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An Introduction to Motion, Part 4

Particles of the second part By Dave Nagel
In our last discussion of Apple Motion, we took a look at methods for creating particle effects from scratch, specifically particles that burst out from a central point. This time around we're going to learn how to create particle systems that go the other way--from the outside in--for creating vortex and whirlpool effects. This will be our final general preparatory article in this series before moving on and applying everything we've learned to specific projects.

For this exercise, we're going to create a particle system that resembles a vortex of clouds, one that starts off the edges of the canvas and swirls to the center, disappearing into the void of our alpha channel. I'm showing you this one for two reasons. First, there aren't any inward-moving particles in the repertoire supplied with the program. And, second, this particular technique will be critical for our next tutorial on Motion. Here's a look at the effect we'll create, a sort of backwards version of the "Into the Clouds" particle system included with Motion.

Before we get started, if you haven't already, you will benefit greatly by going back and reading our previous installments in this series of introductory tutorials on Motion, particularly Part 3.

? Part 1: General Overview (covering particles, masks, text, animation and filters)
? Part 2: Behaviors (covering a wide range of topics related to Behaviors)
? Part 3: Introduction to particles
You might also benefit from reading our review of Motion 1.0, which you can find here .

Feeling confident now? Good. Continue on.

Basic emitter and canvas setup
Last time around, we created our explosive particle system from scratch. But since you now already know how to do that, it won't be necessary this time around. Instead, we'll start with one of the preset particle emitters and modify it to suit our needs. In this case, the preset particle is "Into the Clouds." You'll find it in your particle library in the Nature category.

To apply it, simply drag it from the Library palette to the Layers palette. When you do, you should see this.

The first thing we'll do is to delete "Blur 08" and the "Blur o8 copy" particle cell nested in the emitter. Those components aren't necessary; they just ugly things up.

Next we'll add two Behaviors two our emitter: Orbit Around and Attracted To. These are both located in the Behaviors library in the Library palette. Just drag them on top of the emitter itself in the Layers palette, and they'll become nested in there.

And, finally, we're going to add one object to our scene: a small circle dead center in the canvas, like so.

Once you do this, drag the circle in the Layers palette onto the particle emitter so that it gets nested too. Then uncheck both the original object and the nested cell so that they become invisible.

The circle will serve as an attractor for our vortex later on, and we're only nesting it within the emitter so that it will stay with our particle system when we save it later.

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Related Keywords:apple, motion, particles, implosion, vortex


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