of
the current zoom level.
Note: To pan the Canvas without selecting the Pan tool, hold down the Space bar and
drag in the Canvas.
To reset the Canvas Zoom level
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Choose 100% from the Zoom Level pop-up menu.
In the Toolbar, double-click the Zoom tool (located between the Pan and Walk Camera
tools).
µ
To reset the Canvas Pan
In the Toolbar, double-click the Pan tool.
µ
To zoom the Canvas so that the entire viewable area of the project fills the window
Choose Fit In Window from the Zoom Level pop-up menu.
Canvas Rulers
Using rulers in the Canvas can help you compose or align the elements of your project,
as well as snap objects to the rulers.
µ
To turn on rulers
In the View pop-up menu, enable Rulers (or press Command-Shift-R). When enabled, a
checkmark appears next to the item in the pop-up menu.
By default, rulers appear along the left and top sides of the Canvas. You can change the
location of the rulers in the Canvas pane of Motion Preferences.
To change the location of the rulers
1 Choose Motion > Preferences.
2 In the Canvas pane, choose a ruler layout from the Ruler Location pop-up menu.
To add a horizontal or vertical guide to the Canvas
1 In the Toolbar, click the Select/Transform tool (or press S).
2 Click in the gray area of the horizontal or vertical ruler, and drag into the Canvas.
As you drag, the value of the guide is displayed in the Canvas.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Note: Guides must be enabled in the View menu (press Command-Semicolon) to display
the guides.
The ruler units are in pixels, with the 0,0 point in the center of the Canvas.
3 When the guide is in the location you want, release the mouse button.
To simultaneously add a horizontal and vertical guide to the Canvas
1 In the Toolbar, click the Select/Transform tool (or press S).
2 Drag from the corner in which the rulers meet into the Canvas.
3 When the guides are in the location you want, release the mouse button.
µ
To remove a guide from the Canvas
In the Toolbar, click the Select/Transform tool (or press S), then drag the guide off the
Canvas.
To change the color of the guides
1 Choose Motion > Preferences.
2 In the Canvas pane, click or Control-click the Guide Color well, then select a color.
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Canvas in 3D Mode
In addition to the traditional 2D project workspace, Motion provides a 3D workspace in
which to arrange and animate objects, including groups, layers, cameras, and lights. When
you switch to 3D mode, additional controls become available in the Canvas that reflect
the new environment. A small set of 3D View tools appears in the upper-right corner of
the Canvas window, and a 3D Compass appears in the lower-left corner. The upper-left
corner of the Canvas contains the Camera menu, where you can choose which camera
to use to view your project in 3D space.
Note: You must add at least one camera to your project to create a 3D workspace.
To add a camera to your project
1 Click the New Camera icon in the Toolbar.
A dialog appears that prompts you to switch your 2D groups to 3D groups.
2 Click Switch to 3D to add a camera and create a 3D project.
If you click Keep as 2D, a camera is added to your project and all groups remain 2D groups.
Manipulating the 3D View
The 3D workspace provides tools for manually changing your view or viewing your scene
from a particular reference camera view, such as Front, Back, Top, Bottom, and so on. You
can also choose to view the scene through any of the cameras added to your project.
Note: The Left, Right, Top, and Bottom camera views are orthogonal views. You cannot
animate or export these views.
µ
To set the current view
Click the Camera menu in the upper-left corner of the Canvas and choose a camera from
the menu. Motion animates your view change as it moves to the new view.
Camera menu
If you have modified the view, an asterisk appears next to the name of the camera view.
Note: If you isolate a layer or group (choose Object > Isolate), the Camera menu shows
the name of the isolated object as the current view. For more information on the Isolate
feature, see Layers Tab.
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µ
To use the 3D View tools
Drag the Pan, Orbit, or Dolly tool from the 3D View tools.
Like a camera move, the view moves, rotates, or zooms.
Pan
Dolly
Orbit
Editing camera
Important: The gray editing camera icon appears beside the 3D View tools when a
user-created scene camera is active. This icon is a reminder that when you use the 3D
View tools, you are moving the scene camera which will affect your export.
To reset your camera
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
µ
Double-click the Pan, Orbit, or Dolly tool.
Click the Camera menu (in the upper-left corner of the Canvas) and choose Reset View.
In the Properties tab of the Inspector, click the Transform parameters reset button.
Manipulating Objects in 3D Space
The 3D workspace provides tools for manipulating objects in 3D space. These tools include
the 3D onscreen controls that directly manipulate the object, the 3D transform controls
in the HUD, and the parameters in the Properties tab for the selected object.
To transform an object in 3D space
1 Select the object that you want to transform and select the Adjust 3D Transform tool in
the Toolbar.
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Scale handles appear around the edge of the object, and three colored 3D axis handles
appear at the anchor point of the object. Each arrow-shaped handle corresponds to an
axis along which you can move the object.
3D axis handles appear
as colored arrows.
2 Drag the appropriate transform handle, and the object moves along the selected axis.
The red axis is X (horizontal), the green axis is Y (vertical), and the blue axis is Z (depth).
To rotate an object in 3D space
1 Select the object that you want to transform and select the Adjust 3D Transform tool in
the Toolbar.
Scale handles appear around the edge of the object, and three colored 3D axis handles
appear at the anchor point of the object. The three small circles near the axis handles are
3D rotation handles. Each rotation handle corresponds to an axis around which you can
rotate the object.
2 Position the pointer over one of the three rotation handles on either side or above the
colored arrows.
• The red ring indicates rotation around the X axis.
• The green ring indicates rotation around the Y axis.
• The blue ring indicates rotation around the Z axis.
3 Once the 3D rotation handle is active, drag left or right in the Canvas to rotate the object
around the selected axis.
3D rotation handles help you find the right axis.
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As you rotate, a small info window displays
the changed values.
To reset a transformed object
1 Select the object you want to reset.
2 In the Properties tab of the Inspector, click the Transform parameters reset button.
Reset button
For more information on working in 3D and using the 3D transform tools in the HUD, see
3D Compositing.
Playing Your Project
Use the transport controls at the bottom of the Canvas to play your project and see how
it looks over time. You can set playback to loop as well as set playback to begin and end
on certain frames in your project. You can also turn audio on and off.
Play from start
Loop playback
Play/Mute audio
Record
Go to next frame
Go to start of project
Go to previous frame
Go to end of project
Play/Pause
Play/Pause: Starts and stops playback. The keyboard shortcut is the Space bar.
Loop playback: Controls whether playback loops indefinitely, or whether playback stops
when the end of the play range is reached. The keyboard shortcut is Shift-L. For more
information on setting a project play range, see Defining the Play Range.
Play from start: Plays from the play range In point to the play range Out point. This allows
you to watch just a portion of the entire project. To learn how to define the In and Out
points, see Defining the Play Range.
Go to start of project: Automatically returns your playhead to the beginning of the
project. The keyboard shortcut is Home.
Go to end of project: Automatically moves the playhead to the end of the project. The
keyboard shortcut is End.
Go to previous frame: Moves the playhead backward by one frame. Clicking the button
(or holding down the shortcut key) rewinds the project one frame at a time. The keyboard
shortcut is the Left Arrow (or Page Up) key.
Note: If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can rotate left to go
to the previous frame.
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Go to next frame: Advances the playhead by one frame. Clicking the button (or holding
down the shortcut key) advances the project one frame at a time. The keyboard shortcut
is the Right Arrow (or Page Down) key.
Note: If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can rotate right to
go to the next frame.
Play/Mute audio: Turns audio playback on or off.
Note: Turning audio off may improve your playback performance.
Record: Enables or disables animation recording. When recording is enabled, the value
sliders for all animateable parameters appear with a pink tint in the Inspector. This is to
inform you that any change you make to a parameter (such as moving an object in the
Canvas or adjusting a slider) creates a keyframe.
Note: When “Record keyframes on animated parameters only” is selected in the Recording
Options dialog, keyframes are added only to parameters that are already animated. For
more information, see Recording Keyframes on Animated Parameters Only.
RAM Preview
When you play your project, Motion performs complex calculations to represent the
objects and effects that appear in each frame. This is called rendering. The project plays
back as quickly as possible up to the frame rate specified in the Project Properties dialog.
With a very complex project, the frame rate may be significantly reduced, making it
difficult to see how the project looks when it is played at full frame rate.
You can render parts of your project and store the frames in RAM. This lets you play back
your project and see it play at full frame rate. This is called RAM Preview. You can choose
to render the play range, a selection, or the entire project (All). As the frames are rendered,
a progress dialog appears and shows which frame is being rendered, how many more
frames remain, and an approximation of the time remaining.
You can interrupt the RAM Preview by clicking the Stop button. The section that has
already been rendered is stored in RAM.
Note: Because different sections of the project can be of differing complexities, the Time
remaining value may be somewhat inaccurate.
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To RAM Preview your entire project
Choose Mark > RAM Preview > All.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
The RAM Preview dialog appears, and displays a progress bar. When the RAM Preview is
completed, the dialog closes.
When a section of your project is currently stored in RAM, the Timeline and the
mini-Timeline turn green to indicate which frames are stored.
RAM Preview indicators
RAM Previewing Regions
Previewing large sections of your project using RAM Preview requires large quantities of
RAM to store the frames. You may not have enough RAM to store all of the frames you
want to preview. You can restrict which frames are rendered either by choosing to preview
the play range or a selection. Using RAM Preview on a selection renders all visible layers
in the project from the first frame of the selection until the last.
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To RAM Preview the play range
Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Play Range.
The RAM Preview dialog appears, and displays a progress bar. When the RAM Preview is
completed, the dialog closes.
To RAM Preview a selection
1 In the Timeline, Command-Option-drag the region you want to preview.
A light blue band appears over the selected frames.
For more information on regions, see Working with Regions.
2 Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Selection.
The RAM Preview dialog appears. When the RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.
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Note: Working in 32-bit float color space has no effect on your RAM Preview. Although
the project is rendered in float, the preview is down-converted to 8-bit for display on
your monitor.
Clearing the RAM Preview
You can manually delete the RAM Preview to make room for a new RAM Preview or to
free up RAM for other operations.
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To clear the RAM Preview
Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Clear RAM Preview.
Mini-Timeline
The mini-Timeline lies just above the transport controls and below the Canvas. This control
provides an at-a-glance look at where selected objects fit into your overall project. The
mini-Timeline also has a playhead to indicate which frame you are viewing as well as In
and Out markers to identify the play range. The length of the mini-Timeline represents
the entire duration of the project.
Playhead
In point
Out point
Selected clip
You can drag the playhead through the mini-Timeline to scrub your project, or to jump
quickly to a particular point in time. You can also change the play range or layer In and
Out points by dragging the In and Out markers. When you drag an In or Out point, the
playhead temporarily moves along with the pointer. This allows you to see the frame
where your In or Out point will be set. When you release the mouse button, the playhead
snaps back to its previous position.
Project markers set in the Timeline are indicated in the mini-Timeline by a thin, green
line. For more information on project markers and object markers, see Adding Markers.
Note: Object markers do not appear in the mini-Timeline.
Editing in the Mini-Timeline
You can perform many nonlinear editing functions in the mini-Timeline. You can drag
objects (such as clips or images, or items that have been saved to the Library, such as
shapes, text, cameras, lights, and so on) from the utility window directly to the
mini-Timeline. You can also move, trim, and slip objects to change which portion of the
object appears at which point in time. For more information on editing functions such
as Move, Trim, and Slip, see Editing Objects in the Timeline.
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To add an object to the mini-Timeline
1 Drag the object from the File Browser to the mini-Timeline.
As you drag, a tooltip appears to indicate the frame where your edit will take place.
2 When you reach the desired frame, release the mouse button.
The object is added to the project beginning at that frame.
You can also add multiple objects to the mini-Timeline at once. You can choose to add
the objects sequentially (one after another) or as a composite (all at the same point in
time).
Tip: If the Timeline contains project markers, you can snap the imported object to a
marker. Drag the layer over the mini-Timeline, and release the mouse button when a
black bar appears at the snap point. The layer’s In point is the project marker.
To add multiple objects to the mini-Timeline
1 Drag the objects from the File Browser to the mini-Timeline.
As you drag, a tooltip appears to indicate the frame where your edit will take place.
2 Continuing to hold down the mouse button, drag to the desired frame.
A drop menu appears.
3 Choose the desired edit type from the drop menu, then release the mouse button.
Depending on the item that is dragged to the Timeline, up to four different drop options
are available. For more information on the Timeline drop menu, see Adding Objects to
the Track Area.
To move an object in time
1 In the Layers tab, Timeline layers list, or Canvas, select the object you want to move.
The object appears in the mini-Timeline.
2 In the mini-Timeline, drag the object to the left or right to reposition it in time.
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A tooltip appears to indicate the new In and Out point of the object, as well as the amount
of change from the previous position.
3 When you reach the position you want, release the mouse button.
To shorten or lengthen an object
1 Select the object to display it in the mini-Timeline.
2 Position the pointer over the beginning or ending edge of the object.
The pointer changes to a trim pointer.
Start of media
Trim pointer
3 Drag the edge of the object to change its duration.
A tooltip appears to indicate the new In or Out point and the amount of change that
your edit is causing.
You cannot trim an object to be longer than the amount of frames available in the
corresponding media file unless its End Condition is set to Hold, Loop, or Ping Pong in
the Timing controls of the Properties tab of the Inspector.
To slip a video clip (or other multi-frame object) in the mini-Timeline
1 Select the multi-frame object you want to modify.
2 Position the pointer over the body of the clip in the mini-Timeline and press the Option
key.
The pointer changes to a slip pointer.
3 Drag the clip to the left or right to use a later or earlier part of the clip.
A tooltip appears to indicate the new In and Out points.
Start of media
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Slip pointer
End of media
Note: You cannot slip a clip unless it has been trimmed first. For more information, see
Slipping Objects.
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To snap the playhead to a project marker in the mini-Timeline
Press Shift and drag the playhead in the mini-Timeline.
Timecode and Current Frame Fields
There are two timecode fields at the bottom of the Canvas, to the left and right of the
transport controls. The field to the left is the current frame field that shows the frame or
timecode number where the playhead is positioned. You can change the playhead position
by changing the number in the current frame field.
The field to the right is the project duration field. This field indicates the length of your
current project. You can modify the duration of the project by changing the number in
this field. When a semicolon appears between the seconds and frames values, it indicates
that timecode is being counted in the drop-frame format.
A semicolon in this
position indicates
drop-frame timecode.
Both fields can be modified in multiple ways and can be displayed either as incremental
frame numbers or as eight-digit timecode numbers.
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To change the current frame or duration
Click the field, type a new number into the field, and then press Tab or Return to confirm
your entry.
To increase or decrease the current frame or duration one frame at a time
Click the left or right arrow for the field you want to change.
Left arrow
Drag pointer
Right arrow
Value slider
You can also move the playhead one frame at a time by pressing the Left Arrow key (or
Page Up key) to move forward, and the Right Arrow key (or Page Down key) to move
backward.
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To change the duration in seconds, minutes, or hours, type the following in the project
duration field
To set the duration in seconds, type the number of seconds followed by a period. For
example, to create a 10-second project, type “10.” (10 followed by a period) in the field,
then press Return.
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To set the duration in minutes, type the number of minutes followed by two periods. For
example, to create a 10-minute project, type “10..” (10 followed by two periods) in the
field, then press Return.
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To set the duration in hours, type the number of hours followed by three periods. For
example, to create a 1-hour project, type “10...” (10 followed by three period) in the field,
then press Return.
This procedure works in timecode as well as frames.
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To move ahead or back in seconds, minutes, or hours, type the following in the current
frame field
To move forward in seconds, type a plus sign (+), then type the number of seconds you
want to move forward, and then type a period. For example, to move 2 seconds ahead,
type “+2.” (a period after the number two) then press Return. To move ahead in minutes,
type two periods after the number then press Return. To move ahead in hours, type three
periods after the number, then press return.
To move backward in seconds, type a minus sign (–), then type the number of seconds
you want to move backward, and then type a period. For example, to move 2 seconds
backward, type “–2.” in the field, then press Return. To move backward in minutes, type
two periods after the number; to move backward in hours, type three periods after the
number.
To move the playhead to a specific frame
With the Canvas or Project pane active, type the desired timecode or frame number into
the current frame field. Press Return to confirm your entry.
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To move forward a specific number of frames
Type a plus sign (+) followed by the number of frames you want to move forward.
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To move backward a specific number of frames
Type a minus sign (–) followed by the number of frames you want to move backward.
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To modify the current frame or duration dynamically
Click the center area of the field (where the numbers are), then drag to the left to increase
the value, or to the right to decrease the value.
Dragging the current frame field in this way is equivalent to dragging the playhead
through the mini-Timeline.
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To switch between timecode and frame numbers
Do one of the following:
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Click the current frame icon directly to the left of the current frame field.
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Click the duration icon directly to the left of the project duration field.
Duration icon
Clicking either icon switches between frame and timecode view for all controls in all open
projects.
Counting Time
Motion offers two different ways of looking at the frame numbers for your project. You
can view the time as incremental frames, starting at 1 or 0 and continuing indefinitely.
Or, you can view the time in the video-standard, eight-digit timecode system, which
runs like a clock from 00:00:00:00 to 23:59:59:29. The first two digits represent the hours;
the second two, the minutes; the third two, the seconds; and the final two, the frames,
as in HH:MM:SS:FF.
Some formats of timecode also skip numbers in order to accommodate the inexact
frame rates of certain video formats.
Both frames and timecode have advantages, depending mainly on the format with
which you are originating and finishing. For example, if you are designing a title sequence
for a 35 mm film that must be exactly 720 frames, it is easier to set your counters to
frames.
If you are building a television spot that is going to be laid onto a videotape or broadcast,
you would probably benefit from setting your counters to timecode, so that the frame
numbers correspond with the numbers on the videotape.
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Project Pane
The Project pane contains three tabs, each of which provides access to a different aspect
of your project. The Layers tab displays the hierarchy of objects (groups, layers, cameras,
lights, behaviors, filters, and so on) in your project. The Media tab shows all the files
imported into your project, with an option to show the media whether or not it appears
in the Canvas. The Audio tab provides access to, and control of, any audio files in your
project. All of these tabs are covered in more detail later in the chapter.
Once you begin building more complex projects, you can view the components of your
project in a list. You can view and modify the hierarchy of objects, including grouping
layers and changing group order. You can turn certain objects and effects on and off to
temporarily simplify your composition. You can view and modify the media files associated
with the layers in your project. You can also modify certain attributes of the layers and
groups, such as opacity, blend mode, and audio levels.
All of this can be accomplished in the Project pane, which is ordinarily to the left of the
Canvas.
To display the Project pane
Do one of the following:
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Click the Project icon in the Toolbar.
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Press F5.
Use a horizontal three-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
Drag the divider on the left edge of the Canvas.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
You can also switch the arrangement of the windows so the Project pane appears on the
right side of the Canvas.
Note: When the Project pane is on the right side of the Canvas, and you are using a
Multi-Touch trackpad, three-finger swipe in the opposite direction to show and hide the
pane.
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To switch the sides of the Canvas and Project panes
Choose Window > Layouts > Swap Project Pane and Canvas.
The Project pane contains three tabs: Layers, Media, and Audio. Each of these tabs allows
you to view the elements of your project in a list view.
Layers Tab
The Layers tab of the Project pane provides an overview of all the layers, effects, and
masks currently used in your project. The hierarchy of items in the list illustrates which
objects are above or below other objects in the Canvas. All objects, with the exception
of cameras and lights, must reside within groups. Masks, behaviors, and effects can be
applied to groups or to individual layers. Applied masks, behaviors, and effects are listed
beneath the group or layer to which they are applied. The masks, behaviors, and effects
appear indented in the list.
The Name and Status columns in the Layers tab display several icons that indicate linked
audio, 2D/3D status, or lock status. By default, applied masks, behaviors, and filters also
appear in the list. You can turn the display of these objects on or off in the Layers tab.
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To display the Layers tab
Do one of the following:
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Click the Project icon in the Toolbar.
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Choose Window > Layers.
Press Command-4.
If the Project pane is already visible, click the Layers tab at the top of the pane.
The information is displayed in a column view and there are many controls to let you
customize the view while you are working. You can resize or rearrange the columns and
you can hide certain columns and display others that are not visible in the default set.
Layers Tab Controls
The Layers tab contains the following columns and controls:
Click to show additional
columns.
Isolate button (active)
2D/3D icon (set to 2D)
Link icon
Isolate button (inactive)
3D icon (set to 3D)
On: Contains an activation checkbox to turn the visibility of the object on or off. When
the object visibility is turned off, you can still modify the object’s parameters and
manipulate its onscreen controls.
Preview: Contains a thumbnail of the object. The group thumbnail represents the
cumulative result of the composite up to that point in the project.
Name: Identifies the object by name. To edit the name, double-click the text area of a
selected object, type a new name, then press Return. In projects that contain a camera,
the Isolate button appears in the Name column.
Isolate button: The Isolate button only appears in projects that contain a camera. Once
a camera is added to the project, all groups are converted to 3D (if you choose Switch to
3D in the New Camera dialog). If you choose Keep as 2D in the New Camera dialog, the
camera is added to the project, but the groups remain 2D groups. Once a camera is added
to the project, the Isolate button appears for any selected group, layer, or camera.
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The button has an active and inactive state. Clicking the Isolate button for a layer or group
sets that object to its original face-forward orientation (so you can apply a mask, for
example). Clicking the button again returns to the previous view. Clicking the Isolate
button for a camera takes you to that camera’s view.
Note: When a group or layer is isolated, the name of the item replaces the current camera
listing in the Camera menu (in the upper-left corner of the Canvas).
Status: Contains a number of several possible icons to indicate the status of the object.
The lock icon lets you lock an object to prevent any changes from affecting that object.
Locking a group prevents changes to all layers and effects within that group. This column
may also include a link icon when a layer has a corresponding audio element, such as a
multichannel QuickTime file.
The Status column also contains a 2D/3D icon to switch a group between 2D or 3D mode.
The same icon appears immediately to the left of the group name and indicates the
2D/3D status of the group. Individual layers cannot be 2D or 3D—they are always 2D
elements within a 2D or 3D group.
To display additional columns, click the right angle bracket at the right of the column
headers. A pop-up menu appears containing three items: Preview, Opacity, and Blend.
Checkmarks in the pop-up menu identify which columns are currently displayed. By
default, only the Preview column is checked. Choose the other items to add them to the
Layers tab. Choosing a checked item hides it from view.
Opacity: Displays the current opacity (transparency) of the group or layer. You can adjust
the slider to change the item’s opacity.
Note: Opacity can also be adjusted in a HUD or in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Blend Mode: Displays the current blend mode of the layer or group. Click the pop-up
menu to choose a new blend mode. For more on blend modes, see Using Blend Modes.
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Note: Blend mode can also be changed by Control-clicking the item in the Layers tab (or
Timeline layers list, then choosing a new Blend Mode option from the shortcut menu.
Likewise the blend mode of an object can be modified in the object’s HUD, or in the
Properties tab of the Inspector.
Working in the Layers Tab
You can customize the Layers tab in a variety of ways to accommodate different working
styles and the needs of different projects.
Editing Columns
Any window that contains columns of data can be reorganized to suit your needs. You
can change the order in which columns appear as well as the size of the cells. For example,
in the Layers tab, you may want the Preview column to appear to the right of the Name
column instead of to its left. You can also sort the items in the column by type of file.
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To reorder columns
Drag the column header left or right to a new position.
Columns can be resized in several ways. You can adjust the width of a column, or you
can change the height of all cells in the columns at once, including any icons and text
inside the cells.
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To adjust column width
In the header row, drag a column border to resize the width.
To adjust cell height
Position the pointer over any horizontal line and drag up or down to decrease or increase
the height of all cells.
Icons and thumbnails resize themselves as you make the adjustment.
You can also drag the scale slider at the bottom of the window. Drag left to decrease the
height of the rows and drag right to increase their height.
Adding and Removing Groups
The Layers tab has controls to add new groups and to remove existing objects from the
project.
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To create a new group in the Layers tab
Do one of the following:
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Click the Add button (+) in the upper-left corner of the tab.
Choose Object > New Group (or press Command-Shift-N).
A new empty group is added at the top of the list.
Note: You can also create new groups when dragging files to the Layers tab from the
File Browser or Library. For more information, see Adding Files to Your Project.
To remove an object from the Layers tab
Do one of the following:
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Select the object you want to remove, then click the Delete button (–) in the upper-left
corner of the tab.
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Control-click the object you want to remove, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select the object you want to remove, then choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
The object is removed. This action removes the object from the Canvas as well.
Note: If you delete a media file (an imported image, image sequence, audio file, or
QuickTime movie) from the project, the file is also removed from the Media tab unless
“Automatically manage unused media” is deselected in the General pane of Motion
Preferences. When this setting is turned off, media files are deleted from the Layers tab
(and Canvas), but remain in the project in the Media tab. Drag an item from the Media
tab into the Canvas to add it to the Layers tab.
Filtering the Layers Tab View
As your project becomes more complex, you may want to temporarily hide certain objects
from view. This allows you to focus on one or more objects without the distraction of all
the other objects in your list. You can perform this sort of filtering by using the Search
field in the upper-right corner of the tab.
Once you begin typing in the Search field, the Layers tab hides any objects that do not
contain the text you type. Hidden objects continue to appear in the Canvas.
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To filter the Layers tab
Type the name of the object or objects you want to view in the Search field. All other
objects are temporarily hidden.
Search field
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To stop filtering and return to the complete list
Click the Clear button inside the Search field.
The Search field is cleared and the Layers tab returns to the unfiltered view.
Hiding and Showing Effects
Masks, behaviors, and filters can be turned on and off in the Layers tab by using the
buttons at the bottom-right corner of the tab.
Note: Hiding the effect in the Layers tab does not disable it from view in the Canvas nor
prevent you from modifying the effect’s parameters or manipulating its onscreen controls.
Show Masks
Show Filters
Show Behaviors
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To turn on and off the display of masks in the Layers tab
Click the Show Masks button.
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To turn on and off the display of behaviors in the Layers tab
Click the Show Behaviors button.
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To turn on and off the display of filters in the Layers tab
Click the Show Filters button.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Turning Effects On and Off
When certain effects are applied to a layer or group, icons appear in the Name column
for that item. This lets you know that such an effect is applied, especially if you have the
effects hidden. There are icons for masks, filters, and behaviors. Additionally, these icons
let you turn the effects on and off in the Canvas.
Masks
Behaviors
Filters
Isolate (inactive)
Filter disabled
Note: You can also Control-click the icons in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list to display
a list of the applied effects.
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To turn masks off for a layer or group
Click the Mask icon.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
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To turn behaviors off for a layer or group
Click the Behavior icon.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
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To turn filters off for a layer or group
Click the Filter icon.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
For each of these controls, clicking the icon again turns the effect back on.
Additional Options in the Layers Tab
Quite a few additional features are available in the Layers tab and Timeline layers list,
which you can find in the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click layers in
the list. These operations apply to the selected item.
• Cut: Removes the layer and places it on the Clipboard.
• Copy: Copies the layer to the Clipboard.
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• Paste: Places the contents of the Clipboard in the current location.
• Duplicate: Creates a new layer identical to the selection.
• Delete: Removes the selected layer.
• Group: Places the selected layers into a group. (For more information on working with
groups, see Grouping and Ungrouping Layers.)
• Ungroup: Restores the components to their ungrouped state if the selection contains
a group.
• Active: Turns the layer on or off. This is equivalent to clicking the activation checkbox
in the On column.
• Solo: Soloing a layer hides all other layers in the project. When the selected item is
soloed, checkboxes for other layers and groups are dimmed. You can solo multiple
layers and groups at a time.
• Isolate: Available when a project contains a camera, this option isolates the selected
layer, group, or camera. For a layer or group, choosing Isolate changes the item back
to its original face-forward orientation to allow the application of a mask, for example.
Clicking a camera’s Isolate button activates that camera’s view. This is the same as
clicking the Isolate icon in the Name column.
• 3D Group: Switches the group from 2D mode to 3D mode.
• Blend Mode: Sets the blend mode for the selected layer. This is equivalent to setting a
value in the Blend column.
• Add Image Mask: Adds an image mask to the selected layer. An image mask creates
transparency in another object by deriving an alpha channel from another layer, such
as a shape, text, movie, or still image. For more information, see Applying Image Masks
to a Layer.
• Make Clone Layer: Clones the selected layer. Like the Duplicate command, Make Clone
Layer lets you make copies of a selected layer. However, copies created by the Make
Clone Layer command are automatically modified to match certain changes you make
to the original layer. For more information on cloning layers, see Making Clone Layers.
• Reveal Source Media: Opens the Media tab and highlights the media file associated
with the selected clip.
Media Tab
The second tab in the Project pane contains a complete list of media in your project.
“Media” includes imported audio, image, image sequence, and QuickTime movie files.
Unlike the Layers tab, the Media tab may contain items that are not actively used in your
project. Also, if you’ve used a single layer repeatedly, the Media tab may only show one
version of that layer. Effects (such as filters or masks) and other objects created within
Motion (such as masks, shapes, or text) do not appear in the Media tab.
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To display the Media tab
Do one of the following:
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Choose Window > Media.
Press Command-5.
If the Project pane is already visible, click the Media tab at the top of the pane.
To display the additional columns in the Media tab, drag the divider between the Project
pane and the Canvas (the vertical bar on the right side of the window).
Media Tab Column Headers
The Media tab provides a great deal of technical information about the media files in
your project.
Media Tab Columns: This data is displayed in columns for each file.
• Preview: Shows a thumbnail of the media file. The thumbnail for an audio file (with no
associated image) appears as a speaker icon.
• Name: Contains the name of the media. Media names are not editable because they
refer to the actual names of the files on disk.
• Kind: Identifies the type of media, including QuickTime movie, still image, QuickTime
audio, or PDF. For a list of supported codecs and file types, see Supported File Formats.
• In Use: When checked, this field indicates that the media is currently being used in your
project. When unchecked, it is not used. If “Automatically manage unused media” is
selected in the General pane of Motion Preferences, Motion removes unused media
from the Media tab automatically. Disable this setting if you prefer to manage the
contents of the Media tab manually.
• Duration: Displays the duration of the media in either frames or timecode.
• Frame Size: Displays the native size of the image in pixels. The numbers represent width
and height. This column remains blank for audio-only files.
• Compressor: Displays the type of compression used in the clip, if any. This is also
sometimes referred to as a codec.
• Depth: Displays the number of colors (bit depth) of the file. Any item listed as Millions
of Colors+ indicates that the media contains an alpha channel in addition to the RGB
data.
• Vid Rate: Clips are displayed the original frames per second of the media. Sequences
are listed at the current project frame rate and still images display no Vid Rate.
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• Data Rate: Displays the number of bytes per second at which the media file plays.
• Aud Rate: Displays the sample rate in the audio track, measured in kilohertz (kHz).
• Aud Format: Displays the bits per sample (usually 8, 16, or 24) and the number of
channels (usually mono, stereo, or multi-channel) of the audio track.
• File Size: Displays the overall file size of the media on disk.
• File Created: Displays the creation date of the media.
• File Modified: Displays the last date on which the media was modified.
Working in the Media Tab
The media tab can be customized to aid in the organization and management of the
media in your project.
Hiding Columns
You can choose which of the columns are displayed by clicking the right angle bracket
at the right of the column headers, then choosing an option from the pop-up menu.
Items in the list with a checkmark are currently displayed in the Media tab. Items with no
checkmark are currently hidden.
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To hide a column
Click the right angle bracket at the right of the column headers, then choose the item
you want to hide from the pop-up menu.
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To show a column
Click the right angle bracket at the right of the column headers, then choose the item
you want to show from the pop-up menu.
The item is added to the far right of the columns.
Any window that contains columns of data can be reorganized. You can change the order
in which columns appear, as well as the size of the cells. For example, in the Media tab,
you may want the Frame Size column to appear before the Name column. For specific
instructions on how to edit columns, see Editing Columns.
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Adding and Removing Media
The Media tab has controls to add new files and to remove existing files from the project.
To add a file to the Media tab
Do one of the following:
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Click the Add button (+) in the upper-left corner of the tab. In the Import Files dialog,
navigate to the file you want to add to your project, select the file, then click Import.
Note: To import an image sequence, turn on the Image Sequence checkbox. If this
checkbox is deselected, only the individual files selected in the Import dialog are imported.
To select multiple files, Shift-click the files; to select noncontiguous files, Command-click
the files.
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With the Media tab active, choose File > Import (or press Command-I). In the Import Files
dialog, navigate to the file you want to add to your project, select the file, then click
Import.
The file is added to the Media tab.
Important: Files added directly to the Media tab are not added to the Canvas. To add a
file to the Canvas, drag the file from the Media tab to the Canvas.
To remove a file from the Media tab
Do one of the following:
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Select the file you want to remove and click the Delete button (–) in the upper-left corner
of the tab.
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Control-click the file, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select the file you want to remove, then choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
The media is removed. If the media is used in the Canvas, an alert appears asking you to
confirm that you want to remove the files.
Filtering the Media Tab
As your project becomes more complex, you may want to temporarily hide certain files
from view. This allows you to focus on one or more files without the distraction of all the
other files in your list. You can perform this sort of filtering by using the Search field in
the upper-right corner of the tab. For instructions on how to filter the Media tab, see
Filtering the Layers Tab View.
Additional Options in the Media Tab
Quite a few additional features are available in the Media tab, which you can find in the
shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click files in the list. The actions in this
menu apply to the selected file or files.
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When an item is selected in the tab, the shortcut menu provides the following commands:
• Open in Viewer: Opens the selected item in the viewer window. This is equivalent to
double-clicking a file in the File Browser.
• Open in QuickTime Player: Opens the selected item in the QuickTime Player application.
• Reveal in Finder: Switches out of Motion, and opens a Finder window where the Media
file resides on disk.
• Reconnect Media: Opens the Reconnect Media dialog where you can assign a new
source file on disk to correspond to the media file in Motion.
• Cut: Removes the file and places it on the Clipboard.
• Copy: Copies the file to the Clipboard.
• Paste: Places the contents of the Clipboard in the current location.
• Duplicate: Creates a new file identical to the selected file.
• Delete: Removes the selected file.
When no items are selected in the tab, the shortcut menu provides a different set of
commands:
• Import Media: Imports media into the Media tab, but does not place the media into
the Canvas.
• Reconnect Missing Media: When a media file is moved from where it was stored when
it was added to your project, you need to reconnect the media to your project. This
command displays a dialog that lets you navigate to the new location of the file.
• Remove Unused Media: If any media is in your project but is not used, you can choose
this command to quickly removed the unused objects from the Media tab.
• Paste: Pastes any media files on the Clipboard into the Media tab, but does not place
the media into the Canvas.
• Project Properties: Opens the Project Properties dialog, where you can set basic project
information such as project width and height, bit depth, aspect ratio, background color,
render settings, and much more. For more information on the Project Properties dialog,
see Creating Blank Projects from Project Presets.
Sorting Columns in the Media Tab
The following procedures help determine how the items in the Media tab are sorted.
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To sort the items in a column by type of file in the Media tab
Click the column header.
Click the column header
to sort by that column’s
data type.
Note: Sorting does not work in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list.
The layers are sorted in the column and a small arrow appears indicating the direction
of the sort.
The arrow in the column
header indicates the
direction of the sort.
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To reverse the direction of the sort
Click the header of the column that contains the small arrow.
The arrow points in the opposite direction, and the data is sorted in reverse order.
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Audio Tab
The Audio tab lists all of the audio files and files that contain audio (such as a multitrack
QuickTime movie) in your project. You can modify the levels of the individual files or
modify the overall audio level of the project. For more information on working with audio
in Motion, see Working with Audio.
To display the Audio tab
Do one of the following:
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Choose Window > Audio.
Press Command-6.
If the Project pane is already visible, click the Audio tab at the top of the pane.
Columns in the Audio Tab
The Audio tab contains a number of columns with both display and editable information
about the audio components of your project:
On: Contains an activation checkbox to turn the audio on or off.
Name: Identifies the file by name. To edit the name, double-click the text area of a selected
file, type a new name, then press Return. This column also contains a slider and value
field to control the level (volume) of the file. Numbers in the value field are measured in
decibels (dB).
Pan: Displays the left-right balance of the sound. You can modify the Pan parameter by
dragging the slider to the right or left or by entering a numerical pan value. Negative
numbers move panning to the left, positive numbers move panning to the right.
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Status: Contains Mute and Solo buttons to control audio playback for the file. When the
Mute button is active, all sound from that file is removed from the mix. When the button
is inactive, audio from the file plays back based on the level slider in the Name column.
Mute
Solo
When the Solo button is active, other nonsoloed audio elements do not play. This allows
you to temporarily play a single item without hearing the other files in the mix. You can
solo more than one file. This allows you to hear just the soloed files rather than the entire
mix.
Output: Specifies audio output channels such as stereo, left, right, center, and so on.
Click the field, then choose the output channel you want for the audio track.
Lock: Allows you to lock an audio file to prevent any changes from affecting that file.
This column also may include a link icon when a file has a corresponding video element.
Working in the Audio Tab
The Audio tab can be customized to aid you in managing and organizing your audio
assets.
Editing Columns in the Audio Tab
You can control which columns are displayed by clicking the right angle bracket to the
right of the column headers. Doing so opens a pop-up menu. Items in the list with a
checkmark are displayed in the Audio tab. Items without a checkmark are hidden. You
can also edit the arrangement and size of the columns. For more on how to hide and
show columns, see Hiding Columns. For instructions on how to edit columns, Editing
Columns.
Adding and Removing Audio Files
The Audio tab has controls to add new files and to remove existing files from the project.
To add an audio file to the project
Do one of the following:
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Click the Add button (+) in the upper-left corner of the tab. In the Import Files dialog,
navigate to the file you want to import, select the file, then click OK.
µ
With the Audio tab active, choose File > Import (or press Command-I). In the Import Files
dialog, navigate to the file you want to add to your project, select the file, then click
Import.
The file is added to the project (the Audio and Media tabs).
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Note: When importing a QuickTime movie that contains multiple audio tracks, select Mix
to Stereo in the Import Files dialog to import the file with a single audio track. Select
Import All Tracks to import the file with individual tracks.
To remove a file from the Audio tab
Do one of the following:
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Select the file you want to remove, then click the Delete button (–) in the upper-left corner
of the tab.
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Control-click the file, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select the file you want to remove, then choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
The file is removed. This action removes the file from the project (from the Audio and
Media tabs).
Filtering the Audio Tab
As your project becomes more complex, you may want to temporarily hide certain audio
files from view. This allows you to focus on one or more files without the distraction of
all the other files in your list. You can perform this sort of filtering by using the Search
field in the upper-right corner of the tab. For instructions on how to filter your view, see
Filtering the Layers Tab View.
Additional Options in the Audio Tab
Quite a few additional features are available in the Audio tab, accessible through the
shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click files in the list:
• Cut: Removes the file and places it on the Clipboard.
• Copy: Copies the file to the Clipboard.
• Paste: Places the contents of the Clipboard in the current location.
• Duplicate: Creates a new file identical to the original file.
• Delete: Removes the selected file.
• Send to Soundtrack Pro: Launches Soundtrack Pro and opens the selected audio clip in
Soundtrack Pro for editing.
• Active: Turns the file on and off. This is equivalent to clicking the activation checkbox
in the On column.
• Mute: Sets the selected item to be muted. This is equivalent to clicking the Mute button
in the Status column.
• Solo: Sets the selected item to Solo. This is equivalent to clicking the Solo button in
the Status column.
• Reveal Source Media: Opens the Media tab and highlights the media file associated
with the selected clip.
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When no items are selected in the tab, the shortcut menu provides a different set of
commands:
• Import Audio: This option appears when no files are selected in the Audio tab. Opens
the Import Files dialog, which you can use to navigate to the audio file you want to
import.
• Paste: This option appears when no files are selected in the Audio tab. Pastes any audio
data that is currently in the Clipboard into the Audio tab and Media tab.
• Project Properties: This option appears when no files are selected in the Audio tab.
Opens the Project Properties dialog, where you can set basic project information such
as project width and height, bit depth, aspect ratio, background color, render settings,
and much more. For more information on the Project Properties dialog, see Creating
Blank Projects from Project Presets.
Timing Pane
Like the Project pane, the Timing pane has three tabs, each to control a different aspect
of your project. The Timeline tab is a broad overview of all the objects and how they are
laid out over time. The Keyframe Editor tab displays the animation curves for animated
parameters and effects, and the Audio Editor tab provides access to the level and pan
controls for the audio components of your project.
At some point in most projects, you want to view the contents of your composition
represented as a graph over time. This may be to compare when two objects appear or
disappear, or when an effect begins or changes. You may want to add or remove objects
in your project at a particular point in time to observe or modify how different parameters
of different effects occur. You may also want to view your audio waveforms to allow visual
events to synchronize with your soundtrack.
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All of this can be accomplished in the Timing pane, which appears at the bottom of the
Canvas.
To display the Timing pane
Do one of the following:
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Drag the divider on the bottom edge of the Canvas.
Click the Timing icon in the upper-right corner of the Toolbar.
Timing icon
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Choose Window > Timeline (or press Command-7).
Press F6.
Use a vertical three-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad.
Choose Window > Layouts > Cinema (or press Option-Control-U).
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Timeline
The Timeline is the most general of the tabs in the Timing pane. It can display not only
the visual elements in your project (the layers), but also audio tracks, cameras, lights,
keyframes, and effects such as masks, behaviors, and filters. For more information on
using the Timeline, see Using the Timeline.
To display the Timeline tab
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Choose Window > Timeline (or press Command-7).
µ
If the Timing pane is already visible, click the Timeline tab at the top of the pane.
When using a Multi-Touch trackpad, three-finger swipe up or down to show and hide
the Timing pane.
Timeline Layers List
The left side of the Timeline tab—the Timeline layers list—is nearly identical to the Layers
tab in the Project pane. Objects appear in the project hierarchy categorized into layers
and groups. The columns and controls are identical to those in the Layers tab:
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On (not labeled): This column (identical to the On column in the Layers tab) contains an
activation checkbox to the left of each object that turns the visibility of the object on and
off. When the object visibility is turned off, you can still modify the object’s parameters
and manipulate its onscreen controls.
Name (not labeled): Identifies the object by name. (This column is identical to the Name
column in the Layers tab.) To edit the name, double-click the text area of a selected object,
type a new name, then press Return. In projects that contain a camera, the Isolate button
also appears in this column.
Isolate: The Isolate button only appears in projects that contain a camera. Once a camera
is added to the project, all groups are converted to 3D (if you choose Switch to 3D in the
New Camera dialog). If you choose Keep as 2D in the New Camera dialog, the camera is
added to the project, but the groups remain 2D groups. Once a camera is added to the
project, the Isolate button appears for any selected group, layer, or camera.
The button has an active and inactive state. Clicking the Isolate button for a layer or group
sets that object to its original face-forward orientation (so you can apply a mask, for
example). Clicking the button again returns to the previous view. Clicking the Isolate
button for a camera takes you to that camera’s view.
Status (not labeled): Contains a number of several possible icons to indicate the status
of the object. (This column is identical to the Status column in the Layers tab.) The lock
icon lets you lock an object to prevent any changes from affecting that object. Locking
a group prevents changes to all layers and effects within that group. This column may
also include a link icon when a layer has a corresponding audio element, such as a
multi-channel QuickTime file.
The Status column also contains a 2D/3D icon to switch a group between 2D or 3D mode.
The same icon appears immediately to the left of the group name and indicates the
2D/3D status of the group. Individual layers cannot be 2D or 3D—they are always 2D
elements within a 2D or 3D group.
Note: Changes made in the Timeline layers list also change the Layers tab in the Project
pane and vice versa.
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Timeline Track Area
The main part of the Timeline tab, to the right of the Timeline layers list, is called the track
area. Objects in your project are each represented by a colored bar. Different colors
represent different types of objects. For example, behaviors and filters are purple and
audio layers are green. For a complete table of colors, see Timeline Tracks.
Group tracks differ from individual object tracks in two ways. First, when an object that
resides in a group is selected, a thinner group bar appears above the layers within the
group. Second, when the group itself is selected, the group track displays a special
indicator that identifies how many objects reside within that group. Layers, cameras, and
lights are counted in that total; effects such as masks, behaviors, and filters are not counted
in that total.
Timeline Ruler
At the top of the track area is the ruler that provides a gauge for the positions and
durations of the objects in your project.
Project marker
In point
Playhead
Out point
The ruler can contain indicators to help mark important frames or sections of the project
such as the playhead, play range indicators (also called In and Out points), and markers.
The ruler can be viewed in frames or timecode.
µ
To change the ruler view format
Control-click the ruler, then choose Display Frames or Display Timecode from the shortcut
menu.
Note: You can also click the current frame icon directly to the left of the current frame
field (to the left of the transport controls) or click the duration icon directly to the left of
the project duration field (to the right of the transport controls) to switch the project
between frames and timecode.
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The playhead tracks the frame currently visible in the Canvas. You can drag the playhead
or reposition it using the transport controls described inPlaying Your Project. The playhead
in the Timeline and the playhead in the mini-Timeline are linked. Moving one automatically
moves the other.
The play range indicators limit the area of the project to be played. For more on setting
and using the play range, see Defining the Play Range.
Markers can be added to your project to identify an important frame or range of frames.
For more on creating and using markers, see Adding Markers.
Working in the Timeline
The Timeline tab can be customized to facilitate a variety of working styles and specific
project needs.
Turning Effects On and Off
When certain effects are applied to an object, icons appear next to the name of that item.
There is an icon for masks, filters, and behaviors. These icons control the visibility of those
effects in the Canvas.
Masks
Behaviors
Filters
Filter disabled
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To turn masks off for a layer or group
Click the Masks icon in the Timeline layers list.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
µ
To turn behaviors off for an object
Click the Behaviors icon in the Timeline layers list.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
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To turn filters off for a layer or group
Click the Filters icon in the Timeline layers list.
A red slash appears over the icon and the effect is temporarily turned off.
For all three of these controls, clicking the icon again turns the effect back on.
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Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Timeline Tab Display Options
As with the Layers tab, you can choose to show or hide effects such as masks, filters, and
behaviors. Additionally, the Timeline lets you display keyframes. You can also choose to
display audio tracks and, if audio tracks are displayed, you can hide groups and layers.
All of these display options are controlled by the row of buttons in the lower-left corner
of the Timeline tab.
Show/Hide Layers
Show/Hide Keyframes
Show/Hide Behaviors
Show/Hide Filters
Show/Hide Masks
Show/Hide Audio
Masks, behaviors, and filters can be displayed as layers in the Timeline, just as they are
displayed in the Layers tab. Showing or hiding effects in the list does not control whether
the effect appears in the Canvas.
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To turn on or off the display of masks in the Timeline
Click the Show/Hide Masks button.
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To turn on or off the display of behaviors in the Timeline
Click the Show/Hide Behaviors button.
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To turn on or off the display of filters in the Timeline
Click the Show/Hide Filters button.
When keyframes are shown, each track becomes a little taller, and the bottom section is
used to show any keyframes that exist for the layer.
Keyframe
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Selected keyframe
To turn on or off the display of keyframes in the Timeline
Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button.
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Audio files appear in a separate section from other objects. You can move the divider
between the audio and video sections of the Timeline to show more or less of each
section.
Divider
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To turn on or off the display of audio files
Click the Show/Hide Audio button in the lower-left corner of the Timeline tab.
µ
To turn on or off the display of layers and groups
Click the Show/Hide Layers button in the lower-left corner of the Timeline tab.
Note: You cannot hide layers and groups unless audio files are currently visible. This is
to prevent the Timeline from becoming completely empty.
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To move the divider between audio and video tracks
Position the pointer over the divider, then drag up or down to expand or contract the
track section.
You can adjust the height of the tracks in the Timeline to provide more or less vertical
space. You can also expand the size of the Layers tab.
To adjust track height
Do one of the following:
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Position the pointer over any horizontal line and drag up or down to decrease or increase
the height of all tracks.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
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Click one of the “Set timeline row size” buttons at the bottom of the tab.
To change the width of the Timeline layers list
1 Position the pointer over the rightmost edge of the Timeline layers list.
2 When the pointer changes to the column adjust pointer, drag left or right.
Adding and Removing Groups
The Timeline has controls to add new groups and to remove existing layers from the
project.
To create a new group in the Timeline tab
Do one of the following:
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Click the Add button (+) in the upper-left corner of the tab.
Choose Object > New Group (or press Shift-Command-N).
A new empty group is added at the top of the list.
You can also create new groups when dragging files to the Timeline tab from the File
Browser or Library. For more information, see Adding Files to Your Project.
To remove an object from the Timeline tab
Do one of the following:
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Select the object you want to remove, then click the Delete button (–) in the upper-left
corner of the tab.
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Control-click the file you want to remove, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select the file you want to remove, then choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
The object is removed. This action removes the object from the Canvas as well.
Using the Current Frame Field
Next to the Add button (+) and the Delete button (–), the Timeline tab also contains a
current frame field that can be used to navigate your project.
To move the playhead to a new time
Do one of the following:
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Click the current frame field, then type a frame number.
Drag the current frame value slider to the left or right to advance or rewind.
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Note: To advance or rewind more rapidly, press Shift while dragging in the current frame
value slider.
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With the Timeline active, type the timecode or frame number where you want to move
the playhead. Press Return to jump to that frame.
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To move forward a specific number of frames
Type a plus sign (+) and then the number of frames you want to move forward.
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To move backward a specific number of frames
Type a minus sign (–) and then the number of frames you want to move backward.
Collapsing and Expanding Groups and Layers
You can collapse a group or layer so the tracks for the individual objects within the group
are temporarily hidden.
Layer collapsed
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Layer expanded
To collapse or expand a group or layer
Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the group or layer name in the Timeline layers
list.
Disclosure triangle
A variety of editing tasks can be done in the Timeline, including moving, trimming, and
slipping. For more information on how to perform editing in the Timeline, see Editing
Objects in the Timeline.
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Zooming in the Timeline
As you get familiar with using the Timeline, you will find yourself wanting to focus on an
individual edit point one second, and the next, you’ll want to see the overview of your
whole project. Fortunately, you can quickly zoom in and out on the Timeline using a
variety of different tools.
The bottom of the Timeline contains a zoom slider and a scroller.
Scroller
Handle
Zoom slider
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To zoom the Timeline using the zoom slider
Drag the zoom slider left to zoom in and right to zoom out.
The Timeline updates as you drag.
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To zoom the Timeline using the scroller
Click the handle of the scroller and drag it away from the center to zoom out and toward
the center to zoom in.
The Timeline updates as you drag.
You can also automatically zoom the Timeline to include the entire duration of your
project or just the play range as defined by the play range indicators (In and Out points).
µ
To zoom the Timeline using a Multi-Touch trackpad
Pinch open to zoom in, pinch closed to zoom out.
Once zoomed in, you can use two-finger swipes to scroll left or right.
To zoom the Timeline to fit the entire project
Do one of the following:
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Double-click the Zoom Time View button to the right of the ruler.
Zoom Time View button
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Choose View > Zoom Time View > To Project.
Note: An object must be selected in the Timeline layers list in order to access the Zoom
Time View items in the View menu.
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Control-click the ruler, then choose Zoom to Project from the shortcut menu.
To zoom the Timeline to fit the play range
Do one of the following:
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Click the Zoom Time View button to the right of the ruler.
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Choose View > Zoom Time View > To Play Range.
Note: An object must be selected in the Timeline layers list in order to access the Zoom
Time View options in the View menu.
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Control-click the ruler, then choose Zoom to Play Range from the shortcut menu.
The Zoom Time View button switches between the Zoom to Play Range and Zoom to
Project settings. If no play range is established, choosing Zoom to Play Range performs
a Zoom to Project.
Changing the Track Display
The tracks in Motion can be displayed in a variety of ways to satisfy different working
styles. You can set your tracks to be viewed as Name Only, Name Plus Thumbnail, and
Filmstrip.
Name
Name Plus Thumbnail (default)
Filmstrip
To change the Timeline track display
1 Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma) to open Motion Preferences.
2 Click the Appearance icon to open the Appearance pane.
3 In the Timeline section, choose an item from the Timebar Display pop-up menu:
• Name: Displays only the name of the object on the track.
• Name Plus Thumbnail: Displays the name of the object and a single thumbnail on the
track.
• Filmstrip: Displays frames of the object over the track.
Regardless of the Timebar Display setting, tracks for cameras, lights, behaviors, and filters
are always labeled with names only. When the Timebar Display is set to Filmstrip, your
processing time is increased.
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Keyframe Editor
The Keyframe Editor is where you can view and modify the individual attributes of filters,
behaviors, and other effects over time. Each parameter can be displayed as a curve
showing how the parameter’s value changes over time. You can manipulate the points
within that curve (called keyframes) to create a variety of powerful effects. For more
information on using the Keyframe Editor, see Keyframes and Curves.
To display the Keyframe Editor
Do one of the following:
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Drag the divider on the bottom edge of the Canvas, then click the Keyframe Editor tab
at the top of the pane.
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Click the Timing icon in the upper-right corner of the Canvas, then click the Keyframe
Editor tab at the top of the pane.
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Choose Window > Keyframe Editor (or press Command-8).
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If the Timing pane is already visible, click the Keyframe Editor tab at the top of the pane.
Press F6, then click the Keyframe Editor tab at the top of the pane.
Choose Window > Layouts > Cinema (or press Control-Option-U), then click the Keyframe
Editor tab at the top of the pane.
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Keyframe Basics
You animate an object by creating at least two keyframes for a parameter, such as
Opacity, at different points in time in a project. A keyframe is a point in time that records
any change in the value of a parameter. For example, to create an animation in which
an object is completely transparent at frame 1 and becomes completely opaque at
frame 120, you create two keyframes: an Opacity keyframe set to a value of 0% at frame
1 and an Opacity keyframe set to a value of 100% at frame 120. The image fades in from
0% to 100% over the 120 frames. The smooth, fade-in transition between the two
keyframed values is called interpolation.
All keyframes for a specific parameter (such as Opacity or Rotation) are positioned on
a line over time. Different values for the keyframes change the shape of that line and
create what is called an animation curve. The type of curve from keyframe to keyframe
(interpolation) can be changed to create different animation effects. For example,
keyframes set to Bezier create smooth transitions in values. Keyframes set to Linear
create straight lines between the keyframes, for sharper changes in value. You can
modify keyframes and their animation curves in the Keyframe Editor, located in the
Timing pane. For more information, see Keyframes and Curves.
Keyframe Editor Controls
The left side of the Keyframe Editor contains a list of parameters. You can choose which
parameters are displayed in the list in the Show menu. You can also create custom sets
of parameters. This allows you to focus on certain parameters at a time. For more
information on creating and viewing parameter sets, see Custom Parameter Sets.
There are a number of controls above the parameter list:
Show pop-up menu: Use the Show pop-up menu to select what is displayed in the
Keyframe Editor. The Show options include:
• All: This option displays all parameters for the currently selected object, whether or
not the parameters are animated.
• Animated: This option displays only the animated parameters and curves for the
currently selected object. This includes animation curves created by keyframing as well
as behaviors. This is the default setting. With the Keyframe Editor active, you can also
press the U key to choose Animated from the Show pop-up menu.
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When the selected object is not animated, nothing appears in the Keyframe Editor.
• Modified: This option displays only the curves that have been modified for the currently
selected object. This includes modifications that are not animated. For example, if you
change the color of a shape (without animating the color change), the parameter
appears in the Modified list because the color was changed from the default color.
Animated parameters also appear in the list. With the Keyframe Editor active, you can
also press the Y key to choose Modified from the Show pop-up menu.
• Active: This option shows only the parameters currently being modified. When this
option is selected, nothing appears in the Keyframe Editor unless you are actively
modifying an object (in the Canvas, Inspector, or HUD). For example, when Active is
selected and you are moving an object around in the Canvas, the X and Y Position
parameters and curves are displayed.
• Position: Displays only the Position parameters for the selected object. With the Keyframe
Editor active, you can also press the P key to choose Position from the Show pop-up
menu.
• Rotation: Displays only the Rotation parameters for the selected object. With the
Keyframe Editor active, you can also press R to choose Rotation from the Show pop-up
menu.
• Scale: Displays only the Scale parameters for the selected object. With the Keyframe
Editor active, you can also press S to choose Scale from the Show pop-up menu.
• Shear: Displays only the Shear parameters for the selected object. With the Keyframe
Editor active, you can also press H to choose Shear from the Show pop-up menu.
• Anchor Point: Displays only the Anchor Point parameters for the selected object. With
the Keyframe Editor active, you can also press A to choose Anchor Point from the Show
pop-up menu.
• Opacity: Displays only the Opacity parameters for the selected object. With the Keyframe
Editor active, you can also press O to choose Opacity from the Show pop-up menu.
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• New Curve Set: Allows you to create a custom curve set.
• Manage Curve Sets: Allows you to manage (delete, duplicate, and so on) your custom
curve sets.
Note: For more information on using curve sets, see Custom Parameter Sets.
Current Frame Field: The current frame field appears between the Show pop-up menu
and the keyframe edit tools.
Current frame field
For more information, see Timecode and Current Frame Fields.
Keyframe edit tools: There are three different tools available to assist in editing keyframes
and curves in the Keyframe Editor. For more information about using these tools, see
Modifying Keyframes.
Sketch
Edit
Box
• Edit: Select and edit keyframes.
• Sketch: Draw curves with keyframes. You must have a parameter active (checkbox
enabled) and selected in the list to be able to sketch a curve.
• Box: Drag a selection box to enclose and manipulate keyframes.
Keyframe Editor parameters: The Keyframe Editor parameters list is divided into four
columns.
• On (not labeled): This column contains activation checkboxes to turn the display of
parameters on and off in the keyframe graph. Activating the checkbox next to the
object name turns all of the parameters for that object on or off for display purposes
only (the animation of the object is not affected).
• Name (not labeled): Lists the name of the selected object and its parameters.
• Value (not labeled): Displays the value for the current playhead position for that
parameter. You can drag in the value field to set new keyframe values, or double-click
in the field and type a new value. For more information, see Modifying Keyframes.
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• Animation menu (not labeled): The last column contains a pop-up menu to control
animation and keyframing attributes for that parameter. The menu contains the
following items:
• Enable/Disable Animation: Remains unavailable until keyframing is applied to the
parameter, either by using the Record button or by directly adding a keyframe. Once
the parameter is animated, the menu item is automatically renamed to Disable
Animation. Activating it at that point hides the keyframes you have set, restoring the
parameter to its default value. However, the keyframes are not thrown away. Choosing
Enable Animation restores the parameter to its last keyframed state.
• Reset Parameter: Removes all keyframes and settings for this parameter. The parameter
value is restored to its default value.
• Add Keyframe: Adds a keyframe at the current frame. If your playhead is positioned
on a frame where a keyframe has already been added, this menu item is unavailable.
To add a keyframe, you can also Option-click the Animation menu. A keyframe is
automatically added to the last modified parameter of the object (regardless of the
status of the Record button) at the current playhead position.
• Delete Keyframe: Deletes the current keyframe. The Delete Keyframe command is
only available if the playhead is positioned on a frame where a keyframe already
exists. You can also Control-click a keyframe and choose Delete from the shortcut
menu, or select the keyframe and press Delete.
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe for this parameter.
The Previous Keyframe command is only available if a keyframe exists earlier in the
project. You can also press Option-K to advance to the next keyframe.
• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this parameter. The
Next Keyframe command is only available if a keyframe exists later in the project.
You can also press Shift-K to advance to the next keyframe.
• Interpolation: Sets the type of curve for the parameter. See the table in Modifying
Curves for examples of the different interpolation methods.
• Before First Keyframe: Defines the animation before the first keyframe of a parameter.
This is called extrapolation. For examples of the different extrapolation methods, see
Extrapolation.
• After Last Keyframe: Defines the animation after the last keyframe of a parameter.
This is called extrapolation. For examples of the different extrapolation methods, see
Extrapolation.
• Lock/Unlock Parameter: Locks the parameter to prevent changes. When a parameter
is locked, neither keyframes nor curves are adjustable.
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• Reduce Keyframes: Applies a “thinning” algorithm to the keyframes for the selected
parameter. This reduces the number of keyframes in a parameter while attempting
to maintain a similar curve shape. For more information on keyframe thinning, see
Keyframe Thinning.
• Set to Curve Snapshot: If “Take/Show curve snapshot” is turned on (see Keyframe
Editor Control Buttons.), this option reverts any keyframe changes made in the
currently selected curve back to the most recent snapshot. For more information,
see Curve Snapshots.
Animation Menu States
Depending on the current condition of the parameter for the selected object, the
Animation menu displays a different icon. The following table shows the Animation menu
icons.
Icon
State
Description
No Keyframes
The parameter has no associated keyframes.
Keyframing Active
Keyframing is active on this parameter but the
playhead is not currently positioned on a
keyframe.
Current Keyframe
The playhead is currently positioned on a keyframe
for this parameter.
Behavior Applied
This parameter is being controlled by a behavior,
as opposed to a keyframe. When a behavior is
applied to a layer or group, the name of the
behavior also appears in the Animation menu.
Keyframe Editor Control Buttons
In the lower-left corner of the Keyframe Editor, five buttons provide additional control
over the Keyframe Editor window: Snapping, “Show audio waveform,” “Fit curves,” “Clear
curve list,” and “Take/Show curve snapshot.”
Show audio waveform
Clear curve list
Take/Show curve
snapshot
Fit curves
Snapping
Snapping: When snapping is turned on, keyframes snap to other keyframes, markers,
grid points, and other snappable items.
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Show audio waveform: Turns on the display of audio waveforms for the selected object.
When “Show audio waveform” is turned on and the project contains at least one audio
file, a pop-up menu at the bottom of the Keyframe Editor allows you to view the waveform
of the master audio track or any individual audio track in the project. The waveform of
the track selected in this list is displayed in the Keyframe Editor.
Click to display a list of
audio tracks in the
project.
Fit curves: Automatically scales the graph both vertically and horizontally (in time) to
include all of the keyframes of your active parameters.
Clear curve list: Empties the parameters list. This control is only active for custom curve
sets.
Take/Show curve snapshot: When this setting is enabled, as you move keyframes in the
Keyframe Editor, the original curve—as it appeared when you took the snapshot—appears
as a lighter color. As long as you remain in the Keyframe Editor editing the current set of
curves, the snapshot curve remains available.
Auto Scaling the Keyframe Graph
As you change keyframe values, they may exceed the currently displayed value range in
the Keyframe Editor. You can turn on Auto Scaling to make the graph range expand as
keyframe values exceed the current range. At the right side of the Keyframe Editor is the
“Auto-scale vertically to fit curves” button.
Auto-scale vertically to fit curves: Turn on “Auto-scale vertically to fit curves” to
continuously stretch the graph vertically to fit all of the curves in view.
Auto-scale vertically to fit
curves
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Keyframe Graph
The remainder of the Keyframe Editor tab contains the keyframe graph. This area displays
all of the curves and keyframes for the selected parameters. Parameters are represented
by different colors. Keyframes appear as diamonds and curves appear as solid lines. Areas
before the first keyframe and after the last keyframe are represented by dotted lines.
Selected parameters and keyframes appear white.
You can manipulate keyframes directly by dragging them in the graph. Moving keyframes
left and right changes their position in time, while dragging them up and down changes
their values. You can also double-click a keyframe, type a number into the pop-up value
field, and then press Return to change its value.
Control-click a keyframe to access shortcut menu options as well as an Interpolation
submenu, which allows you to change curve types. For more information on manipulating
keyframes and curves in the graph, see Modifying Keyframes and Modifying Curves.
Ruler
At the top of the keyframe graph is a ruler that provides a visual gauge for the positions
and durations of the keyframes and curves. The ruler is identical to the Timeline ruler. For
more information on working with the ruler, see Timeline Ruler.
Zooming in the Keyframe Editor
As you become familiar with the Keyframe Editor, you may want to switch between
focusing on an individual keyframe or curve and seeing an overview of your whole project.
Fortunately, you can quickly zoom in and out on the Keyframe Editor using a variety of
different tools.
The bottom of the Keyframe Editor contains a zoom slider and a scroller.
Scroller
Zoom slider
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Handle
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To zoom the Keyframe Editor using the zoom slider
Drag the zoom slider left to zoom in or right to zoom out.
The Keyframe Editor updates as you drag.
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To zoom the Keyframe Editor using the scroller
Drag the handle of the scroller away from the center to zoom out and toward the center
to zoom in.
The Keyframe Editor updates as you drag.
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To zoom the Keyframe Editor using a Multi-Touch trackpad
Pinch open to zoom in and pinch closed to zoom out.
Once zoomed in, you can use two-finger swipes to scroll left or right.
Audio Editor
The Audio Editor provides a view of your audio elements over time. You can view and
modify the level and pan information for the audio files in your project. You can also view
the audio waveforms of your layers. In many ways, the Audio Editor is simply a specialized
Keyframe Editor just for audio. For more on using the Audio Editor, see Working with
Audio.
To display the Audio Editor
Do one of the following:
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Choose Window > Audio Editor (or press Command-9).
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If the Timing pane is already visible, click the Audio Editor tab at the top of the pane.
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Press F6, then click the Audio Editor tab at the top of the pane.
Drag the divider on the bottom edge of the Canvas, then click the Audio Editor tab at
the top of the pane.
Click the Timing icon in the upper-right corner of the Canvas, then click the Audio Editor
tab at the top of the pane.
Choose Window > Layouts > Cinema (or press Option-Control-U), then click the Audio
Editor tab at the top of the pane.
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Audio Editor Controls
The left side of the Audio Editor contains four rows of controls for the audio track currently
in view. The top row controls playback; the second row controls the In and Out points of
the audio track; the third row controls the selected track’s level; and the fourth row
controls the selected track’s pan settings.
Playback controls
Play range controls
Level controls
Pan controls
Audio Playback Controls
The playback controls in the Audio Editor do not control playback in the Canvas. Rather,
they allow you to listen to the audio component of your project without being distracted
by (or slowed down by) the visual component.
There are four playback controls:
Jump to start
Use marked region
Play/Pause
Current frame
Jump to start: Moves the playhead to the beginning of the audio clip or to the beginning
of the marked region (if the “Use marked region” button is turned on).
Play/Pause: Starts and stops playback in the Audio Editor.
Use marked region: Restricts playback to the play range (the In and Out points) for the
selected audio track. For more information, see Audio Play Range Controls.
Current frame: Indicates the current playhead position in the Audio Editor. You can also
use this field to change the current frame.
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Audio Play Range Controls
The second row provides two controls to set the In and Out points for the audio file.
Changing a file’s In or Out point in the Audio Editor is reflected in the Timeline as well.
The area of the track between the In and Out points is the region used when “Use marked
region” is turned on in the playback controls.
Note: The In and Out points of the master track cannot be modified.
Level Controls
The third row contains controls to adjust and keyframe the level of the selected audio
track.
Activation checkbox: This checkbox at the left of the row turns the display of the level
animation curve on and off. It does not disable existing level settings or prevent you from
making new settings.
Level: A slider and value slider that control the level (volume) of the track. If the playhead
is currently positioned on a keyframe, the slider controls the level of that keyframe. If the
playhead is not on a keyframe, the slider adjusts the entire curve.
Pan Controls
The fourth row contains controls to adjust and keyframe the pan (left-right balance) of
the selected audio track.
Activation checkbox: This checkbox at the left of the row turns the display of the pan
animation curve on and off. It does not disable existing pan settings or prevent you from
making new settings.
Pan: A slider and value slider that control the left-right balance of the track. If the playhead
is currently positioned on a keyframe, the slider controls the pan setting of that keyframe.
If the playhead is not on a keyframe, the slider adjusts the entire pan curve. Negative
numbers move panning to the left, while positive numbers move panning to the right.
When the value is zero, the balance is split evenly between left and right. You can use
the value slider for more precise control.
Animation Menu
Appears to the right of the Level and Pan value sliders and is similar to the Animation
menu found in the Keyframe Editor. The menu is represented by different icons depending
on the current state of the parameter. For a table describing the different icons, see
Animation Menu States.
Animation menu: The commands within the Animation menu are listed below.
• Enable/Disable Animation: Turns keyframing on and off for this parameter. Once
keyframes are added, choosing Disable Animation does not delete the keyframes, but
just globally hides their effect.
• Reset Parameter: Removes any keyframes and restores the parameter to its default
value.
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• Add Keyframe: Adds a new keyframe at the current playhead position. To add a keyframe,
you can also Option-click the Animation menu.
• Delete Keyframe: Deletes a keyframe at the current playhead position.
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the first keyframe to the left of the current
playhead position.
• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the first keyframe to the right of the current
playhead position.
• Show in Keyframe Editor: Displays the audio parameters in the Keyframe Editor and
brings that tab to the front.
Level Meters
Audio level meters appear at the right side of the Audio Editor controls. There are two
vertical bars that show the level at the current playhead position. The left bar shows the
levels for the left audio channel and the right bar shows the levels for the right audio
channel. As you play, the meters change to indicate the changing audio level.
Peak indicators
Peak indicators appear at the top of the meters. These small lights illuminate red when
the volume exceeds acceptable levels (called peaking). They remain red for a short time
after the peak occurs.
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Audio Editor Keyframe Graph
The remainder of the window contains the keyframe graph. This area contains the curves
and keyframes for the level and pan of the selected track. Keyframes appear as diamonds,
and curves appear as solid lines. Areas before the first keyframe and after the last keyframe
are represented with dotted lines. The waveform of the selected track is displayed behind
the curves.
Audio track bar
At the top of the graph a green bar shows the duration of the audio file. As you change
the file’s In and Out points, the bar shrinks or expands to show the new duration.
As in the Keyframe Editor, you can manipulate keyframes here also by dragging them in
the graph. Moving a keyframe left or right changes its position in time, while dragging
it up or down changes its value. Because audio keyframes work exactly the same as
keyframes for other parameters, you can learn more about working with audio keyframes
in Modifying Keyframes and Modifying Curves.
Ruler
At the top of the Audio Editor Keyframe graph is a ruler that provides a visual gauge for
the positions and durations of the level and pan keyframes and curves. The ruler in the
Audio Editor shows different time than the rulers in the Timeline and Keyframe Editor.
This ruler shows the time for the selected audio file rather than for the whole project.
The ruler can contain indicators to help mark important frames or sections of the project
such as the playhead, play range indicators (also called In and Out points), and markers.
The ruler can be viewed in either frames or timecode.
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To change the ruler view format
Control-click the ruler, then choose Display Frames or Display Timecode from the shortcut
menu.
Markers can be added to your project to identify an important frame or range of frames.
For more information on creating and using markers, see Adding Markers.
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Note: The playhead in the Audio Editor is not the same as the playhead in the Timeline
and the Canvas. The Audio Editor playhead shows the current time within the selected
audio track rather than the current time within the entire project.
Audio Scrubbing
You can choose whether or not you want to hear the audio play when you drag the
playhead through the ruler in the Audio Editor. This is called audio scrubbing. To turn
audio scrubbing on or off, click the button in the lower-left corner of the Audio Editor.
Working in the Audio Editor
You can modify a number audio settings and view options using the controls in the Audio
Editor.
Modifying the Audio Play Range
There are three ways to change the audio track start and end times.
To change the audio track’s start time
Do one of the following:
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Drag the center of the In value slider. Dragging to the right advances the audio, and
dragging to the left rewinds.
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Click the right or left arrows at the sides of the In value slider to move forward or backward
by one frame.
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Click in the field and type a new number.
To change the audio track’s end time
Do one of the following:
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Drag the center of the Out value slider. Dragging to the right advances the audio, and
dragging to the left rewinds.
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Click the right or left arrow at the side of the Out value slider to move forward or backward
by one frame.
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Click the current frame field, then type a new number.
Alternatively, you can change the start and end time using the audio track bar to set new
start and end times.
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To change the start and end time using the audio track bar
Select the track in the Audio tab, then drag either end of the audio track green bar (located
above the waveform in the Audio Editor).
Note: You cannot create marked regions for the master audio track.
Changing the Playhead Position in the Audio Editor
There are three ways to move the playhead within the Audio Editor.
To change the playhead position
Do one of the following:
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Drag in the center of the current frame field. Dragging to the right advances and dragging
to the left rewinds.
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Click the arrows on either side of the current frame field to move forward or backward
by one frame.
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Click the current frame field, then type a new number.
Zooming in the Audio Editor
You can zoom in or out in the Audio Editor just as you can in the Timeline or Keyframe
Editor.
The bottom of the Audio Editor contains a zoom slider and a scroller.
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To zoom the Audio Editor using the zoom slider
Drag the zoom slider left to zoom in and right to zoom out.
The Audio Editor updates as you drag.
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To zoom the Audio Editor using the scroller
Click the handle of the scroller and drag it away from the center to zoom out and toward
the center to zoom in.
The Audio Editor updates as you drag.
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To zoom the Audio Editor using a Multi-Touch trackpad
Pinch open to zoom in, and pinch closed to zoom out.
Once zoomed in, you can use two-finger swipes to scroll left or right.
Window Arrangements
Different workflows require different sets of windows to be visible, and in different sizes.
For example, when designing a layout for your composition, the bigger the Canvas, the
better. However, when tweaking or finessing an animated effect, you may want more
room dedicated to the Timing pane and the Inspector. Fortunately, Motion allows you
to switch between different layouts quickly and even to save your own custom layouts.
Preset Layouts
Motion provides three preset window arrangements, called layouts. These layouts distribute
the application’s windows in varying ways to accommodate different workflows.
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To choose a preset window layout
Choose Window > Layouts, then choose a layout from the submenu.
• Standard: This layout displays the utility window on the left and the Canvas on the
right.
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• Alternate: This layout displays two utility windows on the left, the top one containing
the Inspector and the bottom one containing the File Browser and Library. The Canvas
fills the remainder of the screen to the right.
• Cinema: The Cinema layout also displays two utility windows. The window on the left
side of the workspace contains the File Browser and Library. The window on the right
side contains the Inspector. The Canvas is in the middle with the Project pane displayed.
The minimum monitor width resolution is 1325 to use Cinema layout.
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Basic Window Controls
In addition to choosing from the preset arrangements, you can manually arrange your
windows, resize them, or minimize them to the Dock.
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To move a window
Drag a window by the title bar to the new location.
To resize a window
Drag the resize control in the lower-right corner of the window to resize it to the desired
size.
To simultaneously resize adjacent windows
Drag the boundary between the two windows (the black line along the edge of the
window). The pointer changes its shape over the boundary, indicating you can drag from
there.
Drag the thin black line
between two windows to
resize them at the same
time.
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To minimize a window to the Dock
Click the minimize button in the title bar. You can also double-click the title bar of the
Canvas to minimize it to the Dock.
Note: The utility windows cannot be minimized.
To close a window
Do one of the following:
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Click the close button.
Press Command-W in an active window.
Chapter 2 The Motion Interface
Tabs
Motion uses tabbed windows to provide convenient access to multiple windows at once.
You can switch between windows simply by clicking the appropriate tab. In addition,
you can drag any tab out of its docked position to show the tabbed window in its own
separate window. You can also drag a tab into another window. This lets you view multiple
tabbed windows from the same group at one time. For example, you can drag the
Inspector tab to a new location so that you can view the Library and the Inspector windows
simultaneously.
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To detach a tab
Drag the tab out of its docked position to any new location.
When you release the mouse button, the tab becomes its own window, and you can use
all standard window controls, such as closing, minimizing, and resizing.
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To reattach a tab
Drag the tab at the top of the window back to its original location. For example, drag the
Inspector tab back to its original group of tabs, and release the mouse button.
The tab is reattached.
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To show or hide a tab
In the Window menu, choose the name of the tab you want to show or hide. For example,
choose Window > Timeline to show or hide the Timeline tab. You can also choose
Keyframe Editor or Audio Editor to show or hide those tabs.
To reorder tabs
Drag a tab left or right in the tab area to reorder the tabs.
If the tab is detached from the Timeline area, click the close button. This closes the window,
and it does not reappear as a tab. To display the window again, use the Window menu,
and choose the appropriate command to show the window you want.
Swapping the Project Pane and Canvas
Similar to changing tab order, you can also change whether the Project pane appears to
the left of the Canvas (default), or to the right. This can be especially useful when working
with multiple monitors. For example, if the Canvas occupies the entire left monitor and
your utility windows are on the right monitor, moving the Project pane to the right side
of the Canvas would make it closer to the utility windows.
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To move the Project pane to the opposite side of the Canvas
Choose Window > Layouts > Swap Project Pane and Canvas.
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Saving Custom Layouts
Once you have the windows arranged to your liking, you can save your screen layout
with a relevant title so you can switch back to it later. This makes it easy to set up layouts
that help you perform certain tasks. For example, you might set up one layout that is
good for editing curves, while another layout has an expanded Timeline for editing
keyframes. You can switch between layouts in the Window > Layouts submenu, and you
can delete and duplicate layouts in the Manage Layouts dialog. (Choose Window >
Manage Layouts.)
When you save a layout, you save the following items:
• Window positions (size and location)
• Column orders (in the Project pane)
• Project pane position (left or right)
Note: Tab order, Timeline display options, and Canvas display options are not saved in
the custom layout.
To save a layout
1 Organize the windows on your screen the way you want.
2 Choose Window > Save Current Layout.
The Create Window Layout dialog appears.
3 Type the name you want to use to save the layout, then click Save.
The layout is saved and now appears in the Layouts submenu.
The new layout appears
in the bottom section of
the submenu.
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You can also create a new custom layout (based on the current state) by clicking the Add
button (+) in the Manage Layouts dialog.
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To switch to a saved custom layout
Choose Windows > Layouts, then choose the custom layout from the submenu.
To delete a saved layout
1 Choose Window > Manage Layouts.
The Manage Layouts dialog opens.
2 Select the layout you want to delete.
3 Click the Delete button (–) to remove the item from the list.
4 Click the Done button.
To duplicate a layout
1 Choose Window > Manage Layouts.
The Manage Layouts dialog opens.
2 Select the layout you want to duplicate.
3 Click the Duplicate button.
A duplicate of the layout is added to the list. The word “copy” is appended to the name.
4 Click Done.
To rename a layout in the list
1 Choose Window > Manage Layouts.
The Manage Layouts dialog opens.
2 Double-click the layout you want to rename in the list.
The name changes to a value field.
3 Type the new name in the value field.
4 Click Done.
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Full Screen Mode
Motion has an option to cover your entire monitor with the Canvas. This is helpful for
watching playback of your project without the distraction of the software interface. In
this mode, all of the tools and controls that affect the Canvas remain active, though you
have to rely on keyboard shortcuts and shortcut menus (Control-click) to change from
one tool or control to another. You can access the menu bar by positioning your pointer
at the top of the screen where the menu normally is.
To switch into Full Screen mode
Do one of the following:
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Choose View > Full Screen Mode.
Press F8.
To return to normal view
Do one of the following:
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Position your pointer over the menu, then choose View > Full Screen Mode again.
Press F8 again.
HUD
The HUD (heads-up display) is one of the most versatile and handy tools in the Motion
interface. It is a dynamically updating floating window that puts the most common
controls for any selected object within easy reach.
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The HUD also contains special controls for certain types of effects such as Basic Motion
behaviors and particle systems. These unique controls allow you to set multiple parameters
simultaneously and in an intuitive way.
For example, the 2D Particle Emitter HUD contains a single control that provides a visual
way to manipulate three different particle system parameters: Emission Range, Emission
Angle, and Speed. You can read more about specific HUD controls in their namesake
chapters.
Note: It is easier to enter a specific value for a slider parameter in the Inspector’s value
sliders. You can Option-click to the left or right of an Inspector’s slider to decrease or
increase by a value of 1. Option-click the arrow on either side of the value slider to increase
or decrease by a value of .01.
Displaying HUDs
When multiple effects are applied to an object, you can quickly cycle through the different
effects’ HUDs. A small downward-facing arrow next to the HUD name indicates additional
effects are applied to the selected object.
The arrow indicates
multiple control sets for
selected layer.
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Click the arrow to display a pop-up menu that lists all of the possible HUDs that can be
displayed for the selected object.
Note: Pressing D cycles through all HUDs for the selected object.
When multiple objects of the same type are selected, a combined HUD appears, and
“Multiple Selection” appears in its title bar.
To switch between HUDs of a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Click the downward arrow in the HUD title bar, then choose the HUD you want to view
from the pop-up menu.
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Press D to cycle through all HUDs for the selected object. To cycle the HUDs in reverse,
press Shift-D.
The HUDs are cycled in the order in which the effects are applied.
Most of the time, the HUD displays a subset of the parameters visible in the Inspector for
the selected object. If you are working in the HUD, you can quickly jump to the Inspector
to access the remainder of the controls for that object.
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To jump to the Inspector from the HUD
Click the Inspector icon (the “i”) in the upper-right corner of the HUD.
The Inspector appears and the tab corresponding to the HUD controls is brought to the
front.
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User Interface Controls
3
Motion has thousands of different parameters that allow virtually unlimited creativity and
flexibility. However with so many different settings to adjust, it might seem daunting to
master the whole interface. Fortunately, there are only a small number of user interface
controls to modify those myriad parameters. This chapter describes each of those controls
in specific detail.
Many parameters are actually compound parameters, where making an adjustment
changes more than one setting. Such parameters can be identified by a disclosure triangle
next to the setting name. Clicking the disclosure triangle exposes a more thorough set
of controls, allowing you to set individual aspects of the parameter’s value with greater
specificity.
This chapter covers the following:
• Toolbar Controls (p. 138)
• Slider Controls (p. 138)
• Coordinate Controls (p. 139)
• Dial (p. 140)
• Value Field (p. 141)
• Activation Checkbox (p. 141)
• Menus (p. 141)
• Source Well (p. 142)
• Color Controls (p. 143)
• Gradient Controls (p. 146)
• Mini-Curve Editor (p. 156)
• Generic Inspector Controls (p. 158)
• Rasterization Indicator (p. 160)
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Toolbar Controls
Motion’s Toolbar is located at the top of the main window. There are tools that transform
objects and the project view, as well as tools that create new layers, such as text, shapes,
and masks. There are also icons to apply filters and behaviors, and to create particle
systems and replicators. Icons at the right of the Toolbar show and hide the various
windows and panes of the Motion interface.
Several tools have multiple modes or options, such as Shape tools that can be set to
rectangle, circle, or line mode. The Circle and Line tools are hidden until you click the
Shape tool and hold down the mouse button. Tools with additional states are indicated
with a tiny downward arrow in the lower-right corner of the tool.
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To access a tool’s additional modes or options
Click a tool with a small downward arrow in the lower-right corner of the tool and, holding
down the mouse button, choose a mode or option.
For a description and use of each tool, see Toolbar.
Slider Controls
Sliders are used for settings where the value of the parameter is a number chosen from
a range of numbers. They are by far the most common control type in Motion, mainly
because of their versatility.
Basic Slider
Sliders are used to choose a value from within a fixed range, such as opacity, which must
fall between 0 and 100%, or a color fill which must fall between 0 and 1.
Sliders are also used for parameters that have a commonly used range, but can be set to
values outside of that range, such as the amount slider in the Gaussian Blur filter, which
has a default range of 0 to 64, but can manually be set as high as 600.
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To change a slider value
Drag the slider to the left to lower values and to the right to increase values.
Option-click to the left or right of the slider to decrease or increase by a value of 1.
Chapter 3 User Interface Controls
Value Slider
To the right of each slider is a second control, called a value slider. This control displays
the parameter’s current numerical value and has arrow buttons on either side.
Some parameters have sliders with effectively infinite ranges, such as scale, which can
be set at any value positive or negative (although the indicator can only display 6 or 7
digits).
Left arrow
Right arrow
Value sliders lack the relative positioning feedback that traditional sliders provide, but
they can be dragged directly to modify the value.
