Motion is a staggeringly good app. For US$50, you get not just a world-class real-time 3D animation tool, but the best way on the planet to create your own free effects, transitions, titles and more for Final Cut Pro X. If you’ve only ever used After Effects (a great app with its own strengths) then you’re missing out.
While you can just dive in and start playing, it’s a more complex beast than it appears on the surface. Taking a few tutorials will not only help with the basics, but with understanding some of the powerful-but-less-obvious features like behaviors. If you can master behaviours, parameter behaviors, replicators, emitters and 3D text, you’ll be able to show the oldest AE hands a thing or two.
Ripple Training have been creating great training forever, and the MacBreak Studio series is a terrific, bite-size introduction to their paid Motion courses. This is only one of the many great episodes about Motion, but if you’ve never considered how you could use Motion for general graphic design, this is an eye-opener.
Michael Wohl presents this 15-video course that discusses all the basic features of Motion in a broad, shallow overview. There are paid tutorials that follow this up in much more detail, but this is still an hour for free and a great way to start.
(Disclosure: I’ve created some of macProVideo’s paid training courses for Motion, FCP X, and other apps.)
Assuming you know nothing about Motion, this is a good explanation of why you might want to buy the app, and how to explore some of the basic features.
One of Motion’s great strengths is its ability to create effects, titles and more for Final Cut Pro X, and at a basic level, you need to know how to make the effect controls accessible to editors. This is a really simple way to get started in title design, and jumps from FCP X to Motion and back.
If you’re building effects for use in FCP X, knowing how to harness the power of on-screen controls is a terrific advantage. Some built-in effects have custom interfaces, and you can re-use them in your own creations if you know how. Here’s how.
Deyson Ortiz shows you some of the basics of behaviors here, and gives a great basic overview. If you can avoid keyframes you can create more flexible animations, so take a look.
Simon Ubsdell is a Motion expert, and in this video he discusses the finer points of behaviors, showing how they are essentially the same as expressions in After Effects, just with a different interface. It’s a little more advanced than some of the earlier tutorials in this list, so listen carefully.
If you find yourself spending time in Motion and need to correct color while working there, this is a great overview of its built-in tools from the master trainers at Ripple.
The 3D camera in Motion can be a complex beast to master, but it’s worth the effort. IF you’ve got a 2D design background, learning to think in 3D opens up (literally) a whole new dimension of possibilities. There’s also a follow-up lesson to this tutorial, so settle in.
Probably one of the best tricks in the last few years is that you can create custom fonts using a website, then turn them into 3D objects (logos, gears, whatever) with FCP X. This tutorial takes you through the whole process.
Iain Anderson is an Apple Certified Trainer, videographer, editor, animator, writer, designer and occasional coder based in Brisbane, Australia. http://www.trainingbrisbane.com and @funwithstuff on Twitter.
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