Apple Motion User Guide 5.2 Operating Instructions 52 UG EN

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Motion basics
What is Motion?

Motion is a behavior-driven motion graphics application used to
create stunning imaging effects in real time for a wide variety of
broadcast, video, and film projects.
In Motion, you can:
Create sophisticated animations on the fly using any of more
than 200 built-in motion and simulation behaviors, such as
Spin, Throw, or Orbit, which allow you to add dynamic motion
to your projects in real time, with no preview rendering time
necessary.
Build complex visual effects using one or more of nearly 300

Build complex visual effects using one or more of nearly 300
filters such as Glow, Strobe, or Bleach Bypass.
Animate the traditional way, using keyframes and modifiable
curves, to create precise timing effects.
Create polished text effects, from the simple (lower-thirds and
credit rolls) to the complex (3D titles, animated effects,
sequencing text).
Create custom effect, transition, title, and generator templates
for automatic export to Final Cut Pro X. You can also modify
the effects, transitions, titles, and generators that ship with
Final Cut Pro.
Use rigging to map multiple parameters to a single control (for
example, a slider that simultaneously manipulates size, color,
and rotation of text) in Motion compositions or in templates
exported to Final Cut Pro X.
Build compositions by selecting from royalty-free content,
such as vector artwork, animated design elements, and highresolution images.
Retime footage to create high-quality slow-motion or fastmotion effects.
Stabilize camera shake or create complex motion-tracking
effects such as match moves and corner-pinning.
Perform advanced compositing and green screen effects.
Build fluid 3D motion graphics for show intros, bumpers,
commercials, or title sequences.
Create sophisticated particle systems involving large numbers
of automatically animated objects in 2D or 3D space.
Build complex patterns of repeating elements using the

Build complex patterns of repeating elements using the
powerful replicator tool, then animate the resulting collages in
2D or 3D space.
Publish your projects directly to websites such as YouTube
and Facebook, or send your motion graphics to iTunes for
syncing with Apple devices such as iPad, iPhone, and Apple
TV.

Motion workflow
The basic process of working in Motion is described below. You
don’t have to do every step, and you might do other tasks that
aren’t listed here.

Create a project
You can create a blank project, open a preset composition, or
create a template for use in Final Cut Pro X.

Add media
Typically, you import media to create a composition. You can,
however, create entire projects using the built-in content that
comes with Motion, such as preset particle emitters, text, or
generators. Each media item added to your project becomes a
layer in your composite.

Add or create effects

Now the fun really begins. Whether you’re building simple
animated backgrounds, creating green screen composites or 3D
composites, or assembling complex motion-graphics animations,
the effect possibilities are nearly limitless.

Share your composition
When your project is finished, you can publish your movie right
from Motion to the web, or send it to iTunes, iPad, iPhone, iPod,
or Apple TV. You can also burn a disc to give to others.

Motion interface at a glance
The Motion interface is divided into several functional areas.

Project Browser
When you open Motion, the Project Browser appears. Use this
window to create new projects or open existing projects.

For more information, see Create a new project.

Main workspace
After you open a project via the Project Browser, the main
workspace appears. Use this window to build, modify, and
preview your motion graphics projects. The main workspace is
divided into several functional areas, described in detail below.

File Browser
The File Browser, located on the left side of the main workspace,
displays all files on your computer and networked disks.
Navigating the File Browser is similar to navigating a window in the
Finder.
When you select a file in the File Browser, a visual preview
appears in the top-left corner of the Motion workspace, along with
the file’s metadata.

Library
The Library, located on the left side of the main workspace,
contains effects, content, presets, behaviors, filters, and other

elements available in Motion. You can expand the Library content
by adding fonts, music, or photos, or by saving content and
effects that you create in Motion.
When you select an item in the Library, a visual preview appears
in the top-left corner of the Motion workspace. The preview area
also contains text information for the selected item, such as a
description of the behavior, filter, or generator.

Inspector
When you select an object in your Motion project—an image,
video clip, or effect—its parameter controls become available in

the Inspector, located on the left side of the main workspace,
ready for adjustment.

There are four Inspector categories, each of which displays
parameter controls for the selected object:
Properties Inspector: Contains controls for setting basic

Properties Inspector: Contains controls for setting basic
attributes of the selected object, such as position, scale, and
blending.
Behaviors Inspector: Contains controls for adjusting attributes
of behaviors—animation and simulation effects that you can
apply to objects in your project.
Filters Inspector: Contains controls for adjusting attributes of
filters—visual treatments that you can apply to objects in your
project.
Object Inspector: Contains controls that vary depending on
the type of object selected. The name of this Inspector is also
context-sensitive, changing depending on the type of object
selected, such as Camera, Text, or Shape.

Heads-up display (HUD)
The most commonly used Inspector controls are also available in
the heads-up display (HUD), a floating window that you can show
or hide. For more information, see Transform layers in the HUD.

Project pane
The Project pane (located between the File Browser, Library, or
Inspector and the Canvas) contains three lists, each of which

provides access to a different aspect of your project:
Layers list: Displays the hierarchy of objects (groups, layers,
cameras, lights, behaviors, filters, and so on) in your project.
Media list: Shows the files imported into your project.
Audio list: Provides access to, and control of, audio files in
your project.
More than simple lists of items in a project, these panes let you
organize key attributes of a motion graphics composition,
including the stacking order of image layers, audio settings, and
source media settings.

Canvas

Canvas
The Canvas is the visual workspace where you modify and
arrange objects in your composition. Adding layers and effects to
your project is as simple as dragging them from the Library or File
Browser to the Canvas. The composition in the Canvas is what will
be output when you share a project.
The buttons centered at the bottom of the Canvas are transport
controls. Use them to play your project and see how it looks over
time.

Toolbar
You can access tools for editing and creating objects in the
toolbar, located in the center of the Motion workspace. There are
tools that transform objects in 2D or 3D space; tools that create
text, shapes, and masks; buttons that add cameras, lights,

generators, particle systems, and replicators; and pop-up menus
that apply filters and behaviors to objects.

Timing pane
The Timing pane, located at the bottom of the Motion workspace,
lets you view and modify the time component of a project’s
contents. There are three panes that control a different timing
aspect of a project:
Video Timeline: Provides an overview of objects in the project
and how they’re laid out over time.
Audio Timeline: Provides an overview of audio components in
the project and how they are laid out over time.
Keyframe Editor: Displays the animation curves for animated
parameters and effects.

Basic components of Motion
The composition you build in Motion, then save and share, is
called a project. The basic components of your project—images,
video clips, applied special effects, and so on—are represented in
the interface as objects that you can select, drag, and manipulate
in various ways. There are several categories of objects that you’ll
use in every project:

Groups: The basic containers used in a project to organize
imported media and Motion content and effects. A group can
contain one or more objects, as well as other, nested groups.
Layers: A specific kind of object that you can see in the
Canvas, including:
Images or video clips: Still pictures and movies that you
import into Motion. See Add and manage content
overview.

Shapes: Rectangles, circles, lines, and more complex
shapes that you create in Motion using the shape tools.
See Shapes, masks, and paint strokes overview.
Masks: A special type of shape used to create regions of
transparency in layers. See Shapes, masks, and paint
strokes overview.
Paint strokes: Freehand shapes drawn in a single,
continuous movement. See Shapes, masks, and paint
strokes overview.
Text: Type that you can add and animate in a project. See
Basic text overview.
Particle systems: Sophisticated animation effects
composed of swarming small particles. You can create
your own particle systems or apply the pre-built particle
systems that come with Motion. See Particles overview.
Replicators: Patterns of repeating visual elements you can
create or apply to build cascading arrays of kaleidoscopic
imagery. See Replicator overview.
Generators: Graphical images that come with Motion,
including colors, bars, stripes, and gradients that you can
add to your project. See Generators overview.
Effects objects: Special effects that you apply to visual layers.
Effects objects are not visible in the Canvas on their own;
rather, they modify the visual layers you see in the Canvas.
Motion includes the following effects objects:
Cameras: An angle of view that you can adjust or animate
to create the illusion of panning, dollying, or zooming
through your composition. See Add a camera.

Lights: Simulated illumination sources that you can direct
at any visible layer in the canvas. See Add lights.
Behaviors: Sophisticated animation and simulation effects
that you can apply to the visual layers in your project. For
example, you can use the Spin behavior to make a shape
rotate over time at a rate you specify. See Behaviors
overview.
Filters: Special visual effects used to modify the
appearance of visual layers in Motion. For example, you
can use a blur filter to make an image or shape appear to
be out of focus. You can also animate filters. See Filters
overview.
In Motion Help, the term object is often used to describe the
superset of all elements (groups, layers, and effects objects) that
comprise and act upon a composition. Layer, however, always
refers to the image-based elements acted upon—the visual media
you see in the Canvas.

About mice, keys, and multi-touch
devices
If you have a two- or three-button mouse connected to your
computer, you can right-click to access the same controls
specified by the Control-click commands in this documentation.
Some keyboard shortcuts require you to use the Function key (Fn
—next to the Control key) in conjunction with the keys specified in
the user documentation. For more information about keyboard
shortcuts in Motion, see Keyboard shortcuts overview.

If you have a multi-touch device, such as a Magic Mouse or
trackpad, you can use various gestures for interface navigation,
scrolling, frame-scrubbing, and zooming. You can also use
gestures to change the size of icons in the File Browser and
Library. These gestures are discussed in their relative sections of
the documentation.

Create and manage projects
Create and manage projects
overview
Creating a project is the first step in the Motion workflow. The
easiest way to create a new project (or to open an existing
project) is to use the Project Browser window. When you open
Motion, the Project Browser appears.

Use the options in the browser to specify the type of project you
want to open:

A new standard (“blank”) Motion project
A previously opened Motion project
A predesigned composition template that you can customize
A new blank project based on one of the supplied
Final Cut Pro templates (effects that you build in Motion for
use in Final Cut Pro X)
Before opening the new project, you can also use the Project
Browser to modify your project properties—resolution (width and
height), frame rate, and duration. For example, you might want to
choose properties that will match your planned output format.
Regardless of the project properties you choose, after you create
a project, Motion lets you import nearly any kind of media file
supported by QuickTime. Further, you can mix media files with
different properties in the same project. For example, you can
combine video clips of different frame sizes with graphics files. In
the end, the file you output uses the frame size and frame rate
specified by the project properties.
After you create a project, you can or save or revert it, play it
back, or modify its properties.

Create a new project
You can create a Motion project from scratch, using the standard
project settings in the preview area of the Project Browser. If none
of the presets meets your needs, you can create a project with
custom properties. You can also create projects prepopulated
with selected media. Additionally, you can create projects based

on predesigned motion graphics templates or on special
templates for use as effects in Final Cut Pro X.

Create a basic project
1. Open Motion or, if it’s already open, Choose File > New (or
press Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, select the Blank category in the
sidebar, then click the Motion Project icon.
3. Choose a resolution from the Preset pop-up menu and a
frame rate from the Frame Rate pop-up menu in the right
column, then click Open.
Important: Frame rates cannot be changed for existing
projects.
A new, untitled Motion project opens. The project is not saved
to your storage device until you choose a save command from
the File menu. For more information on saving project files, see
Save, autosave, and revert projects.

Create a project with custom properties
1. Open Motion or, if it’s already open, Choose File > New (or
press Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, select the Blank category in the
sidebar, then click the Motion Project icon.

3. Click the Preset pop-up menu on the right side of the browser,
then choose Custom.

Additional properties controls appear.
4. Set the resolution (width and height), field order, aspect ratio,
frame rate, and default duration for your custom project.
5. Click Open.
A new, untitled Motion project opens using the custom
properties you specified.

Create a project prepopulated with specific

Create a project prepopulated with specific
media files
1. Do one of the following:
Choose File > Import as Project or press Shift-Command-I.
Open the Project Browser, then click Create Project From
File.
The Import Files as Project dialog appears.

2. Navigate to and select the one or more media files, Shiftclicking to select contiguous items or Command-clicking to
select noncontiguous items.
As you select files, format settings at the bottom of the dialog
become available. Settings inherent to the selected files
remain dimmed, but propagate to the new project. For

example, because movie files have an inherent frame rate,
aspect ratio, and field order, those settings are dimmed in the
Import Files as Project dialog.
3. If needed, set the frame rate, aspect ratio, field order, and
audio mix settings.
Except for the Frame Rate parameter, these settings can be
modified after the project is created, in the Properties
Inspector. For more information, see Project properties
overview.
Note: If you selected an item from an image sequence, select
the Image Sequence checkbox to have Motion use each
image as a frame in a movie clip. For more information, see
About image sequences.
4. Click Import as Project.
A new project populated with the media you selected opens.

SEE ALSO
Use templates overview
Final Cut Pro templates overview

Open an existing project
There are many ways to open an existing Motion project. You can
open projects and templates via the Project Browser, the Motion

File menu, or the Finder.

Open a project from the Project Browser
1. In the Project Browser (press Command-N), then select a
category in the sidebar to limit which items are displayed in
middle of the browser.

2. Select an item from the middle of the browser.
A video preview, if available, plays in the preview area on the
right.
3. If necessary, modify the resolution, frame rate, and default
duration using the pop-up menus above the preview area.

4. Click Open.
The Project Browser closes and the project you selected opens in
the Motion workspace.

Open a project file from within Motion using
the Open command
1. With Motion open, choose File > Open (or press Command-O).
The Open dialog appears.
2. In the Open dialog, navigate to the project file you want, then
click Open.

Open an existing Motion project file that
does not appear in the Project Browser
Using the buttons at the bottom of the Project Browser, you can
also open a specific project that doesn’t appear in the Project
Browser, but is accessible through the Finder.
1. In the Project Browser, click Open Other (or press CommandO).
The Open dialog appears.
2. In the Open dialog, navigate to a Motion project file, select it,
then click Open.

Open a recent project
Do either of the following:
In Motion, choose File > Open Recent, then choose a project
from the submenu.
From the Project Browser, click Recent in the sidebar, select a
project from the center of the browser, then click Open.

Open a project file from the Finder
From the Finder, do one of the following:
Double-click a Motion project file.
Select a Motion project file, then drag it onto the Motion
application icon in the Applications folder or in the Dock (if
you’ve placed a Motion application icon in the Dock).
Select a Motion project file, then choose File > Open (or press
Command-O).
Control-click a Motion project file, then choose Open from the
shortcut menu.
The project you selected opens in Motion workspace.
Tip: You can search for Motion projects via Spotlight in the
Finder. For more information, see Search for projects using the
Finder.

Close a project
Click the close button in the top-left corner of the project
window (or press Command-W).

Search for projects using the Finder
Spotlight indexes the following properties of Motion projects,
allowing you to perform advanced searches. Use Spotlight in the
Finder (the magnifying glass icon in the OS X menu bar) to take
advantage of this feature.

Project property

Description

Layer name

The name of a layer in a
project

Media name

The name of a media
object in a project

Pathname

The path to a media object
in a project

Text

The content of a text

object in a project
Description

Text in the Project
Description field in the
Properties Inspector

Marker name

The name of a marker in
the Timeline of a project

Marker comment

Text of a marker comment
in a project

Bypass the Project Browser
If you consistently create projects with a specific preset, template,
or other starting project, you can bypass the Project Browser.
This way, when you create a project, it’s opened in the Motion
workspace with the settings you established.

1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
The Motion Preferences window appears.
2. Click Project.

3. In the For New Documents area, click Use Project.
Note: If you haven’t assigned a preset project, the setting
reads: Use Project: Nothing Selected. When you choose a
project, the text updates to reflect the name of the selected
project.
4. Click Choose.
A window opens containing the contents of the Project
Browser.
5. Select a category in the sidebar and a project type from the
center area, then choose a preset (if available) from the right
column.
6. Click Open.
The selected project is assigned to the Use Project option in the
Project pane of the Preferences window. From now on, the
Project Browser does not appear when you choose File > New (or
press Command-N). Instead, a new project opens in the format
set in Motion Preferences.

Create, edit, and delete project
presets
If you commonly create projects using properties that don’t match
any available preset, you can create a custom preset for future
use. Presets are created, modified, and deleted in the Presets

pane of Motion Preferences.

Note: The Default checkbox in the Presets pane of Motion
preferences has no effect. To set a default project preset, see
Bypass the Project Browser.

Create a custom preset
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2. Click Presets.
3. Click the Add button (+) beneath the presets list.
The Project Preset Editor appears.

4. In the Project Preset Editor, enter the following information:
a. Name: Type a name for the preset.
b. Description: Type a brief description of what that preset is
for, including significant characteristics such as frame size
and frame rate.
c. Width and Height: Enter a frame size.
d. Pixel Aspect Ratio, Field Order, and Frame Rate: Choose
settings from the corresponding pop-up menus.
5. Click OK.
The new preset appears in the Presets pane and in the Preset
pop-up menu in the Project Browser.
6. If you’re done creating project presets, close Motion
Preferences.
Note: For more information on industry-standard frame sizes,

pixel aspect ratios, field order, and frame rates, see Supported
media formats.

Duplicate and edit an existing preset
The project presets that come with Motion cannot be modified.
However, you can duplicate an existing preset and then modify it.
1. In Motion Preferences, select a preset in the Presets pane.
2. Click Duplicate.
The duplicated preset appears underneath the original preset
with “copy” appended to its title.
3. Select the duplicated preset, then click Edit.
If you select a built-in preset (designated by a lock icon), an
alert dialog appears asking if you want to duplicate the preset.
4. When the Project Preset Editor appears, make your changes,
then click OK.
Note: You cannot edit or delete locked project presets.

Delete a custom preset
1. In Motion Preferences, select a preset in the Presets pane.
2. Click the Delete button (–) underneath the presets list.

Note: You cannot edit or delete locked project presets.

Save, autosave, and revert projects
It’s wise to save early and often as you work on your project. In
addition to preserving your work for future use, Motion’s save
commands can be used in other ways to manage the
development of your project. For example, if you want to keep
your current composition but create a variant version, use the
Save As command to save a duplicate of the current project. If
you want to gather all media used in a Motion project into a single
folder, use the Collect Media option when you save. There are
also commands that let you revert to a previously saved version of
your project.

Save a project
1. Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).
If the project has not been saved, the Save As dialog appears.

Note: If the project has been saved, the project file is
updated without opening a dialog.
2. Enter a name into the Save As field, choose a save location on
your storage device, then click Save.

Save a duplicate of a project
1. Choose File > Save As (or press Shift-Command-S).
The Save As dialog appears.
2. Enter a name into the Save As field, choose a save location on
your storage device, then click Save.

Save a project and collect all project media
into a folder
When saving a project, you can have Motion copy the all media
files used in the project into a single folder, making portability and
backup easier.

1. Choose File > Save As (or press Shift-Command-S).
The Save As dialog appears.

2. Click the Collect Media pop-up menu, then choose Copy to
Folder.
If you want to collect all media files in your project, including
those not used in the current composition, select Include
Unused Media.
3. Enter a new name for the file in Save As field, choose a save
location on your storage device, then click Save.
Motion creates a folder with the name specified in the Save As
field and places two items in the folder:
A project file with the same name as the folder
A folder named “Media” containing all media files used in
the project
Important: When using the Save As command, use a name
that’s different from the name of any previously saved
versions of the same project. Otherwise, you run the risk of

overwriting a version of the project that you want to keep.

Revert a project to the last saved version
The Revert to Saved command discards all changes you’ve made
to a project since the last time you saved it.
Note: You can also use the application’s unlimited undo feature
to achieve the same purpose in incremental steps. For more
information on the Undo command, see Edit menu.
Choose File > Revert to Saved.
Important: This command cannot be undone.

Autosave projects to a specific storage
location
By default, Motion automatically saves backups of your project at
set intervals. In the Cache pane of Motion Preferences, you can
specify how frequently projects are autosaved, as well as the
storage location of the autosaved project files. Autosaved project
files are time- and date-stamped.
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2. Click Cache.
3. In the Autosave area, select Use Autosave Vault (if it’s not
already selected).

By default, the Autosave Vault folder is located in your
/Users/username/Movies/Motion Projects/ folder.
4. If you want to set a different location for the Autosave Vault
folder, click Choose, select a new location, then click Choose.

Revert to an autosaved project
If you’ve been using the autosave feature to back up your project,
you can revert your project to an earlier autosaved version.
1. Choose File > Restore from Autosave.
The Restore Project dialog appears.
2. Click the pop-up menu, then choose a saved project.
The autosaved project opens in a new project window.

Use templates
Use templates overview
There are two kinds of templates in Motion: composition templates
and Final Cut Pro templates. This section discusses composition
templates. For information on Final Cut Pro templates, see
Final Cut Pro templates overview.
Composition templates are premade, royalty-free projects that
you can customize. They’re intended to simplify the process of

creating professional-looking titles and graphics, especially for
recurring projects such as television series. Using composition
templates, you can:
Create placeholder layers (called drop zones) for easy
placement of custom video or graphics.
Customize placeholder text without overriding effects or
keyframes already applied to the template text.
Modify animation already applied to a template to suit your
own timing needs.
SEE ALSO
Open a template
Template guidelines
Drop zones overview
Organize templates in the Project Browser

Open a template
Motion templates—shown in the Compositions category in the
Project Browser sidebar—are premade, royalty-free projects that
you can customize. Each template contains graphics, text objects,
and backgrounds.
You can also create custom templates for commonly used shots
that you regularly create. For example, if you make titles for a
news program, you can create templates for the opening title,
interstitial graphics, bumpers, and other repetitious shots.

Create a project from a composition
template
You can open a composition template from the Project Browser.
1. Open Motion, or if it’s already open, Choose File > New (or
press Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, select a category from the
Compositions section in the sidebar.
The compositions for that category appear in the middle of the
browser.
3. Click a composition to see its basic properties (resolution,
duration, and frame rate) and an animated preview on the
right.

4. To create a project from the selected composition, click Open
a Copy.
A new project opens in the Motion workspace. You can customize
the project by editing the text or exchanging the graphic elements
with your own. The changes you make to projects created using
compositions do not overwrite the source template files.

Create a composition template from scratch
You can also build a custom template from scratch. Custom
templates are standard Motion projects saved in a special way.
1. With a standard Motion project open, Choose File > Publish
Template.
A save dialog appears.
2. Enter a name for the template and choose a category from the
Category pop-up menu.
To create a custom category, choose New Category from the
Category pop-up menu, enter a descriptive name, then click
Create.
3. Choose New Theme from the Theme pop-up menu, enter a
descriptive name, then click Create.
4. If you want the template project to retain media in the Media
list that isn’t present in the composition, select “Include
unused media.”

5. If you want a preview of the template to appear in the Project
Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
Note: If you want to add the template to a Final Cut Pro
project, select the “Publish as Final Cut Generator” checkbox.
For more information, see Final Cut Pro templates overview.
6. Click Publish.
The template is now available in the Project Browser, in the
Compositions category you chose in step 2.

Replace template media using drop
zones
Drop zones overview
Drop zones are placeholder graphics where template users can
drag images or video to customize the project. When you modify
one of the built-in composition templates that come with Motion,
or create a composition template from scratch, you can add drop
zone layers. A drop zone layer appears (in the Canvas and in the
Layers list) as a rectangle with a downward arrow in its center. In
the Canvas, the drop zone’s layer name appears in the center of
the graphic. Any media item (image or footage) dragged into the
region defined by the drop zone replaces the drop zone
placeholder graphic.

Note: If there are multiple overlapping drop zones in the Canvas,
the topmost one has priority when you drag an item over the
zone. You can force all drop zones to appear by using the expose
feature. For more information, see Control and expose drop
zones.
Adding a drop zone to a Final Cut Pro X template in Motion
enables Final Cut Pro users to easily assign media to an editing
project. For more information about creating templates for use in
Final Cut Pro, see Final Cut Pro templates overview.
SEE ALSO
Create drop zones
Modify drop zone images
Drop zone controls
Control and expose drop zones

Create drop zones
You create drop zones in either of two ways: by adding an empty
drop zone object or by converting an existing layer into a drop
zone. Any still image or video clip can be converted into a drop
zone via the Image Inspector.

Add an empty drop zone
1. Choose Object > New Drop Zone or press Shift-Command-D.
A drop zone layer is added to the project.
2. Position and scale the drop zone layer.
3. If needed, rename the drop zone layer in the Layers list.
4. Open the Inspector and click Image to modify the drop zone
parameters.
For more information about using these parameters, see Drop
zone controls.

Resize a drop zone
1. In the Layers list or Canvas, select a drop zone.
2. In the toolbar, click the Select/Transform tool.

3. In the Canvas, drag a transform handle to resize the drop
zone.
Tip: Press Shift while dragging to resize the drop zone
proportionally.

Convert an image layer to a drop zone
1. Add a video clip or still image to your project.
2. Position or resize the image or clip where you want the drop
zone to appear.
For information about positioning and scaling images, see
Transform layers in the Canvas overview.
3. Open the Image Inspector and click the Drop Zone checkbox.
The drop zone parameters appear.

4. To replace the original image with a drop zone graphic, click
the Clear button.
An active drop zone replaces the original image. For more
information about using remaining Drop Zone parameters, see
Drop zone controls.

Modify drop zone images
After you add a source image to the drop zone, you can pan or
resize the image within the boundary of the drop zone. You can
add a solid color to the drop zone to fill empty areas that are the
byproduct of panning or resizing the image.

Add an image to a drop zone
Do one of the following:
Drag an image from the File Browser or Library to the Drop
Zone in the Layers list. When the pointer changes to a curved
arrow, release the mouse button.
Drag an image from the File Browser, Library, or Media list (in
the Project pane) to the Drop Zone in the Canvas. When the
pointer changes to a curved arrow and the drop zone is
highlighted in yellow in the Canvas, release the mouse button.
Drag an image from the Media list to the Source Media well in
the Image Inspector.

In the Image Inspector, click To and select a media item in the
project from the pop-up menu.

Scale a drop zone image in the Canvas
1. Select the drop zone.
2. Do one of the following:
In the Canvas, double-click the drop zone.
The Adjust Item tool is automatically selected.
In the toolbar, select the Adjust Item tool.

The drop zone bounding box appears as a dotted line.
3. Drag the scale handles in the Canvas to resize the image.
The image’s bounding box appears as a solid line and scales
uniformly. Portions of the image that extend beyond the edges

of the drop zone appear semitransparent.

Scale a drop zone image in the Inspector
1. Select the drop zone.
2. In the Image Inspector, drag the Scale slider. To adjust the
horizontal or vertical scale independently, click the Scale
disclosure triangle to reveal the X and Y subparameters.

Pan a drop zone image in the Canvas
1. Select the drop zone.
2. In the toolbar, select the Adjust Item tool.
The drop zone bounding box appears as a dotted line.
3. Place the pointer over the drop zone image, and, when the
Pan tool appears, drag within the drop zone to pan the image.
The image’s bounding box appears as a solid line. The dotted line
represents the edges of the drop zone. Portions of the image that
extend beyond the edges of the drop zone appear
semitransparent.

Pan a drop zone image via the Inspector
1. Select the drop zone.

2. In the Image Inspector, adjust the Pan parameter X and Y
settings.

Assign a background color to a drop zone
1. Select the drop zone.
2. In the Image Inspector, select the Fill Opaque checkbox.
Any empty portion of the drop zone is filled with black.
3. Use the Fill Color controls to choose a custom drop zone fill
color.

SEE ALSO
Transform layers in the Canvas overview
Transform layers in the Properties Inspector

Drop zone controls
You can add any media object to any drop zone, but the object
might not have the same dimensions as the drop zone. Motion
provides controls to help ensure that the image placed in the drop
zone is handled as you want—scaling, stretching, and positioning
the object correctly.
The Image Inspector contains the following drop zone controls:
Drop Zone: A checkbox (available in the Image Inspector of

any image layers in your project) that, when selected, converts
an image layer into a drop zone.
Source Media: An image well that appears after an image is
converted into a drop zone. Drag a media item to the well
from the Media list to change the current drop zone image.
To: A pop-up menu providing an alternative method of
assigning media to the drop zone. The menu contains a list of
media items in your project. Select an item to assign it to the
drop zone.
Pan: Value sliders to pan the media within the drop zone.
Adjust the X value slider to move the media horizontally and
the Y value slider to move the media vertically.
Scale: A slider to uniformly scale the media in the drop zone.
To resize the media horizontally or vertically, click the Scale
disclosure triangle and adjust the X or Y parameter.
Fill Opaque: A checkbox that, when selected, fills the drop
zone background with a color when the drop zone is scaled
down or panned. If the Fill Opaque checkbox is not selected,
the empty drop zone area remains transparent.
Fill Color: A color control to set a color when the Fill Opaque
checkbox is selected.
Use Display Aspect Ratio: A checkbox that, when selected,
resizes the drop zone according to selected Display Aspect
Ratio Snapshot (in the Snapshots pane of the Project
Inspector). For more information about display aspect ratios,
see Add multiple display aspect ratios to a template.
Clear: A button to remove media from the drop zone,
replacing it with a downward-arrow graphic.

Control and expose drop zones
When constructing your template, you can disable drop zones so
you don’t accidentally apply media. Later, when using the
template, you can turn drop zones back on.
You can also use the expose feature in Motion to reveal obscured
drop zones in the Canvas. The expose command shows an
exploded view of valid drop zones in the Canvas.

Turn drop zones on and off
Choose View > Use Drop Zones.
A checkmark appears next to the menu item when drop zones are
enabled (which means they accept objects dragged to them).
When no checkmark appears next to the menu item, drop zones
are disabled (which means they ignore objects dragged to them).

Expose all drop zones in a project
1. Use the Library or File Browser to locate an item to import into
the project.
2. While holding down the Command key, drag the item onto the
Canvas.

Objects in the Canvas shrink and separate in an exploded
view so you can see them all. Moving the pointer over an
object reveals its Layers list name.
Note: You cannot Command-drag non-image objects
(shapes, Motion projects, particles, and so on) to the Canvas.
3. Drop the object onto its target.
The object replaces its target, and the Canvas view returns to
normal.

Template guidelines
When you work with templates, consider the following guidelines:
Use descriptive group and layer names: Group and layer
names in a template should describe each object’s function.