To modify the value of a parameter using a value slider
Do one of the following:
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Click the left or right arrows to decrease or increase the value one increment at a time.
Option-click the arrows to decrease or increase the value by .01.
Double-click the number and type a new value directly in the field.
Click directly on the numbers and drag either left and right or up and down to decrease
or increase the value.
Note: When you position the pointer above a value slider, the pointer changes to a
four-way arrow. If you begin by dragging up or down, subsequent horizontal movement
will be ignored. If you begin by dragging left or right, subsequent vertical movement will
be ignored.
Coordinate Controls
Parameters that define a specific location in the Canvas are controlled using three value
sliders to set the x, y, and z axes; parameters that define a specific location in a
two-dimensional object have two value sliders for x and y.
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Note: In most cases, only the x and y axis value sliders are visible. The z axis value slider
can be revealed by clicking the disclosure triangle next to the parameter name.
The most common example of this type of control is the Position parameter, which sets
the center point for an object. But this control also occurs for any parameter that defines
a position in the Canvas, such as the center of a lens flare or the origin of a particle system.
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To modify a coordinate value in the inspector
Use the value sliders for the x, y, and (when applicable) z axes.
For more on using value sliders, see Value Slider.
Tip: Any coordinate parameter can be set by moving an object or an onscreen control
directly in the Canvas. This allows you to set the value visually rather than numerically.
Depending on the particular coordinate parameter you are modifying, you may need to
select a specific tool in the Toolbar.
Dial
Parameters measured in degrees (such as Rotation or Hue) employ the dial control.
Some parameters are limited to a value between 0 and 360 degrees. If you rotate such a
dial more than one revolution, the numbers simply repeat. Other parameters can be set
to negative values or multiple rotations.
Dials always have a value slider beside them to indicate the value set by the dial. Dial
value sliders can be manipulated directly as well.
To adjust a parameter using a dial
Do one of the following:
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Drag the dial in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction to increase or decrease the
value.
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Directly modify the value slider.
For more on working with value sliders, see Value Slider.
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Value Field
This control allows direct entry of text to set the value of the parameter.
An example of a parameter that uses a value field is the text entry field.
Activation Checkbox
Any parameter that must either be on or off uses a checkbox control. For example, the
All Caps and Align to Path settings for text objects are controlled with checkboxes.
Unlike those with sliders and dials, parameters controlled by a checkbox cannot be
keyframed.
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To activate or deactivate a parameter controlled by a checkbox
Click the checkbox.
Menus
Motion uses a variety of different types of menus and menu-like controls. These include
pop-up menus, value lists, parameter selection menus, and tracking selection menus.
Menus cannot be keyframed.
Pop-Up Menu
Parameters that have a pre-defined set of options are controlled with pop-up menus. In
some cases the choices available in the pop-up menu might change depending on the
settings of other related parameters.
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To change the value of a pop-up menu
Click the menu and choose an item from the list.
The menu displays the name of the selected option.
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Value List
Another type of pop-up menu. You can click the disclosure button to the right of the
field to display preset values, or you can type a value directly into the value field.
An example of a value list is Typeface.
Parameter Selection Menu
A special type of pop-up menu, specifically for Parameter behaviors. When a Parameter
behavior is applied to an object, you need to identify which parameter the behavior
should affect. You can either type the name of the parameter directly into the value field,
or you can choose from the Go pop-up menu, which lists all current parameters.
An example of a parameter selection menu is the “Average behavior” Apply To parameter.
Tracking Selection Menu
Similar to the parameter selection menu, this control allows you to select existing tracking
data stored in another Motion Tracking behavior in the project and apply that data to
the currently selected tracking behavior.
Tracking Selection menu
An example of the Tracking selection menu is the Source pop-up menu in the Match
Move behavior.
Source Well
Many parameters in Motion require the input of another object, such as the texture for
a Bump Map filter, or the object in an Orbit Around behavior.
This new object’s alpha channel or motion path is used as a source to affect the target
object. Such parameters display a source well (sometimes called an Image well), an empty
box to which you can drag a source object.
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To use a source well
Drag an object from the File Browser, Library, Layers tab, or Media tab into the empty
box.
Once accepted, the name and a thumbnail of the source object appears in the well and
is used as a source for the effect.
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To replace the contents of a source well
Drag a new object directly onto the well.
The old source is replaced with the new one.
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To clear a source well
Drag the icon in the well out.
A “poof” animation occurs and the well is emptied.
Important: Once an object has been added to the well, modifying the original source
object has no effect on the instance of the object used in the well.
Color Controls
Many objects and effects in Motion have attributes that can be set to a specific color (or
a range of colors in the form of a gradient). Text objects, shapes, generators, particle and
replicator systems, and other types of objects have color settings. Many filters such as
borders, glows, keying, and some stylize effects also have user-definable color settings.
Color well
Eyedropper
Color controls consist of several related elements, including the color well, pop-up color
palette, colors window, eyedropper, and individual sliders for the different color channels.
Color Well
A color well is the small color box you click to open the Colors window to change the
color of a selected object, such as text, a shape, or particles. The color well has two parts,
a swatch and a disclosure button.
To change the color of an object
1 Select the object you want to modify.
2 Click the relevant tab in the Inspector, then do one of the following:
• Click the color well and pick a color from the Colors window.
• Click the disclosure button or control-click the color well and pick a color from the
pop-up color palette.
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• Click the eyedropper, then in the Canvas, click an object of the desired color.
• Click the color well’s disclosure triangle and manipulate the individual Red Green Blue,
(and when applicable, Opacity) sliders.
Pop-Up Color Palette
When you control-click a color well or click the adjacent pop-up arrow, a temporary color
palette appears.
Original color
New color
Click here to select a
grayscale color.
The pointer becomes an eyedropper and an info area on the right displays the RGB and
HLS values for the current pointer position. A swatch displays the currently saved color
alongside the new one.
One advantage to picking colors this way is that as you move the pointer, the Canvas
updates dynamically. Click to lock the currently selected color.
The Colors Window
You can also use the Mac OS Colors window within Motion. This gives you access to the
familiar color pickers such as the web-safe palette or the crayons picker.
Color Picker Selector
Currently selected color
Active Color Picker
Saved Swatches
The Colors window has four sections: the icons at the top select different picker interfaces;
the large color swatch shows the currently selected color; the middle section shows the
currently active picker; and at the bottom, the row of boxes can be used to save swatches.
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To show the Colors window
Do one of the following:
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Click a color well.
Choose View > Show Colors.
Press Command-Shift-C.
To pick a color in the Colors window do one of the following
Click the color of your choice from the picker area.
Click the magnifying glass, then click anywhere on the screen to choose that color.
Note: If the Colors window was opened by clicking a color well, a color chosen in the
Colors window automatically loads into the color well. However if you open the Colors
window manually (or leave it open after a color has already been chosen) you must drag
the selected color from the swatch in the Colors window to the color well in the Inspector
or HUD.
To save a color to the Colors window swatch area
1 Select a color in the picker or by using the magnifying glass.
2 Drag the color from the large swatch to one of the white squares at the bottom of the
Colors window.
Colors saved in this area will remain accessible across applications and restarts.
Tip: To add more white squares, drag the bottom of the Colors window down.
Eye Dropper
Beside every color well is an eye dropper control. This allows you to pick a color already
in use in the Motion Canvas. By choosing colors from the colors already in your scene
you can ensure any new elements remain in the same palette, creating a more cohesive
and integrated design.
To pick a color using the eye dropper
1 In the Inspector, click the eye dropper for the color parameter you want to set.
The pointer turns into an eyedropper.
2 Click a color in the Canvas.
That color is assigned to the color well.
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Expanding Color Controls
Sometimes you need precise numerical control over your colors. This can be helpful if
you are trying to match two colors exactly, or when you want to adjust one of the color
channels independently. It can also be helpful when choosing how a color should be
animated, For example, you could keyframe the channels differently.
Every group of color controls has a disclosure triangle, which, when clicked, reveals
individual sliders for the component color channels in your selected color. You can choose
a color by adjusting these various sliders. For more on using sliders, see Slider Controls.
Gradient Controls
Most attributes that can be filled with a color can alternatively be filled with a gradient.
Like color controls, gradient controls are a group of compound settings with a great deal
of additional options and controls that appear when the disclosure triangle is clicked.
Gradient preset pop-up
menu
Gradient Preset Pop-up Menu
When the gradient controls are collapsed, you can select a preset gradient from the
Gradient preset pop-up menu.
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To change the current gradient to a saved preset
Click the Gradient preset pop-up menu and select the gradient of your choice.
The colors of the new gradient will be applied to the existing gradient type.
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Gradient Editor
To customize or modify the gradient, you must expand the controls to reveal the gradient
editor.
Gradient editor controls
Controls in the Gradient Editor
Use the gradient editor to change the color, color position, number of colors, opacity,
direction, and interpolation of a gradient. Click the disclosure triangle to reveal individual
controls for each of the parameters. The color and opacity of a gradient can be animated.
Graphical controls: Three bars allow you to set the color, opacity, and spread of a gradient.
The spread of color and opacity across the gradient can be adjusted by dragging a set
of controls called tags. Selecting a tag activates additional controls in the gradient editor,
including Color, Opacity, and Location sliders.
Color: A color well that sets the color of the selected color tag.
Opacity: A slider that sets the transparency of the selected opacity tag (in the graphical
controls above). The opacity tags control the opacity/transparency of the gradient. You
can add multiple opacity tags to create a gradient of varying levels of transparency. By
default, the opacity of a gradient applied to text is 100%.
Note: There is also an Opacity parameter (below the Angle parameter) that controls the
opacity of the gradient as a whole.
Spread Control: A control (shaped like a small triangle) between each pair of color tags
that sets where one color ends and the next begins.
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Interpolation: A pop-up menu that sets the interpolation of the color tag to Constant,
Linear, or Continuous.
• Constant: Creates a constant color distribution from the color or opacity tag, moving
from left to right in the gradient. For example, if the left color tag in a three-color,
left-to-right gradient is set to Constant, the gradient from the left tag to the center tag
is solid.
• Linear: Creates a uniform distribution of opacity or color between the tags.
• Continuous: The opacity or color changes gradually between color tags or opacity tags.
Location: A slider that sets the location of the selected gradient color, opacity tag, or
spread control.
Type: This pop-up menu allows you to choose a linear or radial gradient.
• Linear: Creates a linear gradient.
• Radial: Creates a radial gradient.
Angle: Available in some gradients when Type is set to Linear, this dial/value slider
changes the angle of the gradient.
Start: Value sliders that set the start position of the gradient. This parameter affects the
gradient as a whole—colors and opacity. X position is the left value slider and Y position
is the right value slider. Click the disclosure triangle to display the individual X and Y
parameters.
• X: Controls the X start position of the gradient.
• Y: Controls the Y start position of the gradient.
End: Value sliders that set the end position of the gradient. This parameter affects the
gradient as a whole—colors and opacity. X position is the left value slider and Y position
is the right value slider. Click the disclosure triangle to display the individual X and Y
parameters.
• X: Controls the X end position of the gradient.
• Y: Controls the Y end position of the gradient.
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Feather: Use the slider or value field to soften the gradient fill. Positive values soften the
shape outward; negative values soften the shape inward.
Using the Gradient Editor
The gradient editor is a flexible and powerful tool, allowing you to create a wide variety
of custom styles.
To change the colors in a gradient
1 Click the gradient disclosure triangle to show the gradient editor.
2 To change the color of a color tag in the gradient editor, do one of the following:
• Double-click a color tag.
Color tag
The Colors window appears. Use the Colors window to set a new color for the tag.
• Click a color tag, then use the individual Red, Green, or Blue color channel slider.
Red gradient color tag is selected
• Click a color tag, then click the disclosure triangle to the immediate right of the color
well to display the pop-up color palette. Drag the eyedropper in the palette to select
a new color. Drag in the lower palette to set the tag to a grayscale color.
• Click a color tag, then Control-click the color well to display the pop-up color palette.
• Click a color tag, click the eyedropper tool, then click a color in the Canvas.
To move the position of a color tag or opacity tag
1 Click the color tag or opacity tag you want to move.
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2 Do one of the following:
• Drag the tag left or right.
Drag the color tag to
change position of the
color.
Location slider
• In the Location parameter, use the slider or value field to enter a specific value. A value
of 100% is the rightmost position of the gradient, and a value of 0% is the leftmost
position of the gradient.
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To change the spread of the gradient color or opacity
Drag the small triangle between the color tag or opacity tag to change the location of
the spread. The closer the spread control is to a tag, the sharper the color or opacity
spread.
The Location parameter is also updated as you move the spread control, indicating its
position on the gradient.
Spread control
Note: The Spread control does not appear for color or opacity tags that are set to Linear
or Constant.
To change the color or opacity tag interpolation
Do one of the following:
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Control-click a tag, then choose Constant, Linear, or Continuous from the shortcut menu.
Click a tag, then choose Constant, Linear, or Continuous from the Interpolation pop-up
menu.
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To add a color tag to a gradient
To add a new color tag, position the pointer in the lower color bar where you want to
add the new color, then click.
A new color tag is added to the gradient.
New color tag
Click in the lower color
bar to add a color tag.
Note: Although the colors, opacity, and position of the tags of a gradient can be animated,
the number of color tags and opacity tags cannot.
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To add an opacity tag
Position the pointer in the opacity bar where you want to add the new tag, then click.
A new opacity tag is added to the gradient.
Until the value is adjusted, the gradient opacity is 100%.
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To duplicate a color or opacity tag
Option-drag the tag to its new position.
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To remove a color or gradient tag from the gradient
Drag the tag away from the gradient bar.
The tag is removed with a “poof.”
To change the opacity of a gradient color
1 Click an opacity tag.
The Opacity controls are enabled.
Selected opacity tag
Opacity controls
2 Use the slider or value field to change the value of the opacity.
The gradient transparency reflects the new opacity values.
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Tip: The lower the percentage of the opacity, the greater the transparency.
Editing Color and Opacity Direction and Distribution
You can quickly reverse the direction or evenly distribute the gradient color and opacity
tags.
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To reverse the gradient color or opacity direction
Click the Reverse Tags icon next to the opacity or color gradient.
Reverse Tags icon
(opacity)
Reverse Tags icon (color)
The tags are reversed.
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To evenly distribute the gradient color or opacity tags
Click the Distribute Tags icon next to the opacity or color gradient.
Distribute Tags icon
(opacity)
Distribute Tags icon
(color)
To change the direction of a shape’s gradient
1 With the shape selected, click the disclosure triangle to show the gradient editor.
2 Use the Start and End value sliders to change the direction of the gradient.
The left value slider is X and the right value slider is Y.
Saving Gradient Presets
As with shape styles, once you have created a gradient, you can save it in the Library.
To save a gradient in the Library
1 Select the object with the gradient you want to save.
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2 Choose Save Gradient from the Gradient preset pop-up menu.
Gradient preset pop-up
menu
3 In the Save Preset To Library dialog, type the name of the gradient.
4 Click Save.
The custom gradient appears in the Gradients category in the Library. Custom presets
can be identified in the Library by the small user icon that appears in the lower-right
corner of the larger gradient icon. The new gradient also appears in the Gradient preset
pop-up menu.
Custom gradient saved in
Library
Like the preset gradients, a preview of the gradient appears in the Preview area when
the gradient is selected in the stack.
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Using the Onscreen Gradient Controls
Onscreen controls provide a more interactive way to edit a gradient’s color, location of
the color tags and opacity tags, opacity, and start and end points. You can also use
onscreen controls to add color tags and opacity tags, as well as change their interpolation.
Start triangle
Color tag
Opacity tag
End triangle
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To display the onscreen gradient controls
In the Canvas, Control-click the object with the applied gradient, then choose Edit Gradient
from the shortcut menu.
The onscreen controls appear.
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To adjust the start and end gradient positions
To adjust the Start X and Y position of the gradient, drag the top triangle (at the end of
the gradient line).
To adjust the End X and Y position of the gradient, drag the bottom triangle (at the end
of the gradient line).
To change the location of the gradient tags
To change the location of the gradient color, drag the color tags along the gradient line.
To change the location of the gradient opacity, drag the opacity tags along the gradient
line.
To remove a color or opacity tag
Drag the color tag or opacity tag away from the onscreen controls and release the mouse
button.
Chapter 3 User Interface Controls
To add a color tag
Do one of the following:
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Control-click the gradient control line at the location you want the new tag, then choose
Add Color Tag from the shortcut menu.
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Double-click or Option-click the gradient control line at the location you want the new
tag.
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To duplicate a color or opacity tag
Option-drag the tag to its new position.
To change the color of a gradient tag
Control-click the tag, then drag the eyedropper in the pop-up color palette to select a
new color. As you drag over the color spectrum, the gradient color is actively updated.
To add an opacity tag
Do one of the following:
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Control-click the gradient control line at the location you want the new tag, then choose
Add Opacity Tag from the shortcut menu. By default the new tag is set to 100% opacity.
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Shift-Option-click the gradient control line at the location you want the new tag.
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To change an opacity tag’s transparency
Control-click the tag, then drag the eyedropper in the pop-up palette to set a new opacity
value for the tag. White represents more opaque values, progressively darker levels of
gray represent decreasing opacity, and black represents complete transparency. As you
drag over the spectrum, the gradient is actively updated.
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To change a color tag’s interpolation
Control-click the line next to the tag, then choose Constant, Linear, or Continuous from
the Color Interpolation submenu.
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To change an opacity tag’s interpolation
Control-click the line next to the tag, then choose Constant, Linear, or Continuous from
the Opacity Interpolation submenu.
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To reverse the direction of the color gradient
Control-click the gradient control line, then choose Reverse Color from the shortcut menu.
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To reverse the direction of the opacity gradient
Control-click the gradient control line, then choose Reverse Opacity from the shortcut
menu.
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To evenly distribute the gradient color tags
Control-click the gradient control line, then choose Distribute Color from the shortcut
menu.
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To evenly distribute the gradient opacity tags
Control-click the gradient control line, then choose Distribute Opacity from the shortcut
menu.
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To apply a preset gradient style
Control-click the gradient control line, choose Presets from the shortcut menu, and then
choose a preset style from the list.
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To remove an opacity tag or a color tag
Drag the tag away from the gradient onscreen controls and release the mouse button.
Mini-Curve Editor
A mini-curve editor is a scaled-down version of the Keyframe Editor. Appearing in the
Inspector, mini-curve editors give you the functionality to create basic animations directly
in the Inspector, without having to open the Keyframe Editor.
Two Particle behaviors—Scale Over Life and Spin Over Life—have mini-curve editors in
the Inspector (when the Increment Type parameter is set to Custom). Mini-curve editors
are also present for paint objects, in the Stroke pane of the Shape Inspector.
By default, the mini-curve editor is collapsed and shows a scaled-down representation
of the actual animation curve.
Collapsed mini-curve
editor
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To expand a mini-curve editor
Click the disclosure triangle next to the collapsed mini-curve editor.
Chapter 3 User Interface Controls
The expanded mini-curve editor appears.
Mini-curve editor
Box tool
Sketch tool
Edit tool
When expanded, the mini-curve editor shows a representation of the relevant animation
curve. In the example above, the Range parameter is mapped to the X axis and the Spin
Amount parameter is mapped to the Y axis.
The procedure for adding keyframes in a mini-curve editor is slightly different than for
adding them in the full-sized Keyframe Editor.
To add keyframes in the mini-curve editor
Do one of the following:
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Click the curve in the mini-curve editor.
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Option-click the curve, then choose Add Keyframe from the shortcut menu.
Double-click the curve in the mini-curve editor to add a keyframe and activate its value
field.
The mini-curve editor provides the Edit, Sketch, and Box tools, and each functions in the
same manner as it does in the Keyframe Editor. For more information on using the Edit
tool, see Using the Edit Tool. For more information on using the Sketch tool, see Using
the Sketch Tool. For more information on using the Box tool, see Using the Box Tool.
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The Auto Fit checkbox sets whether Motion automatically scales the animation curve to
fit within the confines of the mini-curve editor.
Auto Fit turned on in the
mini-curve editor
Generic Inspector Controls
In addition to the common parameter control types listed above, there are several other
controls that are widely used within the Inspector tab.
Reset button: Automatically restores the parameter value (or in some cases, an entire
set of parameters) back to its default value.
Reset button
Preset pop-up menu: The Library contains style presets that can be applied to text and
shapes. The Style Preset pop-up menu allows you to apply a preset style to the selected
text. The Shape Style pop-up menu lets you apply a style to the selected shape (including
paint strokes). Through this menu, you can also save custom text and shape presets to
the Library.
Style Preset pop-up
menu
For example, the Style Preset pop-up menu in the Text Style pane allows you to save text
style, format, or all (the parameters set in the Format pane and the parameters set in the
Style pane).
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Animation menu: Most parameters can be animated. This means that you can assign
specific values to certain frames (keyframes) so the parameter value changes over time.
Any parameter that can be animated has an Animation menu to the right of the parameter
settings.
Animation menu
Depending on the current condition of the parameter, the Animation menu displays a
different icon. For a table indicating the possible states, see Animation Menu States.
Click the Animation menu to display a pop-up menu filled with animation options:
• Enable/Disable Animation: Remains unavailable until keyframing is applied to the
parameter, either by using the Record button or by adding a keyframe. Once the
parameter is animated, the menu item is automatically renamed Disable Animation.
Activating it at that point effectively hides the keyframes you have set, restoring the
parameter to its default value. However, the keyframes are not thrown away. Choosing
Enable Animation restores the channel to its last keyframed state.
• Reset Parameter: Removes all keyframes and settings for this parameter. The parameter
value is reset to its default value.
• Add Keyframe: Adds a keyframe at the current frame. If the playhead is positioned on
a frame where a keyframe has already been added, this menu item is unavailable. You
can also Option-click the animation menu to add a keyframe.
Note: You can use a keyboard shortcut to quickly add a keyframe by pressing Control-K.
A keyframe is automatically added to the last modified parameter of the layer.
• Delete Keyframe: Deletes the current keyframe. The Delete Keyframe command is only
available if the playhead is positioned on a frame where a keyframe already exists.
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe for this parameter.
The Previous Keyframe command is only available if a keyframe exists earlier in the
project.
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• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this parameter. The Next
Keyframe command is only available if a keyframe exists later in the project.
• Show in Keyframe Editor: Opens the Keyframe Editor if it is not displayed and displays
the graph for the parameter you are modifying.
Rasterization Indicator
In the Properties tab of the Inspector, a small “LED” icon appears when a group is
rasterized. This is called the rasterization indicator. This is not a control, but rather an
indicator to alert you that a group has been rasterized.
Some operations, as well the application of certain filters or a mask, cause a group to be
rasterized. When a group is rasterized, it is converted into a bitmap image. Rasterization
affects 2D and 3D groups in different ways. When a 2D group is rasterized, the blend
modes on objects within the group no longer interact with objects outside of the group.
In addition, when a 3D group is rasterized, the group as a whole can no longer intersect
with objects outside of the group. The rasterized 3D group is treated as a single object
and uses layer order, rather than depth order when being composited in the project.
Once an operation triggers a rasterization on a group, the rasterization indicator appears
next to the parameter in the Properties tab.
Rasterization indicator
Additionally, a small frame appears around the 2D or 3D group icon (to the left of the
group name) in the Layers tab and Timeline layers list.
3D group icon prior to
group rasterization
3D group icon after
group rasterization
For more information on rasterization, see About Rasterization.
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Motion Menus
4
The Motion menu bar provides access to nearly every control in the application. Many
menu items are context sensitive, so they are dimmed when the command cannot be
performed based on the current state of the application or what is selected. This section
serves as a reference guide for all menus.
Many of these commands have shortcut keys that perform the same command from the
keyboard. These shortcuts are listed in parentheses after the description.
This chapter covers the following:
• Application Menu (p. 161)
• File Menu (p. 162)
• Edit Menu (p. 164)
• Mark Menu (p. 166)
• Object Menu (p. 168)
• Favorites Menu (p. 171)
• View Menu (p. 171)
• Window Menu (p. 177)
• Help Menu (p. 179)
Application Menu
The first Motion menu contains general functions to control the application, modify the
preferences, and access the Apple website. It also provides access to system-level services.
• About Motion: Opens the About Motion window where you can find the version of
Motion you are running as well as the registration and trademark information.
• Preferences: Opens Motion Preferences. See Preferences for a detailed description of
the settings in that window.
• Commands: Provides access to controls for customizing your keyboard command keys.
• Customize: Opens the Command Editor.
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• Import: Opens a dialog that allows you to import a customized key command set.
• Export: Opens a dialog that allows you to export a customized key command set.
• Command Sets: Allows you to load a customized key command set.
• Final Cut Pro Set: Sets the active keyboard to match the default key command layout
in Final Cut Pro wherever possible. Select from English, Japanese, French, German,
or Spanish.
• Standard Set: Sets the active keyboard to the default key command layout. Select
from English, Japanese, French, German, or Spanish.
Note: For information on customizing your shortcut keys, see Customizing
Keyboard Shortcuts.
• Provide Motion Feedback: Opens a web page where you can send comments to Apple
about Motion.
• Services: A system menu item that provides access to commands that work across
different applications. See Mac OS X Help for more information about this submenu.
• Hide Motion: Hides all Motion windows. The application is still running in the
background. You can bring it back to the front by clicking the Motion icon in the Dock.
(Command-H)
• Hide Others: Hides windows from all applications other than Motion.
(Command-Option-H)
• Show All: Shows all windows from all applications currently running.
• Quit Motion: Stops the application from running. You are prompted to save any open
documents. (Command-Q)
File Menu
This menu contains functions and commands that deal with files on your disk that are
associated with Motion.
• New: Creates a new Motion document. (Command-N)
• Open: Opens a dialog from which you can choose a Motion project to open.
(Command-O)
• Open Template: Displays the Template Browser, from which you can choose one of the
built-in templates. (Command-Shift-O)
For more information on working with templates, see Creating New Projects from
Templates.
• Open Recent: Opens a submenu that lists the ten most recently opened files, giving
you quick access to the projects you have been working on recently. You can clear the
list by choosing Clear Menu from the bottom of the submenu.
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• Close: Closes the currently selected window. If the Canvas is the currently selected
window, and the project has not been saved, Motion asks you to save the project before
closing the window. (Command-W; press Command-Option-W to close all windows.)
• Save: Stores the current state of the selected project to disk. (Command-S; press
Command-Option-S to save all open projects.)
• Save As: Saves the current state of the selected project with a new name.
(Command-Shift-S)
• Save As Template: Saves the current project as a template. For more information on
working with templates, see Creating New Projects from Templates.
• Revert: Restores the selected project to the last saved state. All of the work done since
the last save is lost. Use caution; you cannot undo this operation.
• Restore from Autosave: Displays a dialog from which you can choose a project saved
to the Autosave Vault.
• Import: Opens the Import Files dialog and lets you choose a file from disk to import
into your project. (Command-I)
• Import as Project: Displays the “Import File as Project” dialog. The file you choose is
automatically placed into the Canvas of a newly created project. If multiple items are
selected, they are all placed in the same project. (Command-Shift-I)
• Export: Displays the Export dialog so you can output your current project to a file on
disk. (Command-E)
For more information on the various Export settings, see Exporting from Motion.
• Export Selection: Displays the Export dialog so you can output only your currently
selected object to a file on disk. Objects that are not selected are not exported.
(Command-Option-E)
For more information see Exporting Portions of a Project.
• Share: Displays the Share window, where you can select from multiple preset output
formats, such as MobileMe, DVD, Blu-ray, YouTube, and others. (Command-Shift-E)
For more information on the Share window, see Sharing Your Project.
• Reconnect Media: When a layer in your project refers to a file on disk that has been
moved or modified, this command allows you to reestablish that link. This menu item
is not active unless a layer that has lost its reference file is selected.
• Remove Unused Media: When a media item is imported into the Media tab (and not
into the project), this command allows you to remove it from your project. This menu
item is not active unless an item that has lost its reference file is selected.
• Remove Optical Flow Retiming: When a media item has been processed for retiming,
choosing this menu will flush the retiming information file.
For more on optical flow retiming, see Retiming.
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• Page Setup: Displays the standard system Page Setup dialog where you can set paper
size and orientation for printing. (Command-Shift-P)
• Print: Displays the standard system Print dialog, from which you can print the contents
of the Canvas. (Command-P)
Edit Menu
This menu contains familiar commands such as Undo, Cut, Copy, and Paste and also
contains commands to select and delete objects, modify project properties, and control
the Motion spelling checker.
• Undo: This command is usually followed by the name of the last command performed
such as Undo Move, or Undo Rotation Change. Choosing this menu item restores the
project to the state before that action was taken. You can undo up to 99 actions. If the
menu item is dimmed, you cannot undo. (Command-Z)
• Redo: This command is usually followed by the name of the last command performed
such as Redo Move or Redo Rotation Change. It is only active if one or more actions
have been undone. Choosing this menu item performs the exact action that was just
undone. (Command-Shift-Z)
• Cut: Removes the selection and stores it on the Clipboard so it can be pasted later.
(Command-X)
• Copy: Copies the selection and stores it on the Clipboard so it can be pasted later.
(Command-C)
• Paste: Adds the current Clipboard selection to the project based on the current selection.
This command is not available if nothing is on the Clipboard or if the contents of the
Clipboard cannot be pasted to the current selection—for example, text cannot be
pasted onto a keyframe. (Command-V)
• Paste Special: Gives you the choice to paste the contents of the Clipboard into the
active Timeline by inserting (pushing existing objects out of the way) or exchanging
the contents with the selected object. Additional options are available.
(Command-Option-V)
For more information, see Paste Special.
• Duplicate: Makes a copy of the current selection and immediately adds it to the project.
(Command-D)
• Delete: Removes the current selected object. In the Timeline, Delete leaves a gap where
the object was. (Delete)
• Ripple Delete: Removes the selected object and closes the gap left behind in the
Timeline. (Shift-Delete)
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• Insert Time: Adds blank space into the Timeline. You can only use Insert Time after
selecting a time range in the Timeline ruler. For more information on time ranges, see
Defining the Play Range.
• Split: Breaks an object into two objects, each on its own Timeline track. The split occurs
at the current playhead position. If no object is selected, or the playhead is not
positioned over a selected object, this menu item is dimmed.
• Transform Control Points: When multiple control points of a shape or mask are selected,
choosing this command will create a transform box around the points.
(Command-Shift-T)
For more information, see Transforming Multiple Control Points.
• Select All: Selects all objects in the project. (Command-A)
• Deselect All: Releases any selection. (Command-Shift-A)
• Send Audio to Soundtrack Pro: Lets you specify where to save an audio file, then opens
it in Soundtrack Pro. (Command-U)
• Project Properties: Opens the Project Properties dialog where you can change the
settings for the current project. For details of the Project Properties dialog, see General
Tab of the Project Properties Window. (Command-J)
• Spelling: This submenu contains the spell checking controls that allow you to search
through the selected text layer for spelling errors. These commands are only active
when a body of text is selected. (Command-Colon)
For more information on using the spelling checker, see Adding Text with the Text
Editor.
• Show/Hide Spelling and Grammar: Opens the system Spelling and Grammar dialog.
• Check Spelling: Turns the spelling checker on for the currently selected text.
(Command-Semicolon)
• Check Spelling As You Type: This command turns automatic spelling checking on and
off. When active, a checkmark appears next to the menu item. This command only
functions on text in the Text editor, not the Canvas.
• Special Characters: This command is part of Mac OS X. It opens the Characters Palette
which provides access to nontypical text characters like bullets, arrows, and currency
icons. It can only be used in Motion when typing in a text layer.
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Mark Menu
This menu contains commands to set the beginning and end points of your objects, add
markers to the Timeline, navigate through your project, and control animation of effects.
• Mark In: This command does two different things. If no object is selected, it sets the
beginning frame of the play range to the current playhead position. If an object is
selected, it trims the In point for that object to the current playhead frame. (I)
• Mark Out: This command does two different things. If no object is selected, it sets the
ending frame of the play range to the current playhead position. If an object is selected,
it trims the Out point for that object to the current playhead position. (O)
• Move Selected In Point: This command moves the selected object or objects so the In
point aligns with the current playhead position. (Shift-Left Bracket)
• Move Selected Out Point: This command moves the selected object or objects so the
Out point aligns with the current playhead position. (Shift-Right Bracket)
• Markers: This submenu contains all of the controls for creating, modifying, and deleting
markers. For more information on using markers, see Adding Markers.
• Add Marker: Adds a marker at the current playhead frame. If an object is selected, an
object marker is added. If no object is selected, a project marker is added (M or the
Tilde key to add an object marker; Shift-M to add a global marker).
• Edit Marker: Opens the Edit Marker dialog where you can set a marker’s name, color,
duration, and comment. A marker must be selected for this menu item to be active.
(Command-Option-M)
• Delete Marker: Removes the selected marker from the project.
• Delete All Markers: Removes all markers from the selected object. If no object is
selected, it deletes all project markers.
• Mark Play Range In: Sets the play range In point to the location of the playhead.
(Command-Option-I)
• Mark Play Range Out: Sets the play range Out point to the location of the playhead.
(Command-Option-O)
• Reset Play Range: Moves the play range In and Out points to the first and last frame of
the project. (Option-X)
• Play: Starts playback of the project. (Space bar)
• Loop Playback: Turns looping on and off. When looping is enabled, playback
automatically repeats from the beginning of the play range after the end is reached.
(Shift-L)
• Record Animation: Turns keyframe recording on and off. For more information on
recording animation, see Animating in the Canvas.
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• Recording Options: Opens the Recording Options dialog where you can set the
granularity of keyframe recording.
• Go to: This submenu contains all of the different commands to navigate to a particular
frame within your project. All of these commands move your playhead to a new location.
• Project Start: Moves the playhead to the first frame of the project. (Home)
• Project End: Moves the playhead to the last frame of the project. (End)
• Play Range Start: Moves the playhead to the project In point. (Shift-Home)
• Play Range End: Moves the playhead to the project Out point. (Shift-End)
• Previous Frame: Moves the playhead backward by one frame. (Left Arrow)
• Next Frame: Moves the playhead forward by one frame. (Right Arrow)
• 10 Frames Back: Moves the playhead backward ten frames. (Shift-Left Arrow)
• 10 Frames Forward: Moves the playhead forward ten frames. (Shift-Right Arrow)
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe in the project.
(Option-K)
• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe in the project. (Shift-K)
• Previous Marker: Moves the playhead to the closest marker earlier in time.
(Command-Option-Left Arrow)
• Next Marker: Moves the playhead to the closest marker later in time.
(Command-Option-Right Arrow)
• Selection In Point: Moves the playhead to the first frame of the selected object. (Shift-I)
• Selection Out Point: Moves the playhead to the last frame of the selected object.
(Shift-O)
• RAM Preview: This submenu contains commands to play back your project in real time,
by temporarily storing the frames in a RAM buffer. For more information on how and
when to use the RAM Preview functions, see RAM Preview.
• Play Range: Renders the area between the project In and Out points and stores the
frames in RAM. Once the frames are stored, the region plays back at full speed.
(Command-R)
• Selection: Renders the range of time occupied by the selected objects and stores the
frames in RAM. Once the frames are stored, the region plays back at full speed.
(Command-Option-R)
• All: Renders the entire project and stores the frames in RAM. Once the frames are
stored, the region plays back at full speed. (Command-Shift-Option-R)
• Clear RAM Preview: Clears the RAM cache.
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Object Menu
This menu contains all of the commands for manipulating objects within Motion. This
includes their placement in the layer hierarchy and physical alignment in the Canvas.
• New Group: Adds a new empty group to the project. (Command-Shift-N)
• New Camera: Adds a new camera to the project, and lets you specify whether to use
2D or 3D mode. (Command-Option-C)
• New Light: Adds a new light to the project, and lets you specify whether to use 2D or
3D mode. (Command-Shift-L)
• New Drop Zone: Adds a new drop zone to your project. Drop zones allow you to quickly
replace footage in a project by dropping clips directly onto the Canvas. A drop zone
appears as a rectangle with a gradient circle in its center. The drop zone’s layer name
appears in the center of the drop zone. Any media item dragged and dropped into the
region defined by the drop zone object automatically replaces the drop zone placeholder
graphic. When media is dragged over the drop zone, a highlight appears around the
drop zone area. (Command-Shift-D)
• Bring to Front: Moves the selected object to the top of the layers within a group.
(Command-Right Brace)
• Send to Back: Moves the selected object to the bottom of the layers within a group.
(Command-Left Brace)
• Bring Forward: Moves the selected object upward in the Layers tab by one object.
(Command-Right Bracket)
• Send Backward: Moves the selected object downward in the Layers tab by one object.
(Command-Left Bracket)
• Alignment: This submenu contains all of the commands for aligning and distributing
multiple objects within the Canvas. For more information on arranging objects within
the Canvas, see Using Object Alignment Commands.
• Align Left Edges: Moves the selected objects so that their left edges line up with the
leftmost edge in the selection.
• Align Right Edges: Moves the selected objects so that their right edges line up with
the rightmost edge in the selection.
• Align Top Edges: Moves the selected objects so that their top edges line up with the
topmost edge in the selection.
• Align Bottom Edges: Moves the selected objects so that their bottom edges line up
with the bottommost edge in the selection.
• Align Far Edges: In 3D mode, aligns the farthest edges of each object along the Z
(depth) axis.
• Align Near Edges: In 3D mode, aligns the nearest edges of each object along the Z
(depth) axis.
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• Align Horizontal Centers: Lines up the selected objects on their horizontal center
points.
• Align Vertical Centers: Lines up the selected objects on their vertical center points.
• Align Depth Centers: Lines up the selected objects on their Z (depth) center points.
• Distribute Lefts: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the leftmost and
rightmost objects based on their left edges.
• Distribute Rights: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the leftmost and
rightmost objects based on their right edges.
• Distribute Tops: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the topmost and
bottommost objects based on their top edges.
• Distribute Bottoms: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the topmost and
bottommost objects based on their bottom edges.
• Distribute Far: Spreads the selected objects evenly between each object’s farthest
point.
• Distribute Near: Spreads the selected layers evenly between each object’s nearest
point.
• Distribute Horizontal Centers: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the leftmost
and rightmost objects based on their horizontal center points.
• Distribute Vertical Centers: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the topmost
and bottommost objects based on their vertical center points.
• Distribute Depth Centers: Spreads the selected objects evenly between the nearest
and farthest objects, based on their Z (depth) center points.
• Group: Combines the selected objects into a group. (Command-Shift-G)
• Ungroup: Removes the grouping so you can manipulate the objects individually.
(Command-Option-G)
• Active: Sets whether or not an object is active. When an object is not active, it doesn’t
appear in the Canvas and doesn’t appear in the final output. When the selected item
is active, the menu item has a checkmark beside it. (Control-T)
• Solo: Soloing an object hides all other objects in the project. When the selected item
is soloed, the menu item has a checkmark beside it. You cannot solo a camera or light.
(Control-S)
Note: You can also Control-click an object in the Layers tab and choose Solo from the
shortcut menu.
• Isolate: Isolating an object sets the object back to its original orientation. For example,
if you want to apply a mask to or rotoscope a layer that has been transformed in 3D
space, you can isolate the layer so that it is displayed in its original orientation (2D,
facing the front of the project). (Control-I)
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Isolate is only available in projects that contain a camera. When an object can be
isolated, a small Isolate button appears in the Layers tab. Click the button to isolate the
object. When you isolate an object, the object name appears in the Camera menu in
the Canvas as the name of your current view. Isolating a camera activates that camera’s
view.
• Lock: Locking an object prevents any changes from affecting that object. When the
selected item is locked, the menu item has a checkmark beside it. (Control-L)
• Unsolo: This submenu lets you turn a soloed object back to its normal state. There are
three choices: Video Only (Shift-Control-S), Audio Only, or Video and Audio. This menu
item is only available when a currently soloed object is selected.
• 3D Group: Changes the selected group to a 3D group. Deselecting the menu option
changes the group back to a 2D group (Control-D).
• Blend Mode: This submenu sets the blend mode for the selected layer. An object must
be selected in order to see the blend mode options. A layer can only have one blend
mode set at a time. The current setting is indicated with a checkmark beside the menu
item. For descriptions and examples of the various blend modes, see Using Blend
Modes.
• Add Image Mask: Adds a mask to the selected layer. (Command-Shift-M)
• Add Keyframe: Adds a keyframe to the currently selected object. The menu changes to
reflect the type of keyframe you are adding, such as Add Position Keyframe, Add Scale
Keyframe, and so on. (Control-K)
• Convert to Keyframes: This command can only be chosen when the selected object or
objects have behaviors applied. All behaviors are reproduced as keyframes on the
parameters that they affect. (Command-K)
• Convert to Mask: This command can only be chosen when the selected object is a
shape. The shape will be converted to a mask and applied to the enclosing group.
For more on converting shapes to masks, see Converting Between Shapes and Masks.
• Make Particles: Uses the selected layer as a cell source for a new particle emitter. (E)
• Replicate: Replicates the selected layer. (L)
• Make Clone Layer: Creates a clone of the selected layer or group. In a motion graphics
project, sometimes it is necessary to reuse a complex object in other parts of the project
multiple times. Although you can duplicate or cut and paste any object, if you update
the original, none of the changes you make are applied to the copies. It can become
a tedious and difficult management task. Making clone layers instead of duplicates lets
you control all the copies by modifying the original and also improves project playback
and rendering performance.
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Each cloned item is copied and named “Clone Layer,” “Clone Layer 1,” and so on. When
you clone a layer, the cloned layer is placed in its original group. When you clone a
group, a new group is created that contains the clone. Cloned items are identified in
the Layers tab with an icon for a cloned layer and an icon for a cloned group.
Cloned image layer
Cloned 3D group
For more information, see Making Clone Layers.
• Reveal Source Media: Opens the Media tab and highlights the item that corresponds
with the selected item in the Canvas or Timeline. The Inspector is also updated to reveal
the properties of the source media. (Shift-F)
Favorites Menu
The Favorites menu remains empty until you create your own favorite effects. Once you
have created favorites and stored them in the Favorites Menu folder in the Library tab,
they appear in the Favorites menu, grouped by type.
• Show Favorites Menu Items: Opens the Library and displays the Favorites Menu folder.
View Menu
The View menu contains commands for controlling the Motion interface. Most of these
items affect the Canvas, but some also apply to the Timeline and other panes.
• Zoom In: Zooms into the Canvas. (Command-Equal Sign)
• Zoom Out: Zooms out of the Canvas. (Command-Hyphen)
• Zoom Level: This submenu lets you set a particular zoom level, or automatically zooms
your Canvas in or out to fit the entire width of the Canvas window. (Shift-Z)
• Zoom Time View: This submenu allows you to automatically zoom the contents of the
Timeline.
• To Project: Zooms your Timeline so the entire duration of the project fills the window.
• To Play Range: Zooms your Timeline so the area between the project In and Out
points fills the window.
• Full Screen Mode: Fills your entire monitor with the Canvas (with the Timing and Project
panes hidden). In this mode, you can do all normal Canvas operations including
playback. To leave Full Screen mode, choose the menu item again. (F8)
• External Video: Sends output to an external video monitor. (Command-F1 or
Command-F12)
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• Correct for Aspect Ratio: Adjusts the display of the Canvas to simulate the nonsquare
pixels that appear on a TV monitor.
• Show Full View Area: Turns on or off the display of layers that are completely off or
partially off the edges of the Canvas. Areas that are off the edges of the Canvas appear
semi-transparent by default.
• Use Drop Zones: Turns drop zones on and off. For more information on using Drop
Zones, see Drop Zones.
• Save View Defaults: Saves the current state of all the overlay settings (rulers, safe zones,
animation paths, 3D overlays, and so on) as the default state for new projects.
• 3D View: This submenu sets the view to a scene camera or default camera view in a
3D project. A scene camera is a camera that you add to a project. A default camera
view is a built-in camera view, such as Perspective, Right, or Top. This menu is identical
to using the Camera menu in the upper-left corner of the Canvas.
For more information on cameras and views, see 3D Compositing.
Note: Because project elements are 2D (flat) objects, the elements are not visible when
you use the orthogonal camera views (Front, Back, Left, Right, Top, and Bottom) unless
the elements are rotated in 3D space (or text, particles, or the replicator are using the
Face Camera parameter in their respective Inspectors). This is because orthogonal views
are at right angles (perpendicular) to the elements. When an object is selected, a thin
gray line represents the object in the Canvas.
• Active Camera: Shows the view from the active camera.
• Perspective: Shows the perspective camera view. The perspective view defaults to a
view from the front center. Use the 3D View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Front: Shows the front camera view. Use the 3D View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the
camera.
• Back: Shows the back camera view (the view from the back of the scene). Use the
3D View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Left: Shows the left camera view (the view from the left of the scene). Use the 3D
View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Right: Shows the right camera view (the view from the right of the scene). Use the
3D View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Top: Shows the top camera view (the view from the top of the scene). Use the 3D
View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Bottom: Shows the bottom camera view (the view from the bottom of the scene).
Use the 3D View tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.
• Next Camera: When the Canvas is active, changes your view to the next scene camera
based on camera order in the Layers tab. (Option-C)
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• Select Active Camera: Selects the camera currently active in the Timeline.
(Option-Control-C)
• Reset View: Resets the camera view to its default orientation. (Option-R)
• Fit Objects into View: Reframes the current camera to automatically fit the selected
objects into the Canvas. (F)
• Frame Object: Frames the selected objects in the active view. If no objects are selected,
Frame Objects resets the reference camera to view all the objects in the scene. For
more information on camera views, see 3D View Tools.
• Focus on Object: Used when a camera has depth of field turned on. Adjusts the
camera’s Focus Offset to the selected object. (Control-F) For more information, see
Depth of Field.
• Channels: This submenu sets the Canvas to display individual color or transparency
channels. Current settings are indicated with a checkmark beside the item in the menu.
This menu is identical to the Channels pop-up menu above the Canvas.
• Color: Shows the image just as it would appear on a video monitor. Visible layers
appear in natural color and transparent areas reveal the background color as set in
the Project Properties. This is black by default. (Command-J)
• Transparent: Shows the background area of the Canvas as transparent. A checkerboard
pattern appears by default where no images block the background.
• Alpha Overlay: Displays the image in normal color, but adds a red highlight over
transparent areas of the image.
• RGB Only: Displays the normal mix of red, green, and blue channels but transparent
areas (including semi-transparent areas) are treated as opaque.
• Red: Sets the Canvas to display only the red channel as a range of black to white.
(Shift-R)
• Green: Sets the Canvas to display only the green channel as a range of black to white.
(Shift-G)
• Blue: Sets the Canvas to display only the blue channel as a range of black to white.
(Shift-B)
• Alpha: Sets the Canvas to display the alpha (transparency) channel of the layers in
the Canvas. (Shift-A)
• Inverted Alpha: Sets the Canvas to display an inverted view of the alpha (transparency)
channel. (Shift-Option-A)
• Toggle Current & Alpha: Switches back and forth between viewing the current state
and just the alpha channel. (V)
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• Resolution: This submenu sets the quality level of the Canvas. Reducing the resolution
improves playback performance. Choose from Full (Shift-Q), Half, Third, and Quarter
resolution. Each lower setting further degrades the image. The current setting is
indicated with a checkmark beside the menu item.
• Quality: Sets the display mode for objects in the Canvas, such as text and images, to
Draft, Normal, Best, or Custom.
• Draft: Renders objects in the Canvas at a lower quality to allow optimal project
interactivity. There is no antialiasing, and 32-bit (floating point) footage is truncated
to 8-bit.
• Normal: The default setting, renders objects in the Canvas at a medium quality.
Shapes are antialiased, but 3D intersections are not. Floating point (32-bit) footage
is truncated to 8-bit.
• Best: Renders objects in the Canvas at best quality, which includes higher-quality
image resampling, antialiased intersections, and antialiased particle edges. If the
project contains any floating point QuickTime images, the floating point versions of
those files are loaded and rendered in 32-bit float color space. This option slows
down project interactivity. For more information on float color space, see About Bit
Depth.
• Custom: Allows you to set a variety of additional controls to customize render quality.
Choosing Custom opens the Advanced Quality Options dialog. For information on
the settings in the Advanced Quality Options dialog, see Advanced Quality Settings.
Tip: When working in your project, work in Draft or Normal for better interactivity.
When you are ready to export your project, use Best or Custom.
Note: 10-bit YUV (Y′CBCR) files render at 8-bit in the Canvas unless Render Quality is set
to Best.
Tip: When exporting a project using the “Movie - current project and Canvas settings”
option (from the Use pop-up menu in the Export dialog), set Render Quality to Best
prior to exporting.
• Render Options: This submenu contains rendering controls that typically impact playback
speed. Turn these items off to improve system performance.
• Lighting: Turns off lighting to improve performance. When lighting is enabled, a
checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Option-L)
• Shadows: Turns off rendering of shadows to improve performance. When shadow
rendering is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Control-Option-S)
• Reflections: Turns off rendering of reflections to improve performance. When reflection
rendering is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Control-Option-R)
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• Depth of Field: Turns off depth of field rendering to improve performance. When
depth of field rendering is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
(Control-Option-D)
• Motion Blur: Turns off motion blur rendering to improve performance. When motion
blur rendering is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Option-M)
• Field Rendering: Turns off field rendering to improve performance. When field
rendering is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Option-F)
• Frame Blending: Turns off frame blending to improve performance. When frame
blending is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Control-Option-B)
• Preview Float Bit Depth: When working in 32-bit float color space, turning this setting
off drops the preview in the Canvas to 8-bit. Because working in float space drastically
increases processing time, turn this setting off to speed your workflow. This setting
does not modify the actual output of the project.
• Show Overlays: Turns the display of all overlays on and off in the Canvas. This setting
must be on in order to view any of the other overlay items (grids, guides, and so on).
When Show Overlays is active, a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
(Command-Slash)
• Show Rulers: Turns display of rulers in the Canvas on and off. When rulers are visible, a
checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Command-Shift-R)
• Show Tool Info: Displays a brief description of the tool the cursor is currently hovering
over. (Option-T)
• Overlays: This submenu turns the various indicators, guides, and grids in the Canvas
on and off.
• Grid: Turns the display of a grid on and off. You can customize the grid in the Canvas
pane of Motion Preferences. When the grid is displayed, a checkmark appears beside
the menu item. (Command-Apostrophe)
• Guides: Turns the display of guides on and off. When guides are visible, a checkmark
appears beside the menu item. (Command-Semicolon)
• Dynamic Guides: Turns dynamic guides on and off. Dynamic guides are the lines that
appear when you drag one item into alignment with another layer. When dynamic
guides are enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
(Command-Shift-Semicolon, or to quickly turn dynamic guides off and on, press N.)
• Safe Zones: Turns the display of title safe and action safe guides on and off. You can
customize the safe zones in the Canvas pane of Motion Preferences. When safe zones
are displayed, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Apostrophe)
• Film Zones: Turns display of film-based aspect ratio guides on and off. You can
customize the film zones in the Canvas pane of Motion Preferences. When film zones
are displayed, a checkmark appears beside the menu item. (Shift-Apostrophe)
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• Handles: Turns the display of object handles in the Canvas on and off. The handles
are the corner points that let you manipulate an object. When handles are displayed,
a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
• Lines: Turns the display of object border lines on and off. When lines are displayed,
a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
• Animation Path: Turns display of keyframe animation paths on and off. Animation
paths are the lines that show where an object moves in the Canvas. When animation
paths are displayed, a checkmark appears beside the menu item.
• Guides: This submenu lets you control the guides in the Canvas.
• Lock Guides: Causes all guides to be fixed in their current position. This prevents you
from accidentally moving a guide instead of moving an object
(Command-Option-Semicolon).
• Unlock Guides: Releases guides to be manually manipulated.
• Clear Guides: Removes all guides from the Canvas.
• Add Vertical Guide: Adds a vertical guide to the Canvas.
• Add Horizontal Guide: Adds a horizontal guide to the Canvas.
• Snap: Turns object snapping on and off in the Canvas. Snapping automatically aligns
objects as you drag them. When snap is enabled, a checkmark appears beside the menu
item (N).
• Show 3D Overlays: Turns all 3D overlays on and off, including the 3D View tools, 3D
Compass, Inset view, 3D grid, and 3D scene icons.
• 3D Overlays: This submenu controls the display of 3D overlays in the Canvas.
• 3D View Tools: Turns the Camera menu and 3D View tools on and off.
• Compass: Turns the 3D Compass on and off. The compass shows your current
orientation in 3D space. The red axis is X (horizontal), the green axis is Y (vertical),
and the blue axis is Z (depth). When you pause the pointer over the compass, its
state becomes active, allowing you to choose a new view by clicking one of the
colored view icons, such as front, left, right, perspective, and so on. The Canvas
animates the view change, rotating to the new view.
• Inset View: Turns the Inset view on and off. When enabled, a temporary window
appears in the lower-right corner of the Canvas and displays a perspective or active
camera view of your project that helps you stay oriented as you move objects in 3D
space. You can change the size of the Inset view, as well as control whether the Inset
view appears on transform changes, on all changes, or manually.
• 3D Grid: Turns the 3D grid on and off. The 3D grid helps you stay oriented while
working in 3D space and can be used to guide the placement of objects in your
project. The 3D grid appears only when you are in 3D mode.
(Command-Shift-Apostrophe)
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• 3D Scene Icons: Turns all 3D scene icons, such as lights and cameras on and off. The
scene icons appear in the Canvas as wireframe icons, and each includes red, green,
and blue handles that let you transform and rotate the camera or light.
• Show/Hide Fonts: Displays (or hides) the Font dialog for selecting fonts and font
attributes. (Command-T)
• Show/Hide Colors: Displays (or hides) the Colors window for selecting colors.
(Command-Shift-C)
• Show/Hide Toolbar: Turns the display of the Toolbar on or off. This is equivalent to
clicking the Toolbar button at the upper-right corner of the Canvas. (Command-Option-T)
• Customize Toolbar: Opens the Customize Toolbar dialog.
Window Menu
This menu contains controls to show and hide all of the windows, panes, and tabs in the
Motion interface. You can also choose and manage window layout sets.
• Minimize: Shrinks the active window to the Dock. This is equivalent to clicking the
Minimize button at the upper left of the window. (Command-M)
• Minimize All: Shrinks all windows (except the utility window) to the Dock. For example,
if the Keyframe Editor is floating and you select Minimize All, the Keyframe Editor
window and the active project window are minimized to the dock.
• Zoom: Resizes the active window to maximize desktop real estate. Switches between
full screen and the previously saved non-full screen state.
• Save Current Layout: Stores the current window arrangement. Choosing this option
requires you to name the layout you want to save. The new layout appears in the
Layouts submenu.
• Manage Layouts: Opens the Manage Layouts dialog where you can add, delete,
duplicate, and modify custom window layouts.
• Layouts: This submenu is where you can choose from existing window layouts. Choose
one of the layouts from the submenu to rearrange your windows to that pre-saved
state. For more on managing window layouts, see Window Arrangements.
• Create Locked Inspector: Creates a new Inspector window that doesn’t update based
on the selection. To unlock the Inspector, click the lock in the Preview area of the
Inspector.
• Show Inspector: This submenu provides direct access to any of the four tabs in the
Inspector window: Properties (F1), Behaviors (F2), Filters (F3), and Object (F4). The Object
tab changes depending on what type of object is selected.
• Show/Hide Project Pane: Turns the display of the Project pane on or off. (F5)
• Show/Hide Timing Pane: Turns the display of the Timing pane on or off. (F6)
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• Show/Hide HUD: Turns the display of the HUD on or off. (F7)
• Show/Hide Background Task List: The Background Task List window displays any
background processing when Motion performs optical flow retiming.
For more information on optical flow, see the Optical Flow pop-menu item in Timing
Controls in the Properties Tab.
• File Browser: Turns the display of the File Browser on or off. If the utility window is not
present, one is created. If the File Browser is the only tab in the utility window, this
command closes the window. (Command-1)
• Library: Turns the display of the Library on or off. If the utility window is not present,
one is created. If the Library is the only tab in the utility window, this command closes
the window. (Command-2)
• Inspector: Turns the display of the Inspector on or off. If no utility window is present,
one is created. If the Inspector is the only tab in the utility window, this command
closes the window. (Command-3)
• Layers: Turns the display of the Layers tab on or off. If the Project pane is not visible,
this command causes it to appear. If Layers is the only tab in the Project pane, this
command closes the pane. (Command-4).
• Media: Turns the display of the Media tab on or off. If the Project pane is not visible,
this command causes it to appear. If Media is the only tab in the Project pane, this
command closes the pane. (Command-5)
• Audio: Turns the display of the Audio tab on or off. If the Project pane is not visible,
this command causes it to appear. If Audio is the only tab in the Project pane, this
command closes the pane. (Command-6)
• Timeline: Turns the display of the Timeline on or off. If the Timing pane is not visible,
this command causes it to appear. If the Timeline is the only tab in the Timing pane,
this command closes the pane. (Command-7)
• Keyframe Editor: Turns the display of the Keyframe Editor on or off. If the Timing pane
is not visible, this command causes it to appear. If the Keyframe Editor is the only tab
in the Timing pane, this command closes the pane. (Command-8)
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• Audio Editor: Turns the display of the Audio Editor on or off. If the Timing pane is not
visible, this command causes it to appear. If the Audio Editor is the only tab in the
Timing pane, this command closes the pane. (Command-9)
• Bring All to Front: If any Motion windows are hidden behind windows from other
applications, this command moves the windows to the front.
• Open Project/Untitled List: All open projects appear at the bottom of the Window menu.
An unsaved project is listed as “Untitled.” Choosing an item from this list brings that
project’s Canvas to the front.
Help Menu
The Help menu provides access to resources for learning more about Motion.
• Motion Help: Opens the Motion User Manual.
• Release Notes: Opens a webpage with a file containing last-minute release information
about Motion, as well as changes to the documentation that may affect your use of
the software.
• New Features: Opens a webpage summarizing new features in Motion 4.
• Motion Support: Opens a webpage that contains up-to-date technical support
information about Motion.
• Motion on the Web: Opens a web link to the Apple Motion online community. This site
contains additional tutorials, training resources, information about product updates,
and other information.
• Apple Training Centers: Opens a link to the Apple Training Centers webpage, where
you can find information about Apple-authorized training in your area.
• Create Support Profile: Generates a special file describing the technical details about
your workstation such as processor speed, video card specifications, and so on. This
file is used only by authorized Apple technical support technicians.
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Preferences
5
Motion Preferences allow you to customize your workspace, tailor the interface for different
types of projects, and define the presets for new projects and for exporting finished
movies. The Motion Preferences window contains nine panes that group global settings
according to function: General, Appearance, Project, Cache, Canvas, 3D, Output, Presets,
and Gestures. To open the Motion Preferences window, choose Motion > Preferences (or
press Command-Comma).
This chapter covers the following:
• General Pane (p. 182)
• Appearance Pane (p. 184)
• Project Pane (p. 186)
• Cache Pane (p. 189)
• Canvas Pane (p. 191)
• 3D Pane (p. 193)
• Output Pane (p. 195)
• Presets Pane (p. 197)
• Gestures Pane (p. 202)
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General Pane
The General Preferences pane contains settings that apply globally to all aspects of Motion,
grouped into the following categories: Startup, Interface, File Browser & Library, Content
Library & Templates, Media, and Keyframe Editor.
Startup
This section of the General Preferences pane allows you to define what Motion does when
first opened. Choose an item from the pop-up menu.
At Startup pop-up menu: This pop-up menu allows you to choose the default behavior
when Motion is launched. Select from one of four options.
• Open Last Project(s): Any projects that were open when the program was last quit are
reopened. This allows a continuity of work across sessions.
• Create New Project: This command opens a new empty project. If a default preset has
not been chosen, the Select Project Preset dialog appears at startup.
• Show Welcome Screen: This is the default setting. Upon startup, you are presented with
four options: To View the Quick Tours (links to web-based QuickTime tours of the
application), Begin with an Online Tutorial (links to web-based tutorials of the
application), Start with a Template (opens the Template Browser), or Start with a New
Project. To skip the initial screen, change the Motion Preferences (or turn off the “Show
the Welcome Screen at startup” checkbox in the welcome screen).
• Browse Templates: This option takes you directly to the Template Browser. For more
information on working with templates, see Creating New Projects from Templates.
Interface
This section of the General Preferences pane allows you to set some general options for
the interface.
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Drop Menu Delay: This setting determines how long you must wait before the drop
menu appears when dragging to the Timeline, mini-Timeline, Layers tab, or Canvas. The
drop menu provides additional choices for editing and importing objects into the project.
Show Tooltips: This checkbox turns tooltips on and off across the application. Tooltips
provide explanatory information such as names and basic usage techniques. They appear
when you pause the pointer over tools and controls.
File Browser & Library
These settings in the General Preferences pane affect how the utility window displays
the contents of the File Browser and Library.
Display Folders: This setting lets you choose between listing folders alphabetically within
the list or grouped together at the end of the list after all nonfolder items.
Show preview icons: This checkbox turns preview icons on and off in the utility window.
For example, when the checkbox is selected, the first frame of a QuickTime movie is
displayed. When it is deselected, the Finder QuickTime icon is displayed.
Generic icons
Preview icons
Note: The screen shots in the Motion User Manual were taken with the “Show preview
icons” checkbox deselected in Motion Preferences.
Play items automatically on a single click: This checkbox controls whether the Preview
area automatically plays the contents of the item selected in the file stack.
Content Library & Templates
Use this control to change the location of your Motion content folder. This also allows
multiple users on a network to share a single, centralized folder.
To set the Motion content path
1 Click Choose (next to Library Path).
2 In the dialog that appears, navigate to the content’s location, then click Choose.
3 Restart Motion.
µ
To reset the Motion content path to its default location
Click Reset (next to the Choose button).
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Media
This section in the General Preferences pane contains the “Automatically manage unused
media” checkbox. When the checkbox is selected, Motion removes unused media from
the Media tab whenever you delete that media from the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline
layers list. If you want to retain (in the Media tab) a copy of media that is no longer used
in your project, deselect this checkbox.
Keyframe Editor
This section in the General Preferences pane contains the “Lock Keyframes in Time”
checkbox. When the checkbox is selected, you can change the values of keyframes in the
Keyframe Editor, but you cannot move the keyframes forward or back in time. This helps
prevent changing your animation timing as you adjust values.
Appearance Pane
The Appearance pane of the Motion Preferences window contains settings that control
visual elements of the Motion interface, grouped into the following categories: HUD,
Thumbnail Preview, Timeline, and Status Bar.
HUD
The HUD (heads-up display) is a semi-transparent window that floats above the other
windows on your screen. Use the Window Opacity slider in the HUD section of the
Appearance pane to set the opacity (transparency) of the HUD.
Thumbnail Preview
The thumbnails that appear in the Layers tab of Motion can provide helpful information
about the items selected in that window. For items that are partially transparent (contain
an alpha channel), you can set the background that appears behind the image. There are
two background options: Checkerboard and Color. Choose either of these options from
the Background menu in Thumbnail Preview section of the Appearance pane.
Background: A pop-up menu with two options for thumbnail backgrounds.
• Checkerboard: This is the default setting. It displays a checkerboard pattern where
transparent pixels appear.
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• Color: This setting displays a solid color where transparent pixels appear.
Background Color: When Color is chosen from the Background pop-up menu, this color
well is enabled and allows you to select a new background color from the Colors window
or pop-up color palette.
Timeline
This section of the Appearance pane lets you choose how to display the bars that appear
in the Timeline to represent your objects. Choose a timebar style from the Timebar Display
pop-up menu.
Timebar Display: A pop-up menu with three options.
• Name: The bars in the Timeline display the object name only.
• Name Plus Thumbnail: This setting is the default. Bars in the Timeline display an icon
representing the first frame of the object followed by the name of the object.
• Filmstrip: Bars in the Timeline are displayed as a continuous strip of frames. The name
text does not appear. For an example of the different states, see Specifying the Track
Display. Only layers (shapes, images, image sequences, text, and so on) display a
thumbnail or a continuous strip of frames. Objects such as cameras, lights, and behaviors
do not display a thumbnail.
Status Bar
The Status Bar is the area in the Motion workspace above the Canvas and below the
Toolbar. You can choose to display three different types of information in this area: Color,
Coordinates, and Frame Rate. You can also choose from three different methods of
representing the color data. All of these settings are available in the Status Bar section of
the Appearance pane.
Color: Turn on this checkbox to display the color value of the pixel currently under the
pointer. Colors are displayed in the format chosen in the Display Color As pop-up menu.
Coordinates: Turn on this checkbox to display the X and Y coordinates of the current
pointer position.
Frame rate: When this checkbox is selected, Motion displays the frame rate of the project
during playback. Nothing is displayed unless the project is playing.
Display Color As: When the Color checkbox is selected, use this pop-up menu to choose
from among three styles for displaying the color data.
• RGB: This setting displays the red, green, blue, and alpha values of each pixel in ranges
of 0–255. The Alpha value is also displayed.
• RGB (Percent): This setting displays the red, green, blue, and alpha values of each pixel
in ranges of 1–100.
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• HSV: This setting displays the color as hue, saturation, and value (brightness) where
hue is a value from 1–360, and saturation and value are ranged from 1–100. Alpha is
also displayed ranged from 1–100.
Project Pane
The Project Preferences pane contains settings for timing, display, and playback options.
There are four categories of controls: Default Settings, Time Display, Still Images & Layers,
and Playback Control.
Default Settings
These controls in the Project Preferences pane determine default values for newly created
projects. To change these settings for a specific project, use the Project Properties dialog
instead (choose Edit > Project Properties or press Command-J).
Note: These settings only take effect in projects created after the preferences are set. Any
currently opened projects are not affected.
Project Duration: Sets the default duration for new projects. You can type a number into
the value field and choose Frames or Seconds from the pop-up menu.
Background Color: A color well that sets the color of the background for any new projects
that are created after the color has been changed. This does not change the background
color of the current project. To change the background color for a current project, choose
Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J) and use the Background Color controls.
Note: To render a new background color into your final output, you must choose Solid
from the Background pop-up menu in the General tab of the Project Properties dialog
(press Command-J).
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Time Display
The controls in this section of the Project Preferences pane set how the time counters
across the application are displayed.
Display Time As: A pop-up menu with two choices:
• Frames: Displays all counters as incrementing frame numbers.
• Timecode: Displays all counters as eight-digit timecode numbers.
Frame Numbering: A pop-up menu that lets you choose whether frame counts begin
at zero or one.
Still Images & Layers
These settings in the Project Preferences pane control the default duration, placement,
and size of still images and imported layers, as well as layers created in Motion, such as
text, shapes, and masks.
Default Layer Duration: You can specify the duration of still images, generators, and
other layers that lack an inherent duration in one of two ways:
• Use project duration: All layers are the same duration as the project.
• Use custom duration: Layers are the duration defined in this value field.
Duration: If Default Layer Duration is set to “Use custom duration,” enter a value in this
field, and use the pop-up menu to set the time to Frames or Seconds.
Create Layers At: When you drag layers to the Canvas, the Layers tab, or the Timeline
layers list, they can either be added to the project at the current playhead position or
they can be added at the first frame of the project. This setting also applies to layers
created within Motion, such as text or shapes.
• Current frame: Creates layers at the current playhead position.
• Start of project: Creates layers at the first frame of the project.
Large Stills: When importing large still images, set this pop-up menu to instruct Motion
to import the file at its original size, to change the resolution of the image to fit the Canvas
size, or to scale the image down to fit the Canvas size.
Note: For more information on the differences between the Large Stills options, see Using
High-Resolution Still Images.
The Large Stills pop-up menu has three options:
• Do Nothing: Imports the image at its original size.
• Scale to Canvas Size: Imports and scales the image to fit the project size while
maintaining its aspect ratio.
• Down-Res to Canvas Size: This setting changes the resolution of the imported image
so that the image fits the project size while maintaining its aspect ratio.
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Playback Control
These settings in the Project Preferences pane control how Motion plays back your project.
Time View Updating: When the Timing pane is visible, you can set the view to
automatically move along with your project’s playback. Make one of the following choices
from the pop-up menu:
• Don’t update: The Timing pane does not change as you play. This setting improves
performance.
• Jump by pages: As the playhead reaches the end of the current view, the window jumps
forward. The playhead crosses the screen again, and so on.
• Scroll continuously: The playhead remains static and the Timing pane scrolls by behind
it.
If Audio Sync Is Lost: Motion always attempts to keep audio and video playback locked
in sync, but if the project is too complex to play both audio and video smoothly, one or
the other must be compromised. Choose from one of two options:
• Skip video frames: Audio continues to play, but video frames are skipped to keep up.
• Pause audio playback: Audio playback is temporarily suspended during playback.
Limit playback speed to project frame rate: Motion plays back your project as fast as
possible based on the complexity of the effects and the strength of your computer. When
this checkbox is selected, playback rate never exceeds the frame rate of your project. This
means you can watch your project play back at the same frame rate as your exported
movie. When the checkbox is deselected, playback rate is only limited by your processor
power and may play much faster than the project frame rate.
Loop audio while scrubbing: When this checkbox is selected, the audio for the frames
where you drag the playhead repeats. When the checkbox is deselected, the audio for
those frames plays only once.
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Cache Pane
The Cache pane contains settings to control the cache for projects. There are four
categories of controls: Memory & Cache, Autosave, LiveFonts, and Optical Flow Retiming.
Memory & Cache
This setting in the Cache pane of the Preferences window lets you specify how much
memory is allocated to the project cache.
Project Cache: Enter a number in the value field to specify the percentage of your total
system memory that you want to use for the project cache. The larger the number, the
more memory available to Motion to cache frames, resulting in a higher likelihood of
consistently smooth playback.
Autosave
These settings in the Cache pane of the Preferences window control how frequently
projects are automatically saved, as well as the location of the saved files. Saved projects
are time-and-date stamped.
Use Autosave Vault: When this checkbox is selected, Motion stores auto-saved projects
to the location specified by the Autosave Vault Folder path. By default, the Autosave Vault
folder is located in a folder called Motion Documents in the Documents folder of your
home directory.
Save a copy every: Specifies how often, in minutes, a project is saved.
Keep at most: Specifies how many versions of the autosaved project to store in the vault.
Maximum of: Specifies the maximum number of different auto-saved projects to store
in the vault.
Autosave Vault Folder: The Choose button allows you to set where the Autosave files
are kept. The Reset button sets the Autosave location back to its default.
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Customizing Autosave
There are a number of ways to customize Autosave for your needs.
To store auto-saved projects in a specific location
1 Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2 Click Cache.
3 In the Autosave group, turn on Use Autosave Vault.
By default, the Autosave Vault folder is located in a folder called Motion Documents in
the Documents folder of your home directory.
µ
To set a new location for the Autosave vault
Click Choose, set a new location in the dialog, then click Choose.
To revert to an auto-saved project
1 Choose File > Restore from Autosave.
The Restore Project dialog appears.
2 Choose a saved project from the pop-up menu.
Note: A project must be saved before the Revert commands are available in the File
menu.
LiveFonts
These settings in the Cache pane of the Preferences window determine how LiveFonts
are cached (stored) by Motion. For more information about LiveFonts, see Using LiveFonts.
Cache intermediate LiveFont sizes: This checkbox turns caching of LiveFont data on or
off. This option is on by default, as it improves performance if you frequently use LiveFonts.
Cache Path: Click Choose to define a custom location to cache your LiveFont data. Because
this cache can grow quite large, it is advised that you set this to a drive other than your
primary system drive.
Delete LiveFont Cache: Over time, your LiveFont cache can grow to take up many
gigabytes of disk space. To recover this space, you can delete the cache by clicking this
button.
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Optical Flow Retiming
When you retime footage, Motion needs to store the retiming files. This setting in the
Cache pane of the Preferences window specifies where the retiming files are stored. You
can choose to store the files in the same location as the source footage or specify your
own location.
In folder with source media: Click this button to save the retiming files in the same
location as the source footage.
In this folder: Click the Choose button to specify where the optical flow retiming files
are stored. By default, the Optical Flow folder is located in the
/Users/username/Documents/Motion Documents/Retiming Cache Files folder.
Canvas Pane
This pane of the Preferences window contains settings to customize your Canvas view.
Changes made in this pane take immediate effect in your current project. There are five
categories of controls: Background, Alignment, Safe Zone, Film Zone, and Snapping.
Background
This section in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window allows you to choose a color
for the background of your Canvas—the color outside of the project boundaries. This
color is not exported with your project, but only acts as a guide for helping identify
transparent and colored layers.
Canvas Color: This color well allows you to choose a color for the background of the
Canvas.
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Full View Opacity: If Show Full View Area is enabled in the View menu, this setting
controls the opacity of the part of a layer that extends beyond the edge of the Canvas
into the background. When set to 100%, the layer is transparent. When set to 0%, the
layer is fully opaque.
Alignment
These settings in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window control the color and display
of the optional grid, rulers, and guides that appear in the Canvas. Grids, guides, and rulers
can be turned on and off in the View menu or in the View pop-up menu at the upper-right
corner of the main window.
Grid Spacing: This slider sets the width for the grid in pixels.
Grid Color: This color well sets the color of the grid lines.
Guide Color: This color well sets the color of guides.
Dynamic Guide Color: This color well sets the color for dynamic guides.
Ruler Location: This pop-up menu sets the position of the ruler in the Canvas. There are
four options:
• Bottom Left
• Top Left
• Top Right
• Bottom Right
Safe Zone
Safe zones are special guides to help you avoid putting layers in areas of the screen that
might not appear correctly on consumer television sets. Layers that appear outside the
action safe region may be cut off. The area outside the title safe region may have
distortions that make text hard to read. The safe zone guides can be turned on and off
in the View menu, or in the View pop-up menu at the upper-right corner of the main
window (above the Canvas). To customize how safe zones appear in the Canvas, use the
Safe Zone controls in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window.
Action Safe Region: Sets the percentage of the Canvas where the action safe guides
appear. (Default is 90% of canvas.)
Title Safe Region: Sets the percentage of the Canvas where the title safe guides appear.
(Default is 80% of canvas.)
Safe Zone Color: Sets the color of the safe zone guides.
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Film Zone
When producing output to be used for both television and film, it may be helpful to see
the area of the TV frame that will be cut off when it is converted to film. The film zone
settings allow you to display a guide that identifies the aspect ratio of the film gauge you
are working in. Film zone guides can be turned on and off in the View menu or in the
View pop-up menu at the upper-right corner of the main window. To customize how
film zones appear in the Canvas, use the Film Zone controls in the Canvas pane of the
Preferences window.
Aspect Ratio: This pop-up menu sets the guide size to match one of the standard aspect
ratios. Entering a number into the value field to the right of the pop-up menu sets a
custom aspect ratio. There are five menu choices:
• Academy Flat 1.85:1
• High Definition 16:9
• Academy Standard 4:3
• Anamorphic Scope 2.25:1
• Custom
Film Zone Color: Sets the color of the film zone guides.
Snapping
Objects in the Canvas automatically snap to other objects when you drag them around.
This setting in the Canvas pane of the Preferences window determines whether the
objects snap to objects’ center points, edges, or both centers and edges. Snapping can
be turned on and off in the View menu or by pressing N when the Canvas is active.
3D Pane
The 3D Preferences pane lets you control various aspects of working in the Motion 3D
workspace. There are two categories of controls: General and 3D Grid.
General
This area of the 3D Preferences pane lets you control the Inset view and choose whether
new groups default to 2D or 3D mode.
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Display Inset View: A pop-up menu that lets you control whether the Inset view appears
on transform changes, on all changes, or manually. Inset View must be enabled in the
View menu or View pop-up menu for the Inset view to appear.
• On Transform Change: The Inset view appears when adjusting an object’s transform
parameters such as position, rotation, or scale.
• On All Changes: The Inset view appears when making adjustments specific to an object,
such as adjusting the parameters of a replicator, in the HUD or Inspector.
• Manually: When this option is selected, the Inset view is displayed all the time.
Inset view
Inset View Size: Use the slider to adjust the size of the Inset view.
Default New Group Type: Use this pop-up menu to specify whether new groups are
created as 2D or 3D groups. When set to Automatic, Motion determines the type of group
that is created based on the project. For example, when Automatic is selected and you
are working in a 3D project, new groups are 3D. If you are working in a 2D project (no
camera), new groups are 2D.
3D Grid
This area of the 3D Preferences pane lets you modify settings for the grid that appears
in the Motion 3D workspace.
3D Grid Spacing: Specifies the spacing between grid lines, in pixels.
Primary Grid Color: Lets you set the color of the main grid lines. The main grid lines
appear slightly heavier than the secondary grid lines.
Secondary Grid Color: Lets you set the color of the secondary grid lines (the lines that
appear within the main grid lines).
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Output Pane
The Output Preferences pane tells Motion to render the contents of the Canvas out to a
video deck or monitor connected to your computer via FireWire or another port. This
pane has one category of settings: External Video.
To view Motion video output on a computer display connected to your computer
1 Choose Motion > Preferences.
2 In the Output pane, choose one of the display options from the Video Output pop-up
menu.
Video Output in Motion
If you’re creating work that is intended to be viewed on a TV monitor (such as broadcast
design or DVD menus), it’s imperative that you see your design on such a monitor before
finalizing your Motion project. While you can do a great deal of layout and color
adjustments on your computer screen, you might be surprised how different things
may look when they appear on a TV screen.
First, whether you’re working in NTSC (the American and Japanese TV standard) or
PAL/SECAM (the European TV standard), colors are going to look quite different from
the way they look on your computer monitor. (NTSC has been affectionately referred
to as “Never Twice the Same Color.”)
Furthermore, TV signals are interlaced, meaning that the vertical resolution is cut in half
and displayed at twice the rate. This can mean that thin horizontal lines in your design
(such as font serifs) may buzz or flicker when played back on a TV screen.
Fortunately, Motion allows you to view the contents of your Canvas directly on a TV
monitor that is connected to your computer. You can connect a monitor to your
computer using a FireWire device such as a DV camcorder or deck, or by using a third
party video capture card. For accurate results, you should use a professional-grade
monitor with calibration controls.
External Video
These settings in the Output Preferences pane control how Motion plays your project
directly to a video deck or monitor connected to your computer.
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Video Output: Set this pop-up menu to match the type of device connected to the
monitor. When this is set to anything other than None, Motion outputs a new frame to
the externally connected video monitor every time you release the mouse button (if the
Canvas has changed). If no deck or video monitor is connected, the menu is set to None.
If you have two computer displays, one can be used to view the Motion interface and
the Finder while the other can be used as a dedicated video monitor using an Apple
Cinema Display as an external monitor. The following external video monitoring choices
are available depending on the number and type of monitors connected:
• Digital Cinema Desktop Preview: The video is not scaled unless it is too large to fit on
the display. If the video signal is larger than the display, it is scaled to fit on the display.
The video always maintains proper aspect ratio and does not exhibit scaling artifacts
due to magnification, however, some formats, especially SD formats, may look very
small when displayed on large computer displays.
• Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Full Screen: The video is scaled to fit the display in at
least one dimension. If the aspect ratio of the video signal and the computer display
do not match, the video on the display is letterboxed (black on top and bottom) or
pillarboxed (black on sides) as necessary.
This format gives you the biggest picture possible and maintains the proper aspect
ratio, however, scaling artifacts may be noticeable when viewed up close.
• Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Main: Uses your main monitor as the Digital Cinema
Desktop display. The video is scaled to fit the display in at least one dimension.
This format gives you the biggest picture possible and maintains the proper aspect
ratio, however, scaling artifacts may be noticeable when viewed up close.
• Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Raw: This mode shows the video data with as little
processing as possible. This can be useful for engineering evaluations of the image. No
scaling is done whatsoever.
Using this option, more accurate assessments of video quality can be made. This option
is not useful for general viewing, as no scaling or pixel aspect ratio adjustments are
made, even when the video is larger than the display.
Note: For example, a 720p frame (1280 x 720) showing in raw mode on an 800 x 600
display only shows 800 x 600 of the image.
• None: This mode is automatically selected when no deck or video monitor is connected
to your system.
Options: When the Video Output pop-up menu is set to one of the Digital Cinema Desktop
Preview settings, the Options button becomes active. For monitors connected via FireWire,
there is no need to adjust the options. For monitors connected via third-party hardware,
the options may have applicable settings.
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Update during playback: Plays the project out to the external video monitor while the
project plays back in the Canvas. This option severely degrades performance.
Update dynamically on parameter change: Sends a new video frame out to the external
video as you adjust parameters (instead of only after releasing the mouse button). This
option may severely degrade performance.
Presets Pane
The Presets Preferences pane contains presets for both project settings and export settings.
In this pane, you can choose defaults, as well as create, modify, and delete settings. The
default project preset determines the settings assigned when you create a new project.
You can change any of these settings while you are working by opening the Project
Properties window (choose Edit > Project Properties or press Command-J).
Show: This pop-up menu lets you choose between modifying presets for new projects
or modifying presets for exporting.
Preset list: Below the Show menu, the current list of presets appears. The checkbox to
the left of each name identifies the default preset. Check a different box to select a new
preset. The column on the right shows which presets are locked. Locked presets cannot
be modified. You can duplicate a locked preset and edit the copy.
Summary box: To the right of the Preset list, the Summary box displays details of the
currently selected preset.
Create new documents using default: When this checkbox is selected, creating a new
project automatically uses the default project preset. When this checkbox is deselected,
creating a new project displays the Select Project Preset dialog so you can choose a preset
for the new project.
Add New Preset: Click the Add button (+) to display the Project Preset Editor dialog and
create a new preset.
Remove Preset: To remove a preset, select the preset you want to remove and click the
Delete button (–).
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Duplicate: To duplicate a preset, select the preset you want to duplicate, then click
Duplicate.
Edit: To edit a preset, click the Edit button. If the Show pop-up menu is set to Project
Presets, the Project Preset Editor opens. If the Show pop-up menu is set to Export Presets,
the Export Options window opens. See Project Preset Editor and Export Options Window
for more information.
Project Preset Editor
The Project Preset Editor dialog is where you make changes to a project preset.
Note: Locked presets cannot be edited. If you attempt to edit a locked preset, an alert
dialog appears, a duplicate copy of the preset is made, and your edits are applied to the
duplicate.
To open the Project Preset Editor
1 In the Presets Preferences pane, choose Project Presets from the Show pop-up menu
(located in the upper-left corner of the pane).
2 Click the Edit button, then do one of the following:
• Double-click an unlocked preset in the Preset list.
Note: When you double-click a default preset in the Preset list of the Presets pane, an
alert dialog appears stating that the selected preset cannot be modified. Click OK to
create an editable copy of the preset.
• Select a nonlocked item in the Preset list and click the Edit button.
• Select an item in the Preset list, click Duplicate, select the copied preset, then click the
Edit button.
The Project Preset editor contains the following settings:
Name: This editable field contains the name for the preset.
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Description: This field contains descriptive text to identify the preset. You can enter your
own descriptive text in this field. The new text will appear in the Summary box in the
Preset Preferences pane.
Width and Height: These fields set the frame size for the preset.
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Sets the pixel aspect ratio for the preset. This should match the type
of media with which you are working.
Field Order: Sets the field order for your project. DV projects typically use the Lower First
setting.
Frame Rate: Sets the frame rate for your preset. Click the list arrow to display common
rates or type your own custom value.
Export Options Window
The Export Options window is where you make changes to an export preset.
To open the Export Options window
1 In the Presets pane, choose Export Presets from the Show pop-up menu (located in the
upper left corner of the pane).
2 Click the Edit button, then do one of the following:
• Double-click an unlocked preset in the Preset list.
Note: When you double-click a default preset in the Preset list of the Presets pane, an
alert dialog appears stating that the selected preset cannot be modified. Click OK to
create an editable copy of the preset.
• Select a nonlocked item in the Preset list and click the Edit button.
• Select an item in the Preset list, click Duplicate, select the copied preset, then click the
Edit button.
