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Behavior Duration in Apple Motion

Setting behavior in and out points By Dave Nagel
There are times in Apple's Motion when keyframing behavior parameters is just impractical. When you have too many parameters or too many behaviors to work with, keyframing becomes a chore. And, of course, if you're using parameter-affecting behaviors, forget about it. But if you just want to start or stop a behavior at given points in your timeline, there's an easier way to do it.

There are several situations I can think of where you'd want to do something like this--stop one behavior from affecting your objects while starting a new behavior. For example, you might want to paint some particles across your canvas (using the Drag behavior to stick the particles to the canvas), then make those particles drip down the screen (using Gravity or Repel or some other behaviors). In this case, you'd want to eliminate the Drag on your particles so that Gravity can kick in.

But by default, behaviors are created with the same in and out points of the objects to which they're attached. Here's a view of that in the main timeline.

And so, without knowing any better, you might think the only way to "shut them off" or "turn them on" at given points is to keyframe their various parameters. However, there is a simpler way: Simply change the in and out points of the behaviors in question. In this way, a behavior won't start affecting objects until its in point is reached, regardless of the behavior's parameter values. Same with the behavior's out point. When the out point is reached, the behavior will stop affecting objects.

There are two ways to set a behavior's in and out points. Here they are.

Method 1: the mini timeline
The simplest method for setting in and out points is just to drag the element's in and out points manually in the mini timeline. To do this, select the behavior in the Layers palette.

Then drag the in or out point in the mini timeline until you have the start and end of the behavior where you want them. Just grab either end, and start dragging. As you drag, a yellow help box will pop up showing you the current in and out points.

That's it.

Method 2: the main timeline
But if you want to adjust the in and out points of multiple behaviors all at the same time, you can do so down in the main timeline. The process is similar to the one outlined above.

First, select on of the behaviors you want to change by clicking it in the Layers palette. Then hold down the Command key and click on any additional behaviors you want to adjust. (Holding down the command Key lets you select multiple non-contiguous elements in the Layers palette. Holding down the Shift key would also select everything in between.)

Now, with these behaviors selected, go down to the main timeline. (You may need to open the timeline drawer in order to see it. You can do this by choosing Window > Timeline or typing Command-7.)

Then, once that's open, you can just click and drag on the start or end point of one of the selected behaviors, and all of them will be affected by your changes.

And that's all there is to it.

If you have more questions about this, or questions about Motion in general, be sure to post them in DMN's Apple Motion forum, which you can access BY CLICKING HERE.

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Related Keywords:apple motion, behaviors, duration, in point, out point, changing duration


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