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Introduction: Getting Started

Introduction: Getting Started

Welcome to the official introductory training course for Motion, Apple's dynamic and powerful motion graphics compositing software. This book is a detailed guide to creating motion graphics projects using Motion and the library of more than 4 GB of royalty-free content that is included with the software. It is based on the premise that a training book should go beyond a basic tour of the application, providing you with practical, professional techniques that you will use on a daily basis to add professional-quality motion graphics to your projects.

Whether you are a seasoned graphic designer or have never tried compositing images before, you will learn how to use Motion for a variety of real-world scenarios, creating multi-layered composites from scratch, animating objects and text with behaviors for a point-of-purchase advertisement, enhancing a dramatic news bumper with filters and generators, creating particle systems and visual effects, and more.

The Methodology

This book emphasizes hands-on training. Each exercise is designed to help you learn the application inside and out, starting with the basic interface and moving on to more advanced Motion features and design techniques. The book assumes a basic level of familiarity with the Apple OS X operating system. If you're new to Motion, you'll want to start at the beginning and progress through each lesson in order, since each lesson builds on information learned in previous ones. If you're already familiar with Motion, you can start with any section and focus on that topic.

Course Structure

This book is designed to be an introduction to Motion and is not meant for those who have a lot of experience using this program. Video editors, digital photographers, Web designers, and graphic artists interested in expanding to motion graphics will have the most to gain by reading this book. But this doesn't mean that the book's lessons are basic in nature. Motion is sophisticated software, and along with the application, the lessons cover all aspects of motion graphics. A lot goes into building exciting, professional-quality motion graphics, so to help you thoroughly understand the processes involved, this book is divided into four sections:

Lessons 13Using the Motion interface and building motion graphics
Lessons 47Working with behaviors, filters, particles, and text
Lesson 89Editing in the Timeline, mixing audio, and keyframing
Lessons 1011Managing media, setting preferences, and exporting

In addition, a glossary of motion graphics terms appears on the DVD that accompanies this book.

Using the Motion Interface and Building Motion Graphics

Lessons 1 through 3 lay the groundwork for your work in Motion by introducing you to the Motion interface, windows, and transport controls as you explore the basic elements of graphic design. You'll start with still images, basic shapes, and text and then bring your project to life with moving pictures, behaviors, and particles. Then you'll build a complex layered composite from the background up while learning to import objects and organize layers.

Working with Behaviors, Filters, Particles, and Text

Lessons 4 through 7 focus on Motion's specialized design features—in particular, behaviors, filters, particles, and text. You'll work on more than a dozen projects in these action-packed lessons as you learn each feature, from the basic to the advanced. Along the way, you'll pick up some motion graphics tips and techniques that you can apply to your own projects.

Editing in the Timeline, Mixing Audio, and Keyframing

Once you've mastered the interface, layers, and primary Motion features, you're ready to move on to some advanced motion graphics techniques, such as Timeline editing, audio mixing, and precision animation with keyframes. Lessons 8 and 9 take your projects to the next level as you explore the Timing pane, Timeline, Audio Editor, Keyframe Editor, and Record button for recording keyframes.

Managing Media, Setting Preferences, and Exporting

Lessons 10 and 11 cover the essentials for successfully managing and sharing your finished projects. These lessons are at the end of the book, so that if you are following the lessons sequentially, you learn in the last lesson how to export your finished projects. However, these lessons are also self-contained, so that if you run into trouble with missing media files or want information on exporting a project, you can do the exercises in these lessons at any time, as needed. Lessons 10 and 11 also include bonus sections, which are in PDF format on the DVD in the MOTION_INTRO Book Files folder. The bonus section for Lesson 10 (Bonus 10) covers Motion preferences that allow you to tailor the interface for different types of projects and customize your workspace. The bonus section for Lesson 11 (Bonus 11) covers additional importing and exporting options, including options to import and export image sequences, work with layered Photoshop files, save a project as a template, and export with Compressor.

System Requirements

Before beginning to use this book, you should have a working knowledge of your computer and its operating system. Make sure that you know how to use the mouse and standard menus and commands and also how to open, save, and close files. If you need to review these techniques, see the printed or online documentation included with your system. Motion also supports the Wacom Intuos tablet family for gestures.

