Steve Martin and Ripple Training now bring
forth two more additional tutoring sessions for the ever-expanding
number of editors using Apple's Motion.
Motion tutorial #5 focuses on the application of the b-splines
masking tool with a running time of 12 minutes and a download
of a touch over 24 MB. Steve supplies all the necessary media
to work on the intended project and all worked well. The tutorial
is presented in the Quicktime format and thus the window to work
within is easily sized and resized to fit any screen territory
you might want. Steve takes you through the natural sequence
using the supplied media that shows you the many, and sometimes
complicated concepts and steps of using the b-spline tool in
a practical and pragmatic manner. Briefly, first you prepare
your clip in Final Cut Pro to export it as a Motion Project.
in and out points are set and saved to launch as Motion project
The b-spline tool is used to create
Finally, after doing a slip edit
for this project we jazz it up by adding the desaturation and
One minor problem did come up.
I could not understand why the B-spline edit point markers were
not apparent once I attempted to isolate the mask. Apparently,
since the revisions, the Motion team changed the default action
of the b-spline bahavior when you drop it on an object. If you
simply control-click inside the b-spline you will get a menu
where you may choose 'edit points' and viola. While this used
to be the default it is now a manual option. Doesn't make sense
to me to have made this change.
These are both the chapters and
steps used to bring the editor along on the road to mastery of
this aspect of Motion. As you can see, each step is scaffolded
to build upon each other.
1. Mark a Freeze Frame
2. Embed a Motion Project in the FCP Timeline
3. Reveal a Motion Marker
4. Jump to Markers in Objects
5. Export a Still Frame
6. Composite a Still over an Object
7. Use the B-Spline Mask Tool
8. Cut Out Mark's Face
9. Fine Tune the Mask
10. Apply a "Saved" B-Spline
11. Soften the Mask
12. Add a Zoom Blur to the Background
13. Trim the Zoom Blur
14. Perform a Slip Edit on an Object
15. Add a Desaturate Filter to the Foreground
16. Add a Grow/Shrink Behavior
17. Clean up the Blur with the Crop Parameter
18. Experiment with Filter Order
19. Return to Final Cut
20. Ram Preview in Final Cut
Motion Tutorial #6 with its running time of 15 minutes and
a download size of 23.5 MB, focuses on learning how to adjust
object priority and timing in motion to create a composite that
appears as if it were created in a Z space or 3D environment.
This tutorial was actually fun
to play with. Steve uses a spinning globe, commonly found in
many animation discs and shows us how to bring a fiery comet
to encircle the globe as if in full orbit, passing in front,
disappearing behind it and bringing it back around to the front.
Adjusting the layers to enable these effects is a bit more complicated
than it, at first, appears but Steve Martin really does make
it easy to follow the sequential steps bringing one to the completion
of the finished project.
Without giving too much away, first
we must create a motion path for our globe and comet.
Then, through an interesting layer
manipulation and final tweaking we create the finished project....
We still have comet color to play
with, Steve's favorite was 'Rainbow' but I liked 'burnt amber'
From the list of chapter titles
it is not hard to see that Steve Martin has not left any stones
uncovered as both tutorials are completely comprehensive.
- 1. Project Set Up
- .2. Create Path Orbit
- 3. Modify the Motion Path
- 4. Shape the Path
- 5. Change the Speed of the Object
- 6. Save the Path as a Favorite
- 7. Add Some "Magic Dust"
- 8. Control Particle Emission
- 9. Apply the Path to the Emitter
- 10. Add the Spinning Globe
- 11. Scale the Globe
- 12. Get Your Priorities Straight
- 13. Set a Timing Marker
- 14. Change Layer Priority
- 15. Let's Do That Again!
- 16. Tweak the Path Shape
- 17. Change the "Color Over
- 18. Add Some "Happy Trails"
- 19. Replace the Emitter Reference
The bottom line question should
be, how practical are these tutorials in their application of
real world editing necessities? The answer is an easy "VERY".
No, you may not necessarily need to have comets spinning around
the Earth but it is easy enough to imagine a spinning color gradient
encircling a car for a commercial, leaves around a tree, or sharks
around a swimmer. All scenarios would require control of the
particle emission and changing of the layer priority in order
to affect that 3D appearance. The skills are the same and the
steps are the same. This is applicable to both tutorials. Creating
masks using the b-spline tool is a common and frequent requirement.
Steve shows us how to do that and much more. We just need to
apply our imagination to our new skills and insights and the
world is ours.
Perhaps I grow redundant in my
praise for Steve Martin's many tutorials but another bottom line
is, you can't argue with quality. And I won't.
Available at Ripple Training
Steve Douglas is an underwater videographer and contributor
to numerous film festivals around the world. A winner of the
1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition,
2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the
prestigious 2004 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition,
Steve has also worked on the feature film "The Deep Blue
Sea", recently contributed footage to the Seaworld parks
for their new Atlantis production, and is one of the principal
organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. Steve leads
both African safari and underwater filming expeditions with upcoming
filming excursions to Kenya , Bali and the Red Sea. Feel free
to contact him
if you are interested in joining him on any of these trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
© Steve Douglas 2005
first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
All screen captures and
textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.