In addition to the tutorial by Jem Schofield (below), which was first printed in the March issue of Studio/monthly
, the accompanying video tutorial introduces some additional tools, including lights and a camera, to help you develop your Motion workflow. To Watch this tutorial, click below…
Step 1: Create a New Project
Start by opening Apple Motion 3. If the Welcome screen appears, select Start with a New Project and then click Continue. In the Select Project Preset dialog choose Broadcast HD 720p from the presets pop-up menu and then click OK. A new, 10 second/300 frame project will open.
Step 2: Adjust Your Settings
In the Utility Window, click on the Library tab (2A) and then navigate to Content > Vector Art. Select the Olive Moderne asset and click Apply in the Preview area of the Utility Window (this will place the selected artwork in the center of your canvas for your project). With your asset in place, press Command-4 to open the Layers tab in the Project pane (you may need to press Shift-Z to make your canvas fit the Canvas window after you do this).
With the Olive Moderne layer selected, press Command-D to make a duplicate (2B) of your selected layer. Now press F1 to jump to the Properties tab of the Inspector (in the Utility Window) (2C), so you can see the main properties of your selected layer and groups. This is very similar to the Motion tab in Final Cut Pro.
To make working in 3D easier, open the disclosure triangles for both Position and Rotation so that you can see what is happening with the position and rotation of each object when you start to transform them. Then, with your Olive Moderne copy layer selected in the Layers tab, change the value for the Y rotation in the Properties tab to 90 and press return. This will rotate the layer by 90 degrees and make it ready to move around in a 3D world.
Step 3: Understanding a 3D World
When working in a 2D application like Final Cut Pro, you can only position and rotate objects on two axes, X & Y. X represents the horizontal axis and Y the vertical. In Motion 3, and other applications that have 3D space, there is a third axis, Z, that defines depth. This means that objects can also move along this axis and be positioned anywhere in space. In Motion, the coordinate system is based on the default that the center of your Canvas is 0 for all three axes (X, Y & Z). When you position an object to the right, you add to the X value. When you position it to the left, you subtract from that value. Moving an object up adds to its Y value and moving it down subtracts from the Y value. In terms of depth (Z), moving an object closer adds to its value and moving it further away subtracts from its value. While this can get more complicated, especially once you add cameras, the basic principals of working in a 3D space remain the same.
It’s also important to know that X, Y & Z are color-coded as R, G & B. This makes it very easy to see what axis you are positioning or which object you are rotating when using the 3D Transform tool in Motion.
Step 4: Adjust the 3D Transform Tool
In the Layers tab select the Group (called Group) that contains the two Olive Moderne layers. Anything added to the Layers tab, including groups, layers, behaviors and filters, can be renamed.
In order to position and rotate groups, layers and objects in 3D, you’ll need additional tools. With the Group selected, press Q to switch from the standard Select/Transform tool (which only lets you scale, move and rotate in 2D), to the Adjust 3D Transform tool (4A). When you do, you’ll immediately see a change in the Canvas. Now hover over the red, green and blue arrows with your cursor; you’ll notice that they will light up yellow. Click and drag on each of them to move your group along the X, Y and Z axes, respectively. Make sure you look at the Properties tab in the Inspector to see your position change as you do this. To move along the Z axis, click and drag left and right on the blue arrow (which doesn’t look like an arrow, as it’s facing directly at you).
Hover over the three rotation handles (small hollow circles) (4B). Click and drag each one to rotate the group around each axes (4C-E). Notice the color of each when you hover over them to determine which axis you are rotating around. Then look at the Properties tab to see your changes. You can also hold down the Command key and drag anywhere inside the rings to freely rotate your selection around all axes. When you are done, go to the Properties tab and click on the Transform reset button (hooked arrow) (4F), to reset the group to its default position and rotation.