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The Export Options dialog contains the following settings:
Information Fields
The Name and Description fields display information about the selected preset.
Name: This editable field contains the name for the preset.
Description: Contains descriptive text to identify the preset. This text appears in the
Summary box in the Preset Preferences pane. You can enter your own descriptive text in
this field.
The Video/Audio and Output tabs appear beneath the Name and Description fields. To
the right of the tabs, a summary box displays the details of settings from the two tabs.
Video/Audio Tab
The Video/Audio tab contains two groups of controls: Video and Audio.
Video Controls
This group of controls allows you to set your video output options.
Kind: Choose from QuickTime Movie, Still Image, or Image Sequence.
Note: Audio options are only available for QuickTime movies.
Compressor: Depending on the Kind setting, different compressor types are available.
Quality: For some compressors, you can set a quality setting. If the control is dimmed,
that compressor type does not offer variable quality.
Start number: For image sequences, you can set a starting frame number. Each file
generated in the image sequence has an incrementing number.
Add spaces: When generating image sequences, clicking the Add Spaces checkbox
causes extra spaces to be added to the filenames to ensure that the sequence of files is
read in proper order by some other applications.
Advanced: The Advanced button is only active for QuickTime movies. Clicking this button
opens the standard compression settings dialog. In most cases, you should not need to
make any changes in this dialog.
Audio controls
This group of controls allows you to set your audio output options.
Sample rate: Sets the audio sample rate for your exported movie. For best results, set
this to be the same sample rate as the source audio in your project.
Mix: Sets the audio output mix for your project. Use the default Stereo setting or choose
5.1 Surround.
Advanced: The Advanced button opens the standard Sound Settings dialog. In most
cases, you should not need to make any changes in this dialog.
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Output Tab
The Output tab contains the following controls:
Use current project and canvas settings: When this checkbox is selected, the current
project settings will override the current export settings. This allows one export preset
to be used with multiple project presets. When this checkbox is deselected, you can create
specific settings for the export preset.
Resolution: You can specify the output size to be relative to the project’s frame size (Full,
Half, Third, or Quarter), to be a preset, or you can choose Custom and type a specific
number into the width and height value fields. Lower resolutions should be used only
for draft versions.
Color: Choose whether the exported items include the color data only, color data plus
alpha channel (transparency), or just the alpha channel data.
Important: Some compressor types do not support alpha channels.
Premultiply alpha: When this checkbox is selected, semi-transparent pixels in your output
are mixed with black.
Frame Rate: Controls whether projects are output at the project frame rate, or at another
frame rate that you specify. There are two options:
• Use project frame rate: When this option is selected, the project is exported at the frame
rate defined in the Project Properties dialog.
• Use (fps): When this option is selected, you can define a frame rate other than the
current project frame rate. Choose a frame rate from the pop-up menu or manually
enter a frame rate.
Camera: Sets which camera view is used when you output a 3D project. Use the default
Active Camera setting or choose another scene camera.
Note: A scene camera is a camera that you add to a project, as opposed to a default
camera view that you choose in the upper-left corner of the Canvas (Top, Right,
Perspective, and so on). You can only export a project using a scene camera.
Lighting: When this checkbox is selected, the lighting effects are rendered with the
project. When this checkbox is deselected, no lighting effects appear in your final output.
Shadows: When this checkbox is selected, shadows are rendered with the project. When
this checkbox is deselected, no shadows appear in your final output.
Reflections: When this checkbox is selected, reflections are rendered with the project.
When this checkbox is deselected, no reflections appear in your final output.
Depth of Field: When this checkbox is selected, camera depth of field effects are rendered
with the project. When this checkbox is deselected, no depth of field effects appear in
your final output.
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Render Quality: Allows you to choose Draft, Normal, Best, or Custom quality for your
final output. The better the quality, the longer the render time. For descriptions of Draft,
Normal, Best, and Custom render qualities, see the Render pop-up menu section in Canvas
View Options. Selecting Custom opens the Advanced Quality Options dialog. For more
about the Advanced Quality Options dialog, see Advanced Quality Settings.
Field Rendering: When this checkbox is selected, the output always renders individual
fields regardless of the setting in the View menu pop-up menu (above the right side of
the Canvas). When it is deselected, frames are rendered whole, regardless of the setting
in the View pop-up menu.
Motion Blur: When this checkbox is selected, motion blur is applied to moving layers
regardless of the setting in the View pop-up menu (above the right side of the Canvas).
When deselected, no motion blur is applied.
Frame Blending: When this checkbox is selected, frame blending is applied to moving
footage in the rendered output. The result can be smoother looking playback, but this
option can increase rendering time.
Use Float Bit Depth: When working in float color space, turning this setting off drops
the rendered output to 8-bit. Because working in float space drastically increases
processing time, turn this setting off to speed your rendering time. This setting does not
affect the use of float bit depth in the Canvas.
Gestures Pane
The Gestures Preferences pane contains settings pertaining to using a graphics tablet to
control Motion.
You cannot turn on gestures in Motion unless you have a tablet attached to your computer
and Handwriting Recognition is turned on in the Ink preferences in System Preferences.
For convenience, you can open Ink Preferences directly from the Gestures Preferences
pane by clicking the Open Ink Preferences button.
For more information on using gestures, see Using Gestures.
Note: Swipes, pinches and other multi-touch gestures performed on a Multi-Touch
trackpad are unaffected by any settings in the Gestures tab of the preferences.
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Input
These settings in the Gestures Preferences pane control how Motion knows when your
pen movements should be interpreted as gestures.
Input Method: Lets you choose between observing the settings in your Mac OS
Preferences and your Wacom Preferences or using gestures only when a trigger is enabled.
When you set the input to require a trigger, your pen and tablet act as a mouse until you
press one of the buttons on the pen or press a modifier key. This indicates that you are
entering a gesture. Releasing the button or key returns the pen to normal mouse state.
Trigger: Sets which trigger method to be used: Pen Button 1, Pen Button 2, or the Control
key on your keyboard.
Allow gestures in the air: Lets you trigger gestures without pressing the tip of the pen
on the tablet. This option is only available when a trigger is used to activate gestures.
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Creating and Managing Projects
6
A project file consists of a single composition that you are working on. Project files contain
objects, which are linked references to source media files on disk, but they contain no
media themselves. Project files simply house information about how a composition is
assembled, what media files on disk are used, and what effects from the Library have
been applied. They also contain any shapes, masks, and text objects that you create.
This chapter covers the following:
• Creating New Projects (p. 205)
• Managing Projects (p. 219)
• Browsing Media Files in Motion (p. 226)
• File Types Supported by Motion (p. 232)
• Adding Media to Your Project (p. 243)
• Managing Layers in Your Project (p. 248)
• Deleting Objects from a Project (p. 251)
• Exchanging Media in a Project (p. 252)
• Object Media Tab Parameters (p. 253)
• Using Media in the Library (p. 259)
• Organizing Groups and Layers in Motion (p. 264)
• Customizing and Creating New Templates (p. 280)
Creating New Projects
Before you can do anything in Motion, you first need to create a new project. Depending
on the type of project you are working on, there are three ways to do this. You can base
your composition on one of the supplied templates, you can create a new blank project
using one of the available project presets, or you can create a new project using your
own custom settings if you need an unusual frame size or frame rate.
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Motion is resolution-independent, meaning that it supports projects using a wide range
of frame sizes and frame rates. Using Motion, you can create small movies for streaming
on the web, standard definition and high definition movies for broadcast, or even
film-resolution files for film output. Regardless of the resolution at which you’re working,
Motion works exactly the same, although high-resolution projects using large media files
may have higher memory and graphics card requirements than projects with smaller
resolutions.
Important: Motion is hardware-dependent. This means that the type of graphics card
installed on your system dictates performance and the maximum file size that you can
import into Motion. For most recommended cards, the file size limit is 4 K or 8 K. However,
other factors also impact performance, such as the bit depth of your projects, the VRAM
on your computer system, and the number of monitors that are connected to your
graphics card. For the best results, resize very large images to the largest size required in
the project. For more information, visit the Motion website at
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/motion.
Note: Because of hardware limitations and differences, the appearance of projects shared
between systems with different installed graphics cards may vary.
Each project has a single group of project properties that define the duration of the
project, the size of the Canvas, the frame rate of playback, and other details that affect
how your composition is formatted. Later, when you have finished your project and you’re
ready to export it, the project properties you select define the media file that is created.
Although you can change these settings at any time, it’s best to choose the settings that
match your final planned output format.
Regardless of your project settings, Motion still allows you to add nearly any kind of media
file supported by QuickTime to your project. Furthermore, you’re free to mix media files
with different properties in the same project. For example, you can combine video clips
of different frame sizes with graphics files. In the end, the file you output uses the frame
size and frame rate specified by the project properties.
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Welcome Screen
The first time you open Motion, a Welcome Screen presents you with two ways to create
a new project. You can click Start with a Template to open the Template Browser, or you
can click Start with a New Project to create a new blank project file.
By default, this screen always appears when you open Motion. If you don’t want to see
this screen at startup, you can uncheck the “Show the Welcome Screen at startup”
checkbox at the bottom. After you’ve made the desired selection, click Continue.
Note: You can also choose a different startup option from the At Startup pop-up menu
in the General pane of Motion Preferences. The At Startup pop-up menu has four options:
• Open Last Project(s): Automatically opens the last project(s) you worked on, whenever
Motion is opened.
• Create New Project: Opens the Select Project Preset dialog, allowing you to pick a preset
to use to create a new, blank project file. If a default project preset is set, this dialog
does not appear.
• Show Welcome Screen: Shows the Welcome Screen every time Motion is opened.
• Browse Templates: Opens the Template Browser, allowing you to pick a template to
use.
For more information about options available in Motion Preferences, see Preferences.
Creating New Projects from Templates
The easiest way to create a new project in Motion is to open one of the existing templates
and customize it for your own purposes. Motion templates are simply pre-made projects,
available from the Template Browser, that are set up for easy customization. Motion
comes with a variety of royalty-free templates that you can use and customize. Each
template contains pre-made graphics, text objects, and backgrounds that you can use
as is, or exchange with your own custom objects to make the design your own.
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Eventually, you can extend this collection by creating your own templates of frequently
used layouts. For example, if you regularly create titles and graphics sequences for a
television series, you can create a group of templates for the show that contains layouts
for every motion graphics shot you need. For future shows, you can then open these
existing templates and customize them with updated text and graphics, without needing
to recreate each layout from scratch.
The templates that come with Motion are available in NTSC, PAL, and HD resolutions. All
templates are organized by themes.
To create a new project from a template
1 To open the Template Browser, do one of the following:
• When the Motion Welcome Screen opens, click Start with a Template.
• If Motion is already open, choose File > Open Template (or press Command-Shift-O).
2 When the Template Browser appears, use the Show pop-up menu to see templates that
have been optimized for a specific video format, including NTSC, PAL, or HD.
You can also choose to show All formats or Other formats.
Show pop-up menu
Preview area
Project description
appears here.
Project properties
appear here.
The Theme list shows all templates of the selected type.
3 Click a template theme to display its contents at the right.
4 Click an individual template to see a preview of it in the preview area, along with additional
information including its resolution, duration, and frame rate.
5 To create a new project from the selected template, click Open Template.
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A new project is created using the objects contained in that template. You can then
customize the project by editing the text objects or exchanging the graphic elements it
uses with your own. The changes you make to projects created using templates are not
saved back to the source template file.
For more information about using, modifying, and creating templates, see Customizing
and Creating New Templates.
Creating Blank Projects from Project Presets
If you’re creating a new project from scratch, but the final result is going to conform to
one of the common standards for web delivery, broadcast, or film output, you can use
one of the project presets that ships with Motion. Unlike a template, choosing a preset
only defines the essential properties of the project, such as the frame size and frame rate.
The resulting project is completely empty, ready for you to add your own objects.
Because you can have as many open project files in Motion as the amount of RAM in your
computer supports, you can create a new project at any time without having to close
projects that are already open.
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To create a new project
1 Choose File > New (or press Command-N).
2 Choose a preset from the pop-up menu, then click OK.
A new project window is created. It is not saved to disk until you choose a save command
from the File menu. For more information on saving project files, see Saving Projects.
Note: If you have already set a default preset, Motion will open a new project window
at that resolution, bypassing the Select Project Preset dialog.
Creating Blank Projects with Custom Settings
If none of the available presets meets your needs, you can create a new project with
custom project settings from the same window.
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To create a new project with custom project settings
1 Choose File > New (or press Command-N).
Note: If you have already set a default preset, hold down the Option key and choose File
> New From Preset (or press Command-Option-N).
2 Choose Custom from the bottom of the Preset pop-up menu.
The Project Properties window appears.
3 Choose the appropriate settings in the General and Render Settings tabs, then click OK.
A new project window is created using the settings you specified.
General Tab of the Project Properties Window
The General tab allows you to define the most essential properties of the project you’re
creating. By choosing different parameters, you can accommodate nearly any video or
film format you need to output to. These properties are the default settings used when
you export your project to create the final output file.
The General tab contains the following settings:
Preset: The Preset pop-up menu appears at the top of the General tab. You can choose
an existing preset to base your new preset on, changing any necessary parameters to
better suit your needs.
Width and Height: Define both the size of the Canvas and the default output resolution
of your project. Frame size is usually defined by the video format you plan on outputting
to. For example, NTSC DV format video is 720 x 480, whereas PAL DV format video has a
frame size of 720 x 576.
Bit Depth: Sets the bit depth of the project. This pop-up menu has three options:
• 8-bit (Integer)
• 16-bit Float
• 32-bit Float
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Note: When working in float space, you can quickly change the preview in the Canvas
to 8-bit to speed your workflow by turning off Preview Float Bit Depth in the View pop-up
menu. The View pop-up menu is located in the upper-right corner of the main window
(below the Timing icon). This setting does not modify the actual output of the project.
For more information on bit depth, see About Bit Depth.
Dither: Selecting this checkbox adds a form a noise to prevent the appearance of banding
or posterization when using lower bit depths.
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Defines whether the project is created using square or nonsquare
pixels. Computer displays, film, and high definition video use square pixels, while standard
definition video uses nonsquare pixels. Choose Square for projects intended for the web,
high definition projects, and film, or one of the nonsquare pixel ratios corresponding to
each international standard definition broadcast standard. A field to the right of this
pop-up menu displays the numerical aspect ratio, in case you need to change it manually.
Field Order: When working with interlaced video, choose the field order you plan on
using for eventual output from this pop-up menu. This should match the field order of
the device being used to output the resulting QuickTime file to video. When working
with progressive-scan video or film, choose None.
Frame Rate: Choose a frame rate (in frames per second) that matches the format you’ll
eventually be outputting to. For example, film is 24 fps, PAL video is 25 fps, and NTSC
video is 29.97 fps. Additional frame rates are available for different video formats.
Duration: Allows you to enter the total duration available in your project’s Timeline. A
pop-up menu allows you to define the duration with either a timecode value based on
the currently selected frame rate, a frame count, or in seconds. The default value is
900 frames, or 30 seconds.
Start Timecode: This value sets the start timecode for display while working in the project.
Background Color: A color well that defines the background color that appears in the
Canvas. If other graphics or QuickTime objects smaller than the Canvas are present in the
project, this color appears behind those objects.
Background: A pop-up menu that defines whether the Background Color is rendered as
part of the alpha channel. Regardless of the selection, the Background Color is visible in
the Canvas. There are three options:
• Transparent: The background color does not render as part of the alpha channel.
• Solid: The background color creates a solid alpha channel.
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• Environment: The background color creates a solid alpha channel and interacts with
3D projects, including blend modes and reflections. In the following images of the
Canvas, Reflection is turned on for the elliptical shape (in the Properties tab of the
Inspector). In the left image, the elliptical shape retains its original white color because
Background is set to Solid. In the right image, the pink background is reflected in the
elliptical shape because Background is set to Environment.
Project Description: A field into which you can enter a brief description of the project.
It may also be useful to call out significant characteristics of that particular preset such
as frame size or frame rate.
For more information about commonly used frame sizes, frame rates, interlacing, and
other project setting information, see Supported File Formats.
Render Settings Tab of the Project Properties Window
The Render Settings tab contains parameters that affect how Motion renders the objects
and animation in your project. These settings can affect how your project looks when
exported.
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The Render Settings tab is divided into two categories: Motion Blur and Reflections. The
Motion Blur controls simulate the effect a camera’s mechanical shutter has on a frame of
film or video when either the camera or its subject is moving. In Motion, motion blur
affects objects in your project that are animated using behaviors or keyframes. This allows
you to create more natural-looking motion in your project, even though the animation
is artificially created. As with a camera, faster objects have more blur, whereas slower
objects have less.
No motion blur
Motion blur at 180°
Motion blur at 360°
Important: Unlike Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express, blur created by these parameters
does not affect motion that occurs within a QuickTime movie file or an image sequence.
It only affects animated objects.
The Motion Blur section of the Render Settings tab has two parameters:
Samples: The number of sub-frames rendered per frame, where 1 frame is 360 degrees.
Higher Samples values result in a higher-quality motion blur effect, but are more
processor-intensive. The default Samples value is 8. The maximum possible value is 256.
Shutter Angle: Defines the size of the motion blur that appears for animated objects.
Increasing the shutter angle increases the number of frames over which the shutter is
open.
The following image shows a shape that has been keyframed to move quickly across the
Canvas horizontally.
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In the next image, Motion Blur is enabled and Samples is set to the default value of 8.
Note: When using larger Shutter Angle values, it may be necessary to increase the Samples
value to eliminate unwanted artifacts.
In the above image, the Shutter Angle is set to the default of 360 degrees, which represents
1 frame. In the following image, Shutter Angle is set to 600 degrees.
The Reflections section of the Render Settings tab has one parameter:
Maximum Bounces: When a reflective object is itself reflected in another object, the first
object can be seen in the reflection, potentially causing an endless repetition of reflections.
This parameter limits the number of “bounces” that can occur in a scene. The number of
allowed reflections is set per project.
For more information about reflections, see Reflections.
About Bit Depth
When working with images, an increase in bits per pixel for those images means more
color information becomes available. A one-bit-per-pixel bitmap image is comprised of
purely black or white image pixels (no shades of gray).
A grayscale image comprises image pixels with 256 levels of gray. Each pixel requires
8 bits to represent the 256 shades of gray. Therefore, the bit depth of a grayscale image
is 8 (28 = 256).
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An RGB image can comprise image pixels with 256 shades of each of the primary
colors—red, green, and blue. In this case, there are 28 (256) shades of each color
component. This creates more than 16.7 million possible colors (256 x 256 x 256 > 16.7
million). The bit depth of an RGB image can be 24 (8 bits for each color), and the bit depth
of an RGBA image (red, green, blue, and an alpha channel) can be 32 (8 bits for each color
+ alpha channel). The bit depth of an alpha channel describes the transparency of each
pixel. Although these images are 24- and 32-bit, such color images are often referred to
as 8-bit (because of the 8 bits per channel).
Note: An RGB image does not necessarily imply 8 bits per pixel.
Motion’s bit depth setting is bits-per-channel. In an 8-bit Motion project, the 256 levels
of color are represented on an integer scale of 0–255 (where 0 represents black and 255
represents white). All of your operations are clamped within that 0–255 range. There is
a one-to-one ratio between each number and its represented color. In 8-bit mode, 16.7
million colors can be represented—equaling the number of possible combinations of
256 different color values from each red, green, and blue channel. Although that is a large
number of colors, it is often helpful to have finer gradations of colors available. Using
floating point calculations, color shades can be subdivided into an enormous amount of
intermediate colors, providing orders of magnitude more colors available to your project
palette. Incredibly small increments of color can be represented in 16-bit float, and even
finer increments in 32-bit float.
The bit depth of your source footage will often determine the bit depth of your project.
Even if your source footage is 8-bit, you may want to work in a project with a higher bit
depth to achieve better results. When you increase the bit depth of your project, you are
not introducing any new color information to the original images. However, operations
such as keying, color correction, applying blur or other filters with high parameter values,
or creating graphics that require very smooth color gradients can benefit from the new
number of possible color levels.
Important: There is a price for working in higher bit depths, however. And that price is
paid in processing time. Remember also that because Motion is hardware-dependent,
most systems have a limitation on the size of imported files. For more information on the
required hardware, visit the Motion website at
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/motion.
When exporting a 16-bit or 32-bit float project, keep in mind that most file formats
available for export do not support float—including QuickTime (8-bit only). OpenEXR is
a float format. TIFF, PNG, and Adobe Photoshop files support the 16-bit integer format.
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Note: Depending on your project, dithering can be useful or problematic. For example,
enabling dithering in a project in which banding is present may reduce the appearance
of the banding. In a float project, dithering may cause excessive noise in the project’s
output. For this reason, a checkbox has been added to the General tab of the Project
Properties window that allows you to turn dithering on or off. This setting applies to the
display and export of a project.
Creating, Editing, and Deleting Presets
If you commonly create projects using custom settings that don’t match any of the
available presets, you can create a new preset with these settings for future use. Presets
are created, modified, and deleted in the Presets pane of Motion Preferences.
To create a new custom preset
1 Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2 In the Presets pane, choose Project Presets from the Show pop-up menu.
3 Click the Add button (+) beneath the presets list.
The Project Preset Editor appears.
4 In the Project Preset Editor, do the following:
a In the Name field, type a descriptive name for the preset.
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b In the Description field, enter a brief description of what that preset is for. It may also
be useful to call out significant characteristics of that particular preset, such as frame
size and frame rate.
c Enter a frame size into the Width and Height fields.
d Choose a Pixel Aspect Ratio, Field Order, and Frame Rate from the corresponding
pop-up menus.
5 Click OK.
6 If you’re done creating new project presets, close the Motion Preferences window.
Note: For more information on industry-standard frame sizes, pixel aspect ratios, field
order, and frame rates, see Supported File Formats.
To choose a custom preset to be the new default
Do one of the following:
µ
In the Presets pane of Motion Preferences, click the checkbox to the left of the preset you
want to be the default for all newly created projects.
µ
Choose File > New to display the Select Project Preset dialog. Choose a project preset
from the Preset pop-up menu, click Set as Default, then click OK.
You can also edit existing presets. This allows you to update a preset you’ve already
created, or to make a new preset by customizing an existing one with similar settings.
To duplicate an existing preset prior to editing it
1 In Motion Preferences, select a preset in the Presets pane.
2 Click Duplicate.
The duplicated preset appears underneath the original preset with “copy” appended to
its title.
To edit an existing preset
1 In Motion Preferences, select a preset in the Presets pane.
2 Click Edit.
3 When the Project Preset Editor appears, make any necessary changes, then click OK.
Note: You cannot edit or delete locked project presets.
To delete a custom preset
1 In Motion Preferences, select a preset in the Presets pane.
2 Click the Delete button (–) underneath the presets list.
Note: You cannot edit or delete locked project presets.
Note: You cannot unlock a preset that is built into Motion. When the preset is
double-clicked, an alert appears stating that the selected preset cannot be modified. To
create a copy of the preset that you can customize, click OK.
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Moving Presets Between Computers
Each preset you create is saved as a separate file. If you’ve created one or more custom
presets that you rely on, you may want to move them to other computers you use that
have Motion installed. All user-created presets are stored in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Presets/Project/
folder.
µ
To copy a project preset to another computer
Copy your custom preset files to that computer’s /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Presets/Project/ folder.
Managing Projects
When you work on a project in Motion, it’s important to be organized. This includes
keeping careful track of your project files, saving often, and maintaining regular backups.
The idea is to make sure that nothing gets accidentally misplaced or deleted, and that
you don’t lose work by deleting valuable digital resources. Motion also autosaves projects
to files that can be retrieved at any time.
Saving Projects
As with any application, it’s a wise practice to save early and often as you work on your
project. This way, you don’t lose work due to unforeseen circumstances such as a blackout
occurring just as you were about to finish your latest animated masterpiece.
Besides preserving your work for future use, Motion’s save commands can be used in
other ways to manage the development of your project. For example, if you’re happy
with your current composition, but you want to create a variation of what you’ve done,
you can use the Save As command to save a copy of the current project. You can then
freely alter this duplicate, leaving your original project alone in case you don’t like your
changes.
You can also use the Save As command as an archival tool, saving individually named
copies of your project periodically over the course of its creation. This serves two purposes.
First, it ensures that you have duplicates of your project file, protecting you from
inadvertently misplacing your only copy and losing days of work. Second, it also gives
you a way to go back to previous versions of your composition, in the event that you or
your client want to make a change based on an earlier point in that project’s development.
To save a project
1 Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).
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If the project has not already been saved, the Save As dialog appears.
2 Type a name into the Save As field, choose a location on your hard drive to save the file,
then click Save.
Note: If the project has already been saved, the project file is simply updated.
To save a duplicate of a project
1 Choose File > Save As (or press Command-Shift-S).
The Save As dialog appears.
2 Type a new name into the Save As field, choose a location on your hard drive, then click
Save.
Important: When using the Save As command, it’s important to use a name that is different
from the name of any previously saved versions of the same project. Otherwise, you run
the risk of overwriting a previous version of this project file that you want to keep. You’ll
be warned if this happens.
To save all open projects
1 Press Option, then choose File > Save All (or press Command-Option-S).
2 If all open project files have already been saved, the Save All command simply updates
them. If any open project has not been saved, enter a name in its Save As field, then click
Save.
Note: The Save All command only appears when you press Option while opening the
File menu.
Collecting Media
When saving a project, Motion gives you the option to automatically gather together the
media used in your project. The media is collected in a folder of your designation. The
advantage to collecting your media is that it makes portability and backup easier, as well
as organizing all your project media in a single place. By default, Collect Media is turned
off.
To use the Collect Media save function
1 Choose File > Save As (or press Command-Shift-S).
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The Save As dialog appears.
2 Choose Copy to Folder from the Collect Media pop-up menu.
Choosing the Copy to Folder option creates a folder with the name specified in the Save
As field. A Motion project file of the same name is created within that folder, as well as a
folder named “Media,” which contains all the media used in the project.
If the Collect Media option is used, you have the option to specify whether unused media
are collected as well.
Using Autosave
Motion automatically saves backups of your project in a folder on your hard drive. In the
Cache pane of Motion Preferences, you can specify how frequently projects are
automatically saved, as well as the location of the saved files. Saved projects are timeand date-stamped. For more information about autosave, see Autosave.
To store autosaved projects in a specific location
1 Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2 Click Cache.
3 In the Autosave group, turn on Use Autosave Vault.
By default, the Autosave Vault folder is located in a folder called Motion Projects in your
Documents folder in your home directory.
µ
To set a new location for the Autosave vault
In the Cache pane of Motion Preferences, click Choose and select a new location in the
dialog.
To revert to an autosaved project
1 Choose File > Restore From Autosave.
The Restore Project dialog appears.
2 Choose a saved project from the pop-up menu.
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Reverting Projects
The Revert command discards all changes you’ve made to a project since the last time
you saved it. The Revert command is especially useful as a tool for trying out numerous
changes in your project. You can save your project in the state you like it, then make all
the changes you want. If you don’t like the result, use the Revert command to immediately
go back to the way it was before.
Note: You can also use the application’s unlimited undo feature to achieve the same
purpose in incremental steps. For more information on the Undo command, see Edit
Menu.
µ
To revert a project to the last saved version
Choose File > Revert.
Important: This command cannot be undone.
Opening and Closing Projects
You can open one or more previously saved project files either in the Finder or from
within Motion. You can have as many projects open at the same time as the amount of
RAM in your computer can support. Your computer’s RAM is divided up among the
operating system, any other applications that are currently open, and all currently open
documents. If, at any point, you notice a decrease in performance because you’ve run
out of RAM, simply quit one or more other applications, or close one or more open projects
to free up RAM for the remaining open projects.
To open one or more project files in the Finder
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Double-click a Motion project file. Motion automatically opens with that project.
µ
Select one or more Motion project files, then choose File > Open (or press Command-O)
in the Finder.
µ
Select one or more Motion project files, Control-click one of them, then choose Open
from the shortcut menu.
Select one or more Motion project files, then drag them onto the Motion application icon
either in the Applications folder or in the Dock, if you’ve placed one there.
Motion automatically starts and opens all selected projects.
To open a project file from within Motion using the Open command
1 Choose File > Open (or press Command-O).
The Open dialog appears.
2 In the Open dialog, navigate to the project file you want, then click Open.
To open a project file from within the Motion File Browser
1 In the File Browser, navigate to the project file you want and then select the file.
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2 Do one of the following:
• Double-click the project file.
• In the Preview area, click the Import button.
The project opens in a new Canvas.
Opening Recent Projects
Every project you open in Motion is automatically added to the Open Recent submenu
in the File menu. You can choose a project from a list of projects that you’ve worked on
recently from this submenu. Motion keeps the names of the previous projects you’ve
worked on in the Open Recent submenu.
µ
To open a recent project
From the File menu, choose a project’s filename from the Open Recent submenu.
If the Open Recent submenu becomes too crowded, you can clear it out.
µ
To clear the Open Recent submenu
Choose File > Open Recent > Clear Menu.
Managing Multiple Open Projects
Each open project is self-contained in its own window, and each has its own Layers,
Media, Audio, Timeline, Keyframe, and Audio Editor tabs.
There are expose commands within Motion that allow you to visually access all the
layers in a project directly in the Canvas, quickly selecting items without having to drill
down into the Layers tab or Timeline. For more information, see Expose Commands.
Note: You can use the Expose system commands to see all open project windows at
once. For more information on how to use the system’s Expose commands see Mac
Help, available in the Finder Help menu.
Closing Projects
You can close projects either one at a time, or all at once. You close a project by closing
its project window (the window containing the Canvas).
To close a single project
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Press Control-W to close the currently selected window.
Click the Canvas window’s close button.
To close all open projects
Do one of the following:
µ
Press Command-Option-W.
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Option-click the close button.
Moving and Archiving Motion Project Files
If you want to move a Motion project file to another computer, you must also move all
the media that the project uses along with it, including all QuickTime, still image, and
audio files. In addition, if your project uses any third-party Motion plug-ins or nonstandard
fonts or LiveFonts, you need to make sure that those are also installed on the computer
you’re moving the project to, or they’ll be unavailable to your project.
Similarly, when you’re finished with a project and you want to archive it, it’s a good idea
to archive not just the project file, but also all media used (especially media that wasn’t
captured from a device-controllable video or audio source), graphics, fonts, custom
behaviors, filters, or third-party add-ons used by that project. In the event you want to
restore the project for later revisions, you’ll have everything you need to get started
quickly. If you have a recordable CD or DVD drive, backing up your media is easy. For
more information on copying files to a recordable CD or DVD disc, see Mac Help in the
Finder Help menu.
The easiest way to collect all the media used in your project is to use the Collect Media
feature. For more information, see Collecting Media.
Note: If you move a project to another computer without collecting, its media may go
offline even though you’ve moved its media files along with it. For more information on
how to relink media files to your project, see Online Versus Offline Media.
Archiving QuickTime Video
If you use QuickTime video clips in a Motion project that you want to archive for
long-term storage, whether or not you also archive the video clips themselves depends
on how they were captured. For example, if you captured your video using a
device-controllable camcorder or deck with Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, archiving
the video clips you used may be unnecessary. This is because you can always recapture
them from the original source tapes using the Final Cut project file you logged them
with. In this case, it’s a good idea to back up the Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro project
file along with your Motion project file.
If you captured your video without device control, or if the video was captured by
someone else and you no longer have the ability to recapture the clips exactly as they
appear in your project, it’s probably a good idea to back up these clips along with the
rest of the graphics files, audio files, and fonts you used in your project.
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Unused Media
By default, media used by objects added to your project are managed automatically by
Motion. If you delete an object from the Canvas or Layers tab, the source media is removed
automatically from the Media tab. You can turn off this feature in the General pane of
Motion Preferences. For more information, see Media.
Searching for Projects Using the Finder
Spotlight indexes certain properties of your Motion projects, allowing you to perform
advanced searches. Use Spotlight in the Finder to take advantage of this feature. The
following properties of Motion projects are indexed by Spotlight and can be searched
for:
Project property
Description
Width
Project width, in pixels
Height
Project height, in pixels
Duration
Project duration, in seconds
Layer name
The name of any layer in your project
Media name
The name of any media object in your project
Pathname
The path to any media object in your project
Text
The content of any text object in your project
Description
The text in the Project Description field in Project Properties
Marker name
The name of any marker in the Timeline of your project
Marker comment
The text of any marker comment in your project
Editing Project Properties
Even though every project starts out with a preset group of project properties, you can
change these properties at any time, even after you’ve added objects.
To edit the properties of an existing project
1 Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J).
2 In the Project Properties dialog, change any necessary parameters, then click OK.
For more information on the parameters available in the Project Properties dialog, see
General Tab of the Project Properties Window and Render Settings Tab of the Project
Properties Window.
Most changes made to a project’s properties are fairly transparent and have no visual
effect on the project itself. The main exception is a change made to the project’s frame
size.
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Changing the Frame Size of a Project
When you change the frame size of a project (in Project Properties) that already has
objects within it, you essentially change the size of the Canvas. This adds to, or reduces,
the amount of room available to lay out the objects in your project.
It’s important to understand that changing the size of the Canvas in no way changes the
size or position of any objects already placed within it. Furthermore, since the coordinate
system used by Motion uses 0, 0 as the center of the frame, all objects remain arranged
in their current positions relative to the center of the frame as the edge of the frame
shrinks toward the center. This may result in objects being cut off as the frame shrinks
past their edges. In the following example, a project with a frame size of 720 x 480 is
reduced to 320 x 240.
Original frame size (720 x 480)
Reduced frame size (320 x 240)
Note: Because Motion is resolution-independent, it’s not usually necessary to change
your project’s frame size. You can output your projects at any size, regardless of the
current frame size, by changing the options in Motion’s export dialogs. For example, if
you’re building a project with a frame size for standard definition broadcast, you can still
export a half-resolution version of your project to post on the web simply by exporting
to the necessary size.
Browsing Media Files in Motion
This section describes how to browse the media files you want to use in your Motion
project. As with project files, it’s important to make sure that the source media you’re
using is organized in a way that makes sense and is easy to keep track of. Centralizing
source media that’s only used in one project can be helpful, as is carefully organizing
media that is shared by more than one project.
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Navigation Controls in the File Browser
You use the File Browser to navigate every volume connected to your computer for media
files to add to your Motion project. While similar to a Finder window, the File Browser
has many custom controls specific to Motion that allow you to quickly locate and preview
files you might want to use.
Note: You can also browse for and import files directly from your iTunes and iPhoto
libraries from within the Motion Library. For more information, see Adding iTunes and
iPhoto Files from the Library.
Preview area
Forward/Back buttons
Path pop-up menu
View buttons
Search field
Sidebar
File stack
New Folder button
Scale slider
“Show image sequences
as collapsed” button
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Sidebar: This area of the File Browser displays all the hard disks and removable media
currently connected to your computer. You can also access networked volumes. Additional
icons allow you to access commonly used folders in your home folder such as the Desktop,
Documents, Movies, Music, and Pictures folders.
File stack: Located beneath the sidebar, the file stack displays all the files and folders
within the currently selected disk in the sidebar. Clicking a folder opens its contents into
the file stack, replacing the previously displayed contents. You can navigate up and down
the current folder hierarchy using the Back and Forward buttons and the Path pop-up
menu. The file stack can be switched between list view and icon view.
Preview area: Displays a preview of the currently selected file in the file stack. If a movie
is selected, the Play button allows you to play through the clip. Information about the
clip being previewed appears to the right of the thumbnail preview.
Back and Forward buttons: These buttons allow you to navigate your browsing history.
Clicking the left arrow moves you to the last item browsed. Repeatedly clicking the left
arrow eventually moves you up to the first item you selected, such as the Desktop, a
partition, or your home folder. Once you have reached the beginning of your browsing
history, the left arrow is dimmed. Clicking the right arrow takes you forward in your
browsing history. If you have never opened any folders within the currently open folder
in the file stack, the right arrow is dimmed.
Path pop-up menu: Displays the current folder hierarchy as a list, with the currently open
folder at the top, and each enclosing folder appearing underneath. “Computer” appears
at the bottom, which is the topmost directory of all disks connected to your computer.
Search field: The Search field filters the file stack for the search terms you’ve entered.
Controls for Customizing the File Browser
Use these controls to customize the appearance of the File Browser.
File Browser divider: Dragging this divider up and down allows you to reallocate space
between the File Browser sidebar and the file stack. Shrinking the sidebar also shrinks
each displayed icon, down to a certain point.
Icon View button: Sets the file stack to display each file and folder as an icon. Image and
movie files are represented by a thumbnail image, while folders are represented by a
folder icon. All icons in the stack are arranged into a grid, the size of which is defined by
a scale slider at the bottom of the File Browser.
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List View button: Sets the file stack to display each file and folder as a hierarchical list.
A thumbnail of each file and folder appears to the left of each file and folder name within
the Name column. To the right, several additional columns display information for the
date, size, duration, and kind of each file. The contents of the file stack can be sorted by
any single column by clicking that column’s header. Clicking the same header twice
reverses the sort order, from ascending to descending, or vice versa.
Icon View button
List View button
Folders in this list can be opened hierarchically, using the disclosure triangle to the left
of each folder’s icon, or they can be double-clicked to replace the current contents of the
file stack with the contents of that folder.
Icon view
List view
Scale slider: When in icon view, this slider enlarges or reduces the size of all icons
displayed in the file stack. The current scale size affects how many icons can be
simultaneously viewed within the current area of the file stack. The file stack can be
enlarged with the File Browser divider.
“Show image sequences as collapsed” button: Image sequences are movie clips that
have been saved as individual image files, one for each frame of film or video. Clicking
this button allows you to view properly named image sequence files as a single image
sequence file. In the event that you’re viewing image files that have numbered filenames
that aren’t actually an image sequence (such as images captured with a digital camera
that you’ve imported from an iPhoto directory), you can turn this control off to see each
individual image file separately.
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New Folder button: Allows you to create a new folder within the currently displayed
location in the file stack. These new folders are created in the Finder and allow you to
reorganize media files on disk from within Motion.
Note: To delete a folder from the File Browser, select the folder, then press
Command-Delete.
Different Methods of Browsing, Searching, and Previewing Files
This section contains procedures you can use to look for and preview files using the
controls in the File Browser.
To browse the contents of a disk
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Click the disk’s icon in the File Browser sidebar.
Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move up and down the sidebar list.
To browse the file stack in icon view
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Double-click a folder in the file stack to open its contents into the file stack.
Click an icon in the file stack, then press the arrow keys to change the selected folder. To
open the currently selected folder, press Return.
To browse the file stack in list view
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Double-click a folder in the file stack to open its contents into the file stack.
µ
µ
Click a list item, then press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to navigate the list.
µ
Press the Return key to open a folder’s contents into the file stack.
Click the disclosure triangle to the left of a folder’s icon to open its contents into a
hierarchical list.
Press the Right Arrow key to open the selected folder into hierarchical view—this has
the same effect as clicking a folder’s disclosure triangle. Press the Left Arrow key to close
a folder that’s been opened hierarchically.
To navigate the current file path hierarchy
Do one of the following:
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µ
µ
Click the Forward button to move to the previously opened folder.
µ
Choose a folder in the current hierarchy from the Path pop-up menu.
Click the Back button to move to the last previously opened folder down the current
folder hierarchy.
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µ
µ
To sort the file stack in list view
Click the header of any information column to sort by that category. Click the same
column a second time to reverse the sort order, from ascending to descending, or vice
versa.
To search for a file
Type a search term in the Search field. The file stack immediately updates with files that
contain the search term anywhere within their filenames. Only disks or folders currently
displayed in the file stack are searched. Character case is ignored.
For example, typing “flag” in the Search field might result in the following filenames
appearing in the file stack: “Dutch Flag.tif, flagAnimation.mov, flagellum.tif, Iron Flag.m4a.”
µ
µ
µ
To clear the search results
Click the Clear button at the far right of the Search field to restore the contents of the file
stack to the previously selected file path.
To preview a file
Select any supported media file in the file stack. The Preview area updates with a thumbnail
and additional text information about that file. If “Play items automatically on a single
click” is selected in the General pane of Motion Preferences, an animated preview of
movie clips and image sequences begins playing.
To preview a file at full size
Double-click a file in the file stack to open it into its own viewer window, complete with
playback controls.
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About Networked Disks and Removable Media
You should be careful when adding media files from a remote server to your project.
Although the File Browser sidebar allows you to easily access the contents of disks on
other computers on your network, doing so only places a link to that file in your project.
The actual media file remains on the remote disk where you found it. As a result,
whenever that remote disk becomes unavailable, the corresponding object in your
project goes offline. Furthermore, depending on the speed of your network, you may
experience performance issues when using media files on other computers. Ideally, you
should copy all media files you want to use in your project onto a disk that’s physically
connected to your computer, both to ensure the file’s future availability, and to guarantee
playback performance. If you do use media from a networked hard drive, make sure it’s
one that is always mounted on your system, and that you have a high-performance
network.
This is especially true for media from removable disks, such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and
removable hard drives that are frequently disconnected from your computer. Always
copy media files from such media to your local hard drive so that the media doesn’t
become unavailable when the media is ejected or disconnected.
File Types Supported by Motion
Motion can use the most popular multimedia file formats supported by QuickTime. These
formats can be broken down into the following categories:
• QuickTime movies
• Still image files
• Image sequences
• Layered Photoshop files
• PDF files
• Audio files
QuickTime Movies
Motion supports QuickTime movies using any codec currently installed on your computer.
Examples of QuickTime movies you can import include clips captured with Final Cut Express
or Final Cut Pro, stock footage from a CD-ROM or DVD collection, or computer-generated
animation from a 3D animation package.
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While you can import movies that use nearly any codec, it’s inadvisable to use highly
compressed clips in your projects if you can avoid it. Clips that are excessively compressed
may display undesirable visual artifacts. Fortunately, QuickTime comes with many codecs
that are ideal for moving uncompressed or minimally compressed video files between
applications, including but not limited to: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ),
Apple ProRes 422, Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit 4:2:2, Pixlet, None, Animation, Apple
M-JPEG A and B, Apple DVCPRO-50, Apple DV/DVCPRO.
Some of these codecs support alpha channels, which define areas of transparency within
the clip. If a particular QuickTime clip has an alpha channel, Motion automatically uses it
in your project.
Mixing Different Kinds of QuickTime Files
You can freely combine clips that are compressed with different codecs in the same
project. Furthermore, you can also combine clips that have different frame sizes, pixel
aspect ratios, and interlacing. To learn more about alpha channels, interlacing, pixel aspect
ratio, frame rates, and frame sizes, see Supported File Formats.
Importing Movies from Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro
Unlike Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, Motion processes video in RGB color space.
Video clips that have been captured in Y′CBCR color space are treated as RGB clips when
imported into a Motion project.
Important: Mixing clips with different frame rates may result in undesirable motion
artifacts.
Still Image Files
You can import still image files using virtually every popular still image format in use,
including but not limited to: SGI, Photoshop, BMP, PICT, JPEG, TIFF, TGA, and JPEG-2. Like
video clips, you can mix still image files with differing frame sizes and pixel aspect ratios.
When you create or modify an image in a graphics editor such as Photoshop, it’s a good
idea to keep in mind the frame size and pixel aspect ratio of your project to ensure that
the graphics you create are appropriate for your project. For more information, see
Supported File Formats.
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Using High-Resolution Still Images
A common and effective use of still images in motion graphics work is the animation of
high-resolution files. The DPI of image files as defined in programs like Photoshop does
not apply to video, as the dimensions of each imported still image are defined simply by
the number of pixels. If the current dimensions of an image are larger than the frame size
of your project, the image appears to be much larger, and by default it appears to be
“zoomed in” to its maximum size. You can change the scale of the image to shrink it down
to fit within the project’s frame size, but you can also animate the scale to zoom into or
out of the image, or animate the image’s position to pan around within it, creating all
kinds of motion-control effects.
Because Motion is graphics-card dependent, you may have different file-size import
limitations. When you import an image that is too large, an alert dialog appears that states
“This media is too large to render at full resolution, and will be shown at a lower quality.”
Click OK to import the image at a lower quality. For more information, visit the Motion
website at http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/motion.
When importing large still images, you can set a preference that tells Motion to import
the file at its original size, to change the resolution of the image to fit the Canvas size, or
to scale the image down to fit the Canvas size.
To set the large still image import preference
1 Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2 In the Still Images & Layers group of the Project pane, choose a setting from the Large
Stills pop-up menu.
Click to choose large still
import preference.
There are three options: Do Nothing, Scale to Canvas Size, and Down-Res to Canvas Size.
• Do Nothing: Imports the image at its original size.
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In the following example, an 1146 x 756 image is imported into an NTSC D1 project
(720 x 486) with Do Nothing selected in the Preferences. The image is much larger than
the Canvas.
• Scale to Canvas Size: Imports and scales the image to fit the project size while
maintaining its aspect ratio.
In the following example, a 1166 x 738 JPEG image is imported into an NTSC D1 project
with Scale to Canvas Size selected in Preferences.
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The image is scaled—the equivalent of using the Transform tool to scale down the
image in the Canvas while pressing Shift. To observe that the image is merely
transformed and has not changed resolution, select the image file in the Media tab of
the Project pane, and then open the Media tab in the Inspector. The Fixed Width and
Fixed Height parameters display the resolution of the original file.
The image is scaled to fit the largest X or Y value of the image to that of the Canvas.
• Down-Res to Canvas Size: This setting changes the resolution of the imported image
so that the image fits the project size while maintaining its aspect ratio.
Note: The Down-Res to Canvas Size option is the best choice for optimizing your process
time. When you use Scale to Canvas Size, Motion must calculate the scale at each frame.
In the following example, a 757 x 1140 JPEG image is imported into an NTSC Broadcast
SD project with Down-Res to Canvas Size selected in Preferences.
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The image looks identical to an image that is scaled on import. However, its resolution
has been changed so that the image fits the Canvas. To observe that the resolution of
the image has changed, select the image file in the Media tab of the Project pane, and
then open the Media tab in the Inspector. The Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters
display the new resolution of the imported image.
Note: You can use the Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters in the Media tab to
further down-res the image.
Still Image Duration
When you first import a still image into your project, the image assumes a duration equal
to the current duration of your project. Increasing the duration of your project does not
automatically increase the duration of an image that’s already been imported. Still images
have infinite duration in Motion, so you can stretch them out in the Timeline to be as
long as you need. For more information about working with objects in the Timeline, see
Using the Timeline.
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Image Sequences
Numbered image sequences store video clips as individual still image files. Each image
file has a number in the filename that indicates where it fits into the sequence. In a film
clip that’s been digitally scanned, each file represents a single frame. In a video clip that’s
been converted to an image sequence, each file contains both fields of a single video
frame, with the upper and lower lines of the image saved together. Image sequences use
the same variety of file formats as still image files. Some of the most popular formats for
saving image sequences include SGI, BMP, JPEG, TIFF, and TGA. Like still image formats,
many of these support alpha channels, which are automatically used by Motion.
Because image sequences have been around for so long (before QuickTime, they were
the only way to store video on a computer), they remain the lowest-common-denominator
file format for exchanging video across many different editing and compositing
applications. While QuickTime is increasingly used to exchange video clips between
platforms, image sequences are still in common use, especially in film compositing.
As with QuickTime video clips, you can mix image sequences of different formats, using
different frame sizes, pixel aspect ratios, frame rates, and interlacing. For more information,
see Supported File Formats.
Important: Any imported image sequence must contain three or more digits of “padding,”
for example, imagename.0001.tif.
Collapsing Image Sequences
The “Show image sequences as collapsed” button at the bottom of the File Browser allows
you to display image sequences as a single object, rather than as the collection of
individual files that exist on your disk. Image sequences that you import into your project
in this way are treated as single objects everywhere they appear in your project.
Click to collapse or
expand image
sequences.
Note: You can turn this feature off in case you have numbered image files that aren’t
supposed to be used as an image sequence. For example, pictures taken with digital
cameras often have numbered filenames that can be mistaken for an image sequence.
Layered Photoshop Files
You can also import layered Photoshop files. Many motion graphics professionals create
layouts in Photoshop, where they paint and manipulate all the graphical elements they’ll
use to create a static composition. Once that’s done, the resulting layered file can be
imported into Motion to be animated, along with other imported and Motion-generated
objects, to create the final project.
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When importing Photoshop files, you can choose to import:
• All the layers merged together as a single object
• All layers as individual objects, nested together within a group
• An individual layer as a single object
When you import all layers as individual objects, Motion creates a new group in the Layers
tab and Timeline, and nests each layer of the Photoshop file as an individual object within
that Motion group. Each resulting object retains the position, opacity, and blend mode
of the original Photoshop layer. Furthermore, Photoshop text layers are imported, but
appear in Motion as noneditable bitmap graphics.
Incompatible Effects
The following Photoshop effects are not currently imported into Motion:
• Layer effects
• Layer masks
• Adjustment layers
• Paths
• Shapes
Note: Motion does not support Photoshop layer sets.
For more information on how to import layered Photoshop files, see Adding Layered
Photoshop Files to a Project.
PDF Files
The PDF file format is a PostScript-based document format that accommodates
PostScript-based graphics and text, as well as bitmap graphics. Areas of transparency
within a PDF file are also transparent within Motion.
PDF files are capable of storing PostScript-based illustrations. Unlike graphics file formats
such as TIFF and JPEG, which save images as a collection of pixels at a given resolution
that are divided into red, green, and blue channels, PostScript-based illustrations are
saved as mathematical descriptions of how the artwork is drawn. As a result, PDF files
using PostScript-based artwork and text have infinite resolution.
The practical difference between bitmap files and PostScript-based files is that scaling a
bitmap beyond 100 percent results in the image progressively softening the more you
increase its size. PostScript-based illustrations remain sharp and clear no matter how large
or how small you scale them.
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When importing a PDF file, its size is relative to the original page size of the file. As a
result, even small graphics may have a large frame size, with a lot of empty space
surrounding the graphic. When exporting a graphic as a PDF file for use in Motion, you
may want to scale the graphic up to fit more closely within the page, or reduce the page
size in the source application’s page preferences to more closely fit around the graphic.
Fixing the Resolution of a PDF Object
Although PDF files have unlimited resolution, large PDF objects can consume a lot of
video memory, which could potentially limit Motion’s performance. To avoid this, you
have the option of limiting the resolution of each PDF image used in your project in order
to save video memory. By using the fixed resolution parameters, the files only need to
be rendered once. This allows for faster performance.
If you decide to fix the resolution of a PDF file, the width and height values you assign
should be equal to the largest scale at which you plan on using that object in your project.
For example, you might add a PDF of a map to your project with the intent to scale it up
to zoom into a particular country. To conserve video memory, you can set the Fixed Width
and Fixed Height parameters to the maximum size of the zoomed in image. If at first you
don’t assign enough resolution, the Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters can be
changed at any time.
The fixed resolution parameters for PDF objects can be adjusted in the Media tab of the
Inspector. Select the PDF object in the Media tab of the Project pane to activate the Media
tab of the Inspector. Adjust the following controls to modify the PDF’s fixed resolution
parameters.
Fixed Resolution: A checkbox that fixes the resolution of a PDF object in the Media tab
to the size specified in the Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters.
Fixed Width: A slider that sets the maximum horizontal resolution to which a PDF object
can be smoothly scaled.
Fixed Height: A slider that sets the maximum vertical resolution to which a PDF object
can be smoothly scaled.
Use Background Color: When this checkbox is selected, the background color defined
in the Background Color controls is used for the transparent portions of the PDF.
Background Color: Use these color controls to set the background color for the
transparent portions of the PDF.
Mixed Content Within PDF Files
Although PDF files can simultaneously contain PostScript-based art, PostScript text, and
bitmapped graphics, all of these types of image data do not scale the same.
PostScript-based art and text scale smoothly, but bitmapped graphics that are embedded
in a PDF file are subject to the same scaling issues as any other bitmapped graphics
format. As a result, they may soften if scaled larger than their original size.
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Note: Form objects, buttons, and JavaScript objects that are present in an imported PDF
file do not appear in Motion.
Multi-Page PDF Files
You can import multi-page PDF files. When you do, an additional parameter called Page
Number appears in the Properties tab when the PDF object is selected. A slider appears
and allows you to set which page is displayed in the Canvas. This parameter can be
animated to display different pages over time.
Important: Multi-layered PDF files are not currently supported. To import a multi-layered
illustration, export each layer as a separate PDF file and import these as a nested group
of objects in Motion.
More About Alpha Channels
Ordinary video clips and image files have three channels of information, one each for the
red, green, and blue channels. Many video and image file formats also support an alpha
channel, which contains additional information that defines areas of transparency. An
alpha channel is a grayscale channel where white represents areas of 100 percent opacity
(solid), gray regions represent partially opaque areas, and black represents 0 percent
opacity (transparent).
When you import a QuickTime movie or an image file into your project, its alpha channel
is immediately recognized by Motion. The alpha channel is then used to composite that
object against any other objects that are behind it.
There are two different ways of embedding alpha channel information into files, and
Motion attempts to automatically determine which type of alpha channel a particular
object uses:
• Straight: Straight alpha channels are kept completely separate from the red, green,
and blue channels of an image. Media files using straight alpha channels appear perfectly
fine when used in a composition, but they may look odd when viewed in another
application. Translucent effects such as volumetric lighting, or lens flares in a computer
generated image may appear distorted until the clip is used in a composition.
• Premultiplied: This type of alpha channel is multiplied with the clip’s red, green, and
blue channels. As a result, objects with premultiplied alpha channels always look correct,
even with translucent lighting effects, because the entire image is precomposited
against a solid color. Most commonly, premultiplied alpha channels are multiplied
against black or white, but Motion can also resolve alpha channels that have been
premultiplied against other colors.
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The only time it really matters which kind of alpha channel an object has is when Motion
doesn’t correctly determine it. If an object’s alpha channel has been set to Straight in the
Media tab when it’s really premultiplied, it may appear fringed with the premultiplied
color around its edges. If this happens, you can select the problematic clip in the Media
tab of the Project pane, then change its Alpha Type parameter in the Media tab of the
Inspector.
Audio Files
You can import different audio file formats into your project, including but not limited
to WAV, AIFF, .cdda, MP3, and AAC. Although Motion is not necessarily intended to be a
full-featured audio editing and mixing environment such as GarageBand, Soundtrack Pro,
or Logic Pro, you can import music clips, dialogue, and sound effects to use in your
projects. If you import a QuickTime file with mono or stereo tracks of audio, the video
appears in the Timeline, while the audio appears in the Audio Editor.
From within Motion, you can select an audio file and open Soundtrack Pro to modify the
audio file. Once saved in Soundtrack Pro, the file is automatically updated in Motion. For
more information, see Using Soundtrack Pro with Motion.
You can freely import audio clips with different sample rates and bit depths. When you
do, Motion resamples any audio tracks that need it to the sample rate and bit depth
currently in use by your computer. The default is 16-bit, 44.1 kHz float for the built-in
audio interface. If you use a third-party audio interface, audio is remixed to the sample
rate and bit depth used by that device.
You can import audio files with sample rates up to 192 kHz, and with bit depths up to
32 bits. Mono and stereo files are supported. Multi-channel audio files are also supported.
Motion supports as many layers of audio as you want to use in the Audio Editor, although
mixing many audio tracks together may affect playback performance. In the Audio Editor,
you use the same tools and commands to edit audio objects as you use in the Timeline
layers list. Each audio layer also has individual settings for level and pan, so that you can
mix a group of tracks together for stereo output.
For more information about file formats supported by Motion, see Audio Formats. For
more information on using audio in Motion, see Working with Audio.
A seamless way to browse for and import music from your iTunes library is to use the
Music category in the Motion Library. For more information, see Adding iTunes and iPhoto
Files from the Library.
Note: You cannot import rights-managed AAC files, such as non-iTunes Plus tracks
purchased from the iTunes Store.
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Adding Media to Your Project
Once you’ve created a new project, the next step is to add media files to your composition.
All media types—movie clips, still images, audio files, or other objects appearing in the
Motion Library—are added to your project using the same methods.
Note: Layered Photoshop files have additional import options available from the drop
menu. For more information, see Adding Layered Photoshop Files to a Project.
The Link Between Motion Layers and Media Files
Prior to learning how to add media to your Motion project, it’s important to understand
the correspondence between layers and source media. Every time you add a file to your
project, you create a link between the layer you see in the Canvas and its corresponding
media file on disk.
Motion is a nondestructive application. This means that any changes you make to media
objects in a Motion project aren’t actually applied to the media files to which they’re
linked.
Because of this link, whenever you add a file to your project, you need to make sure it
remains available on your hard disk for as long as you’re working on that project. If you
move, delete, or rename media files that correspond to layers in a Motion project, those
objects become “offline.” Offline layers appear as checkered rectangles that occupy the
entire bounding box of the object.
If this happens, it’s easy to reconnect the offline layers in your project with new copies
of the media you lost, assuming those files are still available. For more information, see
Online Versus Offline Media.
Selecting Files in the File Browser
You can add files to a project using either the File Browser or the Import command in
the File menu. In most cases, the File Browser is more convenient, and gives you more
control over how the resulting objects appear in your project.
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Prior to adding files, you must first select them in the File Browser. You can add files to
a project either individually or in groups.
To select files in the File Browser
1 Open the File Browser.
2 Select one or more files by doing one of the following:
• Click a single file.
• While holding down the Shift or Command key, click each file you want to select.
• While holding down the Shift or Command key, click any selected file to deselect it.
• In list view, click to the left of any file’s thumbnail, then drag up or down to select
multiple consecutive files.
• In list view, press Shift and use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to add files to the
current selection.
Adding Files to Your Project
The following procedures apply to adding every file type compatible with Motion.
Note: Although iTunes and iPhoto files can be added using the File Browser as described
below, it is recommended that you use the Music and Photo categories within the Motion
Library. Using the Library allows you to browse for files using the playlist or photo album
features available within iTunes and iPhoto. For more information, see Adding iTunes
and iPhoto Files from the Library.
To add one or more files to a project in a new group
1 If the Create Layers At setting in the Project pane of Motion Preferences is set to “Current
frame,” move the playhead to the frame in the Timeline where you want the first frame
of the file to start.
Note: If the Create Layers At setting is set to “Start of project,” this step is unnecessary as
imported files are always placed at frame 1.
2 Select one or more objects in the File Browser.
3 Do one of the following:
• Drag the selected files into the Canvas, placing them at any position.
• Click the Import button to add the selected files to the center of the Canvas.
• Drag the selected files into the blank bottom area of the Layers tab.
• Drag the selected files into the blank bottom area of the Timeline.
• Choose File > Import (or press Command-I), select one or more files in the Import Files
dialog, then click Open.
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A new group is created at the top of the Layers tab, and all files appear as layers nested
within it. Each new layer’s start time in the Timeline is set to the position of the playhead
in step 1.
To add one or more files to an existing group
1 If the Create Layers At setting in the Project pane of Motion Preferences is set to “Current
frame,” move the playhead to the frame in the Timeline where you want the first frame
of the file to start.
Note: If the Create Layers At setting is set to “Start of project,” this step is unnecessary as
imported files are always placed at frame 1.
2 Open the File Browser and Layers tab.
3 Select one or more files in the File Browser.
4 To nest the selected files underneath an existing group, do one of the following:
• Drag the selected files on top of any group in the Layers tab.
The objects appear nested at the top of the group of objects.
• Drag the selected files between any objects in a group.
A position indicator shows the new position that the objects occupy when you release
the mouse button.
• Drag the selected files into the Timeline, placing them between any objects that are
already nested underneath an existing group.
Note: For more information on editing objects into the Timeline, see Using the Timeline.
Once a file has been added to a project, it appears as a layer in the Canvas, Timeline,
Layers tab, and Media tab. Each new layer’s start time in the Timeline is set to the position
of the playhead in step 1.
You can also add files to your project without having them appear in the composition
by dragging a file directly into the Media tab. This allows you to add media objects you
might want to use in the future without actually placing them in your composition.
To drag one or more files to a project without using them in the composition
1 Open the Media tab.
2 Drag one or more files from the File Browser into the Media tab.
The resulting media objects don’t appear in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.
To copy and paste one or more files to a project without using them in the composition
1 Open the Media tab.
2 Select the object (or Shift-click to select multiple objects) in the Media tab, choose Edit
> Copy.
3 Click in the Media tab to make it the active window, then choose Edit > Paste.
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Adding Layered Photoshop Files to a Project
You can add a layered Photoshop file to your project by dragging it to the Canvas, Layers
tab, or Timeline, by using the Import button, or by using the Import command. Using the
Import button (in the Preview area) results in all layers of the Photoshop file being
collapsed into a single layer, by default. To maintain the layers of the imported file
separately, you need to use the drop menu or the File > Import command.
To control how a layered Photoshop file is added to your project using the drop menu
1 Drag a layered Photoshop file from the File Browser into the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.
2 Before releasing the mouse button, pause until the Canvas drop menu appears.
This menu presents different commands for importing the layered file.
3 Drag the file over the command you want in the drop menu, and when the menu item
is highlighted, release the mouse button.
The layers of the Photoshop file are added using the command you choose:
• Import Merged Layers: All layers of the Photoshop file are collapsed into a single layer.
• Import All Layers: A new group is created and nested within the currently selected
group. Each layer of the Photoshop file appears as an individual layer nested within
this group.
You can also import individual layers from the Photoshop file. Each layer in the selected
Photoshop file appears as a separate item in the drop menu. Selecting an individual layer
adds only that particular layer to your project, where it appears as a single layer.
Note: When a Photoshop file contains more layers than can be displayed in the drop
menu, the Choose Layer option appears in the drop menu. Once Choose Layer is chosen,
use the Pick Layer to Import dialog to select which layer to import.
To control how a layered Photoshop file is added to your project using the Import
command
1 Choose File > Import.
2 Select the file you want to import, then click Import.
The Pick Layer to Import dialog appears.
3 Choose a command from the Layer Name pop-up menu:
• Merged Layers: All layers of the Photoshop file are collapsed into a single layer.
• All Layers: A new group is created and nested within the currently selected group. Each
layer of the Photoshop file appears as an individual object nested within this group.
• Individual layers: Each layer in the selected Photoshop file appears as a separate item
in the drop menu. Selecting an individual layer adds only that particular layer to your
project, where it appears as a single object.
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To choose a different Photoshop layer than was originally selected on import, select
the Photoshop file in the Layers tab, then choose a layer from the Layer pop-up menu
in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Adding iTunes and iPhoto Files from the Library
You can add files from your iTunes and iPhoto libraries to a project via the Motion Library.
This is very convenient, as the iTunes library and playlists and iPhoto albums appear in
the Library subcategories.
Note: Although a connected iPod appears in the File Browser as a hard disk, you can only
browse for and import iPod files that are stored as data. Music transferred to the iPod via
iTunes cannot be imported into Motion.
To add an audio file from iTunes
1 In the Library, select the Music category.
The iTunes library and playlists appear. By default, All is selected (the iTunes library).
2 With All selected or by selecting a playlist, select an audio file from the stack.
Note: When displayed in list view, the Music category shows information created in
iTunes, such as the Name, Artist, Album, Duration, and Size of the file.
3 Do one of the following:
• In the Preview area, click Apply.
• Drag the audio file to the Canvas, Project pane, or audio area of the Timeline (not the
Audio Editor).
Note: Rights-protected AAC files cannot be imported into Motion and do not appear in
the file stack. This includes non-iTunes Plus music purchased from the iTunes Store.
For more information on working with audio files, see Working with Audio.
To add a file from iPhoto
1 In the Library, select the Photos category.
The iPhoto albums appear. By default, All is selected (the iPhoto library).
2 With All selected or by selecting an album, select a file from the stack.
Note: When displayed in list view, the Photos category shows information created in
iPhoto, such as the Name and Size of the file.
3 Do one of the following:
• In the Preview area, click Apply.
• Drag the file to the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.
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Note: When importing large-scale images into Motion, you have the option to import
the files as is, to scale the images to the size of the Canvas, or to change the resolution
of the image to fit the Canvas. For more information, see Using High-Resolution Still
Images.
Managing Layers in Your Project
When you add a file to your project, a corresponding layer appears in the Canvas, Layers
tab, and Timeline. Once added, you can duplicate any layer in the Canvas, Layers tab, and
Timeline to create as many copies as you need. Each copy you create has individual
parameters in the Inspector, which gives you the freedom to individually modify and
animate each duplicate layer as necessary.
The Relationship Between Objects in the Layers Tab and Media Tab
Every file you add to your project creates a new corresponding object in the Media tab,
even if it’s identical to other files you have already added. This means that if you drag the
same file into your project five times from the File Browser, five corresponding objects
are created in the Media tab.
On the other hand, if you duplicate a layer that’s already in your project, a relationship is
maintained between that instance of the object and the previously existing object in the
Media tab. No new layer is created in the Media tab.
By default, objects added to your project are managed automatically by Motion. If you
delete a layer from the Canvas or Layers tab, the media object is removed automatically
from the Media tab. You can turn off this feature in the General pane of Motion Preferences.
For more information, see Media.
Duplicating Files
If you need more copies of an object in your project, either duplicate them directly in the
Canvas using the Duplicate command, or drag an object from the Media tab to the Canvas
or Timeline to create a new corresponding instance of that object. Another way to
duplicate an object is to use the Make Clone Layer command. For more information on
the Make Clone Layer command, see Making Clone Layers.
It is easier to manage all duplicated layers using the media object’s Media tab parameters
in the Inspector. These parameters define the media object’s essential properties, including
the frame rate, pixel aspect ratio, interlacing, and alpha channel parameters. There are
also additional parameters that allow you to define each media object’s end condition,
reversal, cropping, and timing. Each media object’s parameters affect all layers in the
project that have a relationship to the corresponding media object in the Media tab, so
changing the media object’s parameters simultaneously updates every layer in your
project to which it is related.
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For more information on a media object’s Media tab parameters, see Object Media Tab
Parameters.
Seeing the Relationships Between Objects
There are two object parameters where you can see the relationship between objects in
the Layers tab and objects in the Media tab.
• The Media parameter appears in the Properties tab of the Inspector whenever you
select an object in the Layers tab. The Media parameter is an image well that displays
the source media in the Media tab to which the currently selected object corresponds.
• The Linked Objects list appears in the Media tab of the Inspector whenever you select
an object in the Media tab of the Project pane. This list displays all objects in the Layers
tab that correspond to the selected source media. Changing an object’s name in the
Layers tab automatically updates the name that appears in the Linked Objects list.
Using the Reveal Source Media Command
A fast way to find any layer’s source media in the Media tab is to use the Reveal Source
Media command.
To reveal a layer’s source media in the Media tab
Do one of the following:
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Control-click a layer in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then choose Reveal Source
Media from the shortcut menu.
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Select the layer, then choose Object > Reveal Source Media (or press Shift-F).
The Inspector opens and displays the Media tab. At the same time, the Media tab in the
Project pane opens. The source media is selected, and its Media tab parameters are
exposed in the Inspector.
Online Versus Offline Media
As mentioned earlier, adding a layer to a Motion project creates a link between the layer
in your project and its corresponding media file on disk. When you delete, move, or
rename files on disk that are linked to layers in Motion, those files go offline, meaning
that they’re temporarily unavailable to your project. This can also happen if you give
someone a project file without also providing them with the source media it uses.
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When you first open a project file with media that is unavailable, a dialog appears listing
all the media files that can’t be found. Assuming the media has been moved to another
folder or disk instead of being deleted, you have the option to search every disk connected
to your computer to find them. If you know the location of the missing media, you can
display a manual reconnection dialog to navigate directly to the files without having to
search.
To reconnect the media files in this list using Search
1 Click Search.
Motion attempts to automatically find the first missing file in the list. If it is found, a dialog
appears with the missing media file selected. If it is not found, a manual reconnection
dialog appears, giving you the option to navigate to the file manually.
2 In the manual reconnection dialog, click Open to reconnect the media.
If a file has been renamed, you’ll have to find it manually.
3 To find a file manually, navigate to the renamed file’s location, select it, then click Open.
If more than one of the missing media files appears in the same folder, all files are
automatically reconnected.
To cancel an active search
1 Click Cancel.
The manual reconnection dialog appears.
2 In the dialog, navigate to the file’s location, then click Open.
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To reconnect the media files in this list using Reconnect
1 Click Reconnect.
2 In the manual reconnection dialog, navigate to the file’s location, then click Open.
If a layer in your project file is offline and you do not immediately reconnect it upon
opening the project, it appears as a checkered rectangle that occupies the entire bounding
box of the layer.
If you do not immediately reconnect an offline layer, you can still save changes to the
project and even close it again, and reconnect the offline layers later. You can reconnect
these offline layers at any time.
To reconnect a layer in a project with its source media on disk
1 Open the Media tab in the Project pane.
2 Select the offline layer you want to reconnect.
3 Open the Media tab in the Inspector.
4 Click the Replace Media File button that appears underneath the Linked Objects parameter.
Motion attempts to automatically find the first missing file in the list. If it is found, a file
dialog appears with the missing media file selected.
5 Click Open to reconnect it.
Note: You can also use the File > Reconnect Media command.
The offline layer comes online, and the original graphic appears. If more than one missing
media file appears in the same folder, all files are automatically reconnected.
Deleting Objects from a Project
There are two ways you can delete an object in Motion. You can delete a single instance
of an object from the composition by deleting it in the Layers tab, Timeline, or Canvas.
By default, this removes the object from use and removes its source media in the Media
tab, if it is no longer used by the project. If other instances of that object appear in your
project, those are left alone.
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You can also delete the object that appears in the Media tab. Doing this also removes all
corresponding instances of that object in your project.
To delete one or more objects from a project
1 Select one or more objects by doing one of the following:
• To delete a single object, select it in the Layers tab, the Timeline, or the Canvas.
• To delete multiple objects, Shift-click to select the objects.
Note: In the Layers tab or Timeline, you can Command-click to select noncontiguous
objects.
2 To delete the selected objects, do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Delete.
• Press Delete.
The objects are deleted from your project, but their corresponding source media files
on disk remain untouched.
To delete all objects that correspond to a single object in the Media tab
1 Open the Media tab, then select the source media you want to delete.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Delete.
• Press the Delete key.
A dialog appears and prompts you to confirm the deletion.
3 Click Delete.
Exchanging Media in a Project
You can exchange any layer in your project with a different object in the File Browser or
Library. This breaks that layer’s original source file link and creates a new link to the file
you’re exchanging. When you exchange a layer’s source media, the object in your project
retains all of its Property tab parameter values (including the Position, Scale, and Opacity
parameters), selected blend mode, nested filters and behaviors, masks, and keyframes.
The exchange operation allows you to replace layers in your project even after you’ve
modified and animated them. If you’re unhappy with a particular element of your
composition, exchange it with a new one.
Important: You can only exchange layers that are linked to media files on disk. You cannot
exchange Motion-generated objects such as particle systems, generators, or text objects.
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This operation allows you to use temporary layers in your project until the finished layer
is available. For example, if you’re expecting artwork from another artist that’s not yet
available, you can use a temporary graphic with the same dimensions, and then exchange
it when the final artwork becomes available.
This operation is extremely useful for customizing projects created using templates. For
more information, see Customizing Projects Created with Templates.
To exchange a layer in your project in the Layers tab
1 Drag a file from the File Browser onto a layer in the Layers tab.
2 When a curved pointer appears, release the mouse button.
The original layer in the Layers tab is replaced by the new object.
The curved pointer appears when
you drag a new object over an
existing object’s thumbnail.
To replace a layer in the Media tab
1 Select the object you want to replace in the Media tab.
2 In the Inspector, open the Media tab.
3 Click Replace Media File.
A dialog appears.
4 Navigate to the file you want to use to replace the current source media.
5 Click Open.
The new media object replaces the current object in the Media tab along with all layers
or objects linked to the media object in your project.
Object Media Tab Parameters
When you select an object in the Media tab of the Project pane, the Inspector displays a
Media tab that contains the properties defining how the object appears in Motion. This
includes parameters such as the type of alpha channel used, pixel aspect ratio, field order,
and so on. All of these parameters can be edited, which changes the way that object is
displayed and composited in your project.
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While Motion makes an effort to correctly interpret how objects you add to your project
should appear, sometimes it isn’t possible to correctly identify how a source media file
should be treated. Make sure that each object you add to your project has the correct
settings in its Media tab so you can successfully mix and match objects with different
pixel aspect ratios, alpha channel types, and frame rates.
Because Motion is a nondestructive application, changes made to these parameters are
not applied to the source media files on disk. They simply affect how objects are drawn
within Motion.
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Controls in the Media Tab of the Inspector
The following controls let you modify the objects in the Media tab, which also affects all
the instances of the object in the project.
Inspector Media tab
Separate layers in a Photoshop file do not use the following parameters. These parameters
are used only when a PSD file is imported as “Merged.”
Note: PDF files with transparent backgrounds do not have the Alpha Type or Invert Alpha
parameters.
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Alpha Type: An object’s alpha channel contains information that defines areas of
transparency in the image or movie. When you import a QuickTime movie or an image
file, its alpha channel is immediately recognized by Motion. There are six different ways
to embed alpha channel information into files, which correspond to the options in this
pop-up menu. Motion automatically assigns one of these options based on an analysis
of the object when it is imported, but you can override this if necessary.
The six commands in this pop-up menu are:
• None/Ignore: The default setting for objects with no alpha channel. This option also
allows you to ignore an object’s existing alpha channel, so that the entire object is
solid.
• Straight: Straight alpha channels are kept completely separate from the red, green,
and blue channels of an image. Media files using straight alpha channels appear perfectly
fine when used in a composition, but they may look odd when viewed in another
application. Translucent effects such as volumetric lighting or lens flares in a
computer-generated image may appear distorted until the clip is used in a composition.
If Straight is chosen, but you see a black, white, or colored fringe around the object,
this parameter is incorrectly set and should be changed to one of the Premultiplied
options, depending on the color of the fringe.
• Premultiplied-Black: This type of alpha channel is multiplied with the clip’s red, green,
and blue channels. As a result, objects with premultiplied alpha channels always look
correct, even with translucent lighting effects, because the entire image is
precomposited against a solid color. This option interprets alpha channels that have
been precomposited against black.
• Premultiplied-White: This option interprets alpha channels that have been precomposited
against white.
• Premultiplied-Color: This option interprets files that have been precomposited against
another color.
• Guess Alpha Type: This option forces Motion to analyze the file in an attempt to
automatically figure out what kind of alpha channel it uses. If you’re unsure, use this
setting.
Invert Alpha: Ordinarily, an alpha channel is a grayscale channel, where white represents
areas of 100 percent opacity (solid), gray regions represent partially opaque areas, and
black represents 0 percent opacity (transparent). If an alpha channel has been incorrectly
generated in reverse, this checkbox inverts it.
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Defines whether the object was created using square or nonsquare
pixels. In general, objects created for computer display, film, and high definition video
use square pixels, while objects created for standard definition video formats use
nonsquare pixels. A text field to the right of this pop-up menu displays the numeric aspect
ratio, in case you need to manually change the ratio. By correctly identifying each object
you add to your project, you can mix and match both kinds of media.
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Field Order: When importing interlaced video, choose the field order with which the
clips were captured. This should match the field order of the device used for capture. The
interlacing is either Upper (Odd) or Lower (Even). If you choose incorrectly, you’ll notice
immediately upon playback that the video appears to “stutter,” because the order of
fields is accidentally reversed. When this happens, simply choose the opposite field order
setting in this pop-up menu. Clips that were shot using a progressive scan video camera
or on film have no interlacing, and should be set to None. By correctly identifying each
object in your project, you can freely mix and match clips with a different field order.
Frame Rate: Choose a frame rate in frames per second that matches the clip’s native
rate. For example, film is 24 fps, PAL video is 25 fps, and NTSC video is 29.97 fps. Additional
frame rates are available for different video formats. If the frame rate you require is not
listed, you can type a number in the text field to the right of the pop-up menu.
Note: Project frame rates are determined by the project preset. To edit a preset or to
create a new preset, choose Motion > Preferences and use the options in the Presets
pane.
If you change a QuickTime file’s frame rate, you can choose “From file” at the bottom of
the Frame Rate pop-up menu to change this parameter to the QuickTime file’s original
frame rate.
Note: While you can freely mix clips using different frame rates, clips playing at a frame
rate different from that of the project may not play smoothly.
Gamma: Changes the assumed gamma of imported images to 1/1.8, 1/2.2, 1/2.22, Custom,
or automatically based on the image file.
Note: If imported images appear too dark or too washed out, the gamma setting may
be incorrect.
Fixed Width and Fixed Height: Displays the resolution of an image. When Large Stills
(in Motion Preferences) is set to Scale to Canvas Size, these values display the resolution
of the original file. When Down-Res to Canvas Size is set in the preferences, these values
display the new resolution of the imported image.
When a PDF is selected, these controls set the maximum resolution to which a PDF object
can be smoothly scaled. For more information, see Fixing the Resolution of a PDF Object.
Crop: A multidimensional parameter that defines a number of pixels to be cropped from
each of an object’s four sides, relative to the outer edge of the bounding box that
surrounds that object. Cropping an object in the Media tab also crops all instances of
that object that appear in your project. A similar Crop parameter appearing for objects
in the Layers tab allows you to individually crop each instance of that object. For more
information, see Parameters in the Properties Tab.
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Timing: These parameters control the start, end, and duration of each media object.
• Start: Sets the In point of the object, in both constant and variable speed modes.
Adjusting this parameter always moves the object In point to the specified frame
without affecting the duration of the object.
• End: Sets the Out point of the object, in both constant and variable speed modes.
Adjusting this parameter always moves the object Out point to the specified frame
without affecting the duration of the object.
• Duration: Sets the total duration of the object. If Time Remap is set to Constant Speed,
adjusting Duration will also affect the Speed and the Out point. If Time Remap is set
to Variable Speed (in the Timing controls of the Properties tab of the Inspector), adjusting
Duration will not affect variable speed playback.
Linked Objects: This list displays all objects that appear in the Layers tab that have a
relationship to that object. Two columns display the name of each group containing an
instance of the source media, along with the object’s name. Changing an object’s name
in the Layers tab automatically updates the name that appears in the corresponding
object’s Linked Objects list.
Replace Media File button: This button allows you to relink a media object in your project
to another source file on disk. This feature is primarily useful for relinking offline objects,
but it can also be used to substitute the media used by an object in your project with
other media. It also lets you replace one object with another, along with all instances of
that object in your project.
Summary: A separate pane that lists the properties of the media file on disk that’s linked
to the selected object.
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Using Media in the Library
Motion ships with a collection of media and effects that you can use in your projects. The
Library shares many controls and window panes with the File Browser. Both tabs are
designed for the navigation of media that you want to add to your project. In general,
all the controls work identically to those found in the File Browser, but the organization
of listed media is different.
Categories
Subcategories
The Library sidebar consists of a two-column pane. The left column displays all the
categories of media and effects that are available in the Library. When you select a
category, subcategories appear in the right column. Selecting a subcategory displays all
the media or effects objects within the subcategory in the Library stack below.
Library Categories
The Library contains many different types of categories, as described in the next sections.
Behaviors and Filters
Behaviors and filters are applied directly to objects that have already been added to your
project. They do not exist on their own. Instead, they must be attached to an object to
have an effect. Both behaviors and filters can be customized after they’ve been added to
a project, and customized versions can be stored in the Library for future use.
For more information about behaviors, see Using Behaviors. For more information about
filters, see Using Filters.
Image Units (Filters)
The Image Units category appears in the Motion Library if you are running Mac OS X 10.5
or later. Motion supports the operating system’s Core Image Units (filters).
Generators
Generators are user-customizable computer-generated objects that can be used to create
a variety of graphic elements. When you add a generator to your project, it automatically
adapts to the frame size and frame rate of the project. Generators also have infinite
duration, so they can play as long as necessary.
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Generators have all the property parameters belonging to other objects. Properties specific
to each generator also appear in the Generator tab of the Inspector whenever a generator
is selected. You can also save customized versions of generators in the Library for future
use.
For more information about the generators available in Motion, see Working with
Generators.
Image Units (Generators)
The Image Units category appears in the Motion Library if you are running Mac OS X 10.5
or later. Motion supports the operating system’s Core Image Units (generators).
Particle Emitters
Several categories of pre-made particle emitters let you quickly add effects ranging from
simulations of smoke, fire, and explosives, to animated abstract textures that you can use
in different ways. All of Motion’s pre-made particle systems can be customized once you
add them to your project.
For more information about using particle systems, see Working with Particles.
Replicators
Several categories of pre-made replicators let you quickly add background, transitional,
or other types of animated patterns. All of Motion’s pre-made replicators can be
customized once you add them to your project.
For more information about replicators, see Using the Replicator.
Shapes
This category contains pre-made shapes that you can use either as visual elements or as
image masks. Each shape is a Bezier shape and can be further customized using Motion’s
shape editing tools. For more information about editing shapes and masks, see Using
Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
Gradients
The Gradients category contains gradient presets that you can use in the gradient editor
found in particle system emitters and cells, as well as in text objects and shapes. Motion
comes with a collection of gradient presets, but you can also save your own custom
gradients created with any gradient editor.
Fonts and LiveFonts
Fonts and LiveFonts that are installed on your computer appear in these categories. Fonts
are organized into subcategories based on the categories of fonts you define in the Font
Book application. For more information about Font Book, see Mac Help in the Finder Help
menu.
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You can use the font categories to preview the fonts that are available on your computer.
You can also drag fonts and LiveFonts onto text objects to change the typeface they use.
For more information about using fonts with text objects, see Using the Library Font
Preview.
Text Styles
Text styles are presets that can be applied to text objects in your project to instantly
change their style parameters. These style parameters include face, outline, glow, and
drop shadow parameters. Dragging a text style onto a text object instantly applies that
style to the text.
For more information on text styles, see Editing Text Style.
Shape Styles
Shape styles are presets that can be applied to shapes and paint strokes to instantly
change their style parameters. Dragging a shape style onto a shape instantly applies that
style to the shape.
For more information on shape styles, see Saving Shapes and Shape Styles.
Music and Photos
These categories allow you to browse for and import audio files directly from your iTunes
library and image files directly from your iPhoto library. The Music subcategories that
appear in the Motion Library are playlists created in iTunes. The Photos subcategories
are albums created in iPhoto. The contents of each library, album, or playlist appear in
the file stack.
For more information on importing iPhoto or iTunes files, see Adding iTunes and iPhoto
Files from the Library.
Content
Motion ships with a collection of pre-made graphics and Motion-generated objects that
appear in the Content category. Any of these objects can be dragged into the Canvas
and used as design elements for your own project. Some of the subcategories contain
objects used to make the templates included with Motion. The one exception is the
Particle Images subcategory, which comprises particle cell sources used to generate the
particle emitter presets included with Motion.
By default, the content files that ship with Motion are stored in the /Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/ folder when you install Motion. During installation, you
can select an alternate location to install the Motion content. Custom Motion-generated
objects that you place into the Library are saved in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Content/ folder.
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Note: Dragging a media object into the Content category leaves its corresponding file
on disk in its original location. For this reason, it’s recommended you centralize all media
you plan on importing into the Library for future use into a dedicated and predictable
location on disk, to prevent accidentally moving, renaming, or deleting those files.
Favorites and the Favorites Menu
It’s easy to customize the behaviors, filters, particle systems, gradients, and generators
used in Motion to create your own effects. These customized objects are saved into their
corresponding categories. The Favorites category provides a place to put objects—built-in
or custom-made—that you frequently use. You can also place frequently used media
files into the Favorites, such as PDF or TIFF files. Objects you put in the Favorites category
are available to every project you create in Motion.
Objects you place in the Favorites Menu folder appear in the Favorites menu, for even
faster access. When you choose an item from the Favorites menu, that item is placed into
the currently selected layer, positioned at the center of the Canvas. Objects you put in
the Favorites Menu are available to every project in Motion.