For example, text objects in a titling template might be named
“Main Title,” “Starring,” “Guest Star,” and so on. If you use
visual elements in the template’s composition, their layer
names should describe their function—“Background Texture,”
“Divider,” and “Main Title Background,” for example.
Descriptive layer names are especially important if others use
the template.
Create alternate versions of a template for each resolution you
need: If you regularly create projects for a variety of output
formats, you can build different display aspect ratios into a
single template. For example, when you create a template
with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can add an alternate version
customized for 3:2 displays. For more information about
creating alternate display versions in a single template, see
Add multiple display aspect ratios to a template.
Place all media files used in a template in a central folder: To
avoid problems with offline or missing media, move all media
files for the template into a central folder on your computer
before you begin the working on the project. Although
customized templates are saved in the
/Users/username/Movies/ folder on your computer, media
added to the template remains in its original location on disk.
A central location for all media resources ensures that files are
not lost. Alternatively, you can use the File > Save As
command, and use the Collect Media option. For more
information, see Save, autosave, and revert projects.

Organize templates in the Project
Browser

You can organize and access custom templates in the Project
Browser. All templates are organized into categories. You can
add, delete, and rename categories in the Project Browser.

Add a category in the Project Browser
1. Choose File > New From Project Browser.
The Project Browser appears.
2. Select a template type (Compositions, Final Cut Effects,
Final Cut Generators, Final Cut Transitions, Final Cut Titles)
from the sidebar (on the left).
3. Click the Add button (+) at the bottom of the sidebar.
4. Enter a name for the category in the dialog that appears.
5. Click Create.
The new category appears in the column at the left under the
template type you selected.

Delete a category in the Project Browser
1. Choose File > New From Project Browser.
The Project Browser appears.
2. Select a category in the sidebar.

3. Press Delete or click the Delete button (–).
An alert dialog prompts you to confirm the deletion.
The directory on your disk corresponding to that category is
placed in the Trash, but is not deleted. Template files in that
category’s directory are also placed in the Trash.

Delete individual templates from the Project
Browser
1. Choose File > New From Project Browser.
The Project Browser appears.
2. Select a category from the sidebar, then select the template to
delete.
3. Press Delete.
An alert dialog prompts you to confirm the deletion.
4. Click the Delete button (–).

Modify project properties
Project properties overview
When you create a project, you specify a set of project properties

—Resolution, Frame Rate, Duration, and so on. You can change
most of these properties at any time, even after you add objects
to the project.
The Properties Inspector lets you define the most essential
attributes of a project. By choosing different parameters, you can
accommodate nearly any video or film format you need to output
to. These properties are the default settings used when you
export your project.
Project background color, as well as how the background color is
rendered, is also modified in the Properties Inspector.
SEE ALSO
Edit project properties
Properties Inspector controls
About project frame size

Edit project properties
The Project object in the Layers list must be selected for the
project’s Properties Inspector to be displayed. If another object is
selected, that object’s properties are displayed in the Properties
Inspector.

Edit the properties of an existing project
1. Do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J).
Select the Project object at the top of the Layers list, then
open the Inspector and click Properties (if that pane is not
showing already).
Control-click an empty area of the Canvas (in the gray area
outside the project) and choose Project Properties from the
shortcut menu.
The Properties Inspector opens.
2. In the Properties Inspector, change any necessary
parameters.
Important: Project Frame Rate cannot be changed after a
project is created.
The Properties Inspector for the project contains settings for

video file format, timecode display, motion blur, and other
project attributes.

Change the project background color
1. Do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J).
Select the Project object at the top of the Layers list, then
open the Inspector and click Properties.
The Properties Inspector opens. Two parameters in a
project’s Properties Inspector affect the background color
of a project and affect how a composition appears when
exported out of Motion.
2. Set your project background properties:
Background Color: Use this color well to set the color
appearing in the Canvas when no other object obscures
the background.
Note: To export a project with a premultiplied alpha
channel, Motion always renders against black.
Background: Use this pop-up menu to set whether the
background color is rendered as part of the alpha channel.
If set to Solid, the background color creates a solid alpha
channel. If set to Transparent, the background color does
not render as part of the alpha channel. In either case, the
background color is visible in the Canvas.
For more information about transparency, see About alpha

channels.

Properties Inspector controls
When the Project object is selected in the Layers list, the
Properties Inspector is divided into several control groups:
General, Motion Blur, Reflections, and Description.

General controls
Use the controls in the General group to set or modify your
project’s basic attributes.
Preset: A pop-up menu to choose a common video format to
base your preset on. After choosing a preset, you can adjust

the other parameters in the Properties Inspector to customize
your format settings. For more information about managing
Motion project presets, see Create, edit, and delete project
presets.
Width and Height: A value slider to define the size of the
Canvas and the default output resolution of your project. Drag
left or right over the values to decrease or increase them.
Frame size is usually defined by the video format you plan on
outputting to. For example, NTSC DV format video is
720 x 480, whereas PAL DV format video has a frame size of
720 x 576.
Pixel Aspect Ratio: A pop-up menu to set whether the project
is created using square or nonsquare pixels. Computer
displays, film, and high-definition video use square pixels,
while standard-definition video uses nonsquare pixels. Choose
Square for projects intended for the web, high-definition
projects, and film, or choose a nonsquare pixel ratio
corresponding to each international standard-definition
broadcast format. A value slider to the right of this pop-up
menu displays the numerical aspect ratio, in case you need to
change the dimensions manually.
Field Order: A pop-up menu to set field order if the project
uses interlaced video. Project field order should match the
field order of the device being used to output the resulting
QuickTime file to video. When working with progressive-scan
video or film, choose None.
Frame Rate: A display field to see the project frame rate (in
frames per second). Frame rate should match that of the
format you output to. For example, film is 24 fps, PAL video is
25 fps, and NTSC video is 29.97 fps.

Important: Frame rates cannot be changed for existing
projects.
Duration: A value field to modify the project’s Timeline
duration. Use the adjacent pop-up menu to define the
duration units (Frames, Timecode, or Seconds).
Override FCP: A checkbox (available only in Final Cut
Transition projects) that, when selected, overrides the default
transition duration (as defined in the Editing pane of
Final Cut Pro Preferences). For more information, see
Final Cut Pro templates overview.
Start Timecode: A value field to set the starting timecode
displayed in the project.
Theme: A pop-up menu to assign a theme to the project.
Designed for 4K: A checkbox available only in Final Cut Effect,
Transition, Generator, or Title template projects. For more
information, see Set template resolution.
Background Color: A color control to set the background color
of the Canvas.
Background: A pop-up menu to define whether the
Background Color is rendered as part of the alpha channel.
Regardless of the selection, the Background Color is visible in
the Canvas. Choose from these three options:
Transparent: The background color does not render as
part of the alpha channel.
Solid: The background color creates a solid alpha channel.
Environment: The background color creates a solid alpha
channel and interacts with 3D projects, including blend

modes and reflections. In the following images of the
Canvas, Reflection is turned on for the elliptical shape (in
the shape’s Properties Inspector). In the left image, the
elliptical shape retains its original white color because
Background is set to Solid. In the right image, the pink
background is reflected in the elliptical shape because
Background is set to Environment.

Motion Blur and Reflections controls
Below the General section of the Properties Inspector are two
groups of controls that can affect how your project looks when
exported: Motion Blur and Reflections.
The Motion Blur controls simulate the effect a camera’s
mechanical shutter has on a frame of film or video when the
camera or its subject is moving. In Motion, motion blur affects
objects in your project that are animated using behaviors or
keyframes, creating more natural-looking motion in your project,
even though the animation is artificial. As with a camera, faster
objects have more blur; slower objects have less blur.

The Motion Blur section of the Properties Inspector has two
settings:
Samples: A slider to set the number of subframes rendered
per frame, where one frame represents 360 degrees. Higher
Samples values result in a higher-quality motion-blur effect,
but are more processor-intensive. The default Samples value
is 8. The maximum possible value is 256.
Shutter Angle: A slider to define the size of the motion blur
that appears for animated objects. Increasing the shutter
angle increases the number of frames over which the shutter
is open.
The following image shows a shape keyframed to move
quickly across the Canvas horizontally.

In the next image, Motion Blur is enabled and Samples is set
to the default value of 8.

Note: When using larger Shutter Angle values, it may be
necessary to increase the Samples value to eliminate
unwanted artifacts.
In the above image, the Shutter Angle is set to the default of
360 degrees, which represents 1 frame. In the following
image, Shutter Angle is set to 600 degrees.

The Reflections section of the Properties Inspector has one
parameter:
Maximum Bounces: A slider to limit the number of recursive
reflections that can occur when two or more shiny objects
reflect one another. This parameter is intended to prevent an
endless repetition of reflective bounces.
For more information about reflections, see Cast a reflection.

Description field
At the bottom of the Properties Inspector is a field where you can
enter a brief description of the project, including significant
characteristics of the project preset, such as frame size and
frame rate.

About project frame size
When you change the frame size of a project (via the Width and
Height parameters in the Properties Inspector), you effectively
change the size of the Canvas, increasing or reducing layout
space for objects in the project.
Changing the size of the Canvas does not change the size or
position of objects in the Canvas. Further, because the coordinate
system in Motion uses 0, 0 as the center of the frame, all objects
remain arranged in their current positions relative to the center of
the frame as the edge of the frame shrinks toward the center. This
can result in objects being cut off as the frame shrinks past their
edges.
In the following example, a project with a frame size of 1280 x 720
is reduced to 320 x 240. The 720 x 480 video clip is smaller than
the original frame size but bigger than the reduced frame size.

Note: Because Motion is resolution-independent, it’s not usually
necessary to change your project’s frame size. You can output a
project at any size, regardless of the current frame size, by
changing the settings in Motion’s Share windows. For example, if
you build a project with a frame size for standard-definition
broadcast, you can still export a half-resolution version of the
project to post on the web by exporting to the necessary size.

Add and manage content
Add and manage content overview
After you create a project, you add media—video clips, still
images, special effects, and so on—to create a composition.
Motion provides two easy ways to add this content to your
project:
File Browser: Locate external video clips, still images, and
audio files on your computer or on networked storage devices,
then import this media into your Motion project. See File
Browser overview.
Library: Search for high-quality content that comes with
Motion (text styles, animated graphics, special effects, and so
on), then add this content to your Motion project. See Library
overview.
The File Browser and Library, located on the left side of the
Motion workspace, display all of your available content in
hierarchical, searchable lists. Here you can also preview selected
content before you add it to your Motion project.
Media files imported from your computer or networked devices
become source media. Source media can be scaled (resolution),
cropped, exchanged or replaced, duplicated, revealed in the
Finder, and so on. See Source media overview.

Import media files
File Browser overview
The easiest way to import external media files (video, audio, and

still images on your computer or a connected storage device) into
Motion is via the File Browser. When you open a Motion project,
the File Browser is displayed on the left side of the workspace.
The File Browser shows a hierarchal list of all files on your
computer and networked storage devices. Navigating the File
Browser is similar to navigating a window in the Finder.
The File Browser is divided into several areas:

Preview area: At the top of the File Browser, a thumbnail
image displays a video preview of any file selected in the
navigation areas of the browser, along with information about
the selected file, including filename, media type, file size, and
frame rate.
Navigation pane: Just below the Preview area is a list of

Navigation pane: Just below the Preview area is a list of
servers, storage devices, and folders available on your
computer. Navigation arrows and a pop-up menu let you step
forward or back through recently viewed folders and devices.
File stack: When you select a server, device, or folder from
the navigation pane, the contents of the selected item are
shown in the lower area of the File Browser.

View the File Browser
If the File Browser is not visible in the Motion workspace, you can
easily show it.
Do one of the following:
Click File Browser in the top-left corner of the Motion
workspace.
Choose Window > File Browser (or press Command-1).

Collapse or expand the pane containing the
File Browser, Library, and Inspector
Click the “i” button in the lower-left corner of the Motion
workspace.

If it’s your first import

By default, Motion places imported media files in your project at
the location of the playhead (the current frame in the Timeline).
You can change that setting to have imported media always
placed at the start of your project (frame 1).

Set the start point of imported media
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2. In the Project pane, set “Create Layers At” to one of the
following:
Current frame: New media layers are added at the current
playhead position.
Start of project: New media layers are added at the first
frame of the project.

Import standard media files
You can import media files (video clips, audio clips, and still
images) into a Motion project one at a time or severally.
Note: Although you can import iTunes and photo files via the File
Browser, it’s better to add them via the iTunes and Photo
categories in the Motion Library. When you add iTunes and photo
files via the Library, you can browse for files using the playlist or
photo album features. For more information, see Add iTunes and
photo files from the Library.

Import media files into a Motion project
1. Navigate through the File Browser to locate media files to
import.
To open a folder in the File Browser, click a folder in the upper
navigation pane, then double-click a folder in the lower pane;
to return to a previously viewed folder, click the left arrow
button beneath the preview area, or choose a folder from the
pop-up menu beneath the preview area, or press Command–
Up Arrow.
2. Select one or more files to import.
In list view, Shift-click to select multiple contiguous files;
Command-click to select multiple noncontiguous files.
3. To stop preview playback, move the pointer over the preview
area and click the Pause button; to mute preview audio, click
the Play/Mute button to the right of preview thumbnail.
4. Do any of the following:
Drag the file or files from the file stack to a location in the
Canvas.
Click the Import button at the top of the File Browser to
add the file or files to the center of the Canvas.
Drag the file or files into the empty lower area of the Layers
list.
Drag the file or files into the empty lower area of the
Timeline.

The media files appear in the Canvas and in the Layers list (as
layers inside a new group at the top of the list).

Import media files into an existing group in
the Layers list
You can also import media clips and images into an existing group
in the Layers list.
1. Navigate through the File Browser and select one or more
media files.
2. To nest the media files in an existing group in the Layers list,
do one of the following:
Drag the files on top of a group in the Layers list. The
imported files appear as new layers in that group, placed
above existing layers in the group.
Drag the files between any layers in a group. A position
indicator shows where the layers will be placed when you

release the mouse button.
Drag the files into the Timeline, placing them between any
layers nested in an existing group.
Note: For more information on adding objects to the
Timeline, see Timeline overview.

Import media files without using them in the
composition
You can also add media files to your project without having them
appear in the composition. You do this by dragging a file into the
Media list, thereby storing media objects you might want to use in
the future. When you import this way, the imported media does
not appear in the Canvas or in the Layers list. However, the media
remains available in the Media list.
1. In the Project pane, click Media to open the Media list.
2. Do one of the following:
Drag media files from the File Browser into the Media list.
Click the Add button (+) in the lower-left corner of the
Project pane; then, in the Import Files dialog, select a file to
add and click Import.
With the Media list active, choose File > Import (or press
Command-I); then, in the Import Files dialog, select a file to
add, and click Import.
Control-click in the Media list, choose Import Media from
the shortcut menu, then add a file via the Import Files

dialog.
To import an image sequence in the Import Files dialog, select
the Image Sequence checkbox. If this checkbox is
deselected, only files selected in the Import dialog are
imported.
The resulting media objects are added to the Media list but don’t
appear in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.

Import media files using the Import
command
You can also import media files without using the File Browser. To
do so, use the Import command.
1. Do any of the following:
Choose File > Import (or press Command-I).
Control-click an empty area of the Canvas (in the gray area
outside the project), then choose Import from the shortcut
menu.
The Import Files dialog appears.
2. Navigate to and select one or more media files, Shift-clicking
to select contiguous items or Command-clicking to select
noncontiguous items.
If you’re selecting items from an image sequence, select the
Image Sequence checkbox to have Motion use each image as
a frame in a movie clip.

3. Click Import.
The media files appear in the Canvas, and as layers inside new
groups at the top of the Layers list.
Note: When you import multiple files using the Import command,
each media file is placed in a separate new group in your Motion
project. However, when you import multiple files via the File
Browser, the files are placed in a single new group in your Motion
project.

Import media files and create a new Motion
project at the same time
You can also create a new project for files at the time of import.
To do so, use the Import as Project command.
1. Choose File > Import as Project or press Shift-Command-I.
The Import Files as Project dialog appears.
2. Navigate to and select the one or more media files, Shiftclicking to select contiguous items or Command-clicking to
select noncontiguous items.
3. If needed, set the frame rate, aspect ratio, field order, and
audio mix settings.
If you’re selecting items from an image sequence, select the
Image Sequence checkbox to have Motion use each image as
a frame in a movie clip.

4. Click Import as Project.
The media files appear in a new Motion project.

Import layered Photoshop files
You can also import layered Photoshop files. Many motion
graphics professionals create layouts in Photoshop, then import
the resulting multilayered file into Motion, where the layers are
animated and combined with other imported and Motiongenerated objects.
There are several ways to import layered Photoshop files:
With all Photoshop layers merged together as a single Motion
layer
With each Photoshop layer preserved as a separate Motion
layer, nested in a new group
By choosing a single Photoshop layer
When you import all Photoshop layers as individual Motion layers,
Motion places them in a new group in the Layers list and Timeline.
Each layer retains the position, opacity, and blend mode of its
corresponding original Photoshop layer.
Although you can import Photoshop text layers, the text appears
in Motion as noneditable bitmap graphics.
The following Photoshop effects are not imported into Motion:
Layer effects

Layer masks
Adjustment layers
Paths
Shapes

Import a layered Photoshop file using the
drop menu
1. Drag a layered Photoshop file from the File Browser into the
Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. Before releasing the mouse button, pause until the Canvas
drop menu appears and the pointer becomes curved.
This menu presents commands for importing the layered file.
3. Continuing to hold down the mouse button, choose a
command from the drop menu, then release the mouse
button:
Import Merged Layers: All layers of the Photoshop file are
collapsed into a single Motion layer.
Import All Layers: A group is created, and each layer of the
Photoshop file is preserved as a separate Motion layer in
this new group.
[Individual layers]: Each layer in the Photoshop file appears
as a separate item in the drop menu. Selecting a layer
adds only that layer to the project, where it appears as a

single Motion layer.
Note: When a Photoshop file contains more layers than can be
displayed in the drop menu, the Choose Layer option appears in
the drop menu. After you click the Choose Layer option, the Pick
Layer to Import dialog appears.

Add a layered Photoshop file using the
Import command
1. Choose File > Import.
2. Select the layered Photoshop file to import, then click Import.
The Pick Layer to Import dialog appears.
3. Choose a command from the Layer Name pop-up menu:
Merged Layers: All layers of the Photoshop file are
collapsed into a single Motion layer.
All Layers: A group is created, and each layer of the
Photoshop file is preserved as a separate Motion layer in
this group.
[Individual layers]: Each layer in the Photoshop file appears
as a separate item in the drop menu. Selecting a layer
adds only that layer to the project, where it appears as a
single Motion layer.
If you don’t like the layer you chose, you can pick a different
one from the Photoshop file without deleting or importing
again. You do so by selecting the recently imported

Photoshop layer, then choosing a different Photoshop layer
from the Layer pop-up menu in the Properties Inspector.

Import image sequences
Sometimes, animated sequences are delivered as a series of
sequentially numbered still images. Motion lets you import these
sequences as a single object, with each image used as a
sequential frame in a movie.

Import a series of numbered still images as
a single object
1. Click the “Show image sequences as collapsed” button in the
lower-right corner of the File Browser.

The File Browser displays multiple items collapsed into a single
object.
2. Drag the object from the File Browser to the Canvas, Layers
list, Timeline, or Media list.
Note: Images from digital cameras are often numbered
sequentially but are not part of an animation sequence. To
import a single still image from a digital camera, deselect the

“Show image sequences as collapsed button.”
For more information, see About image sequences.

Sort and search in the File Browser
You can display and sort files in the File Browser in any of several
ways. In the File Browser, you can also search for files located on
your computer or on connected storage devices.

View the File Browser in list view
Click the List View button in the lower-right corner of the File
Browser.

View the File Browser in icon view
Click the Icon View button in the lower-right corner of the File
Browser.

Change the size of the icons while in icon
view
Do one of the following:
Click the Scale button in the lower-left corner of the File
Browser, then drag the slider to the right to make the icons
larger, or to the left to make them smaller.

On a Multi-Touch trackpad, pinch open to make the icons
larger or pinch closed to make the icons smaller.

Sort the File Browser list

Sort the File Browser list
When the File Browser is in list view, you can sort the list by any
column. This can be helpful if you are looking for a specific file
and know the approximate size or modification date.
At the top of the file stack, click the header of the column to
sort.
The column header is highlighted and the contents of the
window are sorted by that column.

Search for a file
Click the Search button at the bottom of the File Browser, then
enter text in the Search field.

The contents of the file stack are filtered to include only files
whose names contain the entered text.
Note: The Search field is not available unless the Search
button is selected.

Clear a file search
Click the Clear button at the right side of the Search field.

Manage folders and files in the File
Browser
In the File Browser, you can rename, move, or delete files. You
can also change how files are displayed.
WARNING: Renaming, moving, or deleting folders or files via the
File Browser affects those items on your computer or networked
storage device. This can cause other Motion projects to list the
affected media as missing. To relocate missing media, see
Reconnect offline media files.

Rename a folder or file
Do one of the following:
Control-click the file or folder, and choose Rename from the
shortcut menu; then, when the text field becomes active, enter
the new name, and press Return.
In the file stack, click the name of the folder or file once to
select it, then click it again to activate the text field, enter the
new name, and press Return.

Delete a folder or file
Do one of the following:
In the file stack, Control-click the file, then choose Move to

Trash from the shortcut menu.
Drag the file from the file stack to the Trash icon in the OS X
Dock.

Create a folder
Click the Add button (+) in the lower-left corner of the File
Browser.

A new folder with the name “untitled folder” is added to your
computer or networked storage device (in the location selected in
the file stack of the File Browser).

Move a file into a folder
In the file stack, drag the file onto a folder icon.
The file is moved inside that folder.
Note: Changes you make to your file structure in the Motion
File Browser are reflected in the Finder.

Display the location of a file in the Finder

Control-click a file in the file stack, then choose Reveal in
Finder from the shortcut menu.

Preview a media file in a separate window
Do any of the following:
Open a file in a viewer window: Control-click a file in the file
stack, then choose Open in Viewer from the shortcut menu.
Open a file in QuickTime Player: Control-click a file in the file
stack, then choose Open in QuickTime Player from the
shortcut menu.

About media file types
Supported media formats
You can import the following video, still image, and audio formats:

QuickTime video codecs
Animation
DV - PAL
DV/DVCPRO - NTSC
DVCPRO - PAL
DVCPRO HD 1080i50, 1080i60, 1080p25, 1080p30, and

720p50, 720p60
DVCPRO50 - NTSC
DVCPRO50 - PAL
Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit 4:2:2
HDV 1080i50, 1080i60, 1080p24, 1080p25, and 720p24,
720p25, 720p30
Motion JPEG
MPEG IMX 525/60 (30Mb/s, 40 Mb/s, 50 Mb/s)
MPEG IMX 625/50 (30Mb/s, 40 Mb/s, 50 Mb/s)
Photo - JPEG
Apple ProRes 4444 XQ
Apple ProRes 4444
Apple ProRes 422 HQ
Apple ProRes 422
Apple ProRes 422 LT
Apple ProRes 422 Proxy
XDCAM HD 1080i50, 1080i60, 1080p24, 1080p25, 1080p30
(35 Mb/s VBR)
H.263
H.264

Other codecs

MXF

Still image formats
Photoshop
BMP
GIF
JPEG
PNG
TIFF
TGA
OpenEXR

Other image formats
Layered Photoshop files
PDF files

Audio formats
You can import audio files with sample rates up to 192 kHz and
with bit depths up to 32 bits. Mono and stereo files are supported.
Multichannel audio files are also supported. Motion supports the
following audio file types:
AAC (listed in the Finder with the .m4p file extension)
AIFF

AIFF
CAF
WAV
Important: You cannot import rights-managed AAC files, such as
non-iTunes Plus tracks purchased from the iTunes Store.
For more information about the file formats supported by Motion,
go to the Motion website at
http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/motion.

About QuickTime movies
Motion supports QuickTime movies using any file format (codec)
installed on your computer.
Although you can import movies in nearly any codec, avoid using
highly compressed clips in projects. Excessively compressed clips
can display undesirable visual artifacts. Fortunately, QuickTime
provides many codecs ideal for moving uncompressed or
minimally compressed video files between applications, including
Apple ProRes 4444 XQ, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422
HQ, Apple ProRes 422, Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit 4:2:2, Pixlet,
None, Animation, Apple M-JPEG A and B, DVCPRO-50, and
DV/DVCPRO.
Some codecs support alpha channels, which define areas of
transparency in the clip. If a QuickTime clip has an alpha channel,
Motion uses the alpha channel in your project.
You can combine clips that are compressed with different codecs
in the same project. You can also combine clips that have

different frame sizes, pixel aspect ratios, and interlacing.

About high-resolution still image files
You can import still image files using most popular still image
formats, including SGI, Photoshop, BMP, JPEG, TIFF, TGA, and
JPEG-2. As with video clips, you can mix still image files with
differing frame sizes and pixel aspect ratios. For a full list of
eligible file types, see Supported media formats.
A common and effective use of still images in motion graphics
work is the animation of high-resolution files. The dots per inch
(DPI) qualification as defined in programs like Photoshop does not
apply to video. If the dimensions of an imported image are larger
than the frame size of the Motion project, the image extends
beyond the borders of the Canvas.
You can reduce the scale of the image to fit the project’s frame
size. You can also animate the image’s Scale parameter (in the
Properties Inspector) to zoom into or out of the image, or animate
its Position parameter to pan the image.
Because Motion is graphics-card dependent, file-size import
limitations vary from computer to computer. When you import an
image that is too large, an alert dialog appears, stating: “This
media is too large to render at full resolution, and will be shown at
a lower quality.” Click OK to import the image at a lower quality.
For more information on recommended graphics cards, visit the
Motion website at http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/motion.
For guidelines about working with high-resolution graphics, see
About high-resolution graphics.

When you import a still image, the image assumes a duration
equal to the current duration of the project. Increasing the
duration of the project does not increase the duration of an image
that’s imported. Still images have infinite duration in Motion, so
you can stretch them in the Timeline to be as long as necessary.
For more information about modifying objects in the Timeline, see
Timeline overview.

Set the import size of large still images
You can set an option in the Preferences window to import large
still images at their original size or scaled to fit the Canvas size.

1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2. In the Still Images & Layers area of the Project pane, click the
Large Stills pop-up menu and choose a setting.

There are two options:
Do Nothing: Imports the image at its original size.
In the following example, a 2311 x 1525 image is imported
into a Broadcast HD 1080 project (1920 x 1080) with Do
Nothing selected in Preferences. The image is larger than
the Canvas.

Scale to Canvas Size: Imports and scales the image to fit
the project size while maintaining the image’s native aspect
ratio.
In the following example, the same image is imported with
Scale to Canvas Size selected in Preferences.

The image is scaled—the equivalent of using the
Select/Transform tool to scale down the image in the
Canvas while pressing Shift.

To confirm that the image is merely transformed and has not
changed resolution, you can select the image file in the Media list,
then open the Media Inspector.
The Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters display the
resolution of the original file.

About image sequences
Numbered image sequences store video clips as individual still
image files. Each image file has a number in the filename that
indicates where it fits into the sequence. In a film clip that’s been
digitally scanned, each file represents a single frame. In a video
clip that’s been converted to an image sequence, each file
contains both fields of a single video frame, with the upper and
lower lines of the image saved together.
Image sequences use the same variety of file formats as still
image files. Some of the most popular formats for saving image
sequences include SGI, BMP, JPEG, TIFF, and TGA. Like still
image formats, many of these image sequence formats support
alpha channels, which are used by Motion.
Because image sequences have been around for so long, they
remain the lowest-common-denominator file format for
exchanging video across editing and compositing applications.
Although QuickTime is increasingly used to exchange video clips
between platforms, image sequences are still used, especially in
film compositing.
As with QuickTime video clips, you can mix image sequences of

different formats, using different frame sizes, pixel aspect ratios,
frame rates, and interlacing.
Important: Any imported image sequence must contain three or
more digits of padding—for example, “imagename.0001.tif.”

Collapse image sequences
The “Show image sequences as collapsed” button at the bottom
of the File Browser lets you display image sequences as a single
object, rather than as the collection of files on your disk.

Note: You can turn this feature off for numbered image files that
aren’t used as an image sequence. For example, pictures taken
with digital cameras often have numbered filenames that can be
mistaken for an image sequence.

About PDF files
The PDF file format is a PostScript-based document format that
accommodates PostScript-based graphics and text, as well as
bitmap graphics. Areas of transparency in a PDF file are also
transparent in Motion.
PDF files are capable of storing PostScript-based illustrations.
Unlike graphics file formats such as TIFF and JPEG, which save
images as a collection of pixels at a given resolution divided into

red, green, and blue channels, PostScript-based illustrations are
saved as mathematical descriptions of how the artwork is drawn.
As a result, PDF files using PostScript-based artwork and text
have infinite resolution.
The practical difference between bitmap files and PostScriptbased files is that scaling a bitmap beyond 100 percent results in
the image progressively softening the more you increase its size.
PostScript-based illustrations remain sharp and clear no matter
how large or how small you scale them.
When importing a PDF file, its size is relative to the original page
size of the file. As a result, even small graphics can have a large
frame size, with empty space surrounding the graphic. When
exporting a graphic as a PDF file for use in Motion, you may want
to scale the graphic to fit the page dimensions, or reduce the
page size in the source application’s page preferences to fit the
graphic’s dimensions.

Fixing the resolution of a PDF object
Although PDF files have unlimited resolution, large PDF objects
can consume a lot of video memory, which can hinder
performance in Motion. To avoid this problem, limit the resolution
of each PDF image to save video memory. By using fixedresolution parameters, the files are rendered once, ensuring
better performance.
The fixed-resolution parameters for PDF objects are adjusted in
the Media Inspector. Select the PDF source media in the Media
list to activate the Media pane of the Inspector. Adjust the
following controls to modify the PDF’s fixed-resolution parameters:

Pixel Aspect Ratio: A pop-up menu to assign a nonsquare
pixel aspect ratio to the file. In most cases, the “From file”
menu option is the best choice because it assigns the PDF
source file’s native aspect ratio. Choose a different menu item
only if you want to override that native setting.
Fixed Resolution: A checkbox that, when selected, fixes the
resolution of PDF source media to the size specified in the
Fixed Width and Fixed Height sliders.
Fixed Width: A slider to set the maximum horizontal resolution
to which a PDF object can be smoothly scaled.
Fixed Height: A slider to set the maximum vertical resolution to
which a PDF object can be smoothly scaled.
Use Background Color: A checkbox that, when selected,
substitutes a custom background color for transparent
portions of the PDF. Choose the background color in
Background Color controls (described below).
Background Color: Color controls (available when Use
Background Color is selected) to set the background color for
transparent portions of the PDF.
Crop: Sliders (Left, Right, Bottom, and Top) to crop the edges
of the PDF image, if necessary. These controls crop the PDF
source media (and all layers linked to that source media). To
crop an individual layer, use the Crop parameters in the
layer’s Properties Inspector.

