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Apple Motion

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Motion is a software application produced by Apple Computer for their Mac OS X operating system. It is used to create and edit motion graphics, titling for video and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.


[edit] History

The original product, codenamed "Molokini," was demonstrated on April 19, 2004.

At a pre NAB event in April 2005 Apple released the second version of Motion along with new revisions of the other Pro applications, optimised for the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X v10.4.

The latest version, Motion 3, is part of the Final Cut Studio 2 suite introduced at NAB in Las Vegas on April 15, 2007. In January 2006 Apple stopped selling Motion as a stand-alone product.

[edit] Market Position

Motion is a motion graphics and compositing application similar in some ways to Adobe After Effects and Discreet Combustion. With version 3, Motion now has added 3D compositing, Vector paint, new digital effects, plus 'motion tracking'. This added power, plus the GPU accelerated nature of Motion, allows it to be seen as a competitor to the more established packages from Adobe and Discreet.

[edit] Features

Features of Motion include the ability to create custom particle effects (as well as using pre-built ones) and to add filters, effects and animations in real time.

Features in Motion include responsive live editing, the ability to address up to 4 GB of RAM and GPU acceleration at 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit float color depths. In Version 2 a new 'replicator' function was introduced, which allows an object to be replicated to create a repeating pattern of a specified size and shape. With this method, it is also possible to create animations in which the elements of a replicated pattern move in sequence. Motion 2 can also integrate with a MIDI keyboard, so that parameters can be controlled by keys or faders; this opens up the possibility real time parameter input into Motion. In addition Motion 3 now allows for complete 2D and 3D compositing in a multiplane enviorment.

[edit] Tools

Motion has the following tools available for the creation or manipulation of graphics on the canvas:

  • Anchor point - each object has an 'anchor point' that acts as the centre of rotation or enlargement.
  • Shear
  • Drop shadow
  • Four Corner, which changes the perspective of objects.
  • Crop
  • Bézier curve adjustment
  • Rectangle, ellipse, Bézier curve and B-spline creation tools.
  • The text tool.
  • Rectangle, ellipse, Bezier and B-spline masking tools (which define the part of an object that is visible).

These tools can be accessed from the toolbar at the top of the screen or with keyboard commands.

[edit] How Motion Works

Motion uses pixel shaders which move the processing of video effects to the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) of a modern graphics card. Motion is also compatible with Apple's Core Image technology, allowing one to use the Image Units that come standard with Mac OS X Tiger. Like pixel shaders, Core Image 'stacks' various effects, allowing a number of effects to be combined together without slow-down. A faster graphics card improves performance.

In Motion, users can import their own graphics files and use pre-prepared graphics such as text and shapes. Objects can be grouped into layers, like other motion graphics programs, but they always retain their own distinct identity. It's easy to take various parts, each of which are individual objects, and group them into a layer. Selecting that layer permits moving all of the objects as a body. This hierarchical system can be confusing at first, but it is very powerful once mastered.

Motion introduced behaviors, which can be combined to create realistic animations. For instance, take an object and activate the Throw behavior to send it across the screen. Then, apply Gravity to it to make it fall down realistically. Next, apply an Edge Collision to it and the combination of these effects will cause the ball to bounce around the screen in a way that looks realistic to the human eye. The effects can be tweaked utilizing various parameters, varying the strength of the bounces, the amount of gravity to apply and so on.

This is very different from traditional animation software, which requires the use of key frames to determine the position of an object at any given time. The software then automatically creates motion to fill the spaces between the keyframes. This makes it easy to know exactly where objects are on the screen at any given time, but it is considerably more difficult to create realistic animations that build up on different, conflicting forces.

Motion can also animate with key frames, and these can be combined with behaviors in the same object.

[edit] References

  • Lindsay, A. (November, 2004). Motion. DV, 12, 54 – 58.[1]

[edit] External links

This article was started using a Wikipedia Motion article
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