Objects that are dragged into the Favorites and Favorites Menu categories are saved into
the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Favorites/ and /Favorites Menu/ directories,
respectively.
Note: Objects placed into subcategories that correspond to a folder in the
/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Favorites/ folder are shared among
all user accounts on that computer.
Adding Your Own Content to the Library
You can add your own customized versions of generators, filters, behaviors, and gradients
to categories in the Library. Furthermore, if you work on one or more programs that
frequently recycle the same graphics elements, or if you have a library of graphics that
you use regularly, you can add these media files to the Favorites category. It is
recommended that you add custom content to the Favorites category. Content you put
into the Library is available to every project in Motion.
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To add Motion-generated objects to a Content category
Drag an object to the Favorites folder in the Library Category list or subcategory list, or
directly into the Library stack.
Important: Each category except the Content, Favorites, and Favorites Menu is filtered
by the type of object it represents. For example, you can place a user-customized filter
in the Filters category, but you cannot put a filter into the Behaviors category.
You can also place media from disk into the Content, Favorites, or Favorites Menu
categories.
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Using Custom Objects from the Library
When you drag a custom object from the Library to the Canvas, the center of the object
is dropped at the location in which you release the mouse button. If you use the Apply
button in the Preview area to add the object, the object is added at the center of the
Canvas.
When you drag objects to the Canvas that were saved with the “All in one file” drop
menu option, the objects are dropped at the location in which you release the mouse
button and are positioned according to their arrangement when originally saved to the
Library. If you use the Apply button in the Preview area to add the object, the objects
are added at the center of the Canvas.
Note: When you drag a custom mask from the Library into a project, the mask retains
the position with which it was saved (relative to the image or footage on which it is
dropped).
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To add a media object to the Favorites category
Drag a media object from the Layers tab or Media tab, or from the File Browser, into the
Favorites folder in the Library.
When adding your own content, you can create additional folders to add subcategories
that appear in the subcategory column.
To create a new subcategory within any category
1 Open the Library and select a category.
2 Click the New Folder button (+) at the bottom of the Library.
3 Rename the new folder to suit your needs.
This new folder appears in the subcategory column whenever that category is selected.
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To remove objects or folders from a Content category
Select an object or folder in the Library stack, then do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Delete.
• Press Command-Delete.
When Library Media Becomes Unavailable
As with any other object used in a Motion project, Library media used by a project must
be present and installed on the current computer for those objects to appear correctly
in Motion. If someone gives you a project file and you don’t have the same filters, fonts,
or LiveFonts that they do, a warning appears when you open the project that lists the
items that are unavailable.
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You can either close the project and install the necessary files on your computer, or go
ahead and open the file. The following list outlines what happens when you open a
project file without having the necessary media:
• Missing Content: Missing content is treated like any other missing media object. The
objects go offline, and you have the option to reconnect them at any time. For more
information about reconnecting media, see Online Versus Offline Media.
• Missing Filters: When one or more filters are missing, objects in your project that use
those filters appear with a placeholder that shows which filter is missing. This gives
you the opportunity to reinstall the filter at a later point.
• Missing Fonts: When fonts are missing, the text objects that use those fonts default to
Geneva as a temporary substitute. Missing international fonts substitute the default
system font for that language.
• Missing LiveFonts: When LiveFonts are missing, the previously used LiveFont is replaced
by another LiveFont installed on your computer.
Organizing Groups and Layers in Motion
Whenever you drag a media file from the Library or File Browser into the Canvas, Layers
tab, or Timeline, or generate an image from within Motion, the resulting element is
represented as a layer. Think of layers as a series of clear overlays stacked one on top of
the other. These layers combine to create the composite that you see in the Canvas.
Motion provides a graphical representation of this layer hierarchy in the Layers tab of the
Project pane and also in the Timeline layers list. You can rearrange the stacking order of
the layers in your composition by dragging them to a new location in either of these lists.
Layers, in turn, are nested within containers known as groups. Whenever you create a
new layer, that layer is placed within a group. You can drag a layer from one group and
place it inside another group, but layers cannot exist on their own, outside of a group.
Layers nested inside groups appear indented in the Layers tab and the Timeline layers
list.
Enclosing group
Nested layers
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A group can also contain other groups nested inside it. In this way, you can construct
complex hierarchies of nested groups, with each nested group subordinate to the group
that contains it, up to the topmost group.
Enclosing group
Nested groups
One of the goals of organizing the layers in a project is to group layers that you want to
work together as a unit. Doing so ensures that animation and effects that are applied to
the enclosing group also affect all layers nested within that group. By nesting related
layers that you want to animate inside a group, you can save time by animating just the
enclosing group, instead of animating each layer individually.
For example, when you select a group that has three layers nested within it, the entire
group is selected as a single unit.
Layers list with group selected
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Moving a selection in the Canvas moves all three layers simultaneously.
Before moving group
After moving group
Regardless of how they’re nested, individual layers can always be animated independently.
Subordinate groups can also be animated independently, although such animation and
effects also affect all groups or layers that are nested underneath.
The following example shows how you might create a hierarchy of groups to prepare for
the animation of a human figure. Each component of the figure is a separate layer. For
example, the arm is made up of hand, forearm, and upper arm layers. Each related layer
is in a group that’s nested inside a parent group. For the arm, the hand is nested inside
the forearm’s group, which is nested inside the upper arm’s group.
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Note: In this example, each object’s anchor point has been moved to the appropriate
axis of rotation for that object. For more information about changing an object’s anchor
point, see Using the Adjust Anchor Point Tool.
Both arms and both legs are also made up of a hierarchy of nested body parts. It then
follows that these nested groups of layers, which connect to the torso, are themselves
nested inside the Mannequin group. When you collapse the arm and leg hierarchies, you
can see the following simplified hierarchy.
Nesting groups to
simplify a project
With all of these objects organized this way, animating the figure becomes easy. For
example, if you want to move the entire arm at once, you need only select the Left Arm
group, regardless of how many layers are nested within it.
Selecting the Left Arm
group selects all objects
within it.
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When you rotate the selection in the Canvas, every object nested within that group rotates
as a single item.
Before rotating Left Arm group
After rotating Left Arm group
Another example of how you might make use of the group hierarchy can be seen through
the application of filters and behaviors. If you apply a filter to a single layer within a group,
the filter affects only that layer. All other layers within the group remain unaffected.
Filter applied to a single layer
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However, If you apply the same filter directly to the group, all layers nested within that
group are affected by the filter, as if they were a single layer.
Filter applied to the enclosing group
Background of Your Project
Two parameters in the Project Properties dialog (choose Edit > Project Properties) affect
the background color of your project and how your composition will appear when it’s
exported out of Motion:
Background Color: A color well that defines the color that appears in the Canvas if no
other object obscures the background.
Note: If you intend to export your project with a premultiplied alpha channel, be aware
that Motion always renders against black.
Background: A pop-up menu that defines whether the background color is rendered as
part of the alpha channel. If set to Solid, the background color creates a solid alpha
channel. If set to Transparent, the background color does not render as part of the alpha
channel. In either case, the background color is visible in the Canvas.
Selecting Layers and Groups in the Layers Tab
In order to reorganize layers and groups in a project, you must first select which ones
you want to move. This section covers the many methods you can use to select layers in
the Layers tab.
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To select a single layer or group
Click a layer or group in the Layers tab.
Doing so deselects all other selected objects.
Note: Selecting a group does not also select the layers nested underneath it. However,
operations performed on a selected group also affect layers nested within it.
To select multiple contiguous layers or groups
Do one of the following:
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Shift-click any two layers in the Layers tab.
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Doing so selects both layers, and also all layers in between.
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Click to the left of any layer’s thumbnail icon and drag up or down to select multiple
layers.
To select or deselect multiple noncontiguous layers or groups
Do one of the following:
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Command-click any unselected layer or group to add it to the selection.
Command-click any selected layer or group to deselect it.
To select all layers or groups in the Layers tab
Do one of the following:
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Choose Edit > Select All (or press Command-A).
Click the first group or layer in the list, then Shift-click the last group or layer in the list.
To deselect all objects or groups in the Layers tab
Choose Edit > Deselect All (or press Command-Shift-A).
Reorganizing in the Layers Tab
The order in which layers and groups appear in the Layers tab helps to determine the
layout of your entire project. The order of layers and groups determines which objects
appear to be in front of other objects in the Canvas. You can change the ordering of one
or more objects in the Canvas or in the Layers tab.
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To move a layer or group up or down in the Layers tab
Drag a layer or group up or down in the Layers tab.
A position indicator appears to show the new position the selection occupies when you
release the mouse button.
Note: You can also use the Bring and Send commands in the Object menu to move layers
up and down in the nested hierarchy within any group. This is especially useful when
working with selected objects directly in the Canvas. For more information, see
Arrangement Commands in the Object Menu.
If you want to organize the objects in your project into multiple groups, you can create
new, empty groups at any time.
To create a new, empty group
Do one of the following:
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Click the Add button (+) at the top of the Layers tab.
Choose Object > New Group (or press Command-Shift-N).
New groups always appear at the top of the Layers tab, and are numbered incrementally
based on the number of groups you’ve created so far.
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When you have more than one group, you can move layers back and forth between them,
changing their nested relationship in your project.
To move a layer from one group to another
1 Select one or more layers.
2 Do one of the following:
• Drag the selected layers to a new position underneath another group.
A position indicator appears to show the new position the selection occupies when
you release the mouse button. If you drag the selected layers within a nested group,
the length of the position indicator shows which position the selection occupies within
the group hierarchy.
• Select one or more layers, choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X), then select the
group you want to paste into, and choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
You can also copy a layer from one group to another.
To copy a layer from one group to another
Do one of the following:
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Option-drag one or more selected layers from one group to another.
Select one or more layers, choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C), then select the
group you want to paste into, and choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
Nesting Groups Inside Other Groups
In addition to nesting layers inside groups, you can also nest groups inside other groups.
You might do this if you’re creating a layer hierarchy to control the relationship of one
group of layers to another, or if you’re grouping layers to which you want to apply a
single set of behaviors and filters.
Nesting a group works the same way as nesting a layer.
To move a group inside another group
1 Select one or more groups.
2 Do one of the following:
• Drag the selected group onto another group.
• Drag the selected group to a new position underneath another group.
• Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X) to cut the selected group or groups, then
select the group into which you want to paste, and choose Edit > Paste (or press
Command-V).
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Grouping and Ungrouping Layers
You can also nest layers together within a new group using the Group command. You
can group layers that appear within the same group, or you can group groups that are
all nested at the same level relative to the hierarchy of your project. You cannot group
groups that appear at different levels.
To group selected layers together, nesting them in a new group
1 Select all the layers or groups that you want to group together.
2 Choose Object > Group (or press Command-Shift-G).
A new group is created and is numbered incrementally based on the number of groups
you’ve created so far. The layers or groups you selected are nested within the new group.
Before grouping layers
After grouping layers
Groups of nested layers or groups can also be ungrouped, which deletes the containing
group and moves all objects and layers within it up the group hierarchy.
To ungroup nested layers
1 Select the group containing the nested layers or groups you want to ungroup.
2 Choose Object > Ungroup (or press Command-Option-G).
Note: You cannot ungroup groups that are already at the top of the Layers tab hierarchy.
Showing and Hiding Groups and Layers
Layers and groups appearing in the Layers tab can be hidden in order to make them
invisible in the Canvas without removing them from your composition. For example, if
you’ve placed a large object into your project and it’s in the way of some other objects
you want to move or rotate in the Canvas, you can simply hide the offending object. You
can also hide objects you’re not sure you want to keep in your project, while preserving
their placement in case you want to use them later.
If you hide a group, you also hide all layers and groups that are nested within it. Hidden
layers and groups are not rendered when your project is exported.
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To show or hide one or more selected layers
Do one of the following:
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Click the checkbox to the left of a single object or group in the Layers tab or Timeline.
Activation checkbox
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Choose Object > Active (or press Control-T) to turn the layers on or off.
Control-click a layer or group, then choose Active from the shortcut menu.
Note: If you hide one or more layers within a group, the enclosing group’s Activation
checkbox shows a dash, instead of a checkmark, to show that some of its layers are not
visible.
You can “solo” a layer or group in order to hide all other layers in the project. This
technique can be useful when you want to isolate a single object in the Canvas to animate
or manipulate without interfering with other objects in your composition.
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To solo a layer
Select one or more layers or groups to solo.
Choose Object > Solo (or press Control-S).
Note: You can also Control-click an object in the Layers tab, then choose Solo from the
shortcut menu.
All other layers or groups are deactivated, and only the soloed object is visible in the
Canvas. When the selected item is soloed, the solo menu item displays a checkmark.
Fixing the Size of a Group
By default, the size of a group is determined by the layers within that group. Because
animated objects often grow in size, the active height and width of a group (its resolution)
can become quite large. You can constrain the resolution of a group to a specific width
and height in the Group tab of the Inspector.
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The project shown in the following image contains a particle system. Notice that the
animated particles, although not visible once they move off the Canvas, make the group
containing them very large.
Particles bounding box
Default size of a group
containing particles
You can crop the size of a group that contains growing objects using the Fixed Resolution
checkbox in the Group tab of the Inspector.
Group with Fixed Resolution
turned on
If your project contains animated objects that move or expand beyond the edges of the
Canvas and you don’t activate the Fixed Resolution checkbox, your computer processing
time may increase.
Note: The Group tab of the Inspector (which contains the Fixed Resolution parameter)
is only accessible when a group is selected in the project.
When the Fixed Resolution checkbox is selected, objects that are in the group but outside
of the Canvas are cropped to the size of the group defined in the parameter.
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When enabled, the Fixed Resolution parameter crops the group to the size specified in
the Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters. This means that if the group’s anchor point
is offset, the cropping may not occur around the edges of the Canvas, and objects may
become cut off.
Anchor point
Selected group with an offset anchor point before Fixed
Resolution is turned on.
Anchor point
Selected group with Fixed Resolution turned on and set to
project size. Notice that the text objects are cut off.
To fix the resolution of a group
1 In the Layers tab (or the Timeline layers list), select the group.
2 In the Inspector, click the Group tab.
3 Turn on the Fixed Resolution checkbox.
Fixed Resolution enabled
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By default, the group’s resolution is set to the project size. An indicator appears to the
right of Fixed Resolution, informing you that the group has been rasterized. For more
information on rasterization, see About Rasterization.
4 To define a resolution other than that of the project, adjust the Fixed Width and Fixed
Height sliders.
Note: When a layer within a fixed resolution group is selected, the bounding box around
the layer appears at its original size, unaffected by the containing group’s resolution.
Locking Groups and Layers
Once you’ve finished making adjustments to a particular layer or group, you can lock it
to prevent accidental modification. Locked layers cannot be moved, and their parameters
cannot be altered or animated. Animation and behaviors that were applied to the layer
prior to being locked still play. Locking a group also locks all layers and groups nested
within it.
To lock layers or groups
Do one of the following:
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Click the layer’s lock icon in the Layers tab.
Lock icon
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Select one or more layers or groups, then choose Object > Lock (or press Control-L).
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The locked layer’s bounding box in the Canvas turns red to indicate that it is locked.
Collapsing and Uncollapsing Group Hierarchies
Groups and layers in the Layers tab appear in a hierarchy that shows which layers are
nested inside which groups. Nested layers and groups appear underneath and indented
to the right of the group they’re nested within.
To make the Layers tab easier to manage, you can collapse all layers that appear nested
within a single group using that group’s disclosure triangle. Collapsed groups appear as
a single line in the list, and can be moved or nested like any other layer. Each group’s
thumbnail displays a preview of the entire composite within, making it easy to see what’s
nested inside.
To open or collapse a single group
Do one of the following:
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Click the disclosure triangle to the left of that group’s name and icon.
Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to navigate up and down the Layers tab, then
press the Right Arrow key to open a group, or the Left Arrow key to collapse it.
Renaming Groups
You can rename the groups and layers that appear in the Layers tab to further organize
your media and make each group’s and object’s purpose easier to identify. When you
rename a layer, the original name of the source media file on disk remains unchanged.
Also, changing a layer’s name in the Layers tab does not change the name of its
corresponding object in the Media tab. You cannot change the name of an object in the
Media tab.
To rename a group or layer
1 Double-click the name of the group or layer you want to rename.
2 When the name is highlighted, type a new name.
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3 When you’re finished, press Return to accept the new name.
The new name is also automatically accepted when you click another layer or group.
Note: Once you change a layer’s name in Motion, there is no automatic way to change
it back to what it was originally except for the Undo command.
Searching for Groups and Layers
If it’s difficult to find a single group or layer in a large project, you can use the Search field
at the top of the Layers, Media, and Audio tabs. It is similar to the Search field in the File
Browser, and allows you to search for all layers or groups with a name containing the
search term you enter.
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To find a group or layer by name in the Layers tab
Type a search term in the Search field.
As soon as you begin typing, all groups and layers with names that don’t contain the
search term anywhere within them are hidden from view, leaving only a list of groups
and layers that match.
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To clear the search results
Click the Clear button at the far right of the Search field to restore the full contents of the
Layers, Media, or Audio tab.
Clear button
Note: Groups and layers that are hidden as the result of a search operation are not disabled
in the Canvas, and they are not prevented from rendering during export.
In addition to searching for layers by name, you can find any object’s source media in
the Media tab using the Reveal Source Media command.
To reveal an object’s source media in the Media tab
Do one of the following:
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Control-click an object in the Canvas or a layer in the Layers tab or Timeline, then choose
Reveal Source Media from the shortcut menu.
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Select the object in the Canvas or layer in the Layers tab or Timeline, then choose Object
> Reveal Source Media (or press Shift-F).
The Media tab and Inspector both open. The “master” object is selected, and its Media
tab parameters are exposed in the Inspector.
Sorting Objects in the Media Tab
The Media tab contains 15 columns that provide information about each object in your
project.
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Column
Description
Preview
Displays a thumbnail of the media object.
Name
Lists the filename of the source media on disk to which the object
is linked. If you change the name of corresponding linked objects
in the Layers tab, this name doesn’t change.
Kind
Lists the type of file, whether it’s a still image, QuickTime movie,
image sequence, or audio file.
In Use
Indicates whether or not the media is in use in the project.
Duration
Displays the total duration of the object, in frames or timecode,
depending on which is displayed in the Timeline.
Frame Size
Displays the frame size of the object, in pixels.
Compressor
For QuickTime movies, displays the codec used. For still images,
displays the method of compression that’s applied based on the
file type.
Depth
Specifies the color depth of the image.
Frame Rate
Displays the frame rate of the object, in frames per second.
Data Rate
Displays the data rate at which a QuickTime movie is compressed.
Audio Rate
For audio files and QuickTime movies, displays the sample rate of
the audio.
Audio Format
For audio files and QuickTime movies, specifies the bit depth of the
audio.
File Size
Shows the size of the source media file on disk.
File Created
Shows the file creation date of the source media file on disk.
File Modified
Shows the file modification date of the source media file on disk.
This is a useful parameter to use for file management.
You can customize the Media tab to show, hide, or rearrange any of these columns to
suit your needs. You can also resize the thumbnails displayed for each object.
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To show or hide a column
Click the right angle bracket (>) at the right of the column headers, then check or uncheck
the columns you want to show or hide in the pop-up menu.
To move a column to the right or left
Drag any column header to the right or left to move it.
To increase or decrease the size of each object’s thumbnail
Do one of the following:
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Use the scale slider at the bottom of the Media tab.
Drag the separator between the rows of objects.
Customizing and Creating New Templates
Motion comes with a collection of templates that are ready for you to customize for your
own use. In addition, it’s also easy to create your own templates.
Customizing Projects Created with Templates
When you first create a new project file from a template, it’s an exact duplicate of the
original template. There’s nothing special about template-based projects, and they can
be edited and modified just like any other project. There are a few specific methods you’ll
probably use to customize template-based projects.
Keep in mind that most templates, especially ones you create yourself, are intended to
simplify the process of creating titles and graphics for recurring projects. Examples include
titles and lower thirds for news and interview programs, graphics for magazine shows,
and any repeating program that requires titles with a consistent look that must be updated
from show to show. Well-designed templates allow you to simply exchange key graphics
objects and edit the text to update them for the next show in the series.
Changes you make to new projects created from templates have no effect on the original
templates.
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Exchanging Objects
The easiest way to customize a template-based project is to exchange the objects used
in the template with your own objects, either from the File Browser or the Library. When
you exchange an object, the new object appears in your project with the same parameter
values used by the previous object. In addition, any filters, masks, behaviors, or keyframed
parameters that were applied to the original object remain applied to the exchanged
object.
Although there are several groups named “Drop Zone” in various templates, the objects
within the groups should be replaced—not the layers themselves.
Note: To quickly find all objects to be replaced in a template, type “Drop Zone” in the
Layers tab Search field and press Return. The “Drop Zone” objects are displayed in the
Layers tab.
For more information about exchanging objects, see Exchanging Media in a Project.
Drop Zones
Drop zones allow you to quickly replace footage in a project by dropping clips directly
onto the Canvas. A drop zone appears as a rectangle with a downward arrow in its center.
The drop zone’s layer name appears in the center of the drop zone. Any media item
(image or footage) dragged and dropped into the region defined by the drop zone object
automatically replaces the drop zone placeholder graphic. When media is dragged over
the drop zone, a highlight appears around the drop zone area.
Blank drop zone
QuickTime movie being dragged onto drop zone
Note: If there are multiple overlapping drop zones in the Canvas, the topmost one has
priority when something is dragged onto the drop zone. You can force all drop zones to
appear by using Motion’s expose feature. For more see Exposing Drop Zones.
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Using Drop Zones
Drop zones are a unique element in your arsenal of tools to use when creating a new
Motion project and template. While you’re constructing your template, you may want to
disable them so you don’t accidentally drop a clip into a drop zone. Then, later when
using the template, you’ll want to be sure to turn them back on.
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To enable drop zones to accept clips
Choose View > Use Drop Zones
A checkmark appears next to the menu item. Drop zones will accept objects that are
dragged to them.
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To prevent drop zones from accepting clips
Choose View > Use Drop Zones.
Make sure a checkmark does not appear next to the menu item. Drop zones will ignore
objects dragged to them.
Exposing Drop Zones
Motion templates often contain drop zones where you can drag and drop your own
image objects. In addition, you can create your own drop zones in any project. You can
use Motion’s expose feature while dragging image items from the File Browser or Library
into the Canvas and be automatically presented with an exploded view of the valid drop
zones in the project.
To expose all drop zones in a project
1 Use the Library or File Browser to locate an object you wish to import into the project.
2 While holding down the Command key, drag the object onto the Canvas.
The object you are dragging to the Canvas is displayed as a thumbnail, and a curved
arrow replaces the pointer until you drop the object. Active objects explode and rescale
in the Canvas so that you can see them all at once. Moving the pointer over an object
reveals its Layers tab name.
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Note: You cannot Command-drag non-image objects (shapes, Motion projects, particles,
etc.) to the Canvas.
Exposing the drop zones
3 Drop the object onto its target.
The object replaces its target, everything moves and rescales back to their original
positions, and the playhead moves to the first frame of the dropped object.
Customizing Text Objects
Text objects can be easily updated using the Text tool. Editing a text object does nothing
to change the format, style, or layout of the text. Furthermore, simple edits made to text
objects have no effect on filters, masks, behaviors, or keyframed parameters that are
applied to that object.
For more information on editing text objects, see Adding Text.
Modifying Behaviors and Keyframes
Objects in template-based projects are animated using a combination of behaviors and
keyframed parameters. These can be edited at any time to customize the motion of the
objects. For more information on modifying behaviors, see Working with Behaviors. For
more information on modifying keyframes, see Modifying Keyframes.
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Using Objects, Behaviors, and Keyframes from Templates
Occasionally, you may find that you want to use a keyframed parameter or behavior
from a template in a project of your own. You can always create a new template-based
project, select the keyframes or behaviors you want to use, copy them, and paste them
into your own project.
All the graphics objects used by the templates also appear in the Content category of
the Library, within the Template Media subcategory. If there’s a particular graphic you
want to use, you can find it in the Library.
Creating New Templates
In addition to using and customizing the templates that ship with Motion, you can also
build your own templates from scratch. Template files contain everything that ordinary
projects do, including media objects, text objects, shapes, generators, behaviors, and
filters, in any combination.
You can create custom templates for commonly used shots that you regularly create. For
example, if you make titles for a news program, you can create templates for the opening
title, interstitial graphics, bumpers, and whatever other repetitious shots you regularly
create. Once saved as a template, you can quickly load the necessary template and, instead
of having to create a new title from scratch, simply customize it with new dates, title text,
and exchanged graphics and movies to reflect the requirements of each new program.
Templates are simply Motion files that are saved in a special way. To create a new template,
create the layout you need just like with any other Motion project. In preparation for
using the layout as a template, you should keep the following things in mind:
Naming Objects in the Layers Tab
The names you give to the groups and layers in your template should indicate each
object’s function. For example, you might name the text objects in a titling template
“Main Title,” “Starring,” “Guest Star,” and so on. If you use visual elements in the template’s
composition, describe their purpose, such as “Background Texture,” “Divider,” “Main Title
Background,” and so on. This way, when someone else wants to customize your template,
it’s easy to see what they’re supposed to do with it.
Using Drop Zones
Drop zones provide a way for template users to intuitively and quickly replace footage
in a template. There are two ways to create drop zones. The first creates a drop zone from
scratch, and the second converts an existing object into a drop zone.
To create a new drop zone
Do one of the following:
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Choose Object > New Drop Zone (or press Command-Shift-D).
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Select an existing object in the Canvas, then turn on the Drop Zone checkbox in the
Image tab of the Inspector.
The Image tab of the Inspector contains controls to adjust the drop zone:
Drop Zone: A checkbox that sets whether an object is a drop zone.
Fit: A pop-up menu where you can choose between three different methods of object
placement within the drop zone. Values include Fit, Center, and Stretch. Fit automatically
modifies the Scale parameter so the new media is scaled proportionally to fit the
dimensions of the drop zone. Center does not modify the object in any way, merely
centering it in the drop zone. If media of a different resolution than the project is used,
the new resolution is used without any changes to the Scale parameter. If Stretch is
chosen, the dropped object is scaled and stretched to fit the dimensions of the drop
zone.
Clear: A button that clears the image from the drop zone, replacing it with the default
generic placeholder graphic.
Creating Multiple Projects for Each Resolution You Require
If you regularly create projects for a variety of formats, it saves time to create a version
of your project for each resolution you need. When you save the project as a template,
you can specify its format to help you browse for it later.
Consolidating Media
Unless you selected an alternate installation location when you installed Motion, the
built-in templates are stored in the /Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates/ folder. Customized templates are saved into
the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates/
folder, but any media used by that template remains in its original location on disk. If you
move, rename, or delete any media file used by a template, that object goes offline in all
projects created with that template.
To avoid this, it is recommended that you move all media files you plan on using to a
central folder on disk prior to importing them into the project file you’ll be saving as a
template. This helps to ensure that those media files are not lost. Alternatively, you can
use the File > Save As command, and use the Collect Media option. For more information,
see Collecting Media.
Tip: If you plan to share custom templates with other users, it is recommended that you
copy your custom templates folder to that computer’s /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates/ folder.
Note: In the General section of Motion Preferences (press Command-Comma), you can
direct Motion to the folder on your system or network that contains the content and
templates. This also allows multiple users on a network to share a single, centralized
folder.
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To save a project as a template
1 Choose File > Save as Template.
The Save dialog appears.
Note: It is recommended that you create a new custom theme in which to save your own
templates.
2 If you want to create a new theme to add your new template to, click New Theme, type
a name in the New Theme dialog, then click Create.
3 In the Save dialog, type a name for the template.
4 In the Theme pop-up menu, choose a theme in which to store your template.
5 Choose the format that your template conforms to from the Format pop-up menu.
6 If you want your template to play a preview when it appears in the Template Browser,
turn on Create QuickTime Preview.
7 Click Save.
Your new template is saved into the theme you selected. Customized templates are saved
into /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates/,
in a folder that corresponds to the name of the theme you’ve selected.
Organizing Templates in the Template Browser
You can use the Template Browser to select and organize your templates, if necessary.
All templates are organized into categories. You can add, delete, and rename categories
directly in the Template Browser.
To add a category in the Template Browser
1 Choose File > Open Template.
The Template Browser opens.
2 Click New Theme.
3 Enter a name for the theme into the dialog at the top of the Template Browser.
4 Click Create.
The new category appears in the Theme column at the left.
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To delete a category in the Template Browser
1 Choose File > Open Template.
The Template Browser opens.
2 Select a category in the Theme column.
3 Press Delete.
An alert dialog prompts you to confirm the deletion.
4 Click the Delete button.
The directory on your disk corresponding to that category is placed in the Trash, but not
deleted. Any template files in that category’s directory are also placed in the Trash.
To delete individual templates from the Template Browser
1 Choose File > Open Template.
The Template Browser opens.
2 Select a template.
3 Press Delete.
An alert dialog prompts you to confirm the deletion.
4 Click the Delete button.
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Basic Compositing
7
Compositing is the process of combining at least two images to produce an integrated
final result. The process can be as simple as placing text over an image, or as complex as
combining live actors with drooling space aliens that shoot laser beams from their eyes.
Motion graphics artists move multiple objects simultaneously onscreen using a strong
sense of visual design. Motion graphics artists typically use techniques such as changing
group and object order, transforming the physical properties of objects (such as scale),
adjusting object opacity and blend mode settings, applying filters to objects, and creating
text and shapes. Motion graphics projects often combine layout and design techniques
with techniques borrowed from special effects work such as keying, masking, color
correction, and creation of particle systems.
This chapter covers the following:
• Compositing Workflow (p. 290)
• Group and Layer Order (p. 291)
• Transforming Objects and Layers (p. 293)
• 2D Transform Tools (p. 296)
• Adjusting Object Properties in the Inspector (p. 312)
• Making Clone Layers (p. 317)
• Editing Opacity and Blending Parameters (p. 319)
• Drop Shadows (p. 343)
• Retiming (p. 345)
• Expose Commands (p. 349)
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Compositing Workflow
Once you import the objects you need for your project, the first step is to arrange the
objects within the Canvas to come up with the general design of your piece. Even before
you animate anything, you should decide what size each object should be, where
everything should be positioned, if any objects need to be rotated to fit where they need
to be, and so on. You can also make more extreme manipulations to create other effects.
For example, you could crop out unwanted parts of a particular object.
You can use different transform tools, each of which allow you to perform basic
compositing tasks such as selecting, moving, rotating, scaling, shearing, corner-pinning,
cropping, changing an object’s anchor point, and manipulating drop shadows. The
transform tools are available in the View section of the Toolbar. When you switch among
the transform tools, different onscreen controls appear in the Canvas. Drag these controls
to perform the selected transform action.
The onscreen transform controls for shapes include an additional roundness handle. For
more information, see Creating and Editing Shapes.
Drag a corner handle of
an object in transform
mode to resize it.
Additional controls in the HUD let you change each selected object’s opacity, blend mode,
and drop shadow settings.
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The onscreen controls and the HUD controls all correspond to parameters that appear
in the Properties tab of the Inspector. Each parameter corresponds to a different Canvas
control, and adjustments made in the Canvas are simultaneously updated in the Inspector.
For example, if you’re using the Select/Transform tool and you change an object’s scale
by dragging its corner handles in the Canvas, the object’s Scale parameter is updated in
the Properties tab of the Inspector.
When you begin to lay out a composition, it’s a good idea to start by creating a static
layout of your project that represents how it looks at the beginning, end, or at a particular
moment in time. In addition to manipulating the geometry of objects in your project,
you can also alter their opacity. This gives you additional control over how overlapping
elements of your layout merge together. Blend modes provide further control over the
appearance of overlapping objects, accentuating or stylizing the colors of the topmost
objects based on the objects underneath.
After you create an initial layout, you can animate any of the objects you’ve added to set
your project in motion. For more information about animating objects and their properties,
see Animation in Motion.
Group and Layer Order
In a purely 2D project, the order in which layers and groups appear in the Layers tab and
Timeline (the layer order) determines which layers appear in front of others in the Canvas.
Before you use any of the tools described in this chapter, you should first arrange the
layers and groups in your project so that they appear in the proper order. For information
about layer order, see Reorganizing in the Layers Tab.
Arrangement Commands in the Object Menu
In addition to rearranging object order in the Layers tab, you can also move objects in
front of or behind other objects using commands in the Object menu. This is useful when
you want to quickly move an object to the front while you’re working in the Canvas.
Rather than open the Layers tab, you can simply use one of the commands in the Object
menu.
The arrangement commands can be used with either objects, groups, or groups that are
nested within another group. Reordering a group reorders all objects that are nested
within that group.
Note: You cannot use the reorder commands to move objects out of the group they’re
nested within.
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There are four arrangement commands in the Object menu:
• Bring to Front: Places the selected object in front of all other objects within the same
group by moving it to the top of the nested group in the Layers tab and Canvas.
Before
After
• Send to Back: Places the selected object behind all other objects within the same group
by moving it to the bottom of the nested group in the Layers tab and Canvas.
Before
After
• Bring Forward: Moves the selected object up one level in the hierarchy of objects nested
within the same group in the Layers tab and Canvas, moving it closer to the front in
the Canvas.
• Send Backward: Moves the selected object down one level in the hierarchy of objects
nested within that group in the Layers tab and Canvas, moving it closer to the back in
the Canvas.
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Reordering Nonconsecutive Selections
When you apply Bring Forward or Send Backward arrangement command on
nonconsecutive selected layers, the layers move up or down the object hierarchy together,
and any space between the layers remains.
Nonconsecutive layers selected
Bring Forward command applied
When you apply Bring to Front or Send to Back arrangement command on nonconsecutive
selected layers, the layers move up or down the object hierarchy together, and any space
between the layers is removed.
Transforming Objects and Layers
Transforms are operations that you perform on objects—such as moving, resizing, or
rotating. Object transforms can be performed either directly using onscreen controls
(transform handles), or by changing the object’s parameters in the Properties tab of the
Inspector. In general, the controls in the Canvas give you a more hands-on method of
working, while the individual parameter controls in the Properties tab are better suited
for subtle adjustments requiring greater numerical precision. For more information about
each transform’s corresponding parameter and its numerical values, see Adjusting Object
Properties in the Inspector.
Important: Applying a mask or certain filters to a group can cause what is called
rasterization. Rasterization converts a group into a bitmap image, which affects blend
modes and interactions with other objects in a project. For more information on
rasterization, see About Rasterization.
Selecting Objects to Transform
Before you can transform objects and groups, you must first select what you want to
transform in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline. Selecting a group or object in one place
also selects it in the others.
When an object is selected in the Canvas, it is surrounded by a bounding box with
transform handles corresponding to the currently selected transform mode. These handles
allow you to transform each selected object.
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µ
To select a single object in the Canvas
Click any object in the Canvas.
To select multiple objects in the Canvas, or to add objects to a selection
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
µ
Drag a selection box over all the objects you want to select.
Holding down the Shift key, click all the objects you want to select.
To add objects to a selection, holding down the Shift key, drag a selection box over objects
you want to add to the selection.
To deselect one of multiple selected objects in the Canvas
Do one of the following:
µ
Shift-click an object you want to deselect.
All other selected objects remain selected.
µ
Holding down the Shift or Command key, drag a selection box over one or more objects
you want to deselect.
To select all objects in the Canvas
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Choose Edit > Select All.
Press Command-A.
To deselect all objects in the Canvas
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Choose Edit > Deselect All.
Press Command-Shift-A.
From time to time, an object may become hidden behind another object. The best way
to select a hidden object is to select it in the Layers tab or Timeline. When you do so, the
object’s bounding box and transform controls appear in the Canvas, even if the object
is completely obscured.
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Note: When an inactive object is selected, you also see only the bounding box for that
object.
For more information on how to select objects and groups in the Layers tab, see Selecting
Layers and Groups in the Layers Tab.
Rules for Transforming Selected Objects and Groups
The way you transform selected objects depends on how many objects are selected.
Transforming a Single Object
If you select a single object, the changes you make only affect that one object. All
unselected objects remain unaffected. For example, if you select a single object, transform
handles appear around that one object.
Before scaling
After scaling
Transforming Multiple Objects
If you select multiple objects in the Canvas, changes made to one object are simultaneously
made to all others. Each transform occurs around each object’s own anchor point, so the
effect is the same as if you made the same transform to each object’s handles, one object
after another.
Before scaling
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After scaling
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Transforming a Group
If you select an entire group, all objects and groups that are nested within it are treated
as a single object. One set of transform handles appears on a bounding box that
encompasses every object within that group. All object transforms occur around a single
anchor point belonging to the group.
Before scaling
After scaling
2D Transform Tools
Before you transform an object in the Canvas, you should make sure that the pointer is
set to the correct transform tool. These tools can be selected from the View tool set in
the Toolbar. Selecting a 2D transform tool in the Toolbar activates a corresponding
onscreen control in the Canvas. You modify objects by manipulating the active onscreen
control.
There are nine 2D transform tools:
Select/Transform tool
Adjust Anchor Point tool
Adjust Shear tool
Adjust Drop Shadow tool
Adjust Four Corner tool
Adjust Crop tool
Adjust Control Points tool
Adjust Glyph tool
Adjust Item tool
• Select/Transform: Scales and rotates selected objects.
• Adjust Anchor Point: Offsets the anchor point used for all object transforms.
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• Adjust Shear: Tilts objects, either horizontally or vertically.
• Adjust Drop Shadow: Manipulates object drop shadows directly in the Canvas.
• Adjust Four Corner: Stretches an object into different polygonal shapes.
• Adjust Crop: Cuts off pixels from any of the object’s four edges.
• Adjust Control Points: Manipulates control points on shapes, paths, and curves.
• Adjust Glyph: Transforms individual letters in a text object. The Adjust Glyph tool is also
3D tool, using the same transform controls as the Adjust 3D Transform tool.
• Adjust Item: Moves onscreen controls such as gradients, center points of filters, emitter
attributes, and so on.
Note: Certain tools are automatically activated when certain objects are selected. The
Adjust Control Points tool becomes available when a shape or mask is selected and is
used to adjust Bezier or B-Spline control points. The Adjust Item tool becomes available
when the selected item has additional onscreen controls, such as a filter or a gradient
generator.
To switch among transform tools
Do one of the following:
µ
Click the Select/Transform tool in the Toolbar, then, while holding down the mouse
button, choose a transform tool from the pop-up menu.
µ
With an object in the Canvas selected, press Tab. Pressing Tab repeatedly cycles the
Canvas through each of the transform modes in order.
µ
Control-click any object in the Canvas, then choose a transform mode from the shortcut
menu.
The options in the shortcut menu vary depending on the type of object that is selected.
For example, a shape contains shape-specific options such as Stroke, Edit Gradient, and
Edit Points. Those options do not apply to an image.
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Note: Press Shift-Tab to cycle through the transform modes in reverse.
For more information about 3D transform tools, see 3D Transform Tools.
Moving Objects in the Canvas
The simplest thing you can do to start arranging the objects in your project is to move
them around. With the exception of the Adjust Drop Shadow tool, all transform tools let
you reposition objects, so this is the one operation you can perform regardless of the
currently selected transform tool.
The easiest way to reposition an object is to drag it around within the Canvas. If you want
to make more precise adjustments to an object’s position, you can also change the
numerical values of an object’s X and Y Position parameters in the Properties tab of the
Inspector. For more information on object properties, see Parameters in the Properties
Tab.
You can move objects anywhere within the frame defined by the Canvas, but you can
also drag objects past the edge of the frame. By default, when you move an object past
the edge of the frame, it becomes invisible, although you can still manipulate it using its
bounding box.
Note: The bounding box that indicates the position of objects located offscreen only
appears when those objects are selected.
One example of when it’s necessary to move an object past the edge of the frame is when
you plan on animating an object so that it flies onscreen. Prior to animating it, you need
to move it to a position offscreen to achieve this effect.
Note: To make an object completely visible that is partially or totally outside of the Canvas,
turn on Show Full View Area in the View pop-up menu (directly above the right side of
the Canvas).
To move one or more objects in the Canvas
1 Select one or more objects.
2 Do one of the following:
• Drag an object to another location. If more than one object is selected, dragging one
of the currently selected objects moves all of them.
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• Holding down the Command key, press the Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down
Arrow key to reposition the selected objects one pixel at a time.
• Holding down the Command and Shift keys, press the Right Arrow key or the Left Arrow
key to reposition the selection ten pixels at a time.
Tip: When repositioning very small objects, zoom into the Canvas to get a better view.
For information on zooming in the Canvas, see Canvas Zoom Level.
Note: If you press the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow key while working in the Canvas
(without holding down the Command key or Command-Shift key combination), the
selection is applied to the next object up or down in the Layers tab.
Using Canvas Compositional Aids
When you’re arranging objects directly in the Canvas, take advantage of various
compositional aids to help you. For example, if you are working on a piece for broadcast
or film, turn on the safe zones in the Canvas to avoid putting objects past the title-safe
or action-safe boundaries. A grid and rulers can also be enabled to provide a useful
reference, and Dynamic Guides can be turned on to help you align objects with more
precision than by simply looking at them.
Furthermore, snapping can be turned on and off to help you position objects relative
to the center and edges of the Canvas, either with or without the other guides enabled.
Note: Press Command while you manipulate an object to temporarily disable snapping,
allowing the object to move freely.
For more information about enabling various Canvas options to help you lay out your
composition, see Canvas Rulers.
To duplicate an object
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Select the object you want to duplicate, then Option-drag the object.
Option-click the object, then choose Duplicate from the shortcut menu.
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Using Object Alignment Commands
Several commands in the Object menu let you reposition any number of simultaneously
selected objects to align with one another in various ways. These commands make it easy
to quickly organize a jumble of objects into an even layout without having to manually
line up each individual object.
Before using alignment commands
After using alignment commands
In each operation, the left, right, top, and bottom of the selected objects are defined by
the bounding box that surrounds each individual object. The position of the anchor point
is ignored.
Each of the following commands affects the Position parameter of each object:
• Align Left Edges: Objects are moved horizontally so that their left edges line up with
the leftmost object in the selection.
• Align Right Edges: Objects are moved horizontally so that their right edges line up with
the rightmost object in the selection.
• Align Top Edges: Objects are moved vertically so that their tops line up with the topmost
object in the selection.
• Align Bottom Edges: Objects are moved vertically so that their bottoms line up with the
bottommost object in the selection.
• Align Far Edges: Objects are moved in Z space so that their far edges line up with the
furthest object in the selection.
• Align Near Edges: Objects are moved in Z space so that their near edges line up with
the closest object in the selection.
• Align Horizontal Centers: Objects are moved horizontally so that their centers line up
along the center point between the leftmost and rightmost objects in the selection.
• Align Vertical Centers: Objects are moved vertically so that their centers line up along
the center point between the topmost and bottommost objects in the selection.
• Align Depth Centers: Objects are moved in Z space so that their centers line up along
the center point between the farthest and nearest objects in the selection.
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• Distribute Lefts: Objects are moved horizontally so that the left sides of all objects are
evenly distributed, from right to left, between the leftmost and rightmost objects in
the selection.
• Distribute Rights: Objects are moved horizontally so that the right sides of all objects
are evenly distributed, from right to left, between the leftmost and rightmost objects
in the selection.
• Distribute Tops: Objects are moved vertically so that the tops of all objects are evenly
distributed, from top to bottom, between the topmost and bottommost objects in the
selection.
• Distribute Bottoms: Objects are moved vertically so that the bottoms of all objects are
evenly distributed, from top to bottom, between the topmost and bottommost objects
in the selection.
• Distribute Far: Objects are moved in Z space so that the far edges of all objects are
evenly distributed along the Z axis, from closest to furthest, between the closest and
furthest objects in the selection.
• Distribute Near: Objects are moved in Z space so that the near edges of all objects are
evenly distributed along the Z axis, from closest to furthest, between the closest and
furthest objects in the selection.
• Distribute Horizontal Centers: Objects are moved horizontally so that the centers of all
objects are evenly distributed, from left to right, between the leftmost and rightmost
objects in the selection.
• Distribute Vertical Centers: Objects are moved vertically so that the centers of all objects
are evenly distributed, from top to bottom, between the topmost and bottommost
objects in the selection.
• Distribute Depth Centers: Objects are moved in Z space so that the centers of all objects
are evenly distributed, from closest to furthest, between the closest and furthest objects
in the selection.
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Using the Select/Transform Tool
The default transform tool is the Select/Transform tool, which activates onscreen controls
that enable you to adjust an object’s scale, position, and rotation.
Bounding box
Scale handle
Rotation handle
Anchor point
Scaling
When you select an object, eight scale handles appear around the edge of the object’s
bounding box. Drag the handles to resize the object. By default, the width and height of
an object are not locked together when you adjust scale handles. This means that the
aspect ratio of an object can be freely changed. (The aspect ratio of an object is the ratio
of its width to its height.) To preserve an object’s aspect ratio, press Shift while dragging
a scale handle. Changes made to the scale of an object are applied to the Scale parameter
in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Note: The onscreen Select/Transform controls for Motion-created shapes include a
roundness handle in the upper-left corner of the bounding box that is not present in the
Select/Transform controls for other objects. For more information, see Creating and Editing
Shapes.
To resize the height and width of an object in the Canvas independently
1 Click to select the object in the Canvas.
Note: If you have another tool selected, such as the Mask tool, pressing the S key returns
you to the transform tools. If necessary, tab through the transform tool states to activate
the Select/Transform tool.
A bounding box appears around the selected object.
Note: You can also Control-click the object in the Canvas, then choose Transform from
the shortcut menu.
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2 Do one of the following:
• Drag one of the corner handles to resize the object’s width and height at the same
time. By default, you can resize the width and height independently, by any amount.
• Press Shift, then drag any of the corner handles to resize the object while locking its
width and height together, maintaining the object’s current aspect ratio.
• Drag the top or bottom scale handle to limit scale changes to the object’s height, or
drag the left or right scale handle to limit scale changes to the object’s width.
Drag the left scale handle
to change the object’s
width.
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• Press Option while dragging any scale handle to resize an object around its anchor
point, rather than unilaterally.
Resizing while pressing the Option key
Resizing without pressing the Option key
As you drag the scale handles, an info window appears and shows you the new width
and height percentages and the amount by which the object is changing. This amount
is represented by a delta symbol.
Note: Scaling the width or height of an object by a negative value reverses the image,
flipping its direction.
Rotating
The Select/Transform tool also activates a handle that allows you to rotate the image
around its anchor point. For animation purposes, Motion keeps track of the number of
times you’ve rotated the object and stores this value in that object’s Rotation parameter
in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
To rotate an object in the Canvas
1 Click to select the object in the Canvas.
Note: The Select/Transform mode is the default mode when Motion opens. If it is currently
not selected in the Toolbar, click the 2D transform tool button in the Toolbar and choose
the Select/Transform tool from the pop-up menu.
2 Do one of the following:
• Drag the rotation handle to rotate the object.
• Press Shift while you drag the rotation handle to constrain the angle of the selected
object to 45-degree increments.
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As you drag the rotation handle, the original angle of the object is indicated by a small
circle that appears on a larger circle surrounding the object’s anchor point. Additionally,
an info window appears, showing you the new angle of rotation and the delta of change
between the object’s former angle and the angle to which you’ve dragged it.
Using the Adjust Anchor Point Tool
Using the Adjust Anchor Point tool, you can move any object’s anchor point, changing
the way in which different geometric transforms are performed.
Objects rotate around the anchor point, but the anchor point also affects shearing and
resizing operations. For example, the default anchor point for any object is the center of
the bounding box that defines its edges. If you rotate an object, it spins around this central
anchor point.
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If you move an anchor point, however, the object no longer rotates around its own center,
but instead rotates around the new anchor point.
This not only affects the rotation of an object, but any moving and scaling operations
performed upon that object as well. Changes made to an object’s anchor point are stored
in the Anchor Point parameter of the Properties tab in the Inspector.
To change the anchor point of an object in the Canvas
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Anchor Point tool from
the pop-up menu.
In the Canvas, the object’s anchor point appears as a round target surrounded with three
colored arrows representing the X, Y, and Z coordinate axes. For more information on
coordinate axes, see 3D Transform Onscreen Controls.
2 Do one of the following:
• Drag the white circle to move the anchor point vertically or horizontally.
• Drag one of the arrows to move the anchor point along the corresponding axis.
As you drag the anchor point, a line stretches from the default position of the anchor
point to its new position. Additionally, an info window appears and shows you the
anchor point’s new coordinates on top and the delta (amount of change) between the
anchor point’s new and old positions.
Note: If the anchor point is close to the center or edges of the object, and Dynamic Guides
are turned on, the anchor point snaps to that location.
Using the Adjust Shear Tool
The Adjust Shear tool activates onscreen shear handles that can be used to slant an object,
either horizontally or vertically.
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This is an isometric operation, so it doesn’t necessarily provide a realistic perspective
effect. When you shear an object, this change is stored in that object’s Shear parameter,
which can be seen in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Before shearing
After shearing
To shear an object in the Canvas
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Shear tool from the
pop-up menu.
2 In the Canvas, drag one of the four shear handles to slant the object. The top and bottom
controls angle the object horizontally, while the left and right controls angle the object
vertically.
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Using the Adjust Drop Shadow Tool
The Adjust Drop Shadow tool activates onscreen handles can be used to change the blur,
angle, and distance of an object’s drop shadow.
Default drop shadow (before adjusting
with the Adjust Drop Shadow tool)
After adjusting blur, angle, and distance
To adjust the drop shadow of an object in the Canvas
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Drop Shadow tool from
the pop-up menu.
2 In the Canvas, drag one of the four corner handles to adjust the blur of the drop shadow.
Drag within the shadow’s bounding box to adjust the distance and angle of the drop
shadow.
For more information on working with drop shadows, see Drop Shadows.
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Using the Adjust Four Corner Tool
The Adjust Four Corner tool activates onscreen controls that allow you to stretch an object
into different polygonal shapes to create false perspective effects and simulate 3D effects
and placement within your composition.
Before corner-pinning
After corner-pinning
To corner-pin an object in the Canvas
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Four Corner tool from
the pop-up menu.
2 In the Canvas, drag each of the four corner handles to stretch the object into the shape
you want.
Note: Just as you can with the scale handles, you can reverse the corner handles to flip
the image. However, changing the angle of any one corner more than 180 degrees can
produce unexpected results.
After you have corner-pinned an object, you can quickly revert back to the object’s original
shape by deselecting the object’s Four Corner checkbox in the Properties tab of the
Inspector. Doing so resets the shape of the object without resetting the corner-pinning
shape you defined in the Four Corner parameter of the Properties tab.
Note: The Four Corner parameter can be used in combination with a tracking behavior
to create a four-corner track on a foreground object. For more information, see Option
2: Corner-Pin the Object Before Tracking.
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Using the Adjust Crop Tool
The Adjust Crop tool activates onscreen cropping handles that you can drag to resize the
borders of an object.
Cropping allows you to chop off each of the four edges of an object to eliminate parts
you don’t want to see in your composition. Common examples of objects you’d want to
crop are video clips with a black line along the right or left edge because of the video
format or with vignetting around the edges because of a wide-angle lens. You can use
the crop operation to cut these undesirable artifacts out when using them in your
composition. You could also crop an object to isolate a single element of the image, so
long as that element can be adequately cut out with a simple rectangular shape.
Before cropping
After cropping
Cropping in the Inspector Versus Cropping in the Media Tab
When you crop an imported image using the onscreen transform tool (which is the
same as using the Crop controls in the object’s Properties tab), only the instance of that
file is cropped. The source image in the Media tab is not cropped. To crop the source
image, you must select the object in the Media tab of the Project pane, then use the
Crop tools in the Media tab of the Inspector. For more information, see Controls in the
Media Tab of the Inspector.
Note: If you need to isolate a more irregularly shaped object, or you want to create a
border of a particular shape, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes for more
information.
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To crop an object in the Canvas
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Crop tool from the
pop-up menu.
2 In the Canvas, drag one of the eight handles around the edge of the object to crop it:
• Drag the top, left, right, or bottom handle to only crop that side.
• Drag one of the four corner handles to crop both corresponding sides simultaneously.
• Press Shift while you drag to constrain corner edge cropping to the aspect ratio of the
object.
Note: If an object is corner-pinned, you can no longer enable the Crop mode in the
Canvas (onscreen controls). You can still crop a corner-pinned object by adjusting its
Crop parameter settings in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Additionally, the crop area and the image can be manipulated separately.
µ
To move the crop area while keeping the underlying image in place
Press Command and Option while you drag inside the crop area.
µ
To move the image while keeping the crop area in place
Press Command while you drag inside the crop area.
Using the Adjust Control Points Tool
You can modify a shape or mask directly in the Canvas with the Adjust Control Points
tool.
To modify a shape’s control points in the Canvas
1 Once the shape or mask is created, click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose
the Adjust Control Points tool from the pop-up menu.
Note: You can also double-click the shape, or Control-click the object, then choose Edit
Points from the shortcut menu to enter the Adjust Control Points mode.
The object’s control points become active.
2 In the Canvas, drag the points to modify the shape of the object.
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For more information on working with shapes and masks, see Using Shapes, Masks, and
Paint Strokes.
Using the Adjust Glyph and Adjust Item Tools
The Adjust Glyph tool, available when a text object is selected, activates onscreen controls
that allow you to modify the position and X, Y, or Z rotation for individual characters
(glyphs) in a text object.
For information on using the Adjust Glyph tool, see Adjusting Glyph Attributes.
The Adjust Item tool activates onscreen controls that allow you to manipulate filters,
behaviors, generators, and other objects. For example, you can use the Adjust Item tool
to adjust the center point of a blur filter, the shape of a particle emitter, or the settings
of a gradient.
Adjusting Object Properties in the Inspector
Groups and objects have many of the same parameters in the Properties tab of the
Inspector. Manipulating an onscreen transform handle also changes the corresponding
parameter in the Properties tab of the Inspector. If you want to transform an object more
precisely than the onscreen controls allow, you can change that parameter’s value directly.
When you select a single object and open the Properties tab of the Inspector, the object’s
parameters are displayed. Making changes to the values in the Properties tab affects the
selected object. If more than one object is selected in the Canvas, Timeline, or Layers tab,
the parameter values displayed in the Properties tab of the Inspector become inaccessible.
However, you can still adjust the onscreen controls. Manipulating any of the onscreen
transform handles affects every selected object equally.
To modify parameter values in the Properties tab of the Inspector
Do one of the following:
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µ
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Select a parameter value field, type a new number, then press Return.
If the parameter has a graphical control, such as a slider or dial, adjust the control.
To reset a parameter to its default state, either click its reset button, or choose Reset
Parameter from the parameter’s Animation menu.
Important: The Lighting and Reflection parameter groups are available only in a 3D
project.
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In addition to only being available in a 3D project, the Lighting and Reflection parameter
groups in the Properties tab are only available for some objects under certain conditions.
Use the following guidelines when working with lights and reflections:
• The Reflection parameter group is not available for 3D particle emitters or 3D replicators.
• The Reflection parameter group is not available for normal text objects. However the
Reflection parameters are available for flattened text, which is activated by the Flatten
checkbox in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector.
For more information on how to use the parameter controls, see User Interface Controls.
Parameters in the Properties Tab
The Properties tab displays the following parameters for most objects and groups:
Transform Parameters
Position: Defines the X (horizontal), Y (vertical), and Z (depth) position of each object.
The coordinate system used by Motion specifies the center of the Canvas as 0, 0, 0
regardless of the frame size of the project. Moving an object to the left subtracts from
the X value, while moving to the right adds to the X value. Moving an object up adds to
the Y value, and moving an object down subtracts from the Y value. Moving an object
closer adds to the Z value, while moving further away subtracts from the Z value.
+240 pixels
Canvas center point
(0,0)
-360 pixels
+360 pixels
-240 pixels
Note: This is identical to the coordinate system used by Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express,
but different from that used by Shake, in which 0,0 defines the upper-left corner of the
compositional area.
Each object’s position is centered on its anchor point. Offsetting the anchor point also
offsets the position of the object relative to the X, Y, and Z position values you have set.
Rotation: Controls a one-dimensional value representing the number of degrees of
rotation. A positive value rotates the object counterclockwise. A negative value rotates
the object clockwise.
Rotating an object beyond 360 degrees results in multiple rotations when the Rotation
parameter is animated.
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Click the disclosure triangle next to the Rotation parameter to reveal additional
subparameters:
• Animate: This pop-up menu allows you to set the interpolation for animated 3D rotation
channels to one of two options:
• Use Rotation: The default interpolation method. Pattern elements rotate from their
start rotation to their final rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements may
twist this way and that before reaching their final orientation (the last keyframed
value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are animated from 0 degrees
to 180 degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes before reaching their final
orientation.
• Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method provides for smoother
interpolation but does not allow multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the
pattern elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) to their end orientation (second
keyframe).
Note: The Rotation parameter must be keyframed for the Animate parameter options
to have any effect.
Scale: Controls the percentage representing the object’s scale, relative to its original size.
By default, the horizontal and vertical scale of an object is locked together at the object’s
original aspect ratio—all of which is represented by a single percentage. Click the
disclosure triangle to display independent percentages for the X, Y, and Z scales of the
object.
Note: Setting an object’s scale to a negative value flips the object.
Shear: Defines the X and Y shear of the object. An object with no shear has X and Y shear
values of 0. Positive values shear in one direction, while negative values shear in the other.
Anchor Point: Defines the X, Y, and Z position of the anchor point relative to the center
of the object. Coordinates of 0, 0, 0 center the anchor point in the bounding box defining
the outer edge of the object.
Blending Parameters
Opacity: Defines the transparency of the object. For more information, see Editing Opacity
and Blending Parameters.
Blend Mode: Sets the Blend Mode of the object. For more information, see Editing Opacity
and Blending Parameters.
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Preserve Opacity: When this checkbox is selected, the object appears only where another
object is visible behind it in the composite. The front object uses the opacity value of the
object behind it. For more information, see Preserve Opacity Option.
Preserve Opacity turned off for the text
circle object
Preserve Opacity turned on for the text
circle object
Casts Reflections: Determines whether an object casts a reflection. Choose from three
options in this pop-up menu:
• Yes: The object is seen reflected in nearby reflective objects.
• No: The object is ignored by reflective surfaces.
• Reflection Only: The object becomes invisible, but will appear in reflective surfaces
around it.
Lighting Parameters
Shading: A pop-up menu that enables you to set how an object responds to lights in
the scene. There are three options:
• Inherited: The object uses the shading value of its parent.
• On: The object can be lit.
• Off: The object ignores scene lights.
Highlights: When this checkbox is selected, lit objects in the scene show highlights. This
parameter has no effect if Shading is set to Off.
• Shininess: Determines how strong an object’s highlights appear. Higher values create
a glossier appearance.
For more information on using lights, see Lighting.
Shadows Parameters
Cast Shadows: Sets whether or not an object will cast a shadow if it is between a light
source and another object.
Note: This parameter does not affect drop shadows.
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Receives Shadows: Controls whether or not neighboring objects’ shadows will affect
the current object. When this checkbox is deselected, light will affect the object as if the
shadow-casting object did not exist.
Shadows Only: Allows an object to block light and cast a shadow, while the object itself
does not appear in the scene.
Note: For more information on using shadows, see Shadows.
Reflection Parameters
Reflectivity: A slider that controls the shininess of the object’s surface. When set to 0%,
there is no reflectivity. When set to 100%, the object is totally reflective, like a mirror.
Blur Amount: A slider that controls how blurry the reflection appears, creating the
appearance of soft-focus due to the surface quality of the reflecting object.
Falloff: Determines whether the reflection fades with distance from the object, producing
a more realistic result. Click the disclosure triangle to show the additional options within
the Falloff section: Begin Distance, End Distance, and Exponent (how quickly the reflection
gets fainter as the object gets further from the surface).
Blend Mode: A pop-up menu that determines the blend mode used for the reflection.
Note: For more information on using reflections and their parameters, see Reflections.
Additional Parameters in the Properties Tab
Drop Shadow: Turns the drop shadow of an object on and off. For more information
about working with drop shadows, see Drop Shadows.
Four Corner: Turns corner-pinning on and off. If an object has been corner-pinned and
this checkbox is deselected, the object resumes its original shape, although the
corner-pinning coordinates are maintained. Reselecting the checkbox re-enables the
corner-pinning effect specified by the Four Corner coordinate parameters.
Click the disclosure triangle to display four two-dimensional parameters that define the
polygonal transform of a corner-pinned object. Individual parameters for the Bottom Left,
Bottom Right, Top Right, and Top Left corners of the bounding box that surrounds an
object have individual X and Y coordinates.
Crop: Turns cropping on and off. If an object has been cropped and this checkbox is
deselected, the object resumes its original size, although the cropping values are
maintained. Reselecting the checkbox re-enables the cropping effect specified by the
crop parameters.
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Click the disclosure triangle to display four crop parameters. Each slider defines the number
of pixels to be cropped from each of the object’s four sides, relative to the outer edge of
the bounding box that surrounds it. These parameters are similar to the crop parameters
that appear when an object is selected in the Media tab, except that cropping an object
in the Layers tab only crops the currently selected instance of that object in your project.
Duplicates of that object remain untouched. If you want to crop all instances of the object
simultaneously, use the Crop parameter on the object in the Media tab. For more
information, see Controls in the Media Tab of the Inspector.
Timing: These parameters control all aspects of clip retiming. For more information, see
Retiming.
Making Clone Layers
In a motion graphics project, sometimes it is necessary to reuse a complex object in other
parts of the project multiple times. Although you can duplicate or cut and paste any
object, if you update the original, none of the changes you make are applied to the copies.
It can become a tedious and difficult management task. If you find yourself applying the
same filters and masks to more than one copy of an object, you should take advantage
of the Make Clone Layer command. Making clone layers has the additional benefit of
improving project playback and rendering performance.
You can make clone layers out of layers, groups, particle systems, text, shapes, and
replicators.
To create a clone layer
Do one of the following:
µ
Select the object from which you wish to make a clone layer, then choose Object > Make
Clone Layer (or press K).
µ
Control-click an object in the Canvas, then choose Make Clone Layer from the shortcut
menu.
µ
Control-click an object in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list, then choose Make Clone
Layer from the shortcut menu.
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A clone layer is created and appears in the Canvas slightly offset from the original object.
In the Layers tab, the clone layer appears with the default name “Clone Layer.” A Clone
Layer icon appears next to the name.
The clone layer inherits the following properties from its source object at the time of its
creation Rotation, Scale, Opacity, Blend Mode, and Drop Shadow. Adjustments made to
any of these properties of the source object after clone layer creation do not propagate
to any clone layers made from the same source object. The clone layers only inherit
changes made to filters and masks in the source object.
Important: Changes to behaviors don’t propagate to clone layers, unless the behavior
affects a filter or mask in the source object.
Clone layer objects can be manipulated in the Canvas and Timeline in exactly the same
way as the source object.
Important: A clone layer created from retimed objects cannot have its Frame Blending
parameter changed from that of the source object.
Clone Layers and Rasterization
Some operations, as well as the application of certain filters or a mask, cause a clone layer
to be rasterized. When a clone layer is rasterized, it is converted into a bitmap image. The
blend mode of a clone layer does not interact with objects outside of the group that
contains the clone layer. In addition, a 3D clone layer is treated as a single object and
uses layer order (in the Layers tab), rather than depth order when composited in the
project.
For more information on rasterization and 3D Clone Layers, see About Rasterization.
Note: Cameras and lights in the project interact with clone layers.
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Editing Opacity and Blending Parameters
The opacity and blending controls for each object appear both in the Properties tab of
the Inspector, and in the default HUD for any selected object.
Opacity
By layering together objects with varying opacities, you can merge them together in ways
not otherwise possible. For example, if you have two full-screen background images that
you want to use together, you can set the opacity of the object in front to 50%, allowing
the object in back to show through.
Image in front
Image in back
Front image at 50% opacity
You can overlap as many objects as you want, and by varying their opacities, selectively
reveal objects in the back.
To change an object’s opacity
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Adjust the Opacity slider in the Properties tab.
Adjust the Opacity slider in the HUD.
Note: Some objects, such as text and shapes, have additional opacity parameters in their
respective tabs in the Inspector. For example, setting a shape’s Opacity value in the
Properties tab and setting its Opacity value in the Style pane are separate controls that
have multiplicative effects. In other words, if Opacity is set to 50% in the Properties tab,
then set to 50% in the Shape Style pane, the result opacity for the text is 25%.
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Blend Modes
While the Opacity parameter simply defines a uniform level of transparency for an object,
the blend modes allow you many more creative options to control how the overlapping
images interact, based on the colors in each object. By default, each object’s blend mode
is set to Normal, so that changes to an object’s opacity uniformly affect every part of the
image equally.
Blend modes can create transparency in an object regardless of the setting of its Opacity
parameter. This is because the pixels of an image with a selected blend mode are
combined with the pixels of any objects lying immediately below in the Canvas. For
example, if you overlap two objects, then set the blend mode of the top one to Screen,
the darker areas of the screened image become transparent, while the lighter areas remain
more solid, resulting in the following image:
Important: The transparency created by most of the available blend modes only affects
how an object combines with overlapping objects underneath. These blend modes do
nothing to affect an object’s alpha channel. For information about blend modes that do
affect an object’s alpha channel, see Blend Modes That Manipulate Alpha Channels.
Each blend mode combines objects in different ways. For example, setting the top object’s
blend mode to Multiply yields a result opposite to that of the Screen blend mode, as the
darker areas of the image remain solid, and the lighter areas become transparent.
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Blend modes only affect the combination of an object with the objects below it. Any
objects appearing above have no effect on this interaction, even if the object is transparent.
In the following example, the text objects on the top level have no effect on the blended
images below.
For overlapping layers with different blend modes, the bottommost pair of objects is
combined first, and that combination then interacts with the next object up, and so on
until all overlapping objects have been combined for the final image. In this case, each
object with a specified blend mode only interacts with the image below it, whether that
image is a single object or a pair of objects that have been blended together.
Each of Motion’s blend modes works in conjunction with the Opacity parameter to alter
the interaction between the foreground and background objects. Adjusting an object’s
opacity lessens the blending effect that is assigned to it, even as it reduces that object’s
visibility. This allows you to customize any blend mode to better suit your needs.
Blend modes only affect overlapping objects, and have no interaction with your project’s
background color. If you specify a blend mode for an object that doesn’t overlap anything,
that object remains as it was before.
To change a selected object’s blend mode
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
µ
µ
Choose an option from the Blend Mode pop-up menu in the HUD.
µ
Control-click an object in the Canvas, then choose an option from the Blend Mode
submenu in the shortcut menu.
µ
Control-click an object in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list, then choose an option
from the Blend Mode submenu in the shortcut menu.
Choose an option from the Blend Mode pop-up menu in the Properties tab.
Choose Object > Blend Mode, then choose an option from the submenu.
Display the Blend Mode column in the Layers tab, then choose an option from an object’s
Blend Mode pop-up menu.
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Preserve Opacity Option
The Preserve Opacity checkbox allows you to limit an object’s visibility to areas of the
Canvas where the object overlaps nontransparent regions of other objects. For example,
you might place two overlapping objects into your project, as shown below:
If you turn on Preserve Opacity for the Dolphin object in front, the result is this:
The only area of the Dolphin object that is visible is the area that overlaps the sea life
picture object behind it. At first, this may not appear to be very exciting, but the Preserve
Opacity checkbox can be used in combination with the opacity and blend mode to create
some very interesting effects.
Note: The object with the enabled Preserve Opacity parameter takes the opacity value
of the object beneath it in the composite stack.
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Preserve Opacity is an easy way to selectively reveal part of an object. In this example,
by setting the blend mode of the top color wash layer to Exclusion, you get the resulting
image:
By selecting the Preserve Opacity checkbox for the color wash layer on top, only the
overlapping parts are displayed, and the superimposed image only affects the Dolphin
layer.
µ
To turn on Preserve Opacity
Turn on an object’s Preserve Opacity checkbox in the Properties tab.
Using Blend Modes
Each of the available blend modes presents a different method for combining two or
more images together. Blend modes work in addition to an object’s alpha channel and
opacity parameter.
To understand the descriptions of each blend mode in this chapter, it’s important to
understand that blend modes mix colors from overlapping images together based on
the brightness values within each color channel in an image. Every image consists of red,
green, blue, and alpha channels. Each individual channel contains a range of brightness
values that define the intensity of each pixel in the image that uses some of the channel’s
color.
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The effect that each blend mode has on overlapping objects depends on the range of
color values within each object. The red, green, and blue channels within each overlapping
pixel are mathematically combined to yield the final image.
These value ranges can be described as blacks, midrange values, or whites. These regions
are loosely illustrated by the chart below.
Blacks
Midrange color values
Whites
For example, the Multiply blend mode renders color values that fall into the white areas
of an image transparent, while the black areas of the image are left alone. All midrange
color values become translucent, with colors falling into the lighter end of the scale
becoming more transparent than the colors that fall into the darker end of the scale.
Group Blend Modes
Blend modes work differently depending on whether they’re used with groups or layers.
In particular, the Pass Through blend mode is available only for groups.
Pass Through
When a group is set to Pass Through, each object is individually blended with all objects
and groups that appear underneath it in the Layers tab. In this example, the Swirls object
is set to Stencil Luma, and the Fishes object is set to Add.
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With the enclosing group set to Pass Through, the Swirls object stencils all other objects
underneath it, including the Gradient object in the bottom group. The result is that all
objects are stenciled against the background color. The Fishes object is likewise added
to the combined stack of objects.
Normal
When a group is set to Normal, the layers nested within that group can only be blended
with one another. Objects nested within that group do not blend with objects in other
groups beneath it in the Layers tab.
In this example, the Fishes and Swirls objects in the topmost group are only blended with
themselves when the topmost group is set to Normal.
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The Gradient object in the bottom group is left unaffected, although the transparency
in the top group caused by the combination of the Add and Stencil Luma blend modes
reveals it in the background.
Other Blend Modes
When you set a group to any of the other available blend modes, each layer nested within
that group is blended according to its blend mode. The resulting image is then blended
with the groups underneath, according to the selected blend mode for that group. In
this example, the topmost group is set to Multiply.
As a result, the combination of the Added Fishes and the Stenciled Swirls objects is
multiplied with the Gradient object in the bottommost group.
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Object Blend Modes
The following section describes how blend modes affect individual objects. All blend
modes are presented in the order in which they appear in the Blend Mode pop-up menu.
About the Examples in This Section
Most of the examples in this section are created using the following two reference
images. The resulting “Mondrian Monkey” illustrates how differently the color values
from each image interact when using each blend mode. When examining the results,
pay particular attention to the white and black areas of the colored squares, as well as
the highlights and shadows in the monkey. These show you how each blend mode
treats the whites and blacks in an image.
The other brighter and darker colors serve to illustrate each blend mode’s handling of
overlapping midrange color values. The yellow, gray, orange, and blue squares, in
particular, all have very different color and luminance values that contrast sharply from
example to example.
Boxes object
Monkey object
Important: Depending on the blend mode, layer and group ordering may or may not
be important. Certain blend modes behave differently depending on which image is
on top.
Normal
The default for objects. The only transparency in an object set to Normal is caused by its
Opacity parameter or by an alpha channel that is assigned to it.
Subtract
Subtract darkens all overlapping colors. Whites in the foreground image go black, while
whites in the background image invert overlapping color values in the foreground image,
creating a negative effect.
Blacks in the foreground image become transparent, while blacks in the background
image are preserved.
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Overlapping midrange color values are darkened based on the color of the background
image. In areas where the background is lighter than the foreground, the background
image is darkened. In areas where the background is darker than the foreground, the
colors are inverted.
The order of two objects affected by the Subtract blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Darken
Darken emphasizes the darkest parts of each overlapping image. Whites in either image
allow the overlapping image to show through completely. Lighter midrange color values
become increasingly translucent in favor of the overlapping image, while darker midrange
color values below that threshold remain solid, retaining more detail.
The order of two objects affected by the Darken blend mode does not matter.
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Suggested uses: The Darken blend mode is useful for using one image to texturize another
selectively, based on its darker areas. You can also use Screen, Color Burn, and Linear
Burn for variations on this effect.
Multiply
Like Darken, Multiply emphasizes the darkest parts of each overlapping image, except
that midrange color values from both images are mixed together more evenly.
Progressively lighter regions of overlapping images become increasingly translucent,
allowing whichever image is darker to show through. Whites in either image allow the
overlapping image to show through completely. Blacks from both images are preserved
in the resulting image.
The order of objects affected by the Multiply blend mode does not matter.
Suggested uses: The Multiply blend mode is particularly useful in situations where you
want to knock out the white areas of a foreground image and blend the rest of the image
with the colors in the background. For example, if you superimpose a scanned sheet of
handwritten text over a background image using the Multiply blend mode, the resulting
image becomes textured with the darker parts of the foreground.
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Color Burn
Color Burn intensifies the dark areas in each image. Whites in the background image
replace the foreground image, while whites in the foreground image become transparent.
Midrange color values in the background image allow midrange color values in the
foreground image to show through.
Lighter midrange color values in the background image allow more of the foreground
image to show through. Darker midrange values in all visible overlapping areas are then
mixed together, resulting in intensified color effects.
The order of two objects affected by the Color Burn blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Linear Burn
Similar to Multiply, except that darker overlapping midrange color values are intensified,
like Color Burn. Progressively lighter color values in overlapping images become
increasingly translucent, allowing darker colors to show through. Whites in either image
allow the overlapping image to show through completely.
The order of two objects affected by the Linear Burn blend mode does not matter.
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Add
Add emphasizes the whites in each overlapping image and lightens all other overlapping
colors. The color values in every overlapping pixel are added together. The result is that
all overlapping midrange color values are lightened. Blacks from either image are
transparent, while whites in either image are preserved.
The order of two objects affected by the Add blend mode does not matter.
Suggested uses: The Add blend mode is useful for using one image to selectively texturize
another, based on its lighter areas such as highlights. You can also use Lighten, Screen,
Color Dodge, and Linear Dodge to create variations of this effect.
Lighten
Lighten emphasizes the lightest parts of each overlapping image. Every pixel in each
image is compared, and the lightest pixel from either image is preserved, so that the final
image consists of a dithered combination of the lightest pixels from each image. Whites
in both images show through in the resulting image.
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The order of two objects affected by the Lighten blend mode does not matter.
Screen
Like Lighten, Screen also emphasizes the lightest parts of each overlapping image, except
that the midrange color values of both images are mixed together more evenly.
Blacks in either image allow the overlapping image to show through completely. Darker
midrange values underneath a certain threshold allow more of the overlapping image
to show. Whites from both images show through in the resulting image.
The order of two objects affected by the Screen blend mode does not matter.
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Suggested uses: The Screen blend mode is especially useful for knocking out the blacks
behind a foreground subject, instead of using a Luma Key. It’s mainly useful when you
want the rest of the foreground subject to be mixed with the background image as well,
based on its brightness. It’s good for glow and lighting effects and for simulating
reflections. You can also use the Add, Lighten, and Color Dodge blend modes to create
variations of this effect.
Top object
Bottom object
Screen composite
Color Dodge
Whites in either the foreground or background image are preserved in the final image.
Blacks in the background image replace the foreground image, while blacks in the
foreground image become transparent.
Midrange color values in the background image allow midrange color values in the
foreground image to show through. Darker values in the background image allow more
of the foreground image to show through. All overlapping midrange color values are
mixed together, resulting in interesting color mixes.
Reversing the two overlapping images results in subtle differences in how the overlapping
midrange color values are mixed together.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Linear Dodge
Similar to Screen, except that lighter midrange color values in overlapping regions become
intensified. Blacks in either image allow the overlapping image to show through
completely. Whites from both images show through in the resulting image.
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The order of two objects affected by the Linear Dodge blend mode does not matter.
Overlay
Whites and blacks in the foreground image become translucent and interact with the
color values of the background image causing intensified contrast. Whites and blacks in
the background image, on the other hand, replace the foreground image.
Overlapping midrange values are mixed together differently depending on the brightness
of the background color values. Lighter background midrange values are mixed by
screening. Darker background midrange values, on the other hand, are mixed together
by multiplying.
The visible result is that darker color values in the background image intensify the
foreground image, while lighter color values in the background image wash out
overlapping areas in the foreground image.
The order of two objects affected by the Overlay blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
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Monkey object on top
Suggested uses: The Overlay blend mode is particularly useful for combining areas of vivid
color in two images.
Soft Light
Soft Light is similar to the Overlay blend mode. Whites and blacks in the foreground
image become translucent, but interact with the color values of the background image.
Whites and blacks in the background image, on the other hand, replace the foreground
image. All overlapping midrange color values are mixed together, creating a more even
tinting effect than the Overlay blend mode.
The order of two objects affected by the Soft Light blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Suggested uses: The Soft Light blend mode is useful for softly tinting a background image
by mixing it with the colors in a foreground image.
Hard Light
Whites and blacks in the foreground image block the background image. Whites and
blacks in the background image, on the other hand, interact with overlapping midrange
color values in the foreground image.
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Overlapping midrange color values are mixed together differently depending on the
brightness of the background color values. Lighter background midrange values are
mixed by screening. Darker background midrange values, on the other hand, are mixed
together by multiplying.
The visible result is that darker color values in the background image intensify the
foreground image, while lighter color values in the background image wash out
overlapping areas in the foreground image.
The order of two objects affected by the Hard Light blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Vivid Light
Vivid Light is similar to the Hard Light blend mode, with two exceptions. The first is that
midrange color values are mixed together more intensely. The second is that whites and
blacks from either overlapping image are preserved in the end result.
Note: Some dithering may result in overlapping areas of solid white and solid black.
Overlapping midrange color values are mixed together differently depending on the
brightness of the background color values. Lighter midrange values become washed out,
while the contrast of darker midrange color values is increased. The overall effect is more
pronounced than with the Hard Light blend mode.
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Reversing the two overlapping images results in subtle differences in how the overlapping
midrange color values are mixed together.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Linear Light
Linear Light is similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that overlapping midrange
color values are mixed together with higher contrast. Whites and blacks in the foreground
image block the background image. Whites and blacks in the background image, on the
other hand, interact with overlapping midrange color values in the foreground image.
Overlapping midrange color values are mixed together. Lighter background colors brighten
the foreground image, while darker colors darken it.
The order of two objects affected by the Linear Light blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Pin Light
Pin Light is similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that overlapping midrange color
values are mixed together differently based on their color value. Whites and blacks in the
foreground image block the background image. Whites and blacks in the background
image, on the other hand, interact with overlapping midrange color values in the
foreground image.
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The methods used by the Pin Light blend mode to mix two images are somewhat complex.
Overlapping midrange color values are treated differently depending on which of the
four regions of the luminance chart they fall into.
• Lighter and darker areas of the foreground image falling close to the whites and blacks
are preserved.
• Areas of the foreground image falling near the center of the midrange are tinted by
the background color.
• Darker areas of the foreground image in between the blacks and center of the midrange
are lightened.
• Lighter areas of the foreground image in between the whites and the center of the
midrange are darkened.
The end result may appear alternately tinted or solarized, depending on the lightness or
darkness of the overlapping values. This blend mode lends itself to more abstract effects.
The order of two objects affected by the Pin Light blend mode is important.
Boxes object on top
Monkey object on top
Hard Mix
Hard Mix is similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that the saturation of overlapping
midrange color values is intensified, resulting in extremely high-contrast images. Whites
and blacks are preserved.
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While the order of two objects doesn’t affect the overall look of two images blended
using the Hard Mix blend mode, there may be subtle differences.
Difference
Similar to the Subtract blend mode, except that areas of the image that would be severely
darkened by the Subtract blend mode are colorized differently.
The order of two objects affected by the Difference blend mode does not matter.
Exclusion
Similar to the Difference blend mode, except that the resulting image is lighter overall.
Overlapping areas with lighter color values are lightened, while darker overlapping color
values become transparent.
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The order of two objects affected by the Exclusion blend mode does not matter.
Blend Modes That Manipulate Alpha Channels
The Stencil and Silhouette blend modes let you use a single object’s alpha channel or
luma values to isolate regions of background objects and groups.
Note: Similar effects can be accomplished using shape and image masks. In addition,
masks may provide you with a greater degree of control, depending on your needs. For
more information, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.
Stencil modes crop out all non-overlapping parts of objects underneath the object used
as the stencil. Silhouette modes do the opposite, punching holes in overlapping objects
underneath in the shape of the object used as the silhouette.
When working in a 3D group, changes in depth order affect the Stencil and Silhouette
blend modes differently. For example, if you have two layers in a 3D group and the upper
layer is set to Stencil Alpha or Stencil Luma, the blend mode remains in effect when the
upper layer is moved behind the lower layer in Z space. If you have two layers in a 3D
group and the upper layer is set to Silhouette Alpha or Silhouette Luma, the blend mode
does not remain in effect when the upper layer is moved behind the lower layer in Z
space.
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Limiting the Effect of Stencil and Silhouette Blend Modes
Whenever you use the Stencil or Silhouette blend modes in a group that is set to the
Pass Through blend mode, the resulting effect carries down through every object in
every group that lies underneath it in the Layers tab, unless the group that contains it
is rasterized. This is a powerful, but not always desired effect, because it prevents you
from placing a background group to fill the transparent area.
You can limit the Stencil or Silhouette blend mode to affect only those objects that are
within the same enclosing group by setting the group’s blend mode to anything other
than Pass Through.
For example, if you set the enclosing group of the two objects in the Silhouette Alpha
example to Normal, then add a group underneath containing additional objects, those
objects show through the transparent areas created by the silhouetted group.
Stencil Alpha
The Stencil Alpha blend mode uses the alpha channel of the affected object to crop out
all non-overlapping parts of objects and groups underneath it in the Layers tab.
Object used for stencil
Object underneath
End result
Stencil Luma
The Stencil Luma blend mode does the same thing as the Stencil Alpha blend mode, but
uses the affected object’s luma value to define transparency. Stencil Luma is useful if the
object you want to use for cropping has no alpha channel of its own.
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Silhouette Alpha
Silhouette Alpha is the reverse of the Stencil Alpha blend mode and is useful for cutting
holes in objects underneath.
Object used for silhouette
Object underneath
End result
Silhouette Luma
Silhouette Luma is the reverse of Stencil Luma.
Behind
The Behind blend mode forces the object to appear behind all other objects and groups,
regardless of its position in the Layers tab and Timeline.
If multiple objects or groups are set to Behind, they appear behind all other groups that
are not set to Behind, in the order in which they appear in the Layers tab.
Alpha Add
The Alpha Add blend mode works similarly to the Add blend mode, but instead of adding
the color channels of overlapping objects, it adds their alpha channels together. Try using
this blend mode instead of Motion’s default method of alpha channel compositing for a
different treatment of overlapping areas of translucency.
Premultiplied Mix
The Premultiplied Mix blend mode is intended for compositing images that are
premultiplied, such as those generated by 3D modeling and rendering software. (A
premultiplied image’s red, green, and blue channels are multiplied by the image’s alpha
channel.) Premultiplied Mix is useful for images with translucent lighting effects such as
lens flares, volumetric lighting, fog and haze effects, and so on.
The Premultiplied Mix blend mode performs an unpremultiply composite—the foreground
image is assumed to be premultiplied. Artifacts may appear as a result of unpremultiplying
pixels whose RGB and alpha values are very small (resulting in pixels with values of 255).
In some cases, the hardware performs bilinear filtering and then the blend mode
unpremultiplies the alpha.
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Drop Shadows
A drop shadow, by default, is a dark, translucent, offset shape that falls behind an object,
as if a light was shining on the object. Drop shadows are the same size as the object to
which they’re applied, although blurring a drop shadow may enlarge it somewhat.
They create the illusion of depth, with the result that the foreground object seems to
pop out at the viewer. For this reason, drop shadows are frequently used to create the
impression of space between two overlapping objects.