Mixed content in PDF files
Although PDF files can contain a mix of PostScript-based art,

PostScript text, and bitmapped graphics, each format has
different scaling properties. PostScript-based art and text scale
smoothly, but bitmapped graphics embedded in a PDF file are
subject to the same scaling issues as other bitmapped graphics
formats. As a result, bitmapped graphics can soften if scaled
larger than their original size.
Note: Form objects, buttons, and JavaScript objects that are
present in an imported PDF file do not appear in Motion.

Multipage PDF files
You can import multipage PDF files. When you do, a parameter
called Page Number appears in the Properties Inspector when the
PDF object is selected. Drag the slider to set which page is
displayed in the Canvas. Animate this parameter to display
different pages over time.
Important: Multilayered PDF files are not supported. To import a
multilayered illustration, export each layer as a separate PDF file
and import these as a nested group of objects in Motion.

About alpha channels
Ordinary video clips and image files have three channels of color
information: red, green, and blue. Many video and image file
formats also support an additional alpha channel, which contains
information defining areas of transparency. An alpha channel is a
grayscale channel where white represents areas of 100 percent
opacity (solid), gray regions represent translucent areas, and
black represents 0 percent opacity (transparent).

When you import a QuickTime movie or an image file into a
project, its alpha channel is immediately recognized by Motion.
The alpha channel is then used to composite that object against
other objects behind it in the Canvas.
There are two ways to embed alpha channel information into files.
Motion attempts to determine which of these methods a media file
uses:
Straight: Straight alpha channels are kept separate from the
red, green, and blue channels of an image. Media files using
straight alpha channels appear fine when used in a
composition, but they can look odd when viewed in another
application. Translucent effects such as volumetric lighting or
lens flares in a computer-generated image can appear
distorted until the clip is used in a composition.
Premultiplied: The transparency information is stored in the
alpha channel as well as in the visible red, green, and blue
channels, which are multiplied with a background color
(generally black or white).
The only time it really matters which kind of alpha channel an
object has is when Motion doesn’t correctly identify it. If a media
item’s alpha channel is set to Straight in the Media list when it’s
really premultiplied, the image can appear fringed with the
premultiplied color around its edges. If this happens, select the
problematic item in the Media list, then change its Alpha Type
parameter in the Media Inspector.

About audio files
You can import many audio file formats into your project, including

WAV, AIFF, .cdda, MP3, and AAC. Although Motion is not a fullfeatured audio editing and mixing environment like GarageBand or
Logic Pro, you can import music clips, dialogue, and sound
effects. If you import a QuickTime file with mono or stereo tracks
of audio, the audio appears in the Audio Timeline.
You can import audio clips with various sample rates and bit
depths. When you do, Motion resamples audio tracks to the
sample rate and bit depth used by your computer. The default is
16-bit, 44.1 kHz float for the built-in audio interface. If you use a
third-party audio interface, audio is remixed to the sample rate
and bit depth used by that device.
You can import audio files with sample rates up to 192 kHz and
with bit depths up to 32 bits. Mono and stereo files are supported.
Multichannel audio files are also supported.
For more information about file formats Motion supports, see
Supported media formats. For more information on using audio in
Motion, see Audio overview.
A seamless way to browse for and import music from your iTunes
library is to use the Music category in the Motion Library. For more
information, see Add iTunes and photo files from the Library.
Note: You cannot import rights-managed AAC files, such as noniTunes Plus tracks purchased from the iTunes Store.

About text files
Motion can read and work with a variety of text files, both as
media elements and as text data to incorporate in generators,

particle systems, and replicator effects. For more information, see
Add text.

Add Library content
Library overview
Motion ships with a collection of built-in art content and effects
(text styles and fonts, animated graphics, filter effects, and so on)
that you can use in your projects. This content is available in the
Library, which is displayed on the left side of the Motion
workspace (next to the File Browser). Navigating the Library is
similar to navigating the File Browser.
The Library is divided into several areas:
Preview area: At the top of the Library, a thumbnail image
displays a video preview of content selected in navigation
areas of the Library (special effects, text styles, graphical art,
and so on).
Navigation pane: Just below the preview area is a two-column
pane displaying the categories and subcategories of content
and effects available in Motion. Navigation arrows let you step
forward and back through recently viewed categories of
content. A pop-up menu lets you filter content by theme
(Abstract, Sci-Fi, Urban, and so on).
Library stack: When you select a category and subcategory in
the navigation pane, the contents of the subcategory are
shown in the lower area of the Library.

View the Library
If the Library is not visible in the Motion workspace, you can easily

show it.
Click Library in the top-left corner of the Motion workspace.
Choose Window > Library (or press Command-2).

Collapse or expand the pane containing the
File Browser, Library, and Inspector
Click the “i” button in the lower-left corner of the Motion
workspace.

Categories of Library content
The Library contains the following categories of content that you
can add to your project:

Behaviors: Sophisticated animation and simulation effects
(Spin, Grow, Gravity, and so on) that you can apply to objects

and images in your project. Some behaviors can only be
applied to specific objects. For example, Text Animation and
Text Sequence behaviors can only be applied to text objects.
For more information, see Apply behaviors overview.
Filters: Special effects used to modify the appearance of
images, objects, and video clips in your project. You can
apply filters to create artistic effects (blurs, glows, stylized
looks), to perform image corrections (color balancing,
sharpening), or to create complex compositing effects (green
screen keying). Third-party FxPlug filters appear in the
category to which they belong. Most filters can be applied to
any layer (text, images, shapes, video footage, particles, and
so on) in your project. For more information, see Filters
overview.
Generators: Computer-generated art such as checkerboards,
noise patterns, color rays, and animated text objects that you
can add to your projects. For more information, see
Generators overview.
Particle Emitters: Animated swarms of small particles that let
you add effects ranging from simulations of smoke, fire, and
explosives to animated abstract textures. All premade particle
systems can be customized after you add them to your
project. For more information, see Particles overview.
Replicators: Patterns of repeating elements used to create
kaleidoscopic effects (static or animated) in your
compositions. All premade replicators can be customized
after you add them to your project. For more information, see
Replicator overview.
Shapes: Premade geometrical forms that you can use as
visual elements or as image masks in your project. Each

shape is a Bezier shape and can be customized using
Motion’s shape-editing tools. For more information, see
Shapes, masks, and paint strokes overview.
Gradients: A selection of premade color spreads that can be
applied to shapes, text, particles, and replicators in your
project. For more information, see Gradient editor controls.
Fonts: A browser containing all the fonts available on your
computer, organized into subcategories based on the
categories defined in the Font Book application. Simply select
a font, then apply it to text in your project. For more
information about Font Book, see Mac Help (in the Finder,
choose Help > Mac Help). For more information about using
fonts in Motion, see Preview and apply fonts.
Text Styles: Thematic type styles (Antique, Fantasy, Grunge,
and so on) that let you modify the look of 2D text and 3D text
in your project. For more information, see Use preset text
styles.
Shape Styles: Preset shape styles that add artistic line strokes
(Abstract, Flora, and Liquid, for example) to shapes in your
project. For example, dragging a shape style onto a shape
instantly applies that style. For more information, see Shapes,
masks, and paint strokes overview.
Materials: Preset 3D text materials that give 3D text a natural
and realistic appearance, as they respond to lighting, exhibit
reflectiveness, and so on. All premade materials can be
customized after you add them to your project. See Materials
overview.
iTunes: A browser for locating and importing files from your
iTunes library. The subcategories include the library and

playlists created in iTunes. The contents of each playlist
appear in the Library stack. See Add iTunes and photo files
from the Library.
Photos: A browser for locating and importing image files from
your selected photo library. The contents of each photo album
or photo library appear in the Library stack. The photo
application that is available in the Photos category of the
Motion Library is set in the General pane of Motion
Preferences. See Add iTunes and photo files from the Library.
Content: Graphical elements used in the templates and
presets that ship with Motion. Use these images, text
elements, patterns, and animations to create custom design
elements, such as particles and replicators, which can be
saved to the Library for later use.
Favorites: A place to save objects—built-in or custom-made in
Motion—for future use, including cameras, layers, or groups.
You can also place frequently used media files (such as PDF
or TIFF files) into the Favorites category. Objects you place in
the Favorites category are available to every project you
create in Motion.
Favorites Menu: Objects you place in the Favorites Menu
folder appear in the Favorites menu, for even faster access.
When you choose an item from the Favorites menu, that item
is placed into the selected layer and is positioned at the
center of the Canvas. Objects you put in the Favorites Menu
are available to every project in Motion.

Add Library content to a project

You can add Library content (special effects and premade
graphical elements) to a project in several different ways.

Add Library content to a project
1. Navigate through the Library, selecting a category and
subcategory in the navigation pane and an item in the Library
stack.
For example, select the Filters category, select a filter
subcategory, then select a filter in the Library stack.
A preview of the selected Library item appears in the preview
area.
2. Do either of the following:
Click the Apply button to the right of the preview area.
Drag the item from the Library stack to a location in the
Canvas, or into the empty lower area of the Layers list or
Timeline.
The item is placed inside a new group at the top of the Layers
list and Timeline, and the content appears in the Canvas or
under the selected layer in your project.
Note: Some categories of Library content are designed to
modify specific types of layers. For example, items in the Text
Styles category of the Library can only be applied to text
layers in your project. If nothing happens when you try to add
a Library item, make sure you’ve applied it to a suitable group

or layer.

Add Library content to a specific group or
layer in a project
1. Navigate through the Library, selecting a category and
subcategory in the navigation pane and an item in the Library
stack.
For example, click the Filters category, click a filter
subcategory, then click a filter in the Library stack.
A preview of the selected Library item appears in the preview
area.
2. Do either of the following:
Select a specific group or layer in the Layers list or
Timeline, then click Apply in the preview area.
Drag the item from the Library stack to a specific group or
layer in the Layers list or Timeline.
The item is placed in the group or applied to the layer.
Note: Some categories of Library content are designed to
modify specific types of layers. For example, items in the Text
Styles category of the Library can only be applied to text
layers in your project. If nothing happens when you try to add
a Library item, make sure you’ve applied it to a suitable group
or layer.

There’s an additional way to add generators, behaviors, and filters
—using the pop-up menus in the toolbar. For more information,
see Add a generator, Apply and remove filters, and Add, remove,
and disable standard behaviors.

Add iTunes and photo files from the
Library
You can add files from your iTunes library and photo application
libraries to a project via the Motion Library. The iTunes and photo
content appear in two Library categories, iTunes and Photos.
(However, you cannot import rights-protected video content from
iTunes into a Motion project.)
Note: Although a connected iPod appears in the File Browser as
a hard disk, you can only browse for and import iPod files that are
stored as data. Music transferred to the iPod via iTunes cannot be
imported into Motion.

Add a file from iTunes
1. In the Library, select the iTunes category.
The iTunes library content appears in the adjacent navigation
pane. By default, All is selected (the iTunes library).
2. Select a subcategory, such as Music or Podcasts, then select
a file from the stack.

3. Do one of the following:
Click the Apply button to the right of the preview area.
Drag the file to the Canvas, Layers list, Timeline, or Audio
Timeline (if the file is an audio track or is a video that
contains audio).
Note: Rights-protected AAC files cannot be imported into Motion
and do not appear in the file stack. This includes non-iTunes Plus
music purchased from the iTunes Store.
For more information on working with audio files, see Audio
overview.

Add a file from a photo application
1. In the Library, select the Photos category.
The albums (or libraries) appear in the adjacent navigation
pane. By default, All is selected.
Note: The photo application that is available in the Photos
category of the Motion Library is set in the General pane of
Motion Preferences. Only one application may be selected at
a time. For more information, see General preferences.
2. Select an album, then select a file from the stack.
3. Do one of the following:
Click the Apply button to the right of the preview area.
Drag the file to the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.

Note: When importing large-scale images into Motion, you can
import the files at their native resolution or at the resolution of the
Motion Canvas. For more information, see Set the import size of
large still images.

Sort and search in the Library
You can display and sort content in the Library in any of several
ways. You can also search for library content.

View the Library in list view
Click the List View button in the lower-right corner of the
Library.

View the Library in icon view
Click the Icon View button in the lower-right corner of the
Library.

Change the size of the icons while in icon
view
Click the Icon Scale button in the lower-left corner of the
Library, then drag the slider to the right to make the icons
larger, or to the left to make them smaller.

On a Multi-Touch trackpad, pinch open to make the icons
larger or pinch closed to make the icons smaller.

Sort using the Theme pop-up menu
The Theme pop-up menu under the preview area lets you sort
Library content by thematic categories such as Abstract, Nature,
Sci-Fi, and so on.
Do one of the following:
Select a category in the Library sidebar or stack, then click the
Theme pop-up menu and choose a choose a theme.
To sort using the default themes, select the Content category,
then click the Theme pop-up menu choose an item.

Search for Library content

Click the Search button at the bottom of the Library, then
enter text in the Search field.

Note: The Search field is not available unless the Search
button is selected.

Clear a file search
Click the Clear button at the right side of the Search field.

Manage Library folders and files
Although you can’t modify the effects, elements, and folders built
into Motion, you can organize custom effects, elements, and
folders in the Library the same way you manipulate files in the
Finder. You can create folders and delete certain files or folders.
You can also easily create, save, and organize files and themes in
the Library.

Create a new folder in the Library
You can create new folders in the subcategory column (the

second column) or in the stack (the area under the category and
subcategory columns) to better organize your custom Library
content.
Do any of the following:
Create a new folder in the subcategory column: Select a
category, select the All folder in the subcategory column, then
click the New Folder button (+) in the lower-left corner of the
Library.

A new, untitled folder appears in the subcategory column.
Create a new folder in the stack: Select a category, select the
subcategory to contain the new folder, then click the New
Folder button (+) in the lower-left corner of the Library.
A new, untitled folder appears in the stack.
For more information on saving custom Library content, see Save
custom objects to the Library.

Rename a custom folder or file
Do one of the following:
Rename a subcategory folder: In the subcategory column,
click the name of a custom folder once to select it, click it

again to activate the text field, enter a new name, then press
Return.
Rename a file or folder in the stack: In the stack, Control-click
a custom file or folder, choose Rename from the shortcut
menu, enter a new name, then press Return.
WARNING: Renaming a custom folder or file in the Library
renames the item on your computer or networked storage device.
If projects use files from the originally named folder, Motion may
list the item as missing.

Remove custom objects or folders from the
Library
Select a custom folder in the subcategory column or stack (or
a custom object in the stack), then do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Delete.
Press Command-Delete.
WARNING: Deleting a custom folder or file in the stack removes
that item from your computer or networked storage device and
places the item in your Trash.

Delete a folder or file
In the Library stack, Control-click the custom file, then choose
Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

Move a file into a folder
In the Library stack, drag the file onto the folder icon.
The file is moved inside that folder.

When Library media becomes
unavailable
As with any other object used in a Motion project, Library media
must be present and installed on your computer for that media to
appear correctly in Motion. If someone gives you a project file and
you don’t have the same filters or fonts used in the file, a warning
appears when you open the project, listing the items that are
unavailable.
You can close the project and install the necessary files on your
computer, or you can open the file. When you open a file with
missing media, the following occurs:
Missing Content: Missing content is treated like any other
missing media item. For more information about reconnecting
media, see Reconnect offline media files.
Missing Filters: When a filter is missing, a placeholder object
appears in the Layers list and Timeline. When you reinstall the
missing filter, the filter object replaces the placeholder, and
the effect is applied properly.
Missing Fonts: When fonts are missing, the text objects that
use those fonts default to Helvetica as a temporary substitute.

Missing international fonts substitute the default system font
for the relevant language.

Work with Library themes
Library themes help you organize projects that may share objects
by allowing you to label specific objects with a default theme,
such as Abstract, Nature, or Sci-Fi, or to assign objects to a
custom theme. By default, some preset Library objects are
assigned to a theme. For example, the Hypnotic particle emitter
preset is in the Sci-Fi category.
Note: Library themes are different from the themes in the
Themes pop-up menu of the Project Browser. Project Browser
themes are applied to entire Motion projects and shared between
Motion and Final Cut Pro X when creating templates. For more
information on creating templates for Final Cut Pro, see
Final Cut Pro templates overview.

Sort using the Theme pop-up menu
Select a category or subcategory in the Library sidebar, then
choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
Items belonging to the chosen theme appear in the stack.

Create a new custom theme

1. In the Library, below the preview area, choose New Theme
from the Theme pop-up menu.
2. In the Create New Theme dialog, type a theme name, then
click OK.
A new theme is added to the Library. New themes appear in
the Theme pop-up menu.
Custom themes are saved in the “themes” document in your
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/
folder.

Assign a theme to custom content
Control-click a custom item in the Library stack (such as a
shape saved to the Favorites folder), choose Theme from the
shortcut menu, then choose a theme from the submenu.
An item must be saved in the Library before you can assign a
theme. For more information, see Save custom objects to the
Library.
Items that can be assigned a theme include the following:
Replicators
Emitters
Shapes
Gradients
Text styles

Shape styles
Layers or groups
Note: You cannot assign a theme to behaviors, filters, fonts,
images, image sequences, or movies.

Remove a custom theme
1. Choose the theme to remove from the Theme pop-up menu.
The Remove Theme item becomes available in the Theme
pop-up menu.
2. Choose Remove Theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
The theme is removed from the list.
Note: You can only remove custom themes.

Save custom objects to the Library
You can save nearly any object in Motion to the Library, including
animated cameras and lights, customized behaviors, filters,
particle systems or replicators, shapes and text, as well as layers
and groups. After an object is placed in the Library, it can be
added to a project like any other element in the Library.
You can save multiple objects to the Library as one file or multiple
files. For example, if you create an effect using multiple filters and
you want to save the cumulative effect of those filters to apply to

other objects, you can save the filters as one item in the Library.
Although you can save custom objects into their namesake
folders, it is better to save customized objects that you use
frequently to the Favorites category. Because some Motion
Library categories contain numerous items, placing custom items
in the Favorites or Favorites Menu categories can save you search
time. In the Favorites category, you can create additional folders
to better organize custom items.
Note: You can create folders in the built-in categories, such as
the Color Correction filters subcategory; however, those folders
only appear in the Library stack and not the sidebar. Folders
added to the Favorites category appear in the Library sidebar.

Save a custom object to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Favorites or Favorites Menu
category, or another category.
Note: To save a custom object to a category other than the
Favorites or Favorites Menu category, the object type must
match the category. For example, you can save custom filters
to the Filters category, but not to the Behaviors category or
Generators category.
2. Drag a customized object from the Layers list, Timeline, or
Inspector into the stack at the bottom of the Library.
The item is saved to the Library in the category you selected,
and appears with a custom icon.

When you save a customized item, it’s placed in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/
folder.

Save multiple custom objects to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Favorites or Favorites Menu
category, or another category.
Note: To save a custom object to a category other than the
Favorites or Favorites Menu category, the object type must
match the category. For example, you can save custom filters
to the Filters category, but not to the Behaviors category or
Generators category.
2. In the Layers list, select all objects to save and drag them to
the stack, holding down the mouse button until a drop menu
appears.
3. Choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files” from the drop menu,
then release the mouse button.
“All in one file” saves objects together, as one item in the
Library. “Multiple files” saves the as individual objects in the
Library.
Note: When saving objects of different types, it’s best to save
them to the Favorites or Favorites menu category (or a folder
you specifically create) for organizational purposes. If multiple
objects of different types are saved, such as a shape with an
applied behavior and text, the objects are added to the
Content folder as “Untitled.”

Create a custom note for a saved Library
object
Control-click the icon in the Library stack, choose Edit
Description from the shortcut menu, enter notes in the dialog
that appears, then click OK.

For information about renaming and organizing custom Library
content, Manage Library folders and files.

Manage source media
Source media overview
When you import an external media file into a Motion project, two
things occur:
An instance of that media (an image or video clip) is placed in
your project, and is visible in the Layers list, Canvas, and
Timeline.
A link to the external source media file on your computer or
other connected device is shown as an item in the Media list
in the Project pane.

Media used in Motion must remain connected to the source media
files on your computer or networked device. If you move, delete,
or rename external media files that correspond to media used in a
Motion project, the source media link (in the Media list) and any
layers in your project using that source media go “offline.” It’s
easy to reconnect offline media in your project (as long as the
external files are still available on your computer or networked
device). For more information, see Reconnect offline media files.
Because Motion is a nondestructive effects application, changes
you make to media layers in your project are not applied to the
external media on your computer or connected device. Rather,
any changes you make to a media layer are applied to the
instance of the media in Motion.
You can view information about source media in two places in the
Motion workspace:
Media list: The second list in the project pane, itemizes all
source media files (audio, image, image sequence, and
QuickTime movie files) in your project. The items in this list are
links to source media files that remain on your computer or
networked device. Applied effects (such as filters or
behaviors) and graphics content created in Motion (such as
masks, shapes, or text) do not appear in the Media list.
Columns in the Media list display information about each
source file, including format, duration, frame rate, and so on.
For more information, see Media list overview.
Media Inspector: Available when you select a media item the
Media list, displays information about the selected source
media file (format, duration, frame rate, and so on). The Media
Inspector also contains adjustable media controls for

modifying instances of the source media file used in your
project. For more information, see Display the Media
Inspector.

View source media information
Media list overview
The Media list (the second list in the Project pane) itemizes all
media files (audio, image, image sequence, and QuickTime movie
files) in the project. Items in this list are links to source media files
that remain on your computer or networked storage device.
Applied effects (such as filters or behaviors) and graphics content
created in Motion (such as masks, shapes, or text) do not appear
in the Media list.
The columns in the Media list contain information about each
media item, in the following categories:
Preview: Displays a thumbnail of the media object.
Name: Lists the filename of the source media on disk where
the object is linked. If you change the name of corresponding
linked objects in the Layers list, this name doesn’t change.
Kind: Lists the type of file—still image, QuickTime movie,
image sequence, or audio file.
In Use: Indicates that the media is in use in the project.
Duration: Displays the total duration of the object, in frames or
timecode, depending on what is displayed in the Timeline.
Frame Size: Displays the frame size of the object, in pixels.

Format: For QuickTime movies, displays the codec used. For
still images, displays the method of compression that is
applied based on the file type.
Depth: Specifies the color depth of the image.
Vid Rate: Displays the video frame rate of the object, in
frames per second.
Aud Rate: For audio files and QuickTime movies, displays the
sample rate of the audio.
Aud Bit Depth: For audio files and QuickTime movies,
specifies the bit depth of the audio.
File Size: Shows the size of the source media file on disk.
File Created: Shows the file creation date of the source media
file on disk.
File Modified: Shows the file modification date of the source
media file on disk. This is a useful parameter for file
management.
SEE ALSO
Display, sort, and search the Media list
Source media controls in the Media Inspector

Display, sort, and search the Media list
Customize your view of the Media list to see the information most
important to you.

Display the Media list
Do one of the following:
If the Project pane is visible, click Media at the top of the
pane.
Choose Window > Media (or press Command-5).
The Media list opens.

Display and adjust columns in the Media list
Do any of the following:
To display all visible columns in the Media list, drag the scroller
at the bottom of the Media list.

To show or hide a column, Control-click a column header,
then choose the item to show or hide from the shortcut menu.

Items in the list with a checkmark are displayed in the Media
list. Items with no checkmark are hidden.
To reorder the columns, drag a column header left or right to a
new position.
To adjust column width, drag a column border to resize the
width in the header row.
To adjust row height, do one of the following:
Position the pointer over a horizontal line and drag up or
down to decrease or increase the height of all rows. Icons
and thumbnails resize themselves as you make the
adjustment.
Click the Scale button at the bottom of the Media list, then
drag the slider left to decrease row height or right to
increase row height.

Sort Media list items in a column by file type
Click the column header.

The layers are sorted in the column and a small arrow in the
column header indicates the direction of the sort. To reverse the
direction of the sort, click the column header.

Search for specific items in the Media list
Click the Search button at the bottom of the Media list, then
enter the name of items to view in the Search field.

As you type in the Search field, the Media list is filtered to
show items containing the text you type.
To stop filtering and return to the complete list, click the Clear

button at the right of the Search field.

Reveal source media
Occasionally, you may need to find source media used in your
project, to access additional information about an imported media
file, or to locate the external file on your computer or networked
storage device.

Show a layer’s source media link in the
Media list
Do one of the following:
Control-click a layer in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline,
then choose Reveal Source Media from the shortcut menu.
Select a layer, then choose Object > Reveal Source Media (or
press Shift-F).
The Media list opens, with the source media selected. The Media
Inspector also opens, displaying information about the source
media.

Find external source media used in your
project

Open the Media list, Control-click a media item, then choose
Reveal in Finder from the shortcut menu.
A Finder window appears, and the external source media file used
in your project is highlighted.

Adjust source media parameters
Display the Media Inspector
The Media Inspector displays adjustable parameters that define
how an image or movie clip is displayed and composited in the
project. These parameters define the source media’s essential
properties, including frame rate, pixel aspect ratio, interlacing, and
alpha channel parameters. There are also parameters that allow
you to define source media’s end condition, reversal, cropping,
and timing.

Open the Media Inspector
Open the Media list (the second list in the Project pane), select
a media item, open the Inspector, then click the Media tab.
The Media Inspector shows adjustable parameters for and
information about the selected item in the Media list. For
information about adjusting source media parameters, see
Source media controls in the Media Inspector.

Source media controls in the Media Inspector
Motion attempts to interpret the correct parameter settings for
each source media item you add to a project. However, additional
manual adjustment is sometimes necessary. Because Motion is a
nondestructive application, changes made to these parameters
are not applied to the source media files on disk. Parameter
changes affect how objects are drawn in Motion.

The following controls let you modify source media in the Media
list. Modifying source media modifies all layers in a project linked
to that source media.
Note: The parameters described below do not apply to
Photoshop files imported as separate layers. And PDF files with
transparent backgrounds do not have the Alpha Type or Invert

Alpha parameters.
Alpha Type: A pop-up menu to set how Motion deals with
alpha channels in the media item. An alpha channel contains
information about areas of transparency in the image or
movie. When you import an image file or QuickTime movie that
has an alpha channel, its alpha channel is immediately
recognized by Motion. There are several different ways to
embed alpha channel information into files, which correspond
to the options in this menu. Motion assigns an option based on
an analysis of the object when it’s imported, but you can
override the default if necessary, by choosing any of the
following:
None/Ignore: The default setting for objects with no alpha
channel. This option also allows you to ignore an object’s
alpha channel, so the entire object appears solid.
Straight: These alpha channels are kept separate from the
red, green, and blue channels of an image. Media files
using straight alpha channels appear fine when used in a
composition, but they may look odd when viewed in
another application. Translucent effects such as volumetric
lighting or lens flares in a computer-generated image can
appear distorted until the clip is used in a composition. If
Straight is chosen but you see a black, white, or colored
fringe around the object, this parameter is incorrectly set
and should be changed to a Premultiplied option,
depending on the color of the fringe.
Premultiplied–Black: This type of alpha channel is
multiplied with the clip’s red, green, and blue channels. As
a result, objects with premultiplied alpha channels look
correct, even with translucent lighting effects, because the

entire image is precomposited against a solid color. This
option interprets alpha channels that are precomposited
against black.
Premultiplied–White: This option interprets alpha channels
that are precomposited against white.
Guess Alpha Type: This option forces Motion to analyze
the file in an attempt to figure out what kind of alpha
channel is used. If you’re unsure, use this setting.
Invert Alpha: A checkbox that, when selected, inverts an alpha
channel that is incorrectly generated in reverse. Ordinarily, an
alpha channel is a grayscale channel, where white represents
areas of 100 percent opacity (solid), gray regions represent
translucent areas, and black represents 0 percent opacity
(transparent).
Pixel Aspect Ratio: A pop-up menu to set the type of pixel
relevant to the project, square or nonsquare. In general,
objects created for computer display, film, and high-definition
video use square pixels, while objects created for some video
formats (such as DV, HDV, DVCPRO HD, and others) use
nonsquare pixels. A value field to the right of this pop-up
menu displays the numeric aspect ratio, in case you need a
custom ratio. By correctly identifying each object you add to
your project, you can mix and match both kinds of media.
Field Order: A pop-up menu to choose a field order that
matches the field order of the device used to capture an
interlaced clip. There are two choices: Upper (Odd) or Lower
(Even). If you choose incorrectly, you’ll notice that the video
stutters during playback. When this happens, choose the
opposite field order. Clips shot on film or with a progressive
scan video camera have no interlacing; therefore Field Order

should be set to None. By correctly identifying each object in
your project, you can mix and match clips with a different field
order. For more information, see Field order.
Frame Rate: A pop-up menu to choose a frame rate in frames
per second (fps) that matches a clip’s native rate. For
example, film is 24 fps, PAL video is 25 fps, and NTSC video
is 29.97 fps. Additional frame rates are available for other
video formats. If the frame rate you require is not listed, enter
a number in the text field to the right of the pop-up menu. If
you modify a QuickTime file’s frame rate but need to change it
back to the file’s original rate, choose “From file” at the
bottom of the Frame Rate pop-up menu.
Although you can mix clips using different frame rates, clips
playing at a frame rate different from that of the project might
not play smoothly.
Note: Project frame rates are determined by the project
preset. To edit a preset or to create a preset, choose Motion >
Preferences and use the options in the Presets pane.
Fixed Width and Fixed Height: Sliders (available for still
images) to change the resolution of source media. When the
Large Stills control (in Motion Preferences) is set to Scale to
Canvas Size, these values display the resolution of the original
file. For more information, see Set the import size of large still
images.
When a PDF is selected in the Media list, these controls set
the maximum resolution to which a PDF object can be
smoothly scaled. For more information, see About PDF files.
Crop: Four sliders, visible when you click the disclosure
triangle, that define the number of pixels to be cropped from

each of the source media’s four sides, relative to the outer
edge of the bounding box that surrounds that source media.
Cropping an item in the Media list also crops all instances of
that item in layers of the project. A similar Crop parameter
appears in the Properties Inspector when you select a layer in
the Layers list. For more information, see Properties Inspector
controls.
Timing: Three value sliders to set the start, end, and duration
of the source media:
Start: Sets the In point of the source media, in constant
and variable speed modes. Adjusting this parameter
moves the In point to the specified frame without affecting
the duration of the media.
End: Sets the Out point of the source media, in constant
and variable speed modes. Adjusting this parameter
moves the Out point to the specified frame without
affecting the duration of the media.
Duration: Sets the total duration of the source media. If
Time Remap is set to Constant Speed, adjusting Duration
also affects the Speed and Out point. If Time Remap is set
to Variable Speed (in the Timing controls of the Properties
Inspector), adjusting Duration does not affect variable
speed playback.
Linked Objects: A list of all objects in the Layers list that are
linked to the selected source media in the Media list. The first
column shows the name of the group containing an instance
of the source media; the second column shows the layer
name. Changing the layer name in the Layers list updates the
name appearing in this list.
Replace Media File: A button to relink media in your project to

Replace Media File: A button to relink media in your project to
a source file on disk. This feature is primarily useful for
relinking offline media, but can also be used to change source
media (changing all layers that are linked to that source
media).
Metadata: An information pane displaying properties of the
external media file on your computer or networked device
that’s linked to the item selected in the Media list.