Motion takes advantage of the Power Mac G5 to deliver highly interactive, real-time performance. Some systems provide greater interactivity than others, and it is important to choose the right system for your needs. Performance depends on the processor speed, the amount of RAM, and the graphics subsystem.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Macintosh computer with 867 MHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor

  • 512 MB of RAM (2 GB or more recommended)

  • Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later

  • QuickTime 6.5 or later

  • Display with 1024 × 768 resolution or higher (1280 × 1024 recommended)

  • One of the following graphics cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra, NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200, ATI Mobility Radeon 9600, ATI Radeon 9600 Pro, ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, or ATI Radeon 9800 XT

  • 10 GB of disk space for application, templates, and tutorial

  • DVD drive for installation

Recommended System

  • Dual 2 GHz Power Mac G5

  • 2 GB of RAM or more

  • Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later

  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card or better

Using the Motion Trial Software

Many of the exercises in this book use content that is included with the full Motion installation. If you are using the Motion trial version for the exercises in this book, you will not have all of the Motion content that ships with the full version of the application. You should find the content that you need for the exercises in the Additional Motion Content folder, located in the MOTION_INTRO_Book_Files folder. If you do not find the content that you need in the Contents folder of the Library, simply use the File Browser to navigate to the Additional Motion Content folder and choose the appropriate media file from the folder. If you open a project that requires media that is missing, search for the missing file in the Additional Motion Content folder. Also, the save features are disabled in the trial version. You can still build projects; you just won't be able to save them. For installation instructions, see the Motion Install ReadMe file in the Motion Trial Software folder on the DVD.

Copying the Lesson Files

This book includes an APTS_MOTION_INTRO DVD of all the files you will need to complete the lessons. The MOTION_INTRO Book files folder contains the numbered Lesson folders, which contain the applicable projects and media files. While installing these files on your computer, it's important to keep all of the numbered Lesson folders together in the main MOTION_INTRO Book Files folder on your hard drive. If you copy the Lesson folders directly from the DVD to your hard drive, you should not have to reconnect your project files to the media.

Installing the Lesson Files

Put the APTS_MOTION_INTRO DVD into your computer's DVD drive.

Drag the MOTION_INTRO Book Files folder from the DVD to the Desktop of your computer.

To begin each lesson, launch Motion; then follow the instructions at the beginning of the lesson to open the project files for that lesson.

Reconnecting Broken Media Links

In the process of copying the media from this book's DVD, you may break a link between the project file and the media file. If this happens, the next time you open a project file, a window will appear saying that Motion can't find a file and asking you to reconnect the project files. Reconnecting the project files is a simple process. Just follow these steps:

When the Missing Media window appears, click the Search button.

Navigate to where the MOTION_INTRO Book Files folder resides on your hard drive; then go to the specific Lesson subfolder for the current lesson.

In the Lesson folder, select the name of the missing media file. Then click the Open button to reconnect that media file.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary, until all the project files have been reconnected.

About the Apple Pro Training Series

Apple Pro Training Series: Getting Started with Motion is part of the official training series for Apple Pro applications, developed by experts in the field and certified by Apple Computer. The series offers complete training in all Apple Pro products. The lessons are designed to let you learn at your own pace. Although each lesson provides step-by-step instructions for creating specific projects, there's room for exploration and experimentation. You can progress through the book from beginning to end or dive right into the lessons that interest you most. Each lesson concludes with a review section summarizing what you've covered.

Apple Pro Certification Program

The Apple Pro Training and Certification Program is designed to keep you at the forefront of Apple's digital media technology while giving you a competitive edge in today's ever-changing job market. Whether you're an editor, graphic designer, sound designer, special effects artist, or teacher, these training tools are meant to help you expand your skills.

If you are interested in Motion end-user certification, please see www.apple.com/software/pro/training for more information. Certification is offered in Motion, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Shake, and Logic. Successful certification as an Apple Pro provides official recognition of your knowledge of Apple's professional applications and allows you to market yourself to employers and clients as a skilled, pro-level user of Apple products.

To find an Authorized Training Center near you, go to www.apple.com/software/pro/training.

For those who prefer to learn in an instructor-led setting, Apple also offers training courses at Apple Authorized Training Centers worldwide. These courses, which use the Apple Pro Training Series books as their curriculum, are taught by Apple Certified Trainers and balance concepts and lectures with hands-on labs and exercises. Apple Authorized Training Centers have been carefully selected and meet Apple's highest standards in all areas, including facilities, instructors, course delivery, and infrastructure. The goal of the program is to offer Apple customers, from beginners to the most seasoned professionals, the highest-quality training experience.


Apple Pro Training Series: Getting Started with Motion is not intended to be a comprehensive reference manual, nor does it replace the documentation that comes with the application. For comprehensive information about program features, refer to these resources:

  • The Reference Guide. Accessed through the Motion Help menu, the Reference Guide contains a complete description of all Motion features.

  • Apple's Web site: www.apple.com.

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