• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 4. Changing Object Properties > Making Transformations in the Propertie...

Making Transformations in the Properties Tab

Although using the Canvas is often the fastest, most intuitive and interactive way to make transformations to your objects, Motion offers a separate interface that you can use when you need precise control over parameter values.

This interface is located in the Properties tab, which is the first of the four tabs you can access in the Inspector tab of the Utility pane (Figure 4.23). Any change you make to a parameter in the Canvas is stored in the Properties tab, and changes you make directly in the Properties tab are immediately reflected in the Canvas.

Figure 4.23. The Properties tab gives you precise control over parameter values.


The Properties tab also makes it easy to quickly reset parameters to their default values and toggle the visibility of certain parameters on and off. And this tab provides access to a couple of additional parameters that you can’t adjust in the Canvas.

To adjust an object’s parameters in the Properties tab:

1.
Select the object by clicking it in the Canvas, the Layers tab, or the Timeline.

2.
Reveal the Properties tab in the Inspector tab of the Utility pane by doing one of the following:

  • Click the Inspector tab, then click the Properties tab if it isn’t already the foremost tab.

  • Press F1.

3.
Adjust the appropriate parameter.

✓ Tips

  • Each group of parameters has a disclosure triangle next to it that allows you to hide or reveal that set of parameters. Some individual parameter have disclosure triangles, such as Scale, so that you can set keyframes for the x and y coordinates independently. See Chapter 7 for more on working with keyframes.

  • Drop Shadow, Four Corner, and Crop each have a check box next to the category name. When checked, changes to the parameters in that category are reflected in the Canvas; when unchecked, any changes are hidden.


To reset a parameter in the Properties tab:

1.
Select the object.

2.
In the Properties tab, click the “x” for the appropriate parameter(s).

Clicking the “x” in the Transform category resets all the transform parameters at once (Position, Rotation, Scale, Shear, and Anchor Point). To change an individual transform parameter, type in the default values.

Canvas vs. Properties Tab

Because there are two ways to change parameter values, which one should you use? Why, both of course! Any changes you make in one are immediately reflected in the other, so there’s no functional difference between them, but when it comes to workflow, they are suited to different tasks.

For fast, rough compositing, work directly in the Canvas. You can quickly and easily position, scale, and rotate objects without even changing the tool mode. Dynamic guides can be lifesavers here, but once you get a lot of objects on the Canvas, you may want to turn them off. And don’t forget the object alignment commands under the Object menu to create precise alignment and distribution among multiple objects. To shear, corner pin, or change the location of the anchor point, you’ll need to change the tool mode. And remember, it’s faster to Control-click in the Canvas or press the Tab key to switch modes than it is to use the Mode pop-up menu in the Toolbar.

Once you have roughed in your layout, you can jump to the Properties tab to clean things up by making precise value entries. Also, you may find it easier to manipulate the parameters of some objects in the Properties tab, such as graphics files that fill Canvas so that you can’t access the bounding box without changing the Canvas view.

In addition to entering specific parameter values, use the Properties tab to instantly reset parameter values and to toggle the visibility of certain parameters like Drop Shadow, Four Corner, and Crop.


  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint