Motion 5 Tutorials

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Since its creation in 2004, Apple Motion has been an application that has evolved quite nicely, despite the fierce competition it faces from other apps like After Effects and Nuke. In its current iteration, Motion provides the plugin architecture for Final Cut Pro X, which means that all FCPX effects are actually Motion templates. With that advantage, users can create just about anything with Motion. Below are a few tutorials where Motion users illustrate how versatile the application is for their workflows.

Creating a Transition for FCPX

This tutorial highlights one of the core features of Motion, which is the ability to create custom transitions. Gone are the days of having to stack layers and utilizing keyframes. With a decent understanding of the Motion interface and its functions, users can create unique transitions to suit their video projects. In this particular example, the author shows users how to create a ripple flash transition from start to finish. When I discovered that you can create transitions and other effects in Motion, I decided to give Motion another try after years of being an After Effects user. I found this tutorial useful because even at the basic level, you can get an understanding of how far you can go with the creation of custom effects.

Animating a Photoshop File

There will be situations where your client wants to create a spot and you have no b-roll. Even worse, you have very minimal images to work with. However, they provide you with a layered, high resolution Photoshop file which you can animate and turn into a motion graphic with a little imagination. In this tutorial, Telemundo editor Brett Gentry shows us how he was able to take a client graphic and turn it into a 30-second spot using a combo of Motion and Photoshop. Utilizing markers, keyframes, and behaviors, he takes what I call a simple “Ken Burns effect” and makes an entertaining spot for an event. I will be first to admit that the Motion interface can be daunting at first glance, but watching how others work in it so efficiently inspires me to learn more.

Creating a Auto Green Screen Keyer with Background

There are projects you receive where the talent was shot on a green screen, and you need to key them out and insert the same background. If this is no more than five people, no big deal. However, if it is multiple talents and it needs to look like they were all keyed and composited the same way, it can become tedious. In the tutorial above, Brett shows us another way he uses Motion to create an auto keyer effect, which will allow him to key not only his talent, but insert/manipulate the background he wants behind them. This is convenient when you need to cut multiple spots or short form videos and time is not on your side. This effect is also a viable solution for the scenario I mentioned above with multiple talents. If you publish enough parameters and include the necessary assets, you can save a lot of time by creating an auto keyer effect in Motion.

Text Behind Glass Effect

I’ve highlighted the effects you can create in Motion for workflow tasks like titles, transitions, and effects, but it is always interesting to see how far one can push Motion to create things you would only expect in After Effects. This tutorial above is a prime example of something I wasn’t sure Motion could create. Editor/plugin author Simon Ubsdell takes a concept that originated in After Effects and creates it from scratch in Motion. Using textures, text layers, blend modes, filters, and behaviors, Simon creates this effect which can be used for promos, documentaries, or identifiers. I have to give kudos for the content that Simon has produced as of late. I’ve always believed the reason Motion wasn’t as popular as After Effects was because of the vast community and gurus that are out there. Seeing a dedicated user showcase Motion capabilities peeks my interest to add this tool to my skill set.

Overall, Motion has matured into a intricate and versatile tool that editors should take the time to learn. The market tends to favor the After Effects user, but every now and then there are jobs for people with Motion knowledge. Knowing this tool can benefit you in the long run.

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FCPX Animation Tools

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I’ve been envious of the plugins that FCPX has had since its inception. The one thing that amazes me about the Final Cut Pro X ecosystem is the availability of plugins that allow you to create amazing things right inside the program; otherwise difficult in other NLEs. With effects and transitions being based on Motion templates, developers sprang out of the woodwork and seized the opportunity to offer products that would streamline the editing and motion graphics creation that a user could perform within FCPX. The creative possibilities put FCPX above most NLEs in the market. I want to highlight a selection of animation plugins from a variety of vendors which streamline user abilities to create animation inside of Final Cut Pro X

mModules

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This product is a collection of self animating icons and modular elements that you can use in FCPX. Created by the team from MotionVFX, these elements are easy to combine and modify within FCPX. This product is great for doing quick infographics without having to create elements from scratch. What I like about this product is that it’s based on title layers, which offer infinite creative possibilities. There are so many parameters to modify that you don’t need to settle for default animations. This product currently comes in two different categories: Corporate and Essentials. At the price of $49 each, it’s a no brainer purchase for quick infographic based animations.

Callouts 2.0

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Created by the team at Ripple Training, Callouts is a Final Cut Pro X plugin that gives you the power of emphasis to remove distractions and draw your audience’s attention exactly where you want it focused. This is a great product for projects where you have to highlight tips for training, or to emulate the pop up look from VH-1’s Pop Up video. Using the FxFactory application, you gain access to 22 callouts which can be used immediately in FCPX. Working as title based effects, you can modify the color, position, gloss, and other parameters for whichever callout you choose.

Story Pop

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A new plugin to the growing FxFactory product line, Stupid Raisins’s Story Pop is a collection of over 400 animated and customizable Final Cut Pro X whiteboard style drawings designed for HD. Built to emulate the look of a cartoonist drawing characters from scratch, this animation plugin allows you to pop your story with authentic looking hand drawn whiteboard sketches. I believe this plugin is good for voiceover commercials and illustrating facts with a creative flair. I can see it used for start up companies explaining how their business model works to prospective customers.

Object Animator

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Object Animator is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly add animations to any element on your timeline by simply choosing an option from a drop-down menu. Equipped with over 80 options, Object Animator can save you hours of time, helping you to avoid key-framing animations you commonly do as an editor. I like this animation quite a bit because it comes with an array of animation options that would be rather difficult to do using keyframes in FCPX. One of the biggest benefits of Object Animator is how easy it is to animate your elements onto the timeline. Equipped with axis controls, on screen controls, reflections, and more, this animation tool offers endless possibilities for achieving professional animations in very little time.

Projection

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Projection allows FCPX editors to project a 2D image onto a 3D room. Then with a 3D camera, editors can pan, tilt, and dolly around their environment to observe it from unique and interesting perspectives. This animation tool is great for visual effects artists who need to create 3D backgrounds, or editors who need to project text in a 3D environment. They can take their 2D images, manipulate the paramaters, and have a 3D scene in little time. I believe this plugin is a great animation tool for FCPX users because it reduces the amount of time you would ship this out to something like AE or Motion to achieve projection mapping.

Overall, these are just a few tools that allow editors to achieve complex animations within FCPX without much hassle. I would recommend you check out each vendor for more products that may assist in your editing needs.

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