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Apple Motion 2.0

Motion graphics and animation software By Dave Nagel
Summary: Apple Motion 2.0 is a motion graphics package targeted toward editors who need to create their own graphics and DVD authors who need to create motion menus for their DVDs. Of course, it's also targeted toward motion graphics pros, but it's positioned more as an add-on package than as a replacement for your current motion graphics app, such as Adobe After Effects. The new version adds performance enhancements, a 3D transformation effect, object replication and MIDI device mapping for parameters that can be animated.
Recommendation: Strong Buy
Users: Motion graphics professionals, video editors, DVD authors
Platform: Mac OS X
Price: $299 for the full version; $99 for the upgrade; $1,299 as part of Final Cut Studio, which also includes Final Cut Pro 5, DVD Studio Pro 4, Compressor 2 and Soundtrack Pro
More information:

Now in its second generation (and second year), Apple's Motion 2 is not a tremendous advancement over the first release. Version 2.0 includes performance tweaks, new integration features and several additions in the areas of effects, particles and behaviors. Nothing too major there. But Motion is a fantastic tool for DVD authors who want to create motion menus and video editors who need to create their own graphics, as well as motion graphics pros who want to use it as a powerful complement to their current suite of tools.

Motion, of course, is not positioned as a replacement for any particular motion graphics package, and it is not, as some would have it, an "After Effects killer." For those who use After Effects, Motion is designed as a complementary tool. Priced lower than some large filter collections (much lower, in some cases), Motion offers a full range of 2D motion graphics creation capabilities, including about 200 effect and adjustment filters, a complete particle engine with 175 particle presets, generators, shapes, special behaviors for semi-automatic animation, animatable text, shapes and masks, audio playback in the timeline and more. On top of all of this, Motion is just plain fast, and has been since its first release. And version 2 is even faster, making it even more attractive as a tool for use alongside the slower but more full-featured After Effects Pro.

What Motion continues to lack as a candidate for a replacement for AE 6.5 are things like motion tracking, an integrated paint engine, true 3D compositing and scripting, which, of course, have become critical features for motion graphics artists and animators.

New features
Aside from the workflow enhancements and performance tweaks in Motion 2, the new version offers essentially one new feature, plus an expansion of features in the area of filters, generators and Core Image support. The new feature is called "Replicator," and it's designed to allow you to generate complex, repetitive animations quickly. It does this by converting an element in your composition--text, shapes, movies, still images, etc.--and converting them into Replicator objects. These objects are then repeated across the canvas space and can be animated as a unit. Motion 2 includes 170 preset Replicators, which you can use as-is or as templates for dropping in your own elements, allowing you to create complex animations like this

or this

or this

in just two steps: 1. Apply the replicator to your canvas; 2. drag your own artwork/animation/movie/text/shape into the Replicator.

It's quite simple, but it also allows for some complex control. In the screen shot below, you see all of a replicator's basic parameters.

You also have control over the element being replicated; the general properties of the Replicator (scale, shear, drop shadow, etc.); and the option to apply a new Behavior called "Sequence Replicator," which animates parameters sequentially through replicated objects.

Motion 2 also offers a fairly drastically expanded collection of filters, with 16 new built-in filters, three bonus filters you can get when you register the software on Apple's Web site and 80 various Image Units-based effects. Image Units are supported in Mac OS X 10.4 or later. These include several color/image adjustment filters, distortion, blur, transformations, composite operations, sharpening, stylization and tile effects, such as Kaleidoscope.

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Related Keywords:apple motion 2 review, motion graphics, particles, effects, filters, replicator


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