Step 5: 2D Versus 3D
One of the things that you may be asking when rotating the group, especially on the Y axis, is “where is the duplicated layer that I rotated by 90 degrees earlier in the lesson?” Well, though you are moving and rotating the group on the X, Y & Z axes, your Group in Motion is still 2D. In fact, until it’s switched over to a 3D group, you won’t be able to see your duplicated layer because it is rotated by 90 degrees and can’t intersect with other layers in a 2D world. To see this, let’s first rotate the group by 45 degrees (5A). You can do this by holding down the Shift key and then dragging the Y rotation handle in the Canvas once to the right and letting go. Holding the Shift key before rotating a selection will rotate it in 45 degree increments. OK, still no second layer in sight. Let’s resolve that by going to the Layers tab and clicking on the 2D/3D icon (5B). It’s the icon that currently looks like three layers or pieces of paper laying on a table. Once clicked, two things happen. The icon changes to the 3D icon (a stack of papers), and, more importantly, your group is now 3D and your two layers can intersect with each other in 3D space (5C). To see things better, change the zoom level to 50% in the Toolbar (5D) so when you rotate the entire group you can see it’s bounding box. Try rotating the group around each axes and positioning it in 3D. Mess around until you feel comfortable and then press Shift-Z to make your Canvas fit the Canvas window (5E).
Step 6: Make It Glow
Now let’s stylize the group a little by adding a filter. With the Group selected in the Layers tab, go to the Toolbar and select Add Filter > Glow > Bloom (6A). This adds the Bloom filter to the entire group. To modify the filter’s parameters, make sure that the Heads-Up Display (HUD), is visible by pressing F7. The HUD is a semi-transparent floating window that gives you access to the most commonly used parameters for your selection (objects, filters, behaviors, etc.). If your HUD disappears when you press F7, just press F7 again and it will re-appear. You’re now ready to tweak the filter. Set the Amount to 25, Brightness to 60 and the Threshold to 70. This gives everything a nice glow and casts a soft shadow when rotating the group (6B). Go ahead, rotate it on the Y axis to see the filter in action. With this done, it’s time to animate everything to give it a bit of, well, Motion!
Step 7: Put a Spin on Things
In the Layers tab, select the Group and then in the Properties tab, reset your Transform parameters (hooked arrow), and then change the Z position to -2000. This will send the whole group 2000 pixels away from you into space.
Select the Group in the Layers tab and then go to the Toolbar and select Add Behavior > Basic Motion > Spin (7A). This will add the Spin behavior to the group and will load it into the Behaviors tab in the Inspector. In the Behaviors tab, change the Increment type to Ramp to Final Value. Change the Spin To value to 360 degrees and the Axis to Y (7B). These changes will make sure the behavior spins the group exactly 360 degrees on the Y axis. Now that you’ve applied and tweaked the behavior, select your Canvas area and press Play in the Transport controls to see your animated, 3D Group (7C).
Apple Master Trainer
Jem Schofield is a producer, creative director and author who consults on and teaches production and post-production solutions throughout the United States. His company, Buttons Productions, produces commercial video, print, motion graphics and DVD projects. Jem is an Apple Master Trainer and a contributing writer of Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro, the Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4, 2nd Edition, and the QuickTime Pro Quick-Reference Guide, among other titles.
Jem Says Keep in Mind…
Don’t be afraid to play! The parameters in Motion are there to mess with. Give them a try; you can always undo. Motion’s 3D tools apply to groups, layers, cameras and lights. Once you’re comfortable with how these tools work with 3D groups and layers, start using them in Motion’s Heads Up Display (HUD), and then add cameras & lights and “film” your projects. You’ll need some additional tools, but you’ll have a good foundation to build on. Since Motion projects have an alpha channel by default, you can import and composite any of your native Motion projects directly in Final Cut and DVD Studio Pro. You can also use native Motion projects in your After Effects compositions, extending your toolbox considerably. With Motion’s intuitive 3D tools and cameras, you’ll be creating 3D bumpers, show opens and DVD menus in no time.
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In his online video tutorial, Jem Schofield introduces some additional tools, including lights and a camera, to help you develop your Motion workflow. To Watch this tutorial, click below…