Drop shadows also darken overlapping regions of background objects. A good example
of when to use this is when you place text over a background that might obscure it. By
adding a drop shadow, you can make a foreground text object easier to read.
Without a drop shadow
With a drop shadow
It’s easy to add a drop shadow to any object, since each object has individual drop shadow
parameters in the Inspector and HUD. Once activated, drop shadows can also be
manipulated directly in the Canvas.
Tip: Motion also has the ability to generate true cast shadows when using lighting in 3D
layers. For more information about cast shadows, see Shadows.
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Important: Text objects have additional drop shadow parameters, located in the Style
pane of the Text tab. For more information about text object drop shadows, see Adding
a Drop Shadow.
Adjusting Drop Shadows in the Canvas
You can interactively modify an object’s drop shadow using the onscreen controls.
The Adjust Drop Shadow Transform Tool
Selecting the Adjust Drop Shadow transform tool in the Toolbar provides additional
onscreen controls for selected objects with active drop shadows.
Drop Shadow blur
handles
Drop Shadow position
bounding box
Four handles at each corner allow you to increase or decrease the blur of the drop shadow.
Dragging anywhere within the drop shadow’s bounding box allows you to simultaneously
change the shadow’s angle and distance.
To increase or decrease a drop shadow’s blur
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Drop Shadow tool from
the pop-up menu.
2 In the Canvas, drag one of the four corner handles in to decrease a shadow’s blur or out
to increase it.
To move an object’s drop shadow
1 Click and hold the Select/Transform tool, then choose the Adjust Drop Shadow tool from
the pop-up menu.
2 Drag anywhere within the shadow’s bounding box to move it around.
Drop Shadow Controls in the Properties Tab
In addition to the Canvas and HUD drop shadow controls, each object has individual drop
shadow parameters in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Use the checkbox to turn any object’s drop shadow on or off. Click the disclosure triangle
to reveal additional controls.
Drop Shadow: Turns any object’s drop shadow on or off.
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Color: Sets the drop shadow’s color. This color is black, by default.
Opacity: Sets the drop shadow’s transparency.
Blur: Specifies how soft the drop shadow is.
Distance: Sets how close or far an object’s drop shadow is to the object. The farther away
a drop shadow is, the more distance there appears to be between the object and anything
behind it in the composition.
Angle: Lets you change the direction of the drop shadow. Changing the Angle of the
drop shadow changes the apparent direction of the light casting the shadow.
Fixed Source: When this checkbox is selected, the drop shadow behaves as if it were
cast by a fixed light source, regardless of camera or text movement.
Retiming
Your motion graphics projects may require you to perform special timing tricks on media:
speeding a clip up, slowing it down, or playing it back at a variety of speeds.
Using Retiming Behaviors
The Retiming category of behaviors offers various ways to quickly execute the most
commonly applied retiming tasks. A hold frame or strobe is easily accomplished with a
retiming behavior. Take some time to look over the behaviors in the Retiming category
before spending a lot of time in the Inspector creating your own custom retiming from
scratch.
Tip: You can also manipulate clip timing in the Timeline with the help of modifier keys.
Indicators in the Timeline help you visualize loops and other retiming conditions. For
more information on Retiming in the Timeline, see Retiming in the Timeline.
Timing Controls in the Properties Tab
Media objects (images and movie clips as opposed to Motion-created shapes) have
individual timing parameters in the Properties tab of the Inspector. Click the disclosure
triangle beside the Timing category to reveal these timing controls.
Time Remap: Sets how time is remapped in the clip. Use this pop-up menu to set Constant
Speed or Variable Speed.
• Constant Speed: Retimes the entire clip using the same value.
• Variable Speed: Allows you to animate the speed of the clip over time.
Speed: Sets the speed of the clip as a percentage. The default is 100%. Values lower
than 100 play back the clip more slowly than its original speed and also extend the
duration of the clip. Values higher than 100 play back the clip faster than its original speed
and shorten the duration of the clip. This parameter appears only when Time Remap is
set to Constant Speed.
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Retime Value: Displays the time value of the clip at a given frame. This parameter appears
only when Time Remap is set to Variable Speed. When you set Time Remap to Variable
Speed, two keyframes are automatically generated at the first and last frame of the clip.
The two default keyframes represent 100% constant speed. Adding keyframes to this
parameter and assigning them different Retime Values makes the speed of the clip ramp
from one speed to another.
In: Sets the In point of the object, in both constant and variable speed modes. Adjusting
this parameter always moves the object In point to the specified frame without affecting
the duration of the object.
Out: Sets the Out point of the object, in both constant and variable speed modes.
Adjusting this parameter always moves the object Out point to the specified frame without
affecting the duration of the object.
Duration: Sets the total duration of the object. If Time Remap is set to Constant Speed,
adjusting Duration will also affect the Speed and the Out point. If Time Remap is set to
Variable Speed, adjusting Duration will not affect variable speed playback.
Reverse: This checkbox controls whether the clip is played back in reverse.
Frame Blending: Sets the method used to determine how the image is blended during
each frame of playback. The Frame Blending pop-up menu contains the following items:
• None: Displays the frame from the original clip nearest the source frame.
• Blending: The default setting. Displays a blend of the individual pixels of adjacent
frames.
• Motion-Blur Blending: Applies a motion blur algorithm to the blended frames.
• Optical Flow: Uses an optical flow algorithm to blend the two frames surrounding the
desired frame. Using this method affects playback performance most significantly. In
order to display frames properly, Motion analyzes the clip to determine the directional
movement of pixels. Only the portion of the clip used in the project (the clip between
the In and Out points) is analyzed.
When you choose Optical flow, an analysis indicator appears to the left of the transport
controls underneath the Canvas to show that the clip is being analyzed.
Analysis indicator
If you play back the project before the analysis is complete, the clip will appear as if
Frame Blending is set to None. Once the analysis is complete, the indicator disappears,
and the clip will play back properly. If you wish, you may view more detailed information
about the clip analysis and stop the process before it is finished.
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You can perform optical flow analysis on multiple clips simultaneously. The clips are
processed in the order that Frame Blending is set to Optical Flow.
Note: The more motion contained in a clip, the longer the analysis takes.
For information on pausing, reordering, or stopping a clip analysis, see Displaying and
Editing Retiming Tasks.
Important: When importing interlaced footage and using the Optical Flow method for
frame blending, if Field Dominance is not set to the correct value, artifacts may appear
in the retimed object.
End Condition: A pop-up menu that lets you set how playback continues when the end
of the clip is reached. There are four options:
• None: The default setting. The object’s duration in your project is equal to the duration
of its source media file.
• Loop: When the last frame of the clip is reached, the clip loops back to the first frame
and plays again. This can cause a jump in the clip’s apparent playback unless the clip
was designed to be looped seamlessly.
• Ping-Pong: When the last frame of the clip is reached, the next iteration of clip playback
is reversed. If you set a clip of a ball rolling on the floor to loop with the Ping-Pong
option, it would appear to roll forward, then backward, then forward again for the
duration of the object. This allows you to extend the duration of certain video clips
more smoothly than with the Loop setting.
• Hold: This freezes the last frame of the clip for the amount set in the End Duration
slider.
Note: When using the Hold option with interlaced footage, ensure that field order is
properly set in the Media Inspector. To modify a clip’s field order, select the clip in the
Media tab of the Project pane, then choose an option from the Field Order pop-up
menu in the Media Inspector.
End Duration: A slider that lets you set the number of frames by which the clip is extended
at the end of its duration. This value may be adjusted only if End Condition is set to a
value other than None.
Displaying and Editing Retiming Tasks
You can display processing information when retiming a clip.
To display more information about ongoing clip analysis
Do one of the following:
µ
Choose Window > Show Task List.
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µ
Click the analysis indicator (to the left of the transport controls underneath the Canvas).
Click the analysis
indicator to show the
Background Task List.
The Background Task List dialog appears.
Pause button
The Background Task List shows all processes Motion is working on in the background.
Each task is labeled, has a progress bar, and displays text describing how far along the
task is. You may interrupt current and pending operations by pressing the pause button
next to the progress bar.
µ
To pause clip analysis
In the Background Task List dialog, click the pause button.
Click to pause clip
analysis.
Once paused, a message appears detailing how many frames of the total number of
frames have been processed.
Note: When analysis is paused, projects play back at a much improved speed.
µ
To restart clip analysis
In the Background Task List dialog, click the analyze/pause button.
Click to restart clip
analysis.
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µ
To reorder clip analysis
In the Background Task List dialog, drag the clip you want to analyze to the top of the
list.
Analysis begins on the repositioned clip and is paused on the clip that was previously
being processed.
µ
To automatically close the Background Task List dialog when analysis is complete
In the Background Task List dialog, turn on the “Close when tasks are complete” checkbox.
Expose Commands
Motion’s expose key commands provide a way of viewing multiple windows at once,
exploding and rescaling them without having to move them around manually.
The expose commands allow you to visually access all the layers in a project directly in
the Canvas, quickly selecting items without having to drill down into the Layers tab or
Timeline. Expose commands also let you select inactive layers at the playhead’s current
position or jump automatically to a selected layer’s In point.
There are two expose commands: The first displays all layers in a project, and the second
displays only those layers active at the current position of the playhead in the Timeline.
Exposing All Layers
Using the Expose All Layers key command, you can get a visual sense of all the elements
in your project and quickly select a particular element you wish to manipulate.
To expose all layers in your project
1 Click anywhere in the Canvas.
2 Press Shift-X.
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All the layers in the project temporarily scale down and spread out over the Canvas. Each
layer in the project is represented by a white frame in the Canvas. Moving the pointer
over a frame shows the layer’s name.
Canvas before invoking
Expose All Layers command
Canvas after invoking
Expose All Layers command
3 Select the layer you want to work on.
The layers move and rescale back to their original positions, the element is selected in
the Canvas, and the playhead moves to the first frame of the selected layer.
Exposing Active Layers
The Expose Active Layers command lets you view the layers that are active at the position
of the playhead in the Timeline.
To expose objects that are active at the playhead position
1 Click anywhere in the Canvas.
2 Press X.
All the layers active at the current position of the playhead temporarily scale down and
spread out over the Canvas. Each active layer is represented by a white frame in the
Canvas. Moving the pointer over a frame reveals the layer’s name.
3 Select the object you want to work on.
The elements move and rescale back to their original positions, the element is selected
in the Canvas, and the playhead moves to the first frame of the selected object.
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Using the Timeline
8
The Timeline is one of the most flexible and valuable elements of the Motion interface.
This is where you can control all of the timing aspects of your project. Whether you want
to line up multiple layers to begin or end together, change which portion of a clip is used,
or lengthen or shorten a particular object, the Timeline provides the tools you need.
You can organize your objects to begin and end on the frames you choose. You can also
align multiple effects so that they occur simultaneously. You can control objects’ durations
and even perform common trim operations to edit the objects as you would in a video
editing program.
Additional controls let you manipulate masks, filters, behaviors, keyframes, and audio
elements along with your visual footage. The Timeline ruler provides an exact reference
for managing timing and synchronizing effects. You can lock tracks to prevent changes,
temporarily hide an object from view, and manage links between audio and video.
This chapter covers the following:
• About the Timeline (p. 352)
• Timeline Layers List (p. 354)
• Adding Objects to the Timeline Layers List (p. 361)
• Adding Objects to the Track Area (p. 365)
• Editing Objects in the Timeline (p. 370)
• Working in the Ruler (p. 386)
• Adding Markers (p. 393)
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About the Timeline
The Timeline consists of the Timeline layers list on the left and a track area on the right.
You can add images and clips to your project using the Timeline, just as you add files to
the Layers tab or the Canvas. You can drag objects into the Timeline layers list, or drag
them directly into the Timeline track area. The Timeline ruler, located above the track
area, provides an exact reference for managing timing and synchronizing effects. You
can lock tracks to prevent changes, temporarily hide an object from view, and manage
links between audio and video.
Timeline layers list
Timeline ruler
Track area
Although you can perform many types of effects without ever using the Timeline, it is an
essential tool when you want to manipulate the timing of the contents of your project.
Motion integrates many of the features ordinarily reserved for nonlinear editing software
into the compositing workflow.
The Timeline is not displayed by default in the Standard layout. It can be viewed by
displaying the Timing pane.
To display the Timing pane
Do one of the following:
µ
Click the Timing icon (in the upper-right corner of the Toolbar).
Timing icon
µ
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Drag the divider beneath the Play button in the transport controls upward.
Chapter 8 Using the Timeline
µ
µ
Choose Window > Layouts > Cinema.
Press F6.
Cinema Layout moves the Inspector to the right side of the interface and displays the
Timing pane.
µ
If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use a three-finger swipe
up to display the Timing pane. Use a three-finger swipe down to hide the Timing pane.
Note: To change interface layouts, choose Window > Layouts, then choose Standard,
Alternate, or Cinema. You can also create and save your own layout arrangements. See
Window Arrangements for more information on layouts.
If the Timing pane is already displayed, you may need to click the Timeline tab to bring
it to the front.
Timeline Tracks
Each object in your project appears as a colored bar in the track area of the Timeline.
Tracks are arranged in a hierarchy identical to that of the Layers tab in the Project pane.
This allows you to quickly see each object’s place in time, as well as its relative position
and duration.
You can determine the type of each object in the track area based on its appearance.
Item
How it appears
Description
Group
A double blue bar. For groups
with multiple layers, the lower
bar displays three lines and a
value indicating the number of
layers in the group.
Layers (video, stills, shapes, text,
particles, replicators, cameras,
lights)
A blue bar
Masks
A gray bar
Behaviors and Filters
A thin purple bar
Keyframes
Blue diamonds beneath the track
that is keyframed. Selected
keyframes appear white.
Audio
A green bar displaying the audio
waveform. If the audio file has
an applied Audio behavior, the
purple bar appears underneath
the audio track.
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When you select an object, the color changes to a darker shade, and the name of the
object turns white. When the Timeline is in Filmstrip mode, the filmstrip frames are
highlighted with a white border. See Specifying the Track Display for more information
on how to set different Timeline view modes.
Timeline Layers List
The Timeline layers list mirrors the Layers tab in the Project pane and displays your project
objects (groups, layers, filters, behaviors, and so on) and their stacking order. Behaviors,
filters, masks, and keyframes applied to an object can also be displayed. In the Timeline
layers list, you can reorder objects. This change is immediately reflected in the Layers tab
in the Project pane. You can also lock tracks to prevent further editing on those tracks
and disable entire tracks to omit them from view in the Canvas.
Naming Objects in the Timeline Layers List
You can rename any object in Motion. This can be helpful if you are using more than one
version of an asset, using multiple cameras, or if you want to categorize things into named
groups. Masks, shapes, particles, and other content you generate within Motion are
created with generic names. Renaming them allows you to better manage and keep track
of them while you work.
To rename an object
1 In the Timeline layers list, double-click the name of the object.
2 Type a new name in the editable text field.
3 Press Return or Tab.
Although Motion allows you to rename objects you import from your disk, changing the
object’s name in the Timeline layers list does not modify the name of the file on disk. This
allows you to use one source clip multiple times and name each instance uniquely inside
Motion.
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Enabling Timeline Tracks
To the left of each track in the Timeline layers list is an activation checkbox that turns
that track on and off. When a track is turned off (disabled), it is ignored in the Canvas.
Not only can you turn video or audio on and off, but you can also disable or enable effects
such as masks, filters, and behaviors.
Activation checkbox is
turned off.
Disabled track
µ
To turn visibility for an object on or off
Click the checkbox at the left edge of the track you want to control.
When the box is checked, visibility is on, and when the box is unchecked, visibility is off.
Additionally, when a track is disabled, the entire track is dimmed in the Timeline.
Collapsing and Expanding Groups and Layers
Motion allows you to collapse and expand different parts of the Timeline layers list to
show more or less data to accommodate different working styles. Layers with applied
masks, filters, and other objects can be collapsed to hide those effects bars. Furthermore,
whole groups can be collapsed to hide all of the objects contained within them.
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When a layer or group is collapsed in this manner, it still appears in the Canvas window.
Unlike enabling or disabling tracks, collapsing and expanding the Timeline layers list is
only an organizational tool to help manage the view of the Timeline.
Disclosure triangle
µ
To collapse or expand a layer or group in the Timeline
Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the layer or group name. If no disclosure triangle
is present, that object cannot be collapsed or expanded any further.
Adding and Deleting Groups in the Timeline
Motion allows you to add and delete groups directly in the Timeline layers list. If nothing
is selected in the list when a new group is added, the new group appears at the top of
the list. If an object is selected, the new group is added directly above the selected object.
µ
To add a group
Click the Add button (+).
Add button
You can also add a group by dragging a new item into your project.
To delete a group
1 Select the group you want to delete.
2 Click the Delete button (–).
You can also click the Delete button to remove any selected object (camera, layer, group,
filter, and so on) in the Timeline layers list. You can also Control-click a track, then choose
Delete from the shortcut menu.
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Locking Timeline Tracks
Occasionally, you may want to prevent changes to a particular item. The lock icon at the
right edge of the Timeline layers list allows you to lock an object and prevent any changes
from affecting that object. An object that is locked in the Timeline also appears locked
in the Layers tab in the Project pane.
Lock icon
Tracks appear locked in
the Timeline.
When an item is locked, the bounding box in the Canvas turns from white to red and the
colored bar appears with a cross-hatched pattern.
Locked tracks still appear in the Canvas and are included in your final output. Although
you cannot make changes to a locked object, you can still copy or duplicate that object
or change the object’s layer order.
µ
To lock a track
Click the lock icon at the right edge of the Timeline layers list.
Audio-Video Links
Ordinarily, objects that contain both audio and video are linked together so that they
always remain in sync. This link is represented by an icon in the Timeline layers list.
Note: To display audio in the Timeline, click the Show Audio button, located in the
lower-left corner of the Timeline tab.
Objects that are linked are always edited together in the Timeline. Operations such as
cut, copy, paste, and split also affect both audio and video. However, if you ever want to
break that relationship so that you can move or edit the audio or video without the other
tagging along, you can disable that link and move either object freely. Beware that this
may result in your audio and video playing out of sync.
To manipulate audio and video elements separately
1 Click the link icon to the right of the object name for either the video or audio element.
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The link icon changes to a broken link.
2 Move, trim, or slip the audio or video bar.
The link icon also appears in the Layers tab in the Project pane.
Before
After
Timeline View Options
The lower-left corner of the Timeline contains several controls to customize what elements
appear in the Timeline.
Audio tracks are displayed in a separate partition in the Timeline. You can resize the
partitions by dragging the divider for each partition.
Button
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Button name
Function
Show/Hide Layers
Displays all groups, layers, and objects. Audio
tracks must be displayed for this switch to have
any effect.
Show/Hide Audio
Displays audio tracks. The waveforms appear on
the audio tracks.
Note: When an audio file with an applied Audio
behavior is displayed in the Timeline, the Audio
behavior appears below the audio track that it
modifies.
Show/Hide Keyframes
Displays keyframes for all tracks. Keyframes appear
as blue diamonds (white when selected).
Show/Hide Masks
Displays mask tracks for objects that have masks
applied.
Show/Hide Behaviors
Displays behavior tracks for objects that have
behaviors applied.
Show/Hide Filters
Displays filter tracks for objects that have filters
applied.
Set Timeline Row Size
Click one of the “Set timeline row size” buttons to
select a track size. To manually resize tracks,
position the pointer over a row separator line and
drag up or down.
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Zooming in the Timeline
You can zoom in and out in the Timeline using the Zoom/Scroll control, the zoom slider,
or using a pinch open or pinch closed on a Multi-Touch trackpad. Each of these methods
lets you zoom in and out of the Timeline horizontally, showing more or less time in the
Timeline window. As you zoom in, you can see greater detail, which lets you place objects
with greater precision. As you move the zoom slider, the Timeline remains centered on
your current frame.
Scroller
Zoom slider
Handle
Zoom/Scroll control
The Zoom/Scroll control appears at the bottom of the Timeline window and lets you
scroll through your project when you drag the scroller left or right.
The Zoom/Scroll control also lets you zoom in and out in your Timeline. It can help you
navigate your project more quickly because it provides an overview of your Timeline at
a glance. The width of the control represents the entire duration of your project, and the
width of the scroller identifies the currently viewed segment.
Note: If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use a two-finger
swipe to scroll, or the pinch open and pinch closed gestures to zoom in the Timeline.
If you drag either handle of the scroller inward, the scroller gets shorter and zooms in on
the Timeline. Dragging either handle outward lengthens the scroller and zooms out of
the Timeline. The Timeline playhead is always visible to provide a reference point for
which segment of your Timeline is currently being viewed.
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To zoom in or out of the Timeline
Drag the handle at either end of the scroller. Drag toward the center of the Timeline to
zoom in. Drag away from the center to zoom out.
If you press Shift while dragging a handle, the opposite end remains locked in position
and allows you to zoom in or out on the edge of the current view.
Adjusting the Height of the Timeline Tracks
In addition to zooming in and out in the Timeline, you can adjust the height of the tracks.
Audio and object tracks may be resized separately. Some tracks, such as filters or behaviors,
do not resize at all.
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To adjust the height of the tracks
Do one of the following:
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Drag the row separator between two layers in the Timeline layers list. When the pointer
changes to an adjust pointer, drag up or down to modify the vertical size of the tracks.
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Click one of the “Set timeline row size” buttons.
Specifying the Track Display
You can choose several different ways to display the objects within the tracks in the
Timeline. You can display just the name of the object in the track, which makes the track
thin, and is the easiest way to see many tracks at a time. You can choose to show the
name and a thumbnail image of the object, which provides quick visual feedback and
lets you identify exactly what each object is. You can also display a track as a filmstrip,
which shows a series of thumbnails and lets you see where changes occur in a movie
object. When you modify the track display setting, the display for image and mask tracks
in the Timeline changes.
To specify the track display
1 Choose Motion > Preferences to display the Preferences window.
2 Click the Appearance icon.
3 In the Timeline section, choose an item from the Timebar Display pop-up menu.
4 Click the close box to close the Preferences window.
The bars are displayed according to your choice.
Note: When the Timebar Display is set to Filmstrip, your processing time is increased.
When a filter is applied to a layer or group, the result of the filter is displayed in the
filmstrip.
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Adding Objects to the Timeline Layers List
You can add images and clips to your project by dragging them to the Timeline layers
list. When you drag an image from the File Browser or Media tab into the Timeline layers
list, you can choose whether add the new object to an existing group, replace an existing
object, or create a new object. Once an object is added to the Timeline layers list, it
appears in the layers lists and becomes a Timeline track in the track area. The new object
can appear above or below an existing object; where you release the mouse button
determines placement of the new object.
Note: You can also add objects to the Timeline track area. For more information, see
Adding Objects to the Track Area.
To add an object to an existing group
1 Drag an object from the File Browser, Library, or Media tab, and position the pointer over
the Timeline layers list.
• If you position the pointer over a group, the track is highlighted with a black border.
• If you position the pointer between object tracks within a group, the position indicator
appears.
2 Release the mouse button to add the layer to the group.
The new layer is placed on top of other existing objects in the group, or in between the
objects where you dragged it.
To replace an object in an existing group
1 Drag an object from the File Browser, Library, or Media tab, and position the pointer over
the object that you want to replace.
A black highlight box appears around the object.
Note: The replace command can be used only for image, image sequence, and QuickTime
movie files.
2 Release the mouse button.
The new object replaces the old one.
To create a new group on top of existing groups
1 Drag an object from the File Browser, Library, or Media tab into the Timeline layers list,
at the upper edge of the top object.
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2 When the position indicator appears, release the mouse button.
A new group is created on top of other existing groups in the hierarchy or “stack” of
groups and layers.
To create a new group below existing groups
1 Drag an object from the File Browser, Library, or Media tab into the Timeline layers list,
below the lower edge of the bottom object.
Note: There are two different position indicators: The shorter indicator places the object
in the existing group. While holding down the mouse button, move slightly to the left
until a longer indicator appears. This indicator creates a new group.
2 Release the mouse button.
A new group is created below other existing groups in the hierarchy or “stack” of groups
and objects.
Managing Track Order
The Timeline layers list provides you with the tools to control object order. In 2D Motion
projects, the topmost track in the list appears on top of other layers in the Canvas. This
means you may need to rearrange the order of objects in your project to get the effects
you want.
To rearrange objects within a group
1 In the Timeline layers list, drag the object icon you want to move to a new position
between the other tracks.
Before
After
2 When the position indicator appears in the location you want, release the mouse button.
The tracks are reordered.
To move an object from one group to another existing group
1 Drag the object icon in the Timeline layers list over another group.
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A black border highlights the group.
2 Release the mouse button.
The object moves into the selected group and is placed above any existing objects within
that group.
You can also drag an object to a specific place in the new group by dragging it in between
existing tracks in the new group. Motion’s groups and layers are “spring-loaded,” which
means that when they are collapsed, dragging an object onto them causes them to
temporarily expand, just like folders in the Finder.
To drop an object inside a collapsed group
1 Drag the object onto the collapsed group in the Timeline layers list.
2 Position the pointer over the name of the group until the group springs open.
3 Drag the object to the desired location within the group, then release the mouse button.
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Nesting Groups and Layers
To help organize large groups of objects or to create certain kinds of special effects, you
can place one group inside of another. This gives you the flexibility to create a group
containing multiple objects, and then treat that entire group as a single object within
another group. You could go further and take that “parent” group, combine it with some
other groups, and treat that group as a single element, and so on. This is called nesting
or grouping.
There are many reasons why you might choose to nest your layers or groups. Doing so
allows you to simplify your composite, grouping objects and layers into fewer containers.
It also allows you to manipulate a group of objects as one. For example, you could take
the individual letters of your title (each animated on its own) and use nesting to animate
the group of them across the screen. You can also use grouping to create complex particle
systems. You can nest several objects into a layer, and use the entire layer as the emitter
cell. For more on particle systems, see Working with Particles.
Note: You cannot use the Group command with objects that are in different groups.
To place one group inside another
1 Drag the group icon in the Timeline layers list onto the group inside of which you want
to nest it.
A black border highlights the destination group.
2 Release the mouse button.
The first group is now nested inside the second group.
You can also select the objects you want and choose Object > Group (or press
Command-Shift-G).
Note: There is no limit to the number of groups you can nest.
µ
To return a nested group to its original state
Select the nested group, then choose Object > Ungroup (or press Command-Option-G).
The nested group is restored into individual objects. Any group within another group
can be ungrouped.
To remove a group from within a nest
1 Click the group icon in the Timeline layers list.
2 Drag the group out of the existing parent group to the area above the highest track.
The position indicator appears.
3 Release the mouse button.
The group is restored to primary group status.
To delete a group or object track
1 Select the group or object in the Timeline layers list.
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2 Press Delete.
You can also Control-click an object, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
All of the operations just described can also be performed with multiple tracks. For
example, rather than just moving one object from Group 1 to Group 3, you can select
two or three objects within Group 1 and move them all at once.
µ
To select more than one object or group track
Command-click each of the tracks in the Layers list that you want to include in your
selection.
Adding Objects to the Track Area
When you drag a new object to the track area, a drop menu appears and lets you choose
how the object should be incorporated into the project. Depending on where in track
area you drop the object, you see different options. If you drag to a group or object track
in the track area, you can choose Composite, Insert, or Overwrite. An additional Exchange
option becomes available when you exchange the same type of media (such as a
QuickTime movie, an image sequence, or an image file). For example, Exchange appears
when you drag a QuickTime movie to a QuickTime movie’s track.
Note: You can also add objects to the Timeline layers list. For more information, see
Adding Objects to the Timeline Layers List.
Once an object is added to a project using the Timeline, it appears in the layers list and
becomes a Timeline track. The new object can appear above or below an existing object;
where you release the mouse button determines placement of the new object.
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Note: Cameras and lights that have been saved to the Library can be dragged to the
Timeline.
Dragging to a group track
Dragging within an object track
If you are dropping multiple objects, you can choose Composite or Sequential from the
drop menu. Sequential imports objects one after the other.
Note: If you release the mouse button before the drop menu appears, the default choice
of Composite is applied. This means that the new layer appears on top of other objects
in the Canvas.
Composite
When you choose Composite from the drop menu, the new object is added to a new
track within the active group and all layers remain onscreen simultaneously.
Before
After
To composite an object
1 Drag an object from the Library or Media tab into the Timeline tracks area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears at the pointer to tell you the frame number at which you
are located.
2 When you reach the frame where you want the new layer to start, position the pointer
over the layer you want as the background, and hold down the mouse button until the
drop menu appears.
3 Choose Composite from the drop menu.
The new layer is composited into the project.
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Insert
When you choose Insert from the drop menu, Motion leaves the existing object in the
track, but pushes it forward in time to make room for the new item. For example, if you
insert a five-frame movie into a group containing an existing object, the new movie is
added to the Timeline at whichever frame you drop it, pushing the remaining frames of
the original movie out five frames.
Before
After
If you insert an object midway through an existing object, the existing object is split into
two objects, each on its own track.
To insert an object
1 Drag an object from the Library or Media tab into the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears at the pointer to tell you the frame number at which you
are located.
2 When you reach the frame where you want the new object to start, keep the mouse
button pressed until the drop menu appears.
3 Choose Insert from the drop menu.
The new object is inserted into the track, breaking the original bar into two, and pushing
the frames after the insertion further out in time.
Overwrite
The Overwrite drop menu option deletes the existing object, overwriting it with your
new object.
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If the new object is shorter than the one currently in the group, the Overwrite option
splits the duration of the existing object and deletes only the frames where the new
object appears.
Before
After
To overwrite an object
1 Drag an object from the Library or Media tab into the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears to tell you the frame number at which you are located.
2 When you reach the frame where you want the new object to start, hold down the mouse
button until the drop menu appears.
3 Choose Overwrite from the drop menu.
The frames of the new object replace the frames of the original object. If the original
object contained more frames than the new one, the old object is split into two objects
and the additional frames remain.
Exchange
The Exchange drop menu option is a variant of the Overwrite option, but instead of
dropping the entire duration of the new object into the project, the duration of the
existing object is used.
For example, if you drag a 30-second clip over a 5-second clip, choosing Exchange swaps
the existing 5 seconds with the first 5 seconds of the longer clip.
Before
After
Similarly, if you try to exchange a 10-second clip with one that lasts only 5 seconds, the
first 5 seconds are replaced, and the remaining 5 seconds would remain. The Exchange
option transfers any filters, behaviors, and keyframes from the original object onto the
new object.
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Note: You cannot use Exchange with audio files.
To exchange an object
1 Drag an object from the Library or Media tab into the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears to tell you the frame number at which you are located.
2 When you reach the object you want to exchange, hold down the mouse button until
the drop menu appears.
3 Choose Exchange from the drop menu.
The old object is replaced by the new object.
Sequential
This drop menu option is only available when you are dropping multiple objects into the
Timeline. Sequential drops objects one after another in the Timeline. For more information,
see Adding Multiple Clips to the Timeline.
Adding Multiple Clips to the Timeline
When you drag more than one item to the Timeline, the new objects appear in their own
tracks above any existing objects. This is equivalent to performing a composite edit with
a single object. A drop menu lets you choose whether the additional objects should be
stacked up as a composite, or whether they should appear one after another (sequentially).
Composite
Sequential
To add multiple objects as a composite
1 Shift-select the files you want in the Library or Media tab, then drag them to the Timeline
track area.
2 When you reach the frame where you want the new objects to start, hold down the
mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3 Choose Composite from the drop menu.
The multiple objects are all edited into the project at the same point in time, each on its
own track.
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Alternatively, you can drop the multiple objects into the Timeline layers list. Doing so
always results in a composite edit. Also, if you release the mouse button before the drop
menu appears, a composite edit is applied.
To add multiple objects sequentially
1 Command-select the files you want in the File Browser, Library, or Media tab, then drag
them to the Timeline track area.
2 When you reach the frame where you want the new objects to start, hold down the
mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3 Choose Sequential from the drop menu.
The multiple objects are edited into the project, one after another, each on its own track.
Setting Drag and Drop Preferences
You can set preferences that specify where an item is dropped when you add it to the
Timeline. You can choose between dropping items at the start of the project or at the
current playhead position. You can also set the delay time before the drop menu appears.
To specify where new objects appear in the Timeline
1 Choose Motion > Preferences.
The Preferences window appears.
2 Click the Project icon.
The Project Preferences pane opens.
3 In the Still Images & Layers section, click the appropriate button to create layers at “Current
frame” or “Start of project.”
Note: The Create Layers At preference only applies when you drag items to the Timeline
layers list, the Layers tab of the Project pane, or directly into the Canvas. Clips dropped
on a specific frame within the Timeline always appear at that exact location.
To set the drop menu delay preference
1 Choose Motion > Preferences.
The Preferences window appears.
2 Click the General icon to view the General preferences pane.
3 In the Interface section, adjust the Drop Menu Delay slider to set the delay pause for the
drop menu.
Editing Objects in the Timeline
During the process of designing and implementing a motion graphics project, you place
objects in the Timeline and Canvas, move them forward or backward in time, and trim
them to match the timing of other objects in your project.
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Motion has several features that help you modify the objects in the Timeline. You can
arrange your objects to begin and end at designated frames. You can also use powerful
alignment and timing tools, such as snapping and markers. You can also modify keyframes
in the Timeline. This section describes the various ways you can perform these actions.
Motion uses the terms move, trim, and slip to describe the different ways of editing
Timeline objects.
• Move: Changes the location of an object without affecting its content or duration.
• Trim: Changes the duration of an object without affecting its location or content.
• Slip: Changes the content of an object without affecting its location or duration.
Moving Objects
Move an object when you want it to begin and end at a different point in the project.
µ
To move an object
In the track area, click an object bar and drag left or right to move it in time.
A tooltip appears that identifies the new In and Out points of the clip, so you can drag
the clip to the frame you want. The delta symbol (the small triangle) indicates the number
of frames you are moving.
µ
To move an object and snap it to neighboring items
Press Shift as you drag the item in the Timeline.
Snap-to lines appear and the edges of the clip automatically line up precisely with these
lines.
Moving Objects to the Playhead
You can move an object to a new location in the Timeline by using the Move Selected
In (or Out) Point command. This command automatically shifts the position of the selected
object to the current playhead position and can be used to move and align multiple
objects in one operation.
To move an object to the playhead
1 Select the object you want to move.
2 Place the playhead at the point in the Timeline where you want to move the object.
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3 Choose Mark > Move Selected In Point (or press Shift-Left Bracket) to align the object’s
beginning to the playhead or choose Mark > Move Selected Out Point (or press Shift-Right
Bracket) to align the end of the object to the playhead position.
Before
After
Moving Objects Shortcut
In the Timeline, you can quickly move an object forward or backward a specific number
of frames, or to a specific frame.
To move an object to a specific frame
1 In the Timeline, select the object you want to move, then type the number of the frame
(or timecode) where you want to move the object.
A value field appears that displays the number you typed.
2 Press Return.
The object’s In point moves to the specified frame number.
To move an object a specific number of frames
Do one of the following:
µ
To move the object forward a specific number of frames, select the object, type a plus
sign (+) followed by the number of the frames you want to move, and then press Return.
µ
To move the object backward a specific number of frames, select the object, type a minus
sign (–) followed by the number of the frames you want to move, and then press Return.
Trimming Objects
Trim an object when you want to shorten or lengthen its duration in the Timeline. You
can shorten or lengthen either the beginning or end of the object by dragging from the
left or right edge of the object bar in the Timeline (the In and Out points).
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You can also trim an object by using the menu items and corresponding keyboard
shortcuts to change an object’s In and Out points. This allows you to trim multiple objects
simultaneously as well as make trimming changes on the fly while your project is playing
back.
You can only lengthen a footage layer if there are existing unused frames in the source
media. If you need to extend an object and the source material doesn’t have enough
frames, you can change its End Condition to Loop, Ping Pong, or Hold. The End Condition
parameter is located in the Properties tab of the Inspector. You can extend the length of
other objects, such as cameras, text, and shapes without restriction.
Note: For more information on the Timing controls, see Retiming.
When you resize an object, unused frames temporarily appear beyond the boundaries
of the object in a lighter color. If there is no room outside of the currently used portion,
no unused frames appear and you cannot lengthen the object.
Unused frames
To trim an object
1 Move the pointer to one end of the object you want to trim.
The pointer changes to a trim pointer.
2 Drag the end of the bar until it reaches the frame where you want the object to start or
end.
As you drag, a tooltip shows the new In or Out point, and the new duration of the object.
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µ
To trim an object and snap to neighboring items
Press Shift as you drag the edge of the item in the Timeline.
Snap-to lines appear, and the edge of the object you are dragging automatically lines up
precisely with these lines.
To change an object’s In or Out point
1 Select the object you want to trim.
2 Place the playhead on the frame where you want the new In or Out point.
Before
After
3 Choose Mark > Mark In (or press I) to set a new In point or choose Mark > Mark Out (or
press O) to change the Out point.
To trim multiple objects at the same time
1 Select the objects you want to trim.
2 Place the playhead at the In or Out position you want.
3 Choose Mark > Mark In (or press I) or Mark > Mark Out (or press O) to set a new In or Out
point.
All selected objects are trimmed to the new point.
Note: If one of the objects doesn’t have enough media to complete the trim, it moves
as far as it can toward the desired point.
Slipping Objects
Slip an object when you want to use a different section of your clip, but you don’t want
to change the layer’s duration or where it appears in the Timeline. Slipping is only possible
after you have trimmed an object.
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For example, if you have a shot of a door opening that is 3 seconds long and you want
to trim it down to only 1 second, you can use the Slip function to select which one-second
section to use: the first second as the door leaves the jamb, the next second where it is
flying open, or the last second where it bangs against the wall.
Before
After
Note: You can only slip an object as far as the existing unused frames in the source media.
To slip an object
1 With the pointer over the object, press and hold down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the slip pointer.
2 Drag the middle part of the colored bar left or right.
Dragging to the right replaces the frames with a section from later in the source material,
while dragging to the left uses frames from earlier in the clip.
Splitting Tracks
Occasionally you may want to divide a single object into multiple objects, each in its own
Timeline track. You might do this if you want an effect to apply to one portion of an
object but not to another part. Or you might want an object to change layer order midway
through, to create the effect that objects are moving in 3D space. When working in 3D,
you can split camera tracks as well. Splitting tracks allows you to turn one object into
multiple pieces and then manipulate each segment of the object on its own track.
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To split an object track
1 Select the object in the track area of the Timeline layers list for the object you want to
split.
2 Place the playhead on the frame where you want the split to occur.
3 Choose Edit > Split.
The object is broken into two pieces, each positioned on its own track.
Deleting Objects
Removing objects from your project can be just as important as adding them. Motion
provides three ways to remove an object from the Timeline.
• Delete: Removes the object, leaving a gap in the Timeline.
Before
After
• Ripple Delete: Removes the object and closes up the gap left behind. If the objects are
within a group, the group is split into two objects.
Before
After
• Cut: Deletes the object, leaving a gap in the Timeline, and copies the object to the
Clipboard for later pasting.
To delete an object
1 Select the object you want to delete.
2 Choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
You can also Control-click the object, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
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To ripple delete an object
1 Select the object you want to delete.
2 Choose Edit > Ripple Delete (or press Shift-Delete).
To cut an object
1 Select an object you want to delete.
2 Choose Edit > Cut from the menu bar (or press Command-X).
You can also Control-click the object, then choose Cut from the shortcut menu.
Copying and Pasting Objects
As in other applications, you can copy and paste objects. Copying leaves an object in
place and copies it to the Clipboard for later pasting.
When you paste an object, it is placed at the position of the playhead.
Before
After
If a track is selected, the object is pasted into that track above all other objects. If no track
is selected, a new track is created for the pasted object (as illustrated above).
Change the active track by clicking the Timeline layers list. Pasting multiple objects retains
the relative object and layer order of the Clipboard contents. New tracks can be added
to accommodate the paste operation.
Objects with filters behaviors, keyframes, and other effects retain those effects when cut,
copied, and pasted.
To copy an object to the Clipboard
1 In the Timeline layers list or File Browser, select the object or objects you want to copy.
2 Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
To paste an object
1 In the Timeline layers list, select the layer where you want the object pasted.
2 Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
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Paste Special
In addition to ordinary pasting, Motion lets you paste as an insert, overwrite, or exchange
edit. These three commands appear in the Paste Special dialog. Paste special can also be
used with regions to perform a special type of paste. For more information, see Pasting
into a Region Using the Paste Special Command.
• Insert into time region: Pastes the Clipboard contents into the project, pushing existing
objects farther down in time.
• Overwrite into time region: Pastes the Clipboard contents into the project, deleting any
existing objects at the same point in time.
• Exchange media with existing object: Replaces the selected object in the project with
the Clipboard contents.
To paste an object as an insert
1 Select the track where you want the object pasted.
2 Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3 Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Command-Option-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
4 Select “Insert into time region.”
5 Click OK to confirm your edit.
To paste an object as an Overwrite
1 Select the track where you want the object pasted.
2 Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3 Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Command-Option-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
4 Select “Overwrite into time region.”
5 Click OK to confirm your edit.
To paste an object as an Exchange
1 Select the track where you want the object pasted.
2 Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3 Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Command-Option-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
4 Select “Exchange media with existing object.”
5 Click OK to confirm your edit.
Note: The “Exchange media with existing object” option is only available for an item
copied from the File Browser. To copy an image element from the File Browser, select
the image and choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
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Displaying and Modifying Keyframes in the Timeline
You can move or delete keyframes that are displayed in the Timeline. You can also display
in the Timeline the animation curve for a selected keyframe in the Keyframe Editor.
µ
To display keyframes in the Timeline
At the bottom of the Timeline layers list, click the Show/Hide Keyframes button.
Show/Hide Keyframes
button
When the button appears dark gray, it is enabled. The keyframes appear below the object
tracks. In the following image, the “5-sided star” object has three keyframes. The keyframes
appear in the track below the object.
µ
To move a keyframe’s position in time
Drag the keyframe to the left or right. When selected, the keyframe appears white.
Moving the keyframe in the Timeline only modifies its position in time. To directly modify
the value of a keyframe, do one of the following:
• Control-click the keyframe, choose the property you want to adjust from the shortcut
menu, enter a new value, and press Return.
• Use the Keyframe Editor. This allows you to change the value and interpolation of the
keyframe. For more information on the Keyframe Editor, see Keyframes and Curves.
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To delete a keyframe or group of selected keyframes
Select the keyframe or keyframes that you want to delete, and do one of the following:
• Press Delete.
• Control-click one of the selected keyframes, then choose Delete Keyframes from the
shortcut menu.
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To delete all keyframes
Control-click a keyframe, then choose Delete All Keyframes from the shortcut menu.
To display an animation curve in the Keyframe Editor
Control-click a keyframe on the track, then choose Show in Keyframe Editor from the
shortcut menu.
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The Keyframe Editor is displayed, the animation curve appears, and a new, untitled curve
set is created. For more information on curve sets, see Filtering the Parameter List.
Retiming in the Timeline
By default, a 60-frame clip played back at 30 frames per second takes two seconds to
display its 60 frames. If its In point is frame 1, its Out point is frame 60. Speed and duration
are interactive; that is, if you increase the speed at which the clip plays back, its duration
automatically decreases. Playing back the same clip at 15 frames per second would take
twice as long. The clip’s In point remains the same, but its Out point is now 120.
For more detailed information about retiming, see Retiming. For more information on
using the Retiming behaviors, see Retiming Behaviors.
Adjusting a Clip’s Speed
Motion allows you to easily change the timing of clips in the Timeline.
To shorten the clip’s duration and speed up its playback speed
1 With the pointer over the end of the clip, press and hold down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the retime pointer.
2 Drag the Out point of the clip’s bar to the left.
As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s duration and speed.
Note: To use the retime pointer, Constant Speed must be chosen from the Time Remap
pop-up menu in the Properties tab of the Inspector. When Variable Speed is chosen, the
retime pointer has no effect.
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To lengthen the clip’s duration and slow down its playback speed
1 With the pointer over the start or end of the clip, press and hold down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the retime pointer.
2 Drag the Out point of the clip’s bar to the right.
As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s Duration and Speed.
Looping a Clip
When a looped clip reaches its last frame, it starts playing again from its first frame.
Another way of extending a clip’s duration is by looping it. You can easily loop a clip by
adjusting it in the Timeline.
To loop a clip
1 With the pointer over the end of the clip, press and hold Option-Shift.
The pointer turns into the loop pointer.
2 Drag the Out point of the layer’s bar to the left.
As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s In and Out points, Duration, and Loop Duration.
A looped clip has barriers to indicate where loops begin and end in the Timeline.
First loop barrier
The first loop barrier in a clip’s bar is interactive. Moving the barrier changes the point at
which the clip loops.
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To change the loop point of a clip
Drag the first loop barrier left or right.
The end point of the clip’s loop moves as you drag.
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Editing in the Group Track
In addition to the ability to edit individual objects within groups, Motion allows you to
do a variety of editing tasks directly in the group track, even if that track is collapsed. This
allows you to collapse your tracks and do many of the functions typically limited to a
dedicated nonlinear editor such as Final Cut Pro.
Ordinarily the group bar indicates the name of the object if there is only one object and
the number of composited items for areas where more than one object overlaps.
Moving Objects in the Group Track
Motion lets you move objects within a group depending on where you click. You can
move all of the objects within the group as a single object by clicking the thin blue group
bar at the top of the group track. If you click an area where only one clip exists, you move
just that item. If you click an area where multiple objects overlap, dragging moves all of
the overlapping items.
To move an entire group as a single object
1 Click the thin blue group bar at the top of the group track.
The layer can be collapsed or expanded.
2 Drag to the right or left to move the entire layer in time.
Before
After
To move a single object within a group
1 Click the area of the group track where the one clip is visible.
That clip is highlighted in the group track.
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2 Drag the section left or right to move the object within the group forward or backward
in time.
Before
After
Moving and Editing Overlapping Objects
You can move all overlapping objects of a group at once or edit a single object within a
group.
To move overlapping objects within a group
1 Click the area of the group track where the overlap is indicated.
The selected area may exceed the overlapping region if an object extends beyond the
overlap.
2 Drag the section to move all of the objects at once.
Before
After
You can also use the shortcut menu to select any one of the overlapping objects in order
to edit that object directly. This is one way that you can manipulate individual objects
within a group without having to expand the group.
To edit one item in an overlapping area of a group
1 Control-click the overlapping area of the group, then choose the object you want to
manipulate from the shortcut menu.
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The boundaries of that one object are highlighted in the group track.
2 Move, trim, or slip the object independently from the other objects in the group.
Trimming Objects in the Group Track
Trimming the edges of the group bar automatically trims the edges of the objects within
the group. If there is only one object, trimming the group bar simply trims that object. If
there is more than one object lined up with the edge of the group, trimming the group
automatically trims all of those objects.
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You cannot trim the individual object tracks within the body of the group track.
Before
After
Disconnecting the Group Track from Its Contents
You can modify the group bar to be longer or shorter than the contents of the group.
For example, you might shorten a group bar to hide a section of the objects within it.
Objects that extend beyond the boundaries of the group bar (the thin blue bar at the
top of the group track) are not displayed in the Canvas.
Before
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After
To change the length of the group independently from the objects within it
Press Command, then drag the edge of the group track.
Only the thin blue layer bar is trimmed.
Note: Once you manually change the length of the group bar, it is no longer automatically
updated as you add or modify the objects within it. To restore automatic updating, realign
the group bar with the right edge of the last clip in the group.
You can use this same technique to trim an object without automatically changing the
duration of masks, filters, or other applied effects.
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To trim an object without changing applied effects
Press Command while you drag the edge of the object.
Slipping Objects in the Group Track
In addition to moving and trimming, you can slip certain objects directly in the group
bar. Any portion of the group that contains only one object can be slipped. Areas where
more than one object overlap cannot be slipped without expanding the group and directly
manipulating the individual objects.
To slip an object in the group track
1 Option-click an area of the group where the object is located.
2 Drag to the right or left to use an earlier or later portion of the media without moving
the position or duration of the object.
You can only slip an object if there are unused frames in the source media associated
with that clip. For more information on slipping, see Slipping Objects.
Working in the Ruler
You can perform several types of functions using the ruler area of the Timeline. You can
move the playhead to a specific frame to view the project at a specific time. You can also
set In and Out points so that playback occurs only within the specified frames. In addition,
you can select a range of frames, so that you can delete, cut, or paste into the selected
frames.
Current frame field
In point
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Playhead
Out point
Navigating in the Timeline
Motion provides many different controls for navigating the Timeline. You can directly
drag the playhead to “scrub” through your project as quickly or slowly as you want, or
you can jump to a specific frame. Additionally, you can automatically jump to object
boundaries, markers, and other important indicators in the Timeline.
To move the playhead to a new point in time
Do one of the following:
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Double-click the current frame field, type a frame number, then press Return.
µ
With the Timeline active, type the timecode or frame number where you want to move
the playhead. The new frame number appears in the Timeline’s current frame field. Press
Return to jump to that frame.
Drag the current frame value slider to the left or right to advance or rewind.
Drag the playhead to the frame you want.
Click the ruler at the frame number where you want to move the playhead.
With the Canvas or Project pane active, type the timecode or frame number where you
want to move the playhead. The new frame number appears in the current frame field
in the Canvas. Press Return to jump to that frame.
Important: If a track is currently selected, typing a number and pressing return moves
the selected object in the track rather than the playhead.
µ
To move forward a specific number of frames
Press Shift–Plus Sign and then the number of frames you want to move forward.
Important: If a track is currently selected, typing a number and pressing return moves
the selected object in the track rather than the playhead.
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To move backward a specific number of frames
Press Shift–Minus Sign and then the number of frames you want to move backward.
Important: If a track is currently selected, typing a number and pressing return moves
the selected object in the track rather than the playhead.
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To move ahead or back in seconds, minutes, or hours, type the following in the current
frame field
To move forward in seconds, type Shift–Plus Sign, then type the number of seconds you
want to move forward, and then type a period. For example, to move 2 seconds ahead,
type “+2.” (with a period after the number) in the field, then press Return. To move ahead
in minutes, type two periods after the number, and to move ahead in hours, type three
periods after the number.
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To move backward in seconds, type a Shift–Minus Sign, then type the number of seconds
you want to move backward, and then type a period. For example, to move 2 seconds
backward, type “–2.” (with a period after the number) in the field, then press Return. To
move backward in minutes, type two periods after the number, and to move backward
in hours, type three periods after the number.
Important: If a track is currently selected, typing a number and pressing return moves
the selected object in the track rather than the playhead.
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To play back your project
Press the Space bar.
To move forward or backward one frame at a time
Do one of the following:
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Click the “Go to next frame” or “Go to previous frame” button in the transport controls
(left of the Play/Mute Audio button).
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Choose Mark > Go to > Previous Frame or Next Frame.
Press the Left Arrow key to move backward or the Right Arrow key to move forward.
Note: If you are working on a Mac with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can rotate left to go
to the previous frame or rotate right to go to the next frame.
To move forward or backward ten frames at a time
Do one of the following:
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Choose Mark > Go to > 10 Frames Back or 10 Frames Forward.
Press the Shift key, then press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key.
To jump directly to the beginning of the project
Do one of the following:
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Click the “Go to start of project” button in the transport controls (to the right of the Record
button).
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Choose Mark > Go to > Project Start.
Press Home.
To jump directly to the end of your project
Do one of the following:
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Click the “Go to end of project” button in the transport controls.
Choose Mark > Go to > Project End.
Press End.
Chapter 8 Using the Timeline
To jump to the next keyframe
Do one of the following:
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With the animated object selected, press Shift-K.
With the animated object selected, choose Mark > Go to > Next Keyframe.
To jump to the previous keyframe
Do one of the following:
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With the animated object selected, press Option-K.
With the animated object selected, choose Mark > Go to > Previous Keyframe.
For information on displaying keyframes in the Timeline, see Timeline View Options.
In addition to simply moving to new positions in the ruler, you can navigate directly to
objects within the Timeline, such as objects, markers, and keyframes. For more information
on markers, see Adding Markers. For more information on keyframes, see Keyframes and
Curves.
To jump directly to the beginning or end of an object in the Timeline
1 Select the object you want to navigate to.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Mark > Go to > Selection In Point or Selection Out Point.
• Press Shift-I (for the In point) or Shift-O (for the Out point).
Defining the Play Range
Ordinarily, clicking the Play button plays your project from the first frame until the last.
However, you can change the area of your project Motion plays by modifying the In and
Out points in the Timeline ruler. You might do this to focus on a particular section as you
fine-tune your project or make other changes to it. Once you’re done focusing on that
section, you can reset the In and Out points to the beginning and end of your project.
New In point
New Out point
To customize the playback In point
Do one of the following:
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In the ruler, drag the In point marker from the left edge of the ruler to the frame where
you want to set the In point. As you drag, the playhead also moves with your pointer.
When you release the mouse button, the playhead snaps back to its previous position.
µ
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Choose Mark > Mark Play Range In.
Press Command-Option-I.
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To customize the playback Out point
Do one of the following:
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In the ruler, drag the Out point marker from the right edge of the ruler to the frame where
you want to set the Out point.
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Choose Mark > Mark Play Range Out.
Press Command-Option-O.
To reset playback In and Out points
Do one of the following:
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Choose Mark > Reset Play Range.
Press Option-X.
The In and Out points reset themselves to the beginning and end of the project.
To navigate to playback In and Out points
Do one of the following:
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Choose Mark > Go to > Play Range Start or Play Range End.
Press Shift-Home (In point) or Shift-End (Out point).
Working with Regions
Sometimes you may want to make changes to a range of frames, known as a region. You
might do this to cut or copy a section of time to remove it or move it to a new position
in your project. Regions do not have to align with object edges in the Timeline. You can
create a region that begins midway through an object or one that includes empty frames
beyond the edges of objects.
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To select a range of frames
Command-Option-drag in the Timeline.
A light blue band appears over the selected frames.
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To expand or contract a region
Position the pointer at either edge of a region to modify its end point. Click to the right
to make it longer or to the left to make it shorter.
Selected regions ordinarily apply to all tracks in your Timeline. However, sometimes you
only want to select one or more tracks. This allows you to make complex selections across
multiple layers and tracks.
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To move a region
Position the pointer over the region, then drag to move the region.
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To deselect tracks from a selection range
Command-click the track you want to deselect.
Once you have defined your selection range, you can delete the section or ripple delete
the section (to delete it and close the resulting gap). You can cut or copy the section to
move it to the Clipboard so you can paste it somewhere else.
Note: Pasting a region does not paste at the current playhead location. To quickly move
the pasted region to the playhead location, press the Shift key while you drag the pasted
object. As you approach the current playhead location, the object snaps into place.
You can also paste into a region, which fills the existing region with the contents of the
Clipboard.
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Pasting into a Region Using the Paste Special Command
Regions are also useful for performing a special type of paste command called paste
special. You can define a region and paste objects into that region. You have three choices
for how the paste into is performed. You can insert, pushing the existing region down in
time, overwrite the existing contents of the region, or exchange the existing objects with
the Clipboard contents. In all of these cases, the pasted objects never exceed the duration
of the region they are pasted into.
To paste into a region
1 Select the object that you want to copy to the Clipboard to be pasted.
2 Press Command-C to copy or Command-X to cut your selection.
3 Command-Option-drag in the Timeline to select a region.
4 Choose Edit > Paste Special.
The Paste Special dialog appears.
5 Select either Insert, Overwrite, or Exchange.
6 Click OK to close the dialog.
The Clipboard contents are pasted into the region using the method you specified. For
more information on the different editing types, see Adding Objects to the Track Area.
Inserting Time
You can select a region in order to add blank playback time into your project. For example,
you might want to add some black frames between two objects, or put some frames in
as a placeholder for a clip you don’t yet have. This is called inserting time.
To insert time into a project
1 Command-Option-drag in the ruler. Drag as wide an area as you want to insert.
2 Choose Edit > Insert Time.
The number of frames in the region is added to the project, beginning at the end of the
selected region and pushing any existing objects further out in time.
Before
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After
Project Duration
Motion projects default to ten seconds in length. You can change this duration to match
the needs of your project. To learn how to change the default project duration, see General
Tab of the Project Properties Window.
To change the project duration
Do one of the following:
µ
Drag in the project duration field in the lower-right corner of the Canvas. Dragging to
the right extends the length and dragging to the left shortens it.
µ
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Click the project duration field and type a number into the value field.
Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J) and change the value of the
project duration field in the dialog.
Note: You can click the stopwatch button to switch between viewing the project duration
field in frames or timecode.
Adding Markers
A marker is a visual reference point in the Timeline that identifies a specific frame. You
can add as many markers as you want in the Timeline ruler while playing the project, or
when the playhead is stopped.
Use markers to:
• Add a visual reference to a track
• Add a visual reference to a project marker in the mini-Timeline
• Align other tracks, objects, or keyframes to an important point in time
• Add notes about a particular area in your project
You can assign different colors to different types or markers and create marker groups.
For example, use green to label all audio markers or pink to identify all temporary object
markers.
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You can add two types of markers: project markers and object markers. Project markers
are fixed to a specific timecode value in the ruler. Object markers are attached to an object
and move around as you move the object. Object markers appear only in the Timeline.
Project markers appear in the Timeline, Keyframe Editor, and Audio Editor.
Object marker
Project marker
Object marker
Note: Project markers are indicated in the mini-Timeline by a fine green line. For more
information on the mini-Timeline, see Mini-Timeline.
Project marker
Project marker
To add a project marker
1 Place the playhead on the exact frame where you want the marker to appear.
2 Check that no objects are selected, then do one of the following:
• Choose Mark > Markers > Add Marker.
• Press M.
• Control-click the gray marker bar above the ruler in the Timeline, then choose Add
Marker from the shortcut menu.
A green marker is added in the gray bar above the Timeline ruler.
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Note: You can also press Shift-M to add a project marker at the playhead position, whether
or not an object is selected.
To add an object marker
1 Place the playhead on the exact frame where you want the marker to appear.
2 Select the object where you want to add the marker, then do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Markers > Add Marker.
• Press M.
A red marker is added to the group bar.
In this way, you can add markers while playing your project. The markers appear at the
frame where the playhead is at the time you press the M key.
Moving and Deleting Markers
Timeline markers can be easily moved or deleted.
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To move a marker
Drag the marker left or right to a new location.
To delete a marker
Do one of the following:
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Drag the marker vertically out of the area where it resides, then release the mouse button.
The marker disappears with a “poof” animation.
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Double-click the marker, then click the Delete marker in the Edit Marker dialog.
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Control-click the marker, then choose Delete Marker from the shortcut menu.
Position the playhead over the marker, select the group or object (for group or object
markers), then choose Mark > Markers > Delete.
Deleting All Markers
In addition to deleting one individual marker, you can delete all markers from your project
in one step. This deletes either project markers or all markers in a selected layer or object.
To delete all project markers only
1 Choose Edit > Deselect All (or press Command-Shift-A).
2 Choose Mark > Markers > Delete All Markers.
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To delete all object markers
Do one of the following:
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Select the group or layer containing the markers you want to delete, then choose Mark
> Markers > Delete All Markers.
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Control-click the gray marker bar above the ruler in the Timeline, then choose Delete All
Markers from the shortcut menu.
Editing Marker Information
You can edit the information for a marker, including its name, starting frame, duration,
and color. You can also add comments to the marker. Comments show up as a tooltip
when the pointer is paused over the marker.
To edit marker information
1 Open the Edit Marker dialog by doing one of the following:
• Double-click a marker to display the Edit Marker dialog.
• Choose Edit > Markers > Edit.
• Control-click the Marker, then choose Edit Markers from the shortcut menu.
Notes added in the Comments field appear as tooltips when the pointer is over the
marker.
2 Type a name in Name field.
3 Type a number in the Start field.
The marker moves to the frame number you enter.
4 Type a value in the Duration field to specify the range of frames for the marker.
5 Type text in the Comment field.
This comment appears as a tooltip when you pause the pointer over project markers.
6 Click the Color pop-up menu to display a list of eight possible colors, then choose the
color you want for the marker.
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7 Click the Type pop-up menu to choose a marker type:
• Standard: The default marker for use in Motion
• DVD Menu Loop: When you are using a Motion project as a menu background in
DVD Studio Pro, the DVD menu normally plays through the entire Motion project, then
starts over at the beginning of the project. When a loop point marker is defined, the
DVD menu plays the Motion project to the end the first time through, then starts over
at the loop point marker for subsequent loops.
• DVD Alpha Transition: When you are using a Motion project as an alpha transition in
DVD Studio Pro, this marker sets the point where the alpha value of the transition (the
Motion project) becomes 0. When a Motion project is used as a transition, only its alpha
channel is used when blending two pieces of video in DVD Studio Pro.
8 Click OK to accept your changes.
Navigating with Markers
You can jump from your current playhead position to a nearby project marker either
forward or backward.
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To jump to the next marker
Control-click the gray marker bar above the ruler in the Timeline, then choose Next Marker
from the shortcut menu.
The playhead automatically jumps to the position of the next project marker.
You can also choose Mark > Go To > Next Marker or press Command-Option-Right Arrow.
µ
To jump to the previous marker
Control-click the gray marker bar above the ruler in the Timeline, then choose Previous
Marker from the shortcut menu.
The playhead automatically jumps to the position of the previous project marker.
You can also choose Mark > Go To > Previous Marker or press Command-Option-Left
Arrow.
You can also navigate to adjacent markers from within the Edit Marker dialog. In that
case, the dialog remains open and the contents are replaced with the information for the
next marker.
Previous marker
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Using Behaviors
9
You can use behaviors to animate objects using simple graphical controls. With behaviors,
you can easily create basic motion effects or complex simulated interactions between
multiple objects. You can add behaviors to objects (cameras, lights, layers, or groups) or
properties in a project to create animated effects without needing to create or adjust
keyframes. Drag a behavior onto an object, and the object is automatically animated
based on the type of behavior you applied. You can customize behavior parameters in
the HUD or in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector to change a behavior’s effect.
This chapter covers the following:
• Behavior Concepts (p. 399)
• Browsing for Behaviors (p. 403)
• Applying and Removing Behaviors (p. 404)
• Modifying Behaviors (p. 415)
• Working with Behaviors (p. 417)
• Changing the Timing of Behaviors (p. 423)
• Animating Behavior Parameters (p. 431)
• Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors (p. 434)
• Basic Motion Behaviors (p. 437)
• Parameter Behaviors (p. 460)
• Retiming Behaviors (p. 489)
• Simulation Behaviors (p. 494)
• Additional Behaviors (p. 522)
• Behavior Examples (p. 522)
Behavior Concepts
Behaviors are designed to be flexible and can be combined with one another to create
all kinds of effects. Using behaviors, motion graphics design becomes interactive, allowing
you to create complex motion effects and simulated object interactions very quickly.
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Behaviors can also be used to animate the parameters of nearly any particle system
emitter, shape, mask, replicator, filter, generator, camera, or light. This allows you to
quickly create animated backgrounds, dynamic filter effects, interesting camera and
lighting effects, and incredibly complex particle systems, all using a few simple controls.
Motion Tracking behaviors serve a different purpose than other behaviors. Rather than
immediately creating animation on the object to which it is applied, a tracking behavior
analyzes an object’s motion, or the motion in a clip. This analyzed motion can be used
to stabilize a shaky clip, match the movement of an object to the movement in the
analyzed clip, track a layer onto a clip (such as a logo or text onto a moving car), and so
on. For more information, see Motion Tracking.
There are 11 different kinds of behaviors in Motion.
• Audio behaviors are applied to audio files to create simple audio effects, such as fade-ins
and fade-outs, pans, and fly-bys. There is also a separate Audio Parameter behavior
that can be applied to the parameters of nearly any object. For more information, see
Audio Behaviors.
• Basic Motion behaviors are among the simplest behaviors. They animate specific
parameters of the object to which they are applied. Some Basic Motion behaviors affect
position while others affect scale or rotation. Examples include Fade In/Fade Out, Spin,
and Throw. All of the Basic Motion behaviors can be applied to images and clips, particle
emitters, shapes, text, and so on. Most of the Basic Motion behaviors can be applied
to cameras and lights. For more information, see Basic Motion Behaviors
• Camera behaviors are specifically designed to be applied to a camera in a 3D project
and create basic camera moves such as dolly moves, panning, and zooming. For more
information, see Camera Behaviors.
• Motion Tracking behaviors perform multiple tasks. While all tracking behaviors analyze
the motion present in a clip, the application of that data varies depending on the
specific behavior. For example, the Stabilize behavior stabilizes movement in a clip that
may have been created by camera shake. The Match Move behavior analyzes the motion
in an object (such as a clip) and applies that motion to another object to integrate it
with the tracking source. For more information, see Motion Tracking Behaviors.
• A Parameter behavior can be applied to a specific parameter of any object (including
filters and behaviors) and the effect is limited to just that parameter. The same Parameter
behavior can be applied to different parameters, resulting in completely different effects.
For example, you can apply the Oscillate behavior to the opacity of text to make the
letters fade in and out, or you can apply the Oscillate behavior to the rotation of a
shape to make the shape rock back and forth. You can also apply Parameter behaviors
to filter parameters, generator parameters, the parameters of particle systems and
replicators, or even the parameters of other behaviors. Examples include Oscillate,
Randomize, and Reverse. Most Parameter behaviors can be applied to cameras and
lights. For more information, see Parameter Behaviors.
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• Particles behaviors are specifically designed to be applied to a particle emitter or cells
within particle systems. These behaviors affect how individual particles are animated
over the duration of their life. For more information, see Using Particles Behaviors.
• Replicator behaviors are specifically designed to be applied to a replicator or cells within
the replicator. These behaviors affect how the replicator cell parameters are animated
over their pattern. For example, you can create an animation that travels over the
replicator pattern in which each cell goes from 0 percent opacity to 100 percent. For
more information, see Using the Sequence Replicator Behavior.
• Retiming behaviors are applied directly to footage and cloned layers (or groups) in order
to create hold frames, reverse the footage, change the speed of the footage, create
strobe frames or stutter, or scrub the footage. These behaviors are applied to the footage
objects in the Layers tab, not in the Media tab. For more information, see Retiming
Behaviors.
• Shape behaviors are specifically designed to be applied to a shape or mask. Shape
behaviors affect the individual vertices of a shape or mask. For example, applying the
Randomize behavior randomly animates the control points (or tangents, or both) on
the shape. For more information, see Shape Behaviors.
• Simulation behaviors perform one of two tasks. Some Simulation behaviors, such as
Gravity, animate the parameters of an object in a way that simulates a real-world
phenomenon. Other Simulation behaviors, such as Attractor and Repel, affect the
parameters of one or more objects surrounding the object to which they’re applied.
These behaviors allow you to create some very sophisticated interactions among
multiple objects in your project with a minimum of adjustments. As with the Basic
Motion behaviors, Simulation behaviors also affect specific object parameters. Examples
include Attractor, Gravity, and Repel. Simulation behaviors can be applied to cameras
and lights. For more information, see Simulation Behaviors.
• Text behaviors animate text parameters to create various animated effects. Examples
include Scroll Up, which causes text to move vertically for scrolling titles or credits, and
Type On, which reveals text letter by letter. For more information, see Text Animation
and Text Sequence Behaviors and Sequence Text Behavior.
For an introduction to using and applying behaviors, see Applying and Removing
Behaviors. For more detailed information on how to manipulate behaviors in a project,
see Working with Behaviors.
Note: Audio, Camera, Motion Tracking, Particles, Replicator, Shape, and Text behaviors
are discussed in their respective chapters.
For step-through examples of using behaviors, see Behavior Examples.
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Behaviors Versus Keyframes
It’s important to understand that behaviors do not add keyframes to the objects or
parameters to which they’re applied. Instead, behaviors automatically generate a range
of values that are then applied to an object’s parameters, animating over the duration
of the behavior. Changing the parameters of a behavior alters the range of values that
behavior generates.
Keyframes, on the other hand, apply specific values directly to a parameter. When you
apply two or more keyframes with different values to a parameter, you animate that
parameter from the first keyframed value to the last.
By design, behaviors are most useful for creating generalized, ongoing motion effects.
They’re also extremely useful for creating animated effects that might be too complex
or time-consuming to keyframe manually. Keyframing, in turn, may be more useful for
creating specific animated effects where the parameter you’re adjusting is required to
hit a specific value at a specific time. For more information on using keyframes, see
Keyframes and Curves.
The animation created by behaviors can be converted into keyframes. For more
information, see Converting Behaviors to Keyframes.
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Browsing for Behaviors
All available behaviors appear in the Library tab. Selecting the Behaviors category in the
category pane of the sidebar reveals the behavior subcategories (text behaviors have
two categories).
Library categories
Behavior subcategories
Behaviors in the selected
subcategory
Selecting a subcategory reveals all behaviors of that type in the Library stack.
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When you select a behavior in the Library stack, a short description and preview of the
behavior appear in the Preview area.
Note: To help you understand how each behavior works, the animated behavior previews
provide hints in the form of animation paths and color coding. While most previews are
self-explanatory, the Parameter previews show before/after examples of the behavior’s
effect on an animated object, with the gear graphic turning red to show the object after
the behavior takes effect. For Simulation behaviors, the red gear graphic identifies the
object in a group with the applied selected behavior.
Applying and Removing Behaviors
Behaviors are applied directly to objects in one of the following ways:
• Dragging a behavior directly to an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline
To apply a behavior to an object in the Timeline, drag the behavior to the object in the
Timeline layers list or the Timeline track area.
Note: It is usually easier to drag a behavior to a camera or light in the Layers tab or
Timeline than directly to the object in the Canvas.
• Selecting an object, selecting a behavior in the Library, and then clicking the Apply
button in the Preview area
• Selecting an object, and then choosing a behavior from the Add Behavior pop-up menu
in the Toolbar
• Control-clicking a parameter of an object (including the parameters of other behaviors),
and choosing a Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu
Behaviors are removed by selecting the behavior in the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline, or
Inspector and pressing Delete. For detailed information about applying and removing
behaviors, see Applying Behaviors and Removing Behaviors.
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Where Behaviors Appear
When you apply a behavior to an object, it appears nested underneath that object in the
Layers tab and in the Timeline.
Nested behaviors as they
appear in the Layers tab
New behaviors you apply to an object appear above other behaviors that were applied
previously.
Parameter controls that let you adjust the attributes of a behavior appear in the Behaviors
tab of the Inspector.
Newly applied behaviors
appear above those that
have been previously
applied. Behaviors appear
with all of their editable
parameters in the
Behaviors tab of the
Inspector.
A Behaviors icon also appears to the right of the object name in the Layers tab and
Timeline. Clicking this icon enables and disables all behaviors that have been applied to
that object.
Behaviors icon
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Note: Behaviors can be hidden from view in the Layers tab using the Show/Hide Behaviors
button in the lower-right corner of the Layers tab. For more information, see Hiding and
Showing Effects.
When any behavior is applied to an object in your project, a Behaviors icon (a gear)
appears in the Animation menu to the right of the affected parameter in the Properties,
Behaviors, or Filters tab where it’s applied. This icon shows you that a behavior is
influencing that parameter.
The Behaviors icon
appears in the Animation
menu of the affected
parameter.
Animation Paths
When certain behaviors are applied to an object, an animation path appears and displays
the projected path of the object over time. Consider this path a “preview” of the animation
created by the behavior. Unlike animation paths created using keyframes or the path
created by the Motion Path behavior, animation paths for behaviors cannot be edited.
To show or hide all types of paths, use the View pop-up menu above the Canvas.
Behavior Effects in the Keyframe Editor
If you open the Keyframe Editor and look at a parameter that is affected by one or more
behaviors, you see a noneditable curve that represents the behavior’s effect on that
parameter. The noneditable curve appears in addition to that parameter’s editable curve,
which can be used to keyframe that parameter.
Editable curve
Noneditable curve
Note: Use the Show pop-up menu in the Keyframe Editor to select which parameters are
displayed and to create curve sets. For more information on curve sets, see Custom
Parameter Sets.
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For more information on combining behaviors and keyframes, see Combining Behaviors
with Keyframes.
Applying Behaviors
You can apply behaviors directly to objects in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline. Some
behaviors automatically animate specific parameters of the layer to which they’re applied.
For example, the Throw behavior affects only an object’s Position parameter, and the
Grow/Shrink behavior affects only an object’s Scale parameter. Other behaviors animate
the parameters of layers that surround the layer to which the behavior is applied. For
example, the Attractor behavior causes other layers to move toward the affected layer
by animating their Position parameter.
Important: Text, Particles, Replicator, Audio, Shape, and Camera behaviors should only
be applied to their namesake objects. The Grow/Shrink and Fade In/Fade Out behaviors
cannot be applied to cameras and lights.
With the exception of the Custom behavior, Parameter behaviors can also be applied to
a parameter of an object (such as position) in addition to the object itself. For more
information, see Applying Parameter Behaviors.
Note: The Create Layers At preference (in the Project pane of Motion Preferences), which
allows you to specify whether layers are created at frame 1, or at the current playhead
position, applies only to layers that are created or imported, such as text, shapes, or a
QuickTime movie file.
You can also apply behaviors directly to groups in the Layers tab or Timeline. Depending
on the applied behavior, all objects nested within that group are either affected as if they
were a single object or as individual elements. You can often change this result by
adjusting the Affect or Affect Subobjects parameter in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
Tip: If you do not see the expected result when applying behaviors to objects, try turning
the Affect Subobjects parameter on or off or choosing a different option from the Affect
pop-up menu. These parameters determine whether the entire group or its components
(such as the child objects nested within that group) are affected by the behavior and
how an object interacts with surrounding objects, respectively. The Affect Subobjects
checkbox only appears in the Inspector when the Throw and Spin behaviors, or the
Simulation behaviors, are applied to a group or object that contains multiple objects,
such as a particle emitter or text.
To apply a behavior to an object
Do one of the following:
µ
Drag a behavior from the Library to an appropriate object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or
Timeline.
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To apply a behavior to an object in the Timeline, drag the behavior to the object in the
Timeline layers list or the Timeline track area.
Note: It is usually easier to drag a behavior to a camera or light in the Layers tab or
Timeline than directly to the object in the Canvas.
An advantage to applying behaviors from the Library is the ability to preview the animation
created by the behavior in the Library Preview area.
µ
Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then select a behavior from the
Library stack and click Apply in the Preview area.
Apply button
µ
Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then click the Add Behavior icon
in the Toolbar and choose the behavior you want from the pop-up menu.
To apply a behavior to multiple objects
1 Select all of the objects to which you want to apply the behavior.
In the Layers tab, Canvas, or Timeline, Shift-click to select a contiguous set of objects, or
Command-click to select individual, noncontiguous objects.
2 Do one of the following:
• In the Toolbar, click the Add Behavior icon, then choose a behavior from one of the
submenus.
• Select a behavior in the Library, then click Apply in the Preview area.
3 Play the project to see the animated effect in action.
Important: Not all behaviors automatically create motion on an object. Some behaviors,
such as Throw, require you to set the throw velocity (in the HUD or in the Inspector)
before the object is “thrown.” Other behaviors, such as Orbit Around, require a source
object to act as the central object for other objects to move around.
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When a behavior is applied to an object, the object parameters affected by that behavior
are automatically animated based on the behavior’s default settings. For example, if you
apply the Gravity behavior to an object in the Canvas, that object’s position is animated
and it moves down, according to the Gravity behavior’s default setting.
Default Behavior Duration
In most cases, a behavior’s duration is the Timeline duration of the object to which it is
applied. For example, if you apply a Spin behavior to an object that begins at frame 20
and ends at frame 300, the Spin behavior’s duration is also frame 20 to frame 300. For
information on trimming the duration of a behavior, see Trimming Behaviors.
Removing Behaviors
Because behaviors don’t add keyframes, removing a behavior instantly eliminates its
animated effect. All types of behaviors are removed in the same way.
To remove a behavior from an object
1 Select a behavior in the Layers tab, Timeline, Behaviors tab, or pop-up menu in the title
bar of the HUD.
In this example, the
Gravity behavior is
selected in the Behaviors
tab of the Inspector.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Delete.
• Control-click the behavior in the Layers tab or Timeline, then choose Delete from the
shortcut menu.
• Press Delete.
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Applying Parameter Behaviors
Parameter behaviors function differently than other behaviors. All behaviors affect specific
parameters of an object—when a Spin behavior is applied to an image, the Rotation
parameter for that image is automatically affected; when a Fade In/Fade Out behavior is
applied to a clip, the Opacity parameter for that clip is automatically affected, and so on.
Parameter behaviors are applied to individual parameters of an object, camera, filter,
behavior, and so on, rather than to the object itself.
This includes the parameters of filters, emitters and cells in particle systems, shapes, text,
and so on. You can also apply Parameter behaviors to the parameters of other behaviors
that have been applied to an object.
In a simple comparison, a Throw behavior is applied to a text layer and the text travels
across the Canvas. The Throw behavior affects the Position parameter of the text layer.
If an Oscillate Parameter behavior is applied directly to the Position parameter of a shape,
that shape moves back and forth across the Canvas.
A Parameter behavior’s effect on an object depends on the parameter to which it is
applied. For example, if you apply the Randomize parameter behavior to a particle emitter’s
Position parameter, the emitter drifts around the screen when the project plays. Applying
the Randomize parameter behavior to a shape’s Scale parameter makes the shape
randomly grow and shrink.
Important: Although you can apply a Parameter behavior to an object using Library
behavior or the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar, the applied behavior will not affect the
object until you select a parameter to which you want to apply the Parameter behavior.
A more direct way to apply a Parameter behavior is by using the shortcut menu in the
Inspector.
To apply a Parameter behavior to a specific parameter of an object
1 Select the object to which you want to apply the Parameter behavior.
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2 Do one of the following:
• Control-click a parameter in the Inspector, then choose a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
In this example, the
Oscillate parameter
behavior is applied to the
Rotation parameter of a
shape.
• Control-click a parameter in the HUD, then choose a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
In this example, the
Randomize parameter
behavior is applied to the
Feather parameter of a
shape.
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• Control-click a parameter in the Keyframe Editor, then choose a Parameter behavior
from the shortcut menu.
Once a Parameter behavior is applied to a parameter, the Inspector automatically opens
to the Behaviors tab.
Note: Use the Show pop-up menu to choose the parameters you want displayed in
the Keyframe Editor. For more information, see Filtering the Parameter List.
To apply a Parameter behavior to an object
1 Do one of the following:
• Drag a Parameter behavior from the Library to an appropriate object in the Canvas,
Layers tab, or Timeline.
Note: It is usually easier to drag a behavior to a camera or light in the Layers tab or
Timeline than directly to the object in the Canvas.
• Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then click the Add Behavior icon
in the Toolbar and choose an item from the Parameter submenu.
The behavior is applied to the object, but no parameter is assigned to the behavior.
2 To assign a specific parameter to the Parameter behavior, do one of the following:
• Select the Parameter behavior, then choose a parameter from the Apply To (Go) pop-up
menu in the HUD.
In this example,
the Randomize
parameter behavior is
applied to the
Opacity parameter
of a shape.
• Select the Parameter behavior, then choose a Parameter behavior from the Apply To
(Go) pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
Once assigned, the parameter to which the behavior is applied appears in the Apply To
text field.
Note: If you save a Parameter behavior as a favorite, its parameter assignment is saved
along with the rest of that behavior’s settings. As a result, it can be applied like any other
behavior and that new object’s parameter is automatically affected.
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Where Parameter Behaviors Appear
Like other behaviors, Parameter behaviors appear nested underneath the objects to which
they’re applied in the Layers tab and the Timeline, along with any other behaviors that
have been applied to that object.
Note: Although a Parameter behaviors appear nested under objects in the Layers tab,
keep in mind that each Parameter behavior is applied to a single parameter of an object,
and not the object itself.
Notice that the Parameter behavior icon includes an image similar to a funnel. The funnel
represents the “channeling” of individual parameters.
Parameter behavior
Parameter behavior
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Opening a parameter’s Animation menu in the Inspector displays the names of all the
behaviors currently applied to that parameter. Choosing one automatically opens that
item’s Behaviors tab.
In this example, the
Oscillate and Randomize
Parameter behaviors are
affecting the Size
parameter of the
Crystallize filter.
Like all other behaviors, when a Parameter behavior is applied to an object in your project,
a Behaviors icon appears in the Animation menu of the affected parameter in the
Properties, Behaviors, or Filters tab where it is applied, as well as in the Animation menu
of each affected parameter in the Keyframe Editor.
Reassigning a Parameter Behavior to Another Parameter
Once you apply a Parameter behavior, it remains assigned to that parameter unless you
reassign it. This is possible using the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu, located at the bottom
of the Parameter behavior controls in the HUD or Behaviors tab.
The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu displays all of the properties available for the object to
which the behavior is applied. If an object has other behaviors or filters applied to it,
those parameters also appear within submenus of the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.
To reassign a Parameter behavior to another parameter in the HUD
1 In the Layers tab, Timeline, or Behaviors tab of the Inspector, select the Parameter behavior
you want to reassign.
2 In the HUD, choose a new parameter from the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.
The Parameter behavior is applied to the newly chosen parameter and the Apply To field
is updated to reflect the new assignment. In the Inspector, the Behaviors icon now appears
next to the new parameter.
To reassign a Parameter behavior to another parameter in the Inspector
1 Select the object containing the Parameter behavior you want to reassign.
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2 In the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, choose a new parameter from the Apply To (Go)
pop-up menu.
Modifying Behaviors
Each behavior has a subset (or sometimes a complete set) of parameters that appear in
the HUD. In addition, all behavior parameters appear in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
Both the HUD and the Behaviors tab reference the same parameters, so changing a
parameter in one automatically changes the same parameter in the other.
Modifying Parameters in the HUD
In general, the parameters that appear in the HUD are the most essential for modifying
that behavior’s effect. Frequently, the controls available in a behavior’s HUD are also more
descriptive and easier to use than those in the Behaviors tab, although the Behaviors tab
may contain more controls. For example, compare the controls for the Fade In/Fade Out
behavior in the Behaviors tab to those available in the HUD:
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As you can see, the controls in the HUD consolidate two of the parameters available in
the Behaviors tab into a single, graphical control. There are times, however, when it may
be more desirable to use a behavior’s individual parameters to finesse the effect you’re
trying to achieve with greater detail, including the ability to enter specific parameter
values.
To display the HUD for a behavior
1 Do one of the following:
• Select the behavior you want to modify in the Layers tab, Timeline, or Behaviors tab of
the Inspector.
• Control-click an object in the Canvas, then choose a behavior from the Behaviors
submenu in the shortcut menu.
Note: If the HUD doesn’t appear, you may need to choose Window > Show HUD (or
press F7 or D).
2 Make adjustments to the behavior using the controls in the HUD.
To cycle through the HUDs of an object
Do one of the following:
µ
Click the disclosure triangle in the title bar of the HUD (to the right of the title) to open
a pop-up menu that displays all of the behaviors and filters that are applied to that object.
Choose an item from this list to display its HUD.
Click the disclosure
triangle and select a
behavior or filter to
display the respective
HUD.
µ
Select an object in the Canvas, then press D to cycle forward through all available HUDs
for that object. To cycle in reverse, press Shift-D.
Modifying Parameters in the Behaviors Tab of the Inspector
The Behaviors tab of the Inspector displays every behavior that’s applied to the selected
object. A disclosure triangle to the left of each behavior’s name reveals all of that behavior’s
parameters. Unlike the HUD, the Behaviors tab displays every parameter for a behavior.
To display the Behaviors tab
1 Select an object with an applied behavior.
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2 Open the Inspector, then click the Behaviors tab.
All of the applied behaviors appear in the tab.
Modifying Multiple Behaviors Simultaneously
In most cases, you can modify the parameters of most behaviors of the same type at the
same time.
Note: The behaviors must be the same (such as two Throw behaviors) and they must
be applied to separate objects.