About duplicating and deleting media
files
When you delete a layer in the Layer’s list, by default Motion
deletes the corresponding media item in the Media list (but does
not delete the source media on your computer or connected
storage device). If you want to delete a layer, but retain its source
media item in the Media list for future use, open Motion
Preferences and, in the General pane, deselect the “Automatically
manage unused media” checkbox. For more information, see
General preferences.
When you duplicate a layer in the Layers list, a new instance of
the source media is created in the Layers list—however, no new
source item is created in the Media list. In a project with
duplicated layers, you can adjust the attributes of all duplicates
simultaneously by adjusting the source media’s parameters in the
Media Inspector (see Display the Media Inspector).
If you’ve duplicated layers and want to delete them all at the
same time, delete the corresponding media item in the Media list.

Exchange media in a project
You can overwrite an image layer with media from a different file
in the File Browser or Library. This process, called exchanging
media, replaces the layer’s original source media link with a new
source media link. When you exchange a layer’s source media,
the layer retains its Property Inspector parameter values (including
Position, Scale, and Opacity, and Blend Mode), as well as applied
filters, behaviors, masks, or keyframes.
The exchange operation lets you replace layers in your project
even after you’ve modified and animated them. If you’re unhappy
with an element of your composition, exchange it with a new one.
Important: You can only exchange layers that are linked to
source media files on your computer or networked device. You
cannot exchange Motion-generated objects such as particle
systems, generators, shapes, or text objects.

Exchange media in a layer
1. Drag a media file from the File Browser onto a layer in the
Layers list.
2. When a curved pointer appears, release the mouse button.

The layer’s original source media is replaced by the new source
media.

Exchange source media via the Media
Inspector
1. In the Media list, select the object to replace.
2. Open the Media Inspector or HUD (heads-up display).
Note: For information about opening the Media Inspector, see
Display the Media Inspector. To open the HUD, press F7.
3. Click Replace Media File.
4. In the dialog that appears, navigate to the file that will replace
the current source media.
5. Click Open.

The original source media is replaced by new source media in the
Media list and in any layers in the project linked to the source
media.

Reconnect offline media
Reconnect offline media files
Adding a media file to a Motion project creates a link between the
resulting image layer in Motion and its corresponding source
media file on your computer or connected storage device. If you
move, delete, or rename media files on your computer or
connected device, the linked layers in Motion go “offline.” Media
can also go offline if you give someone a project file without also
providing the source media it uses.
Offline layers appear as checkered rectangles that occupy the
entire bounding box of the missing image.

When a layer goes offline, a question mark icon appears beside
the empty preview thumbnail in the Layers list.

In the Media list, a question mark icon replaces the missing
preview thumbnail.

When you open a project file with offline media, a dialog appears
listing all files that can’t be found. If the media files were moved to
another folder or disk instead of being deleted, you might be able
to locate them on your computer using the offline media Search
feature. If you know the location of the missing media files, you
can display a manual reconnection dialog and navigate to the files
without searching. If the file was renamed, you must locate it
manually.

Manually reconnect an offline media file
1. In the alert dialog, click Reconnect.
In the manual reconnection dialog that appears, navigate to
the location of the missing file.
2. Select the file, then click Open.
The file is reconnected. If more than one missing media file
appears in the same folder, all files are reconnected.

Search for and reconnect offline media files
If you can’t find the file manually, use the offline media Search
feature.
1. In the alert dialog, click Search.
Motion attempts to find the first missing file in the list. If the
search is successful, a dialog shows the missing media file.
2. Select the file, then click Open to reconnect it.

If the search is unsuccessful, use the manual reconnection dialog
to navigate to the file. When you locate it, select the file, then click
Open.

Cancel an active search for offline media
1. Click Cancel.
The manual reconnection dialog appears.
2. In the dialog, navigate to the file’s location, select the file, then
click Open.
The file is reconnected.

Reconnect offline media via the Media
Inspector
If you do not immediately reconnect an offline layer, you can still
save changes to the project and even close it again, then
reconnect the offline layers later, via the Reconnect Media File
button in the Media Inspector.
1. Open the Media list.
2. Select the offline layer to reconnect.
3. Open the Media Inspector, then click the Reconnect Media
File button under the Linked Objects list.
Motion attempts to find the first missing file in the list. If the

search is successful, a file browser dialog appears with the
missing media file selected. If the search is unsuccessful, you
must navigate manually to file’s location, then select the file.
4. Click Open to reconnect the file.
Note: You can also use the File > Reconnect Media
command.
If more than one missing media file appears in the same folder,
clicking Open reconnects all files.

About networked devices and removable
media
Be careful when adding media files from a remote server to your
project. Although the File Browser can access the contents of
other computers on your network, dragging remote media to your
project does not copy the source file to your computer. The media
source file remains on the remote device. As a result, when that
remote device becomes unavailable, the corresponding item in
your project goes offline. Further, depending on the speed of your
network, you may experience performance issues when using
media files on other computers.
Ideally, copy all media files used in your project onto a device
that’s physically connected to your computer. If you must use
media from a networked storage device, ensure that the device is
always mounted on your system and that you have a highperformance network.

This is especially true for media from removable devices, such as
flash drives, DVDs, and removable hard disks that are frequently
disconnected from your computer. Always copy media files from
such media to your local computer.

Play back projects
Project playback overview
After you create a project, Motion provides easy ways to control
and optimize playback. You can:
Play back a project using simple transport controls
Adjust project timing
Define a play range
For information about graphics cards and performance, see About
project playback performance.

View and play back a project
View and play back a project overview
The easiest way to play a project and see your animated
sequence in real time is to use the transport controls under the
Canvas. In addition to starting and stopping your project’s
playback, you can use the transport controls to jump to the
beginning or end of your project, advance your project frame by
frame, and so on.
To customize playback, you can also:

Optimize playback performance by manually rendering a
portion or your entire project to random access memory
(RAM)
Play your project in full-screen player mode
View the Canvas (or Timing pane) on a second display

Play back a project
After you add content to your project, use the transport controls
at the bottom of the Canvas to play your sequence back in real
time, to jump to the beginning or end of your project, to advance
your project frame by frame, and more.

Note: Most of the transport controls have a keyboard shortcut.
The transport controls contain the following buttons:
Go to start of project: Returns the playhead to the beginning of
the project. (Keyboard shortcut: Home)

Go to end of project: Moves the playhead to the end of the
project. (Keyboard shortcut: End)
Play from start (of a play range): Plays from the In point to the

Play from start (of a play range): Plays from the In point to the
Out point of the play range. To learn how to set a play range,
see Define the play range.
Play/Pause: Starts and stops playback. (Keyboard shortcut:
Space bar)
Record: Turns on and turns off animation recording. When
recording is turned on, the values for animatable parameters
appear red in the Inspector, indicating that any change you
make to a parameter (such as moving an object in the Canvas
or adjusting a slider) creates a keyframe. (Keyboard shortcut:
A)
Go to previous frame: Moves the playhead backward by one
frame. (Keyboard shortcut: Left Arrow or Page Up)
Go to next frame: Advances the playhead by one frame.
(Keyboard shortcut: Right Arrow or Page Down)
There are two buttons to the right of the transport controls that
also affect playback:
Player Mode: Hides or shows the File Browser, Library,
Inspector, Project pane, and Timing pane to maximize Canvas
space. For more information, see Expand the Canvas to fullscreen player mode.

Loop playback: Controls whether playback loops indefinitely,
or whether playback stops when the end of the play range is
reached. For more information, see Define the play range.
(Keyboard shortcut: Shift-L)

And to the left of the playback controls is another button that also
can affect playback:
Play/Mute audio: Turns audio playback on or off. Turning audio
off can improve playback performance.

Optimize playback using RAM Preview
Each time you play a project in the Canvas, Motion performs
complex rendering calculations to represent the objects and
effects that appear in each frame. The project plays back as
quickly as possible up to the frame rate specified in the Properties
Inspector. However, with a very complex project, playback quality
can be hampered by the limitations of your computer hardware.
To improve real-time playback, you can manually render parts of
your project and store the frames in your computer’s random
access memory using RAM Preview. With RAM Preview, you can
render the play range, a selection, or the entire project.

RAM Preview your entire project
Choose Mark > RAM Preview > All.

The RAM Preview dialog appears, displaying a progress bar
that shows which frame is being rendered, how many more
frames remain, and an approximation of the time remaining.
When RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.

Note: Because some sections of a project may be more
complex than others, the “Time remaining” value may be
somewhat inaccurate.

Interrupt the RAM Preview
Click the Stop button in the RAM Preview dialog.
The section that has been rendered is stored in RAM. When a
section of your project is stored in RAM, a green glow appears
along the bottom of the Timeline ruler and the mini-Timeline.

Clear RAM Preview
You can manually delete RAM Preview to make room for a new
RAM Preview or to free up RAM for other operations.
Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Clear RAM Preview.

RAM Preview the play range
You can restrict which frames are rendered by choosing to
preview the play range or a selection. Using RAM Preview on a
selection renders all visible layers in the project from the first
frame of the selection until the last.
1. Set a play range in your project.
For more information, see Define the play range.
2. Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Play Range.
The RAM Preview dialog appears and displays a progress bar.

When RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.

RAM Preview a selection
1. Holding down the Command and Option keys, drag In the
Timeline to select a region to preview.
A highlight appears over the selected frames.

For more information on regions, see Make changes to a
region (range of frames).
2. Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Selection.
The RAM Preview dialog appears. When RAM Preview is
completed, the dialog closes.

Expand the Canvas to full-screen player
mode

When you click the Player Mode button below the Canvas, the
Canvas expands to fill the Motion workspace. This is helpful for
watching project playback without the distraction of the software
interface. In this mode, the menus, toolbar, and timing display
remain active. The Show/Hide Timeline, Show/Hide Audio
Timeline, and Show/Hide Keyframe Editor buttons at the lowerright corner of the workspace also remain available, as does the
Show/Hide File Browser/Library/Inspector button at the lower-left
corner of the workspace.

Switch to full-screen player mode
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Player Mode.
Click the Player Mode button above the toolbar.

Press F8.

Return to normal view
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Player Mode again.

Click the Player Mode button again.
Press F8 again.

View the Canvas or Timing pane on a
second display
If you have two displays connected to your computer, you can
show the Canvas or Timing pane on the second display.
Note: You can also drag Motion project windows to the second
display, allowing you to view more than one project at a time

Show the Canvas on a second display
Choose Window > Show Canvas on Second Display.
The Canvas and Project pane (Layers, Media, and Audio lists)
appear on the second display. Drag the right edge of the
Project pane left or right to resize the Canvas and Project
pane.

Show the Canvas in the main window
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Show Canvas in the Main Window.

Choose Window > Revert to Original Layout.

Show the Timing pane on a second display
Choose Window > Show Timing Pane on Second Display.
The Timing pane (Timeline, Audio Timeline, and Keyframe
Editor) appears on the second display. Drag the right edge of
the Timeline layers list left or right to resize the Timing pane
and layers list.
Note: Click the Show/Hide Timeline button, Show/Hide Audio
Timeline button, and Show/Hide Keyframe Editor button in the
lower-right corner of the Timing pane to show or hide the
Timing pane interface elements.

Show the Timing pane in the main window
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Show Timing Pane in the Main Window.
Choose Window > Revert to Original Layout.

View and adjust project timing
Timing display overview

The timing display, located in the center of the toolbar, lets you
view the current frame (or timecode number) of the playhead, or
the total duration of the project. In the timing display, you can also
modify the duration of the project, navigate to a specific frame,
move forward or backward in small or large increments, and
scrub frames.

For details, see:
View or change timing information
Navigate a project
Change the duration of a project

View project timing information
You can set the timing display to show either the current playhead
position or the total project duration. You can also set the timing
display show this information in different units—frames or
timecode.

Switch between display of playhead position
and project duration
Do one of the following:
Click the clock icon on the left side of the timing display.

When set to project duration, the clock icon looks like this:

When set to playhead position (known as current time), the
clock icon looks like this:

Click the downward arrow on the right side of the timing
display, then choose Show Project Duration or Show Current
Time.
When set to show project duration, the timing display shows the
running time or number of frames in your project (depending on
the unit of measure you choose to display). When set to show the
current time, the timing display shows the frame number or
timecode number of the current playhead position (depending on
the unit of measure you choose to display).

Switch between display of frame numbers
and timecode
The timing display offers two ways of measuring time in your
project: frames or timecode. Frames are incremental still images
starting at 1 or 0 and continuing for the duration of your project.
Timecode is the standard eight-digit numeric system used in video
production. Timecode runs like a clock from 00:00:00:00 to
23:59:59:29. The first two digits represent hours; the second two
digits represent minutes; the third two digits represent seconds;

and the final two digits represent frames, as in HH:MM:SS:FF.
Click the downward arrow on the right side of the timing
display, then choose Show Frames or Show Timecode from
the pop-up menu.

Frames and timecode counters have specific advantages,
depending on the video format in which you’re originating and
finishing. For example, if you’re designing a title sequence for a
35mm film that must be exactly 720 frames, set the timing display
to show frames. If you’re building a television spot for broadcast
(which uses the timecode standard), set the timing display to
show timecode.

Navigate a project using the timing
display
You can also use the timing display to move the Timeline
playhead.

Move the playhead to a specific frame or
time

Do one of the following:
With the timing display pop-up menu set to Show Frames and
Show Current Time, double-click the number display, type the
desired frame number, then press Return.
With the timing display pop-up menu set to Show Timecode
and Show Current Time, double-click the number display, type
the desired timecode (in HH:MM:SS:FF format), then press
Return.

Increase or decrease the current time one
frame at a time
With the timing display pop-up menu set to Show Current
Time, press the Left Arrow key (or Page Up key) to move the
playhead backward or the Right Arrow key (or Page Down
key) to move the playhead forward.

Move ahead or back in seconds, minutes, or
hours
1. Ensure that the timing display pop-up menu is set to Show
Current Time.
2. Double-click the timing display, then do one of the following:
To move forward in seconds, enter a plus sign (+), enter
the number of seconds to move forward, enter a period,
then press Return. For example, to move 2 seconds

ahead, enter “+2.” (with a period after the numeral 2), then
press Return. To move ahead in minutes, enter two
periods after the numeral, then press Return. To move
ahead in hours, enter three periods after the numeral, then
press Return.
To move backward in seconds, enter a minus sign (–), then
enter the number of seconds to move backward, enter a
period, then press Return. For example, to move 2
seconds backward, enter “–2.” (with a period after the
numeral 2), then press Return. To move backward in
minutes, enter two periods after the numeral, then press
Return. To move backward in hours, enter three periods
after the numeral, then press Return.

Move forward or backward a specific
number of frames
With the timing display pop-up menu set to Show Current
Time, enter a plus sign (+) followed by the number of frames to
move forward, then press Return.
With the timing display pop-up menu set to Show Current
Time, enter a minus sign (–) followed by the number of frames
to move backward, then press Return.

Change the duration of a project
By default, a new Motion project has a duration of ten seconds.

You can change this duration to match the needs of your project.
The project duration is displayed at the bottom of the Motion
window. You can also display the duration in the timing display in
the toolbar.

Display project duration in the timing
display
Do one of the following:
In the timing display, click the downward arrow, then choose
Show Project Duration from the pop-up menu.
in the timing display, click the clock icon to switch between
project duration display and current time display.

Change the project duration
Do one of the following:
With the timing display set to Show Project Duration, doubleclick the number, type a duration value, then press Return.
When the timing display is set to Show Timecode, you can
type a precise timecode value in the HH:MM:SS:FF format
(hours:minutes:seconds:frames).
With the timing display set to Show Project Duration, drag left
or right over the number to decrease or increase the duration.

Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J), then
change the value of the Duration field in the Properties
Inspector.
Note: Click the downward arrow to the right of the numbers in
the timing display and choose Show Frames or Show Timecode to
switch between viewing the project duration in frames or
timecode.

Change the default project duration
Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma),
then enter a project length in the Project Duration field.
Note: The duration of any open project is not changed. This
setting only takes effect in projects created after the
preferences are set and Motion is quit and reopened.

Change the duration in seconds, minutes, or
hours
1. Click the downward arrow in the timing display, and make
sure that the pop-up menu is set to Show Timecode and
Show Project Duration.
2. Double-click the timing display, then do any of the following:
Set the duration to an exact timecode value: Enter a
specific timecode value in the HH:MM:SS:FF format
(hours:minutes:seconds:frames), including a colon between

each double-digit number.
Set the duration in total seconds: Enter the number of
seconds followed by a period, then press Return.
Set a duration in total minutes: Enter the number of minutes
followed by two periods, then press Return.
Set a duration in total hours: Enter the number of hours
followed by three periods, then press Return.

Define the play range
Ordinarily, clicking the Play button plays your project from the first
frame until the last. However, you can change the play range of
your project by modifying the In and Out points in the Timeline
ruler or by using Menu commands. You might do this to focus on
a specific section as you fine-tune your project or make other
changes to it. When you finish, reset the In and Out points to the
beginning and end of your project.

Customize the playback In point
Do one of the following:
In the ruler, drag the In point marker from the left edge of the
ruler to the frame where you want to set the In point. As you
drag, the playhead moves with your pointer. When you release

the mouse button, the playhead snaps back to its previous
position.
In the ruler, move the playhead to the frame where you want
to set the In point, then choose Mark > Mark Play Range In.
In the ruler, move the playhead to the frame where you want
to set the In point, then press Option-Command-I.

Customize the playback Out point
Do one of the following:
In the ruler, drag the Out point marker from the right edge of
the ruler to the frame where you want to set the Out point.
In the ruler, move the playhead to the frame where you want
to set the Out point, then choose Mark > Mark Play Range
Out.
In the ruler, move the playhead to the frame where you want
to set the Out point, then press Option-Command-O.

Reset playback In and Out points
Do one of the following:
Choose Mark > Reset Play Range.
Press Option-X.

The In and Out points reset themselves to the beginning and end
of the project.

Navigate to playback In and Out points
Do any of the following:
Navigate to an In point: Choose Mark > Go to > Play Range
Start (or press Shift-Home).
Navigate to an Out point: Choose Mark > Go to > Play Range
End (or press Shift-End).

About project playback
performance
When you play back a project, Motion attempts to display your
sequence in real time. However, if your computer has an older
graphics card, or if have more than one monitor connected to
your graphics card, playback performance may be negatively
affected.
Your graphics card also determines the maximum file size you
can import into Motion. For most recommended cards, the image
size limit is 4K or 8K. For the best results, resize very large images
to the largest size required in the project, but no larger.
Computers with graphics cards containing minimum amounts of
video RAM (VRAM) may experience poor performance (or other

issues) when creating 4K projects. For more information, visit the
Motion website at http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/motion.
Note: Because of hardware limitations and differences, the
appearance of projects shared between computers with different
installed graphics cards may vary.

Work in a basic project
Basic compositing overview
After you create a project and add content, you can begin to edit
and arrange the image layers in your composition. This process is
known as compositing, the art of combining at least two images to
produce an integrated final result. Motion graphics artists use
various compositing techniques to create animated visual effects
—transforming the physical properties of image layers (such as
scale), adjusting opacity, applying filters, creating text and
shapes, and so on. Compositing also includes special effects
techniques such as keying, masking, color correction, and the
creation of animated particle systems.
Most basic compositing tasks are performed in four areas of the
Motion workspace:

Layers list: Select image layers and effects objects in this
hierarchical list. You can also rearrange the stacking order of
image layers so that certain images appear above other
images in the Canvas. See Layers list overview.
Canvas: View and manipulate image layers in this visual
workspace. Select onscreen editing tools in the toolbar below
the Canvas to perform basic layout tasks in the Canvas—
selecting, moving, rotating, scaling, distorting, and so on. The
onscreen tools let you adjust all of these properties by
dragging in the Canvas. See Transform layers in the Canvas
overview.
Tip: Although you can select layers in the Canvas, when
multiple layers are stacked one atop another, it’s often easier
to select specific layers in the Layers list.
Properties Inspector: You can also adjust layer properties
using numeric controls—sliders, dials, value fields, and so on.

These controls in the Properties Inspector let you make the
same adjustments afforded by the onscreen editing tools, but
with more precision. Adjustments made in the Canvas are
simultaneously updated in the Inspector, and vice versa. For
example, if you change a layer’s scale by dragging its corner
handles in the Canvas, the layer’s Scale parameter is updated
in the Properties Inspector. See Transform layers in the
Properties Inspector.
HUD: Many of the numeric controls in the Properties Inspector
are also available in the HUD (heads-up display), a floating
window that you can show or hide. See Transform layers in
the HUD.

Select and organize layers
Layers list overview
When you add media content, the resulting element is
represented in your Motion project as a layer. Think of layers as a
series of visual overlays stacked on top of each other. These
image layers combine to create the composition displayed in the
Canvas. Motion provides a graphical representation of this layer
hierarchy in the Layers list of the Project pane. In a 2D project, the
stacking order of layers in the Layers list determines which layers
appear in front of others in the Canvas.
You can modify layers by applying effects objects to them. Effects
objects also appear in the Layer’s list, under the group or layer to
which they are applied.
The Layers list contains the following objects:

Layers: The basic image objects—movie clips, still images,
shapes, text, particle systems, and so on—in your project that
combine to create a composition.
Effects objects: Nonimage objects that modify image layers or
groups. Effects objects include filters, behaviors, lights,
cameras, and rigs. Effects objects appear in the Layers list
indented under the layer or group that they modify.
Groups: Containers that enclose layers and effects objects.
When you create a layer, it’s placed inside a group. All image
layers and effects objects—except for cameras, lights, rigs,
and the Project object—must reside in groups. Masks,
behaviors, and effects can be applied to groups or to layers.
A group can also contain other groups nested inside it. In this
way, you can construct complex hierarchies of nested groups,
with each nested group subordinate to the group that contains
it.
Project object: An icon at the top of the Layers list that, when
selected, makes the Project Inspector available. The Project
Inspector displays parameters that are set to be published in
a template for use in Final Cut Pro X. For more information,
see Publish parameter controls to Final Cut Pro and Add
multiple display aspect ratios to a template.

Additional icons and controls in each row of the Layers list provide
information about the status of applied effects, allow you to lock
layers, and let you turn applied effects on or off. For more
information, see Layers list controls.
Note: In Motion, any element that appears stacked in the Layers
list is considered an object. That includes image layers, which are
a special class of object defined as any image-based element—a
movie clip, a still image, a shape, text, a particle system, a
replicator, and so on—that is visible in the Canvas. For example, a
rotating a triangle shape is a layer, but the behavior object that
animates it is not; a sepia-tone video clip is a layer, but the Sepia
filter that makes it so warmly old-timey is not. In Motion help, the
term object is often used to describe the superset of all elements
(layers, groups, and effects objects) that act upon and form a
composition. Layer, however, always refers to the image-based
elements acted upon.

Select layers and groups

To reorganize layers and groups in a project, you must select
objects to move or modify. You can select layers and groups in
the Layers list or Canvas.
Note: You can also select, organize, and manipulate layers in the
Timeline layers list. Changes made in the Timeline layers list are
mirrored in the Layers list, and vice versa. See Timeline overview.

Select layers or groups in the Layers list
Do any of the following:
Select a single layer or group: Click a layer or group in the
Layers list or Canvas. All other selected objects are
deselected.
Note: Selecting a group does not select the layers nested
underneath it. However, operations performed on a selected
group also affect layers nested in the group.
Select multiple contiguous layers or groups: Click the first layer
or group, hold down the Shift key, then click the last layer or
group in the contiguous list.
Select multiple noncontiguous layers or groups: Hold down the
Command key while clicking multiple layers in the Layers list.

Select layers in the Canvas
Do any of the following:

Select a single layer: Click the Select/Transform tool in the
toolbar (if it’s not already selected), then click an image in the
Canvas.

Select multiple layers: Click the Select/Transform tool in the
toolbar (if it’s not already selected), then drag a selection
rectangle around multiple images in the Canvas, or hold down
the Shift key while clicking multiple images.

Add or remove selections when there are
multiple selected layers
Do any of the following:
Add to selected groups or layers: Command-click any
unselected layer or group in the Layers list, or Shift-click any
unselected layer in the Canvas.
Deselect a layer from multiple selected layers: Command-click
any selected layer in the Layers list, or Shift-click any selected
layer in the Canvas.

Select all layers and groups
Do one of the following:

Choose Edit > Select All (or press Command-A).
Click the first group or layer in the Layers list then Shift-click
the last group or layer in the list.

Deselect all layers or groups
Choose Edit > Deselect All (or press Shift-Command-A).

SEE ALSO
Transform layer properties in the Canvas

Show and hide the Layers list
The Layers list is located in the Project pane, to the right of the
Canvas. You can show, hide, or resize the Project pane and
Layers list to customize your workspace.

Collapse or expand the Project pane
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Show/Hide Project Pane (or press F5).
Click the Show/Hide Project Pane button in the bottom of the
Canvas.

Display the Layers list
Do one of the following:
If the Project pane is visible, click Layers at the top of the
pane.
Choose Window > Layers (or press Command-4).

Resize the Project pane
Do any of the following:
Resize horizontally: Drag the right edge of the pane left or
right.
Resize vertically: Drag the top edge of the Timing pane up or
down.
Note: You can also choose Window > Hide Timing Pane. The
Timing pane is hidden and the Project pane is expanded
vertically.

Expose layers in the Canvas

Motion’s expose commands provide a way of viewing multiple
layers at once, exploding and rescaling them. The expose
commands allow you to access all layers in a project in the
Canvas without having to drill down into the Layers list. Expose
commands also let you select inactive layers at the playhead’s
current position or jump to a selected layer’s In point.

Expose layers that are active at the
playhead position
1. Click anywhere in the Canvas.
2. Press X.
Layers active at the current position of the playhead
temporarily scale down and spread out over the Canvas. Each
active layer is represented by a white frame in the Canvas.
Moving the pointer over a frame reveals the layer’s name.
3. Select the layer to work on.
The elements move and rescale back to their original
positions; the element is selected in the Canvas; and the
playhead moves to the first frame of the selected layer.

Expose all layers in your project
1. Click anywhere in the Canvas.

2. Press Shift-X.
Layers in the project temporarily scale down and spread out
over the Canvas. Each layer in the project is represented by a
white frame in the Canvas. Moving the pointer over a frame
shows the layer’s name.

3. Select the layer to work on.
The layers move and rescale back to their original positions;
the element is selected in the Canvas; and the playhead
moves to the middle frame of the selected layer.

Add and remove layers and groups
You can add and remove layers or groups in the Layers list. You
can also add or remove layers (but not groups) in the Canvas.

Add a layer to your project
Do one of the following:

Drag an item from the File Browser or Library to a group in the
Layers list.
Drag an item from the File Browser or Library to the Canvas.
For more information about adding content from the File Browser
or Library, see Add and manage content overview.

Create a group in the Layers list
Do one of the following:
Click the Add button (+) in the lower-left corner of the Project
pane.
Control-click an empty area of the Canvas (in the gray area
outside the composition) and choose New Group from the
shortcut menu.
An empty group is added above the existing groups in the
Layers list.
Choose Object > New Group (or press Shift-Command-N).
An empty group is added above the currently selected object.
(If no object is selected, the empty group is added at the top
of the Layers list).
Note: You can also create groups when dragging files to the
Layers list from the File Browser or Library. For more information,
see Add and manage content overview.

Duplicate a layer
Do one of the following:
Option-drag the layer to the position you want in the Layers
list, or Option drag a layer in the Canvas.
Note: You can also Option-drag layers between different
open Motion projects (to the Canvas or Layers list).
Control-click a layer in the Layers list or Canvas, then choose
Duplicate from the shortcut menu.

Clone a layer
When you duplicate a layer, subsequent changes made to the
original (source) layer are not inherited by the duplicated layers.
However, when you use the Make Clone Layer command,
changes made to filters and masks in the source layer propagate
to the clones. Creating clone layers improves project playback
and rendering performance.
Important: Behaviors don’t propagate to clone layers unless the
behavior affects a filter or mask in the source layer.
Do one of the following:
Select the layer to clone, then choose Object > Make Clone
Layer (or press K).
Control-click a layer in the Layers list, then choose Make

Clone Layer from the shortcut menu.
A clone layer is created and appears in the Canvas on top of
the original layer. In the Layers list, the clone layer appears
with the default name “Clone Layer.” A clone layer icon
appears next to the name.

Note: You can modify clone layers independently of their source
layer. However, you cannot modify the Frame Blending parameter
of a clone layer created from a retimed source layer.

