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An Introduction to Motion

Part 1: Text, masks, particles and filters By Dave Nagel
In my recent review of Apple Motion 1.0, I wrote that it would be impossible to cover all of this program's features in one article. So instead of trying to cram everything into one place, I thought it would be better to start a tutorial series walking you through some of Motion's general features while also hitting on some specifics as we work our way through some actual projects. In this first installment, we'll take a look at several features--text, masks, particles and filters--to create an animated logo composed of smoke and light rays.

As with all of our tutorials, this one isn't designed to teach you one particular effect. Rather, it's meant to acquaint you with the functionality of Motion and to give you some reference points for using some of the specific tool that are included in the project. These, in turn, will be useful for you when you're working on other projects.

In this case, we'll be creating an animated logo with will have a cloudy background and will use light rays that will shine through the clouds and through the logo to create an eerie effect. I've chosen this particular effect simply because it involves several of Motion's features that I want to highlight for you. Here's a look at the final effect that we'll be working on. (This is part of a PSA I'm working on to showcase my platform for the "Nagel for Emperor '04" campaign.)

This involves five different aspects of Motion: text (of course), image masks, particles and filters, as well as basic keyframing. Because this is an introductory walkthrough, I'm going to go into a bit more detail than is necessary, just so you can be aware of why we're doing things a certain way and what options you have to do things differently. If you would like to download my completed project file to follow along, you can find it here (16 KB).

We're going to begin with the smoke animation that fills the logo in this scene. I'm using a preset particle emitter called "Cloud Transport." This is located in Library > Particle Emitters > Nature > Cloud Transport.

Once I find it, I'm going to drag it onto my canvas and place it squarely in the middle of the composition.

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Related Keywords:apple motion, light rays, text, particles, image masks, blending modes

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