To edit multiple behaviors at the same time
1 In the Layers tab or the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, Command-select the behaviors
(of the same type) that you want to modify.
2 Do one of the following:
• In the HUD titled “Multiple Selection,” adjust the parameters.
• In the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, adjust the parameters.
Only behaviors that apply are available. Once you adjust the parameters, all of the
selected behaviors are modified.
Working with Behaviors
This section describes how to enable, rename, lock, duplicate, move, and reorganize
behaviors in your project. These procedures apply to every type of behavior.
Behaviors Controls in the Layers Tab and Timeline
When you apply a behavior to an object, the behavior appears in three different
places—the Layers tab, the Timeline, and the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
While the Behaviors tab in the Inspector contains all of the editable parameters for a
behavior that’s been applied to an object, the Layers tab and Timeline have several
controls for each behavior:
Activation checkbox: Turns each individual behavior on or off. Behaviors that are turned
off have no effect on the object to which they’re applied.
Name: Double-click this field to rename the behavior.
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Lock: Click the lock icon to lock or unlock a behavior. You cannot modify the parameters
of a locked behavior.
Enable/disable behaviors
Lock
Activation checkbox
Name
Enable/disable behaviors: A Behaviors icon (a gear) appears to the right of the name of
each object with one or more behaviors applied to it. Clicking this icon turns all behaviors
applied to that object on and off.
Behaviors currently
disabled
Note: Control-clicking the Behaviors icon opens a shortcut menu that displays all the
behaviors that are applied to that object. Choose a behavior from this menu to display
it in the Inspector.
Control-click the
Behaviors icon and
choose a behavior to
display it in the Inspector.
Show/Hide Behaviors button: Located at the bottom of the Layers tab and Timeline,
this button lets you show or hide all behaviors. This button neither enables nor disables
behaviors that have been applied to objects in your project; it only controls their visibility.
Show Behaviors button is
enabled.
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Copying, Pasting, and Moving Behaviors
After you have added behaviors to an object, there are a number of ways you can copy
and move them among the other items in the Timeline or Layers tab.
Behaviors can be cut, copied, and pasted like any other item in Motion. When you cut or
copy a behavior in the Timeline or Layers tab, you also copy the current state of all that
behavior’s parameters.
To cut or copy a behavior
1 Select a behavior.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X) to remove the behavior and place it on the
Clipboard.
• Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C) to leave the behavior there and copy it to
the Clipboard.
To paste a behavior
1 Select an object onto which you want to Paste the behavior.
2 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The cut or copied behavior is applied to the selected object, with all its parameter settings
intact.
You can also move a behavior from one object to another in the Layers tab or Timeline
layers list by simply dragging it to a new position.
µ
To transfer a behavior from one object to another
In the Layers tab or Timeline layers list, drag a behavior from one object and drop it on
top of another.
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Note: If you move a Parameter behavior to another object, it is applied to the same
parameter it affected in the previous object—as long as the corresponding parameter
exists. If the parameter does not exist, the parameter assignment (Apply To field) is set
to none.
Dragging a behavior
from one object to
another
You can also duplicate a behavior in place.
To duplicate a behavior
1 Select the behavior you want to duplicate.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Duplicate (or press Command-D).
• Control-click the behavior you want to duplicate, then choose Duplicate from the
shortcut menu.
You can also duplicate a behavior and apply the duplicate to another object in the Layers
tab or Timeline layers list.
µ
To drag a duplicate of a behavior to another object
Option-drag the behavior to the object to which you want to apply the duplicated
behavior.
The duplicated behavior is applied to the second object, and the original behavior is left
in its original location.
When you duplicate an object, you also duplicate all behaviors that have been applied
to it. This way, if you’re creating a project with a number of objects that all need to use
the same behavior, you can simply apply that behavior to the first instance of that object,
and then duplicate that object as many times as necessary.
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Applying Multiple Behaviors to an Object
There is no limit to the number of behaviors you can add to an object. When multiple
behaviors are applied to a single object, they all work together to create a final animated
effect.
In general, each behavior applies a value to a specific parameter. The values generated
by all behaviors that affect the same parameters are combined to create the end result.
For example, if you apply the Throw, Spin, and Gravity behaviors to a single object, the
Throw and Gravity behaviors combine to affect the position of the object. The Spin
behavior affects the rotation of the object.
Behavior Order of Operations
When combining different behavior types (such as Parameter and Simulation behaviors),
or combining behaviors and keyframes, it is important to understand the behaviors’ order
of operations. Motion evaluates behaviors and keyframe in the following order:
Keyframes > Simulation behaviors > All other behaviors
Important: The order of operation is always in effect—regardless of the order in which
the behaviors are applied or the keyframes are added to a layer or group.
Use the following guidelines for animating layers with multiple behaviors and/or keyframes:
• When you animate a layer with keyframes and then apply a behavior, the effect of the
keyframes is evaluated first.
For example, if you animate the Rotation parameter of a layer using keyframes and
then apply a Rotational Drag (Simulation) behavior to the layer, the Rotational Drag
behavior slows the rotation of the layer. Motion is evaluating the keyframed rotation,
and then applying the drag (from the Simulation behavior) to the keyframed animation.
• When you animate a layer with any behavior, and then add keyframes, the effect of
the keyframes is evaluated first.
For example, if you animate a layer so that it rotates in a clockwise direction using the
Spin behavior and then keyframe the Rotation parameter so that the layer rotates in a
counterclockwise direction, the layer rotates in the counterclockwise direction. Although
the keyframes are added to the project after the Spin behavior, Motion evaluates the
keyframes first.
• When you animate a layer with a Simulation behavior and then apply another behavior,
the effect of the Simulation behavior is evaluated first.
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For example, if you animate a layer using the Gravity (Simulation) behavior and then
apply a Throw (Basic Motion) behavior, the layer moves downward as specified by the
Gravity behavior and in the direction specified in the Throw behavior. Motion is applying
the value of the Throw behavior to the value of the Gravity behavior, creating the end
result.
• When you animate a layer with a behavior and then apply a Simulation behavior, the
Simulation behavior is evaluated before the first behavior (and may have no effect).
For example, if you animate the Rotation parameter of a layer using the Oscillate
(Parameter) behavior and then apply a Rotational Drag (Simulation) behavior to the
layer, the layer oscillates, but is not slowed by the Rotational Drag behavior. Motion is
evaluating the Simulation behavior (Rotational Drag) before the Parameter behavior
(Oscillate), applying the drag to a 0 value. There is no data for the Simulation behavior
to affect.
Note: Although the Spin behavior appears in the Basic Motion category, Spin is treated
as a Simulation behavior in Motion’s order of operations.
For information on combining keyframes with behaviors, see Combining Behaviors with
Keyframes.
Reordering Behaviors
When you apply a number of behaviors to a single object, they all appear nested beneath
that object in the Timeline and Layers tab. You can change the order in which they are
applied; however, because behaviors combine according to the order of operations rather
than by their order in the Layers tab, reordering is generally useful only as an organizational
tool. One notable exception to this is the Stop behavior. It suspends the activity of all
behaviors appearing beneath it that affect the same parameter, while not affecting any
behaviors above it in the Layers tab.
To reorder a behavior
1 Drag the behavior you want to reorder up or down in the list of nested behaviors applied
to the same object.
A position indicator shows where the behavior appears when you release the mouse
button.
A position indicator
appears whenever you
drag a behavior within
the list.
2 When the position indicator is in the correct position, release the mouse button.
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Note: Motion has a specific order of operations for keyframes and behaviors. For more
information, see Behavior Order of Operations.
Changing the Timing of Behaviors
You can change a behavior’s timing to control when it starts, how long it lasts, and when
it stops. There are several ways to do this. You can use the Stop Parameter behavior to
suspend one or more behavior’s effects on a single parameter. You can also trim each
behavior in the Timeline. Finally, for some behaviors, you can change the Start Offset
parameter to delay their beginning, and you can change the End Offset to stop the
behaviors prior to the end of their object duration in the Timeline. These behaviors include
Fade In/Fade Out, Grow/Shrink, and Snap Alignment to Motion.
Using the Stop Behavior
The easiest way to control behavior timing is to use the Stop behavior (in the Parameter
category). The Stop behavior halts the animation occurring in any one parameter, whether
the animation is based on keyframes in the Keyframe Editor or behaviors that have been
applied to that object.
As explained in Applying Parameter Behaviors, all Parameter behaviors can be applied
directly to a parameter of an object (such as opacity or position) or directly to an object
(such as text or an image). If the behavior is applied directly to an object, a parameter
must be explicitly assigned to the behavior (in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector).
To stop a parameter from animating
1 Move the playhead to the frame where you want animation to stop.
2 Select the affected object, then open the Properties tab in the Inspector.
3 Control-click the parameter you want to stop, then choose Stop from the shortcut menu.
The parameter is animated until the frame at which the Stop behavior begins.
Note: When applied in this manner, the Stop behavior takes effect at the current frame
(regardless of the Create Layers At Preference setting).
4 To assign the Stop behavior to a different parameter, choose a new parameter from the
Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.
The Stop behavior halts the animation of all behaviors that affect the selected parameter
of that object. For example, if the Gravity, Edge Collision, and Rotate behaviors are applied
to a shape and you apply the Stop parameter to the shape layer’s Position parameter,
the shape stops moving but continues rotating.
To control when animation affecting that parameter is stopped, trim the Stop behavior
in the Timeline. For more information on trimming behaviors, see the next section on
Trimming Behaviors.
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For more information about applying Parameter behaviors, see Applying Parameter
Behaviors.
Trimming Behaviors
When you apply a behavior to an object, the duration of the behavior in the Timeline
defaults to the duration of the object to which it’s applied.
The default duration of a
behavior matches the
duration of the object to
which it is applied.
A behavior can be modified to limit the duration of its effect. For example, if you apply
the Spin behavior to a replicator layer, by default that replicator spins around for its entire
duration. If you trim the Out point of the Spin behavior, the spinning stops at the new
position of the Out point.
A tooltip indicates the
new position of the Out
point.
To change the duration of a behavior in the Timeline
1 Move the pointer to the In or Out point of any behavior in the Timeline.
2 When the pointer changes to the trim pointer, do one of the following:
• Drag the In point to delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect.
• Drag the Out point to end the behavior’s effect prior to the end of the object.
Note: When you drag the In or Out point of a behavior, a tooltip appears and displays
the new location and duration of the In or Out point.
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Trimming the Out point of a behavior often sets the object to its original state beyond
the Out point behavior. For many behaviors, using the Stop behavior to pause the object’s
animation is a more efficient method than trimming its Out point. Another way to stop
a behavior’s effect and leave the affected object in the transformed state is to adjust a
behavior’s Start and End Offset parameters. See Changing the Offset of Parameter
Behaviors for more information.
Note: The Simulation behaviors do not leave the object at the transformed state after
the last frame of the trimmed behavior. For more information, see Controlling Simulation
Behaviors.
Controlling Simulation Behaviors
Keep in mind that the ideal use for behaviors (with the exception of the Motion Tracking
behaviors) is creating fluid motion graphics that do not require specific timing. This is
especially true with the Simulation behavior group, which allows you to create some very
sophisticated interactions among multiple objects in your project with minimal editing.
Unlike Basic Motion behaviors, you cannot stop or change the motion of a Simulation
behavior in the Timeline. However, you can affect the rate of a Simulation behavior by
modifying its duration in the Timeline. You can also change the starting frame of the
behavior.
But because the Simulation behaviors simulate natural effects, such as Gravity, the laws
of inertia apply—an external force set the object in motion, and that object stays in
motion even once the active force is no longer present. Changing the duration of a
Timeline bar for a Simulation behavior does stop the “active” force on the object, but
does not stop the motion of the object. You can, of course, control Simulation behaviors
by modifying their parameters.
In the following image, the Orbit Around (Simulation) behavior is applied to the large
circle. The center text is assigned as the object that the circle moves around. The red
animation path represents the motion the circle travels over its duration. The Orbit Around
behavior is the same duration (300 frames) as the large circle to which it is applied.
Animation path
Behavior and object are
the same duration
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In the next image, the Orbit Around behavior is trimmed in the Timeline to a shorter
duration (190 frames) than the object to which it is applied. Notice the change in the
shape of the animation path: At frame 190, where the Orbit Around behavior ends, the
object (the circle shape) stops moving around its target and continues moving off the
Canvas. The Orbit Around behavior—the active force—is no longer present, but the
motion of the circle does not stop.
Moving Behaviors in Time
In addition to changing a behavior’s duration, you can also move its position in the
Timeline relative to the object under which it’s nested. This lets you set the frame at which
that behavior begins to take effect.
To move a behavior in the Timeline
1 Click anywhere within the middle of a behavior’s bar in the Timeline.
2 Drag the behavior to the left or right to move it to another position in the Timeline.
As you move the bar, a tooltip appears and displays the new In and Out points for the
behavior. The tooltip also displays the delta value, which shows the number of frames
you have moved the bar.
Changing the Offset of Parameter Behaviors
Certain Parameter behaviors have two additional parameters, Start Offset and End Offset,
which are used to change the frame where a parameter behavior’s effect begins and
ends.
The Start Offset parameter has a slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s
effect, relative to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. You can adjust this
parameter to make the Parameter behavior start later.
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The End Offset parameter lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline. Using this slider to stop the effect, instead of
trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, lets you freeze the behavior’s effect
on the object for its remaining duration.
The following example illustrates how to use the Start Offset and End Offset parameters
with the Ramp behavior.
To use the Start Offset and End Offset parameters
1 Select an object, such as a shape.
2 In the Properties tab of the Inspector, Control-click the Scale parameter, then choose
Ramp from the shortcut menu.
The Ramp behavior is applied to the Scale parameter of the object, and the Behaviors
tab is displayed. The Ramp behavior lets you create a gradual transition in any animateable
parameter.
3 Set the Start Value to 0 and the End Value to 200, then play the project.
The object scales from its original scale to twice its original size over the duration of the
object.
4 Set the Start Offset to 90 and the End Offset to 90.
The object does not begin scaling until frame 90, and stops scaling 90 frames from its
last frame in the Timeline.
Combining Behaviors with Keyframes
Any object can have both behaviors and keyframes applied to it simultaneously. When
this happens, the values generated by the behavior and the keyframed values that are
applied to the parameter itself are combined to yield the final value for that parameter.
This lets you combine the automatic convenience of behaviors with the direct control of
keyframing to achieve your final result.
Note: Motion has a specific order of operations for keyframes and behaviors. For more
information, see Behavior Order of Operations.
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For example, if you apply the Random Motion behavior to a shape, that shape might
weave around onscreen with a completely random animation path similar to the following:
Random animation path
If you turn the Random Motion behavior off temporarily and create an animation path
using keyframes, you can create a completely predictable and smooth movement.
Keyframed animation
path
You can combine the two by turning the Random Motion behavior back on, with the end
result being an animation path that follows the general direction you want, but that has
enough random variation in it to make it interesting.
Random animation path
combined with the
keyframed animation
path
While this example shows how you can combine behaviors and keyframes to create
animation paths, you can combine behaviors and keyframes for any parameter.
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Combining Behaviors and Keyframes in the Keyframe Editor
When you display a parameter that’s affected by a behavior in the Keyframe Editor, two
curves appear for that parameter. An uneditable curve in the background displays the
parameter as it is affected by the behavior. There are no keyframes over this first curve.
Superimposed over the curve displaying the behavior’s effect is the parameter’s editable
curve.
Editable curve
Behavior effect curve
You can keyframe a parameter either before or after applying a behavior to the object
that affects it. When you keyframe a parameter that is already affected by a behavior, the
value of the keyframed curve is combined with the value generated by the behavior at
each frame, which either raises or lowers the resulting value displayed by the background
curve. The background curve doesn’t just display the behavior’s animated values, it
displays the sum of all values affecting that parameter.
Behavior curve is affected
by the keyframes.
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Raising or lowering a keyframe in the Keyframe Editor also raises or lowers the background
curve, because the keyframe is modifying the values generated by the behavior.
Important: The value displayed in the Inspector for the affected parameter reflects the
final combined result of both keyframes and behaviors that are applied to that parameter.
Editing a parameter’s values directly in the Inspector only results in changes made to the
underlying parameter value, whether keyframed or not. This parameter value is then
combined with the behavior’s effect, yielding a final value that may differ from the value
you entered.
Moved keyframe
For more information on how to use keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, see Keyframes
and Curves.
Important: When you combine keyframes with multiple behaviors, the results can appear
to be unpredictable, depending on the combination of behaviors that are applied.
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You can convert the behaviors that are applied to all parameters of an object into
keyframes. Converting behaviors that have already been combined with keyframes turns
the sum of all behaviors and keyframes affecting that parameter into a thinned series of
keyframes (a curve with fewer keyframes). This results in a final animation curve that
closely replicates the shape of the background curve that appeared in the Keyframe
Editor. These keyframes can then be edited directly in the Keyframe Editor.
Before
After converting to keyframes
For more information on converting behaviors into keyframes, see Converting Behaviors
to Keyframes.
Animating Behavior Parameters
You can animate most behavior parameters in order to change the parameter’s effect
over time. You can animate behavior parameters using Parameter behaviors, or by
keyframing them in the Keyframe Editor.
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Applying Parameter Behaviors to a Behavior
You can animate a behavior’s parameter by applying a Parameter behavior. For example,
you can apply the Oscillate Parameter behavior to the Drag parameter of the Orbit Around
behavior, then adjust the Start and End values to increase from 0 to 8 over time. This
results in the orbit of the object slowly decaying, causing the object to fall toward the
center of the orbit.
Object with Orbit Around parameter
Oscillate Parameter behavior added to the Drag
parameter of the Orbit Around behavior
For more information about adding Parameter behaviors, see Applying Parameter
Behaviors.
Keyframing Behaviors
If you need more control when animating a behavior’s parameters, you can use keyframes.
For example, you can keyframe the Drag parameter of the Orbit Around behavior to grow
and shrink the object’s orbit many times, creating a much more complex animation path.
Keyframing this animation path manually would be very difficult, but by keyframing a
single parameter within a single behavior, you can create this effect with ease.
Default Orbit Around behavior
Default Orbit Around behavior with keyframed
Drag parameter
For more information about keyframing parameters, see Animating Behaviors.
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Converting Behaviors to Keyframes
Behaviors are best suited for fluid effects in which precise timing is not a requirement.
However, there may be projects in which you want finite control over the animated effects
created with behaviors. If necessary, several of the behaviors can be baked into keyframes.
This means that the animation curves created by the behaviors (which have no keyframes)
can be converted into keyframed animation curves. You can then modify the keyframes
in the Keyframe Editor to meet more precise timing requirements.
Because many (though not all) behaviors affect shared object parameters, when you
convert a behavior to keyframes, all behaviors applied to the same object are also
converted into keyframes. The keyframes are applied to the individual parameters that
the behaviors originally affected. For example, the Gravity and Throw behaviors affect
Position, so you could not convert the Gravity behavior to keyframes without affecting
the Throw behavior. When behaviors that are applied to other objects affect the object
being converted (for example, the Attractor or Repel behavior), their effect is baked into
the object’s resulting keyframes value. The original behaviors remain applied to the other
objects, but the resulting effect is not doubled up as a result of the keyframes combining
with the behavior.
Note: You cannot convert many of the Simulation, Replicator, Particle, or Text behaviors
into keyframes. Simulation behaviors such as Vortex can affect the parameters of all
objects within a project, and baking such a behavior would create an overwhelming
amount of keyframes. Remember, the beauty of such behaviors is that they automatically
create very complex motion that would be too time-consuming to keyframe manually.
If a behavior (or an object with applied behaviors) can be baked, the Convert to Keyframes
command appears in the Object menu when the behavior or object is selected. If the
Convert to Keyframes command is dimmed, keyframes cannot be generated from the
behavior.
To convert behaviors to keyframes
1 Do one of the following:
• Select an object that has behaviors you want to convert.
• In the Inspector, select a behavior you want to convert.
2 Choose Object > Convert to Keyframes (or press Command-K).
A dialog prompts you to confirm the conversion to keyframes.
3 Click Convert.
All behaviors are converted into keyframes, which appear in the Keyframe Editor. The
entire animation of the object is converted into keyframes, even if some of the behaviors
fall outside of the object’s time range.
Note: You cannot selectively convert individual behaviors. The Convert to Keyframes
command converts all behaviors that are applied to an object at once.
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Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors
You can save any object in Motion to the Library, including cameras, lights, customized
filters and behaviors, groups, and layers (customized particle systems, replicators, shapes,
and text). Objects animated with behaviors or keyframes can also be saved to the Library
and retain their animation when applied to another project.
Customized behaviors can be saved in an existing folder in the Library, such as the
Favorites category, or you can create a new folder within an existing category. Once a
behavior is placed into the Library, it can be added to a project like any other object in
the Library. Behaviors saved in the Library appear with a custom icon.
Note: Items that are saved to the Library appear in the Finder with a .molo extension
(“Motion Library object“). These items cannot be opened from the Finder.
You can save multiple objects to the Library as one file or multiple files. For example, if
you create an animation that uses multiple behaviors and you want to save the cumulative
effect of those behaviors, you can save all of the behaviors as one item in the Library.
Although you can save custom behaviors into the Behaviors category, it is generally
recommended that you save items that you use frequently in the Favorites category;
some Motion Library categories contain so many items that utilizing the Favorites or
Favorites Menu category may save you search time. Within the Favorites category, you
can create additional folders to assist you in better arranging your custom items.
Behaviors that are saved to the Favorites Menu category can be quickly applied to objects
using the Favorites menu.
You can also create new folders in existing categories. You can create a new folder in the
Favorites or Behaviors category. Folders created in the Behaviors category appear in the
Library sidebar. Folders created in the subcategories, such as the Basic Motion subcategory,
appear in the Library stack and not the sidebar.
To save a behavior to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Behaviors category.
2 Drag the customized behavior you want to save from the Layers tab, Timeline, or Inspector
into the stack at the bottom of the Library.
When you save a customized behavior, it is saved in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.
Note: If a custom behavior is dragged to another subcategory, such as the Glow (Filters)
subcategory, it is automatically placed in the Behaviors category and the Behaviors
category becomes active.
To save multiple behaviors to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Behaviors category.
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2 In the Layers tab, select all of the behaviors you want to save and drag them to the stack,
holding down the mouse button until a drop menu appears.
3 Choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files” from the drop menu, then release the mouse
button.
“All in one file” saves all the behaviors together. They are listed as one item in the Library.
“Multiple files” saves the behaviors as individual objects in the Library.
4 To name the file or files, do one of the following:
• Control-click the icon, choose Rename from the shortcut menu, then type a descriptive
name.
• Select the icon, click “Untitled,” then type a descriptive name.
Note: When you Control-click the icon, the Edit Description option becomes available.
This is a handy tool that allows you to enter custom notes about an item saved in the
Library. Once you choose Edit Description, enter your notes in the text field and click OK.
To create a new folder in the Behaviors, Favorites, or Favorites Menu category
1 Open the Library and select the Behaviors, Favorites, or Favorites Menu category.
2 Do one of the following:
• Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the window.
• Control-click an empty area of the Library stack (the lower section of the Library), then
choose New Folder from the shortcut menu.
Note: You may have to expand your stack window or use icon view to access an empty
area.
An untitled folder appears in the subcategories list in the Library sidebar.
3 With the new folder selected, click the name, type a new name, then press Return.
To create a new folder in a Behaviors subcategory
1 Open the Library and select a Behaviors subcategory, such as Basic Motion.
2 Do one of the following:
• Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the window.
• Control-click an empty area of the Library stack (the lower section of the Library), then
choose New Folder from the shortcut menu.
The new untitled folder appears in the Library stack. The new folder does not appear
in the Library sidebar.
3 With the new folder selected, click the name, type a new name, then press Return.
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µ
To move a behavior to a custom folder in the Behaviors category
Drag the behavior to the new folder in the Library sidebar.
The custom preset is added to the new folder and to the All subcategory.
µ
To move a behavior to a custom folder in a Behaviors subcategory
Drag the behavior to the new folder in the Behaviors subcategory in the Library stack.
The custom preset is added to the new folder and to the All subcategory.
Deleting Custom Behaviors
Custom behaviors can easily deleted from your system, if necessary.
µ
To delete a custom behavior
In the Library stack, Control-click the custom behavior, then choose Move to Trash from
the shortcut menu.
µ
To delete a custom folder from a subcategory in the Library stack
Control-click the folder in the Library stack, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut
menu.
Note: You can also delete the folder from the Finder. The folder is stored in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.
Important: Deleting a custom object or folder cannot be undone.
µ
To delete a custom folder from a category in the Library sidebar
In the Finder, navigate to the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder, Control-click the folder, then choose
Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.
Moving Behaviors Among Different Computers
Each customized behavior you drag into the Motion Library is saved as a separate file in
the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/ folder on your
computer. For example, a saved custom behavior named My Motion Path in the Favorites
folder of the Library appears in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Favorites/ folder.
Items that are saved to the Library appear in the Finder with a .molo extension (“Motion
Library object“). These items cannot be opened from the Finder.
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If you’ve created one or more custom behaviors that you rely upon, you may want to
move them to other computers that have Motion installed.
µ
To copy a custom behavior to another computer
Copy one or more Motion custom preset files to that computer’s
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.
Basic Motion Behaviors
Basic Motion behaviors animate specific parameters of the object to which they are
applied. Some affect position, while others affect scale, rotation, or opacity.
Note: To view examples of Basic Motion behavior workflows, see Behavior Examples.
Warning: Building consecutive Basic Motion behaviors or placing such a behavior before
or after the Camera Framing behavior can create unexpected results. These behaviors
can continue to affect the object even after the behavior ends, thus influencing the
subsequent behavior’s animation path. For example, If a Framing behavior was applied
after a Motion Path behavior, the residual effect of the Motion Path behavior would be
combined with the animation path generated by the Framing behavior, resulting in the
target object being framed improperly.
The following sections cover the Basic Motion behaviors:
• Fade In/Fade Out
• Grow/Shrink
• Motion Path
• Move
• Point At
• Snap Alignment to Motion
• Spin
• Throw
Fade In/Fade Out
Lets you dissolve into and out of any object. The Fade In/Fade Out behavior affects the
opacity of the object to which it is applied, fading from 0 percent opacity to 100 percent
opacity at the beginning of the object, and then back to 0 percent opacity at the end.
You can eliminate the fade-in or fade-out effect by setting the duration of either to
0 frames.
Note: This behavior is multiplicative. This means that the Fade In and Fade Out parameters
are multiplied by the object’s current opacity to produce the resulting level of transparency.
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The Fade In/Fade Out behavior is useful for introducing and removing elements you’re
animating in a project. For example, you could apply the Fade In/Fade Out behavior to
text that moves across the screen to make it fade into existence, and then fade away at
the end of its duration.
Note: Fade In/Fade Out behavior cannot be applied to a camera or light.
Parameters in the Inspector
Fade In Time: A slider defining the duration, in frames, over which the object fades in
from 0 to 100 percent opacity from the first frame of the object. A duration of 0 frames
results in a straight cut into the object, making it appear instantly.
Fade Out Time: A slider defining the duration, in frames, over which the object fades
out from 100 to 0 percent opacity from the last frame of the object. A duration of 0 frames
results in a straight cutaway from the object, making it disappear instantly.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. This parameter value is measured in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Use this slider to
offset the end of the Fade Out effect from the end of the object.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you control the Fade In and Fade Out durations, equivalent to the Fade In
Time and Fade Out Time parameters in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector. Drag anywhere
within the shaded area of the Fade In or the Fade Out ramp to adjust their durations.
Note: Continue dragging beyond the limits of the graphical HUD control to extend the
durations of the Fade In or Fade Out.
Fade In
Fade Out
Grow/Shrink
Use the Grow/Shrink behavior to animate the scale of an object, enlarging or reducing
its size over time at a speed defined by either the Scale Rate or Scale To parameter. The
Grow/Shrink effect always begins at the object’s original size at the first frame of the
behavior.
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Note: The Grow/Shrink behavior cannot be applied to cameras or lights.
Tip: To scale particles over their lifetime, use the Scale Over Life particle behavior. For
more information, see Using Particles Behaviors.
Note: The vertical and horizontal growth rates can be set to independent values, for
asymmetrical effects.
The Grow/Shrink behavior is a good one to use with high-resolution graphics to zoom
into an image, such as a map or photograph. You can also combine this behavior with
the Throw or Wind behavior to pan across the image while zooming into it.
The Grow/Shrink behavior can also be used to emphasize or de-emphasize images in
your project. You can enlarge objects to make them the center of attention, or shrink an
object while introducing another to move the viewer’s eye to the new element.
Parameters in the Inspector
Increment: This pop-up menu lets you choose how the behavior’s effect progresses over
its duration in the Timeline. There are three options:
• Continuous Rate: This option uses the Scale Rate parameter to grow or shrink the object
by a steady number of pixels per second.
• Ramp to Final Value: This option grows or shrinks the object from its original size to
the specified percentage plus the original scale in the Scale To parameter. If the behavior
is shortened in the Timeline, the Grow/Shrink effect goes faster.
• Natural Scale: Enabled by default, this option uses an exponential curve to allow the
animation to progress slowly when the scale values are small and speed up when the
values are large. This creates the illusion that the scaling is occurring at a constant
speed.
Scale Rate/Scale To: Depending on the command chosen in the Increment pop-up menu,
the Scale Rate or Scale To parameter defines the speed and magnitude of the effect. This
parameter can be expanded to reveal X and Y subparameters by clicking the disclosure
triangle to the left. This lets you adjust the horizontal or vertical scale independently.
Curvature: This parameter lets you adjust the acceleration with which this behavior
transitions from the original to the final size. Higher Curvature values result in an easing
into and out of the effect, where the object slowly starts to change size, and this change
gradually speeds up as the behavior continues. Curvature does not affect the overall
duration of the effect since that is defined by the length of the behavior in the Timeline,
minus the End Offset.
Note: The Curvature parameter is not available when the Increment parameter is set to
Natural Scale.
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End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Use this slider to
offset the end of the Grow/Shrink effect from the end of the object.
HUD Controls
The Grow/Shrink HUD consists of two rectangular regions. The first, a rectangle with a
dotted line, represents the original size of the object. The second is a solid rectangle that
represents the relative growth rate, and can be resized by dragging any of the borders.
Enlarge the box to grow the target object, or reduce the box to shrink it. A slider to the
right lets you adjust the scale of the HUD controls, increasing or decreasing the effect
the controls have over the object.
Original size
Scale Rate/Scale To
parameter
Zoom level of the HUD
control
Motion Path
The Motion Path behavior lets you create a 2D or 3D motion path for an object to follow.
When you first apply the Motion Path behavior, it defaults to an open spline—a straight
line defined by two points at the beginning and end of the motion path. You can also
choose from preset path shapes, such as a closed spline, loop, rectangle, or wave, or use
a shape to define a path. A shape used as the source for a motion path can be animated.
You can modify the motion path in 3D space so that an object travels on the path along
the path’s X, Y, and Z axes. For more information, see Adjusting a Motion Path in 3D
Space.
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The first point on the path is the position of the object in the Canvas at the first frame of
the behavior. Option-click anywhere on the path to add Bezier points, which allow you
to reshape the motion path by creating curves.
Motion path
Note: To show or hide the motion path, choose Show Overlays from the View pop-up
menu in the Status Bar. (The Animation Path option shows and hides the animation paths
of other behaviors.)
When you play the project, the object moves along the assigned path. The speed at which
the target object travels is defined by the duration of the behavior. Speed is also affected
by the Speed parameter, which lets you modify the object’s velocity—adding acceleration
and deceleration at the beginning and end of the behavior, for example. You can also
create a custom preset defining how the object travels along the path.
Note: When you switch between the different Path Shape options, the Inspector and the
HUD display parameters specific to the selected option.
The Motion Path behavior is an easy way to create predictable motion without having
to use the Keyframe Editor. It’s also a great way to create reusable motion paths that you
can save in the Library for future use.
When the Motion Path behavior is added to an object, the Adjust Item tool is automatically
selected, allowing you to modify the default path in the Canvas by adding points and
using the Bezier (or B-Spline) controls attached to each point to adjust each curve. You
can also move and resize preset motion path shapes, such as a rectangle or wave, in the
Canvas.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Path Shape: A pop-up menu that lets you define the shape of the path on which the
object travels.
• Open Spline: The default shape, a straight path defined by two points at the beginning
and end of the path. You can choose to work with Bezier or B-Spline control points.
Option-click (or double-click) anywhere on the path to add points.
Use the outer control
points to resize the circle
or rectangle motion path
shape.
• Closed Spline: A closed path in which the last point is in the same location as the first
point. You can choose to work with Bezier or B-Spline control points. Option-click (or
double-click) anywhere on the path to add points.
• Circle: A simplified version of Closed Spline, in which the X radius or Y radius can be
adjusted to create a circle or an ellipse.
• Rectangle: A closed path in which the width and the height can be adjusted to create
a square or a rectangle.
• Wave: A wavy path (a sine wave) defined by two points, one at the beginning and one
at the end of the path, and controlled by the End Point, Amplitude, Frequency, Phase,
and Damping parameters.
• Geometry: The object travels along the edge of a shape or mask that is used as the
source for the path.
The motion path defined in the Shape Source
image well
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Shape layer used as the Shape Source
Note: The Path Shape parameters work similarly to text on a path. For more information
about working with text on a path, see Working with Text on a Path.
Shape Type: When Path Shape is set to Open Spline or Closed Spline, this pop-up menu
allows you to choose one of two ways to manipulate the shape of the path: Bezier or
B-Spline.
• Bezier: Lets you manipulate the keyframe curve manually by dragging the handles.
Note: For more information about creating and adjusting Bezier curves, see Editing
Bezier Control Points.
• B-Spline: B-Splines are manipulated using only points—there are no tangent handles.
The points themselves do not lie on the surface of the shape. Instead, each B-Spline
control point is offset from the shape’s surface, pulling that section of the shape towards
itself as if it was a magnet, in order to create a curve. B-Splines are extremely
smooth—by default, there are no sharp angles in B-Spline shapes, although you can
create sharper curves, if necessary.
Note: For more information about working with B-Spline curves, see Editing B-Spline
Control Points.
Radius: When Circle is the defined path shape, this slider allows you to change the size
of the circular path. Click the disclosure triangle to individually adjust the X radius and Y
radius.
Note: When the Motion Path behavior is selected, you can also use the onscreen control
points to resize the circle. Press Shift to resize the X and Y radii uniformly.
Size: When Rectangle is the defined path shape, this slider allows you to change the size
of the rectangular path. Click the disclosure triangle to individually adjust the X scale and
Y scale.
Note: When the Motion Path behavior is selected, you can also use the onscreen control
points to resize the rectangle. Press Shift to resize the X and Y scales uniformly.
Offset: When Circle, Rectangle, or Geometry is the defined path shape, this slider lets
you specify where the object starts moving on the path.
End Points: When Wave is the defined path shape, this control sets the location of two
default points on the wave’s path. The end points can also be adjusted using the wave’s
onscreen controls (active by default when the Motion Path behavior is selected). Moving
the left end point moves the entire path; moving the right end point lengthens, shortens,
or angles the path.
Amplitude: When Wave is the defined path shape, this slider defines half the distance
from the highest point to the lowest point in the wave. Higher values result in more
extreme waves.
Frequency: When Wave is the defined path shape, this slider sets the number of waves.
Higher values result in more waves.
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Phase: When Wave is the defined path shape, this dial defines the degrees of the offset
of the waves from the start and end points of the path. When set to 0 degrees (default),
the wave begins and ends at half the distance from the highest point to the lowest point
in the wave. When set to 90 degrees, the wave begins and ends at the highest point in
the wave. When set to –90 degrees, the wave begins at the lowest point in the wave.
When set to 180 degrees, the waves are the same as 0 degrees, but inverted.
Damping: When Wave is the defined path shape, this slider progressively diminishes the
oscillation of the wave. Positive damping values diminish the wave forward (from left to
right); negative values diminish the wave backward (from right to left).
Wave shape Damping value set to 0
Damping value set to 3
Damping value set to –3
Attach to Shape: When Geometry is the defined path shape, this checkbox, when
activated, forces the motion path to follow the source shape at its original location. When
disabled, the motion path can exist in a location other than its source shape.
Note: When Attach to Shape is on, you cannot move the object to another location.
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To align the rotation of an object to match all changes made to its position along an
animation path, apply the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior. For more information,
see Snap Alignment to Motion.
Shape layer on path before Snap Alignment to
Motion is applied
Shape layer on path after Snap Alignment to
Motion is applied
Shape Source: When Geometry is the defined path shape, this image well defines the
object (shape or mask) to use as the motion path source.
• To: This pop-up menu, located to the right of the Shape Source image well, displays a
list of all objects in the current project that can be used as a shape source for the motion
path.
Direction: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s direction over the path. There are
two options:
• Forward: The object moves in a forward direction along the path (from the start point
to the end point, depending upon the Offset parameter).
• Reverse: The object moves in a backward direction along the path (from the end point
to the start point, depending upon the Offset parameter)
Note: The Offset parameter is available when Path Shape is set to Circle or Rectangle.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from the first to the last point
in the motion path. There are eight choices:
• Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from the first to the last point on the
motion path.
• Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches and maintains a steady speed
through the last point on the motion path.
• Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then slows down as it gradually decelerates
to a stop at the last point of the motion path.
• Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates from the first point on the motion path, and
then slows down as it gradually decelerates to a stop at the last point of the motion
path.
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• Accelerate: The object moves along the path with increasing speed.
• Decelerate: The object moves along the path with decreasing speed.
• Natural: The speed in which the object moves over the path is determined by the
shape of the path. For example, if the path is a U-shape curve, the object moves faster
as it moves toward the low point of the U and slower as it moves up the edges.
• Custom: Custom allows you to define the movement of the object along its path by
setting keyframes for the object’s speed from 0 to 100 percent. In other words, you
determine the position of the object along the path in time.
Custom Speed: This parameter becomes available when Speed is set to Custom. You
can modify the Custom Speed velocity curve in the Keyframe Editor. You can keyframe
custom values to make an object, for example, travel forward to a specific percentage of
the path, then backward, then forward, and so on before it reaches the end of the
animation.
Apply Speed: When the Loops parameter is set to a value greater than 1, this pop-up
menu determines how the Speed parameter (velocity) is applied over the duration of the
behavior.
Note: Loops must be set to a value greater than 1 for the Apply Speed parameter to have
any effect.
• Once Per Loop: The velocity, as defined by the Speed parameter, is applied to each
cycle. For example, if Loops is set to 3 and Speed is set to Accelerate, the object
accelerates each time it travels over the path. The speed is applied to the entire duration,
ignoring the Loops setting.
• Over Entire Duration: The velocity, as defined by the Speed parameter, is applied one
time over the duration of the behavior. For example, if Loops is set to 3 and Speed is
set to Accelerate, the object accelerates the first time it travels over the path, but not
the second and third time.
Loops: Determines the number of times the object travels the motion path over the
duration of the behavior. For an object to travel its path more than once, or to “ping
pong,” Loops must be set to a value greater than 1.
End Condition: A pop-up menu that defines the behavior of the object once it reaches
the end of its motion path. There are two options:
• Repeat: The object travels the motion path the number of times defined by the Loop
parameter.
• Ping-Pong: The object moves along the path until it reaches the last point on the path,
then it moves backward to the first point on the path. The number of “ping pongs” is
defined by the Loops parameter.
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Control Points: This parameter becomes available when the path shape is Open Spline
or Closed Spline. Click the disclosure triangle to display the Position parameters for the
motion path control points. The first value field is X, the second value field is Y, and the
third value field is Z.
Note: You cannot apply Parameter behaviors to the control points.
HUD Controls
In the HUD, the following controls are always available: Path Shape, Shape Type, Direction,
Speed, Apply Speed (sets the number of times the object travels the path over the object’s
duration), and End Condition. Other parameters become available depending on what
is selected from the Path Shape parameter.
Related Behaviors
• Gravity
• Random Motion
• Throw
• Wind
Motion Path Tasks
The following tasks show you how to customize the Motion Path behavior.
Distancing the Object from the Motion Path
By default, the object is locked to the motion path by its anchor point.
µ
To distance the object from the path
Select the Adjust Anchor Point tool from the Toolbar and move the anchor point in the
Canvas.
For more information on using the Adjust Anchor Point tool, see Using the Adjust Anchor
Point Tool.
Note: A separate Offset parameter allows you to offset the starting location of the object
on the motion path (it does not offset the object from the path itself ).
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Moving the Object and Its Motion Path
Moving an object automatically moves the object’s related motion path.
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To move the object and its motion path
Select the object (not the Motion Path behavior), and move the object in the Canvas.
Using Geometry for a Motion Path Shape
The following section describes how to use geometry as the source for a motion path
shape. You can use a shape that is animated with behaviors or keyframes as the source
for a motion path. This includes animated transforms (a shape changing its location in
the Canvas) and animated control points (a shape changing its shape due to keyframed
control points).
To use geometry for a motion path shape
1 Import (or draw) the shape you want to use as the path source.
2 Choose Geometry from the Path Shape pop-up menu.
The Shape Source well appears in the Inspector and HUD.
3 From the Layers tab, drag the shape to the Shape Source well.
4 When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse button.
A thumbnail of the shape appears in the well and the shape is used as the source shape
for the motion path.
Note: You may want to disable the source shape in the Layers tab so that the source
shape is not visible in your project.
µ
To select another geometry source for a motion path shape
Choose the object you want to use as the motion path’s shape source from the To pop-up
menu (located next to the Shape Source image well).
Use the To pop-up menu
to choose another object
in your project as the
shape source for the
motion path.
Note: To align the rotation of the object to the shape of its motion path, you can apply
the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior (in the Basic Motion behaviors subcategory).
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To use the Custom Speed parameter
1 In the Inspector or HUD, choose Custom from the Speed pop-up menu.
The Custom Speed parameter becomes available. By default, a keyframe is set at the first
and last points of the behavior to create an animation of 0 percent to 100 percent, where
at 0 the object is at the beginning of the path, and at 100 the object is at the end of the
path. This is the same velocity used with the Constant preset.
2 Enable Record (press A).
Note: When Record is enabled, all keyframeable parameter value fields are tinted. This is
to remind you that any value change entered in this state creates a keyframe.
3 Move the playhead to the position where you want to create a keyframe, then enter a
value in the Custom Speed field.
For example, a value of 90 moves the object 90 percent of the way through the motion
path.
4 Continue moving the playhead and adding keyframes to obtain the result you want.
Note: If you change the Speed parameter to a preset (such as Constant) after creating a
custom speed, the custom velocity channel is ignored but remains intact.
Adjusting a Motion Path in 3D Space
You can adjust a motion path in 3D space. The easiest way to modify a motion path in
3D space is to add a camera to your project and manipulate the path in a modified camera
view.
To adjust a motion path in 3D space
1 If there is no camera in your project, add a camera by doing one of the following:
• Click New Camera in the Toolbar.
• Choose Object > New Camera (or press Command-Option-C).
Note: If none of your project groups are set to 3D, a dialog appears asking you if you
want to switch your 2D groups to 3D groups. Click Switch to 3D to allow the camera
to affect the groups.
2 Do one of the following:
• Choose a camera view from the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas (the default option is Active Camera). This example uses the Top view.
• With the Active Camera (or other) view selected, use the Orbit tool (the center tool in
3D View tools in the upper-right corner of the Canvas) to rotate the camera.
Note: If you use the 3D View tools with any camera selected, you are moving the
camera, not just changing the camera view.
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Depending on the camera view, the object on the path may no longer be visible. For
example, if the object has not been rotated in X or Y space and you are working in Top
view, the camera is looking down perpendicularly (on the Y axis) on the object. The
motion path and its points are still visible (as long as the Motion Path behavior is
selected).
In the following image, the motion path appears flat when viewed from above—the
affected object only moves in X and Y space.
3 Drag a control point up or down to adjust the object in Z space.
In the following image, the path is no longer flat—the affected object moves in X, Y, and
Z space.
Note: The motion path onscreen controls are available for all camera views.
To enter specific values for the control point locations, click the Control Points disclosure
triangle in the Motion Path behavior parameters. The first value field is X, the second
value field is Y, and the third value field is Z.
4 To reset the camera view, do one of the following:
• Double-click the 3D View tool that you previously adjusted. For example, if you dragged
the Orbit tool to rotate the current camera, double-click the Orbit tool to reset the
camera.
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• If you chose (and/or modified) a default camera view (such as Top, Right, Left, and so
on), choose Active Camera from the Camera menu, or choose View > 3D View > Active
Camera.
• With the camera selected, click the reset button in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
Move
The Move behavior places a point in the Canvas that creates a specific location for an
object or group to move toward or away from.
In the following illustration, the center fish image has an applied Vortex behavior, causing
the outer turtle image to circle around the fish image.
In the next illustrations, the turtle image has an applied Move behavior. The Move target
(null object) is positioned in the center of the fish image. While the turtle image circles
about the fish image, it is also drawn to the center of the fish image.
Tip: The Move behavior is an ideal tool when working in 3D mode, as it allows you to
simulate camera movements without using a camera. For example, when applied to a
group that contains objects that are offset in Z space, you can create a dolly-like move.
Parameters in the Inspector
Position: Value fields that allow you to define the X, Y, and Z position of the target point.
The target (null object) is added to the center of the Canvas by default.
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Note: The Move behavior and the Adjust Item tool in the Toolbar must be selected to
move the target. Use the Select/Transform tool to move the object.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object moves toward the target. With
a value of 0, the object doesn’t move at all. The higher the value, the faster the object
moves.
Direction: A pop-up menu that sets whether the object moves toward the target point
or away from the point.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from its position in the Canvas
to the position of the target. There are six choices:
• Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from its position toward the target.
• Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches and maintains a steady speed
toward the target.
• Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then slows down as it gradually decelerates
to a stop when it reaches the target.
• Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates and then slows down as it gradually decelerates
to a stop when it reaches the target.
• Accelerate: The object moves toward the target with increasing speed.
• Decelerate: The object moves toward the target with decreasing speed.
Note: To move the object more slowly toward its target, extend the duration of the
Move To behavior in the Timeline or mini-Timeline. To move the object faster, shorten
the duration of the behavior.
HUD Controls
The HUD has a slider that sets the influence amount (Strength), a Direction pop-up menu
that defines whether the object moves toward the null point or away from the point, and
a Speed pop-up menu that allows you to define the object’s velocity.
Point At
When the Point At behavior is applied to an object or group, you can specify a target
point for the affected object to turn toward.
Tip: Use the Point To behavior with the Move To behavior to created animated objects
that not only move toward a point (or each other), but that turn in the direction of the
target.
Parameters in the Inspector
Object: An image well that defines the target object. To set the target object, drag the
object from the Layers tab to the Object well in the Point At HUD or Inspector. You can
also drag the target object from the Layers tab onto the Point At behavior.
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Transition: This slider determines how long it takes for the object to go from its starting
orientation to pointing at the center of the target object. This parameter is useful when
the object is pointing at a moving target object.
If Transition is set to 50% in a 300-frame project, and the target object is not moving, the
point-at object takes 150 frames to point at (or orient to) the center of the target object
and then stops moving for the duration of the behavior. If Transition is set to 100%, the
point-at object takes the full 300 frames to point at the target object. If the Point At
behavior’s duration is 100 frames, and Transition is set to 50%, the point-at object takes
50 frames to orient to the target object.
If Transition is set to 50% in a 300-frame project, and the target object is animated, the
point-at object takes 150 frames to point at (or orient to) the center of the target object
and then continues following the animated target object for the duration of the behavior.
If Transition is set to 100%, the point-at object takes the full 300 frames to point at the
target object.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from its position in the Canvas
to the position of the target. There are six choices:
• Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from its position toward the target.
• Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches and maintains a steady speed
toward the target.
• Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then slows down as it gradually decelerates
to a stop when it reaches the target.
• Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates and then slows down as it gradually decelerates
to a stop when it reaches the target.
• Accelerate: The object moves toward the target with increasing speed.
• Decelerate: The object moves toward the target with decreasing speed.
Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you align the rotation of the object to the X, Y, or Z axis.
The default axis is Z. This parameter specifies which axis points at the target once the
movement is complete.
Invert Axis: If the object is aligning on the correct axis, but appears backwards, this
checkbox flips the object so that it faces the proper direction.
HUD Controls
The HUD has an Object well, a Transition slider, a Speed pop-up menu that allows you
to define the object’s velocity, an Axis pop-up menu to choose which axis should point
at the target once the movement is complete, and an Invert Axis checkbox.
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Snap Alignment to Motion
This behavior aligns the rotation of an object to match all changes made to its position
along an animation path. This behavior is meant to be combined with behaviors that
animate the position of an object, or with a keyframed animation path you create yourself.
Before
After, with Snap Alignment to Motion applied to
arrow
For example, if you have a graphic of a fish to which you’ve applied the Motion Path
behavior, you can add the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior to make the fish point in
the direction it is moving.
Parameters in the Inspector
Rotation Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you rotate the object around the X, Y, or Z axis.
You can also choose All to rotate the object around all three axes. The default rotation
axis is Z. All uses the acceleration direction as “up,” like a roller coaster.
Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you specify whether the object aligns itself on its horizontal
or vertical axis.
Invert Axis: If the object is aligning on the correct axis, but appears backwards, this
checkbox flips the object so that it faces the proper direction.
End Offset: A slider that allows you to offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to
the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. For example, if End Offset is set
to 60, the object actively snaps to the direction of the path until 60 frames before the
end of behavior in the Timeline.
HUD Controls
The HUD has a pop-up menu to control the axis around which the object is rotated, a
pop-up menu to control the axis used to adjust the object’s alignment, and a checkbox
to let you invert the axis.
Related Behaviors
• Align To Motion
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Spin
Apply the Spin behavior to animate the rotation of an object, spinning it around a single
axis. Using the Custom axis controls, the rotation does not have to occur on a principle
axis (X, Y, or Z). If you trim the end of the Spin behavior to be shorter than the duration
of the object to which it is applied, it remains at the angle of the last frame of the behavior,
as long as there are no other behaviors or keyframes affecting that object’s Rotation
parameter.
Uses for Spin are fairly obvious, but another way to use the Spin behavior is with objects
that have an off-center anchor point. Because objects rotate around the anchor point, if
you change an object’s anchor point before you apply a Spin behavior to it, you can
quickly change the look of the motion you create. For more information on changing an
object’s anchor point, see Using the Adjust Anchor Point Tool.
Note: Although the Spin behavior appears in the Basic Motion category, Spin is treated
as a Simulation behavior in Motion’s order of operations. For more information, see
Behavior Order of Operations.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when Spin is applied to an object that contains
multiple objects, such as a group, particle emitter, or text. When this checkbox is selected,
each object within the layer or group rotates as an individual object. When this checkbox
is deselected, the entire layer or group spins.
Increment: This pop-up menu lets you choose how the behavior’s effect progresses over
its duration in the Timeline. There are two choices:
• Continuous Rate: Uses the Spin Rate parameter to spin the object by a steady number
of degrees per second.
• Ramp to Final Value: Spins the object for the number of degrees specified in the Spin
To parameter over the behavior’s duration in the Timeline.
Spin Rate/Spin To: A dial controlling the speed at which the object spins. When Increment
is set to Continuous Rate, the Spin Rate defines a continuous rate of spin in degrees per
second. When Increment is set to Ramp to Final Value, Spin To defines a number of
degrees to spin over that object’s duration. Negative values result in clockwise motion,
while positive values result in counterclockwise motion.
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Axis: A pop-up menu that allows you to choose whether the object spins about the X,
Y, or Z axis. You can also choose Custom, which yields additional Longitude and Latitude
parameters.
HUD showing axis set to the
default Z
Axis set to X
Axis set to Y
When Axis is set to Custom, additional Longitude and Latitude parameters become
available. These parameters allow the object to spin at an angle (not locked to the X, Y,
or Z axes).
Drag the axis control in
the center of the circle to
modify the longitude and
latitude of the spin.
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The following image illustrates longitude and latitude.
Y
Latitude
Z
X
Longitude
• Latitude/Longitude: Available when Axis is set to Custom (or by dragging the center
control of the Spin HUD), these parameters allow you to specify the axis of rotation.
HUD Controls
The Spin behavior’s HUD controls include an outer ring and an inner control. Drag along
the edge of the outer ring to manipulate an arrow that indicates the direction and speed
the object spins. Adjust the length of the arrow to change the speed at which the spinning
occurs—drag around multiple times to increase the rate of the spin.
The inner arrow controls the axis about which the object or group spins. When you drag
the inner controls, a globe control becomes available that allows you to adjust the object’s
spin in degrees longitude and latitude.
Note: You can spin the arrow around the ring multiple times to rotate the object more
quickly.
Controls direction and
speed of spin.
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Throw
The Throw behavior is the simplest way of setting an object in motion. Controls let you
adjust the speed and direction of a single force that’s exerted on the object at the first
frame of the behavior. After this initial force is applied, the object continues drifting in a
straight line at the same speed, for the duration of the Throw behavior.
A simple example of using the Throw behavior is to send a series of offscreen objects
moving across the screen. When used in conjunction with other behaviors such as
Grow/Shrink and Fade In/Fade Out, you can create sophisticated moving elements without
keyframing a single parameter.
The Throw behavior is also useful when you’re moving an object through a simulation.
For example, you might move the object past other objects that have Attractor or Repel
behaviors applied to them. Because the Throw behavior only applies a single force to
move the target object at the initial frame of the behavior, any other behaviors that
interact with the target object have potentially greater influence over its motion.
Important: The Throw behavior does not apply a continuous force, nor can you create
changes in direction or speed, since this behavior cannot be keyframed. If you need to
create keyframed changes in direction or speed, use the Wind behavior. If you need to
create a more complex animation path, use the Motion Path behavior.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when Throw is applied to an object that
contains multiple objects, such as a group, particle emitter, or text. When this checkbox
is selected, each object within the parent object moves as an individual object. When
this checkbox is deselected, the entire layer or group moves as a whole.
Increment: This pop-up menu lets you choose how the behavior’s effect progresses over
its duration in the Timeline. There are two choices:
• Continuous Rate: Sets the speed of the object at a steady number of pixels per second,
specified in the Throw Velocity parameter.
Note: If the Canvas is displaying a nonsquare pixel image, the vertical rate is in pixels
per second, and the horizontal rate is the perceptual equivalent.
• Ramp to Final Value: Moves the object from its original position to the specified distance
(in pixels) in the Throw Distance parameter.
Throw Velocity/Throw Distance: When the Increment pop-up menu is set to Continuous
Rate, the Throw Velocity parameter appears, which lets you set a continuous speed for
the object to move in X, Y, or Z space. When the Increment pop-up menu is set to Ramp
to Final Value, the Throw Distance parameter appears, which sets a total distance (in
pixels) for the object to travel in X, Y, and Z space over its duration. The slider is limited
to 100 pixels. Use the value field to enter values greater than 100.
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HUD Controls
The 2D HUD lets you specify the direction and speed of the Throw behavior by dragging
an arrow within a circular region. The direction of the arrow defines the direction of
movement in X and Y space, and the length of the arrow defines speed (velocity). A slider
to the right lets you adjust the scale of the HUD control, increasing or decreasing the
effect the direction/speed control has over the object.
Controls direction and
speed of Throw.
Adjusts scale of the
direction and speed
control.
When you click the 3D button, additional 3D controls become available. The center arrow
now defines the direction the object is thrown in 3D space (X, Y, and Z axes). The Speed
slider (on the left side of the HUD) lets you increase or decrease the velocity of the thrown
object.
Adjusts the direction of
the throw in X, Y, and Z
space.
Adjusts velocity of the
throw.
In the 2D and 3D Throw HUDs, press the Shift key while dragging the arrow to constrain
it to 45 degree angles. In the 2D HUD, press the Command key to change the arrow’s
direction without affecting its length.
Note: The maximum speed you can define with the HUD is not the maximum possible
speed. Higher values can be entered into the Throw Velocity/Throw Distance parameter
in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
Related Behaviors
• Motion Path
• Gravity
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• Random Motion
• Wind
Parameter Behaviors
These behaviors can be applied to any object parameter that can be animated, and their
effects are limited to just that parameter. The same parameter behavior can be added to
different parameters, resulting in completely different effects. For example, you can apply
the Oscillate behavior to the opacity of an object to make it fade in and out, or you can
apply it to the rotation of an object to make it rock back and forth. You can also apply
parameter behaviors to filter parameters, generator parameters, the parameters of particle
systems, or even the parameters of other behaviors. Examples include Oscillate, Randomize,
and Reverse.
For more information on applying Parameter behaviors, see Applying Parameter Behaviors.
The following sections cover the Parameter behaviors:
• Audio
• Average
• Clamp
• Custom
• Exponential
• Link
• Logarithmic
• MIDI
• Negate
• Oscillate
• Quantize
• Ramp
• Randomize
• Rate
• Reverse
• Stop
• Track
• Wriggle
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Audio
This behavior allows you to animate nearly any parameter based on properties of an
audio file, such as bass frequency. For example, the Audio parameter behavior can be
applied to the Scale parameter of an object so that it scales up and down based on the
amplitude of the bass, or to the Opacity parameter so that it fades in and out to the beat.
For more information on using the Audio parameter behavior, see Audio Parameter
Behavior.
Average
This behavior smoothes the transition from one value to another caused by keyframes
and behaviors that are applied to a parameter. Use the Average behavior to smooth out
animated effects. Averaged motion moves more fluidly, while averaged changes to
parameters such as Opacity and to filter parameters appear to happen more gradually.
Use the Window Size parameter to adjust the amount by which to smooth the affected
parameter.
Tip: The Average behavior can be used to smooth out the sequence of values generated
by a Randomize behavior.
Parameters in the Inspector
Window Size: A slider lets you adjust the amount of smoothing to apply to the affected
parameter by specifying the number of adjacent frames to average together. Higher
values apply more smoothing by averaging a wider range of values, resulting in more
fluid animation. Lower values average a narrower range of values and apply less smoothing
with values that are closer to the original.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Window Size parameter and change the parameter
assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Negate
• Reverse
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Clamp
This behavior allows you to define a minimum and maximum value for an animated
parameter. In the following illustration, the center image has an applied Vortex behavior.
The outer images circle around the center image, as indicated by the red animation path.
The red lines indicate the
animation paths of the
outer image.
In the following illustration, a Clamp behavior is applied to the X Position parameter of
the image at the top of the Canvas. The Max value is set to 230 and the Min value is set
to 0. The image travels 230 pixels to the right but does not move left past the 0 point,
creating a half-circle animation.
Notice that the circle motion path is essentially cut in half. If a negative value is entered
in the Min value field, the image moves past the 0 point.
Parameters in the Inspector
Clamp At: A pop-up menu in which you choose the option to clamp parameter values
at only the minimum, only the maximum, or both the minimum and maximum.
Min: A value slider that lets you define the minimum amount of change for an animated
parameter.
Max: A value slider that lets you define the maximum amount of change for an animated
parameter.
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The value is represented as a percentage, in pixels, or in degrees, depending on the
parameter assignment. For example, if Clamp is applied to the Rotation parameter, the
Min and Max values are degrees. If Clamp is applied to the X Position parameter, the
values are in pixels.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you set the clamp to Min, Max, or Min and Max values, and also to change
the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Quantize
Custom
The Custom behavior allows you to make your own behaviors by creating a set of
parameters, then keyframing them to create the type of animation you want to apply to
an object. By saving custom behaviors you create in the Library, you can create your own
collection of behaviors to suit your needs.
Prior to creating a Custom behavior, you must first add the Custom behavior to an object
in the Canvas. The Custom behavior is added to an object like all other non-Parameter
behaviors in Motion.
Note: Although the Custom behavior is a Parameter behavior, it does not appear in the
shortcut menu when you Control-click a parameter.
Parameters in the Inspector
Unlike other behaviors, the Custom behavior doesn’t start out with any parameters in
the Behaviors tab. Instead, a pair of pop-up menus allows you to add and remove any
parameters you want to use.
Add Parameter: The Add Parameter pop-up menu allows you to add parameters that
you want to keyframe to create custom animation. Choose a parameter from this menu
to add it to the Custom parameter list for keyframing.
Remove Parameter: The Remove Parameter pop-up menu lists all the parameters you’ve
added to the current Custom behavior. Choose a parameter from this menu to remove
it from the Custom parameter list, along with any keyframes that are applied to that
parameter.
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HUD Controls
There are no HUD controls for this behavior.
Adding a Custom Behavior
Prior to creating a Custom behavior, you must first add the Custom behavior to an object
in the Canvas.
For more information on saving behaviors, see Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors.
To add a Custom behavior to an object
Do one of the following:
µ
Select the object to which you want to add a Custom behavior, click the Add Behavior
icon in the Toolbar, then choose Parameter > Custom from the pop-up menu.
µ
In the Library, select the Behaviors category, select the Parameter subcategory, then drag
the Custom icon to the object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.
The Custom behavior is applied to the object. The behavior has no effect until you add
a parameter to the behavior.
µ
To add a parameter you want to animate in a Custom behavior
Choose a parameter you want to add to the Custom parameter list from the Add Parameter
pop-up menu. This menu contains every animateable parameter.
The parameter appears in the Behaviors tab below the Custom behavior.
The new parameter
appears here.
Once you’ve added all the parameters you want to animate in your Custom behavior,
you can keyframe them in the Keyframe Editor to create whatever animated effect you
require. For more information on keyframing parameters to create animation, see
Animating Behaviors.
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µ
To remove a parameter from the Custom parameter list
Choose the parameter you want to remove from the Remove Parameter list.
That parameter no longer appears in the Custom parameter list. Any keyframes that were
applied to that parameter are deleted.
Once you have animated all the parameters you added, you can save the Custom behavior
into the Library for future use. For more information about saving Custom behaviors to
the Library, see Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors.
When you apply a Custom behavior that you’ve saved in the Library to an object in a
project, its keyframed animation is scaled to the duration of the object to which it is
applied. This means that no matter how long the original Custom behavior was, you can
apply it to any object, and the animated effect speeds up or slows down to accommodate
the new object’s duration.
Exponential
The Exponential parameter behavior creates more natural animations when scaling
objects, especially when using high values. For example, when an object scales from very
small to very large, the animation appears to slow down as the object reaches its upper
scale values. The Exponential parameter behavior works like the Ramp behavior, but
applies a mathematical function to create an exponential curve (rather than linear)
between the two values. This allows the animation to progress slowly when the scale
values are small and speed up when the scale values are large.
Tip: When applied to parameters other than Scale, the Exponential parameter behavior
creates more organic animations than other interpolation modes.
You can also change the interpolation modes of keyframes to Exponential. For more
information, see Modifying Curves.
Parameters in the Inspector
Start Value: The value that’s added to the parameter at the first frame of the Exponential
behavior.
End Value: The value the Exponential behavior reaches at the last frame of the behavior.
Over the life of the behavior, the parameter the Exponential behavior is applied to makes
a transition from the Start Value to the End Value plus the original value.
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Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
end of the effect for the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior resets the object to its original parameter.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you set the start and end values and change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Logarithmic
• Ramp
Link
The Link parameter behavior forces the value of one parameter to match that of another
“linked” parameter. The source behavior can be within the same object or from another
object. The linked parameters must contain numerical data. Parameters controlled by
checkboxes, menus, and other non-numeric values cannot be linked. The linked parameters
also must contain the same number of attributes. You cannot link a compound parameter
such as Scale X-Y-Z to a parameter such as Opacity which has only one slider. You can
however, link a compound parameter such as Scale X-Y-Z to Position X-Y-Z.
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The values of the source parameter can be scaled to more accurately apply to the
destination parameter, so for example a source parameter with a range of 1–100 can be
scaled when applied to a parameter with a range of 0 – 1. The values can also be offset
from the source, and the effect can be mixed with the destination value in a variety of
ways to create different resulting effects.
The Link behavior can be applied to parameters that have been animated with behaviors
or keyframes; however, it does not affect the parameter when the Start Values or End
Values are zero.
When using the Link behavior to control an object’s position parameter, the linked
coordinates are based on the center point of the current group. So when an object is
linked to another object within the same group, it will share an identical position. However,
if the source object is in a different group, the coordinates may appear offset in space.
If your goal is to match an identical position across groups with different center points,
you can create an invisible dummy object in the group containing the source, link it to
the source object, then use the Match Move behavior to copy the dummy object’s position
to that of the intended target. Match Move automatically compensates for inter-group
position offsets and provides the option to either attach one object to another or to
mimic the source object’s transformations. For more about Match Move, see Motion
Tracking Behaviors.
You can also link to the group’s coordinates instead of the object’s, and use the Offset
parameters in the Link behavior to obtain the position you want. However, if that group
is subsequently added to another group, the linked object may again not move as
expected.
Parameters in the Inspector
Source Object: The object in which the source parameter resides. Click the To pop-up
menu to select from the objects in the current project.
Source Parameter: The Source Parameter (Compatible Parameters) pop-up menu shows
the parameter that serves as the source for the Link behavior and can be used to select
a new source parameter. Only parameters with the same value type and number of
attributes as the parameter selected in the Apply To (Target Parameters) pop-up menu
appear here.
Note: When possible, this parameter will default to the identical parameter in the source
object as has been selected in the Apply To parameter.
Important: Changing the Apply To (Target Parameters) setting will change which
parameters appear in the Source Parameter (Compatible Parameters) pop-up menu. If
you cannot find the parameter you are looking for, you may need to first choose a Target
Parameter to which you can link.
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Apply To: The Apply To (Target Parameters) pop-up menu shows the parameter being
affected and can be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter. Because only
certain parameters can be linked, you must set the Apply To parameter before eligible
parameters will appear in this pop-up menu.
Apply Mode: Pop-up menu to specify how the values from the source parameter affect
the target parameter. The choices include:
• Add to source: Choosing this option will add the source parameter value to the existing
value of the target parameter.
• Multiply by source: Choosing this option will multiply the source parameter value with
the existing value of the target parameter.
• Replace with source: Choosing this option will replace the existing value of the target
parameter with that of the source parameter.
Mix Over Time: Pop-up menu to set how rapidly the source parameter values begin to
affect the target parameter. Options include: Ease In, Ease Out, Ease In/Out, Accelerate,
Decelerate, Accel/Decelerate, and Custom Mix.
Mix Time Range: When the Mix Over Time is set to one of the Ease or Acceleration options,
this slider controls over how many frames the ease or acceleration occurs.
Tip: Ease In and Accelerate begin at the In point of the Link behavior, and Ease Out and
Decelerate end at the Out point of the Link behavior. Therefore, you can trim the Link
behavior in the timeline to specify where the ease or acceleration begins and/or ends.
Custom Mix: When the Mix Over Time parameter is set to Custom Mix, this slider can be
animated to create a user-determined mix between the source and target parameter
values.
Scale: Slider to specify a value to be multiplied with the Source parameter before it is
applied to the target.
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Apply Link When: Pop-up menu that enables you to limit when values from the source
are applied to the target. There are five choices:
• Any source value: When this item is selected, no limits are placed on the source
parameter values. An Offset slider for each setting associated with the source parameter
will appear at the bottom of the Behaviors tab. If the source parameter has a single
slider, such as Opacity, there will be a single offset slider. If the source parameter has
multiple sliders, such as Position X-Y-Z, there will be offset sliders for each of those
settings.
• Source value above minimum: When this item is selected, the link will apply only when
the source value exceeds a defined minimum value. If the source value falls below the
defined minimum, the link behavior will stop. When selected, the Clamp Source Values
Within Range checkbox as well as Offset and Minimum sliders for each setting associated
with the source parameter will appear at the bottom of the Behaviors tab. If the source
parameter has a single slider, such as drop shadow Blur, there will be an offset and a
minimum slider for that setting. If the source parameter has multiple sliders, such as
Scale X-Y-Z, there will be offset and minimum sliders for each of those settings.
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• Source value below maximum: When this item is selected, the link will apply only when
the source value stays below a defined maximum value. If the source value exceeds
the defined maximum, the link behavior will stop. When selected, the Clamp Source
Values Within Range checkbox as well as offset and maximum sliders for each setting
associated with the source parameter will appear at the bottom of the Behaviors tab.
If the source parameter has a single slider, such as shape Roundness, there will be an
offset and a maximum slider for that setting. If the source parameter has multiple sliders,
such as Rotation X-Y-Z, there will be offset and maximum sliders for each of those
settings.
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• Source value between min and max: When this item is selected, the link will apply only
when the source value stays within a defined range. If the source value falls below the
defined minimum, or exceeds the defined maximum, the link behavior will stop. When
selected, the Clamp Source Values Within Range checkbox as well as offset, minimum,
and maximum sliders for each setting associated with the source parameter will appear
at the bottom of the Behaviors tab. If the source parameter has a single slider, such as
shape Feather, there will be one set of three sliders (offset, minimum, and maximum)
for that setting. If the source parameter has multiple sliders, such as Fill Color (red,
green, blue), there will be sets of three sliders for each of those settings.
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• Source value outside min and max: When this item is selected, the link will apply only
when the source value stays outside of a defined range. If the source value falls above
the defined minimum, or below the defined maximum, the link behavior will stop.
When selected, the Clamp Source Values Within Range checkbox as well as offset,
minimum, and maximum sliders for each setting associated with the source parameter
will appear at the bottom of the Behaviors tab. If the source parameter has a single
slider, such as Outline Width, there will be one set of three sliders (offset, minimum
and maximum) for that setting. If the source parameter has multiple sliders, such as
Shear X-Y, there will be sets of three sliders for each of those settings.
Clamp Source Value Within Range: This checkbox becomes available when the Apply
Link pop-up menu is set to a choice requiring a minimum or maximum value. When
selected, values that exceed the defined range will be pinned to the highest or lowest
allowable setting.
(Parameter) offset: This slider allows you to create a constant offset between the source
parameter value and the value applied to the target parameter.
(Parameter) min: When the Apply Link When pop-up menu is set to “Source value above
minimum,” “Source value between min and max,” or “Source value outside min and max,”
a “min” slider appears for each component of the source parameter. Adjusting this slider
defines a minimum value to limit when the link behavior is active.
(Parameter) max: When the Apply Link When pop-up menu is set to “Source value below
maximum,” “Source value between min and max,” or “Source value outside min and max,”
a “max” slider appears for each component of the source parameter. Adjusting this slider
defines a maximum value to limit when the link behavior is active.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you set all parameters and change the parameter source and target.
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Logarithmic
The Logarithmic parameter behavior is the inverse of the Exponential behavior. Like the
Exponential behavior, it creates more natural animations when scaling objects, especially
when using high values. The Logarithmic parameter behavior applies a mathematical
function to create a logarithmic curve (rather than linear) between the two values—the
effect ramps up quickly, and then the effect slows down. This allows the animation to
progress slowly when the scale values are small and speed up when the scale values are
large.
The Logarithmic behavior can be applied to parameters that have been animated with
behaviors or keyframes; however, it does not affect the parameter unless the Start Values
or End Values are nonzero.
Tip: When applied to parameters other than Scale, the Logarithmic parameter behavior
creates more organic animations than other interpolation modes.
Note: You can also change the interpolation modes of keyframes to Logarithmic. For
more information, see Modifying Curves.
Parameters in the Inspector
Start Value: The value that’s added to the parameter at the first frame of the Logarithmic
behavior.
End Value: The value the Logarithmic behavior reaches at the last frame of the behavior.
Over the life of the behavior, the parameter that the Logarithmic behavior is applied to
makes a transition from the Start Value to the End Value, plus the original value.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
end of the effect for the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior resets the object to its original parameter.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you set the start and end values and change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Exponential
• Ramp
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MIDI
The MIDI behavior allows you to edit and animate object parameters using standard MIDI
devices, such as a synthesizer. For the true motion graphics mixmaster.
Parameters in the Inspector
Control Type: Specifies the mode of the MIDI controller. The three available control types
are:
• Note: This mode is displayed when the control is a keyboard key on the MIDI device.
• Controller: This mode is displayed when the control is a knob, dial, key, slider, or foot
pedal on the MIDI device.
• Learning: This mode is used to “teach” Motion which control (such as a knob, dial, or
key) you want to use on the MIDI device to manipulate the parameter to which the
MIDI behavior is applied. When in Learning mode, the first knob, dial, or key that you
adjust on the MIDI device is set as the control.
Note: When the MIDI behavior is first applied, Learning is the default control type.
ID: Displays the identification number of the MIDI control (such as a knob, dial, or key)
that you are manipulating.
Value: When you are manipulating the MIDI control, displays the standard MIDI value
between 0 and 1.
Scale: Increasing the Scale value multiplies the Value parameter in the MIDI behavior.
This means that when Scale is increased, the MIDI control has a larger range of value and
a greater effect on the parameter it’s controlling. For example, when you are using a knob
to adjust an object’s rotation, the default rotation value range (when Scale is set to 1) for
a full turn of the knob may only be 30 percent. When the Scale value is increased to 13,
the rotation value of a full turn of the knob is increased to 370 degrees.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu (parameter assignment control) shows the
parameter being affected and can be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD controls allow you to adjust the Control Type, ID, Value, and Scale parameters,
as well as change the parameter assignment.
Applying the MIDI behavior
The MIDI behavior is applied in the same way as all other Parameter behaviors. In the
following examples, the MIDI parameter behavior is used to adjust an object’s opacity
and rotation.
Note: This behavior can only be used if you have a MIDI device correctly connected to
your computer.
To use the MIDI behavior to adjust an object’s opacity
1 Select an object, then select the Opacity parameter in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
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2 Control-click the parameter, then choose MIDI from the shortcut menu.
The MIDI parameters are displayed in the Behaviors tab. By default, Control Type is set
to Learning.
Like all other Parameter behaviors, the Apply To field displays the parameter to which
the behavior is applied.
3 On your MIDI device, tweak the control (such as the knob, dial, or key) that you want to
use as the controller for the Opacity parameter.
Note: When in Learning mode, the first control adjusted on the MIDI device is set as the
control. To reset the selected controller, choose Learning from the Control Type pop-up
menu, and adjust another control on the MIDI device.
The identification number of the MIDI control is displayed in the ID field. The value range
of the control is 0 to 127, the default MIDI control value.
Because an object’s opacity can only fall between 0 (completely transparent) to 100
(completely opaque), the default MIDI values are sufficient to adjust the parameter.
To use the MIDI parameter behavior to adjust an object’s rotation
1 Select an object, then select the Rotation parameter in the Properties tab of the Inspector.
2 Control-click the parameter, then choose MIDI from the shortcut menu.
3 On your MIDI device, tweak the control (knob, dial, key, and so on) that you want to use
as the controller for the Rotation parameter.
As mentioned above, the default Value range is 0 to 1. Because the Rotation value of an
object can be much larger, you can use the Scale parameter to multiply the Value range.
4 To give the control more sensitivity, increase the Scale value.
Negate
Inverts the value of each keyframe and behavior effect in the parameter to which it’s
applied by multiplying the parameter by –1. The Negate behavior basically flips each
parameter value to its opposite. Animation paths are flipped, rotation is reversed, and
any effect’s parameter is changed to its opposite.
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For example, applying the Negate behavior to the Position parameter of an object with
an animation path results in the animation path moving to the opposite quadrant of the
Canvas.
Note: If you want to reverse the motion taking place on an animation path, rather than
flipping the shape of the animation path itself, use the Reverse parameter behavior.
Parameters in the Inspector
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD control allows you to change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Average
• Reverse
Oscillate
The Oscillate behavior animates a parameter by cycling it between two different values.
You can customize how wide apart the high and low values are as well as the number of
oscillations per minute. The Oscillate behavior can create all kinds of cyclical effects. For
example, if you apply the Oscillate behavior to the rotation property of an object, it will
begin to rock back and forth. This happens because the rotation property cycles back
and forth between the original rotation value plus and minus the Amplitude value that’s
set in the Oscillate behavior.
Applying the Oscillate behavior to the X value of the Scale parameter instead causes the
width of the object to cycle, and it repeatedly stretches and compresses for the duration
of the behavior.
The Oscillate behavior is additive, meaning that the value generated by this behavior is
added to the original value of the parameter to which it’s applied.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Wave Shape: A pop-up menu that lets you choose the shape of the oscillation’s wave.
The choices are Sine (default), Square, Sawtooth, and Triangle.
• Sine: The default wave shape, the sine wave creates a smooth animation between
values. For example, if Oscillate is applied to an object’s Opacity parameter, and the
Wave Shape is set to Sine, the object gracefully fades in and out.
• Square: The square wave creates abrupt changes in values. For example, when Oscillate
is applied to an object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave Shape is set to Square, the
object flashes on and off (like turning a light switch on and off ).
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• Sawtooth: The Sawtooth wave ramps upward over time and then drops sharply. For
example, when Oscillate is applied to an object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave
Shape is set to Sawtooth, the object fades in slowly and fades out abruptly (like using
a light dimmer to fade up a light, and then flicking the power switch off ).
• Triangle: Similar to the sine wave, a triangle wave creates a smooth animation between
values but with sharper changes at the transitions. For example, when Oscillate is
applied to an object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave Shape is set to Triangle, the
object fades in and out more acutely than the sine wave.
Phase: A slider that lets you adjust the point of the specified oscillation at which the
behavior starts. This parameter allows you to put multiple objects with identical Oscillate
behaviors out of phase with one another so that they don’t all look the same.
Amplitude: A slider that lets you adjust the maximum values that the parameter oscillates
between. The parameter swings between the amplitude value and the negative of the
amplitude value. Higher values result in more extreme swings from the beginning to the
ending of each oscillation.
Speed: A slider that lets you adjust the speed at which the oscillation occurs, in oscillations
per minute. Higher values result in faster oscillations.
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Half Range: When this checkbox is selected, the sine (or other wave shape) wave is
essentially cut in half and does not cross over the value of 0. For example, when Amplitude
is set to 100, the parameter oscillates between 100 and –100. When Half Range is selected,
however, the parameter oscillates between 100 and 0. When Amplitude is set to –100,
the parameter oscillates between –100 and 0.
Tip: When you are oscillating position parameters, set Wave Shape to Sine and enable
Half Range to create a bouncing effect.
The dotted line
represents 0. When Half
Range is disabled, the
parameter oscillates
between the Amplitude
value and its inverse,
such as 100 and –100.
The dotted line
represents 0. When Half
Range is enabled, the
parameter oscillates
between the Amplitude
value and 0.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
end of the effect for the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior resets the object to its original parameters.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
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HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Phase, Amplitude, Speed, and Half Range parameters as well
as change the parameter assignment of the Oscillate behavior.
Related Behaviors
• Ramp
• Rate
Creating a Decaying Oscillation
When you are oscillating an object’s rotation or position, a common effect is to “decay”
or “dampen” the animation over time. This means that the animation gradually slows or
comes to a stop. You can achieve this effect using keyframes to slow the amplitude of
the oscillation.
To decay an oscillating rotation using keyframes
1 Go to the frame where you want the animation to begin, then enable Record (press A).
2 Set the Amplitude value to the maximum value you want to use in your project.
Note: When Record is enabled, any value change to a parameter using the Inspector,
HUD, or Canvas creates a keyframe.
3 Go to the frame where you want the animation to come to a stop and set the Amplitude
value to 0.
When the object is selected, you can see the dampening of the animation—caused by
the keyframed Amplitude parameter—in the Keyframe Editor (when Animated is chosen
from the Show pop-up menu).
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When the Oscillate behavior is selected, you can see the keyframed Amplitude value in
the Keyframe Editor (when Animated is chosen from the Show pop-up menu).
Quantize
The Quantize behavior lets you create an incremental animation in any keyframed or
behavior-influenced parameter. For example, if opacity is animated so that an object
gradually fades in over time, you can add the Quantize behavior to make the object
become opaque in steps.
Note: The Quantize behavior only works with animated parameters.
Parameters in the Inspector
Step Size: A value slider that defines the size of the steps, based on the units of the
parameter to which it is applied. For example, when Quantize is applied to rotation, the
steps are in degrees (even though it is not a dial control). When applied to position, the
steps are in pixels.
The following left screenshot shows the projected path (the red line) of a layer with an
applied Throw behavior. The right image displays the same animation path after the
Quantize behavior is added. In this example, the Step value is set to 90.
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Offset: A slider that offsets the steps. For example, when Quantize is applied to a Position
parameter and Step Size is set to 100, an object “steps” in increments restricted to 100
pixels; thus, the step offset is 100, 200, 300, and so on. If Offset is set to 50, the step offset
is restricted to 50, 150, 250, and so on.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected, and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you define the step size, offset, and parameter assignment.
Ramp
The Ramp behavior lets you create a gradual transition in any parameter that can be
animated, from the Start Value to the End Value. The speed of the transition is defined
by the length of the Ramp behavior in the Timeline, and by the behavior’s end value.
Additional parameters allow you to define how the transition occurs, whether it’s at a
single continuous speed, or whether it accelerates over time.
Ramp is a versatile behavior. If you apply it to the Scale property, it works like the
Grow/Shrink behavior. If you apply it to the Opacity property, you can fade an object in
or out in different ways. Although you can use the Ramp behavior to mimic other Motion
behaviors, it can be applied to any parameter you want.
Note: This behavior is additive, meaning that the value it generates is added to the original
value of the parameter to which it’s applied.
For example, suppose you’re animating different segments of a bar graph, and each
segment needs to grow until it reaches a specific length. (Hint: this can be done by
assigning a subtracting mask to each bar object, and animating the position of each bar’s
mask to slowly reveal each bar over time.)
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Once you’ve arranged the different bars with their masks in the Canvas, you can apply
Ramp behaviors to the X values of each mask to easily move each mask off to the side,
giving the illusion that each bar is growing. Set the End Value parameter of each Ramp
behavior to the length you want each bar to reach, and you’re done!
Before
After using Ramp behaviors to move the masks
Parameters in the Inspector
Start Value: The value that’s added to the parameter at the first frame of the Ramp
behavior.
End Value: The value the Ramp behavior reaches at the last frame of the behavior. Over
the life of the behavior, the parameter the Ramp behavior is applied to makes a transition
from the Start Value to the End Value, plus the original value.
Curvature: This parameter lets you ease the acceleration with which the Ramp behavior
transitions from the Start Value to the End Value. Higher Curvature values result in an
ease in/ease out effect, where the value slowly begins the transition, gradually speeds
up as the behavior continues, then gradually slows down to a stop as it reaches the end.
Curvature does not affect the overall duration of the effect, since that is defined by the
length of the behavior in the Timeline.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
end of the effect for the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior resets the object to its original parameter.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
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HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Ramp’s Start Value, End Value, and Curvature parameters,
as well as change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Oscillate
• Rate
Randomize
Creates a continuous sequence of randomly increasing and decreasing values, based on
the parameters defining the range and type of values that are generated.
Although the values created with this behavior appear to be random, they’re actually
predetermined by the parameter settings you’ve chosen. As long as you don’t change
the parameters, the frame-by-frame values created by this behavior remain the same. If
you don’t like the values that were randomly generated, click the Generate button in the
Behaviors tab in the Inspector to pick a new random seed number. This number is used
to generate a new sequence of values.
The Apply Mode parameter determines how values generated by this behavior are
combined with other behaviors and keyframes that affect the same parameter. This
provides you with different ways of using a Randomize behavior to modify a parameter’s
preexisting values.
The Randomize behavior is useful for creating jittery effects, such as twitchy rotation,
flickering opacity, and other effects requiring rapid and varied changes over time that
would be time-consuming to keyframe. The Randomize behavior can be modified with
other behaviors, such as Average and Negate, to exercise further control over the values
being generated.
Parameters in the Inspector
Amount/Multiplier: This parameter is set to Amount when the Apply Mode is set to Add,
Subtract, or Add and Subtract, and is set to Multiplier when the Apply Mode is set to
Multiply. This parameter defines the maximum value the Randomize behavior will generate.
