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Digital-tutors: Fundamentals of Apple Motion

By John Virata

When Apple Computer announced Motion at NAB, the creative community became enamored with the prospect of what this new motion graphics application would be able to do. When it shipped at SIGGRAPH, it became yet another piece of the creative puzzle that Apple has been building over the years. Books have been written on Apple's creative applications and training videos have shipped as well. One company, Digital-tutors has shipped Fundamentals of Apple Motion, one of the first training resources for Motion targeted at novice users. And since I am a total novice when it comes to Motion, let alone the Mac OS (The last Mac that I bought, in 2000 was  expropriated by my teenage son years ago), I am going to take a look at Fundamentals of Apple Motion from a true novice perspective. I've got a dual G5 Power Mac monster on loan from Apple complete with the production suite, so let's dive right in and see what Fundamentals of Apple Motion has to offer "novice" Motion users.
Fundamentals of Apple Motion features three chapters with a total of 17 core videos in the learning kit, more than two hours of video.

Chapter 1 features six segments, the first of which offers an overview of the Motion Interface.  It shows you the parts of the interface that will help you to build your projects in Motion. It covers the browser, the preview window, the canvas, Timeline, keyframe editor, layers area. It also discussed the in frame and out frame preview area.

The next segment, Working with the Canvas, discusses the Canvas and all the tools that are available to you when working on your projects.  The Narrator uses a TV graphic and shows how to use the text tools to manipulate the graphic, changing its behaviors and font size. Narrator also touches on the rotate tool and skew tool, drop shadow tools, perspective tool, Bezier handle tool and effects pointer for adjusting effects and filters. The making of custom shaped masks are also touched on in this chapter, as are Behaviors and using the Dashboard.Working with the Canvas: Layers and Timelines covers the layers and timeline as well as shortcut keys and the inspector, zoom, safe zone, in/out points,

Using the Utility window. This segment covers the utility window, the File Browser and how to use it, how to preview your media, the Library tab and how it organizes prebuilt behaviors, filters, generators, particle emitters, shapes gradients, fonts, and live fonts, text styles, other content, and folders for your favorite content files; and touches on the Inspector and how to use it.

Adding Property Behaviors to Layers
This segment starts off with a look at the Inspector and then how to use some of the behaviors to change settings in a project. It covers the oscillate tool, wriggle, and plugging the effect to an anchor point. Filters are also used in the sample project as well here. The final segment to Chapter 1, Creating your own Particles discusses how the particle system works in Motion.  What is covered is how to make particles out of objects and not how to use the existing particles that ship with Motion.

The narrator shows how to create particles out of butterfly .mov file and modifying butterfly's birth rate, life, scale, and how they are being emitted via the Dashboard. The narrator then adjusts the settings via the inspector, which determines how long the particles live, the size of the particles, and the like. At this point, the videos in Chapter 1 are directed at teaching you about the various tools that are available to manipulate objects/text, etc. in Motion. You will actually apply what you learn in Chapter 1 to sample projects in Chapter 2. 

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Related Keywords:Apple Computer Motion , Motion training, Fundamentals of Apple Motion, digital-tutors, motion graphic training


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