Remove a layer or group
Do one of the following:
Control-click a layer or group in the Layers list, then choose
Cut or Delete from the shortcut menu.
Select a layer or group in the Layers list, then choose Edit >
Delete (or press Delete) or Edit > Cut.

The layer or group is removed. This action removes the object
from the Canvas as well.
Note: If you delete a media file (an imported image, image
sequence, audio file, or QuickTime movie) from the project, the file
is also removed from the Media list unless the “Automatically
manage unused media” checkbox is deselected in the General
pane of Motion Preferences. When this setting is deselected,
media files are deleted from the Layers list (and Canvas) but
remain in the project in the Media list. Drag an item from the
Media list into the Canvas to add it back to the Layers list. For
more information, see Display, sort, and search the Media list.

Reorganize layers and groups
The order in which layers and groups appear in the Layers list
determines which layers appear in front of other layers in the
Canvas. You can change the ordering of layers in the Layers list
or in the Canvas. However, it’s easiest to select layers and
change their stacking order in the Layers list.
Additionally, you can change layer order using commands in the
Object menu. These commands can be used with layers, effects
objects, groups, or groups nested in another group. Reordering a
group reorders all objects nested in that group.
Note: When using 3D groups, you can rearrange the depth order
in 3D space to override the layer order in the Layers list. For more
information about depth and layer hierarchy in 3D groups, see
Create 3D intersection.

Move a layer or group forward or backward
in your composition
Do one of the following:
Drag a layer or group up or down in the Layers list.
A position indicator shows the new position the selection
occupies when you release the mouse button.
Select a layer or group in the Layers list (or select a layer in
the Canvas), click the Object menu, then choose Bring to
Front, Send to Back, Bring Forward, or Send Backward.
Note: You cannot use the Object menu reorder commands to
move image layers out of the group they’re nested in.
The selected layer or group is reordered in the Layers list and
Canvas.
Note: Using the Bring and Send commands in the Object menu
to move layers up and down in the nested hierarchy in any group
is especially useful when working with selected objects in the
Canvas. For more information, see Object menu.

Move multiple layers or groups forward or
backward in the composition
Do one of the following

In the Layers list, Shift-click to select multiple contiguous
layers or groups or Command-click to select multiple
noncontiguous layers or groups, then drag the items up or
down in the Layers list.
A position indicator shows the new position the items occupy
when you release the mouse button.
In the Layers list, Shift-click to select multiple contiguous
layers or groups or Command-click to select multiple
noncontiguous layers or groups, click the Object menu, then
choose Bring to Front, Send to Back, Bring Forward, or Send
Backward.
Note: When you apply the Bring Forward or Send Backward
arrangement command to noncontiguous selected layers, the
layers move up or down the object hierarchy together, and
any space between the layers remains.

Move a layer from one group to another

When you have more than one group, you can move layers back
and forth between groups, changing their nested relationship in
your project.
1. Select one or more layers.
2. Do one of the following:
Drag the selected layers to a position underneath another
group. A position indicator appears, showing where the
layer is placed when you release the mouse button.
Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X), then select the
group to paste into, and choose Edit > Paste (or press
Command-V).

Copy a layer from one group to another
Do one of the following:
Option-drag selected layers from one group to another.
Select layers, choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C),
then select the group to paste into, and choose Edit > Paste
(or press Command-V).
Select layers, choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C),
select the group to paste into, then Control-click an empty
area of the Canvas (in the gray area outside your composition)
and choose Paste from the shortcut menu.

Copy a layer or group from one project to

another
When you have more than one project open, you can copy layers
or groups back and forth between projects.
1. Select one or more layers in the active project window.
2. Do one of the following:
Drag the selected object to a position in the target
project’s Layers list. A position indicator appears to show
where the object is placed when you release the mouse
button.
Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C), select a group
in the target project, then choose Edit > Paste (or press
Command-V).
Option-drag a layer in the Canvas to the Canvas or Layers
list of the target project.

Rename a layer or group
Renaming groups and layers in the Layers list helps organize your
project. When you rename a layer, the original name of the source
media file on disk remains unchanged. Likewise, renaming a layer
in the Layers list does not change the name of the layer’s
corresponding source media in the Media list. For more
information, see Source media overview or Display, sort, and
search the Media list.
1. In the Layers list, double-click the name of a group or layer,

then enter a new name.
2. To confirm the name, press Return, or click in another layer or
group.

Show, hide, solo, or lock layers and
groups
In the Layers list, you can disable layers and groups to make them
invisible in the Canvas without removing them from your
composition. For example, if a large image layer obstructs other
layers you want to adjust in the Canvas, you can temporarily
disable the offending layer. Similarly, you can disable effects
objects—filters, behaviors, masks, and so on—to temporarily
remove their effect on layers and groups.
If you disable a group, you also hide all layers and groups nested
in it. Hidden layers and groups are not included when your project
is exported.
In the Layers list, you can also solo or lock groups or layers to
prevent accidental modification.

Enable or disable objects
When you disable an image layer or group, it becomes invisible in
the Canvas. When you disable an effects object (such as a
behavior or filter), its effect is disabled.

Do one of the following:
Deselect the activation checkbox to the left of an object in the
Layers list.

Select an object, then choose Object > Active (or press
Control-T).
Control-click an object, then choose Active from the shortcut
menu.
When disabled, objects are dimmed in the Layers list. Disabled
layers are hidden in the Canvas; disabled effects objects no
longer modify the group or layer they’re applied to.
Note: If you disable layers in a group, the enclosing group’s
checkbox displays a dash instead of a checkmark, indicating that
some layers are not visible.

Solo a layer or group

Solo a layer or group
You can “solo” a layer or group to hide all other layers and groups
in the project. This technique can be useful to isolate a single layer
or group in the Canvas to animate or manipulate it without
interfering with other objects in your composition.
1. In the Layers list, select layers or groups to solo.
2. Choose Object > Solo (or press Control-S).
Note: You can also Control-click an object in the Layers list,
then choose Solo from the shortcut menu.
All other layers or groups are deactivated, and only the soloed
object is visible in the Canvas. When the selected item is
soloed, the solo menu item displays a checkmark.

Lock an object
Locked objects cannot be modified or moved, and their
parameters cannot be altered or animated. However, animation
and behaviors previously applied to a layer or group still play.
Locking a group also locks all layers and groups nested in it.
Note: You cannot lock objects that contain published parameters
(for use in Final Cut Pro X). Such objects display a dimmed lock
control. For more information about publishing parameters, see
Add parameter controls overview.
Do one of the following:
Click the lock icon to the right of the object in the Layers list.

In the Layers list, select a layer, group, or effects object, then
choose Object > Lock (or press Control-L).
In the Canvas, the bounding box of a disabled layer (or a disabled
group of layers) turns white to indicate the item is locked.

Nest layers and groups
Nest layers and groups overview
Groups and layers in the Layers list appear in a hierarchy that
shows which layers are nested inside which groups. Nested layers
and groups appear underneath and indented to the right of their
parent group.
It’s a good idea to group layers that work together as a unit. By
nesting related layers you want to animate inside a group, you can
save time by animating the enclosing group, instead of animating
each layer. For example, when you select a group that has three
layers nested in it, the entire group is selected as a single unit.

Transforming the selected group in the Canvas moves all three
layers simultaneously.

Regardless of how they’re nested, layers can always be modified
independently. Subordinate groups can also be modified
independently. In the following example, a filter is applied to a
layer in a group containing three fish layers. All other layers in the
group remain unaffected.

However, If you apply the same filter to the group, all layers in that
group are affected by the filter, as if they were a single layer.

Many filters produce different results when applied to a group,
rather than individual layers in a group, as shown in the images

below.

You can also nest groups inside other groups. You might do this if
you’re creating a layer hierarchy to control the relationship of one
group of layers to another, or if you’re grouping layers to which
you want to apply a single set of behaviors and filters.
Note: You cannot group groups that appear at different
hierarchical levels in the Layers list.

Collapse and expand group hierarchies
To make the Layers list easier to manage, you can collapse layers
nested in a group. Collapsed groups appear as a single row in the
Layers list, and can be moved or nested like any other layer. Each
group’s thumbnail displays a preview of its composite, making it
easy to see what’s nested inside when the group is collapsed.

Open or collapse a single group
Do one of the following:
In the Layers list, click the disclosure triangle to the left of a

group’s name and icon.
Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to navigate up and
down the Layers list, then press Option–Right Arrow to open a
group or Option–Left Arrow to collapse a group.

Group, ungroup, and nest layers
Nesting layers and groups in the Layers list helps you apply
animation and other effects to specific elements of your
composition. For more information, see Nest layers and groups
overview.

Nest selected layers into a new group
1. Select all layers or groups you want to group together.
2. Choose Object > Group (or press Shift-Command-G).
The selected layers or groups are nested in a new group.

Ungroup nested layers
You can also delete a containing group and move and “unnest” its
contents.
1. In the Layers list, select a group containing the nested layers
or groups.

2. Choose Object > Ungroup (or press Option-Command-G).
The layers or groups are moved up in the Layers list hierarchy.
Note: You cannot ungroup groups that are at the root (project
level) of the Layers list hierarchy.

Move a group inside another group
1. In the Layers list, select one or more groups.
2. Do one of the following:
Drag the groups onto another group.
Drag the groups to a position at the bottom of another
group.
Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X) to cut the
groups, then select another group and choose Edit > Paste
(or press Command-V).

Constrain group size
By default, the size of a group is determined by the layers in that
group. Because animated objects often grow in size, the active
height and width of a group (its resolution) can become large. You
can constrain the resolution of a group to a specific width and
height.
The project in the following image contains a particle system. The
animated particles, although not visible when they move off the

Canvas, make the group containing them large.

If a project contains growing objects that move or expand beyond
the edges of the Canvas, use the Fixed Resolution checkbox to
decrease your computer processing time.
Note: The Group pane of the Inspector (which contains the Fixed
Resolution parameter) is only accessible when a group is selected
in the project.

Fix the resolution of a group
1. In the Layers list, select a group.
2. In the Group Inspector, select the Fixed Resolution checkbox.

By default, the group’s resolution is set to the project size;
objects in the group but outside the Canvas are cropped. An
“R” indicator appears to the right of the Fixed Resolution
checkbox, informing you that the group is rasterized. For more
information on rasterization, see Groups and rasterization.
3. To set a resolution other than that of the project, adjust the
Fixed Width and Fixed Height sliders.
If the group’s anchor point is offset, the cropping might not
occur around the edges of the Canvas, and objects may be
cut off.

Note: When you select a layer in a fixed-resolution group, the
bounding box around the layer appears at its original size,
unaffected by the containing group’s resolution.

Layers list controls
In each row of the Layers list, icons offer additional information
about groups, layers, and effects objects. Clicking these icons
modifies or turns effects, visibility, and locking on or off.
The Layers list contains the following controls:

Activation checkbox: Turns the visibility of the group, layer, or
effects object on or off. When an object’s visibility is off, you
can still modify the object’s parameters and manipulate its
onscreen controls (in the Canvas).
Preview: Displays a thumbnail of a layer or group. The group
thumbnail represents the cumulative result of the composite
up to that point in the project. (You can turn the display of the
preview on or off in the Layers Columns section of the View
menu.)
Name field: Identifies the object by name. To edit the name,
double-click the text area of a selected object, enter a new
name, then press Return. In projects containing a camera, the

Isolate button appears in the Name column.
Isolate button: Appears for a selected layer, group, or camera
object in a project that contains a camera. (For information
about cameras, see Add a camera.) The Isolate button has an
active and inactive state. Clicking the Isolate button for a layer
or group sets that object to its original face-forward orientation
(so you can apply a mask, for example). Clicking the button
again returns to the previous view. Clicking the Isolate button
for a camera takes you to that camera’s view.
Note: When a group or layer is isolated, the name of the item
replaces the current camera listing in the Camera menu (in the
upper-left corner of the Canvas).
Link icon: Appears when the layer has a corresponding audio
element, such as a multichannel QuickTime file. To unlink the
video and audio (to edit them separately), click the link icon.
When they are unlinked, a red slash appears through the icon.
2D/3D icon: Switches a group between 2D or 3D mode. The
same icon appears at the left of the group name and indicates
the 2D/3D status of the group. Layers cannot be 2D or 3D—
they are always 2D elements in a 2D or 3D group.
Lock icon: Locks an object to prevent changes from affecting
that object. Locking a group prevents changes to layers and
effects in that group. When the lock is disabled, its icon
appears open.
Mask, behavior, and filter icons: Appear when a mask,
behavior, or filter is applied to the layer or group. To turn off
the effect of the mask, behavior, or filter, click the icon so that
it’s marked with a red slash.

Opacity slider: Displays the opacity (transparency) of the
group or layer. You can adjust the slider to change the item’s
opacity. This slider is not displayed by default. To display the
Opacity slider in the Layers list, choose View > Layers
Columns > Opacity.
Blend Mode pop-up menu: Displays the blend mode of the
layer or group. Click the pop-up menu to choose a blend
mode. This pop-up menu is not displayed by default. To
display the Blend Mode pop-up menu in the Layers list,
choose View > Layers Columns > Blend Modes. For more
information on blend modes, see How do blend modes work?.

Layers list shortcut menu
The Layers list shortcut menu gives you access to additional
commands to help organize and manipulate layers. Control-click a
layer in the Layers list, then choose a command from the shortcut
menu. The command is applied to the layer you Control-clicked.
The menu contains the following commands:
Cut: Removes the layer and places it on the Clipboard.
Copy: Copies the layer to the Clipboard.
Paste: Places the contents of the Clipboard in the selected

location.
Duplicate: Creates a layer identical to the selection.
Delete: Removes the selected layer.
Group: Places the selected layer or layers into a new group.
(For more information, see Nest layers and groups overview.)
Ungroup: Deletes a containing group, and moves its contents
up one level in the Layers list hierarchy.
Active: Enables or disables a layer, group, or effects object—
the equivalent to clicking an object’s activation checkbox.
Solo: Hides other layers and groups in the project (so that they
are not visible in the Canvas). When a layer or group is soloed,
activation checkboxes for other layers and groups are
dimmed. You can solo multiple layers and groups at a time.
Isolate: Hides all other groups and layers, and restores the
selected layer or group to a face-forward orientation for easier
adjustment (such as the application of a mask, for example).
This command becomes available only after you add a
camera to your project. Choosing Isolate for a camera object
activates that camera’s view.
3D Group: Switches the group from 2D mode to 3D mode. For
more information about 3D groups, see Create 3D
intersection.
Blend Mode: Sets the blend mode for the selected layer. This
is equivalent to setting a value using the Blend Mode pop-up
menu (when activated in View > Layers Columns).
Add Image Mask: Adds an image mask to the selected layer.
An image mask creates transparency by deriving an alpha

channel from another layer, such as a shape, text, movie, or
still image. For more information, see Image masks overview.
Make Clone Layer: Clones the selected layer. Like the
Duplicate command, Make Clone Layer lets you make copies
of a selected layer. However, copies created by the Make
Clone Layer command are automatically modified to match
changes made to the original layer. For more information, see
Add and remove layers and groups.
Reveal Source Media: Opens the Media list and highlights the
media file associated with the selected clip.
When no items are selected in the Layers list, the shortcut menu
provides this set of commands:
New Group: Adds a group to the project above existing
groups in the Layers list.
Import: Opens the Import Files dialog, used to import files
from the Finder.
Paste: Pastes any item copied to the Clipboard into the
topmost group in the Layers list.
Project Properties: Opens the Properties Inspector for the
project, where you can modify the project’s background color,
aspect ratio, field rendering, motion blur, reflections, and so
on. For more information, see Project properties overview.

Customize the Layers list
You can modify the display of the Layers list to suit your needs.

Adjust row height
Do one of the following:
Position the pointer over a horizontal line and drag up or down
to decrease or increase the height of all rows.
Icons and thumbnails resize themselves as you make the
adjustment.
Click the Scale button at the bottom of the Layers list, then
drag the slider left to decrease row height or right to increase
row height.

Filter the Layers list
Click the Search button, then enter the name of the objects to
view in the Search field.

When you begin typing in the Search field, the Layers list
hides objects that do not contain the text you type. Hidden
objects continue to appear in the Canvas.

Stop filtering and return to the complete
Layers list
Click the Clear button at the right of the Search field.
The Search field is cleared, and the Layers list returns to the
unfiltered view.

Show or hide mask, behavior, or filter
objects
You can hide effects objects in the Layers list to simplify your view
of layers and groups in your project.
Click the Show/Hide Masks, Show/Hide Behaviors, or
Show/Hide Filters button in the lower-left corner of the Layers
list.

When a button is dimmed, the effects object is hidden from view
in the Layers list. However, the effect remains active in the
Canvas.

Transform layers

Transform layers overview
The Motion interface provides three areas where you can
transform the basic spatial properties of layers and groups—
resizing, repositioning, rotating, cropping, and distorting them:
In the Canvas, where you can drag onscreen transform
handles
In the Properties Inspector, where you can adjust numeric
controls (sliders, dials, value fields, and so on)
In the HUD, where you can adjust a subset of the controls
found in the Properties Inspector
When you transform a layer in any of these areas, the layer’s
parameters are also updated in the other two sections of the
Motion workspace.

Transform layers in the Canvas
Transform layers in the Canvas overview
You can transform image layers in the Canvas using onscreen
controls (transform handles) to drag, resize, rotate, and more.
Although you can perform the same modifications with more
precision by adjusting parameter controls in the Properties
Inspector, onscreen controls give you a more hands-on method of
working.
Before transforming layers, you must make a selection in the
Layers list or Canvas. After you select a layer, a bounding box
with transform handles appears in the Canvas.

You can move selected layers anywhere in the frame shown in the
Canvas, and you can also drag layers past the edge of the frame.
By default, when you move a layer past the edge of the frame, it
becomes invisible; however, you can still manipulate the layer
using its bounding box.

You can perform different adjustments in the Canvas by choosing
different 2D transform tools in the toolbar. The default tool—
Select/Transform—lets you reposition, resize, and rotate a
selected layer or group. Other 2D transform tools let you distort or
crop objects, create drop shadows, and more.
SEE ALSO
Transform layer properties in the Canvas
2D transform tools
Align layers in the Canvas

Transform layer properties in the Canvas
After you select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas, you can
choose a 2D transform tool (from the pop-up menu in the toolbar)

to activate transform handles in the Canvas. Drag the handles to
transform basic image properties such as position, rotation, scale,
and so on. For a list of transform tools and their functions, see 2D
transform tools.

Activate the Select/Transform tool
The Select/Transform tool (the arrow) is the default 2D transform
tool. Use it to resize, reposition, or rotate layers in the Canvas.
Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar, or press the S
key.

Note: If a different 2D transform tool is showing in the toolbar,
click and hold down the tool to open a pop-up menu, then
choose the Select/Transform tool (the arrow).
The Select/Transform tool is selected in the toolbar, and
transform handles appear in the Canvas for each selected
layer or group.

Choose a different 2D transform tool
When you choose a 2D transform tool from the pop-up menu in
the toolbar, transform handles appear in the Canvas for each

selected layer or group.
Do any of the following:
In the toolbar: Click and hold down the Select/Transform tool,
then choose a different tool from the pop-up menu. For a list
of transform tools and their functions, see 2D transform tools.

In the Canvas: Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar,
then Control-click any layer in the Canvas and choose a tool
from the shortcut menu.

The options in the shortcut menu vary depending on the type
of layer selected. For example, a shape layer contains shapespecific options such as Stroke, Edit Gradient, and Edit Points.
With the Tab key: In the Layers list or Canvas, select a layer,
then press Tab. Pressing Tab repeatedly cycles through the
2D transform tools in order. Pressing Shift-Tab cycles through
the tools in reverse.
Note: When pressing Tab, the 3D Transform tool is activated
between the 2D Select/Transform tool and the Anchor Point
tool. For more information about 3D transforms, see Transform
layers in 3D space.

Transform layers
1. Select one or more layers in the Layers list or Canvas.

2. Choose a 2D transform tool from the pop-up menu in the
toolbar, as described in the previous task.
3. Drag a transform handle in the Canvas.
If you selected a single layer, only that layer is modified:

If you selected multiple layers, each is transformed. Each
transform occurs around each layer’s own anchor point, so the
effect is the same as if you applied the transform to each layer’s
handle, one at a time:

Transform a group

If you select and then transform an entire group, all layers and
groups nested in it are treated as a single layer.
1. Select a group in the Layers list.
In the Canvas, a single set of transform handles appears on a
bounding box that encompasses all layers in the group.
2. Choose a 2D transform tool from the pop-up menu in the
toolbar, as described above.
3. Drag a transform handle in the Canvas.
All layer transforms occur around a single anchor point belonging
to the group:

If you select a layer and its parent group (but not the other layers
in the group), the following occurs:
The scale handles of the parent group remain available, and
the scale handles of the individual layers within the group are
dimmed. Dragging the group’s scale handles scales the
group, not its nested objects.

The rotation handles of the individual layers remain available.
Dragging an object’s rotation handle rotates that object
independently of the other objects in the group.

SEE ALSO
Select layers and groups
2D transform tools

2D transform tools
Use the 2D transform tools to adjust and manipulate objects in the
Canvas. To select a tool, click the 2D transform tools control in the
toolbar and, holding down the mouse button, choose a different
tool from the pop-up menu.

When you choose a 2D transform tool and then select a layer or
group, handles appear in the Canvas. Drag the handles to move

or transform an object in the Canvas.
Tip: Press S to select the Select/Transform tool. To quickly cycle
through tools, press Tab. Press Shift-Tab to cycle through the
tools in reverse.
Some of the tools are activated automatically when specific layers
are selected. For example, the Edit Points tool is selected after
you create a complex shape or mask layer, so you can
immediately adjust the Bezier or B-Spline control points.

Icon

Tool

Description

Select/Transfor
m tool (arrow)

Activates
selection and
transform
controls in the
Canvas for the
selected object.
Scale objects by
dragging a
corner point;
rotate objects by
dragging the
center point.
This is the
default tool in
the 2D transform
tools pop-up
menu. See

Change a layer’s
position, scale,
or rotation.

Anchor Point
tool

Activates an
anchor point
control (the point
around which an
object scales or
rotates) in the
Canvas for the
selected object.
Modify the
anchor point by
dragging it to a
new position.
See Move a
layer’s anchor
point.

Drop Shadow
tool

Activates a drop
shadow control
in the Canvas for
the selected
object. Drag a
corner handle to

change the
direction and
offset of an
object’s drop
shadow. (This
control doesn’t
move the
object.) See Add
a drop shadow
to a layer.
Distort tool

Activates shear
and distortion
handles in the
Canvas for the
selected object.
Drag a midpoint
handle to shear
two adjacent
corners at the
same time,
leaving the other
two corners
locked into
place; drag a
corner handle to
distort a corner,
leaving the other

three corners
locked into
place. See
Distort or shear
a layer.
Crop tool

Activates crop
handles in the
Canvas for the
selected object.
Drag the edge or
corner of the
object to crop
(hide) a portion
of the object.
See Crop a
layer.

Edit Points tool

Activates points
and Bezier
handles in the
Canvas for
complex masks,
shapes, and
motion paths.
See Modify the
control points of

a shape or
mask.
Edit Shape tool

Activates points
and curvature
handles in the
Canvas for
simple shapes.
See Draw simple
shapes.

Transform Glyph
tool

Activates
handles in the
Canvas for
selected text
characters
(glyphs). See
Transform text
glyphs and other
object attributes.

Adjust Item tool

Activates
handles in the
Canvas that
modify specific
parameters such

as the amount or
angle of a
Directional Blur,
the shape of a
particle emitter,
or the start and
end points of a
gradient. See
Transform text
glyphs and other
object attributes.

Change a layer’s position, scale, or rotation
The Select/Transform tool is the default tool in Motion.

Clicking the Select/Transform tool activates Canvas controls to
adjust a layer’s position, scale, and rotation.

Change a layer’s position in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar (if it’s not already
selected).
By default, the Select/Transform tool is the active tool. If you
have another tool selected, such as a Mask or Shape tool,
pressing the S key returns you to the 2D transform tools.
3. Drag anywhere inside the selected layer’s bounding box in the
Canvas.
The image is moved to a new position in the Canvas, and the

values are updated in the Position parameter of the Properties
Inspector.

Resize a layer in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar (if it’s not already
selected).
By default, the Select/Transform tool is the active tool. If you
have another tool selected, such as a Mask or Shape tool,
pressing the S key returns you to the 2D transform tools.
3. Do any of the following:
Resize width and height at the same time: Drag a corner
handle in the Canvas.
The width and height are resized independently, which
may change the aspect ratio (ratio of width to height) of the
image.

Resize width and height proportionally: Hold down the Shift
key while dragging a corner handle in the Canvas.
The aspect ratio (ratio of width to height) of the image
remains the same.

Resize either width or height: Drag the top or bottom

Resize either width or height: Drag the top or bottom
handle to modify height; drag the left or right handle to
modify width.
The width or height is resized independently of the other.

Resize around the anchor point: Hold down the Option key
while dragging any scale handle in the Canvas.
The layer rescales, but the anchor point of the layer
remains pinned to its position in the Canvas.
As you drag the scale handles, the new width and height
percentages appear in the status bar above the Canvas and are
updated in the Scale parameter of the Properties Inspector.

Note: Scaling the width or height of a layer by a negative value
reverses the image, flipping its direction.

Rotate a layer in the Canvas
The Select/Transform tool also activates a handle used to rotate
the image around its anchor point. For animation purposes,
Motion keeps track of the number of times you’ve rotated the
layer and stores this value in that layer’s Rotation parameter in the
Properties Inspector.
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar (if it’s not already

selected).
By default, the Select/Transform tool is the active tool. If you
have another tool selected, such as a Mask or Shape tool,
pressing the S key returns you to the 2D transform tools.
3. Do one of the following:
Drag the rotation handle to rotate the layer.
Press Shift while you drag the rotation handle to constrain
the angle of the selected layer to 45-degree increments.
As you drag the rotation handle, the original angle of the layer
is indicated by a small circle that appears on a larger circle
surrounding the layer’s anchor point. Additionally, the status
bar shows you the new angle of rotation, and the value of the
Rotation parameter is updated in the Properties Inspector.

Move a layer’s anchor point
Selecting the Anchor Point tool activates Canvas controls to adjust
the point in a layer around which geometric transforms are
performed.

Layers rotate around the anchor point, but the anchor point also
affects resizing operations. For example, the default anchor point
for any layer is the center of the bounding box that defines the
layer’s edges. If you rotate a layer, it spins around this central
anchor point.

If you offset the anchor point, however, the layer no longer rotates
around its own center, but instead rotates around the new anchor
point.

Change the anchor point of a layer in the
Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Anchor Point tool.

In the Canvas, the selected layer’s anchor point appears as a
round target surrounded with three colored arrows
representing the X, Y, and Z coordinate axes. For more
information on coordinate axes, see Transform layers in 3D
space.

3. Do one of the following:
Drag the white circle to move the anchor point vertically or
horizontally.
Drag an arrow to move the anchor point along the
corresponding axis.
As you drag the anchor point, a line stretches from the

default position of the anchor point to its new position.
Additionally, the status bar shows you the anchor point’s
new coordinates and the delta (amount of change)
between the anchor point’s new and old positions, and the
Anchor Point parameter is updated in the Properties
Inspector.
Note: If the anchor point is close to the center or edges of the
layer, and both Snapping and Dynamic Guides are turned on,
the anchor point snaps to that location.

Add a drop shadow to a layer
Selecting the Drop Shadow tool enables Canvas controls to create
a drop shadow and modify its blur, angle, and distance from a
layer.

A drop shadow, by default, is a dark, translucent, offset shape
that falls behind a layer, as if a light were shining on the layer.
Drop shadows are the same size as the layer to which they’re
applied, although blurring a drop shadow might enlarge it
somewhat. Drop shadows create the illusion of depth, so the
foreground layer seems to pop out at the viewer. For this reason,
drop shadows are frequently used to create the impression of
space between two overlapping layers.

Add a drop shadow to a layer in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Drop Shadow
tool.

In the Canvas, a drop shadow bounding box appears around
the selected layer. By default, the drop shadow is hidden
behind the layer.
3. Drag inside the bounding box to set the distance and angle of
the shadow.
A shadow appears behind the layer, and the Drop Shadow
parameters are updated in the Properties Inspector.
Alternatively, you can add a drop shadow by selecting a layer,
then selecting the Drop Shadow activation checkbox in the
Properties Inspector. For more information, see Properties
Inspector controls.

Adjust the blur of a drop shadow in the
Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.

A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Drop Shadow
tool.

In the Canvas, a drop shadow bounding box appears around
the selected layer.
3. Drag a corner handle on the bounding box to adjust the blur of
the drop shadow.
The Drop Shadow parameters are updated in the Properties
Inspector.

Distort or shear a layer
Selecting the Distort tool activates Canvas controls to reposition a

layer’s corner points independently, and to shear (slant) its
midsection points horizontally or vertically.

Distort a layer in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Distort tool.

In the Canvas, a bounding box with eight handles appears
around the selected layer.

3. In the Canvas, drag any of the four corner handles to stretch
the layer into an irregular shape.

The Four Corner parameters are updated in the Properties
Inspector.
After you distort a layer, you can revert to the layer’s original
shape by deselecting the layer’s Four Corner checkbox in the
Properties Inspector. Doing so resets the shape of the layer
without resetting the shape you defined by dragging in the
Canvas.

Shear a layer in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.

2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Distort tool.

In the Canvas, a bounding box with eight handles appears
around the selected layer.
3. Drag any of the side handles or top and bottom handles to
shear (slant) the layer. The top and bottom handles shear the
layer horizontally. The left and right handles shear the layer
vertically.

The Four Corner parameters are updated in the Properties
Inspector.
Note: Shearing a layer using the Distort tool does not affect the
Shear parameter in the Transform area of the Properties
Inspector. Instead, the Distort tool modifies the Four Corner
parameters to simulate a Shear effect. You can still modify the
Shear parameter, effectively shearing the shear simulation for
interesting results.

Crop a layer
Selecting the Crop tool activates Canvas controls to resize the
borders of a layer.

Cropping lets you chop off any of the four edges of a layer to
eliminate parts you don’t want to see in your composition.
Common examples of layers you’d want to crop are video clips
with a black line or unwanted vignetting around the edges. The
crop operation can remove these undesirable artifacts. A layer
might also be cropped to isolate a single element of the image.