Apply Mode: A pop-up menu that determines how values generated by this behavior
are combined with other behaviors and keyframes that affect the same parameter. This
provides you with different ways of using a Randomize behavior to modify a parameter’s
preexisting values. The options are Add, Subtract, Multiply, or Add and Subtract.
Frequency: A slider that lets you adjust the amount of random variation per second.
Higher values will generate faster variations, whereas lower values will generate slower
variations.
Noisiness: Adds an additional overlay of random variance to the Frequency you’ve set.
Higher Noisiness values result in more erratic variations in the affected parameter.
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Link: This parameter appears when you apply this behavior to a two-dimensional
parameter (such as Scale) or three-dimensional parameter (such as Position) that consists
of X, Y, and/or Z values. Turn this checkbox on to keep the behavior’s effect on each value
proportional.
Affect Subobjects: This parameter only appears when the Randomize behavior is applied
to a parameter of the Sequence Replicator behavior. When Affect Subobjects is selected,
each object has a different random behavior. When Affect Subobjects is deselected, each
object undergoes the same animation.
Random Seed: A button that lets you pick a new random seed number. This number is
used to randomly generate new sequences of values, based on the other parameters of
this behavior.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
last random value generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the object.
Trimming the end of the behavior resets the parameter to its original value.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Amount, Multiplier, Frequency, Noisiness, Link (for
multidimensional parameters), Start Offset, and End Offset parameters, as well as parameter
assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Random Motion
• Wriggle
Rate
This behavior increases a parameter’s value over time, with the rate of increase determined
by the Rate slider. Unlike the Ramp behavior, this behavior has no end value; it simply
continues to increase or decrease the parameter it’s applied to until the end of the
parameter.
Note: To decrease a parameter over time, enter a negative value into the Rate parameter.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Rate: A value slider that lets you set a rate of increase over time for the affected parameter.
Measured in percentage increase per second.
Curvature: This parameter lets you ease the acceleration with which the Rate behavior
transitions from the Start Value to the End Value. Higher Curvature values result in an
ease in/ease out effect, where the value slowly begins the transition, gradually speeds
up as the behavior continues, then gradually slows down to a stop as it reaches the end.
Curvature does not affect the overall duration of the effect, since that is defined by the
length of the behavior in the Timeline.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
last random value generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the object.
Trimming the end of the behavior resets the parameter to its original value.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for Rate, Curvature, and parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Oscillate
• Ramp
Reverse
Unlike the Negate behavior, which inverts the value of the parameter to which it’s applied,
the Reverse behavior reverses the direction of any animation that affects a parameter,
whether it’s caused by behaviors or keyframes. For example, when you apply the Reverse
behavior to path animation that begins at the left and moves to the right, the animation
path won’t move, but the object instead begins at the right and moves to the left. The
Reverse behavior basically switches the beginning and ending points of animated objects.
Parameters in the Inspector
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD control allows you to change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Average
• Negate
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Stop
The Stop behavior suspends parameter animation (created by keyframes or applied
behaviors) of an object. For example, if you assign the Stop Parameter behavior to the
Position parameter of an object that is moving across the screen and rotating, the object
ceases to move across the screen but continues to rotate.
Each behavior’s effect on the object is frozen at the first frame of the Stop behavior in
the Timeline. Keyframes that are applied to that parameter cease to have any effect for
the duration of the Stop behavior in the Timeline.
If the Stop behavior is shorter than the object to which it’s applied, all keyframes and
behaviors affecting that channel immediately take effect after the last frame of the Stop
behavior. For more information on using the Stop behavior, see Using the Stop Behavior.
Parameters in the Inspector
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being stopped and can
be used to reassign the Stop behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD control allows you to change the parameter assignment.
Track
This behavior allows you to apply tracking data to a parameter of an effect, such as the
center point of the Light Rays filter. For more information on using the Track behavior,
see Track Parameter Behavior.
Wriggle
This behavior works similarly to the Randomize behavior, but with a slower effect.
Note: A Wriggle behavior applied to an Opacity parameter set to 100% does not have
much effect. This is because there isn’t much room to “wriggle.” For a better result, set
the Opacity to 0, or change the Apply Mode to Subtract.
Parameters in the Inspector
Amount/Multiplier: This parameter is set to Amount when the Apply Mode is set to Add,
Subtract, or Add and Subtract. This parameter is set to Multiplier when the Apply Mode
is set to Multiply. This parameter defines the maximum value that the Wriggle behavior
generates.
Apply Mode: A pop-up menu that determines how values generated by this behavior
are combined with other behaviors and keyframes that affect the same parameter. This
provides you with different ways of using a Wriggle behavior to modify a parameter’s
preexisting values. The options are Add, Subtract, Multiply, or Add and Subtract.
Frequency: A slider that lets you adjust the amount of random variation per second.
Higher values generate faster variations, whereas lower values generate slower variations.
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Wriggle Offset: A slider that allows you to offset the sequence of random values when
you want to apply the same Wriggle behavior to multiple objects. By offsetting each
object’s version of the Wriggle behavior, you can prevent objects from moving in sync.
Noisiness: This slider adds an additional overlay of random variance to the Frequency
you’ve set. Higher Noisiness values result in more erratic variations in the affected
parameter.
Link: This parameter appears when you apply the Wriggle behavior to a two-dimensional
parameter (such as Scale) or three-dimensional parameter (such as Position) that consists
of X, Y, and/or Z values. Turn this checkbox on to keep the behavior’s effect on each value
proportional.
Affect Subobjects: This parameter only appears when the Wriggle behavior is applied
to a parameter of the Sequence Replicator behavior. When Affect Subobjects is selected,
each object has a different wriggle behavior. When Affect Subobjects is deselected, each
object undergoes the same animation.
Random Seed: A button that lets you pick a new random seed number. This number is
used to randomly generate new sequences of values, based on the other parameters of
this behavior.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the behavior’s effect relative
to the first frame of its position in the Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior
start later. This parameter is measured in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the behavior’s effect relative to the
last frame of its position in the Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior stop before the actual end of the behavior in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior in the Timeline, freezes the
last random value generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the object.
Trimming the end of the behavior resets the parameter to its original value.
Apply To: The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu shows the parameter being affected and can
be used to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Amount, Multiplier, Frequency, Wriggle Offset, Noisiness,
Link (for multidimensional parameters), Start Offset, and End Offset parameters, as well
as change the parameter assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Random Motion
• Randomize
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Retiming Behaviors
Retiming behaviors are applied to image sequences, QuickTime movies, and clone layers
in order to change their timing. Retiming effects include creating hold frames, changing
playback rate, reversing a clip, creating stutter or strobe effects, and so on.
Important: Retiming behaviors can only be applied to QuickTime movies, image
sequences, or clone layers. In other words, a Retiming behavior cannot be applied to a
particle emitter, but it can be applied to an instance of the particle emitter. For more
information on cloning layers, see Making Clone Layers.
Retiming Behaviors Versus Timing Controls in the Inspector
When a clip is selected, a group of Timing parameters appears in the Properties tab of
the Inspector. These controls allow you to do some of the same effects as the Retiming
behaviors, such as slowing down or speeding up, looping, or reversing a clip; however,
the Timing controls affect the entire clip. The beauty of the Retiming behaviors is that
you can define which portion of the clip is affected by the behavior. Any timing changes
made to a clip using the Inspector’s Timing controls are respected by the Retiming
behaviors. For example, if you changed the speed of the clip to 50% in the Timing
parameters, a Retiming behavior uses that half-speed clip as its source. For more
information on Timing controls in the Inspector, see Retiming.
The following sections cover the Retiming behaviors:
• Flash Frame
• Hold Frame
• Loop
• Ping Pong
• Replay
• Reverse
• Reverse Loop
• Scrub
• Set Speed
• Strobe
• Stutter
Flash Frame
This behavior randomly inserts a user-defined range of random frames (adjacent to the
current frame) into the playback of a clip.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Random Frames: A slider that sets the probability that a frame within the duration of
the behavior is replaced with a random frame. When this value is set to 0, no random
frames are inserted. When set to 100, every frame is random. The default value is 10%.
Frame Range: A slider that defines the range from which the random frames are chosen,
based around the current frame. The default value is 10 frames.
Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the sequence of random frames. The default
value is 1, which means 1 random frame is inserted at a time. When Duration is set to 30,
for example, 30-frame sequences (chosen from the Frame Range) are randomly inserted.
The Duration value overrides the Random Frame count (so that a new random frame
does not interrupt the sequence).
Random Seed: A button that lets you pick a new random seed number. This number is
used to randomly generate new values, based on the other parameters of this behavior.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Random Frames, Frame Range, Duration, and Random Seed
parameters.
Hold Frame
The Hold Frame behavior holds the frame at the behavior’s In point for the duration of
the behavior. The clip continues playing normally after the behavior’s Out point. For
example, if the Hold Frame behavior begins at frame 60 and ends at frame 300, the clip
plays normally until frame 59, frame 60 is held for 240 frames, and then normal playback
resumes—frame 61 of the clip—at frame 301.
The Hold behavior is always applied at the current frame, rather than at the start of the
object.
Parameters in the Inspector
Offset: A slider that sets the offset for the hold frame. When set to 0 (the default), the
frame at the start of the behavior is the hold frame. When set to 60, however, the frame
at the start of the behavior (the hold frame) is the start frame plus 60 frames. This
parameter is measured in frames.
Tip: Flickering may occur if the Hold Frame behavior is applied to interlaced footage. To
avoid this, ensure that Field Order is properly set in the Inspector. To change field order,
select the footage in the Media tab of the Project pane, show the Media tab in the
Inspector, then choose a field order option from the Field Order pop-up menu.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Offset parameter.
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Loop
This behavior loops a segment of the clip within the duration of the behavior. The loop’s
starting frame is derived from the start frame of the behavior. For example, if the behavior
is applied at the start of a clip, and Loop Duration is set to 30, the first 30 frames of the
clip loop repeatedly until the end of the behavior. At the end of the behavior, normal
playback resumes from the frame at the end of the loop duration.
Parameters in the Inspector
Loop Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the looped frames. The default value is
30 frames.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Loop Duration parameter.
Ping Pong
This behavior “ping-pongs” a segment of the clip within the duration of the behavior.
The ping-pong’s starting frame is derived from the start frame of the behavior. For example,
if the behavior is applied at the start of a clip, and Duration is set to 30, the first 30 frames
of the clip play forward, then play in reverse, then forward, and so on until the end of the
behavior. At the end of the behavior, normal playback resumes.
Parameters in the Inspector
Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the ping-pong frames. The default value is
30 frames.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Loop Duration parameter.
Replay
The Replay behavior resets the playhead at the beginning of the behavior to a specific
frame, and then plays the clip normally from that frame. The clip plays back normally
after the end of the behavior. This allows you to trigger playback of the clip at different
times, without requiring multiple copies of the movie object.
Parameters in the Inspector
Start From: A pop-up menu that determines whether the replay starts from an absolute
frame number or an offset from the frame at the start of the behavior.
• Absolute Frame: Sets the replay to start at the frame specified in the Start Time
parameter. For example, if the behavior starts at frame 60 of the clip and Start Frame
is set to 30, when playback reaches frame 60, the clip starts playback over from frame
30.
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• Offset Frame: Allows you to offset the start frame of the replay. For example, if the
behavior starts at frame 60 of the clip, and Start Frame is set to 30, when playback
reaches frame 60, the clip starts playback at frame 90. If Start Frame is set to –30, the
clip starts playback over from frame 30.
Start Time: A slider that sets the start frame from which to replay the clip. The default is
frame 1.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Start From and Start Time parameters.
Reverse
This behavior plays the clip or image sequence in reverse.
Parameters in the Inspector
There are no parameters for this behavior.
HUD Controls
There are no parameters for this behavior.
Reverse Loop
This behavior loops a segment of the clip in reverse within the duration of the behavior.
If Loop Duration is set to 30 and the behavior begins at frame 1, frames 1–30 are played
in reverse, then frames 31–60 are played in reverse, frames 61–90 are played in reverse,
and so on.
Tip: To achieve a nice stutter effect, set Loop Duration to 2.
Parameters in the Inspector
Loop Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the looped frames to be played in
reverse. The default value is 30 frames.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Loop Duration parameter.
Scrub
Like the Scrub filter, the Scrub behavior moves a virtual playhead around a clip, allowing
you to change the timing of the clip without moving it in the Timeline. Additionally, the
Scrub behavior allows you to animate the offset parameter using keyframes or parameter
behaviors, often with interesting results. Try applying the Oscillate behavior to the Frame
offset, with the Offset From parameter set to Current Frame.
Note: You can also apply parameter behaviors to the Retime Value parameter in the
Timing controls for the image itself. The Timing controls are located in the Properties tab.
Time Remap must be set to Variable Speed in order to access the Retime Value parameter.
Important: Scrub does not affect clip audio.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Frame Offset: Sets the offset of the virtual playhead.
Offset From: Sets the position from which the virtual playhead is offset. Values can be
selected from First Frame or Current Frame.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Frame Offset and Offset From parameters.
Set Speed
This behavior allows you to change the speed (playback rate) of a clip. The speed specified
in the behavior begins at the behavior’s In point and exists for the duration of the behavior.
The clip continues playing at its default speed after the behavior’s Out point. For example,
if the Set Speed behavior begins at frame 60 and ends at frame 300, the clip plays normally
until frame 59, plays back at the rate specified in the behavior from frame 60 to frame
300, and then resumes its default playback speed at frame 301. You can apply an “ease-in”
or “ease-out” effect to the speed change.
Parameters in the Inspector
Speed: A slider that sets the speed of the clip as a percentage. The default is 100% (the
clip’s normal speed). A Speed setting of 50% plays the clip at half speed.
Note: The Speed parameter can be keyframed to create variable playback rate changes.
Ease In Time: A slider that sets the number of frames over which the ease in to the speed
change occurs (from the start of the behavior). The default value is 20 frames.
Ease In Curve: A slider that defines the curvature of the ramp when easing into the speed
change. A value of 0 creates a sharp transition to the new speed; a value of 100 creates
the smoothest ease in to the new speed. The default is 50%.
Ease Out Time: A slider that sets the number of frames over which the ease out of the
speed change occurs (from the end of the behavior). The default value is 20 frames.
Ease Out Curve: A slider that defines the curvature of the ramp when easing out of the
speed change. A value of 0 creates a sharp transition from the new speed to the original
speed; a value of 100 creates the smoothest ease out. The default is 50%.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Speed, Ease In Time, Ease In Curve, Ease Out Time, and Ease Out
Curve parameters.
Strobe
The Strobe behavior simulates the look of a strobe light or lower frame rate video by
holding a number of frames as defined by the Strobe Duration parameter over the playback
of the clip. For example, when Strobe Duration is set to 10, frame 1 is held for 10 frames,
frame 11 for 10 frames, frame 21 for 10 frames, and so on. The frames in between (2–10,
12–20, 22–30, and so on) do not appear.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Strobe Duration: A slider that sets the number of frames to hold. A value of 1 plays the
clip at normal speed. The default value is 5 frames.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Strobe Duration parameter.
Stutter
This behavior randomly inserts hold frames, of random durations, into the playback of a
clip. The effect is similar to a tape that sticks during play in a videocassette recorder.
Parameters in the Inspector
Stutter Amount: A slider that sets the probability that a hold frame is generated at the
given frame. When set to 0%, no hold frames are created; when set to 100%, every frame
is a hold frame. Values in between 0 and 100 indicate the probability of frames (within
the duration of the behavior) that are replaced by hold frames. The default value is 10%.
Duration Range: A slider that sets the maximum duration of hold frames. A value of 1
inserts single-frame hold frames at a frequency determined by the Stutter Amount
parameter. Increasing the Duration Range increases the range of hold frames. For example,
a value of 30 creates random hold frames with a minimum of 1 frame and a maximum
of 30 frames. The default value is 3 frames.
Random Seed: A button that lets you pick a new random seed number. This number is
used to randomly generate new values, based on the other parameters of this behavior.
HUD Controls
The HUD contains the Stutter Amount, Duration Range, and Random Seed parameters.
Simulation Behaviors
These behaviors perform one of two tasks. Some Simulation behaviors, such as Gravity,
animate the parameters of an object in a way that simulates a real-world phenomenon.
Other Simulation behaviors, such as Attractor and Repel, affect the parameters of one or
more objects surrounding the object to which they’re applied. These behaviors allow you
to create some very sophisticated interactions among multiple objects in your project
with a minimum of adjustments. Like the Basic Motion behaviors, Simulation behaviors
also affect specific object parameters. Examples include Attractor, Gravity, and Repel.
Note: To view examples of working with the different Simulation behaviors, see Behavior
Examples.
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Important: Several Simulation behavior parameters contain object wells into which target
objects used as attractors, repellers, orbiters, and so on, are dragged. Dragging an object
to a well may be tricky—be sure to click the object name in the Layers tab and immediately
drag the object to the object well (without releasing the mouse button). The behavior
must remain active even though you are dragging another object in the Layers tab. If
you click the object in the Layers tab and release the mouse button, that object becomes
selected, and the behavior’s parameters are no longer displayed. This behavior is true of
all wells, including mask source and image wells.
The following sections cover the Simulation behaviors:
• Align To Motion
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drag
• Drift Attracted To
• Drift Attractor
• Edge Collision
• Gravity
• Orbit Around
• Random Motion
• Repel
• Repel From
• Rotational Drag
• Spring
• Vortex
• Wind
Align To Motion
The Align To Motion behavior changes the rotation of an object to match changes made
to its direction along an animation path. This behavior is meant to be combined with
Simulation behaviors that animate the position of an object or with a keyframed animation
path you create yourself.
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Note: The Align to Motion behavior does not work on objects animated using the Motion
Path behavior. Instead, use the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior (in the Basic Motion
subcategory).
Before using Align To Motion
After using Align To Motion
Unlike the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior, which produces absolute changes in
rotation that precisely match changes in direction, Align To Motion has a springy reaction
and creates a more lively effect.
In the above example, the fish travels along the keyframed animation path, but it isn’t
aligned to the animation path (notice the rotation handle). Using the Align To Motion
behavior, its angle of rotation moves so that it points in the direction of the animation
path. By adjusting the Drag parameter, you can make it careen wildly about its anchor
point as it goes around curves in the animation path.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Rotation Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you rotate the object around the X, Y, or Z axis.
You can also select All to rotate the object around all three axes. The default rotation axis
is Z.
Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you specify whether the object aligns itself on its horizontal
or vertical axis.
Invert Axis: A checkbox that flips the orientation with which the object aligns itself to
the motion.
Spring Tension: A slider that adjusts how quickly the object’s rotation changes to match
a change in the object’s direction. Lower values create a delay between a change to an
object’s position and its subsequent change in rotation. Higher values create more
responsive changes in rotation.
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Drag: A slider that adjusts whether or not the change in rotation made by this behavior
overshoots the new direction of the object. Low drag values result in springy changes in
rotation, where the object rotates back and forth as it overshoots changes in direction.
High drag values dampen this effect, making the object’s rotation stick more closely to
the changes made in rotation. Higher values also cause the object’s rotation to lag behind
the object’s change in position.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for the Rotation Axis, Axis, Invert Axis, Spring Tension, and Drag
parameters. When applied to a group or layer that contains multiple objects (such as
particles, text, or a replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Snap Alignment to Motion
Attracted To
This behavior is part of a group of Simulation behaviors that let you create complex
animated relationships between two or more objects. These behaviors are extremely
powerful and allow complicated effects to be created with a minimum of steps.
An object with the Attracted To behavior moves toward a single specified target, the
object of attraction. Additional parameters allow you to adjust the area of influence that
defines how close an object needs to be to move toward the object of attraction, and
how strongly it is attracted.
Shape object with
Attracted To behavior
Animation path
Shape object of
attraction
The Drag parameter lets you define whether attracted objects overshoot and bounce
about the attracting object, or whether they eventually slow down and stop at the position
of the target object.
You can apply two or more Attracted To behaviors to a single object, each with a different
object of attraction, to create tug-of-war situations where the object bounces among all
the objects it’s attracted to.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Object: An image well that defines the object of attraction. To set the defined target
object, drag the object from the Layers tab to the Object well in the Attracted To HUD
or Inspector. In the Layers tab, you can also drag the target object onto the Attracted To
behavior.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object moves toward the object of
attraction. With a value of 0, the object doesn’t move at all. The higher the value, the
faster the object moves.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence, in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance attracted objects overshoot the
object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in the object overshooting the object of
attraction, moving past and then careening back around toward the target object again
and again. Higher Drag values result in the object coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the axes on which the affected
object (or objects) moves around the object to which it is attracted. When Z is enabled,
the object moves about its attractor object in Z space.
HUD Controls
The HUD has an Object well you can use to assign an object of attraction, as well as
Strength, Falloff Type, Falloff Rate, Influence, Drag, and axis assignment parameters. When
applied to an object that contains multiple objects (such as a group, particles, text, or the
replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears in the HUD.
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Related Behaviors
• Attractor
• Drift Attracted To
• Drift Attractor
• Orbit Around
• Spring
• Vortex
Attractor
If you apply an Attractor behavior to an object, other objects that lie within the area of
influence move toward it. You can manipulate the strength with which other objects are
attracted, as well as the distance required for attraction to begin.
Start of Attractor effect
End of Attractor effect
By default, objects overshoot the object of attraction and bounce around, never coming
to rest. The Drag parameter lets you adjust this behavior, changing whether attracted
objects overshoot and bounce around, or whether they eventually slow down and stop
at the position of the target object.
The Attractor behavior can affect all objects in the Canvas that fall within the area of
attraction, or you can limit its effect to a specific list of objects by using the Affect
parameter.
The Attractor behavior can also be applied to objects in motion. If you animate the position
of the target object to which you’ve applied the Attractor behavior, all other objects in
the Canvas continue to be attracted to its new position.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project are affected by the
Attractor behavior. There are three options:
• All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the Attractor behavior.
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• Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects that are within the same group
as the object of attraction are affected.
• Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected Objects list are affected by the
Attractor behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is chosen in the Affect pop-up
menu. Drag objects from the Layers tab into this list to be affected by the Attractor
behavior when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect pop-up menu. To
remove an item from the list, select the item and click Remove.
• Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing the object.
• Name: This column lists the name of the object itself.
Strength: A slider defining the speed with which attracted objects move toward the
target object. With a value of 0, attracted objects don’t move at all. The higher the value,
the faster attracted objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance attracted objects overshoot the
object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in the object overshooting the object of
attraction, moving past and then careening back around toward the target object again
and again. Higher Drag values result in the object coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the object (or
objects) moves toward the target object. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the
object moves in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object moves in the YZ
plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Affect, Strength, Falloff Type, Falloff Rate, Influence, Drag,
and axis assignment parameters.
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Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Drift Attracted To
• Drift Attractor
• Orbit Around
• Spring
• Vortex
Drag
This behavior lets you simulate the force of friction on a moving object, slowing it down
over time. Applying the Drag behavior is an easy way to decelerate objects with multiple
behaviors that create complex motion.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Amount: Sliders that can be used to slow down an object over time, causing it to
eventually come to a stop. Higher Drag values result in the object coming to rest sooner.
Click the Amount disclosure triangle to adjust the drag applied to the X, Y, and Z values
separately. An example of this is to create a situation where an object’s vertical speed
slows down faster than its horizontal speed.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which drag is in effect.
For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object drags in the XY plane; when Y and Z
are enabled, the object drags in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the amount of drag and axis assignment. When applied to an
object that contains multiple objects, such as a group, particles, text, or the replicator,
the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Rotational Drag
Drift Attracted To
Similar to the Attracted To behavior, but by default an object moves toward the object
of attraction and comes to rest, rather than overshooting the object of attraction and
bouncing around.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Object: An image well that defines the object of attraction. To set the defined target
object, drag the object from the Layers tab to the Object well in the Drift Attracted To
HUD or Inspector. In the Layers tab, you can also drag the target object onto the Drift
Attracted To behavior.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object moves toward the object of
attraction. With a value of 0, the object doesn’t move at all. The higher the value, the
faster the object moves.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence, in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance attracted objects overshoot the
object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in the object overshooting the object of
attraction, moving past and then careening back around toward the target object again
and again. Higher Drag values result in the object coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the affected
object (or objects) drifts toward the object to which it is attracted. For example, when X
and Y are enabled, the object drifts in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object
drifts in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD has an Object well you can use to assign an object of attraction, sliders for
strength and drag, and axis assignment. When applied to an object that contains multiple
objects (such as a group, particles, text, or the replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox
also appears in the HUD.
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Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drift Attractor
• Orbit Around
• Spring
• Vortex
Drift Attractor
Similar to the Attractor behavior, but by default objects within the area of influence move
toward the object of attraction and come to rest, rather than overshooting the object of
attraction and bouncing around.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project are affected by the Drift
Attractor behavior. There are three options:
• All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the Drift Attractor behavior.
• Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects that are within the same group
as the object of attraction are affected.
• Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected Objects list are affected by the
Drift Attractor behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is chosen in the Affect pop-up
menu. Drag objects from the Layers tab into this list to be affected by the Attractor
behavior when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect pop-up menu. To
remove an item from the list, select the item and click Remove.
• Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing the object.
• Name: This column lists the name of the object itself.
Strength: A slider defining the speed with which attracted objects move toward the
target object. With a value of 0, attracted objects don’t move at all. The higher the value,
the faster attracted objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
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Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When Falloff Type is set to Exponential, the
attraction falls off more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence, in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance attracted objects overshoot the
object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in the object overshooting the object of
attraction, moving past and then careening back around toward the target object again
and again. Higher Drag values result in the object coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the object (or
objects) drift toward the target object. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object
drifts in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object drifts in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for Affect, Strength, Drag, and axis assignment.
Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drift Attracted To
• Orbit Around
• Spring
• Vortex
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Edge Collision
This is a good behavior to use if you’re setting up complex motion simulations and you
don’t want your objects exiting the Canvas. Objects with the Edge Collision behavior
applied either come to a stop or bounce off after colliding with the edge of the Canvas
frame. For example, if you apply the Throw behavior to an object and set the velocity to
send the object toward the edge of the frame, then apply Edge Collision, the object will
bounce off the edge of the frame according to the Bounce Strength parameter.
Animation path of a
thrown object affected
by the Edge Collision
behavior
The angle at which the object bounces depends on the angle at which it hits the edge
of the frame; the speed it travels after bouncing is set by the Bounce Strength parameter.
Note: Edge Collision has no effect on objects that are larger than the Canvas.
Important: By default, the Edge Collision behavior uses the size of the project and the
bounding box to determine how the object collides with the edge of the Canvas. For
example, in an NTSC Broadcast SD project (720 x 486 pixels), an object bounces off the
right and left edges of the project at its bounding box. With groups (particles, text, and
objects), only the object’s center is used. You can make the object travel further off the
Canvas before it bounces by adjusting the Width and Height parameters. If you’re using
this behavior with an object that has an alpha channel that’s smaller than its bounding
box, adjust the Crop parameter in the object’s Properties tab to fit the bounding box as
closely as possible to the edge of the image.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
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Bounce Strength: The speed at which objects travel after colliding with an edge. A value
of 0 causes objects to come to a complete stop when colliding with an edge that’s
perpendicular to the direction of motion. Higher values cause an object to move faster
after bouncing. This parameter only slows the object in the direction perpendicular to
the bounced edge.
Active Edges: Six checkboxes define which collision box edges are detected by the Edge
Collision behavior. You can turn edges on and off in any combination.
• Left Face: Defines the left edge for the collision.
• Right Face: Defines the right edge for the collision.
• Top Face: Defines the top edge for the collision.
• Bottom Face: Defines the bottom edge for the collision.
• Back Face: Defines the back edge (in Z space) for the collision.
• Front Face: Defines the front edge (in Z space) for the collision.
Width: A slider that allows you to define a width (the right and left edges of the Canvas)
other than the size of project. By default, Width is set to the project size.
Height: A slider that allows you to define a height (the top and bottom edges) other
than the size of project. By default, Height is set to the project size.
Depth: A slider that allows you to define a depth (the back and front faces, in Z space)
for the edge collision. By default, Depth is set to 100 pixels.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for Bounce Strength and Width, Height, and Depth. When applied
to an object that contains multiple objects (such as a group, particles, text, or the
replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears in the HUD.
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Gravity
This behavior causes an object, or the objects within a group (when Affect Subobjects is
selected), to fall over time. The gravitational acceleration can be increased or decreased,
resulting in a change to the rate of fall. Objects affected by the Gravity behavior continue
to fall past the bottom edge of the Canvas (unless the Edge Collision behavior has been
applied).
Animation path of an
object pulled down by
the Gravity behavior
The Gravity behavior can be used in conjunction with other behaviors that animate the
position of objects to create natural-looking arcs and animation paths that simulate
thrown objects falling to the ground. For example, apply the Throw behavior to an object
to send it flying through the air, and then apply the Gravity behavior to it to make the
object arc up and then fall down past the bottom of the Canvas.
You can also set the Acceleration parameter to a negative value, effectively applying
“anti-gravity” to the object and making it fly up.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Acceleration: A slider defining the strength of gravity affecting the target object. The
higher this value, the faster the target object falls.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you adjust the Acceleration parameter. When applied to an object containing
multiple objects (such as a group, particles text, or a replicator), the Affect Subobjects
checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Motion Path
• Random Motion
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• Throw
• Wind
Orbit Around
Similar to the Attracted To behavior, the Orbit Around behavior’s default parameter
settings give the object sufficient initial velocity to orbit around another object in a perfect
circle.
Note: Behaviors such as Attractor and Repel applied to nearby objects may disrupt an
object with the Orbit Around behavior applied to it.
Animation path of an
object affected by the
Orbit Around behavior
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Object: A well that defines the object to orbit around. To set the defined target object,
drag the object from the Layers tab to the Object well in the Orbit Around HUD or
Inspector. In the Layers tab, you can also drag the target object onto the Orbit Around
behavior.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object moves.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially. The default is Linear.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
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Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: The default value for Orbit Around is 0, which results in a stable orbit. Any other
value causes the orbit to decay and the object to spiral into the object of attraction.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the orbit occurs.
For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object orbits in the XY plane. In the illustration
below, X and Y are selected in the Include parameter. The yellow motion paths represent
the motion of the white stars around the target object (the orange outlined star). The
light gray box represents the boundary of the group.
In the illustration below, Y and Z are turned on in the Include parameter. The white stars
move around the target object in the YZ plane.
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Pole Axis: This parameter becomes available when the X, Y, and Z axes are enabled in
the Include parameter. Because all points are at a fixed distance from the target or attractor
object (the Pole Axis), the object can be visualized on a sphere of all possible orbits, with
the target object at the center of the sphere. The Pole Axis defines the two points on the
sphere that the orbit must pass through.
• X: The following image illustrates Pole Axis set to X. The light gray box represents the
boundary of the group.
• Y: The following image illustrates Pole Axis set to Y.
• Z: The following image illustrates Pole Axis set to Z.
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• Random: When Random is selected, the axes shift to a different random position.
Direction: A pop-up menu that lets you set whether objects move around in a clockwise
or counterclockwise direction.
HUD Controls
The HUD has an image well you can use to assign an object of attraction, as well as
controls for Strength, Falloff Type, Falloff Rate, Influence, Drag, axis and Pole Axis
assignment, and Direction. When applied to an object that contains multiple objects
(such as a group, particles, text, or the replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also
appears in the HUD.
This image well defines
the object of attraction.
Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drift Attracted To
• Drift Attractor
• Spring
• Vortex
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Random Motion
The Random Motion behavior animates the position of an object and makes that object
move around the Canvas along a random path.
Animation path of a
shape affected by the
Random Motion
behavior. The shape of
the path is determined
by the Seed parameter.
Although the motion created with this behavior appears to be random, it’s actually
predetermined by the particular group of parameters you’ve chosen. As long as you don’t
change the parameters, the animation path created by this behavior remains the same.
If you don’t like the path that was randomly generated, click the Generate button in either
the HUD or the Behaviors tab in the Inspector to pick a new random seed number. This
number is used to generate a new path.
The Random Motion behavior is useful for quickly creating varied animation paths for
large numbers of objects you want to move at the same time. For example, you can create
an arrangement of ten objects in the Canvas and apply the Random Motion behavior to
all of them.
You can also use the Random Motion behavior to add variation to the animation paths
created by other behaviors that affect an object’s position. For example, adding Random
Motion to an object with the Orbit Around behavior results in a more erratic animation
path, although it still orbits as before.
Shape with Orbit Around behavior
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Orbit Around behavior modified by
Random Motion
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Amount: A slider that determines the speed the object moves by changing the length
of the animation path. Higher values result in faster motion and longer animation paths.
Frequency: A slider that determines the number of twists and turns in the animation
path, which can be seen by the crookedness of the resulting animation path. Higher
values create more turns in the animation path. Lower values result in straighter animation
paths.
Noisiness: A slider that determines an additional level of jaggedness along the animation
path shape defined by the Amount parameter. Higher values result in a more
jagged-looking animation path.
Drag: A slider that controls the speed the object moves along the animation path. While
the Amount parameter controls the length of the animation path, the Drag parameter
shrinks or enlarges the animation path as a whole.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which random motion
is in effect. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the motion occurs in the XY plane;
when Y and Z are enabled, the motion occurs in the YZ plane.
Random Seed: A button that lets you pick a new random seed number. This number is
used to randomly generate new animation paths, based on the values you’ve picked in
the other parameters of this behavior.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for the Amount, Frequency, Noisiness, Drag, axis assignment, and
Random Seed parameters. When applied to an object that contains multiple objects (such
as a group, particles, text, or a replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears
in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Motion Path
• Gravity
• Throw
• Wind
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Repel
If you apply the Repel behavior to an object, that object pushes away all other objects
within the area of influence in the Canvas. The strength with which objects are pushed
away can be increased or decreased, as can the distance repelled objects travel.
Object with Repel
behavior
Before
After
You can also specify which objects are affected by this behavior, creating an effect where
only specific objects are moved, while others remain still.
The Repel behavior is the opposite of the Attractor behavior, and is part of a group of
simulation behaviors that create complex animated relationships between two or more
objects.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project are affected by the Repel
behavior. There are three options:
• All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the Repel behavior.
• Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects that are within the same group
as the repelling object are affected.
• Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected Objects list are affected by the
Repel behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is chosen in the Affect pop-up
menu. Drag objects from the Layers tab into this list to be affected by the Attractor
behavior when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect pop-up menu. To
remove an item from the list, select the item and click Remove.
• Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing the object.
• Name: This column lists the name of the object itself.
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Strength: A slider defining the speed with which repelled objects move away from the
object. With a value of 0, repelled objects don’t move at all. The higher the value, the
faster repelled objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Repulsion between objects falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is repelled, and the faster it moves away from the object doing the repelling.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of repulsion between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move away from the object of repulsion. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move away from the object of repulsion. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance repelled objects travel away from
the repelling object.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the objects
move away from the object with the applied Repel behavior. For example, when X and
Y are enabled, the object moves away in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the
object moves away in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD has controls for which objects are affected, as well as for Strength, Falloff Type,
Falloff Rate, Influence, axis assignment, and Drag.
Related Behaviors
• Repel From
Repel From
While the Repel behavior pushes other objects away, the Repel From behavior has the
converse effect, making the object it’s applied to move away from a selected object in
the Canvas.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
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Object: An image well that defines the object to be repelled from.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object is repelled. With a value of 0,
the object is not repelled at all. The higher the value, the faster the object is repelled.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially.
• Linear: Repulsion between objects falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is repelled, and the faster it moves away from the object doing the repelling.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of repulsion between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move away from the object of repulsion. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move away from the object of repulsion. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that can be used to reduce the distance the object or objects travel away
from the repelling object.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the object
moves away from the selected object. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object
moves in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object moves in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
The HUD has an image well you can use to assign an object to move away from, as well
as controls for Strength, Falloff Type, Falloff Rate, Influence, axis assignment, and Drag.
When applied to an object that contains multiple objects (such as a group, particles, text,
or the replicator), the Affect Subobjects checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Repel
Rotational Drag
This behavior is similar to the Drag behavior, except that it affects Rotation instead of
position. Rotational Drag simulates friction affecting objects that are spinning due to
keyframed or behavior-driven changes to the Rotation parameter. By setting higher Drag
values, you can slow rotational changes to an eventual stop.
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Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Amount: A slider that can be used to slow down an object’s rotation over time, causing
it to eventually come to a stop. Higher Amount values result in the rotation ending sooner.
HUD Controls
The HUD lets you control the amount of drag. When applied to an object that contains
multiple objects (such as a group, particles, text, or the replicator), the Affect Subobjects
checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Drag
Spring
The Spring behavior creates a relationship between two objects, so that an object with
the Spring behavior applied to it moves back and forth around a second object. The
Attract To parameter defines the object that serves as the target and center of the Spring
behavior. Additional parameters let you adjust the speed of the behavior (Spring Tension)
and the acceleration of the object at each change in direction (Relaxed Length).
If the Attract To object is at rest, the resulting motion is fairly simple and the springing
object moves back and forth in a straight line. If the Attract To object is in motion, the
springing object’s motion will be much more complex, changing direction according to
the velocity of the Attract To object.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Attract To: An image well that defines the object of attraction. To set the defined target
object, drag the object from the Layers tab to the Attract To well in the Spring HUD or
Inspector. In the Layers tab, you can also drag the target object onto the Spring behavior.
Spring Tension: A slider that determines how fast the object is pulled toward the object
of attraction.
Relaxed Length: The distance from the target object at which object attraction diminishes
to zero. As the springing object’s distance increases past this point, the force of attraction
increases proportionally, to bring it back toward the target object.
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Repel: With this checkbox selected, when the object gets closer to the object of attraction
than the Relaxed Length value, the objects are pushed apart. When this checkbox is
deselected, no repelling force is applied.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the affected
object moves back and forth around the assigned object. For example, when X and Y are
enabled, the object moves back and forth in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled,
the object moves back and forth in the YZ plane.
HUD Controls
An image well in the HUD lets you set the Attract To object. You can also control the
Spring Tension and Relaxed Length parameters and axis assignment. A checkbox lets you
turn on the Repel parameter. When this behavior is applied to an object that contains
multiple objects (such as a group, particles, text, or the replicator), the Affect Subobjects
checkbox also appears in the HUD.
Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drift Attracted To
• Drift Attractor
• Orbit Around
• Vortex
Vortex
The opposite of the Orbit Around behavior. While the Orbit Around behavior causes one
object to orbit around another target object, the Vortex behavior exerts a force on all
objects surrounding the object to which the Vortex behavior is applied.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project are affected by the Vortex
behavior. There are three options:
• All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the Vortex behavior.
• Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects that are within the same object
as the object of attraction are affected.
• Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected Objects list are affected by the
Vortex behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is chosen in the Affect pop-up
menu. Drag objects from the Layers tab into this list to be affected by the Attractor
behavior when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect pop-up menu. To
remove an item from the list, select the item and click Remove.
• Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing the object.
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• Name: This column lists the name of the object itself.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the affected objects move about the object
of attraction.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the distance defined by the
Influence parameter falls off linearly or exponentially. The default is Linear.
• Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the object’s distance.
• Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of influence, the more strongly it
is attracted, and the faster it moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: This value determines how quickly the force of attraction between objects
affected by this behavior falls off. A low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting
up to speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high Falloff Rate causes
objects to accelerate much more slowly. When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of influence, in pixels. Objects that
fall within the area of influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects that are
outside of the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: The default value for Vortex is 0, which results in a stable vortex. Any other value
causes the vortex to decay and the object to spiral into the object of attraction.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that allow you to specify the space in which the objects
vortex around the target object. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object circles
around in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object circles around in the YZ
plane.
Pole Axis: This parameter becomes available when the X, Y, and Z axes are enabled in
the Include parameter. Because all points are at a fixed distance from the target or attractor
object (the Pole Axis), the object can be visualized on a sphere of all possible orbits, with
the target object at the center of the sphere. The Pole Axis defines the two points on the
sphere that the orbit must pass through. For more information, see this parameter’s
discussion in Orbit Around.
Direction: A pop-up menu that lets you set whether objects move around in a clockwise
or counterclockwise direction.
HUD Controls
The HUD has a pop-up menu that lets you limit the objects affected by this behavior, as
well as controls for Strength, Falloff Type, Falloff Rate, Influence, Drag, axis assignment,
and Direction.
Related Behaviors
• Attracted To
• Attractor
• Drift Attracted To
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• Drift Attractor
• Orbit Around
• Spring
Wind
Apply the Wind behavior to an object to animate its position and move it in a specified
direction. Unlike the Throw behavior, the velocity specified by the Wind behavior is a
continuous force, and its parameters can be keyframed to achieve gradual changes in
speed and direction.
The Wind behavior is better than the Throw behavior when you want to vary the speed
of the object being animated. You can either apply another behavior (such as Randomize
or Ramp) or keyframe the Velocity parameter of the Wind behavior to vary the speed and
direction of the object. You cannot make gradual changes in either speed or direction
with the Throw behavior.
Parameters in the Inspector
Affect Subobjects: This parameter appears when this behavior is applied to an object
that contains multiple objects, such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects within the parent object are affected
individually. When this checkbox is deselected, all objects within the parent object are
affected by the behavior together, as if they were a single object.
Air Thickness: A slider and value slider that adjusts how fast the object accelerates on
the X, Y, or Z axis when the speed is changed. Lower values (simulating thinner air) have
less effect when pushing the object, so it takes longer to get up to speed. Higher values
(thicker air) have more effect and push the object up to speed more quickly.
Velocity: A slider and value slider that adjust the speed on the X, Y, or Z axis at which
the simulated air is blowing the object. Higher values result in faster motion.
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HUD Controls
The HUD lets you specify the direction and speed of the Wind behavior by dragging an
arrow within a circular region. The direction of the arrow defines the direction of
movement in X and Y space, and the length of the arrow defines speed (velocity). A slider
to the right lets you adjust the scale of the HUD control, increasing or decreasing the
effect the control has over the object.
Controls direction and
speed of Wind
Adjusts scale of the HUD
control
Press the Shift key while dragging the arrow to constrain it to 45 degree angles. Press the
Command key to change the arrow’s direction without affecting its length.
When you click the 3D button, the HUD allows you to use the center arrow control to
define the direction the object is “blown” by the wind in 3D. The Speed slider (on the left
side of the HUD) lets you increase or decrease the velocity of the blown object.
Adjusts the direction of
the wind in X, Y, and Z
space
Adjusts velocity of the
wind
Note: The maximum speed you can define with the HUD is not the maximum speed
possible. Higher values can be entered into the Velocity parameter in the Behaviors tab
of the Inspector.
Related Behaviors
• Motion Path
• Gravity
• Random Motion
• Throw
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Additional Behaviors
Audio, Camera, Motion Tracking, Particles, Replicator, Shape, and Text behaviors are
designed specifically to be applied to their respective objects: Audio files, cameras, particle
emitters or cells, replicators or replicator cells, shapes, and text.
• For more information about Audio behaviors, see Audio Behaviors.
• For more information about Camera behaviors, see Camera Behaviors.
• For more information about Particles behaviors, see Using Particles Behaviors.
• For more information about Replicator behaviors, see Using the Sequence Replicator
Behavior.
• For more information about Shape behaviors, see Shape Behaviors.
• For more information about Text behaviors, see Text Animation and Text Sequence
Behaviors.
• For more information about the Motion Tracking behaviors, including the Track
Parameter behavior, see Motion Tracking Behaviors.
Behavior Examples
The following examples illustrate different ways that groups of behaviors can be combined
to create different effects. The first three examples use content available in Motion, so, if
you want, you can follow along.
Example 1: Using the Gravity and Edge Collision Simulation Behaviors
Gravity makes an object fall over time at a rate specified in the Acceleration parameter.
Unless other behaviors such as Edge Collision are also applied, the object falls off of the
bottom of the Canvas (or moves beyond the top edge of the Canvas if a negative
Acceleration value is used). In this example, a group comprised of three layers (star shapes)
is used to illustrate the Gravity and Edge Collision behaviors.
Note: Although you can apply the Simulation behaviors to single objects, their strength
is in using groups of objects. Some Simulation behaviors, such as Vortex, require the
existence of another object in a project to have any effect. For example, an object with
an applied Vortex behavior needs another object to circle around it; an object with an
applied Orbit Around behavior needs an object to orbit around.
In this case, Gravity is applied to a group that contains three layers (semi-transparent,
colored stars).
To use the Gravity behavior
1 Drag the “5-sided star” shape from the Library (in the Shapes category) to the Layers tab
or Canvas.
2 Press Command-D two times to create two copies of the star.
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3 If you’d like, modify the color and opacity of the stars.
For more information on modifying shapes, see Shape Parameters.
4 In the Layers tab, double-click the group that contains the stars, type “Stars” in the text
field, then press Return.
The group is renamed Stars.
5 Apply the Gravity behavior to the Stars group.
Gravity behavior applied
to group (not to
individual layers of the
group)
The animation path created by the Gravity behavior appears in the Canvas, and the group
of stars falls when you play the project. Because the behavior is applied to the group, all
layers in the group fall at the same rate.
6 To increase the rate of the falling layer, drag the Acceleration slider in the Gravity HUD
or Inspector toward the right (this example uses an Acceleration value of 100).
Note: You can enter a negative number in the Acceleration value field in the Inspector
to make the layer float upward rather than fall.
To use the Edge Collision behavior
1 Apply the Edge Collision behavior to the Stars group.
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2 In the Edge Collision HUD (or Inspector), make sure the Affect Subobjects checkbox is
deselected.
When the Edge Collision behavior is applied to a group, and the Affect Subobjects
parameter is turned off, the entire group is “bounced” off the bottom of the screen at
the anchor point of the group.
When the Edge Collision
behavior is applied to a
group and Affect
Subobjects is turned off,
the object (group)
bounces at its anchor
point off the bottom of
the screen.
3 In the Edge Collision HUD (or Inspector), select Affect Subobjects.
Note: The Edge Collision behavior Inspector parameters also include Active Edges controls
for turning on and off the edge of the screen (or Z space) against which an object collides.
By default, an object is deflected from all edges of the screen.
When the bottom edge of each star hits the lower edge of the screen, the star is deflected
and bounces upward.
As the project plays, each star bounces up and down.
Other Simulation behaviors that also use the Affect Subobjects parameter include Align
To Motion, Drag, Gravity, Random Motion, and Rotational Drag.
Example 2: Using the Orbit Around Behavior
The Orbit Around behavior makes an object orbit around another object in a perfect
circle. The parameters of the Orbit Around behavior can be modified to create a more
interesting animation.
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You create animation using the Orbit Around behavior by specifying a target object that
other objects circle around. You set the target object by dragging the object to the Object
well in the Orbit Around Behaviors tab.
To use the Orbit Around behavior
1 Using the result of the previous example, delete the Edge Collision and Gravity behaviors
from the project.
2 In the Layers tab, click the Add button (+) to create a new group, then rename the group
“Center.”
3 Option-drag the one of the stars to the new group.
A copy of the layer is added to the group.
4 Rename the copied star “center star,” then position the star in the center of the Canvas.
5 Apply the Orbit Around behavior to the Stars group.
The Orbit Around behavior is applied to the group of stars (“Stars”) in the project. The
center star in the center of the Canvas is in a separate group from the rest of the layers.
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When the Orbit Around behavior is first applied, no animation occurs. This is because
you must specify the layer that the group will orbit around.
6 Drag an object, in this case the “center star” layer, from the Layers tab and drop it in the
Object well of the Orbit Around HUD or Inspector.
This object becomes the target object around which the other objects orbit.
You can alternately drag an object in the Layers tab onto the Object well of the Behaviors
tab.
Important: Dragging an object to a well may be tricky—be sure to click the object name
in the Layers tab and immediately drag the layer to the Object well (without releasing
the mouse button). The behavior must remain active even though you are clicking another
object in the Layers tab. If you click the object you want to drag to the Object well and
then release the mouse button, that object becomes selected, and the behavior’s
parameters are no longer displayed. This is true of all wells, including Mask Source and
Image wells. To show the Orbit Around behavior parameters again, select the Orbit Around
behavior.
Drag the layer to the
Object well. Release the
mouse button when the
curved arrow appears
above the well.
7 In the Orbit Around HUD (or the Inspector), make sure Affect Subobjects is selected.
When Affect Subobjects is selected, objects within the group move individually around
the target object.
Other Simulation behaviors that also use a target object include Attracted To, Drift Attractor
To, Repel From, and Spring.
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Example 3: Using the Vortex Simulation Behavior
The Vortex behavior is the opposite of the Orbit Around behavior—Orbit Around causes
one object to orbit around another target object, whereas Vortex exerts a force on all
objects surrounding the object to which the Vortex behavior is applied. You can specify
whether All Objects, Related Objects, or Specific Objects are affected by the Vortex.
The following examples use the same group of layers (stars) used in Example 2: Using
the Orbit Around Behavior. For this example, the layers are repositioned in the Canvas.
To use the Vortex behavior
1 Using the result of the previous example, delete the Orbit Around behavior from the
project.
2 Apply the Vortex behavior to the “center star” layer in the Center group.
By default, Related Objects is selected in the Affect parameter of the Vortex behavior.
When Related Objects is selected, all objects that exist in the same group as the object
to which the behavior is applied move around that object. Because the star is the only
object in the Center group, nothing happens.
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3 In the Vortex HUD or Inspector, choose All Objects from the Affect pop-up menu.
When All Objects is chosen, all objects in the project—regardless of the group in which
they exist—are affected and move around the object to which the Vortex behavior is
applied.
Note: If you have a layer that is center-aligned with the layer that has the applied Vortex
behavior (the gradient background in this example), the aligned layer is not affected by
the Vortex behavior. Once you offset its position, the layer is influenced by the Vortex
behavior.
Using the Vortex behavior, there are two ways to create an animation in which only certain
objects (not every object in the project) swirl around the object with the applied Vortex
behavior:
• Set the Affect parameter to Specific Objects and select each layer that you want to swirl
around the target layer.
• Move the object with the applied Vortex behavior into the same group as the star
layers, and set the Affect parameter to Related Objects.
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To affect only Specific Objects
1 In the HUD or Inspector, set the Vortex Affect parameter to Specific Objects (without
moving any layers).
2 If it is not displayed, show the Behaviors tab in the Inspector.
In the Vortex parameters, an Affected Objects list appears.
3 To apply the vortex to specific objects, drag the objects from the Layers tab to the Affected
Objects list. Like the Object wells, you can drop the object when the curved arrow appears
above the list.
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As layers are added, the names of the objects as well as the group in which they exist
appear in the list. When a group is dragged to the Affected Objects list, all layers within
that group are added to the list.
Click Remove to delete a
layer from the Affected
Objects list.
Note: Objects from any group in a project can be dragged to the Affected Objects list.
To remove an object, select the object in the list and click Remove.
Any layers that are added to the Affected Objects list swirl around the layer to which the
Vortex behavior is applied.
To affect only Related Objects
1 In the Layers tab, move the object with the applied Vortex behavior into the group that
contains the objects you want to affect. In this case, drag the “center star” object from
the Center group into the Stars group. When the drop menu appears, choose Move Shape
to Group.
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Note: For more information about the drop menu, see Converting Between Shapes and
Masks.
2 In the HUD or Inspector, set the Vortex Affect parameter to Related Objects.
The objects in the group circle around the target object.
Note: Other Simulation behaviors that also use the Affect parameter include Attractor,
Repel, and Drift Attractor.
Example 4: Creating a Clock Animation
In this example, two Parameter behaviors are used to create an animated clock. By
arranging the layers and their anchor points properly, each part’s motion can be created
quickly and easily using the Rate and Oscillate behaviors.
Note: The source files for this example are not included in the Sample Media folder.
To create a clock animation
1 Place the graphics layers constituting the hands, face, and pendulum into the Canvas,
arranging them to create the clock.
The hands are on top, the face in the middle, and the pendulum should be in the back.
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By default, the anchor point is located at the center of each object. Prior to adding
behaviors to animate these layers, you need to move the anchor points so that the layers
move the way they’re supposed to. In this example, the hands should spin about the
center of the clock face, not the center of the hand itself, and the pendulum should swing
from its top.
2 Choose the Adjust Anchor Point tool and move the anchor points of both hand layers
and the pendulum layer to the center of the clock face.
Now that the composition is set up to be animated, the only remaining thing to do is to
assign behaviors to each of the layers.
3 Select the minute hand layer, open the Properties tab in the Inspector, Control-click the
Rotation parameter, then choose Rate from the shortcut menu.
The Rate Parameter behavior is applied to the Rotation parameter.
4 In the Behaviors tab, set the Rate parameter to –49.
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This rotates the minute hand clockwise at a continuous rate.
5 Select the hour hand layer, Control-click its Rotation parameter in the Properties tab, then
choose Rate from the shortcut menu.
6 In the Behaviors tab, set the Rate parameter to –4.
When you play the project at this point, you can see that the hour hand and minute hand
rotate clockwise at rates replicating the relative movement of real clock hands.
Tip: To make the hands of the clock appear to “tick,” you can apply the Quantize Parameter
behavior to the Rotation parameter of the hands and adjust the Step Size to accommodate
your animation.
Now it’s time to make the pendulum swing. You should have already adjusted its anchor
point to be at the top. This way, the bottom pendulum layer will swing properly.
7 Select the pendulum layer, Control-click the Rotation parameter in the Behaviors tab,
then choose Oscillate from the shortcut menu.
8 In the Behaviors tab, set the Oscillate behavior’s amplitude to 20.
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The pendulum layer doesn’t swing so widely.
9 Increase the speed to 50.
This keeps with the overall fast-forward motion of the clock. You’re done!
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Keyframes and Curves
10
Although behaviors are ideal for instantly adding complex motion or effects to an object,
keyframes provide additional precision and flexibility. Keyframes ensure that a particular
event happens on the exact frame you choose. Most common effects utilize some
keyframing. Whenever a movement or effect is timed to match a musical beat or a
particular word in the soundtrack, a keyframe is the best tool for the job. Furthermore,
any effect where multiple objects are affected in a coordinated way is usually the result
of keyframing.
This chapter covers the following:
• What Is Keyframing? (p. 536)
• Using the Record Button (p. 539)
• Applying Movement to a Clip (p. 541)
• Animating Filters (p. 545)
• Animating Behaviors (p. 546)
• Animation Menu (p. 549)
• The Reset Button (p. 551)
• Animating in the Timeline (p. 552)
• Modifying Keyframes in the Timeline (p. 553)
• Animating in the Keyframe Editor (p. 558)
• Filtering the Parameter List (p. 566)
• Modifying Keyframes (p. 573)
• Modifying Curves (p. 581)
• Mini-Curve Editor (p. 591)
• Animating on the Fly (p. 593)
• Keyframe Thinning (p. 595)
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What Is Keyframing?
Keyframing is the process of assigning a specific parameter value to an object at a specific
point in time. For example, you might want a clip to be scaled to fill the screen exactly
five seconds into your project. When you set more than one keyframe, Motion generates
the in-between frames, resulting in a smooth change of that parameter over time. This
is called interpolation. For example, if you want a title to change from green to blue over
time, you would set two keyframes at two different points in time. The first one would
define the text’s color as green, and the second keyframe would set the color to blue.
Motion automatically makes the frames between those points change smoothly from
green to blue.
Motion lets you keyframe parameters such as color values, position, rotation, opacity, and
almost every other parameter in the application.
Animation in Motion
There are several different places in Motion where you can create and edit keyframes and
the values between them, which are represented by animation curves. For example, you
can animate basic properties such as scale, rotation, and screen position by simply
manipulating the object directly in the Canvas when the Record button is enabled.
Record button
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When Record is enabled, a keyframe is created for any parameter that is adjusted. This
includes parameters adjusted in the Canvas, Inspector, or HUD. In the Recording Options
dialog (choose Edit > Recording Options or press Option-A), you can select the “Record
keyframes on animated parameters only” option, which adds keyframes only to parameters
that are already animated (keyframed)—even when Record is enabled. For more
information, see Recording Keyframes on Animated Parameters Only.
You can also use the HUD and the Inspector to set and modify values for nearly every
option in the application. Any time you adjust a slider or other control, you have the
option of locking that change to the current frame, thereby setting a keyframe. From that
point on, no matter what else you do, that parameter always finds its way to that specific
value when playback reaches that frame.
Keyframed Opacity
parameter
HUD displays current
value of animated
Opacity parameter
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You can also view and modify keyframes in the Timeline by clicking the Show/Hide
Keyframes button. Keyframes appear as small blue (or white, when selected) diamonds
beneath their parent object.
Show/Hide Keyframes
button
Selected keyframe
In the Keyframe Editor, you can see and manipulate a graph for every parameter in the
application. Again, keyframes appear as diamonds, and the lines (or curves) connecting
the keyframes indicate the values for the interpolated frames.
Selected keyframe
You can filter the parameter list to show only the parameters and keyframes that you are
interested in.
Animating in the Canvas
The easiest way to perform basic keyframing is to modify objects directly in the Canvas.
The most common effects that you can create with keyframes are changes to Scale,
Rotation, and Position. Additional parameters that can be keyframed in the Canvas include
Shear, Pivot, Drop Shadow, Crop, and Four Corner. While many of these techniques can
also be performed using behaviors, keyframing gives you the added flexibility to set
specific values on precise frames.
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Ordinarily, when you make transformations to an object in the Canvas, the object remains
in the new position or shape for its entire duration. In order to create change in an object
over time, you must create keyframes. There are several ways to create keyframes while
working in the Canvas.
Using the Record Button
One of the simplest ways to create keyframes is to use the Record button. When Record
is enabled, a keyframe is created for any parameter that is adjusted.
Note: When Record is enabled, keyframes are created whether you adjust the object
onscreen, in the HUD, or in the Inspector.
Record button off
Record button on
When keyframing (Record) is enabled, the changes that you apply to the object are applied
at the current playhead position (viewable in the mini-Timeline at the bottom of the
Canvas). A keyframe is automatically added (though no indicator appears). If you move
the playhead to a new position and change the shape or position of the object, you create
a new keyframe. Motion automatically figures out the shape and position of the object
during the frames between the two keyframes you set.
Important: When Record is enabled, a red keyframe appears in the center of the selected
object. When moving the object in the Canvas, do not click the keyframe in the center
of the object as you are actually selecting and repositioning that keyframe instead of the
object’s current position.
To scale an object over time using the Record button
1 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
You can also choose Mark > Record Animation.
2 Select an object in the Canvas.
3 Move the playhead to a new time position.
4 Resize the object by dragging a scale handle.
5 Click the Record button (or press A again) to turn off keyframe recording.
The object is scaled over the interval you set. In this same way, you can keyframe any of
the transformation parameters for your object.
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You can also Control-click the object to display a shortcut menu with options for modifying
the Pivot, Shear, Drop Shadow, Four Corner, and Crop parameters. For example, choose
Transform from the shortcut menu to activate scale and rotation handles in the Canvas.
For more information on object transformations in the Canvas, see Transforming Objects
and Layers.
When the Record button is on, each time you move the playhead to a new frame any
change you make to an object automatically generates new keyframes. When animating
an object’s position, an animation path is created.
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Note: To view the animation paths of keyframed objects, ensure that Animation Path is
selected in the View pop-up menu (in the upper-right corner of the main window, above
the Canvas).
When the Record button is off, changes you make modify the entire animation globally.
For example, if an object is keyframed to fly from the lower left to the center of the screen,
dragging the object to the right when the Record button is off moves the entire path to
the right.
Note: If you are positioned on a previously set keyframe, any changes you make modify
that individual keyframe rather than the entire curve, regardless of whether the Record
button is on or off.
Applying Movement to a Clip
Because moving objects onscreen is so fundamental to motion graphics, Motion makes
it especially easy.
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To move an object across the screen
1 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
2 Place the playhead at the starting frame.
3 Place the object in a starting position.
4 Move the playhead forward.
5 Drag the object to the ending position you want.
6 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe recording.
If you play back your project, the object flies from position one to position two over the
interval you set. You can see the path the object travels by turning on the Animation
Path setting in the View pop-up menu above the Canvas.
Important: When Record is enabled, you can choose to only add keyframes to an object’s
parameters that are already animated. This option is available in the Recording Options
dialog. For more information, see Recording Keyframes on Animated Parameters Only.
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Manipulating Animation Paths in the Canvas
When the animation path is displayed, you can directly manipulate the keyframes to
reposition them and change the path that the object follows.
When dragging a keyframe in the Canvas, the control point number, as well as the X, Y,
and Z position values, are displayed in an info window at the pointer position.
To add keyframes to an animation path
1 Option-click the path.
A new keyframe point is added.
2 Drag the keyframe point to the new position.
You can convert a linear keyframe point into a Bezier keyframe point to create a curved
path. This can be done either as you create the keyframe, or after the keyframe has been
created.
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To add a Bezier keyframe to an animation path
Option-click the path, then immediately drag away from the point.
A point is added and a Bezier handle appears.
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To change an existing keyframe into a Bezier point
Command-click the keyframe and drag away from the point.
Handles are added to the keyframe.
Animation path control points are modified in the same manner as shape or mask Bezier
points. For more information on manipulating Bezier splines, see Drawing Masks and
Shapes Using Bezier Splines.
Animating with the HUD
To keyframe the parameters that appear in the HUD, you follow the same procedure as
keyframing directly in the Canvas. For example, when an object is selected in the Canvas,
the HUD gives quick access to the object’s opacity. If you want to make a custom effect
such as a temporary dip to black, you would keyframe the opacity parameter.
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To animate a clip’s opacity
1 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
2 Place the playhead at the frame where you want to begin the fade.
3 Click the Opacity slider handle in the HUD.
Even if you don’t change the slider’s value, clicking it sets a keyframe at that point in time.
This way the object remains at its previous opacity from the beginning of the clip until
that new keyframe, then begins the interpolation toward the next keyframe.
4 Move the playhead forward to a new time.
5 Change the Opacity value.
6 Move the playhead forward again.
7 Change the Opacity slider again.
8 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe recording.
Keyframes at the Beginning and End of the Curve
When you begin adding keyframes, you instruct Motion to automatically modify the
in-between frames to interpolate the effect. But what values are used for the frames
before the first keyframe and after the last one?
By default, when you add your first keyframe, that same value is extended forward and
backward to the beginning and end of the clip (just the same as if you hadn’t added a
keyframe at all).
Once you add a second keyframe, the effect begins to change over time. But the frames
before that first keyframe remain at the value of that first keyframe. Similarly, the frames
after the last keyframe hold at that last defined value.
You can override this default behavior to create loops and other patterns by using the
Before First Keyframe and After Last Keyframe submenus as described in the Extrapolation
section later in this chapter.
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Animating Filters
In addition to making changes to a clip’s basic attributes, keyframing can be used to
modify nearly every parameter in the application. When the Record button is activated,
any parameter displayed on the HUD becomes keyframeable. For example, as you apply
filters to objects, the most important parameters are displayed on the HUD. Using
keyframes, you can animate those parameters. In this way, you can create a shot that
grows more blurry over time, or animate the width of a bevel effect.
To animate a filter
1 Select an object that you want to modify.
2 Apply a filter to the object.
The HUD changes to display the parameters for the filter. For more information on how
to apply filters, see Applying and Removing Filters.
3 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
4 Place the playhead where you want the effect to begin changing.
5 In the HUD, set the parameter slider you want to animate to a beginning value.
6 Move the playhead to the frame where you want the effect to stop changing.
7 Set the slider to a new value.
New playhead position
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8 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe recording.
The filter now changes over time to reflect your settings. This same technique can be
applied to any parameter in any filter that appears in the HUD.
Animating Behaviors
In addition to animating filter parameters, you can also animate behaviors. Animating
behaviors might appear complicated at first because most of the behaviors are already
changing, but combining these features is a powerful way to greatly enhance behaviors’
usefulness. For example, you might want to animate a Random Motion behavior to begin
as a subtle random motion and then become increasingly severe as the effect progresses.
Or you might want to apply a Gravity behavior, but you don’t want the object to start
falling toward the ground until five seconds into the clip. Keyframes allow you to
manipulate the specific parameters of each behavior.
Note: In Motion, you can bake all the behaviors that have been applied to an object into
keyframes using the Convert to Keyframes command in the Object menu. For more
information, see Converting Behaviors to Keyframes.
To animate a behavior
1 Select an object in the Canvas.
2 Apply a behavior.
3 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
4 Place the playhead at the frame where you want the effect to begin changing.
5 Using the HUD, adjust the behavior’s settings.
6 Move the playhead to a new time position.
7 Adjust the behavior settings again.
8 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe recording.
Animating Using the Inspector
Although you can animate many attributes using the HUD, many other parameters are
only accessible in the Inspector. All of the Inspector’s tabs contain keyframeable
parameters. In this way, you can animate the position and shape of a mask, the color and
styles of a text object, or the various options within the generators. The parameters that
are keyframeable depend on which object is selected and which effects have been applied
to that object.
You can animate parameters in the Inspector using the Record button and the
mini-Timeline playhead just as you would animate parameters in the Canvas or HUD.
To animate parameters in the Inspector
1 Select the object you want to keyframe in the Canvas.
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2 Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.
3 Place the playhead on the frame where you want the effect to begin.
4 Display the Inspector by clicking the tab or rearranging the screen layout to one that
includes the Inspector.
For more information on layouts, see Preset Layouts.
5 Click the Inspector tab where the parameter you want to modify is located (filters in this
example).
6 Set the parameter to the beginning value.
7 Move the playhead to a new position.
8 In the Inspector, change the parameter to a new value.
9 Click the Record button (or press A) again to disable record.
The parameter now changes over time.
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Combining Behaviors and Keyframes
Because it is possible to add keyframes to an object that may already have a behavior (or
many behaviors) applied, it is possible that these two methods could conflict. For example,
you might apply a Throw behavior toward the upper left, and at the same time add
keyframes that instruct the object to move to the right. Now what?
Behavior motion path
Keyframe animation path
The way Motion handles this sort of conflict is that the instructions are added together,
giving you a combination of the two sets of instructions. In the above example, the object
would move toward the upper left, but it won’t get as far, because the keyframes are
pushing it in an opposing direction.
Combined animation path
The larger the Throw velocity rate, the more it overpowers the keyframes, and vice versa.
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Once you get the hang of how it works, you can use this method to enhance and control
the effects of behaviors. For example, you could apply a Gravity behavior which causes
an object to fall toward the bottom of the frame, but keyframe the object’s position to
move across the screen from left to right. In this way, you can create the effect of the
object falling as it moves. Or you might apply a Fade In/Fade Out behavior, but use
keyframes on the object’s Opacity parameter to limit the maximum opacity to 80%. The
clip would still fade in and out and you could continue to modify the behavior’s attributes,
but the object would never exceed the opacity value set by the keyframes.
One method for handling behaviors and keyframes is to convert behaviors to keyframes.
For more information on converting behaviors to keyframes, see Converting Behaviors
to Keyframes.
Animation Menu
Animating in the Inspector provides additional options, such as the ability to delete or
reset keyframe information. You can also navigate between keyframes in the Inspector.
Every keyframeable parameter contains an Animation menu. If a parameter lacks a menu,
it cannot be animated.
• Enable/Disable Animation: This menu item remains unavailable until animation is applied
to the parameter either by using the Record button or by directly adding a keyframe.
Once the parameter has at least one keyframe set, the menu item is automatically
renamed Disable Animation. Choosing Disable Animation at that point effectively hides
the keyframes you have set, restoring the parameter to its default value. However, the
keyframes are not thrown away. Choosing Enable Animation again restores the
parameter to its last keyframed state.
• Reset Parameter: Removes all keyframes and settings for this parameter. The parameter
value is reset to its default value.
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• Add Keyframe: Adds a keyframe at the current frame in the project. If the playhead is
positioned on a frame where a keyframe has already been added, this menu command
is unavailable. To quickly add a keyframe without accessing the Animation menu in
the Inspector, press Control-K. A keyframe is automatically added to the last modified
parameter of the object (regardless of the status of the Record button) at the current
time.
Note: To add a keyframe, you can also position the pointer over the Animation menu
and press Option. When the keyframe icon appears next to the pointer, click to add a
keyframe.
• Delete Keyframe: Deletes the current keyframe. The Delete Keyframe option is available
only if the playhead is positioned on a frame where a keyframe already exists.
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe for this parameter.
The Previous Keyframe command is available only if a keyframe exists earlier in the
project.
• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this parameter. The Next
Keyframe command is available only if a keyframe exists later in the project.
• Show in Keyframe Editor: This opens the Keyframe Editor and displays the selected
parameter’s keyframes and curves. For more information on working with the Keyframe
Editor, see Animating in the Keyframe Editor.
To set keyframes using the Animation menu
1 Enable Record (press A), then move the playhead to the frame where you want to set the
first keyframe.
2 Change the value of the parameter you want to keyframe.
3 Click the Animation menu, then choose Add Keyframe.
A keyframe is added at the current frame.
4 To set another keyframe for the same parameter, move the playhead to the next location
and adjust the parameter.
A keyframe is automatically added when you change the parameter.
To navigate to a keyframe
1 Click the Animation menu for the parameter containing the keyframe you seek.
2 Choose Previous Keyframe if the desired keyframe is earlier in time than the current time
position, or choose Next Keyframe if the desired keyframe is later in time than your current
time position.
Note: You can also choose Mark > Go To > Previous Keyframe (or press Option-K) or Mark
> Go To > Next Keyframe (or press Shift-K) to move from keyframe to keyframe.
To delete a keyframe
1 Navigate the playhead to the frame where the keyframe is currently set.
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2 Click the Animation menu for the parameter you want to change, then choose Delete
Keyframe.
Note: To delete all of the keyframes for a parameter, choose Reset Parameter from the
Animation menu.
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To reset all keyframes for a parameter
Click the Animation menu for the parameter you want to reset, then choose Reset
Parameter.
All keyframes are removed for that parameter.
Animation Menu States
Depending on whether or not a parameter is currently animated, and whether or not the
playhead is positioned on a keyframe, the Animation menu displays a different icon. This
provides the ability to determine the status of that parameter at a glance.
Keyframed parameter
Parameter is not
animated
Behavior applied to
parameter
Keyframed parameter
with keyframe at current
frame
The Reset Button
Each parameter set in the Inspector is equipped with a reset button. A parameter set
might be a filter, or it might be a category of effects or transformations, such as Transform,
Blending, or other items in the Properties tab.
Reset button
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The reset button removes all keyframes applied to all of the parameters within the set
and restores those parameters to their default state.
Animating in the Timeline
When keyframing, it is often very helpful to view your keyframes over time. This lets you
line up keyframes with other important timing elements in your project such as edit
points, sound cues, markers, and even other keyframes. These functions are available in
the Timeline.
Keyframe
In order to view your keyframes in the Timeline, you must first turn on the Show Keyframes
option.
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To show keyframes in the Timeline
Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button.
Show/Hide Keyframes
button
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You can identify a keyframe’s value in the shortcut menu. Multiple keyframes on the same
frame are all listed in the menu.
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To display a keyframe’s value
Control-click the keyframe in the Timeline.
A shortcut menu appears. The first items in the list are the keyframe values for any
keyframes on that frame.
Note: There is no way to add keyframes in the Timeline.
Modifying Keyframes in the Timeline
When keyframes are visible in the Timeline, you can change their positions in time by
dragging them horizontally in the track. This does not modify the keyframe’s parameter
value, it just changes the position in time when the keyframe occurs.
To move a keyframe in the Timeline
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Identify the object where the keyframe is located.
3 Drag the keyframe to the left or right to move it forward or backward in time.
Although moving a keyframe in time does not change the parameter’s value, it can have
a significant effect on the nature of the animation. For example, if you have two keyframes
that animate an object from the top of the screen to the bottom over five seconds, moving
one of the keyframes forces the animation to occur more slowly (if you drag them farther
apart) or more quickly (if you drag them closer together).
When there are multiple keyframe values set in the same frame, you can choose any value
to edit individually, though the values are represented by a single keyframe marker in
the Timeline.
To edit a keyframe value already present in the Timeline
1 Control-click the keyframe.
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A shortcut menu appears. The first items in the list are the keyframe values for any
keyframes on that frame.
2 Choose the keyframe value you wish to edit.
3 Type a new value into the value field, then press Return.
Note: To exit an active value field without making any changes, press Esc.
Aligning Keyframes with Other Objects
One of the main advantages of manipulating keyframes in the Timeline is the ability to
line up a keyframe with another important time marker. For example, you may want to
align a filter keyframe applied to one object with an object in another track.
To align a keyframe to another object
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Identify the keyframe you want to move.
Note: Control-clicking a keyframe in the Timeline displays a shortcut menu containing
the parameter name and value for each keyframe. If more than one keyframe is at the
same point in time, the shortcut menu lists all of them.
3 Drag the keyframe until it lines up with the edge of the object.
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If you press the Shift key while you drag, the keyframe snaps to the edges of other objects.
You can use this same technique to align keyframes from one object to keyframes in
another object. In this way, you can arrange two objects to both fade in or blur into focus
at exactly the same frame. It doesn’t matter whether the objects are in the same group
or not.
To align keyframes of multiple objects
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Identify the keyframe you want to move.
3 Find the object containing the parallel action.
4 Drag the keyframe in the first object until it lines up with the corresponding keyframe in
the second object.
Aligning Keyframes to Markers
Other objects in your Timeline can also serve as guides for where to move your keyframes.
For example, you may have a music cue or line of narration where you want a particular
effect to end or change.
One great way to do this is to use time markers. Simply identify the important frame with
a marker and drag the keyframe until it lines up with the marker. Markers create snap
points, so pressing Shift while you drag a keyframe makes it snap to markers. To learn
more about setting markers, see Adding Markers.
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To align a keyframe with a marker
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Identify the keyframe you want to move and drag it to the marker.
3 Press the Shift key while you drag to enable snapping.
The keyframe snaps to the marker.
Deleting Keyframes in the Timeline
If you ever need to remove a keyframe, or clear all keyframes from a particular object,
you can delete keyframes using the shortcut menu in the Timeline.
To delete a keyframe in the Timeline
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Control-click the keyframe you want to delete, then choose Delete Keyframes from the
shortcut menu.
To delete all keyframes from an object
1 Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.
Any keyframes in the project become visible.
2 Control-click any keyframe for the object you want to clear, then choose Delete All
Keyframes from the shortcut menu.
For more precise control of effects using keyframes, you can use the Keyframe Editor.
Any keyframe in the Timeline can be viewed in the Keyframe Editor using the shortcut
menu.
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To view a keyframe in the Keyframe Editor
Control-click the keyframe in the Timeline, then choose Show in Keyframe Editor from
the shortcut menu.
The Keyframe Editor is brought to the front and the keyframe (and the rest of that
parameter) is highlighted in the graph.
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Trimming Keyframed Effects
When the duration of an effect such as a filter or behavior in the Timeline is changed,
keyframes applied to that object are scaled accordingly. This means that an effect
keyframed to change over time speeds up or slows down if the object it is applied to is
shortened or lengthened.
Before
After
Changing the duration of an object does not modify keyframes applied to attributes in
the Properties or Object tab in the Inspector. Keyframes appear in the area underneath
the object bar if you choose to show keyframes in the Timeline.
You can also speed up or slow down a keyframed effect by resizing the effect bar in the
Timeline.
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You can prevent this automatic resizing by pressing Command while resizing an effect
object. This changes the overall duration of the effect, but does not alter the speed at
which the effect changes as determined by the keyframes.
Pressing Command while you resize an object with effects applied trims the object without
trimming the effects. This works the same way as trimming a group without modifying
the durations of the component elements.
Animating in the Keyframe Editor
Whenever you create two or more keyframes, Motion generates interpolated values for
the frames that come between. These are called curves. The Keyframe Editor is the control
that allows you to view and make modifications to those curves. This feature provides
one of the most sophisticated and powerful ways to modify the objects and effects in
your project.
Viewing the curves for your animated parameters gives you another way to understand
how your effect is changing over time. The curves are laid out over a graph where you
can compare the curves of different parameters. As you get more familiar with “reading”
the graphs, you will learn how and why certain effects feel organic or synthetic.
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In the Keyframe Editor you can add and delete keyframes, as well as move them in
two-dimensional space to modify their values (up-down) and their positions in time
(left-right). You can also directly manipulate the curves themselves with the tools Motion
provides. Furthermore, you can define a variety of interpolation methods, creating
dramatically different types of effects. You can also apply Parameter behaviors directly
to curves in the Keyframe Editor by Control-clicking the curve name and choosing a
Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu. For more information about Parameter
behaviors, see Parameter Behaviors.
For example, in the real world, when objects move, they observe rules of physics, such
as inertia and momentum. Motion’s Keyframe Editor allows you to simulate these sorts
of effects in your motion graphics.
Check Your Selection
The parameters that are available in the Keyframe Editor depend on which objects are
selected in the other windows. If you select one item in the Layers tab, Canvas, or
Timeline, only parameters for that object are accessible in the Keyframe Editor.
If you want to compare curves from parameters across multiple objects (for example to
make two separate objects begin fading in at the same time), you must select both
items in the Layers tab, Canvas, or Timeline. Then parameters for both objects are listed
in the Keyframe Editor.
Additionally, you can modify curves on an group if it is selected instead of the objects
within it. In this way, you can view or modify keyframe activity that affects all of the
objects within the group.
To display the Keyframe Editor
Do one of the following:
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µ
µ
If the Timing pane is already visible, click the Keyframe Editor tab in the Timing pane.
Choose Window > Keyframe Editor.
Press Command-8.
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Parts of the Keyframe Editor
The Keyframe Editor is made up of a list of parameters on the left and a multi-functional
graph on the right.
Current frame field
Show pop-up menu
Keyframe editing tools
Animation menu
Curve graph
Control buttons
Zoom controls
Show Pop-Up Menu
The Show pop-up menu lets you filter the parameters displayed in the Keyframe Editor,
allowing you to focus on only those parameters that you want to modify. For more
information, see Working with the Show Pop-Up Menu.
Current Frame Field
This field lets you instantly jump to any frame in your project. Because it is also a value
slider, you can drag in the field to move the playhead to a new frame.
To move to a frame
Do one of the following:
µ
Double-click in the value field, type a frame number, then press Return.
The playhead moves to the specified frame.
µ
Drag the current frame value slider left or right. Dragging to the left moves the playhead
earlier in time. Dragging to the right moves it forward in time.
Keyframe Edit Tools
There are three different tools available to assist in editing keyframes and curves in the
Keyframe Editor. For more information about using these tools, see Modifying Keyframes.
Edit: Select and edit keyframes.
Sketch: Draw curves with keyframes.
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Box: Drag a selection box to enclose and manipulate keyframes.
Edit tool (default)
Box tool
Sketch tool
Parameter List
Any keyframeable parameters of your selected items can be displayed in the list on the
left side of the Keyframe Editor tab. This includes object properties, filters, and behaviors.
By selecting multiple items in the Layers tab or Timeline, you can compare parameters
across multiple objects.
Activation checkbox: The checkbox on the left determines which parameters are displayed
in the graph. Checked parameters are considered “active.”
Parameter name column: The second column lists the object name and the parameter
names for each object.
Value column: The third column displays the parameter value for the frame where the
playhead is currently positioned. If the playhead is parked on a keyframe, the field shows
the value for that keyframe. If the playhead is not parked on a keyframe, the field shows
the value of that parameter at that frame. For more information on changing the values
of keyframes, see Modifying Keyframes.
You can click the value to activate the field. When Record is enabled, a keyframe is
automatically added if you click the value field at a frame that has no keyframe. To type
a value in the field, double-click it.
Note: Selecting a keyframe does not display the value of that keyframe, it shows the value
for a parameter at the frame where the playhead is currently positioned.
Animation menu: The fourth column contains a pop-up menu that mimics the Animation
menu found in the Inspector. However, the Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor
contains several commands not found in the Inspector.
• Enable/Disable Animation: This command remains unavailable until keyframing is applied
to the parameter, either by using the Record button or by directly adding a keyframe.
Once the parameter has some animation applied, the command is automatically
renamed Disable Animation. Activating it at that point effectively hides the keyframes
you have set, restoring the parameter to its default value. However, the keyframes are
not thrown away. Choosing Enable Animation restores the parameter to its last
keyframed state.
• Reset Parameter: Removes all keyframes and settings for this parameter. The parameter
value is reset to its default value.
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• Add Keyframe: Adds a keyframe at the current frame in the mini-Timeline. If the playhead
is positioned on a frame where a keyframe has already been added, this command is
unavailable.
Note: As mentioned in the Animation menu section, you can use a keyboard shortcut
to quickly add a keyframe by pressing Control-K. A keyframe is automatically added to
the last modified parameter of the object.
• Delete Keyframe: Deletes the current keyframe. The Delete keyframe command is
available only if the playhead is positioned on a frame where a keyframe already exists.
• Previous Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe for this parameter.
The Previous Keyframe command is available only if a keyframe exists earlier in the
project.
• Next Keyframe: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this parameter. The Next
Keyframe command is available only if a keyframe exists later in the project.
• Interpolation: Sets the type of curve for the parameter. See the table in the Modifying
Curves section later in this chapter for examples of the different interpolation methods.
Choose from Constant, Linear, Bezier, Continuous, Ease In, Ease Out, Exponential, or
Logarithmic.
• Before First Keyframe: Defines what happens between the first keyframe and the
beginning of the clip. See the table in the Extrapolation section later in this chapter for
examples of the different extrapolation methods. Choose from Constant, Linear, Ping
Pong, Repeat, or Progressive. You can also turn the extrapolation into actual keyframes
by choosing Generate Keyframes.
• After Last Keyframe: Defines what happens between the last keyframe and the end of
the clip. See the table in the Extrapolation section later in this chapter for examples of
the different extrapolation methods. Choose from Constant, Linear, Ping Pong, Repeat,
or Progressive. You can also turn the extrapolation into actual keyframes by choosing
Generate Keyframes.
• Lock/Unlock Parameter: Locks this parameter from further changes. When a parameter
is locked, neither keyframes nor curves are adjustable.
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• Reduce Keyframes: Opens the Reduce Keyframes dialog, which allows you to apply a
thinning algorithm to the keyframes for the chosen parameter. This reduces the number
of keyframes in a parameter while attempting to maintain a similar shape to the curve.
The thinning algorithm can be adjusted in two ways. Increasing the Maximum Error
Tolerance results in fewer keyframes. Increasing the Smoothing Factor makes smoother
curves between keyframe values.
• Set to Curve Snapshot: If “Take/Show curve snapshot” is turned on (in the lower-left
corner of the Keyframe Editor), this option will revert any keyframe changes made in
the currently selected curve back to the most recent snapshot. For more information,
see Curve Snapshots.
Curve Graph
A graph appears to the right of the parameter list and displays the curves for your selected
parameters. The graph has a time ruler at the top and a zoom/scroll control at the bottom
that are identical to the corresponding controls in the Timeline. These allow you to identify
at what time keyframes appear, as well as see project markers, playback In and Out points,
and the playhead. Using the zoom controls at the bottom of the graph, you can zoom in
to obtain much more precise control over keyframe positioning and curve shape. For
more information on using the zoom/scroll controls, see Zooming in the Timeline.
The body of the graph displays the keyframes and curves of active parameters. Each
parameter is a different color, though some colors are duplicated.
Control Buttons
In the Keyframe Editor, several buttons provide additional control over the Keyframe
Editor window: Snapping, “Show audio waveform,” and “Fit visible curves in window.”
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Snapping: When Snapping is enabled, keyframes snap to markers, other keyframes, and
other snappable items.
Snapping enabled
Show audio waveform: Turns on display of the audio waveforms for the selected item
in the background of the graph. This lets you line up an effect to take place at the same
time as an event that occurs in the audio.
“Show audio waveform”
enabled
Note: If there are multiple audio tracks in the project, a pop-up menu at the bottom of
the Keyframe Editor allows you to view the waveform of any individual audio track in the
project, or the master track.
