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Lesson 4. Working with Behaviors > Working with Basic Behaviors

Working with Basic Behaviors

The project is coming along nicely. You have your first two objects in place. Finally, you get to dive into the fun stuff: Basic Motion behaviors! Sure, you've already worked with a few of the Basic Motion behaviors in the previous lessons, but practice makes perfect. In the next series of exercises, you'll add four different Basic Motion behaviors to the watch to bring it to life in the Canvas.

The Basic Motion behaviors are the most common behaviors used in motion graphics and are conveniently located in the Library.

One point to remember about Basic Motion behaviors is that by default, they last the length of the object they are applied to. You can, however, edit their length in the mini-Timeline. You'll try that feature later in this lesson. For now, let's add some behaviors.

Press the spacebar to begin playback, if your project is not already playing.

Select the Detonator watch in the Canvas.

A bounding box appears around the object in the Canvas, and a blue region appears in the mini-Timeline.

Press Cmd-2 to open the Library.

Click the Behaviors icon; then select the Basic Motion subfolder to view the Basic Motion behaviors.

Let's start with a Throw behavior to get the watch moving.

Drag the Throw behavior icon from the File Browser to the watch object in the Canvas.

Press D to open the Dashboard, if it's not already open.

Let's throw the watch toward the upper-right corner of the frame.

Drag the center of the Throw behavior toward the upper right in the Dashboard.


The Zoom slider on the Dashboard allows you to zoom in for more refined motion changes.

Adjust the arrow length in the Dashboard so that the watch gets near the upper-right corner of the frame but doesn't quite reach it.


The longer the arrow in the Dashboard, the faster and farther the object will move. The shorter the arrow, the slower the object will move and the less distance it will travel.

Press D to cycle from the Throw Dashboard to the detonator_stealth_trans Dashboard. Notice that the purple Throw region in the mini-Timeline is the same length as the detonator_stealth_trans region.

Press Cmd-S to save your progress.

Adding the Grow/Shrink Behavior

The Grow/Shrink behavior either makes your object grow larger over time or shrink smaller. The object always starts at its original size at the first frame of the behavior. One way to show off a product is to have it slowly get larger to reveal more details. Also, when objects grow larger, they appear to be moving closer; when objects shrink, they appear to be moving away.

The Grow/Shrink element in the Dashboard consists of two square regions. The first square, with a dotted line, represents the object's original size. The second square, with a solid line, represents the relative growth rate. If you drag the edges of the solid square inward, the object will shrink; if you drag the edges outward, the object will grow.



Let's add a Grow/Shrink behavior and make the watch grow as it moves.

Drag the Grow/Shrink behavior from the File Browser and drop it on the watch object. Make sure playback is active as you apply and adjust the behaviors in the Dashboard.

In the Dashboard, drag the Zoom slider to the lowest position (zoomed all the way in). Then slowly drag the edges of the square outward. You don't want the watch to grow too big, or the effect may become annoying.

Changing Behaviors in the Inspector

The Dashboard offers by far the easiest way to adjust Basic Motion behaviors. However, sometimes you may want to change behavior parameters to a specific amount. In that case, you can turn to the detailed behavior parameters on the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

The Behaviors tab includes parameters for all behaviors applied to the selected object. Since this object includes both Throw and Grow/Shrink behaviors, the Behaviors tab includes parameters for both, from bottom to top in the order they were applied.

Let's take a look at the Grow/Shrink behavior parameters and adjust the growth rate to a specific amount.

Press Cmd-3 to open the Inspector.

Since you are working with a behavior, the Behaviors tab is automatically selected in the Inspector.

For this exercise, let's focus on the Scale Rate parameter, which defines the speed and magnitude of the growth over time.

Drag the Scale Rate slider all the way to the right to see a scale rate of 100.

The watch becomes very big, very fast—too big and too fast!

Let's try something more subtle.

Type 7 in the Scale Rate field and press Return.

The watch grows slowly, just enough to catch your attention without screaming Look at the big watch!


You can find detailed information on all of the behavior parameters in the Motion documentation that came with the application.

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