When you crop an imported image using the Crop tool (which
yields the same result as using the Crop controls in the layer’s
Properties Inspector), only the instance of that file is cropped. The
source image in the Media list is not cropped. To crop the source
image, you must select the layer in the Media list, then use the
Crop tools in the Media Inspector. For more information, see
Source media controls in the Media Inspector.
Note: If you must isolate a more irregularly shaped layer, or you
want to create a border of a specific shape, see Shapes, masks,
and paint strokes overview.

Crop a layer in the Canvas
1. Select a layer in the Layers list or Canvas.
A bounding box appears around the selected layer in the
Canvas.
2. Click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and,
holding down the mouse button, choose the Crop tool.

In the Canvas, a bounding box with eight crop handles
appears around the selected layer.
3. Do any of the following:
Crop one edge: Drag the top, left, right, or bottom handle.
Crop two adjacent edges: Drag a corner handle.
Maintain the same aspect ratio while cropping: Hold down
the Shift key and drag a handle.

The ratio between the layer’s width and height is
preserved.
Note: If a layer is modified with the Distort tool, the Crop
tool and its onscreen controls become disabled. However,
you can still crop a distorted layer by adjusting its Crop
parameter settings in the Properties Inspector.
The Crop parameters are updated in the Properties Inspector.

Move the crop area while keeping the
underlying image in place
Drag inside the crop area.
The crop area moves, allowing you to adjust the crop to a new
location without changing its size or shape.

Move the image while keeping the crop area
in place
Hold down the Command key while dragging inside the crop
area.
The crop area remains static, but the image underneath it
moves, allowing you to change the visible area of the layer.

Modify the control points of a shape or mask
Selecting the Edit Shape tool activates Canvas controls for
adjusting simple shapes and masks.

Selecting the Edit Points tool activates control points in the
Canvas for adjusting complex shapes and masks.

Modify a simple shape in the Canvas
1. After you create the simple shape or mask, click the 2D
transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and, holding down
the mouse button, choose the Edit Rectangle or Edit Ellipse
tool.

The shape or mask layer’s onscreen control points become
active.
2. In the Canvas, drag the control points to modify the shape of
the layer.
For information on creating and adjusting simple masks and
shapes, see Draw simple shapes and Draw simple masks.

Modify a complex shape’s control points in
the Canvas
1. After you create the complex shape or mask, click the 2D
transform tools pop-up menu in the toolbar and, holding down
the mouse button, choose the Edit Points tool.

Note: You can also double-click the shape or Control-click
the layer, then choose Edit Points from the shortcut menu.

The layer’s control points become active.
2. In the Canvas, drag the control points (or the tangent handles
attached to each control point) to modify the shape.
For information on creating complex shapes, see Complex
shapes and masks overview. For information on adjusting
complex shapes, see Edit control points overview.

Transform text glyphs and other object
attributes
Selecting the Transform Glyph tool activates Canvas controls
(available only when a text layer is selected) to modify the position
and X, Y, or Z rotation for individual characters (glyphs) in a text
layer.

For information on using the Transform Glyph tool, see Text glyphs
overview.
Selecting the Adjust Item tool enables Canvas controls that allow
you to manipulate filters, replicators, generators, and other
objects.

For example, you can use the Adjust Item tool to adjust the center
point of a blur filter, the shape of a particle emitter, or the settings
of a gradient. For examples, see Use onscreen gradient controls

or Adjust a replicator using onscreen controls.

Align layers in the Canvas
The Alignment submenu in the Object menu contains commands
that let you reposition any number of simultaneously selected
layers to align with one another in various ways. These commands
make it easy to organize a jumble of layers into an even layout.

In each operation, the left, right, top, and bottom of the selected
layers are defined by the bounding box that surrounds each layer.
The position of the anchor point is ignored.

Align layers in the Canvas with the Object
menu
Select the layers or groups you want to align, choose Object >
Alignment, then choose any of the following:
Align Left Edges: Layers are moved horizontally so their left
edges line up with the leftmost layer in the selection.
Align Right Edges: Layers are moved horizontally so their

Align Right Edges: Layers are moved horizontally so their
right edges line up with the rightmost layer in the selection.
Align Top Edges: Layers are moved vertically so their tops
line up with the topmost layer in the selection.
Align Bottom Edges: Layers are moved vertically so their
bottoms line up with the bottommost layer in the selection.
Align Far Edges: Layers are moved in Z space so their far
edges line up with the farthest layer in the selection.
Align Near Edges: Layers are moved in Z space so their
near edges line up with the closest layer in the selection.
Align Horizontal Centers: Layers are moved horizontally so
their centers line up along the center point between the
leftmost and rightmost layers in the selection.
Align Vertical Centers: Layers are moved vertically so their
centers line up along the center point between the topmost
and bottommost layers in the selection.
Align Depth Centers: Layers are moved in Z space so their
centers line up along the center point between the farthest
and nearest layers in the selection.
Distribute Lefts: Layers are moved horizontally so the left
sides of all layers are evenly distributed, from right to left,
between the leftmost and rightmost layers in the selection.
Distribute Rights: Layers are moved horizontally so the
right sides of all layers are evenly distributed, from right to
left, between the leftmost and rightmost layers in the
selection.
Distribute Tops: Layers are moved vertically so the tops of
all layers are evenly distributed, from top to bottom,

between the topmost and bottommost layers in the
selection.
Distribute Bottoms: Layers are moved vertically so the
bottoms of all layers are evenly distributed, from top to
bottom, between the topmost and bottommost layers in the
selection.
Distribute Far: Layers are moved in Z space so the far
edges of all layers are evenly distributed along the Z axis,
from closest to farthest, between the closest and farthest
layers in the selection.
Distribute Near: Layers are moved in Z space so the near
edges of all layers are evenly distributed along the Z axis,
from closest to farthest, between the closest and farthest
layers in the selection.
Distribute Horizontal Centers: Layers are moved
horizontally so the centers of all layers are evenly
distributed, from left to right, between the leftmost and
rightmost layers in the selection.
Distribute Vertical Centers: Layers are moved vertically so
the centers of all layers are evenly distributed, from top to
bottom, between the topmost and bottommost layers in the
selection.
Distribute Depth Centers: Layers are moved in Z space so
the centers of all layers are evenly distributed, from closest
to farthest, between the closest and farthest layers in the
selection.
Each of the above commands affects the Position parameter
of each layer.

Transform layers in the Inspector
Transform layers in the Properties Inspector
You can adjust layer properties using numeric controls in the
Properties Inspector. These controls let you make the same
adjustments afforded by the 2D transform tools, but with more
precision. Adjustments made in the Canvas are simultaneously
updated in the Inspector, and vice versa. The available controls
vary depending on the type of layer you select in the Layers list or
Canvas.

When the Project object (located at the top of the Layers list) is
selected, controls become available in the Properties Inspector
that allow you to modify the project’s background color, aspect

ratio, field rendering, motion blur, reflections, and other global
settings. For more information on project properties, see Project
properties overview.

Open the Properties Inspector
Do one of the following:
Click Inspector in the top-left corner of the Motion workspace,
then click Properties.
Choose Window > Inspector (or press F1), then click
Properties.
The Inspector opens. The preview area contains a visual
preview of the object and can show the multiple frames of
moving footage. The Inspector preview area is similar to the
File Browser and Library preview areas, but it has no Apply or
Import button.

Collapse or expand the pane containing the
Properties Inspector

Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Inspector (or press F1).
Click the “i” button in the lower-left corner of the Motion
workspace.

Show or hide a group of controls in the
Properties Inspector
Do one of the following:
Position the pointer over a row that contains a section name
(Transform or Blending, for example), then click Show or Hide.
Double-click the empty space in a row that contains a section
name.

Modify layer values in the Properties
Inspector

Do any of the following:
1. In the Layers list or Canvas, select a layer.
2. In the Properties Inspector, drag a slider or dial, choose an
item from a pop-up menu, select a checkbox, or enter a new
number in a value field.

Reset a layer value to its default state
In the Properties Inspector, do one of the following:
Click the Reset button beside a parameter category.

Click the Animation menu in a parameter row (the downward
arrow that appears when you move the pointer over the right
side of the row), then choose Reset Parameter.

For more information on how to use the parameter controls, see
User color and gradient controls overview. For a description of the
controls in the Properties Inspector, see Properties Inspector
controls.

Properties Inspector controls
The Properties Inspector displays the following adjustable
parameters for most layers and groups:

Transform parameters
Position: Value sliders that define the X (horizontal), Y (vertical),
and Z (depth) positions of each layer.
Click the disclosure triangle next to the Position parameter to
reveal dials that adjust position around all three axes (X, Y,
and Z).
The coordinate system used by Motion specifies the center of
the Canvas as 0, 0, 0 regardless of the frame size of the
project. Moving a layer to the left subtracts from the X value,
while moving it to the right adds to the X value. Moving a layer
up adds to the Y value, and moving a layer down subtracts
from the Y value. Moving a layer closer adds to the Z value,
while moving a layer farther away subtracts from the Z value.

Each layer’s position is centered on its anchor point. Offsetting
the anchor point also offsets the position of the layer relative
to the X, Y, and Z position values you’ve set.
Rotation: A dial that controls a one-dimensional value
representing the number of degrees of rotation around the Z
axis. A positive value rotates the layer counterclockwise. A
negative value rotates the layer clockwise. Rotating a layer
beyond 360 degrees results in multiple rotations when the
Rotation parameter is animated.
Click the disclosure triangle next to the Rotation parameter to
reveal dials that adjust rotation around all three axes (X, Y,
and Z), as well as the Animate pop-up menu.
Animate: A pop-up menu that sets the interpolation for
animated 3D rotation channels to one of two options:
Use Rotation: The default interpolation method. Layer
rotates from its start angle to its final angle. Depending
on the animation, the layer might twist before reaching
its final orientation (the last keyframed value). For
example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are
animated from 0 degrees to 180 degrees in a project,
the layer rotates on all axes before reaching its final
orientation.
Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method

Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method
provides smoother interpolation but does not allow
multiple revolutions. Use Orientation interpolates
between the layer’s start orientation (first keyframe) to
its end orientation (second keyframe).
Note: The Rotation parameter must be keyframed for its
Animate parameter options to have any effect. For
information about keyframing, see Keyframing overview.
For information about 3D rotation, see Transform layers in
3D space.
Scale: A slider that controls the layer’s scale, relative to its
original size. By default, the horizontal and vertical scale of a
layer is locked to the layer’s original aspect ratio—represented
by a single percentage. Click the disclosure triangle to display
independent percentages for the X, Y, and Z scales of the
layer.
Note: Setting a layer’s scale to a negative value flips the
layer.
Shear: Value sliders that define the X and Y shear of the layer.
A layer with no shear has X and Y shear values of 0. Positive
values shear in one direction, while negative values shear in
the other.
Anchor Point: Value sliders that define the X and Y position of
the anchor point relative to the center of the layer.
Coordinates of 0, 0 center the anchor point in the bounding
box defining the outer edge of the layer. Click the disclosure
triangle to expose an additional value slider defining the Z
position.

Blending parameters
Opacity: A slider that sets the transparency of the layer. For
more information, see Modify layer opacity.
Blend Mode: A pop-up menu that sets the Blend Mode of the
layer. For more information, see Layer blending overview.
Preserve Opacity: A checkbox that, when selected, renders
the layer visible only where another layer is visible behind it in
the composite. The front layer uses the opacity value of the
layer behind it. For more information, see Modify layer opacity.
Casts Reflections: A pop-up menu that determines whether a
layer casts a reflection. Choose from three options:
Yes: The layer is seen reflected in nearby reflective layers.
No: The layer is ignored by reflective surfaces.
Reflection Only: The layer becomes invisible, but appears
in reflective surfaces around it.
Note: Reflections are only visible when layers are in a 3D
group. For more information on 3D groups, see About 2D
and 3D group properties.

Drop Shadow parameters
An activation checkbox to turn the drop shadow of a layer on and
off. When selected, additional controls become available:
Color: Color controls that set the drop shadow’s color. The
default color is black.
Opacity: A slider that sets the drop shadow’s transparency.
Blur: A slider that specifies the drop shadow’s softness.

Blur: A slider that specifies the drop shadow’s softness.
Distance: A slider that sets how close or far a layer’s drop
shadow is to the layer. The farther away a drop shadow is, the
more distance there appears to be between the layer and
anything behind it in the composition.
Angle: A dial that lets you change the direction of the drop
shadow. Changing the Angle of the drop shadow changes the
apparent direction of the light casting the shadow.
Fixed Source: A checkbox that, when selected, renders the
drop shadow as if cast by a fixed light source, regardless of
camera or text movement.

Four Corner parameters
An activation checkbox to turn distorting on and off. If a layer is
distorted and this checkbox is deselected, the layer resumes its
original shape, although the distorted coordinates are maintained.
Reselecting the checkbox reenables the distort effect specified by
the Four Corner coordinate parameters.
When the Four Corner checkbox is selected, value sliders to
modify the X and Y coordinates of the layer’s four corner points
(Bottom Left, Bottom Right, Top Right, and Top Left) become
available. You can also control these parameters visually in the
Canvas using the Distort tool. For more information, see 2D
transform tools.

Crop parameters
An activation checkbox to turn cropping on and off. If a layer is

cropped and this checkbox is deselected, the layer resumes its
original size, although the cropping values are maintained.
Reselecting the checkbox reenables the cropping effect specified
by the crop parameters.

Timing parameters
Value sliders to control all aspects of clip retiming. For more
information, see Retime media overview.

Lighting parameters
The Lighting parameter controls appear only when the parent
group is set to 3D.
Shading: A pop-up menu that sets how a layer responds to
lights in the scene. There are three options:
Inherited: The layer uses the shading value of its parent.
On: The layer can be lit.
Off: The layer ignores lights.
Highlights: A checkbox that, when selected, causes lit layers
to show highlights. This parameter has no effect if Shading is
set to Off. Click the disclosure triangle to reveal an additional
Shininess parameter.
Shininess: A slider that sets the strength of a layer’s highlights.
Higher values create a glossier appearance. This parameter is
disabled when the Highlights checkbox is deselected.
For more information, see Add lights.

Shadows parameters
The Shadows parameter controls appear only when the parent
group is set to 3D.
Cast Shadows: A checkbox that sets whether a shadow is
cast when a layer lies between a light source and another
layer.
Note: This parameter does not affect drop shadows.
Receive Shadows: A checkbox that controls whether
neighboring layers’ shadows affect the current layer. When
this checkbox is deselected, light affects the layer as if the
shadow-casting layer did not exist.
Shadows Only: A checkbox that, when selected, specifies that
a layer blocks light and casts a shadow, while the layer itself
does not appear in the scene.
For more information, see Shadows overview.

Reflection parameters
The Reflection parameter controls appear only when the parent
group is set to 3D. The Reflection parameter controls are not
available for 3D particle emitters, 3D replicators, or normal text
layers. However, the Reflection parameters are available for
flattened text, which is activated by the Flatten checkbox in the
Layout pane of the Text Inspector.
Reflectivity: A slider that controls the shininess of the layer’s
surface. When set to 0%, there’s no reflectivity. When set to
100%, the layer is totally reflective, like a mirror.

Blur Amount: A slider that controls how blurry the reflection
appears, creating the appearance of soft focus due to the
surface quality of the reflecting layer.
Falloff: A checkbox that controls whether the reflection fades
with distance from the layer, producing a more realistic result.
Click the disclosure triangle to show additional controls that
adjust the falloff effect: Begin Distance, End Distance, and
Exponent. The Exponent slider adjusts how quickly the
reflection becomes fainter as reflected layers move away from
the reflecting layer.
Blend Mode: A pop-up menu that determines the blend mode
used for the reflection.
For more information, see Reflection controls.

Media parameters
The Media parameters (available when an image layer is selected)
contain a thumbnail of the current layer and the “To” pop-up
menu.
To: A pop-up menu that lets you choose another image layer
in your project to replace the current layer. The replaced
media remains in your project in the Media pane.

Timing parameters
Use the Timing controls to set the selected object’s In and Out
points, as well as the duration of the object.
SEE ALSO

Transform layers in the Properties Inspector

Transform layers in the HUD
Like the Inspector, the HUD (heads-up display) is contextual and
changes its controls based on the selected object. For example,
when you select an image layer, its HUD contains opacity, blend
mode, and drop shadow controls.

When you select a shape layer, its HUD contains additional
controls for adjusting fill, outline, width, feathering, and so on.
When you apply an effects object to a layer or group (a filter,
behavior, particle emitter, and so on), HUDs for effects also
become available. For more information, see the chapters in
Motion help covering those subjects.

Display a HUD
Do one of the following:
Select a layer or group, then choose Window > Show HUD (or
press F7).
Select a layer or group, then click the Show/Hide HUD button

in the toolbar (to the right of the timing display).

Press D.

Switch between HUDs of a selected layer
Do one of the following:
Click the downward arrow in the HUD title bar to list all
possible HUDs that can be displayed for the selected object,
then choose the HUD to view from the pop-up menu.

Press D to cycle through all HUDs for the selected object. To
cycle the HUDs in reverse, press Shift-D.
The HUDs are cycled in the order in which the effects were
applied.
When you select multiple objects of the same type, a
combined HUD appears (with “Multiple Selection” displayed in
its title bar).

Jump to the Inspector from the HUD
Most of the time, the HUD displays a subset of the parameters
visible in the Inspector for the selected object. If you’re working in
the HUD, you can jump to the Inspector to access the remainder
of the controls for that object.
Click the Inspector icon (the “i”) in the upper-right corner of
the HUD.
The Inspector corresponding to the HUD appears.

Edit multiple objects at the same time in the
HUD
For simultaneous adjustment to work, the objects must be the
same (such as two Throw behaviors or two shapes).
1. In the Layers list or Canvas, select the objects (of the same
type) to modify.
2. In the HUD titled “Multiple Selected,” adjust the parameters.

Adjust opacity and blending
Modify layer opacity

The opacity and blending controls for each layer appear in the
Properties Inspector and in the default HUD for any selected
layer.
By stacking layers with varying opacities, you can merge images
together in ways not otherwise possible. For example, if you have
two full-screen background images you want to use together, you
can set the opacity of the layer in front to 50%, allowing the layer
in back to show through.

You can overlap as many layers as you want, and by varying their
opacities, selectively reveal layers in the back.

Change a layer’s opacity
Do one of the following:
1. In the Layers list or Canvas, select a layer.
2. Do one of the following:
In the Properties Inspector, adjust the Opacity slider (in the
Blending section).
In the HUD, adjust the Opacity slider.

Note: Some layers, such as text and shapes, have additional
opacity parameters in their respective panes in the Inspector. For
example, setting a shape’s Opacity value in the Properties
Inspector and setting its Opacity value in the Style Inspector
require separate controls that have multiplicative effects. In other
words, if Opacity is set to 50% in the Properties Inspector, then
set to 50% in the Style pane of the Shape Inspector, the resulting
opacity for the text is 25%.

Limit the visibility of overlapping layers
The Preserve Opacity checkbox in the Properties Inspector lets
you limit a layer’s visibility to areas of the Canvas where the layer
overlaps nontransparent regions of other layers.
With a layer (the dolphin image in this example) selected in the
Canvas or Layers list, select the Preserve Opacity checkbox in
the Properties Inspector.

The only area of the layer visible is the area that overlaps the
layer behind it.

At first, this might not appear to be very exciting, but the Preserve
Opacity checkbox can be used in combination with the Opacity
and Blend Mode controls to create some very interesting effects.
Note: The layer with the enabled Preserve Opacity parameter
takes the opacity value of the layer beneath it in the composite
stack.
Preserve Opacity is an easy way to selectively reveal part of a
layer. In this example, by setting the blend mode of the top color
wash layer to Exclusion, you get the resulting image:

By selecting the Preserve Opacity checkbox for the color wash
layer on top, only the overlapping parts are displayed, and the
superimposed image only affects the Dolphin layer.

Layer blending
Layer blending overview
While the Opacity parameter defines a uniform level of
transparency for a layer, the blend modes allow you many more
creative options to control how the overlapping images interact,
based on the colors in each layer. By default, each layer’s blend
mode is set to Normal, so changes to a layer’s opacity uniformly
affect every part of the image equally.
Blend modes can create transparency in a layer regardless of the
setting of its Opacity parameter. This is because the pixels of an
image with a selected blend mode are combined with the pixels of
any layers lying immediately below in the Canvas. For example, if
you overlap two layers, then set the blend mode of the top one to
Screen, the darker areas of the screened image become
transparent, while the lighter areas remain more solid, resulting in
the following image:

Important: The transparency created by most of the available
blend modes only affects how a layer combines with overlapping
layers underneath. These blend modes do nothing to affect a
layer’s alpha channel. For information about blend modes that do
affect a layer’s alpha channel, see Blend modes that manipulate
alpha channels.
Each blend mode combines layers in different ways. For example,
setting the top layer’s blend mode to Multiply yields a result
opposite to that of the Screen blend mode, as the darker areas of
the image remain solid, and the lighter areas become transparent.

Blend modes only affect the combination of a layer with the layers
below it. Any layers appearing above have no effect on this
interaction, even if the layer is transparent. In the following
example, the text layers on the top level have no effect on the

blended images below.

For overlapping layers with different blend modes, the
bottommost pair of layers is combined first, and that combination
then interacts with the next layer up, and so on until all
overlapping layers are combined for the final image. In this case,
each layer with a specified blend mode only interacts with the
image below it, whether that image is a single layer or a pair of
layers blended together.
Each of Motion’s blend modes works in conjunction with the
Opacity parameter to alter the interaction between the foreground
and background layers. Adjusting a layer’s opacity lessens the
blending effect assigned to it, even as it reduces that layer’s
visibility, allowing you to customize any blend mode to better suit
your needs.
Blend modes only affect overlapping layers, and have no
interaction with your project’s background color (unless the
background is set to Environment). If you specify a blend mode
for a layer that doesn’t overlap anything, that layer remains as it
was before.
SEE ALSO

Change a layer’s blend mode
How do blend modes work?
How do blend modes affect groups?
Types of blend modes
Blend modes that manipulate alpha channels

Change a layer’s blend mode
You can change a layer’s blend mode in several ways.

Modify a layer’s blend mode
With a layer selected, do one of the following:
In the HUD, click the Blend Mode pop-up menu, then choose
a different mode.
In the Properties Inspector, click the Blend Mode pop-up
menu, then choose a different mode.
Choose Object > Blend Mode, then choose a different mode
from the submenu.
Control-click a layer in the Canvas, Layers list or Timeline, then
choose Blend Mode and a different mode from the shortcut
menu.
In the Layers list, display the Blend Mode column (choose
View > Layers Columns > Blend Mode), then click a layer’s
Blend Mode pop-up menu and choose a different mode.

How do blend modes work?
Each blend mode presents a different method of combining
(compositing) two or more images. Blend modes work in addition
to a layer’s alpha channel and opacity parameter.
To understand the descriptions of each blend mode in this
chapter, it’s important to understand that blend modes mix colors
from overlapping images based on the brightness values in each
color channel in an image. Every image consists of a red, green,
and blue channel, and sometimes an additional alpha channel.
Each channel contains a range of brightness values that define
the intensity of each pixel in the image that uses some of the
channel’s color.
The effect that each blend mode has on overlapping layers
depends on the range of color values in each layer. The red,
green, and blue channels in each overlapping pixel are
mathematically combined to yield the final image.
These value ranges can be described as blacks, midrange values,
or whites. These regions are loosely illustrated by the chart below.

For example, the Multiply blend mode renders white color values
in an image transparent, while black values are left alone. All
midrange color values become translucent, with colors in the
lighter end of the scale becoming more transparent than the

colors in the darker end of the scale.

How do blend modes affect groups?
Blend modes work differently depending on whether they’re used
with groups or layers. One blend mode—Pass Through—is
available only for groups.

Pass Through
When a group is set to Pass Through (the default blend mode for
groups), each layer in the group is blended with all layers and
groups that appear underneath it in the Layers list—including
layers in other groups. In the following example, the Swirls layer is
set to Stencil Luma, and the Fishes layer is set to Add.

With the enclosing group set to Pass Through, the Swirls layer
stencils all other layers underneath it, including the Gradient layer
in the bottom group. The result is that all layers are stenciled
against the background color. The Fishes layer is likewise added

to the combined stack of layers.

Normal
When a group is set to Normal, the layers nested in that group are
blended with layers underneath them in the same Group. Layers
nested in the group do not blend with layers in other groups
beneath them in the Layers list. In the following example, the
Fishes and Swirls layers in the topmost group are blended only
with themselves when the topmost group is set to Normal.

The Gradient layer in the bottom group is left unaffected, although

the transparency in the top group caused by the combination of
the Add and Stencil Luma blend modes reveals the gradient in the
background.

Other blend modes
When you set a group to any other available blend mode, the
following happens:
The layers in that group are blended according their own
blend modes.
The resulting composite of all layers in that group is then
blended with other groups lower in the Layers list, according
to the selected blend mode for the original group.
In the example cited above, when the topmost group is set to
Multiply, the composite of the Added Fishes and the Stenciled
Swirls layers is multiplied with the Gradient layer in the
bottommost group.

Types of blend modes
The following section describes how blend modes cause layers to
combine to create different results. The blend modes are
presented in the order in which they appear in the Blend Mode
pop-up menu, arranged into groups of modes that create similar
results.
Most of the examples in this section are created by combining the
following two reference images:

The resulting image illustrates how differently the color values from
each image interact under each blend mode. When examining the
results, pay attention to the white and black areas of the colored
squares, as well as to the highlights and shadows in the
chimpanzee image. These show you how each blend mode treats

the whites and blacks in an image. The other brighter and darker
colors serve to illustrate each blend mode’s handling of
overlapping midrange color values. The yellow, red, pink, and blue
squares, in particular, all have very different color and luminance
values that contrast sharply from example to example.
Important: Depending on the blend mode, layer and group
ordering may or may not be important. Some blend modes
behave differently depending on which image is on top.

Normal blend mode
The default blend mode for layers. In a layer set to Normal, any
transparency is caused by the Opacity parameter or by an alpha
channel.

Darkening blend modes
The following blend modes tend to create a result darker than
either of the original images:
Subtract: Darkens all overlapping colors. Whites in the
foreground image go black, while whites in the background
image invert overlapping color values in the foreground image,
creating a negative effect. Blacks in the foreground image
become transparent, while blacks in the background image
are preserved. Overlapping midrange color values are
darkened based on the color of the background image. In
areas where the background is lighter than the foreground, the
background image is darkened. In areas where the
background is darker than the foreground, the colors are

inverted. The order of two layers affected by the Subtract
blend mode is important.

Darken: Emphasizes the darkest parts of each overlapping
image. Whites in either image allow the overlapping image to
show through completely. Lighter midrange color values
become increasingly translucent in favor of the overlapping
image, while darker midrange color values below that
threshold remain solid, retaining more detail. The order of two
layers affected by the Darken blend mode does not matter.

The Darken blend mode is useful for using one image to
texturize another selectively, based on its darker areas. You
can also use Screen, Color Burn, and Linear Burn for
variations on this effect.

Multiply: Like Darken, Multiply emphasizes the darkest parts of
each overlapping image, except that midrange color values
from both images are mixed together more evenly.
Progressively lighter regions of overlapping images become
increasingly translucent, allowing whichever image is darker to
show through. Whites in either image allow the overlapping
image to show through completely. Blacks from both images
are preserved in the resulting image. The order of layers
affected by the Multiply blend mode does not matter.

The Multiply blend mode is useful in situations where you want
to knock out the white areas of a foreground image and blend
the rest of the image with the colors in the background. For
example, if you superimpose a scanned sheet of handwritten
text over a background image using the Multiply blend mode,
the resulting image becomes textured with the darker parts of
the foreground.

Color Burn: Intensifies the dark areas in each image. Whites in
the background image replace the foreground image, while
whites in the foreground image become transparent. Midrange
color values in the background image allow midrange color
values in the foreground image to show through. Lighter
midrange color values in the background image allow more of
the foreground image to show through. Darker midrange
values in all visible overlapping areas are then mixed together,
resulting in intensified color effects. The order of two layers
affected by the Color Burn blend mode is important.

Linear Burn: Similar to Multiply, except that darker overlapping
midrange color values are intensified, as with Color Burn.
Progressively lighter color values in overlapping images
become increasingly translucent, allowing darker colors to
show through. Whites in either image allow the overlapping
image to show through completely. The order of two layers
affected by the Linear Burn blend mode does not matter.

Lightening blend modes
The following blend modes tend to create a lighter result than
either of the original images.
Add: Emphasizes the whites in each overlapping image and
lightens all other overlapping colors. The color values in every
overlapping pixel are added together. The result is that all
overlapping midrange color values are lightened. Blacks from
either image are transparent, while whites in either image are
preserved. The order of two layers affected by the Add blend
mode does not matter.

The Add blend mode is useful for using one image to
selectively texturize another, based on its lighter areas such
as highlights. You can also use Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge,
and Linear Dodge to create variations of this effect.

Lighten: Emphasizes the lightest parts of each overlapping
image. Every pixel in each image is compared, and the lightest
pixel from either image is preserved, so the final image
consists of a dithered combination of the lightest pixels from
each image. Whites in both images show through in the
resulting image. The order of two layers affected by the
Lighten blend mode does not matter.

Screen: Like Lighten, Screen emphasizes the lightest parts of
each overlapping image, except that the midrange color
values of both images are mixed together more evenly. Blacks
in either image allow the overlapping image to show through
completely. Darker midrange values underneath a specific
threshold allow more of the overlapping image to show.
Whites from both images show through in the resulting image.
The order of two layers affected by the Screen blend mode
does not matter.

The Screen blend mode is useful for knocking out the blacks
behind a foreground subject, instead of using a Luma Key. It’s
mainly useful when you want the rest of the foreground
subject to be mixed with the background image, based on its
brightness. It’s good for glow and lighting effects and for
simulating reflections. You can also use the Add, Lighten, and
Color Dodge blend modes to create variations of this effect.