Fit visible curves in window: Automatically scales the curve graph to include all of the
keyframes of your active parameters.
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Chapter 10 Keyframes and Curves
There are times when the values of your keyframes may exceed the vertical resolution of
the graph. For example, as you stretch a keyframe, you can drag it so far that you force
the window to scroll.
When you click this button, Motion automatically rescales the graph both vertically and
horizontally so that your curve is entirely visible.
“Fit visible curves in
window” button
The values of your keyframes are not changed.
Auto-scale vertically: Click the “Auto-scale vertically” button (the magnifying glass in the
upper-right corner of the Keyframe Editor) to stretch the graph to fit all of the curves
currently in view.
“Auto-scale vertically”
button
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When “Auto-scale vertically” is on, the range of the graph increases to accommodate
your entire curve even as you change it. For example, if you drag a keyframe up to increase
its value, as you drag past the top of the window, the whole graph is rescaled, rather than
scrolled.
This can be disconcerting at first because it might appear that your curve refuses to get
bigger even as you drag your keyframe. However, if you watch the values at the left side
of the window, you can see that the graph is being zoomed vertically to make room for
your wider range of values.
Filtering the Parameter List
Effective use of the Keyframe Editor requires controlling the list of parameters currently
on display in the curve graph. While you may want quick access to all of the different
parameters you are animating, displaying too many parameters at once makes the graph
difficult to read. Motion provides the ability to store sets of parameters to facilitate this
management.
Working with the Show Pop-Up Menu
The Show pop-up menu allows you to display ten built-in parameter curve sets as well
as custom sets you build yourself.
The first option in the Show pop-up menu lets you view all parameters associated with
a selected object (or multiple selected objects).
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To view all of the parameters for all selected objects
Choose All from the Show pop-up menu.
Chapter 10 Keyframes and Curves
By default, only the animated parameters are active in the graph. Turn individual
parameters on and off by clicking the activation checkbox to show or hide them in the
graph. You can choose to display all parameters associated with a particular group or
object by checking or unchecking the checkbox for that group or object.
Animated Curve Sets
Alternatively, you can elect to view only the parameters that are currently animated—in
other words, parameters that already contain one or more keyframes. The next options
in the Show pop-up menu display these dynamic parameters.
To view only animated (keyframed or behavior-influenced) parameters
Do one of the following:
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Choose Animated from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press U.
Any parameters with one or more keyframes are displayed.
To view parameters that have been changed from their default values
Do one of the following:
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Choose Modified from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press Y.
This option shows only the parameters that have been modified from their default values,
or are currently being modified (in the Canvas, Inspector, or HUD).
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To view only parameters that are currently active
Choose Active from the Show pop-up menu.
When Active is selected and you are moving an object around in the Canvas, the X and
Y Position parameters and curves are displayed.
Related Curve Sets
The next six options in the Show pop-up menu display specific parameters, animated or
not. If you need to check the position of several related objects in a project, using the
Position curve set makes this a lot easier. Multiple related curve sets can be displayed at
the same time so you won’t have to switch back and forth between them. Each of these
built-in curve sets has an associated keyboard shortcut.
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To view only the Position parameters for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Position from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press P.
The Position parameters for the selected object are displayed.
To view only the Rotation parameters for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Rotation from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press R.
The Rotation parameters for the selected object are displayed.
To view only the Scale parameters for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Scale from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press S.
The Scale parameters for the selected object are displayed.
To view only the Shear parameters for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Shear from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press H.
The Shear parameters for the selected object are displayed.
To view only the Anchor Point parameters for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Anchor Point from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press A.
The Anchor Point parameters for the selected object are displayed.
To view only the Opacity parameter for a selected object
Do one of the following:
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Choose Opacity from the Show pop-up menu.
With the Keyframe Editor active, press O.
The Opacity parameter for the selected object is displayed.
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Custom Parameter Sets
In addition to using the built-in curve sets, you can make and manage your own using
the last two options in the Show pop-up menu. As you create and store custom parameter
sets, they appear in the Show pop-up menu so you can switch quickly between them.
Deleting, duplicating, and modifying custom sets is done in the Manage Curve Sets dialog
(accessible from the Show pop-up menu).
To create a new parameter set
1 Choose New Curve Set from the Show pop-up menu.
A dialog appears.
2 Type a name for the set, then click OK.
Once your set has been created, you can choose it from the Show pop-up menu.
There are several ways to add a custom parameter set to the Keyframe Editor.
To add parameters to a custom parameter set
Do one of the following:
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Drag a parameter name from any of the tabs in the Inspector directly into the Keyframe
Editor parameter list.
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Click the Animation menu for the desired parameter, then choose Show in Keyframe
Editor.
The parameter is added to the custom curve set.
Note: If Animated is chosen from the Show pop-up menu when you use the Show in
Keyframe Editor command from the Animation menu, a new untitled curve set is
automatically created.
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With the Keyframe Editor active, hold down the Shift key and press one of the keyboard
shortcuts for the built-in related curve sets. For more information, see Related Curve Sets.
Note: If you press the same relative curve set keyboard shortcut more than once
sequentially, you create a new custom curve set with a new name each time.
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To delete parameters from a custom set
Drag the parameter out of the list. It disappears with a “poof” animation.
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To delete all parameters from a custom set
Click the “Clear curve list” button in the lower left corner of the Keyframe Editor.
“Clear curve list” button
To delete a custom parameter set
1 Choose Manage Curve Sets from the Show pop-up menu.
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The Manage Curve Sets dialog appears.
2 Select the name of the set you want to delete.
3 Click the Delete button (–) at the top of the dialog.
The set is deleted.
4 Click Done to close the dialog.
To duplicate a custom parameter set
1 Choose Manage Curve Sets from the Show pop-up menu.
The Manage Curve Sets dialog appears.
2 Select the name of the set you want to duplicate.
3 Click the Duplicate button at the top of the dialog.
The set is duplicated.
4 Double-click the set name in the list, then type a new name for the set.
5 Click Done to close the dialog.
The new set now appears in the Show pop-up menu. These sets are saved with the project,
so each time you reopen the project, they are available to you. Store as many parameter
sets as you like. Once you have a set stored, you can change or delete that set as needed.
Saving Animation Curves
Animation curves can be saved in an existing folder in the Library, such as the Favorites
category, or you can create a new folder within an existing category. Once an animation
curve is placed into the Library, it can be added to an object in any project. Animation
curves saved in the Library appear with a custom icon.
Note: Items that are saved to the Library appear in the Finder with a .molo extension
(“Motion Library object”). These items cannot be opened from the Finder.
You can save multiple curves to the Library as one file or multiple files. For example, if
you create an animation that uses multiple curves and you want to save the cumulative
effect of the animation, you can save all of the curves as one item in the Library.
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Although you can save animation curves into the Content category, it is generally
recommended that you save items that you use frequently in the Favorites
category—some Motion Library categories contain so many items that utilizing the
Favorites or Favorites Menu categories may save you search time. Within the Favorites
category, you can create additional folders to assist you in better arranging your custom
items.
You can also create new folders in existing categories. You can create a new folder in the
Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Content category. Folders created in the Content category
appear in the Library sidebar. Folders created in the subcategories, such as the Basic
Motion subcategory, appear in the Library stack and not the sidebar. For more information
on creating folders in the Library, see Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors.
Animation curves that are saved to the Favorites Menu category can be quickly applied
to objects using the Favorites menu.
To save an animation curve to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Content, Favorites, or Favorites Menu category.
2 Drag the name of the parameter animation curve you want to save from the parameter
list in the Keyframe Editor into the stack at the bottom of the Library.
When you save an animation curve, it’s saved in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.
Note: If an animation curve is dragged to another subcategory, such as the Glow (Filters)
subcategory, it is automatically placed in the Content category and the Content category
becomes active.
To save multiple animation curves to the Library
1 Open the Library and select the Content, Favorites, or Favorites Menu category.
2 In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, select all of the animation curves you want
to save and drag them to the stack, holding down the mouse button down.
3 When the drop menu appears, choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files.”
“All in one file” saves all the animation curves together, listed as one item in the Library.
“Multiple files” saves the curves as individual items in the Library.
4 To name the file or files, do one of the following:
• Control-click its icon in the Library stack, choose Rename from the shortcut menu, then
type a new descriptive name.
• Select the icon, click its name, then type a new descriptive name.
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Note: When you Control-click an animation curve icon in the Library stack, the Edit
Description shortcut menu item becomes available. This is a handy tool that allows you
to enter custom notes about an item saved in the Library. Once you choose Edit
Description, enter your notes in the text field, then click OK.
Modifying Keyframes
The Keyframe Editor provides an ideal environment for manipulating your keyframes
because you can see their values, placement in time, and how the changes you make
affect the interpolative curves surrounding your keyframes.
Curve Snapshots
When modifying keyframes, it is often helpful to have a frame of reference for your curves.
This is useful both as a guide as you’re editing, and as a safety net in case you make some
changes, then decide to go back to your curve’s original state.
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To take and show curve snapshots
Click the “Take/Show curve snapshot” button at the bottom of the Keyframe Editor.
Now, as you move keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, the original curve—as it appeared
when you took the snapshot—is represented by a lighter color. As long as you remain
in the Keyframe Editor editing the current set of curves, the snapshot curve will remain
available.
New curve (white)
Original curve (pink)
If, after editing a curve, you wish to revert back to the snapshot, you can do so from the
Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor.
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To revert a curve back to its most recent snapshot
From the Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor, select Set to Curve Snapshot.
The curve reverts to the state of its last snapshot.
Important: If you leave the Keyframe Editor, or load a different set of curves into the
Keyframe Editor, curve snapshots are taken again, replacing the previous curve snapshots.
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Using the Edit Tool
To use the following set of instructions, first select the Edit tool from the keyframe edit
tools in the Keyframe Editor.
Edit tool
To change the value of a keyframe
Do one of the following:
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Click the keyframe you want to modify, then drag the keyframe along the Y axis (up and
down) to change its value. To change its position in time, drag along the X axis (left to
right).
Press the Shift key while dragging to constrain movement to one axis.
When dragging a keyframe in the graph, numbers appear indicating the new position
and value of the keyframe. The first number is the frame number and the second number
is the parameter value.
Frame number
Value
When you drag two keyframes closer together along the X axis, the transformation
between those values happens more quickly. When you drag keyframes farther apart
from each other, the change happens more slowly.
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Double-click the keyframe you want to modify, type the new value into the value field,
then press Return.
Current frame
Keyframe value
This changes the value of the keyframe along the Y axis (up and down).
Note: To get out of an active value field without making any changes, press Esc.
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Drag in the value slider in the parameter list.
• Drag to the right to increase the value of the keyframe along the Y axis.
• Drag to the left to decrease the value of the keyframe along the Y axis.
• Press Shift while dragging to change the value in increments of 10.
• Press Option while dragging to change the value in increments of .01.
In addition to modifying existing keyframes, you can add and delete keyframes right in
the graph.
To add a keyframe
1 Press the Option key and move the pointer over the parameter curve you want to modify.
The pointer turns into a plus sign (+).
2 Click the curve at the frame where you want the keyframe to appear.
3 Drag the keyframe to your preferred value.
Note: You can also add a keyframe at the current playhead position by choosing Add
Keyframe from the Animation menu for any parameter, or by double-clicking the curve.
Curves created when new keyframes are added are set to the Bezier interpolation method.
For more information on interpolation methods, see Modifying Curves.
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To delete a keyframe
Do one of the following:
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Select the keyframe, then press Delete.
Note: You can drag to select multiple keyframes.
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Control-click the keyframe, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Navigate to the keyframe, then choose Delete Keyframe from the Animation menu for
that parameter.
To delete all of the keyframes for a parameter
Click the Animation menu in the parameter list, then choose Reset Parameter.
Note: You can also use the Animation menu in the Inspector.
Controlling Keyframes
In addition to deleting keyframes, you can lock or disable them. Also, there are special
settings in the shortcut menu for keyframes that you can apply to control the shape of
your curve. For more information, see Modifying Curves.
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To lock or disable a keyframe
Control-click the keyframe you want to modify, then choose Lock or Disable from the
shortcut menu.
Lock prevents any further modification to that keyframe. Disable makes a keyframe
temporarily ignored without deleting it.
Copying and Pasting Keyframes and Animation Curves
Keyframes and the animation curves they form can be moved from one parameter to
another using copy and paste commands. This technique can be useful for copying a
particular keyframe effect from one object to another, moving a keyframe path earlier or
later in the same parameter, or for creating keyframes on one parameter and applying
them to another parameter.
To copy keyframes, you must select the keyframes you want to copy, either individually,
or as an entire channel or channels.
To select keyframes
Do one of the following:
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Using the Edit tool, drag a selection box around the keyframes you want to select.
Chapter 10 Keyframes and Curves
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Shift-click the keyframes you want to select.
If only the curve (and not
the keyframes) appears
white, the keyframes are
not selected.
Selected keyframes
appear white.
Once you have the keyframes selected, you can cut or copy them to move them to the
Clipboard.
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To copy selected keyframes
Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
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To cut selected keyframes
Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X).
To paste your selected keyframes, you must select both the parameter you want to paste
to, and the place in time where you want the pasted keyframes to begin.
To paste keyframes
1 Select the destination parameter in the parameter list (on the left side of the Keyframe
Editor).
2 Place the playhead at the point in time where you want the keyframes to begin.
3 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
Note: Pasted keyframes may not make an identical-looking curve to the original if the
parameter scales are different.
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To select an entire animation curve
Do one of the following:
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Select a parameter row in the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor.
Shift-click or Control-click in the parameters list to select multiple parameters.
Once you have the keyframed parameters selected, you can cut or copy them to move
them to the Clipboard.
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To copy selected animation curves
Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
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To cut selected animation curves
Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X).
When pasting animation curves, any keyframes in destination parameters are replaced,
and the timing of the original keyframes is retained over the entire channel in the new
destination.
To paste animation curves
1 In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, select the destination parameter.
2 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
Note: Pasted animation curves may not make an identical-looking curve to the original
if the parameter scales are different.
Using the Sketch Tool
The Sketch tool (next to the Edit tool) allows you to sketch animation curves in the
Keyframe Editor, creating keyframes as you go. In order to sketch a curve, the parameter
you wish to animate must first appear in the parameter list. See Custom Parameter Sets
for methods of displaying the curves you wish to appear.
Sketch tool
To sketch an animation curve
1 In the parameter list, select the parameter you wish to sketch.
2 Select the Sketch tool from the keyframe edit tools.
3 Drag in the curve graph to sketch an animation curve.
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Dragging or clicking anywhere in the Keyframe Editor replaces existing keyframes.
Parameter and sketch
tool selected
Drag in the graph to
create new keyframes for
selected parameter.
Curve of new keyframes
added to existing
animation curve
To add individual keyframes using the Sketch tool
1 Select the Sketch tool from the keyframe edit tools.
2 In the parameter list, select the parameter you wish to sketch.
3 Click in the curve graph to add a keyframe.
Additional clicks create additional individual keyframes.
Using the Box Tool
Also in the keyframe edit tools, the Box tool allows you to drag a selection box around a
number of keyframes, then manipulate their positions by adjusting the handles of the
selection box.
Box tool
To draw a selection box using the Box tool
1 Select the Box tool from the keyframe edit tools.
2 In the curve graph, drag to create a box enclosing the keyframes you wish to manipulate.
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A selection box with eight handles appears in the curve graph.
Selection box handle
Selected keyframes
Keyframed parameters
before selection
Once you have drawn a selection box, there are a number of ways to manipulate the box
and keyframes therein. In general, you can drag any of the handles of the selection box
to move them.
Transforming Keyframes
Repositioning the handles of the selection box is the same as dragging the handles of
a bounding box of any object. The difference in this case is that the transforms done
by moving these handles affect not only the box itself, but the keyframes enclosed
therein. Moving the box moves all of the selected keyframes in whatever direction you
move; as a result, you can affect where the keyframes are positioned in time or their
parameter values, or both at the same time. Scaling the selection box “scales” the
keyframes within the selection box, changing their timing and parameter values.
Experiment with the selection box to see how different kinds of manipulation affects
the enclosed keyframes.
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To move the selection box
Drag anywhere inside the selection box to move the box and the enclosed keyframes.
Moving left and right repositions the keyframes in time, and moving up and down
increases and decreases the parameter values of the selected keyframes.
Note: No matter where you drag the box, only the keyframes selected by the original
box are manipulated, even if the repositioned box overlaps keyframes outside of the
original selection. To manipulate additional keyframes, you must redraw the selection
box in the keyframe graph.
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To scale the selection box
Hold down the Option key and drag any of the handles of the selection box.
The box scales up or down as you drag along the axes.
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To deform the selection box asymmetrically
Hold down the Command key and drag any of the corner handles of the selection box.
Each corner handle moves independently of the other three corner handles of the selection
box.
Modifying Curves
Perhaps the most powerful and valuable feature that the Keyframe Editor offers is the
ability to make changes to the curves between the keyframes. Of course, manipulating
keyframes causes changes in the curves, but Motion gives you tools to control the
interpolation and extrapolation of your parameter values themselves.
By using different preset mathematical algorithms or by using manual controls, you can
dramatically alter the impact of your effects.
When you set the interpolation for a curve, you select the keyframe you want to modify.
The method you choose determines the distribution of values through, into, or out of
the selected keyframe.
To set an interpolation method for a keyframe
1 Select the keyframe you want to affect.
The keyframe turns white.
2 Control-click the keyframe to display the shortcut menu.
3 Choose an interpolation method from the Interpolation submenu.
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To set an interpolation method on a curve segment
Control-click the segment, then choose an interpolation method from the Interpolation
submenu.
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You can set different interpolation methods for different segments of the same curve.
When different interpolation methods are applied to the different segments of an
animation curve, the methods that are used in the curve appear with a dash next to their
name in the Interpolation submenu (in the Keyframe Editor parameter list). In the following
image, all interpolation methods are applied to the selected curve.
The different interpolation methods are described in the table below.
Interpolation method
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Example
Description
Constant
Holds the keyframe at its current value when
applied to a segment or keyframe and then
changes suddenly to the new value when the next
keyframe occurs.
Linear
When applied to a keyframe, creates a uniform
distribution of values through the keyframe from
its two adjacent keyframes. When applied to a
segment, creates uniform distribution of values
between the two points.
Chapter 10 Keyframes and Curves
Interpolation method
Example
Description
Bezier
Lets you manipulate the keyframe curve manually
by dragging the handles. If multiple Bezier
keyframes are selected, or Bezier is applied to the
curve segment, the handles of all the selected
keyframes are modified.
Continuous
This method behaves like Bezier interpolation, but
without access to the handles (they are calculated
automatically). The parameter begins to change
gradually, reaching its maximum rate of
acceleration at the midpoint, then it tapers off
slightly as it approaches the second keyframe.
When applied to a keyframe, the segments before
and after the keyframe are affected. When applied
to a curve segment, the segment between to the
two keyframe is affected.
Ease In
A type of reverse-inertia effect, so that a value
change slows coming into a keyframe. When
applied to a curve segment, the value change
eases into the segment.
Ease Out
Creates a typical inertia-like lag, so that a value
change begins more slowly coming out of a
keyframe. When applied to a curve segment, the
value change eases out of the segment.
Exponential
Creates an exponential curve between the current
value and the next, changing the value slowly at
first, then reaching its maximum rate of
acceleration as it approaches the next value.
Logarithmic
Creates a logarithmic curve between the current
value and the next, changing the value rapidly at
first, then slowing drastically as it approaches the
next value.
Alternatively, you can apply an interpolation method to the entire parameter. In the
following example, the Y Position curve (green) is currently set to Linear.
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To change the interpolation method for an entire parameter
In the Keyframe Editor, click the Animation menu and choose a method from the
Interpolation submenu.
The selected interpolation method (Constant in this example) is applied to the green
curve.
To change the interpolation method for multiple parameters
1 In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, Shift-click to select the parameters you wish
to change.
2 Click the Animation menu (in the Keyframe Editor) and choose a method from the
Interpolation submenu.
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The selected interpolation method is applied to all of the selected curves.
Convert to Bezier
Bezier interpolation method is the most flexible, allowing manual modification of the
curve. Motion lets you convert any keyframe into a Bezier keyframe quickly and easily.
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To convert a keyframe into a Bezier keyframe
While holding down the Command key, drag the keyframe in the keyframe graph.
Bezier handles appear and your mouse movement automatically controls one of the
handles.
Note: Command-clicking a Bezier point resets it to Linear interpolation.
To simultaneously modify the handles for more than one control point, Shift-click to select
multiple points, then adjust the tangents. If there are no tangents on the point, drag it
while holding down the Command key.
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To break a handle
While holding down the Option key, drag the handle.
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To “lock” the handle’s angle while modifying
While holding down the Shift key, drag the handle.
Extrapolation
In addition to setting interpolation for the areas between keyframes, you can define how
Motion generates the values before the first keyframe and after the last one (extrapolation).
When you set a such a method for a parameter, new keyframes are added beyond your
original keyframes. This can be helpful when trying to extend the duration of an effect
such as a moving background.
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To apply the Before First Keyframe setting for a parameter
In the Keyframe Editor, open the Animation menu for the parameter you want to change,
then choose an item from the Before First Keyframe submenu.
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To apply the After Last Keyframe setting for a parameter
In the Keyframe Editor, open the Animation menu for the parameter you want to change,
then choose an item from After Last Keyframe submenu.
The following table describes the extrapolation options available in the Before First
Keyframe and After Last Keyframe submenus.
Extrapolation method
Example
Description
Constant
(Default) The parameter remains at the exact value
of the first and last keyframes in the extrapolated
area.
Linear
Extends the curve beyond the first and last
keyframes uniformly, along the existing trajectory.
Ping Pong
Copies the curve and repeats it, alternating
forward and backward.
Repeat
Duplicates the curve, applying it again and again.
Progressive
Extends the curve by repeating the existing shape
of the curve, but rather than returning to the exact
same values, it begins again from the existing end
value.
Reversing Keyframes
Using the Reverse Keyframe option in the Keyframe Editor, you can quickly “flop” time
by reversing the keyframes on a curve.
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To reverse keyframes
1 Select the keyframes you want to reverse.
You can drag–select
groups of keyframes.
2 Control-click a selected keyframe and choose Reverse Keyframes from the shortcut menu.
The selected keyframes are reversed.
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Chapter 10 Keyframes and Curves
Note: Reverse Keyframes flips the timing of all keyframes within a selected range of
keyframes, regardless of their selection state.
Non-selected keyframes
bounded by the selected
keyframes are also
reversed.
A minimum of two keyframes must be selected for the action to have any effect.
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Generate Keyframes Command
Ordinarily, keyframe extrapolation occurs without actually creating any new keyframes.
This lets you experiment with different methods. However, you can convert an
extrapolation method into actual keyframes so you can further manipulate them. This is
done using the Generate Keyframes command. You can choose how many of the
extrapolation cycles you want converted into keyframes. Cycles after the number you
chose are left in the extrapolated state.
Original keyframe graph
Repeat Extrapolation applied
Generate Keyframes applied, set to one cycle
To convert extrapolation data into keyframes
1 In the Animation menu, choose Generate Keyframes from the Before First Keyframe or
After Last Keyframe submenu.
The Generate Keyframes dialog appears.
2 Choose the number of cycles you want to be keyframed.
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3 Click OK to confirm your selection.
Mini-Curve Editor
A mini-curve editor is a scaled-down version of the Keyframe Editor. Appearing in the
Inspector, mini-curve editors give you the functionality to create basic animations directly
in the Inspector, without having to open the Keyframe Editor.
Two Particle behaviors—Scale Over Life and Spin Over Life—have mini-curve editors in
the Inspector (when the Increment Type parameter is set to Custom). Mini-curve editors
are also present for paint objects, in the Stroke pane of the Shape Inspector.
By default, the mini-curve editor is collapsed and shows a scaled-down representation
of the actual animation curve.
Collapsed mini-curve
editor
µ
To expand a mini-curve editor
Click the disclosure triangle next to the collapsed mini-curve editor.
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The expanded mini-curve editor appears.
Mini-curve editor
Box tool
Sketch tool
Edit tool
When expanded, the mini-curve editor shows a representation of the relevant animation
curve. In the example above, the Range parameter is mapped to the X axis and the Custom
Spin parameter is mapped to the Y axis.
The procedure for adding keyframes in a mini-curve editor is slightly different than adding
them in the full-sized Keyframe Editor.
To add keyframes in the mini-curve editor
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Click the curve in the mini-curve editor.
µ
Option-click the curve, then choose Add Keyframe from the shortcut menu.
Double-click the curve in the mini-curve editor to add a keyframe and activate its value
field.
The mini-curve editor provides the Edit, Sketch, and Box tools, and each functions in the
same manner as in the Keyframe Editor. For more information on using the Edit tool, see
Using the Edit Tool. For more information on using the Sketch tool, see Using the Sketch
Tool. For more information on using the Box tool, see Using the Box Tool.
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The Auto Fit checkbox sets whether Motion automatically scales the animation curve to
fit within the confines of the mini-curve editor.
Auto Fit turned on in the
mini-curve editor
Animating on the Fly
Another powerful feature that Motion offers is the ability to create animations while your
project is playing back. This is similar to how audio engineers adjust sliders for each of
their different audio channels while listening to the mix. The next time it is played back,
all of those changes are incorporated.
Because so many of Motion’s effects are displayed in real time, you can perform a sort of
“visual mix” and modify the various parameters of your effects while the project is playing
back.
For example, it is not until you see the various elements in your project in concert that
you can know whether each part is behaving as it should. One object may be fading too
slowly and making another element hard to see, or a text element might come and go
so quickly that it cannot be read. With keyframing on the fly, you can make adjustments
to any slider or parameter in the program while your project is playing. You can also
interactively manipulate objects in the Canvas. Then, if you don’t like what you did, rewind
and do it again. Each time you alter a parameter, you replace any keyframes previously
assigned.
To animate a parameter on the fly using the Inspector or the HUD
1 Click the Record button (or press A) or choose Mark > Record Animation to turn on
keyframe recording.
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2 Click the Play button or press the Space bar to begin playback.
3 As your project plays, adjust a parameter slider.
4 Disable Record.
The changes you made during playback are recorded as keyframes for that parameter.
You can view them in the Keyframe Editor.
If you don’t like the animation you made, you can delete the keyframes and try again.
You can choose Edit > Undo (or press Command-Z) to revert to the state before you
began recording your animation, or you can manually delete the keyframes you want to
replace.
To delete keyframes
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
µ
Select the keyframe, then press Delete.
Control-click the keyframe, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select the keyframe, then choose Delete from the Animation menu for that parameter.
Note: To delete all of the keyframes for a parameter, choose Reset Parameter from the
Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor list or Inspector.
Handmade Motion in the Canvas
One of the most common uses for animating on the fly is to create handmade animation
paths. Although you can choose from a variety of curve types, it is very difficult to get
the semi-random movement except by sketching with your mouse or pen.
To create a handmade animation path in the Canvas
1 Enable Record (press A).
2 Click the Play button to begin playback.
3 Select the object you want to manipulate and drag it in the pattern of your choice.
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Both the position and speed of your movement are recorded and applied to the position
keyframes for that object.
Keyframes close together
indicate slower
movement.
Keyframes spaced far
apart indicate fast
movement.
You can further manipulate the path either by dragging individual keyframes, or
re-recording a new animation path for that object.
Keyframe Thinning
Due to the way keyframing works, if the playhead is at a new frame, and you set a new
value for a parameter, a keyframe is added. For animating while the project is playing,
this might mean setting a new keyframe on every single frame. This doesn’t create a
problem until you want to make a change to the curve.
In many cases, the curve created by your animation can be represented using fewer
keyframes. Often, this will provide a smoother rate of change and will enable you to take
advantage of the various interpolation methods such as Ease In and Ease Out.
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You can simplify your keyframes in two ways: either while you are recording them, or
afterwards, by simplifying an existing animation curve using the Reduce Keyframes
command in the Animation menu for that parameter.
Reduce Keyframes option
(in Keyframe Editor’s
Animation menu) applied
to Position Y
Recording Options
The Recording Options dialog allows you to set the Keyframe Thinning setting, to record
only on parameters that are already animated or to disable recording during playback.
The Keyframe Thinning setting only applies to recording animation while playing back.
This setting has no effect on ordinary keyframing.
To access Recording Options
Do one of the following:
µ
µ
Choose Mark > Recording Options (or press Option-A).
Double-click the Animate button.
The Recording Options dialog appears.
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Keyframe Thinning: There are three options of how thinning can be applied.
• Off: No thinning is applied. Keyframes are applied at every frame where the parameter
is changed.
• Reduced: Motion eliminates keyframes that can easily be replaced with a simple curve.
• Peaks Only: Only keyframes with dramatic value changes are recorded.
Don’t record keyframes during playback: When this checkbox is selected, keyframes
are not recorded while the project is playing back.
Record keyframes on animated parameters only: When this checkbox is selected,
keyframes are recorded only on parameters that are already animated.
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Disabling Animation While Playing
If you leave the Record button on, keyframes are added whenever you make adjustments.
If you want to restrict keyframing to when the project is not playing, you can disable that
feature individually.
To disable animation recording while playing
1 Choose Mark > Recording Options.
The Recording Options dialog appears.
2 Select “Don’t Record keyframes during playback.”
3 Click OK.
Recording Keyframes on Animated Parameters Only
When “Record keyframes on animated parameters only” is selected, keyframes are added
only to parameters that are already animated. For example, if the position of a shape is
animated (keyframed) and “Record keyframes on animated parameters only” is enabled,
only changes made to the position of that object are keyframed. If you change the color
of the object over time, the color changes are not keyframed—even when the Record
button is enabled.
Important: The Record button must be on when using the “Record keyframes on animated
parameters only” option. You can still manually add keyframes, regardless of whether or
not Record is enabled, by using the Animation menu in the Inspector or Keyframe Editor
list, or by pressing Option-K.
Tip: If you are a Final Cut Pro user, it is recommended that you use this option to emulate
the workflow with which you are familiar.
To record keyframes on animated parameters only
1 Enable Record (or press A).
2 Choose Mark > Recording Options (or press Option-A).
3 Select “Record keyframes on animated parameters only.”
4 Click OK.
Keyframes are now added only when you make changes to parameters that are already
animated. To observe how the “Record keyframes on animated parameters only” works,
walk through the following brief exercise.
To see the “Record keyframes on animated parameters only” in action
1 Enable Record (press A).
2 Choose Mark > Recording Options, and make sure “Record keyframes on animated
parameters only” in the Recording Options dialog is turned off, then click OK.
3 At frame 1 (press Home), draw a shape in the Canvas and move the object into a start
position.
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A position keyframe is created.
4 Advance to a different frame and move the object into another position.
A second position keyframe is created.
5 Choose Mark > Recording Options, and select “Record keyframes on animated parameters
only” in the Recording Options dialog, then click OK.
6 Go to a frame in between the two position keyframes, and move the shape in the Canvas.
A third position keyframe is added.
7 At frame 1 (press the Home key), click the Fill color well in the shape’s HUD, then change
the color of the object.
Fill color well
8 Advance to a different frame, then change the color object again.
9 Go to frame 1 and click the Play button (or press the Space bar).
Notice that the position of the object is animated, but the color is not. This is because
the shape had position keyframes when “Record keyframes on animated parameters
only” was selected.
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Working with Particles
11
Particle systems allow you to quickly and easily create sophisticated effects involving
large numbers of automatically animated objects. You can use the included Particle
Emitters library to add a pre-made particle system to your composition, or you can create
your own custom particle effects using nearly any layer or group in your project. Particle
systems in Motion are flexible enough to create many different kinds of effects.
This chapter covers the following:
• About Particle Systems (p. 602)
• Anatomy of a Particle System (p. 603)
• Using Particle Systems (p. 605)
• Creating Graphics and Animations for Particle Systems (p. 623)
• The Difference Between Emitter and Particle Cell Parameters (p. 625)
• Emitter and Cell Parameters (p. 628)
• Animating Objects in Particle Systems (p. 649)
• Viewing Animated Emitter Curves in the Keyframe Editor (p. 653)
• Using Masks with Particle Systems (p. 654)
• Applying Filters to Particle Systems (p. 655)
• Particle System Examples (p. 655)
• Saving Custom Particle Effects to the Library (p. 664)
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About Particle Systems
Particle systems consist of two basic elements: a cell and an emitter. Think of the cells as
the “mold” for the particles that are generated by the emitter. You can use nearly any
layer or group in Motion as a source for a particle cell, including images, shapes, text,
movies, and image sequences. Each particle that is created is essentially a duplicate of
the original cell, and is animated according to the parameters for that particle system (a
particle cell and emitter) over its lifetime.
Object prior to becoming a particle system
Particle system
The layer you use as a particle system’s cell determines how that particle system looks.
Particle systems can contain multiple cells, resulting in the release of several types of
particles from a single emitter. You’ll find that many of the most sophisticated particle
presets in the Particle Emitters library are constructed in this way.
Particle system based on a single cell
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Particle system based on two cells
Anatomy of a Particle System
Every particle system is made up of an emitter and one or more particle cells. Each cell
appears inside of the emitter in the Layers tab and the Timeline.
Original objects
(now disabled)
Emitter
Cell
Behaviors applied to one
particle cell
The emitter and cells have separate sets of parameters that control the particle system’s
behavior. If you imagine that a garden hose is a particle system, the nozzle acts as the
emitter, while the water represents the flow of particles. Changing the parameters of the
emitter changes the shape from which the particles are emitted and their direction, while
changing the cell’s parameters affects each individual particle.
By changing a few parameters, it’s possible to create very different effects using the same
cell.
Note: In a particle system, cells and particles are not the same thing. A cell is a layer (in
the Layers tab) that acts as the “mold” for the particles (the multiple objects generated
in the Canvas). The cell itself is a copy of a source object (cell source) that appears dimmed
(disabled) in the Layers tab, and therefore is by default not visible in the Canvas.
As with any effect in Motion, particle system parameters can be keyframed in order to
change a particle effect’s dynamics over time. For example, you can create a path of
bubbles that follows an object onscreen by keyframing the emitter’s Position parameter.
For more information on keyframing, see Keyframes and Curves.
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You can also track an emitter to a moving object in a clip, or apply existing tracking data
in your project to an emitter. For more information on using the Motion Tracking behaviors,
see Motion Tracking.
In addition, you can add behaviors to each cell or to the emitter itself to create even more
varied effects (simulation behaviors can be especially effective). Any behavior that you
apply to a cell is in turn applied to each particle it generates. This lets you achieve almost
limitless variation. Adding behaviors to cells in addition to the particle system’s own
parameters is an easy way to create complex, organic motion that would be impossible
to accomplish any other way. You can also apply a behavior to another object in your
project (an object that is not part of the particle system), such as Repel, and have the
particles weave around that object. For more information about behaviors, see Using
Behaviors.
Cell Source
Each cell in a particle emitter is a copy of a source object known as the cell source. The
cell source appears dimmed (disabled) in the Layers tab, and therefore does not appear
in the Canvas. Almost any layer in Motion can be used as a cell source, including shapes,
text, images, image sequences, and clips. Transformations that you apply to the source
are respected in the cell layer, which in turn propagates those transformations to the
particles that are generated in the Canvas. For example, if you use a rectangle shape that
is sheared and rotated as the cell source, particles created using that rectangle as the cell
source are sheared and rotated.
If the layer used as the cell source for the particle system has applied filters, the effects
of the filters are retained in the particles.
Note: Keep in mind that using a movie with applied filters as a particle cell source adversely
impacts your computer’s processing performance. For better performance, export your
sequence with the filter applied, then import it back into Motion and use the movie as
the cell source.
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Using Particle Systems
Despite their sophistication, particle systems are easy to set up and simple to use. This
section describes how to use pre-made particle systems from the Particle Emitters category
of the Library. Afterward, this section explains how to create a simple particle system of
your own.
Particle Systems and Layer Sizes
Particle systems often create particles that grow or move off the Canvas before they
die. This can make the size of a layer or group much larger than that of the Canvas.
Although the particles are not visible once they move off the Canvas (unless Show Full
View Area is turned on in the View menu), they are still present in the project and are
processed. If you apply a filter to a layer containing growing particles, or use that layer
as a source object, it is recommended that you select the Fixed Resolution checkbox in
the Group tab of the Inspector (available only when a group is the selected object). The
Fixed Resolution parameter allows you to set the specific width and height of a group,
cropping anything beyond those values. For more information, see Fixing the Size of a
Group.
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Using the Particle Library
The easiest way to add a particle system to your project is to use one of the presets in
the Particle Emitters category of the Library. There are many types of particle effects to
choose from. If you find one that is close to what you need, you can easily customize its
parameters after you add it to your project. Particle systems are added to a project exactly
like any other object.
To add a particle system from the Library
1 In the Library, click the Particle Emitters category.
2 Click one of the particle subcategories, such as Nature, Pyro, SciFi, and so on.
3 Select a particle preset in the Library stack.
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An animated preview of the selected particle emitter plays in the Preview area. While it
is playing, you can drag the pointer around in the Preview area to see how the particle
looks while in motion.
Note: If the preview does not automatically start playing, click the Play button in the
Preview area. To automatically play items selected in the File Browser or Library, choose
Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma), then select “Play items automatically
on a single click” in the File Browser & Library section of the General pane.
4 When you find a particle preset you want to use, do one of the following:
• Click Apply to add the selected particle system to your project at the center of the
Canvas.
Note: If Create Layers At is set to “Start of project” in the Project pane of Motion
Preferences, the particle system is added at the first frame.
• Drag the particle system into the Canvas to the position where you want it to appear.
• Drag the particle system into a group in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list. The particle
system appears at the center of the Canvas.
• Drag the particle system to the track area of the Timeline. When you reach the frame
where you want the new particles to start, release the mouse button.
The new particle system layer appears in your project, composited against any other
layers that you’ve already added.
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Motion Blur and Particles
To achieve the optimal look for the following particle emitters, it is recommended that
you enable motion blur in your project:
• Jelly Bands
• Light Transit 1
• Light Transit 2
• Light Transit 3
• Light Transit 4
• Rain Streaks
• Silly String 1
• Silly String 2
Note: To enable motion blur, choose Motion Blur from the Render pop-up menu (in
the Status Bar), or choose View > Render Options > Motion Blur (or press Option-M).
Once you have added a particle system from the Library, the system acts exactly as it did
in the Preview area. If necessary, you can edit a particle system’s Emitter parameters in
the HUD to tailor them to your own use.
Note: You can only modify a particle system after it has been added to a project.
The HUD displays a selected particle system’s most essential parameters, including the
size and number of particles that are created, how long they remain onscreen, how fast
they move, and the direction and area in which they travel. Select an individual cell in
the Layers tab or Timeline to edit its parameters in the HUD.
For more detailed information on using the particle HUD, see Customizing a Particle
System Emitter. For more comprehensive information on customizing all of a particle
system’s parameters, see Emitter and Cell Parameters.
Creating a Simple Custom Particle System
While Motion comes with a wide variety of particle system presets, many times you’ll
want to create something completely new. Creating a particle system begins with selecting
a layer in your project to use as the source for a cell within a new particle emitter.
You can use any layer in your project as a source for a cell in an emitter, including still
graphics, animation or video clips, or shapes created in Motion. The layer you select when
you create an emitter becomes the first cell in that particle system. In the Layers tab, cells
appear as a sublayer under the emitter layer. The cell specifies the look of the actual
particles generated in the Canvas.
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Note: You can also use a group as the source for an emitter cell, but keep in mind that
your project’s interactivity may slow drastically.
Particle
Particle
Emitter
To create an emitter
1 Place a layer that you want to use to generate particles into your project.
This example uses an image of a simple white circular gradient, such as the “basic blur”
image located in the Library (in the Particle Images subcategory of the Content category).
2 Move the object in the Canvas to the location where you want the center of your particle
system to be.
3 Select the object, then do one of the following:
• In the Toolbar, click the Make Particles icon.
• Press E.
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Once an emitter is added to the project, the following occurs:
• An emitter appears in the Layers tab and is selected.
• A cell containing the image to be “particle-ized” appears underneath the emitter.
• The original source layer (the cell source) is disabled.
Note: Changes made to the original source layer, such as opacity or shearing, are
respected in the particles even after the emitter is created.
• In the Canvas, the emitter bounding box appears, which can be transformed using the
onscreen controls.
• The first particle appears in the Canvas in the same location as the original layer.
Although it appears as if the particle is selected, the bounding box represents the
emitter.
• The Emitter HUD is displayed. If you have hidden the HUD, press F7.
Note: For projects with a frame rate greater than 30 frames per second (fps), at times
only the bounding box (not the first particle) may appear at the first frame of your
project. Because Motion generates particles at a default rate of 30 per second, there is
no guarantee that a particle will appear on every frame.
Particle system at frame 1
By default, the first frame of a new particle system (with a single cell) has one particle.
If you play your project, additional particles are generated and emerge from the center
of the emitter.
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By default, new cells emit one particle per frame in all directions (for 30 fps projects),
and each particle moves 100 pixels per second away from the emitter over a lifetime
of 5 seconds (150 frames in a 30-frames-per-second project).
Emitter center point
Particle system at frame 30
Note: The Initial Number parameter in the Emitter or Particle Cell tab of the Inspector
allows you to change the default behavior so that a particle system begins with a burst
of particles at the first frame. For more information, see Emitter and Cell Parameters.
The Predictability of Particle Systems
When you create a particle system or modify one of the parameters of an existing particle
system, the path of each particle in that system is immediately calculated and
predetermined. While the number and motion of particles may seem random, they are
actually completely predictable based on that system’s parameters. Playing the same
particle system twice with the same parameters results in exactly the same particle
motion. This means that once you create a particle system that looks right, it is always
the same.
Using Multiple Cells Within a Single Emitter
When you create a particle system from scratch, you don’t have to restrict yourself to
using just one cell. You can create a particle system that emits many different kinds of
overlapping particles by placing multiple cells inside of a single emitter in the Layers tab.
You can add as many cells as you want within a single emitter. Each cell has its own
particle cell parameters that govern how particles from that cell are created. When selected
in the Layers tab, each cell displays its own Particle Cell tab in the Inspector. Particle
systems with multiple cells generate particles from each cell simultaneously, according
to each cell’s parameters.
For an example of using multiple cells within a single emitter, see Example 2: Creating
Animated Pixie Dust.
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Additional cells can be created by either selecting multiple sources when initially creating
the emitter, or by dragging additional source layers onto the emitter in the Layers tab.
Note: When multiple sources are used to create a particle system, the resulting emitter
is positioned at the average of the sources’ position.
Customizing a Particle System Emitter
When you create an emitter, the particle system starts working according to the default
parameters in its Emitter and Particle Cell tabs, located in the Inspector. You can use the
Emitter HUD to easily change the most important of these parameters to suit your needs.
µ
To display the HUD for a particle emitter
Select the emitter for which you want to display the HUD.
The HUD appears when you select the emitter. If the HUD does not appear, press F7.
Using the HUD to Create a Simple Smoke Effect
In this example, use the Emitter HUD to create a smoke effect. Use the emitter created
in Creating a Simple Custom Particle System A Blur image from the Content category in
the Library will serve as the cell source.
Before making adjustments to the selected particle system, it may be helpful to move
the playhead forward in the Timeline to a frame where you can see the particle system
in full effect. That way, any adjustments you make are readily apparent.
Particle system at frame 30
The first thing you may notice in this example is that the size of each particle is so big
that it’s hard to make out any texture in the particle system.
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To modify the particles’ appearance using the Emitter HUD
1 In the Emitter HUD, drag the Scale slider to the left to reduce every particle’s size so that
the individual particles are more identifiable.
2 In the HUD, click anywhere along the outer edge of the emission control and drag to
define a narrow segment that limits the range of the angle at which particles are created
(the emission range).
Both points defining the emission range rotate around the center of the emission control
symmetrically, so your initial wedge points to the right. As you adjust the emission range,
the particles rearrange themselves in the Canvas, enabling you to see the resulting effect.
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3 To make the particles drift upward, drag in the middle of the Emission Range segment,
rotating the arrow counterclockwise until it points up and slightly to the right of the
center control.
The emission angle of the particles updates in the Canvas to reflect the new setting in
the HUD.
4 Drag to lengthen the arrow so that it is approximately halfway between the center and
the edge of the emission control to create a slowly drifting column of particles.
Remember: While the angle of the arrow controls the emission angle of the particles, the
length of the arrow controls the speed of the particles. The longer the arrow, the faster
the particles, and vice versa.
At this point, the particles are all moving in the correct direction, but there aren’t very
many of them (there isn’t much of a fire yet).
5 Move the Birth Rate slider to the right to increase the number of particles created by the
emitter.
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As you increase the birth rate, more particles are created, forming a nearly unified column
of “smoke.” The particles move farther apart as they drift away from the emitter.
As you can see, a single object can be used to create a credible column of smoke rising
gently into the sky.
While the HUD controls are quite powerful, the Emitter and Particle Cell tabs in the
Inspector have many more parameters you can customize. For more information, see
Emitter and Cell Parameters.
Emitter HUD Parameters
The HUD contains the most frequently used emitter controls that are necessary to modify
a particle system’s size and shape. These parameters are a subset of those found in the
Emitter tab of the Inspector. In 2D projects, the Emitter HUD contains a group of sliders
and the emission control, which provides a visual way to manipulate three different
particle system parameters: Emission Range, Emission Angle, and Speed.
Emission Range
Emission Angle
(angle of arrow)
Emission Speed
(length of arrow)
2D Emitter HUD
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When 3D is enabled in the Emitter tab of the Inspector, the Emitter HUD offers additional
3D controls. In 3D, the emission control modifies the Emission Latitude and Emission
Longitude parameters.
Emission control
3D Emitter HUD
When an emitter and the Adjust 3D Transform tool (in the Toolbar) are selected, the 3D
Emitter HUD expands to display additional controls that allow you to transform the emitter
in X, Y, and Z space, regardless of whether the group containing the emitter is 2D or 3D.
For more information on using the 3D transform controls in the HUD, see 3D Transform
Tools.
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For particle systems containing multiple cells, the Emitter HUD parameters simultaneously
modify the effect of each cell’s parameters relative to one another. This means that for a
particle system consisting of two cells with different scale values, changing the scale in
the HUD resizes both cells simultaneously. For example, increasing the scale in the HUD
by 200% does not change the scale of both cells to 200%, but resizes the cells relative to
their original scale values.
Original particle system
Particle system scaled to 200 percent
For this reason, in emitters with multiple cells, the HUD parameters are displayed as
percentages. When you modify the parameters of a single cell, the cell parameters are
adjusted directly.
Birth Rate: A slider that defines how many particles are created every second.
Life: A slider that defines how long each particle remains onscreen (in seconds) before
disappearing from existence.
Scale: A slider that defines the size of each particle, relative to the original size of the cell.
Emission Control: A graphical control that lets you modify several parameters.
• Emission Range (2D only): Drag the two points on the outer ring of the graphical emission
control to define the range of degrees at which particles are generated. In other words,
the Emission Range parameter defines the size of the “slice” of the pie graph that the
particles fill when generated.
• Emission Angle: Drag inside the emission control to change the direction in which
particles are emitted, inside the area defined by the Emission Range.
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• Speed (2D only): Drag inside the emission control to shorten or lengthen the arrows to
define how quickly particles move away from the emitter.
Use the following modifier keys to more precisely manipulate the graphical emission
control in the HUD:
• Shift (while adjusting Angle): Restricts angles to 45 degree increments.
• Shift (while adjusting Range): When working with a 2D emitter, restricts to 22.5-degree
increments.
• Command: When working with a 2D emitter, adjusts Angle only.
• Option: When working with a 2D emitter, adjusts Speed only.
Emission Latitude/Emission Longitude Control (3D only): When using a 3D particle
emitter (when the 3D checkbox is selected in the Emitter tab of the Inspector), the emission
control of the HUD lets you modify the Emission Latitude and Emission Longitude
parameters.
Emission Latitude and
Longitude control
Drag the sphere in the center of the circle to modify the emission direction (in degrees
latitude and longitude) of the particles. You can also enter specific values in the Emitter
tab of the Inspector.
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Drag the Emission Range slider (above the sphere) to define the range of degrees at
which particles are generated. In other words, this control defines the size of the cone
that the particles fill when generated in 3D space.
Particle Emitters and the Properties Tab
Emitter parameters can be modified in the Properties tab of the Inspector like any other
object in Motion. The following sections briefly discuss using some of the parameters in
the Properties tab with a particle system (not all parameters in the Properties tab are
discussed). For more information on the Properties tab parameters, see Parameters in
the Properties Tab.
Note: When a particle cell is selected, only the Timing parameter appears in the Properties
tab of the Inspector. This allows you to control the In and Out points of the particle cell.
Important: Some operations that can be performed in the Properties tab, as well the
application of certain filters or a mask, cause a group to be rasterized. For more information,
see About Rasterization.
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Transform Parameters
As a particle system plays, the cells in the system are duplicated, according to the
parameters for that system, to create each individual particle in the Canvas. Because all
particles emerge relative to the position of the emitter (because the emitter can be a
point, a circle, geometry, a sphere, and so on), changing the emitter’s position in the
Canvas also changes the position of every particle in that system.
Origin of particle system
Origin of particle system
after emitter has been
repositioned
The exception to this is if the emitter’s position is animated using a behavior or keyframes.
In this case, particles emerging from the emitter’s position at each frame continue to
move relative to that position, regardless of changes to the emitter’s position in
subsequent frames. This results in a trail of particles following the path of the emitter.
The Attach to Emitter parameter in the Particle Cell tab of the Inspector modifies this
behavior. When set to 0%, the particles are completely independent of the emitter. When
set to 100%, the particles try to keep up with the position of the animated emitter.
Depending on any applied behaviors, such as Drag, the particles may not be able to keep
up with the emitter.
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Modifying an emitter’s other transformation parameters (Rotation, Scale, Shear, and
Anchor Point) changes the distribution of particles from that emitter and transforms each
particle. For example, if you create an emitter, then modify its Shear parameter, the
distribution of the emitted particles changes to reflect the new plane of the emitter, and
the particles are sheared along the same plane.
Analog Modulator particle system preset
After Shear effect is applied
Blending
Any changes you make to the opacity or blend mode parameters for an emitter are
applied to the particle system as a whole—the result of the emitter is blended into the
scene. For more information about blend modes, see Using Blend Modes. For more
information about the Preserve Opacity setting, see Preserve Opacity Option.
Note: Within the emitter, the particles can be blended additively or normally (using the
Additive Blend checkbox).
Lighting
A 2D or 3D emitter can interact with lights in a 3D project. As with all layers, the Shading
pop-up menu (in the Lighting controls in the Properties tab of the Inspector) must be
set to On or Inherited for the lights to affect the particles. For more information on using
lights, see Lighting.
Shadows
A 2D or 3D emitter can cast and receive shadows in a 3D project. If the 3D checkbox is
selected in the Emitter tab of the Inspector, Render Particles must be set to In Global 3D
(Better) for particles to cast shadows. For more information on using shadows, see
Shadows.
Reflections
A 2D or 3D emitter can cast reflections in a 3D project, but only a 2D emitter can receive
reflections. For more information on using reflections, see Reflections.
Note: When the 3D checkbox in the Emitter tab of the Inspector is selected, the Reflections
parameter does not appear in the Properties tab.
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Drop Shadow
Drop shadows can be applied to a 2D particle system. When the Drop Shadow parameter
is enabled for the source object (in the Properties tab in the Inspector), each generated
particle appears with a drop shadow. For more information on working with drop shadows,
see Drop Shadows.
Note: This parameter is not available with the Box or Sphere emitter shapes, or when the
3D checkbox is selected in the Emitter tab of the Inspector.
Timing
Once you create a particle system, its duration can be as long or short as necessary,
regardless of the duration of the original layers used to create the particle system. The
duration of a particle system is defined by the duration of the emitter object. Changing
the In or Out point of an emitter in the Properties tab, Timeline, or mini-Timeline changes
the duration of the entire particle system.
By default, particles are generated by every cell in a system over the entire duration of
the emitter. The duration of each individually generated particle is defined by the Life
parameter of the cell that generated it, and not by the duration of the cell itself.
The duration of the cell actually controls the duration over which new particles are
generated. You can change a cell’s duration by dragging either its position or its In and
Out points in the Timeline. In this way, you can adjust the timing that defines when each
cell’s particles emerge.
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For example, you can create a particle system that simulates an explosion by offsetting
the appearance of three different types of particles. First, dense white particles emerge
from the center. Half a second later, more diffuse orange particles appear around a larger
area. One second after that, small sparks emerge from underneath both of these layers
as they fade away.
You can offset a cell in the Timeline or mini-Timeline to start before the emitter. This
creates a “preroll” in which the particle simulation starts before the particles are drawn.
For more information on adjusting the timing of layers in the Timeline, see Using the
Timeline.
Creating Graphics and Animations for Particle Systems
Creating a new particle system from scratch begins with designing the particles you want
it to emit. You can use any image, shape, text, or movie supported by Motion as a source
for a cell. This section presents things to keep in mind when you create particle imagery.
Creating Still Image Graphics for Particle Systems
Particle systems that use still images as their cell sources render in real time much faster
than systems that use video or animation clips. A still image is often all you need to create
a compelling particle system. Here are some guidelines for creating graphics for use as
particles.
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Graphics Size
If you are unsure what size you want your particles to be, it’s a good idea to make your
graphics larger rather than smaller. Increasing the size of particles beyond the size of the
original graphic may introduce unwanted artifacts. One caveat, however, is that the larger
the cell source size, the slower your interactivity.
Particle Edges
Keep in mind that the quality of the edges of your graphics can be extremely important
for creating convincing particles. Soft, translucent edges might look better than hard,
over-defined ones.
Object Color
By default, particles are created using the original colors of the image being used as the
cell. If necessary, you can tint the emitted particles using the Color Mode parameters in
the Emitter and Particle Cell tabs. Choose between tinting all particles by a single color
or creating a gradient tint that changes color over time. You can also choose to apply a
Library gradient to the particles. Tinting particles applies the tint color uniformly over the
entire particle system.
Create Graphics with an Alpha Channel
Always create graphics that you want to use as cells with predefined alpha channels. For
more information on importing files with alpha channels, see More About Alpha Channels.
Creating Animations to Use as Cells
You can also use QuickTime movies as cells. For example, you can create an animation
in Motion, render it as a QuickTime movie, and import it into another Motion project to
use as a cell. In general, the same recommendations for creating still graphics apply to
the creation of animation or video clips you intend to use as cells, but there are additional
considerations.
If a clip has been retimed, in the Properties tab or with a Retiming behavior, the effect of
the retiming is carried through to the particles system.
Note: Keep in mind that using a movie as the source cell for an emitter may impact your
project’s interactivity.
Create Clips That Loop
Particles created from QuickTime clips loop over and over for the duration of each
individual particle’s life. If the clip you use doesn’t loop well, there will be a jump cut at
every loop point. Another option is to use very short movies to introduce randomness
into the appearance of the particle system.
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Use Video Clips with Minimal Compression
Ideally, QuickTime clips to be used as particles should be saved using a high-quality codec,
such as Animation or Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit 4:2:2. Other codecs can be used, but
they may introduce unwanted artifacts depending on the level of compression used.
There is an option to use random start frames, which cause the clips to play out of sync
relative to one another in the Canvas. There is also an option to play or not play the clip.
The Difference Between Emitter and Particle Cell Parameters
Emitter and Particle Cell parameters, though closely related, serve different purposes.
Emitter parameters control the overall shape and direction of the animated mass of
particles generated by the system. Other emitter parameters simultaneously modify the
parameters of all cells inside that emitter.
Particle Cell parameters, on the other hand, control the behavior of particles generated
from each cell that’s inside the particle emitter. For more information, see Particle Cell
Parameters in the Inspector.
When only one layer is used as a particle cell source, the cell controls appear in the Emitter
tab as well as in the Particle Cell tab. Once more than one layer is added to a Particle
Emitter, all cell controls appear in the Particle Cell tab. To access this tab, the cell must
be selected in the Layers tab or Timeline.
To open a particle system’s Emitter tab
1 Select an emitter object in the Layers tab, Timeline, or Canvas.
2 In the Inspector, click the Emitter tab.
The Emitter parameters appear.
The contents of the Emitter tab are dynamic, and different parameters appear depending
on the number of cells in the particle system, the emitter shape that’s used, and whether
the 3D checkbox is selected or deselected.
Parameters in the Particle Cell tab control the behavior of particles generated by the
selected cell, independently of the parameters governing the emitter. In particle systems
with multiple cells, each has its own particle cell parameters. This lets you create particle
systems made up of many kinds of particles, each with distinctly different behaviors.
For more information on using the Particle Cell parameters, see Particle Cell Parameters
in the Inspector.
To open a cell’s Particle Cell tab
1 Select any cell within an emitter in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list.
2 In the Inspector, click the Particle Cell tab.
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The Particle Cell parameters appear.
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Single Cell Versus Multi-Cell Emitter Parameters
If a particle system has only one cell, the Emitter tab displays all of the parameters for the
cell, as well as the emitter’s own parameters. In this case, you can control every aspect
of the particle system directly from this single tab, which saves you from having to go
back and forth between the Emitter and Particle Cell tabs.
Emitter tab for particle
system with single cell
Emitter tab for particle
system with multiple cells
If a particle system has two or more cells, the Emitter tab looks much different. The list
of parameters is much shorter, and the majority of the cell parameters are replaced with
a smaller group of master controls.
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Changes made using the master controls modify the effect of each cell’s parameters
relative to the other cells in the system. This means that for a particle system with three
cells that have different Scale values, increasing the Scale parameter in the Emitter tab
multiplies the Scale value of all three cells by the same percentage. This has the result of
increasing or reducing the size of every particle in the system, while keeping the size of
each particle relative to one another the same.
Original particle system
Particle system scaled to 200 percent
For this reason, the master control parameters of multi-cell particle systems appear as
percentages.
Emitter and Cell Parameters
Several parameters in the Emitter tab are identical to those found in the Emitter HUD,
with one difference. While the emission control in the Emitter HUD allows you to
manipulate the Range, Angle, Latitude (3D), Longitude (3D), and Speed parameters using
a single, graphical control, the Emitter tab uses individual controls for each parameter.
Note: There is no way to directly control the animation of individual particles.
Important: The emitter parameters in the Properties and Emitter tabs can be keyframed
to change values over time.
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Emitter Parameters in the Inspector
These parameters determine how particles are distributed and rendered in your project.
The Emitter tab of the Inspector has a large number of parameters, some of which depend
on how certain parameters are set within the tab itself. All the various combinations of
parameters are described below.
Shape: The first parameter in the Emitter tab is the Shape pop-up menu. When 3D is
turned off, nine options are available. When the 3D checkbox is selected, two additional
shapes become available. Different shapes significantly alter the distribution of generated
particles. When you choose an emitter shape, different Emitter tab parameters appear
that are unique to that shape. For example, when Rectangle is the selected Emitter Shape,
Outline, Tile Fill, and Random Fill become available in the Arrangement options. When
Spiral is the selected Emitter Shape, the Arrangement parameter goes away and new
parameters such as Radius, Number of Arms, and Twists become available. These different
parameters provide additional control over the distribution of particles.
In addition, when the 3D checkbox is selected, the Render Particles, Emission Latitude,
Emission Longitude, and Depth Ordered parameters become available for all emitter
shapes.
• Point: This is the simplest emitter shape and is the default shape for newly created
emitters. It specifies a single point of emission for a particle system. There are no
additional parameters for the Point shape.
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• Line: Particles emerge from a line. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item
tool) or the Properties tab of the Inspector, you can specify the length and location of
the line. In the Inspector, you can set a specific number of points from which particles
emerge. This emitter shape is good for creating sheets of particles that cascade over a
wide area. The Line shape displays additional parameters.
• Rectangle: Particles emerge from a rectangle along its edge, or in a tile or random fill
pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool), you can specify the
size and location of the rectangle. Drag the corners to adjust width and height; drag
edges to adjust width or height independently. Depending on the selected Arrangement,
the Rectangle emitter shape displays additional parameters. In the following image,
the Emitter shape Arrangement parameter is set to Outline.
Use the following modifier keys to more precisely manipulate the corners of the
Rectangle onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool):
• Option: Adjustments to size are scaled uniformly, with the anchor point remaining
fixed.
• Shift: Adjustments to size are made proportionally.
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• Circle: Particles emerge from a circle-shaped emitter. Particles can be emitted in an
Outline, Tile Fill, or Random Fill pattern. This emitter shape is good for surrounding an
element in a composition with particles that emerge from its edge. Using the onscreen
controls (with the Adjust Item tool), you can specify the size and location of the circle.
Depending on the selected Arrangement, the Circle emitter shape displays additional
parameters. In the following image, the shape’s Arrangement parameter is set to Outline.
• Burst: Particles emerge from a burst pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the
Adjust Item tool), you can specify the size and location of the burst. The Burst shape
displays additional parameters.
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• Spiral: Particles emerge from a spiral pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the
Adjust Item tool), you can specify the size and location of the spiral. The Spiral shape
displays additional parameters.
• Wave: Particles emerge from a waveform. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust
Item tool) or the Start Point and End Point parameters in the Emitter Inspector, you
can specify the length and location of the wave. The Wave shape displays additional
parameters.
• Geometry: Particles emerge from the edge of a shape, defined by a spline object used
as the shape source. The Geometry shape displays additional parameters. The following
image on the right shows the shape that used as the emitter source. The image on the
left shows particles emerging from the edge of the shape source.
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To apply a shape as the geometry shape source for a particle emitter, drag the shape
to the Source Shape well in the Emitter Inspector (once Geometry is chosen from the
Shape pop-up menu).
• Image: Particles emerge from within an area defined by an image or from only the
edges of the image. The image may or may not have an alpha channel. If it does, the
shape of the alpha channel can also be used to define the emitter shape. The Image
shape displays additional parameters. The following image on the right shows the
image used as the emitter image source. The image on the left shows the particles
emerging from within the image.
To apply an image as the image source for a particle emitter, drag the image to the
Image Source well in the Emitter Inspector (once Image is chosen from the Shape
pop-up menu).
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• Box: This option is available when the 3D checkbox is selected in the Emitter tab.
Particles are emitted from a three-dimensional cube along its surface (Outline), or in a
tile or random fill pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool), you
can specify the size and location of the rectangle. Drag the front horizontal edge to
adjust height; drag the front vertical edge to adjust width; drag a back edge to adjust
depth; drag a front corner to simultaneously adjust the width and height. To reposition
the emitter, drag in the shape (but not on an edge or corner point). Depending on the
selected Arrangement, the Box shape displays additional parameters. In the following
image, the box’s Arrangement is set to Tile Fill.
• Sphere: This option is available when the 3D checkbox is selected in the Emitter tab.
Particles are emitted from a three-dimensional sphere along its surface (Outline) or in
a tile or random fill pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool),
you can specify the radius and location of the sphere. Drag the outline of the sphere
to adjust its radius; drag within the sphere to reposition it in the Canvas. When Sphere
is selected, the Arrangement parameter becomes available. Depending on the selected
Arrangement, the Sphere shape displays additional parameters.
Arrangement: This parameter appears when Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere is
chosen in the Shape pop-up menu. Specifies the pattern from which the particles are
generated. The arrangement options are:
• Outline: Emits particles along the edge of the shape in 2D emitters and along the surface
of the shape in 3D emitters.
• Tile Fill: Emits particles from a tiled pattern of rows, columns, and ranks (3D emitters)
within the circle, rectangle, image, box, or sphere. You can specify the number of
columns, rows, and ranks, as well as the Tile Offset.
• Random Fill: Emits particles randomly from within the circle, rectangle, image, box, or
sphere.
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Size: This parameter is available when Rectangle or Box is chosen in the Shape pop-up
menu. Defines the size of the rectangle or cube from which particles are emitted. This
parameter is available whether the Arrangement is set to Outline, Tile Fill, or Random Fill.
When Rectangle is the selected shape, the Width and Height parameters are available.
When Box is selected, an additional Depth parameter is available.
Note: The Height is measured in project pixels; however, the Width is measured in square
pixels. This is done so that a shape that is numerically square will look square when Correct
for Aspect Ratio is turned on (checkmarked) in the View pop-up menu in the top-right
corner of the Canvas.
Columns: This parameter is available when one of the following is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu: Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere; in addition, Arrangement must
be set to Tile Fill. This parameter specifies the number of horizontal emitter points on a
grid over the selected emitter shape. In the case of an irregular shape (nonrectangular),
grid points that fall outside of the shape are ignored.
Rows: This parameter is available when one of the following is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu: Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere; in addition, Arrangement must
be set to Tile Fill. This parameter specifies the number of vertical emitter points on a grid
over the selected emitter shape. In the case of an irregular shape (nonrectangular), grid
points that fall outside of the shape are ignored.
Ranks: This parameter is available when Box or Sphere is chosen in the Shape pop-up
menu and Tile Fill is the selected Arrangement. This parameter specifies the number of
points in Z space on a grid over the selected shape from which particles are emitted.
Tile Offset: This parameter is available when one of the following is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu: Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere; in addition, Arrangement must
be set to Tile Fill. Values from 0 to 100% offset the rows toward the right, and values from
0 to –100% offset the rows toward the left. A value of 50 or –50% creates a “brickwork”
pattern.
Image Source: This parameter is available when Image is chosen in the Shape pop-up
menu, and lets you specify the object used to define the shape of the emitter. Any image
or movie clip can be dropped onto this well to assign the desired shape.
Shape Source: This parameter is available when Shape is set to Geometry. This image
well allows you to specify an object that defines the shape of the emitter. Spline objects
may be dropped onto this well to assign the desired shape.
Emission Alpha Cutoff: This parameter is available when Image is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu. When the Image Source object contains an alpha channel, this slider
defines the minimum opacity value that is necessary to create particles at that point on
the source image. For example, when set to 25%, particles appear only where the alpha
value of the image is equal to or greater than 25% opacity. The lower the Emission Alpha
Cutoff value, the more particles appear. In order for this parameter to be effective, the
alpha channel needs to have areas of varying transparency.
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Start Point: This parameter becomes available when Shape is set to Line or Wave. Two
sliders that define, in X and Y coordinates, the first point of the line used as the emitter
shape. Click the disclosure triangle to modify the Z position of the start point. You can
adjust these values in the Canvas using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool).
End Point: This parameter becomes available when Shape is set to Line or Wave. Two
sliders that define, in X and Y coordinates, the second point of the line used as the emitter
shape. Click the disclosure triangle to modify the Z position of the start point. You can
adjust these values in the Canvas using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool).
Emit At Points: This checkbox is available when any of the following is chosen in the
Shape pop-up menu: Line, Rectangle (with Arrangement set to Outline or Random), or
Circle (with Arrangement set to Outline or Random), Burst, Spiral, Wave, Geometry, Box
(with Arrangement set to Outline), Sphere (with Arrangement set to Outline). When the
Emit At Points checkbox is selected, particles emerge from a limited number of points
(as defined in the Points parameter). When the checkbox is deselected, particles may
emerge from anywhere on the line or edge. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the
points are visible in the Canvas. When Emit At Points is selected, two additional parameters
become available: Point and Offset.
Points/Points Per Arm: This parameter is available when any of the following is chosen
in the Shape pop-up menu: Line, Rectangle, Image, or Circle (with Arrangement set to
Outline or Random Fill), Burst, Spiral, Wave, or Geometry; in addition, the Emit At Points
checkbox must also be selected. Defines the number of points from which particles are
emitted. For Rectangle or Circle shapes, the particles are emitted from evenly distributed
points along the edge of the shape when Outline is chosen from the Pattern pop-up
menu. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the points are visible in the Canvas.
Keep in mind that using a large number of points slows your computer’s processing time.
Radius: This parameter is available when one of the following is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu: Circle, Burst, Spiral, or Sphere. Defines the size of the shape from which
particles are emitted.
Twists: This parameter, available when Spiral is chosen in the Shape pop-up menu, defines
the number of turns in the spiral. The default value is 0.25.
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Number of Arms: This parameter, available when Burst or Spiral is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu, defines the number of branches from which particles are emitted. The
default value is 3.
Spiral emitter shape set to default Number of
Arms and Twists
Spiral emitter shape with default Arms and
Twists set to .70
Amplitude: This parameter, available when Wave is chosen in the Shape pop-up menu,
defines half the distance from the highest point to the lowest point in the wave. Higher
values result in more extreme waves.
Frequency: This parameter, available when Wave is chosen in the Shape pop-up menu,
defines the number of waves. Higher values result in more waves.
Phase: This parameter, available when Wave is chosen in the Shape pop-up menu, defines
the degrees of the offset of the waves from the start and end points of the path. When
set to 0 degrees (default), the wave begins and ends at half the distance from the highest
point to the lowest point in the wave. When set to 90 degrees, the wave begins and ends
at the highest point in the wave. When set to 90 degrees, the wave begins at the lowest
point in the wave. When set to 180 degrees, the waves are the same as 0 degrees, but
inverted.
Damping: This parameter, available when Wave is chosen in the Shape pop-up menu,
determines the direction of progressive diminishment of the oscillation of the wave.
Positive damping values diminish the wave forward (from left to right); negative values
diminish the wave backward (from right to left).
Offset: This parameter is available when any of the following is chosen in the Shape
pop-up menu: Line, Rectangle (with Arrangement set to Outline), Circle (with Arrangement
set to Outline), Burst, Spiral, Wave, Geometry, or Image. Offsets either the emitter itself
or the particles generated on the shape. For example, when the emitter Shape is a Line,
changing the Offset value moves the emitter’s position in the Canvas. When the emitter
Shape is a Rectangle and Pattern is set to Outline, changing the Offset value moves the
particles along the edge of the shape.
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3D: When this checkbox is selected, the 3D emitter shapes (Box and Sphere) become
available. Because all emitter shapes can be used in 3D space, additional 3D parameters
are available for all emitter shapes when the 3D checkbox is selected: Render Particles,
Emission Latitude, and Emission Longitude. These additional parameters appear in the
Emitter Inspector and HUD.
These parameters are available for all shapes, regardless of the Arrangement setting.
Note: When the 3D checkbox is selected, particles cannot receive reflections and the
Reflections parameter (in the Properties tab) is no longer available for the emitter.
Additionally, when the 3D checkbox is selected, In Global 3D (Better) must be selected
from the Render Particles pop-up menu in order for particles to cast shadows and to be
affected by lights.
For more information on the additional 3D controls in the HUD, see. Emitter HUD
Parameters.
Emission Angle: This parameter is only available when Shape is set to a 2D shape. This
dial sets the direction in which particles travel. This parameter works in conjunction with
the Emission Range parameter. It is equivalent to one of the functions of the graphical
emission control in the Emitter HUD.
Note: When using an emitter shape other than a Point, such as a Line, Circle, Rectangle,
Spiral, Burst, or Wave, and Outline is chosen from the Arrangement pop-up menu, setting
the Emission Angle parameter to 180 degrees and the Emission Range parameter to
0 degrees restricts the emission of particles to the inside of the shape. Setting the Emission
Angle parameter to 0 degrees and the Emission Range parameter to 0 degrees restricts
the emission of the particles to outside of the shape.
Emission Range: A dial that restricts the area around the center of each emission point
from which particles are generated, in the direction of the Emission Angle. It is equivalent
to one of the functions of the graphical emission control in the Emitter HUD.
Note: When using a Line, Circle, Rectangle, Spiral, Burst, or Wave (but not Geometry)
shape, setting the Emission Range parameter to 0 degrees keeps particles perpendicular
to the emitter when they emerge.
Render Particles: A pop-up menu that appears when the 3D checkbox is selected, enabling
you to choose between two different rendering methods for the particles.
• In Local 3D (Faster): The default setting, renders particles faster but does not allow for
intersections with layers within the particles group or with layers in other groups, or
allow particles to cast shadows.
• In Global 3D (Better): This setting allows the particles to intersect with layers within the
emitter group and with layers in other groups. When turned on, your project’s
interactivity is slowed.
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Important: When the 3D checkbox is selected, In Global 3D (Better) must be selected
from the Render Particles pop-up menu in order for the 3D particles to cast shadows
and to be affected by lights.
Emission Latitude: Available when 3D is turned on, this control specifies the emission
direction (in degrees latitude) of the particles.
Emission Longitude: Available when 3D is turned on, this control specifies the axis of
rotation (in degrees longitude) from which the particles are emitted.
Depth Ordered: Available when 3D is turned on. When activated, this checkbox draws
the particles in the particle system according to each particle’s actual 3D position in the
project. In other words, particles that are closer to the camera appear closer; particles
that are farther away from the camera appear more distant.
Depth Ordered on
Depth Ordered off
Face Camera: A checkbox that becomes available when 3D is turned on. When activated,
the particle system always faces the active scene camera. For more information on cameras,
see Active Camera.
Render Order: A pop-up menu that determines whether new particles are drawn on top
of or underneath particles that have already been generated. There are two options:
• Oldest First: New particles appear on top of older particles.
• Oldest Last: New particles appear underneath older particles.
Interleave Particles: Turning this checkbox on mixes particles generated from multiple
cells together. Turning this checkbox off layers particles in the same order as the cells
that generate them.
Note: This option has no effect with particle systems containing only one cell. Leaving
this option off speeds rendering with multiple cells.
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Particle Cell Parameters in the Inspector
The following parameters apply to the creation and motion of the individual particles
generated by each cell within an emitter. Cell Controls appear at the bottom of the Emitter
tab of the Inspector when a particle system is selected, and in the Particle Cell tab of the
Inspector when a particle cell is selected.
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Birth Rate: A slider that defines the birth rate of the cell. In other words, this parameter
defines how many particles of this cell emerge from the emitter every second. Higher
values create denser particle effects.
Low birth rate particle system
High birth rate particle system
Birth Rate Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of variance in the Birth Rate of
generated particles. A value of 0 results in no variance—particles emerge from the emitter
at the same rate. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by the Birth Rate
parameter, plus or minus a random value falling within the Birth Rate Randomness.
Initial Number: A slider that defines the initial number of particles. This parameter
determines how many particles of this cell appear at the first frame of a particle effect.
The result is an initial burst of particles that eventually evens out according to the Birth
Rate parameter.
Initial Number set to 5 (frame 3)
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Initial Number set to 20 (frame 3)
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Life: A slider that defines the duration of every particle, in seconds. This parameter specifies
how long each particle lasts before vanishing from existence. This effect is similar to how
sparks disappear after flying away from a sparkler. Unless the Color Over Life parameter
or Opacity Over Life parameter is used to fade each particle out over its life, particles
immediately vanish at the end of their lifetimes.
Life set to 5 (frame 60)
Life set to 2 (frame 60)
Life Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of variance in the life of generated
particles. A value of 0 results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell emerge
with the same lifetime. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by the Life
parameter, plus or minus a random value falling within the Life Randomness.
Speed: A slider that defines initial speed. This parameter determines how quickly each
particle flies away from the emitter. This, in conjunction with the Life and Birth Rate
parameters, determines how many particles appear in the Canvas at any given frame. It
is equivalent to one of the functions of the graphical emission control in the HUD.
Speed Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of variance in the speed of generated
particles. A value of 0 results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell emerge
with the same speed. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by the Speed
parameter, plus or minus a predetermined random value falling within the Speed
Randomness.
Align Angle: When selected, the particles automatically rotate to match the shape on
which they are positioned. This parameter is available in all cases but the following:
Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, and Sphere shapes with Tile Fill or Random Fill and Point.
Angle: A dial that defines the angle of rotation, in degrees, at which new particles are
created.
Angle Randomness: A dial that defines an amount of variance in the angle of generated
particles.
Spin: A dial that animates particles in a system by initially spinning each individual particle
around its center. Adjustments to this control are in degrees per second.
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Spin Randomness: A dial that defines an amount of variance in the spin of generated
particles. A value of 0 results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell spin at
the same rate. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by the Spin parameter,
plus or minus a random value falling within the Spin Randomness.
Additive Blend: By default, particles are composited together using the Normal blend
mode. Select this checkbox to composite all overlapping generated particles together
using the Additive blending mode. This blending occurs in addition to whichever
compositing method is already being used. The result is that the brightness of overlapping
objects is intensified. This effect applies only to the particle system itself—the blend mode
of the emitter determines how the result of the emitter is blended into the scene.
Additive Blend off
Additive Blend on
Color Mode: A pop-up menu that determines if and how particles are tinted. There are
five options:
• Original: Particles are generated using their original colors. When Original is chosen,
the Opacity Over Life parameter appears. Adjust the opacity controls to animate changes
to the opacity of particles over their lifetime.
For more information on using the gradient controls, see Using the Gradient Editor.
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• Colorize: Particles are tinted using the color specified in the Color parameter. Additional
Color and Opacity Over Life parameters appear.
• Color: Available when the Color Mode is set to Colorize, specifies a color to use to
tint the particles. You can also modify the alpha channel of each particle, altering its
opacity. This parameter is unique to the cell object. You can click the color well to
choose a color, use the eye dropper, or open the disclosure triangle and adjust the
Red, Green, Blue, and Opacity channel sliders.
For more information on using the Color controls, see Color Well.
For more information on using the gradient controls, see Using the Gradient Editor.
• Over Life: Particles are tinted based on their age, with the range of possible colors
defined by the Color Over Life gradient editor.
• Color Over Life: The Color Over Life gradient editor defines the range of color that
each particle assumes as it ages, beginning with the leftmost color in the gradient,
and progressing through the range of colors until finally reaching the rightmost color
at the end of its life. For more information on using the gradient controls, see Using
the Gradient Editor.
• Color Repetitions: Available when Color Mode is set to Over Life, this slider determines
the number of times the gradient color pattern is repeated over the life of the particle.
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• Pick From Color Range: Particles are tinted at random, with the range of possible colors
defined by the Color Range gradient editor. A point on the gradient is randomly chosen,
so the relative sizes of each color region determine the frequency of the color being
used.
• Color Range: This gradient editor appears when Color Mode is set to Pick From Color
Range. Use it to define a range of colors used to randomly tint new particles. The
direction of the gradient colors is not relevant, only the number of colors that appear
within the gradient. The Color Range parameter has the same controls as the Color
Over Life gradient editor.
For more information on using the gradient controls, see Using the Gradient Editor.
• Take Image Color: When you choose this mode, each new particle’s color is based on
the color of the image at the position where the particle was generated. This mode is
available only when the Shape pop-up menu in the Emitter tab is set to Image.
Scale: A slider that defines the scale of every particle of a cell. Click the disclosure triangle
next to the Scale parameter to reveal separate X and Y scaling subparameters, which can
be used to resize the width and height of generated particles. This control affects the
initial scale of the particle (compared to the Scale Over Life behavior in the Particles
behavior category).
Scale set to 200%
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Scale set to 50%
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Note: When you use an image as a particle cell source and set a low Scale value, it is
recommended that you set the render quality in the Render pop-up menu (in the Status
Bar) or the View menu to Best (choose View > Quality > Best).
Scale Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of variance in the scale of generated
particles. A value of 0 results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell emerge
with the same size. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by the Scale
parameter, plus or minus a random value falling within the Scale Range. The disclosure
triangle of the Scale parameter reveals separate X and Y subparameters, which can be
used to set the width and height of the Scale Range separately.
Attach To Emitter: A slider that determines how closely particles follow the position of
a moving emitter. If set to zero, particles follow their own path after being emitted,
resulting in particles that trail along the motion path the emitter is following. If this
parameter is set to 100, in the absence of other behaviors, all generated particles follow
along with the emitter, surrounding it in a moving cloud of particles.
Attach to Emitter set to 0 (zero)
Attach to Emitter set to 100
Play Frames: This parameter appears if the particle system was created from a QuickTime
movie. This checkbox controls playback. If selected, playback of the animation or movie
clip used to generate each particle loops. If deselected, particles are generated using the
still frame specified by either the Random Start Frame parameter or the Source Start
Frame parameter.
Random Start Frame: This checkbox appears if the particle system was created from a
QuickTime movie. Introduces variation into animated particles generated from QuickTime
objects. If selected, each newly generated particle begins at a different frame of the
animation. Stills are chosen randomly if Play Frames is deselected.
Source Start Frame: This parameter appears if the particle system was created from a
QuickTime movie. Chooses the frame to begin animation, if the Play Frames checkbox is
selected, or the still frame to display if Play Frames is deselected. This parameter only
appears if Random Start Frame is deselected.
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Hold Frames: This parameter appears if the particle system was created from a QuickTime
movie. Adjust the slider to change the number of times each frame of the source movie
is repeated during playback. The larger the Hold Frames value, the slower your playback.
Hold Frames Randomness: This parameter appears if the particle system was created
from a QuickTime movie. Varies the number of frames to “hold.”
Show Particles As: Use this pop-up menu to view particles in a variety of preview modes,
or as they actually appear. These nonimage modes play more efficiently when viewing
a complex particle system and also provide other ways of analyzing particle motion. By
default, this parameter is set to Image, which displays each particle as it is supposed to
appear. There are four options from which to choose:
• Points: Each particle is represented by a single point. This is the fastest preview mode
and is useful for displaying the type and speed of particle motion in a system. When
selected, the Point Size parameter is revealed.
• Lines: Each particle is represented by a line. This is a good preview mode to use to
analyze the vector of each particle’s motion. The length of each line is determined by
that particle’s speed, and the angle of each line equals each particle’s direction.
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• Wireframe: Each particle is represented by a bounding box. Because the bounding
boxes are good indicators of each particle’s orientation in the system, this preview
mode is useful for evaluating the movements of individual particles. For example, it’s
easy to see the angle of rotation for particles that are spinning or following a complex
motion path.
• Image: Displays the full particle system effect.
Note: Whatever is selected in the Show Particles As pop-up menu appears in your final
render.
Random Seed: Although particle systems seem random, they’re actually deterministic.
This means that the random variation in each particle system is created based on the
number shown here. Unless this seed number is changed, a particle system with the same
parameter settings always plays back with the same motion. If you don’t like the current
random motion or distribution of the particle system, you can change the seed number
by typing a new number or clicking Generate. This changes the random calculations
performed for that system for all randomness parameters.
For more information about the random nature of particle systems, see The Predictability
of Particle Systems.
Particle Source: In particle systems with more than one cell, a parameter representing
each cell appears at the bottom of the Emitter tab. Each cell parameter has a checkbox
you can use to enable or disable that cell, a name field, and an image well for that object.
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Animating Objects in Particle Systems
You can add behaviors to a particle system’s emitter, or to the cells themselves, to quickly
achieve sophisticated, organic effects with very little effort. You can animate any emitter
using Basic Motion, Parameter, or Simulation behaviors. Emitter parameters and cell
parameters can also be animated via keyframes. If you animate emitter-specific parameters
such as Emission Angle or Emission Range, the position and distribution of new particles
generated by that emitter are animated. All animation occurs relative to the duration of
the emitter.
Animating an emitter’s Properties tab parameters is useful for altering the position and
geometric distribution of a particle system over time. Keyframing an emitter’s Position
parameter moves the source of newly emitted particles without affecting any particles
that were generated at previous frames, which creates a trail of particles.
Keyframing an emitter’s Emitter tab parameters is a good way to modify the particle
system’s overall characteristics over time, such as increasing or decreasing the size, speed,
or lifetime of newly generated particles.
Particles also have their own category of behaviors. The Particles behaviors include Scale
Over Life and Spin Over Life, which allow you to modify and animate the rotation and
size of the particles over their lifetime.
Using the Motion Tracking behaviors, you can apply existing tracking data to an emitter
or track an emitter to a clip. For more information on using the Motion Tracking behaviors,
see Motion Tracking.
For an example of a keyframed emitter object in a particle system, see Example 2: Creating
Animated Pixie Dust. For more information on keyframing parameters in the Curve Editor,
see Keyframes and Curves.
Applying Behaviors to Emitters
Applying behaviors to emitters is a quick and easy way to move emitters in your project.
Attaching the Motion Path and Snap Align