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Replicators in Motion 2.0, Part 2

Setting up sequenced animations By Dave Nagel
We've seen now how to replicate objects in in Apple's Motion 2 and set them spinning and spiraling into themselves. Now we'll take a look at the use of a new behavior in Motion 2 designed just for use with replicators: Sequence Replicator. With this tool, individual cells in a replicator object can be animated in sequence for producing patterned tile effects.

There are two principal uses for this particular replication method. First, you can use it simply to repeat images (or video) on the screen for stylistic impact; and, second, you can use sequence replication to generate unique image masks for transitions in which images break up (or shape up) according to the patterns you create. The techniques involved for both of these applications are identical. But for this tutorial, we'll look at the creation of a patterned, animated image mask.

Before we get started, you might need to go back and read the first installment in this series on replicators in Motion. You'll find it by clicking here.


For this exercise, we'll be creating a mask composed of a simple white shape, replicated and animated using the Sequence Replicator behavior to create a wiping checkerboard effect, like the one you see below. (The drop shadow is added just to show you the demarcation between the objects in this replicator.)



Preparing the project
The great thing about replicators is that they can produce complex effects quickly and with minimal effort. For our setup for this project, all we need to do is to create one white rectangle on the canvas using the Rectangle tool (R). On a 320 x 240 canvas, I'm making mine roughly 60 x 40 pixels. (You can eyeball it for now and fine tune it later on.)



Then I'll choose Object > Replicate (L) to create a replicator out of my object. Once it's created, you'll notice that the replicator might not line up with the layer very well, so you'll need to drag it and scale it. Then you'll also need to select the object you created and scale it a bit so that your default tile pattern takes on a sort of window-pane appearance. To scale the object and the replicator, simply select them in the Layers palette and drag their handles until they're in a position you like. (Turn off snapping under the View menu to make this easier.)



Once you have your window pane effect, select the replicator cell itself ( the object within the replicator in the Layers palette, not the original rectangular object). Then go into the Inspector palette and adjust the scale up slightly so that you have a solid white on your canvas. Remember, this will be a mask used as a transition, so we'll want to start with all white, then scale it down and break it up over time.



And that's it for preparation. Now we just need to animate this puppy.

Applying and controlling the Sequence Replicator behavior
And to do this animation, we're not going to use any keyframes at all. Instead, we're going to use the new Sequence Replicator behavior, located at Library > Behaviors > Replicator > Sequence Replicator.



Select this behavior and drag it onto your replicator in the Layers palette.



Now go into the Inspector palette and click on the Behaviors tab. There, find the pull-down menu labeled "Add." From this menu, choose three parameters to add to the sequence: rotation, scale and position.



These parameters automatically animate the cells in the replicator in a sequence, ending with the final values you set. In ther words, if you set the rotation value to 180 degrees, then the individual cells will rotate 180 degrees at different times and finish the rotation by the end of the animation.


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Related Keywords:apple motion 2, replicators, sequence replicator, behavior, animate mask, checkerboard wipe, spinning checkerboard mask

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