Color Dodge: Preserves whites in either the foreground or
background image. Blacks in the background image replace
the foreground image, while blacks in the foreground image
become transparent. Midrange color values in the background
image allow midrange color values in the foreground image to
show through. Darker values in the background image allow
more of the foreground image to show through. All overlapping
midrange color values are mixed together, resulting in
interesting color mixes. Reversing the two overlapping images
results in subtle differences in how the overlapping midrange
color values are mixed together.

Linear Dodge: Similar to Screen, except that lighter midrange
color values in overlapping regions become intensified. Blacks
in either image allow the overlapping image to show through
completely. Whites from both images show through in the
resulting image. The order of two layers affected by the Linear
Dodge blend mode does not matter.

Complex blend modes
The following blend modes create results by applying a
combination of effects, based on the original images. Each mode
can create a variety of results depending on the specific values of
the images being mixed together. Some of these modes are
designed to simulate the effect of shining a light through the top
layer, effectively projecting upon the layers beneath it.
Overlay: Causes whites and blacks in the foreground image to
become translucent and interact with the color values of the

background image, causing intensified contrast. Whites and
blacks in the background image replace the foreground
image. Overlapping midrange values are mixed together
differently depending on the brightness of the background
color values. Lighter background midrange values are mixed
by screening. Darker background midrange values are mixed
by multiplying. The visible result is that darker color values in
the background image intensify the foreground image, while
lighter color values in the background image wash out
overlapping areas in the foreground image. The order of two
layers affected by the Overlay blend mode is important.

The Overlay blend mode is useful for combining areas of vivid
color in two images.

Soft Light: Similar to the Overlay blend mode, makes whites
and blacks in the foreground image translucent. However, the
translucent whites and blacks continue to interact with the
color values of the background image. Whites and blacks in
the background image replace the foreground image. All

overlapping midrange color values are mixed together,
creating a more even tinting effect than the Overlay blend
mode. The order of two layers affected by the Soft Light blend
mode is important.

The Soft Light blend mode is useful for softly tinting a
background image by mixing it with the colors in a foreground
image.

Hard Light: Causes whites and blacks in the foreground image
to block the background image. Whites and blacks in the
background image interact with overlapping midrange color
values in the foreground image. Overlapping midrange color
values are mixed together differently depending on the
brightness of the background color values. Lighter
background midrange values are mixed by screening. Darker
background midrange values are mixed together by
multiplying. The visible result is that darker color values in the
background image intensify the foreground image, while lighter
color values in the background image wash out overlapping

areas in the foreground image. The order of two layers
affected by the Hard Light blend mode is important.

Vivid Light: Similar to the Hard Light blend mode, with two
exceptions: Vivid Light mixes midrange color values together
more intensely, and preserves whites and blacks from either
overlapping image in the end result. (Dithering can cause
overlapping areas of solid white and solid black.) Overlapping
midrange color values are mixed together differently
depending on the brightness of the background color values.
Lighter midrange values become washed out, while the
contrast of darker midrange color values is increased. The
overall effect is more pronounced than with the Hard Light
blend mode. Reversing the two overlapping images results in
subtle differences in how the overlapping midrange color
values are mixed together.

Linear Light: Similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that

overlapping midrange color values are mixed together with
higher contrast. Whites and blacks in the foreground image
block the background image. Whites and blacks in the
background image interact with overlapping midrange color
values in the foreground image. Overlapping midrange color
values are mixed together. Lighter background colors brighten
the foreground image, while darker colors darken it. The order
of two layers affected by the Linear Light blend mode is
important.

Pin Light: Similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that
overlapping midrange color values are mixed together
differently based on their color value. Whites and blacks in the
foreground image block the background image. Whites and
blacks in the background image interact with overlapping
midrange color values in the foreground image. The methods
used by the Pin Light blend mode to mix two images are
somewhat complex. Overlapping midrange color values are
treated differently depending on which of the four regions of
the luminance chart they fall into:
Lighter and darker areas of the foreground image falling
close to the whites and blacks are preserved.
Areas of the foreground image falling near the center of the
midrange are tinted by the background color.

Darker areas of the foreground image between the blacks
and center of the midrange are lightened.
Lighter areas of the foreground image between the whites
and the center of the midrange are darkened.
The result might appear alternately tinted or solarized,
depending on the lightness or darkness of the overlapping
values. This blend mode lends itself to more abstract effects.
The order of two layers affected by the Pin Light blend mode
is important.

Hard Mix: Similar to the Hard Light blend mode, except that
the saturation of overlapping midrange color values is
intensified, resulting in extremely high-contrast images. Whites
and blacks are preserved. Although the order of two layers
doesn’t affect the overall look of two images blended using the
Hard Mix blend mode, there might be subtle differences.

Inversion blend modes
The following two blend modes create results that often appear to
resemble aspects of a photographic negative of the selected
layer.
Difference: Similar to the Subtract blend mode (in the
Darkening category), except that areas of the image that
would be severely darkened by the Subtract blend mode are
colorized differently. The order of two layers affected by the
Difference blend mode does not matter.

Exclusion: Similar to the Difference blend mode, except that
the resulting image is lighter overall. Overlapping areas with
lighter color values are lightened, while darker overlapping
color values become transparent. The order of two layers
affected by the Exclusion blend mode does not matter.

Blend modes that manipulate alpha channels

The Stencil and Silhouette blend modes let you use a single
layer’s alpha channel or luma values to isolate regions of
background layers and groups. (Similar effects can be
accomplished using shape and image masks. In addition, masks
might provide you with a greater degree of control, depending on
your needs. For more information, see Shapes, masks, and paint
strokes overview.)
Stencil modes crop out all non-overlapping parts of layers
underneath the layer used as the stencil. Silhouette modes do the
opposite, punching holes in overlapping layers underneath in the
shape of the layer used as the silhouette.
When working in a 3D group, changes in depth order affect the
Stencil and Silhouette blend modes differently. For example, if you
have two layers in a 3D group and the upper layer is set to Stencil
Alpha or Stencil Luma, the blend mode remains in effect when the
upper layer is moved behind the lower layer in Z space. If you
have two layers in a 3D group and the upper layer is set to
Silhouette Alpha or Silhouette Luma, the blend mode does not
remain in effect when the upper layer is moved behind the lower
layer in Z space.
When you use the Stencil or Silhouette blend modes in a group
set to the Pass Through blend mode, the resulting effect carries
down through every layer in every group that lies underneath it in
the Layers list, unless the group that contains it is rasterized. This
is a powerful, but not always desired effect, because it prevents
you from placing a background group to fill the transparent area.
You can limit the Stencil or Silhouette blend mode to affect only
those layers in the same enclosing group by setting the group’s
blend mode to anything other than Pass Through. For example, if
you set the enclosing group of the two layers in the Silhouette

Alpha example to Normal, then add a group underneath
containing additional layers, those layers show through the
transparent areas created by the silhouetted group.

The following blend modes modify the alpha channel of the layer
to which the blend mode is applied:
Stencil Alpha: Uses the alpha channel of the affected layer to
crop out all non-overlapping parts of layers and groups
underneath it in the Layers list.

Stencil Luma: Does the same thing as the Stencil Alpha blend
mode, but uses the affected layer’s luma value to define
transparency. Stencil Luma is useful if the layer you want to
use for cropping has no alpha channel of its own.
Silhouette Alpha: The reverse of the Stencil Alpha blend mode,
useful for cutting holes in underlying layers.

Silhouette Luma: The reverse of Stencil Luma.
Behind: Forces the layer to appear behind all other layers and
groups, regardless of its position in the Layers list and
Timeline. If multiple layers or groups are set to Behind, they
appear behind all other groups not set to Behind, in the order
in which they appear in the Layers list.
Alpha Add: Works similarly to the Add blend mode, but
instead of adding the color channels of overlapping layers, it
adds their alpha channels together. Try using this blend mode
instead of Motion’s default method of alpha channel
compositing for a different treatment of overlapping areas of
translucency.
Light Wrap: Takes bright areas from the background layer at
the edge of the matte and blurs them into the foreground
layer. This is intended to create a more organic, seamless
composite, where light from the background appears to bleed
onto the foreground layer as would occur in a natural,
noncomposited image. To adjust the parameters that affect
the Light Wrap, such as Amount, Intensity, Opacity, and
Mode, apply the Keyer filter and make those adjustments in
the Filters Inspector. For more information, see Keyer filter
controls.
Note: Motion applies the Light Wrap effect at the end of the
rendering process. When you add other filters to the layer,

such as color correction effects, they are rendered before the
Light Wrap.

View and navigate in the Canvas
Zoom or pan the Canvas
You can zoom in on the Canvas to allow precision alignment and
placement of objects, and you can zoom out to get a sense of the
big picture or to see the path of a moving object. You can also
pan the Canvas to modify your view of a composition. Zooming
and panning does not change the size or layout of the images in
your project. It only changes your working view of the entire
composition.

Zoom using the Zoom tool
1. In the toolbar, click the view tools pop-up menu, then choose
the Zoom tool.

Zoom mode is activated in the Canvas.
2. Do one of the following:

Click in the Canvas to zoom in.
Press Option and click in the Canvas to zoom out.
Drag right or left in the Canvas to smoothly zoom in or out.

Zoom using other methods
Do any of the following:
Click the Zoom Level pop-up menu at the top-right side of the
Canvas, then choose a zoom percentage.

Holding down the Space bar and Command key (in that
order), drag the pointer horizontally in the Canvas. The zoom
occurs around the spot clicked in the Canvas.
On a Multi-touch device, Pinch closed to zoom out or pinch
open to zoom in. After you zoom in, use a two-finger swipe in
any direction to scroll around.

Zoom a specific area of the Canvas

Zoom a specific area of the Canvas
Zoom in: Holding down the Space bar and Command key (in
that order), drag the pointer over an area in the Canvas; while
still holding down the keys, click in the Canvas to zoom in 50
percent increments of the current zoom level.
Zoom out: Holding down the Space bar, Command key, and
Option key (in that order), click in the Canvas to zoom out in 50
percent increments of the current zoom level.
Note: To pan the Canvas without selecting the Pan tool, hold
down the Space bar and drag in the Canvas.

Zoom to make the project fill the Canvas
Click the Zoom Level pop-up menu, then choose Fit.

Pan using the Pan tool
1. In the toolbar, click the view tools pop-up menu, then choose
the Pan tool.

Pan mode is activated in the Canvas.
2. Drag in the Canvas to move your composition in different
directions.

Pan using a keyboard shortcut
Holding down the Space bar, drag the pointer in the Canvas.

Reset the Canvas Zoom level or Pan
Do one of the following:
Click the Zoom Level pop-up menu at the top-right side of the
Canvas, then choose 100%.

In the toolbar, double-click the Zoom tool.
Note: Double-clicking the Pan tool resets pan, but not zoom.

View dynamic Canvas feedback
The status bar at the top-left side of the Canvas shows
information about layer transforms, color, coordinates, and
playback frame rate—dynamically, as you modify layers.

Turn display of the status bar on or off
1. Type Command-Comma to open Motion Preferences.
2. In the Appearance pane of Motion Preferences, select or
deselect the Dynamic Tool Info checkbox.
When you select Dynamic Tool Info, the status bar appears
above the Canvas whenever you adjust a layer by dragging in
the Canvas. For example, when you scale an object in the
Canvas, the width and height values are displayed in the
status bar.

Display pixel color

Some motion graphics projects require you to match or align
colors in your project. The status bar can provide visual and
numeric information about the color of the pixel under the pointer,
as well as the value of the alpha channel. No clicking is necessary
—as you move the pointer over the Canvas, the status bar
updates.
1. In the Appearance pane of Motion Preferences, select the
Color checkbox.
2. Choose a color format from the Display Color As pop-up
menu:
RGB: The red, green, blue, and alpha components of the
color are represented in values from 0–1. Super-white
values can exceed the 0–1 value range.
RGB (percent): The red, green, blue, and alpha
components of the color are represented in values from 1–
100.
HSV: The hue is represented in values from 1–360, and the
saturation and value (luminance) are represented in values
from 1–100.
3. Move the pointer over the Canvas.
The color information displayed in the status bar updates as
you move the pointer.

Display the current pointer position
For precise placement of objects in the Canvas, it can be helpful

to know the exact pixel position of the pointer. The status bar can
display this information in an X and Y coordinate system
(Cartesian). The center point of the Canvas is 0, 0.
In the Appearance pane of Motion Preferences, select the
Coordinates checkbox.
When you move the pointer in the Canvas, the coordinate
information updates in the status bar.

Display playback frame rate
Part of the way Motion plays back a project in real time is by
lowering the frame rate when a sequence is too complex to
render at full speed. You can monitor the current frame rate—in
frames per second (fps)—in the status bar.
Note: The frame rate appears in the status bar only while a
project is playing.

In the Appearance pane of Motion Preferences, select the
“Frame rate (only during playback)” checkbox.
When you play the project, the frame rate appears in the
upper-left corner of the status bar.

Custom Canvas view options

The pop-up menus in the top-right side of the Canvas let you
customize various view settings, including zoom level, color
channels, rendering options, overlay options, and 3D view layouts.

Zoom Level pop-up menu
Choose any of several default zoom levels. Zooming the Canvas
changes the current view of the window, not the size of the
images in your project. For more information, see Zoom or pan the
Canvas.

Channels pop-up menu
Choose which color channels are displayed in the Canvas:
Color: Shows the image as it would appear on a video
monitor. Visible layers appear in natural color and transparent
areas reveal the background color as set in the Properties
Inspector for the project. The background color is black by
default. To change it, press Command-J, then choose a color
from the Background Color control in the Properties Inspector.
Note: The Background pop-up menu in the Properties
Inspector must be set to Solid to export the background color
with the project. This option creates a solid alpha channel on
export (when exporting using a codec that supports alpha
channels). When the Background pop-up menu is set to
Transparent, the color is visible in the Canvas, but does not

render as part of the alpha channel.
Transparent: Shows the background area of the Canvas as
transparent. A checkerboard pattern appears by default
where no images block the background.
Alpha Overlay: Displays the image in normal color, but adds a
red highlight over transparent areas of the image.
RGB Only: Displays the normal mix of red, green, and blue
channels but displays transparent areas (including
semitransparent areas) as opaque.
Red: Displays only the red channel as a range of black to
white.
Green: Displays only the green channel as a range of black to
white.
Blue: Displays only the blue channel as a range of black to
white.
Alpha: Displays the alpha (transparency) channel of the layers
in the Canvas.
Inverted Alpha: Displays an inverted view of the alpha
(transparency) channel.
Overexposure: Displays the overexposed areas of the
composition. Luminosity values above 1.0 (out of gamut) are
indicated by a red-and-white crosshatch pattern. Values
above 2.0 appear solid red. You can use the Broadcast Safe
filter to limit the range of luminance or chrominance in an
image to the broadcast legal limit.

Render menu

Render menu
Choose the render quality and resolution of the Canvas display,
and enable or disable features that can impact playback
performance. When an option is active, a checkmark appears
beside the menu item. If a complex project is causing your
computer to play at a very low frame rate, you can make changes
in this menu to reduce the strain on the processor. This frees you
from waiting for the image to be rendered at full resolution each
time you make an adjustment, allowing you to watch complex
projects at high frame rates while you work.
The Render pop-up menu displays the following items:
Dynamic: Reduces the quality of the image displayed in the
Canvas during playback or scrubbing in the Timeline or miniTimeline, allowing for faster feedback. Also reduces the quality
of an image as it is modified in the Canvas. When playback or
scrubbing is stopped, or the modification is completed in the
Canvas, the image quality is restored (based on the Quality
and Resolution settings for the project).
Full: Displays the Canvas at full resolution (Shift-Q).
Half: Displays the Canvas at half resolution.
Quarter: Displays the Canvas at one-quarter resolution.
Draft: Renders objects in the Canvas at a lower quality to
allow optimal project interactivity. There’s no anti-aliasing.
Normal: Renders objects in the Canvas at a medium quality.
Shapes are anti-aliased, but 3D intersections are not. Floatingpoint (32-bit) footage is truncated to 16-bit. This is the default
setting.
Best: Renders objects in the Canvas at best quality, which

includes higher-quality image resampling, anti-aliased
intersections, anti-aliased particle edges, and sharper text.
Custom: Allows you to set additional controls to customize
rendering quality. Choosing Custom opens the Advanced
Quality Options dialog. For more information, see Advanced
Quality settings.
Lighting: Turns the effect of lights in a project on or off. This
setting does not turn off lights in the Layers list (or light scene
icons), but it disables light shading effects in the Canvas.
Shadows: Turns the effect of shadows in a project on or off.
Reflections: Turns the effect of reflections in a project on or
off.
Depth of Field: Turns the effect of depth of field in a project on
or off.
Motion Blur: Enables/disables the preview of motion blur in the
Canvas. Disabling motion blur may improve performance.
Note: When creating an effect, title, transition, or generator
template for use in Final Cut Pro X, the Motion Blur item in the
View pop-up menu controls whether motion blur is turned on
when the project is applied in Final Cut Pro. For more
information, see Final Cut Pro templates overview.
Field Rendering: Enables/disables field rendering. Field
rendering is required for smooth motion playback on many TV
monitors. Field rendering nearly doubles rendering time, so
disabling this item may improve performance.
Note: When creating an effect, title, transition, or generator
template for use in Final Cut Pro, the Field Rendering setting in
the View pop-up menu does not control whether field

rendering is applied in Final Cut Pro. Rather, field rendering is
controlled in the Properties Inspector for the project. (Press
Command-J to open the Properties Inspector.) When Field
Order is set to anything other than None, field rendering is
used in Final Cut Pro, regardless of the Field Rendering status
in the View pop-up menu.
Frame Blending: Enables/disables frame blending in the
Canvas. Frame blending can smooth the appearance of video
frames by interpolating the pixels between adjacent frames to
create a smoother transition.

View and Overlay pop-up menu
Choose layout guides and controls that can be viewed in the
Canvas. When an option is active, a checkmark appears beside
the menu item. (Many of these menu options are also available in
the View menu in the menu bar.)
The View and Overlay pop-up menu displays the following items:
Show Overlays: Enables or disables the display of rulers,
grids, guides, and other layout overlays in the Canvas. This
setting must be on to view any other overlay items. To turn the
camera overlays on or off, use Show 3D Overlays.
Note: You can also press Command-Slash (/).
Rulers: Turns display of the rulers along the edge of the
Canvas on or off. You can specify where the rulers appear in
the Canvas pane (Alignment section) of Motion Preferences.
For more information, see Manage layout with rulers and
guides.

Note: You can also press Shift-Command-R.
Grid: Turns a grid display on and off over the Canvas. You can
set the spacing and color of the grid in the Canvas pane
(Alignment section) of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Command-Apostrophe (‘).
Guides: Turns display of manually created guides on and off.
Guides can only be created if rulers are displayed. You can
change the color of the guides in the Canvas pane (Alignment
section) of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Command-Semicolon (;).
Dynamic Guides: Turns display of automatic dynamic guides
on and off. These guides appear when dragging a layer past
edges of other layers when snapping is enabled (choose View
> Snap). You can change the color of dynamic guides in the
Canvas pane (Alignment section) of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Shift-Command-Colon (:).
Safe Zones: Turns display of the title safe and action safe
guides on and off. By default, these guides are set at 80%
and 90%. You can change these settings and the color of the
guides in the Canvas pane (Zones section) of Motion
Preferences.
Note: You can also press the Apostrophe key (‘).
Film Zone: Turns display of film aspect ratio guides on and off.
This can be helpful if you are creating a project for videotape
to be transferred to film. You can change the size of the
guides as well as their color in the Canvas pane (Zones
section) of Motion Preferences.
Note: You can also press Shift-Quotation Mark (”).

Note: You can also press Shift-Quotation Mark (”).
Handles: Turns display of object handles in the Canvas on and
off. Some onscreen transformations, such as resizing, require
visible object handles. Handles appear only on selected
objects.
Lines: Turns display of lines that outline an object on and off.
Lines appear only on selected objects.
Animation Path: Turns animation paths on and off. These
editable paths indicate the route along which animated objects
travel. If the selected object is not positionally animated, this
command does not appear to have any effect. If handles are
not displayed, the path curves cannot be adjusted in the
Canvas. Except for the Motion Path behavior, animation paths
created by behaviors are for display only and are not editable.
Show 3D Overlays: Turns 3D overlays in the Canvas on and
off, including Camera overlays, 3D view tools, 3D compass,
inset view, 3D grid, and 3D scene icons. (3D overlays appear
in projects that contain 3D groups. See View 3D overlays.)
Note: You can also press Option-Command-Slash (/).
3D View Tools: Turns the Camera menu and 3D view tools in
the Canvas on and off. See 3D view tools.
Compass: Turns the 3D compass in the Canvas on and off.
Using red, green, and blue axes, the compass shows your
current orientation in 3D space. The red axis is X (horizontal),
the green axis is Y (vertical), and the blue axis is Z (depth).
See About cameras and views.
Inset View: Turns the inset view in the Canvas on and off.
When enabled, a temporary window appears in the lower-right
corner of the Canvas displaying an active camera or

Perspective view of the project, helping you stay oriented as
you move objects in 3D space. In the 3D pane of Motion
Preferences, you can change the size of the inset view, as
well as control whether the inset view appears on transform
changes, on all changes, or manually. See Inset view.
3D Grid: Turns the grid in the Canvas on and off. The 3D grid
helps you stay oriented and can be used to guide the
placement of objects in your project. The 3D grid appears
when you are in a 3D workspace. See 3D grid.
3D Scene Icons: Turns the display of cameras and lights in the
Canvas on or off. Scene icons appear in the Canvas as
wireframe icons. Lights appear with red (X), green (Y), and
blue (Z) adjust 3D handles that let you transform and rotate
them. The handles are still displayed when the 3D scene icons
command is turned off. See 3D scene icons.
Correct for Aspect Ratio: Applies an artificial distortion of the
Canvas in projects with nonsquare pixels. When the setting is
on, the computer monitor simulates what a TV monitor
displays. When the setting is off, projects with nonsquare
pixels appear stretched. This is because computer monitors
have square pixels. This setting does not modify the output of
the project.
Show Full View Area: When enabled, this setting lets you see
the portion of a layer that extends beyond the edge of the
Canvas. This setting is disabled by default, because it slows
your project’s interactivity.

Use Drop Zones: Turns drop zones on and off. When Use
Drop Zones is enabled, a checkmark appears next to the
menu item, and drop zones accept objects dragged to them.
When this command is turned off, drop zones ignore objects
dropped onto them. For more information, see Drop zones
overview.
Save View Defaults: Saves the current state of all settings in
this menu as the default state for new projects.

View Layouts pop-up menu
Choose a preferred view your project in the Canvas. You can view
the Canvas as a single workspace or choose from available
window arrangements in the menu. (Although the workspace
views are available for 2D projects, they are most useful when
working in 3D space.)
The View Layouts pop-up menu displays the following items:

Single: The default value, displays a single window in the
Canvas.
Two-up, side by side: Displays two windows in the Canvas,
one next to the other.
Two-up, top and bottom: Displays two windows in the Canvas,
one on top of the other.
Three-up, large window below: Displays three windows, two
next to each other on top and a larger window below.
Three-up, large window right: Displays three windows, two
stacked on the left side and a larger window spanning the
right side.
Four-up, large window right: Displays four windows, three
stacked on the left side and one larger window on the right
side.
Four-up: Displays four windows, all the same size.

Advanced Quality settings
When you choose Custom in the Quality section of the Render
pop-up menu (or in the View > Quality menu), the Advanced
Quality Options dialog appears.

The Advanced Quality Options dialog provides additional controls
to fine-tune rendering performance and quality. It contains the
following items:
Quality: A pop-up menu that sets rendering quality. These
settings are identical to the Quality settings in the Render popup menu. (For more information on the Render popup menu,
see Custom Canvas view options.)
Choose one of four settings from this pop-up menu (each
setting activates different options in the dialog):
Draft: None of the quality options are selected, and the
Text Quality parameter is set to Low. This option allows
optimal project interactivity.
Normal: “Shape anti-aliasing” is selected, and the Text
Quality parameter is set to Medium. This option allows
project interactivity that is slower than Draft, but much
faster than Best.
Best: “High-quality resampling,” “Shape anti-aliasing,” and
“Anti-alias 3D intersections” are selected. Text render
quality is set to High. This option slows down project
interactivity.
Custom: Lets you set your own combination of render
settings.
High Quality Resampling: Turns on high-quality resampling
(increasing or reducing the number of pixels in an image).
Text Quality: A pop-up menu that sets text-rendering quality to
Low, Medium, or High. When High is selected, project
interactivity may slow.
Shape anti-aliasing: Renders shapes at a higher resolution,

Shape anti-aliasing: Renders shapes at a higher resolution,
then scales objects back to regular resolution to ensure
smooth edges.
Anti-alias 3D intersections: Renders objects intersecting in 3D
space at a higher resolution, then scales objects back to
regular resolution to ensure smooth edges.

Manage layout with rulers and guides
Using rulers and guides (line overlays) in the Canvas can help you
compose or align elements of your project, as well as snap
objects to rulers.

Turn on rulers
Click the View pop-up menu at the top-right side of the
Canvas, then choose Rulers (or press Shift-Command-R).
When Canvas rulers are enabled, a checkmark appears next
to the item in the pop-up menu.
By default, rulers appear along the left and top sides of the
Canvas.

Change the location of the rulers
1. Choose Motion > Preferences.
2. In the Canvas pane, click Alignment, then choose a ruler

layout from the Ruler Location pop-up menu.

Add a horizontal or vertical guide to the
Canvas
1. Click in the gray area of the horizontal or vertical ruler, then
drag into the Canvas.
As you drag, the position of the guide is displayed in the
Canvas.
Note: Guides must be enabled in the View pop-up menu (or
by pressing Command-Semicolon).

The ruler units are in pixels, with the 0, 0 point in the center of
the Canvas.

2. When the guide is in the location you want, release the mouse
button.

Simultaneously add a horizontal and vertical
guide to the Canvas
1. Drag from the corner where the rulers meet into the Canvas.
2. When the guides are in the location you want, release the
mouse button.

Remove a guide from the Canvas
Drag the guide off the Canvas.
To delete the guide, drag into the Project pane or Timing pane
areas of the Motion workspace, then release the mouse
button.

Change the color of the guides
1. Choose Motion > Preferences.
2. In the Canvas pane, click Alignment, click or Control-click the
Guide Color well, then select a color.

Work in a 3D project
3D compositing overview
Motion includes a robust set of tools for creating threedimensional layers that intersect and interact with one another.

The 3D features in Motion are powerful, yet flexible, allowing to
you combine 2D elements and 3D elements to create different
effects. You can:
Rotate or reposition 2D layers in 3D space
Create intersecting 3D layers
Add a 3D camera and convert your entire project to 3D to
take advantage of advanced 3D features such as:

Camera animation
Lighting
Shadows
Reflections
Tip: Before you begin creating 3D environments, learn the basics
of the 3D coordinate system in Motion. See 3D coordinates
overview.
You can also create 3D text in Motion. For more information see
3D text overview.

About 3D coordinates
3D coordinates overview
In a standard 2D Motion project, coordinates are measured in two
dimensions, along two axes: X (side to side) and Y (up and down).
A 3D Motion project contains an additional dimension (depth),
which is measured along the Z axis (front to back). All three axes
(X, Y, and Z) meet in the center of the Canvas, at a point called
the origin, where X=0, Y=0, and Z=0. Moving an object to the left
subtracts from the X value, while moving it to the right adds to the
X value. Moving an object up adds to the Y value, while moving it
down subtracts from the Y value. Moving an object “closer” adds
to the Z value, while moving it farther away subtracts from the Z
value.
In a 2D project, the X and Y axes remain static: X always runs
horizontally, and Y always runs vertically. However, in a 3D

project, you can change your point of view, which reorients (from
your perspective) the direction of the 3 axes. As a result, moving
an object up (from your perspective) doesn’t always mean
increasing its Y position value.

Note: In a new project, the Canvas is oriented with the Z axis
pointing straight at you. This orientation preserves the traditional
two-dimensional orientation of the X and Y axes.
Motion uses the following conventions for 3D coordinates:
Object movement is along an axis.
Object rotation is around an axis.
Each axis is color-coded: X is red; Y is green; and Z is blue.
Positive rotation is counterclockwise around an axis.
The coordinates of an object (as shown in the Inspector) are
relative to the coordinates of the group in which the object
resides. For more information, see About relative coordinates.

About relative coordinates
In Motion, the coordinates of an object are relative to the

coordinates of the group that the object resides in. For example, if
you position an empty group at X, Y, and Z coordinates of 100,
100, 100, then add a layer (a porcupine image in the example
shown below) to the group, the layer’s coordinates are shown in
the Properties Inspector as 0, 0, 0. However, in the Canvas the
image layer appears offset (100 pixels right of center, 100 pixels
above center, and 100 pixels “closer” to you). The layer’s
absolute coordinates in the Canvas may be the same as those of
its parent group (100, 100, 100), but the Properties Inspector
displays the layer’s relative coordinates (0, 0, 0—the center of the
layer’s parent group).

Rotation values are also relative to an object’s parent. For
example, rotating the group 45° also rotates the porcupine layer
45° in the Canvas; however, in the porcupine layer’s Properties
Inspector, the Rotation value remains 0°—the rotation value of the
porcupine relative to its parent group.

Transform layers in 3D space
In Motion, 2D layers and groups can exist in the same project as
3D layers and groups. You can manipulate any 2D layer in 3D
space by using the 3D transform tool.

Move a layer in 3D space
1. Select the 3D Transform tool in the toolbar (or press Q).

2. Select a layer or group in the Layers list or Canvas.
3D handles appear on the selected object in the Canvas.

3. Do any of the following:
Move the object horizontally: Drag the red arrow to move
the object along its X axis.
Move the object vertically: Drag the green arrow to move
the object along its Y axis.
Move the object forward or backward: Drag the blue
handle to move the object along its Z axis.
Tip: If the blue handle is facing forward, drag left or right
to move the object forward or backward.
As you drag, the active arrow turns yellow, and the status bar

above the Canvas displays the current coordinates of the object
as well as the distance the object has moved (delta). Coordinates
are given in the form of X, Y, and Z.

Rotate a layer in 3D space
1. Select the 3D Transform tool in the toolbar (or press Q).

2. Select a layer or group in the Layers list or Canvas.
3D handles appear on the selected object in the Canvas.

3. Move the pointer over one of the rotation handles (small circles
surrounding the arrows) until a colored rotation ring appears,
then drag the ring.
The red ring rotates the object around its X axis.
The green ring rotates the object around its Y axis.
The blue ring rotates the object around its Z axis.
As you drag, the status bar above the Canvas displays the
absolute rotation values as well as the amount of rotation change
(delta).

Rotate a layer around all axes
simultaneously
1. Select the 3D Transform tool in the toolbar (or press Q).

2. Select a layer or group in the Layers list or Canvas.
3D handles appear on the selected object in the Canvas.

3. Holding down the Command key, move the pointer over one of
the rotation handles (small circles surrounding the arrows) until
all three rotation rings appear, then drag over the object (but
not over the rotation handle).
The object rotates around all three axes simultaneously, and the
status bar above the Canvas displays the absolute rotation values
as well as the amount of rotation change (delta).

Display a subset of the 3D transform
handles
Do any of the following:
Display the axis arrows only: Press the Comma key (,).
Display the rotation handles only: Press the Period key (.).
Display the scale handles only: Press the Slash key (/).
When you press any key a second time, the display switches

back to the default, with all three of the onscreen controls
visible.

Transform a layer in 3D space using the
HUD
As an alternative to dragging in the Canvas, you can transform
layers and groups in 3D space using graphic controls in the HUD.
1. Select the 3D Transform tool in the toolbar (or press Q).

2. Select a layer or group in the Layers list or Canvas.
3. Choose Window > Show HUD or press D.
4. In the HUD, do any of the following:
Move a layer: Drag in any of the three Move squares to
reposition the object along its Z axis, X and Y axes, or X
and Z axes. Hold down the Command key while dragging
to simultaneously scale the object as it’s moved,
preserving its size relative to the camera.

Rotate a layer: Drag in the Rotate square to rotate the
object around the X and Y axes. To rotate around the Z
axis, hold down the Command key while dragging.
Resize a layer: Drag in the Scale square to uniformly resize
the selected object in the Canvas. To constrain scaling to
the axis corresponding to the initial direction of the drag,
hold down the Command key while dragging.
Choose an axis type: Click the Adjust Around pop-up
menu, then choose an item. Local Axis (the default) orients
3D transforms to the object’s local coordinates. World Axis
orients 3D transforms to the coordinates of the 3D grid in
the Canvas. View Axis orients 3D transforms to the view
space of the current view, with the Z axis aligned along the
view’s line of sight. For more information on views, see
About cameras and views.

3D intersection

Create 3D intersection
By default in Motion, the order of layers in the Layers list
determines the stacking order of layers in the Canvas. In other
words, layers higher up in the Layers list appear in the Canvas on
top of layers that are lower in the Layers list. This hierarchy of
layer organization is called layer order. Even when you move a
layer forward in Z space using 3D transform handles, that layer
does not pass through or move in front of layers that are higher in
the Layers list. Layer order prevents intersection and interaction of
layers.
Important: 3D text objects only intersect with other 3D text
objects. Additionally, 3D text uses only layer order: For 3D text to
appear above other non-3D text layers, the 3D text must be
positioned above the other layers in the Layers list; the text’s Z
position in the Canvas has no effect. For more information, see
About 3D text intersection and layer order.
In the image below, groups Red A and Blue B are positioned at
the same point in 3D space. But because they are layer-ordered,
Red A does not intersect with Blue B.

To have objects intersect in the Canvas, you must convert groups

in your project to depth order. You do this by converting 2D
groups to 3D groups.
In the image below, because the parent group has been
converted to 3D, groups Red A and Blue B now intersect.

To summarize:
Groups and layers nested in 2D groups are composited in
layer order.
Groups and layers nested in 3D groups are composited in
depth order.
A Motion project can contain both 2D and 3D groups, and both
groups can be parents or nested children of one another. And you
can convert a group from 2D to 3D, and vice versa, at any time.

Convert a group from 2D to 3D to enable
intersection
In the Layers list, select a 2D group, then do one of the

following:
Click the 2D icon to the right of the group in the Layers list.

Choose Object > 3D Group (or press Control-D).
In the Group Inspector, click the Type pop-up menu, then
choose 3D.

The 2D group icon is replaced by a 3D group icon, and layers and
groups nested in the parent group are converted to depth order,
allowing intersection with other depth-ordered layers and groups.
To change a group from 3D to 2D, use the same method
described above.

Important: Some operations, as well as the application of some
filters or a mask, cause a group to be rasterized. When a group is
rasterized, it’s converted into a bitmap image. Rasterization
affects 2D and 3D groups in different ways, sometimes preventing
3D intersection. For more information, see Groups and
rasterization.

About 2D and 3D group properties
2D groups and 3D groups behave in different ways. And in the
Group Inspector, 2D groups and 3D groups have different
parameters.

The Group Inspector for 3D groups contains Flatten and Layer
Order parameters. Selecting the Flatten checkbox places layers
and groups inside the 3D group into a two-dimensional plane.
Selecting the Layer Order checkbox composites layers and
groups inside the 3D group according to their position in the
Layers list rather than by depth order (position in the Canvas
along the Z axis). For more information, see Create 3D
intersection.
The Group Inspector for 2D groups contains the Fixed Resolution
parameter. Selecting the Fixed Resolution checkbox lets you
manually set the size of a group, using sliders. By default, Fixed
Resolution is disabled and the size of the group is determined by

the layers in that group. For more information, see Constrain
group size.

2D group properties
Nested layers and groups are composited in the Canvas in
layer order (hierarchical order in the Layers list). However,
adjacent 3D groups that are not nested in 2D groups can
intersect based on depth order.

In the example above, the two gray balls in the 2D Foreground
group are composited on top of the rest of the scene. Group
A and Group B intersect because they are 3D groups, but
neither of them can intersect with the 2D root-level groups.
A 2D group can be nested in a 3D group.
A 2D group not nested in a 3D group is locked to the camera,
even if the camera is animated. (For more information about
cameras, see About cameras and views.
Filters are applied to a 2D group in local space—that is, flat to
the image.

When lights are used, the group is lit as a single object;
nested layers and groups are not lit individually.
Note: 2D groups not nested inside 3D groups are not
affected by lights.
Because it is flat, a 2D group has Drop Shadow, Four Corner,
and Crop parameters in the Properties Inspector.
2D groups can have a fixed resolution.

3D group properties
Nested layers and groups are composited in depth order
(according to their position along the Z axis).
When a 3D group is nested in a 2D group, the 3D group is
flattened. This means that the nested 3D group acts like a flat
card and ignores the camera. In addition, the flattened group
does not intersect with layers of the 2D group or other groups
in the project.
Filters are applied to a 3D group in view space. In other
words, the filter affects the group as if it were applied to the
lens of the camera viewing the group.

When lights are used on a 3D group, its nested layers and
groups are lit individually.
Only a 3D group with the Flatten parameter enabled has Crop,
Drop Shadow, and Four Corner parameters in the Properties
Inspector.

Add cameras to create 3D
environments
3D cameras overview
By default, newly created Motion projects are 2D, planar
environments. When you add a scene camera and convert your
project to a 3D environment, the following occurs:
A third dimension (depth) is activated in the Canvas,
represented by the Z axis.
A camera object is added to the Layers list and to the Canvas
(as a wireframe icon that you can drag like any other object in
Motion). Like a real-world camera, a Motion scene camera lets
you frame a custom point of view during your sequence. And
like a real camera, a Motion scene camera can be static or set
into motion to create elaborate tracking shots.

Controls become available in the Inspector for adjusting your
camera’s angle of view and other properties. See Controls in
the Camera Inspector.
3D overlays become available in the Canvas to help you view
and arrange your 3D elements. See View 3D overlays.
Additional reference views (called reference cameras) become
a available so that you can see your 3D project from various
angles (from the front, back, sides, and so on). See About
cameras and views.
A group of camera behaviors becomes available, allowing you
to apply sophisticated animated camera moves. See Add
Camera behaviors.
SEE ALSO
Add a camera
About cameras and views

Add a camera
In 3D mode, anything you see in the Canvas represents the
viewpoint of a camera, either a default reference camera or a
scene camera that you create. You can create cameras to look at
your scene from different points of view. You can place cameras,
animate them, and apply behaviors to them. Creating multiple
cameras lets you make different cameras active at different times,
allowing you to “cut to” different views over the course of the
project.
Note: When building a 3D project, it can be useful to position
cameras to examine your project’s layout from different

viewpoints. Rather than repeatedly moving the Perspective
camera, you can add scene cameras to use as spatial
bookmarks. You won’t want to use these cameras during export,
so be sure to disable them before rendering.
The scene cameras you create are used for rendering output.
Scene cameras appear in the Canvas as wireframe camera icons
and as objects in the Layers list.

Add a scene camera to a Motion project
1. Click the New Camera button in the toolbar, or choose Object
> New Camera.

If your project contains no existing 3D groups, the following
dialog appears:

If your project is empty or already contains at least one 3D
group, go to step 3.
2. Do one of the following:
To add a camera without converting 2D groups in your

To add a camera without converting 2D groups in your
project to 3D groups, click Keep as 2D.
To add a camera and convert 2D groups in your project to
3D groups, click Switch to 3D.
The following happens:
A camera object is added to the Layers list and Canvas
(represented there by a wireframe icon).
The 3D Transform tool in the toolbar is selected.
The Camera HUD becomes available (if it isn’t visible,
press F7).
The Camera Inspector becomes available.
The Camera pop-up menu (set to Active Camera) becomes
available in the upper-left corner of the Canvas.
3. Click the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas, then choose a camera view.

For more information, see Camera pop-up menu and About
cameras and views.

About cameras and views
In a 3D workspace, everything is seen from the viewpoint of a
camera. If you want to export your project specifically from a
camera view, you must add a scene camera. When you add a
scene camera to a project, additional reference cameras become
available to help you see your composition from various angles,
such as top, bottom, left, and right. Scene cameras are used for
rendering output when you export your project; what you see
through the scene camera represents your final render. Reference
cameras are not used for rendering.

Scene cameras
There are two types of scene cameras to choose from in the
Camera Inspector:
Framing: Sets the camera origin (or anchor point) at the focal
plane (a plane perpendicular to the camera’s local Z axis—in
other words, perpendicular to your line of sight as you look at
the Canvas). The position of a Framing camera’s origin makes
it useful for orbiting moves—rotating the camera causes it to
orbit.

Viewpoint: Sets the camera origin (or anchor point) at the
center of projection, “inside” the virtual camera. Rotating a
Viewpoint camera causes it to pivot—also known as panning
(horizontal) or tilting (vertical).
For more information, see Controls in the Camera Inspector.
You set the scene camera type (Framing or Viewpoint) in the
Camera Inspector. Scene cameras appear in the Layers list and
Canvas (as wireframe objects that you can move and rotate to
change your point of view).

Reference cameras
There are two types of views provided by the reference cameras:
Orthogonal: Views the scene by looking straight down one of
the world axes: X, Y, or Z. The Front and Back cameras look
straight down the Z axis. The Top and Bottom cameras look
straight down the Y axis. The Left and Right cameras look
straight down the X axis. Orthogonal views do not show
perspective.

Perspective: Views the scene with perspective distortion, the
way a real-world camera would. (Scene cameras also view
the scene in perspective.)
Reference camera views are selected in the Canvas, via the
Camera pop-up menu or the 3D compass.
Reference cameras do not appear as objects in the Layers list or
Canvas, nor can they be manipulated like a scene camera.

SEE ALSO
Add a camera
View 3D overlays
Scale, position, and animate cameras
Controls in the Camera Inspector

Work with camera views and overlays
View 3D overlays
After you add a camera to your project, there are six 3D overlays
available in the Canvas to help you view and arrange your 3D
elements:

Camera pop-up menu: Sets the camera view.
3D view tools: Control reference and scene cameras.
Inset view: Displays the scene from a different camera’s
perspective.
3D grid: Shows the ground plane of the 3D world.
3D compass: Changes the Canvas view in 3D space.
3D scene icons: Display onscreen representations of
cameras, lights, and edge-on lines.

Show or hide 3D overlays
Do one of the following:

Choose View > 3D Overlays, then choose an overlay type.
Click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
an overlay type.
A checkmark next to an overlay type in the pop-up menu
indicates that the overlay is enabled in the Canvas.

Camera pop-up menu
The Camera pop-up menu, located in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas, lists the active camera view. Choose from a list of scene
cameras and reference cameras. This menu also contains several
view-related commands.

The Camera pop-up menu is divided into three sections:
The top section lets you select the active scene camera as
well as any other scene cameras you’ve added to your
project. For more information on scene cameras, see Add a

camera.
Active Camera/Camera: When you choose Active Camera
from the pop-up menu, the topmost camera in the Layers
list at the current playhead position (in the Timeline)
becomes the active camera. The active camera is the
camera through which you view your project in the
Canvas. It’s also the camera view that’s rendered when
you export your project. If a project contains only one
scene camera (as shown above), two items appear at the
top of this pop-up menu: Active Camera and Camera,
which represent the same camera.
If a project contains more than one scene camera (as
shown below), all scene cameras appear at the top of the
Camera pop-up menu, under the Active Camera item. To
make a different scene camera the active camera, choose
a different camera from the top section of the pop-up
menu. (Scene cameras listed in this section of the Camera
pop-up menu appear in the same order as they do in the
Layers list.)

For more information, see Work with multiple cameras.
The middle section of the Camera pop-up menu lets you
choose a reference camera to help you see your composition
from various angles. Choose any of the following to activate a
reference camera view:
Perspective: Like a real-world camera, views the scene
with perspective distortion. For example, layers farther
away from the camera appear smaller than layers closer to
the camera. The perspective view defaults to a view from
the front center.
Front: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the Z
axis and shows a perpendicular view from the front of the
scene.
Back: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the Z
axis and shows a perpendicular view from the back of the
scene.
Left: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the X axis

and shows a perpendicular view from the left of the scene.
Right: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the X
axis and shows a perpendicular view from the right of the
scene.
Top: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the Y axis
and shows a perpendicular view from the top of the scene.
Bottom: This orthogonal camera looks straight down the Y
axis and shows a perpendicular view from the bottom of
the scene.
Note: The orthogonal camera views (Front, Back, Left,
Right, Top, and Bottom) ignore perspective.
The reference camera views cannot be exported. However,
you can still animate a scene camera when a reference
camera view is selected.
Note: Because project objects are 2D (flat), they may not
visible in the Canvas when you choose an orthogonal camera
view (Front, Back, Left, Right, Top, and Bottom). This is
because orthogonal views are at right angles (perpendicular)
to 2D elements in your project. When you select an object
that’s invisible to an orthogonal references camera, a thin
white line represents the object in the Canvas. For more
information, see 3D scene icons.
The bottom section of the Camera pop-up menu allows
access to five frequently used commands:
Reset View: Resets the camera view to its default
orientation. (Control-R)
Select Active Camera: Selects the active camera in the
project—the topmost camera in the Layers list that is

visible at the current frame (when there are multiple
cameras existing at the same frame in time). (ControlOption-C)
Fit Objects Into View: Reframes the current camera to fit
the selected objects into the Canvas. (F)
Frame Object: Frames the selected objects in the active
view. If no objects are selected, Frame Object resets the
reference camera to view all objects in the scene. (ShiftCommand-F)
Focus On Object: Used when a camera has depth of field
turned on. Adjusts the camera’s Focus Offset to the
selected object. (Control-F)
After you choose a camera view (scene camera or reference
camera), use the 3D view tools to pan, orbit, or dolly the camera.

3D view tools
The 3D view tools in the upper-right corner of the Canvas become
available after you add a camera to your project. Use these tools
to modify the position and orientation of reference and scene
cameras, thereby changing your view of objects in 3D space.
A scene camera indicator (a gray camera icon) appears at the left
of the 3D view tools when a scene camera is the active camera.
This icon is a reminder (not a button or control) that when you use
the 3D view tools, you are moving the scene camera, which
affects your project’s output.

Pan, orbit, or dolly using the 3D view tools
Do one of the following:
Pan: Drag over the leftmost control to move the camera along
the X and Y axes relative to the current view.
Orbit: Drag over the middle control to orbit the camera around
the selected scene object. If nothing is selected, the camera
orbits around its focal plane. For more information on the
camera focal plane, see Controls in the Camera Inspector.
Orbit can affect X, Y, and Z Position values, as well as X and
Y Rotation values.
Note: If you use the orbit control to change an orthogonal
reference camera, an asterisk appears next to the view’s
name in the Camera pop-up menu, indicating that the view is
no longer a true orthogonal view.
Dolly: Drag over the rightmost control to dolly the camera,
moving it along the Z axis relative to the current view.
Tip: Double-clicking a 3D view tool resets all parameters that can
be affected by the tool.

Pan, orbit, or dolly in small or large

increments
Do one of the following:
Hold down the Shift key while dragging in the Pan, Orbit, or
Dolly controls to adjust the camera in increments of 10.
Hold down the Option key while dragging in the Pan, Orbit, or
Dolly controls to adjust the camera in increments of .01.

Pan, orbit, or dolly using keyboard
commands and a two-button or threebutton mouse
Do one of the following:
Pan: Drag in the Canvas while holding down the Option key
and the right mouse button.
Orbit: Drag in the Canvas while holding down the Command
key and the right mouse button.
Dolly: Drag in the Canvas while holding down the Command
key, the Option key, and the right mouse button.

Reset your camera
Do one of the following:
Double-click the Pan, Orbit, or Dolly tool.

Click the pop-up Camera pop-up menu (in the upper-left
corner of the Canvas), then choose Reset View.
In the Properties Inspector for the camera, click the reset
button for the Transform parameters.

3D compass
Located in the lower-left corner of the Canvas, the 3D compass
acts as an orientation and shortcut device. It has active and
passive states, depending on whether the pointer is positioned
over it. In its passive state, it displays the orientation of the three
world axes (X, Y, and Z). In its active state, the compass presents
color-coded shortcuts to activate the reference (orthogonal and
perspective) cameras.

Show or hide the 3D compass
Click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
Show 3D Overlays and 3D Compass.
A checkmark next to an overlay type in the pop-up menu
indicates that the overlay is enabled in the Canvas.

Select a reference camera view using the
3D compass
1. Position the pointer over the compass.
The compass changes to its active state, displaying a labeled
icon for each reference camera view.
2. Click the icon representing the camera to activate.
The view in the Canvas updates to the selected reference
camera view.

Select a camera view using the 3D compass
1. Position the pointer over the 3D compass.
The compass changes to its active state.
2. Control-click the 3D compass, then choose a scene camera or
reference camera view from the shortcut menu.

The view in the Canvas changes to the selected camera view.

Inset view
When you move an object (a layer, group, camera, or light) in a 3D
project, an inset view appears in the lower-right corner of the
Canvas, showing the scene from a different camera’s point of
view. If you’re viewing the scene through the active camera, the
inset view shows the Perspective camera’s point of view. If you’re
viewing the scene through any other camera, the inset view shows
the active camera. Use the inset view to see the results of
changes that you make in orthogonal views.

Show the inset view
Click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
Show 3D Overlays and Inset View.
A checkmark next to an overlay type in the pop-up menu
indicates that the overlay is enabled in the Canvas.

You can set the inset view’s size and when it appears in the
Canvas by opening Motion Preferences (press CommandComma), then adjusting the settings in the 3D pane.

3D grid
The 3D grid shows the ground plane of the 3D world. The ground
plane is, as the name states, a plane attached to the ground of
the scene, where Y equals 0. The ground plane represents the
dividing line between up and down, that is, between positive Y
values and negative Y values. It is centered on 0, 0, 0.

Show the 3D grid
Click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
Show 3D Overlays and 3D Grid.

A checkmark next to an overlay type in the pop-up menu
indicates that the overlay is enabled in the Canvas.

3D scene icons
3D scene icons are onscreen wireframe representations of
cameras and lights in your project. (When a scene camera is
active, its 3D scene icon is not visible because you’re viewing the
scene through that camera. To see the camera’s scene icon, click
the Camera pop-up menu and choose a different camera view.)
When you rotate a flat layer (a shape or image) so that its plane is
perpendicular to the screen, another type of 3D scene icon
becomes visible: an edge-on line that lets you see and manipulate
an object that would otherwise be invisible.
Note: No 3D scene icons appear in exported images or movie
clips.

Tip: Double-click a camera scene icon to select it and change
the current view to that camera.

Show the 3D scene icons
Click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
Show 3D Overlays and 3D Scene Icons.
A checkmark next to an overlay type in the pop-up menu
indicates that the overlay is enabled in the Canvas.

Viewport layouts
Viewports are window divisions in the Canvas that display multiple
camera views at the same time. Viewports can help you animate
and position objects in 3D space. The default viewport is a single
camera view. You can add more viewports by clicking the gray
box in the top-right corner of the Canvas, then choosing an
arrangement:

Single: The default value, displays a single viewport window in

the Canvas.
Two-up, side by side: Displays two viewport windows in the
Canvas, one next to the other.
Two-up, top and bottom: Displays two viewport windows in
the Canvas, one on top of the other.
Three-up, large window below: Displays three viewport
windows, two next to each other on top and a larger window
below.
Three-up, large window right: Displays three viewport
windows, two stacked on the left side and a larger window
spanning the right side.
Four-up, large window right: Displays four viewport windows,
three stacked on the left side and one larger window on the
right side.
Four-up: Displays four viewport windows, all the same size.
When working with multiple viewports, the most recent view
clicked in is the active view. The active viewport is highlighted with
a yellow border. Only the active viewport displays transform
handles.

Note: The active viewport in the Canvas is not the same as the
active camera. For more information, see About cameras and
views.

Work with multiple cameras
If a scene contains more than one camera, you can set the
topmost camera in the Layers list and Timeline to be the active
camera at the current frame. Although the active camera is the
default camera used for export, you can select any scene camera
to export. (The active camera is not the same as the active view.
The active view is the last viewport you clicked in when working
with multiple viewports.)

Note: Dragging and dropping an object onto the Canvas adds the
object to the scene at the focal plane of the current camera.
Dragging an object into the Layers list or clicking the Apply button
in the preview area of the File Browser positions the object at
0, 0, 0 in the Canvas.

Make a camera active based on its layer
order
In the Canvas, click the Camera pop-up menu, then choose
Active Camera.

The topmost camera in the Layers list at the current frame
becomes the active camera (Camera 2 in the example above).

Make a specific camera the active camera
In the Canvas, click the Camera pop-up menu, then choose a
scene camera.

SEE ALSO
Timeline overview

Scale, position, and animate cameras
Motion gives you various ways to scale, position, “walk,” and
animate cameras. After you position cameras in a project, you
can select a single camera view using the Isolate command. For
more information, see Isolate an object in the Canvas.

Scale a camera
Use the Scale parameter in the Properties pane of the Inspector
to scale what a scene camera sees. For example, when the

camera “shrinks,” the scene it views seems to become larger.
1. Select a camera in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the Properties Inspector, drag the Scale slider.
Note: Changing the Scale value does not affect a camera’s
Angle of View parameter. Additionally, changing the Scale
value only affects framing cameras. For more information
about framing cameras, see About cameras and views and
Controls in the Camera Inspector.

Position a camera in the Canvas
Do one of the following:
Drag a camera or its onscreen controls in the Canvas.
For more information, see Transform layers in 3D space.
Select a camera in Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, then
adjust the Position or Rotation controls in the Properties
Inspector.
Select a camera in Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, then
adjust the 3D transform controls in the HUD.
For more information, see Transform layers in 3D space.
Select a camera in Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, then
adjust the 3D view tools in the upper-right corner of the
Canvas.

For more information, see 3D view tools.

Position a camera using the Walk 3D View
tool
The Walk 3D View tool lets you position a camera in 3D space as
you would in a computer game, using a keyboard-and-mouse
navigation method.
1. Select a camera, then click the view tools control in the toolbar
and, holding down the mouse button, choose the Walk 3D
View tool.

The pointer changes to indicate that the Walk 3D View tool is
active.
2. Use the Up Arrow, Down Arrow, Right Arrow, and Left Arrow
keys to move the camera in 3D space; hold down the Option
key while using the arrow keys to move the camera more
slowly.
You can also drag in the Canvas to orient the camera.
If you’re using a scene camera, you can also record the

movement you create using the Walk 3D View tool, by creating
keyframes. For more information on keyframing, see Add
keyframes.
Note: The Walk 3D View tool is available only when Active
Camera, Camera, or Perspective is selected from the Camera
pop-up menu. For more information on the Camera pop-up
menu, see Camera pop-up menu.

Animate a camera
Do one of the following:
Add keyframes to a camera parameter in the Camera
Inspector or Properties Inspector.
For more information on animating with keyframes, see
Keyframing overview.
Apply a basic behavior or a Camera behavior to a camera.
For more information on Camera behaviors, see Add Camera
behaviors.
Apply a Parameter behavior to camera parameter in the
Camera Inspector or Properties Inspector.
For more information on Parameter behaviors, see Add,
remove, and disable a Parameter behavior.

Isolate an object in the Canvas
The Isolate command (and Isolate button) temporarily aligns the
current view with the selected object and hides all other objects in
the scene, facilitating access to distant or obscured objects.
The Isolate command is not intended for creating a camera view
to be rendered or exported, but rather to temporarily restrict your
view to a single object so you can modify or manipulate that
object more effectively.

Isolate an object
1. Select the object to isolate in the Canvas, Layers list, or
Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Choose Object > Isolate (or press Control-I).
In the Layers list or Timeline, click the Isolate button.
The current view changes to align itself with the selected
object, and all other objects in the scene are hidden.

When an object is isolated, a temporary camera is created
and listed in the Camera pop-up menu. The camera
shares its name with that of the isolated object.

Exit the isolated view
Do one of the following:
Choose Object > Isolate (or press Control-I).
In the Layers list or Timeline, click the Isolate button.
Choose a different camera from the Camera pop-up menu.

Note: You can isolate as many objects as you have viewports.
It’s a common workflow to edit an object in an isolated view while
looking at the results through a scene camera in another viewport.
After an object is isolated in a view, you can activate another
viewport and isolate a different object. For more information, see
Viewport layouts.

Controls in the Camera Inspector
You can modify a scene camera’s properties in the Camera
Inspector (and in the Camera HUD).
To open the Camera Inspector, select a camera in the Canvas,
Layers list, or Timeline, then click Camera in the Inspector.
The Camera Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Camera Type: A pop-up menu to set the type of camera used.
There are two options:
Framing: Sets the camera origin at the focal plane. The
focal plane of a camera is a plane located at a distance
equal to the camera’s focal distance along its local Z axis
(or line of sight) and oriented perpendicular to the
camera’s local Z axis.
Viewpoint: Sets the camera origin at the center of
projection, “inside” the virtual camera.

Angle of View: A slider to set the number of degrees in which

the camera sees. Values range from 0 to 180 degrees.
Note: When you animate the Angle of View parameter on a
Framing camera, the result is an opposing dolly effect. An
opposing dolly zooms in the opposite direction that the
camera moves. When you animate the Angle of View
parameter on a Viewpoint camera, the result is a regular
camera zoom.

Near Plane: A slider to set the distance where the camera
begins to see objects. Objects closer to the camera than this
distance are not rendered from this camera’s point of view.
Far Plane: A slider to set the distance where the camera
ceases to see objects. Objects farther from the camera than
this distance are not rendered from this camera’s point of
view.
Near Fade: A slider to set the softness factor for the near
plane. The softness factor sets a boundary range over which
near objects fade in.
Far Fade: A slider to set the softness factor for the far plane.
The softness factor sets a boundary range over which far
objects fade out.

Note: Camera depth of field parameters are also contained in
this window. For a complete description of these controls see
Depth of field overview.
The Camera HUD contains the Camera Type, Angle of View, Focal
Length, and DOF Blur Amount parameters, which are also
available in the Inspector. The Camera HUD also contains 3D
transform controls. For more information, see Transform layers in
3D space.

Depth of field
Depth of field overview
In the real world, cameras have a limited range of focus. Objects
within that range appear sharp, and the farther outside that range
an object is, the blurrier it appears. This effect is used by camera
operators to help limit which part of a scene the viewer pays
attention to. Motion lets you simulate that phenomenon, thereby
increasing the sense of depth in a 3D scene.

Every camera in Motion has a focus offset that determines the
precise location of perfect focus. Stretching away from that point
in either direction are near and far focus points, which determine

the range of the depth of field.

Note: Some complex objects, such as local 3D text and paint
strokes with enabled Dynamics, are not affected by depth-of-field
settings.

Render depth of field effects
When depth of field is employed, playback performance may be
significantly impacted. To alleviate this issue, you can disable the
effects of depth of field settings while working on other aspects of
your project.

Enable or disable depth of field effects

Click the Render pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the
Canvas, then choose Depth of Field (or press Control-OptionD).
When a check mark is visible next to the menu item, the
effects are rendered. When no check mark is visible, all
objects remain in focus.

Turn off depth of field in the Inspector
Select a camera in the Layers list or Timeline, then, in the
Camera Inspector, set the DOF Blur Amount value (in the
Depth of Field section) to 0.

Depth of Field controls in the Camera
Inspector
You can modify a camera’s depth of field parameters in the
Camera Inspector:
DOF Blur Amount: A slider to control the maximum amount of
blur applied to out-of-focus objects.
Focus Offset: A slider to set the distance from the camera
where objects are in perfect focus.
Near Focus: A slider to set the nearest point of focus,
measured in pixels as an offset from the focal distance.
Far Focus: A slider to set the farthest point of focus, measured
in pixels as an offset from the focal distance.

Infinite Focus: A checkbox that sets the far focus to infinity,
overriding the setting chosen in the Far Focus slider.
Filter: A pop-up menu to set the type of blur algorithm used to
render the out-of-focus areas. Choices include Gaussian or
Defocus. The Defocus setting renders a more realistic effect,
but may impact performance.
Tip: For best results, use Gaussian when setting up a scene,
and Defocus for final output.
Filter Shape: When the Filter pop-up menu is set to Defocus,
this pop-up menu lets you choose between a disk-shaped, or
polygon-shaped render kernel. Different shapes produce
subtly different blur patterns simulating different types of
camera lenses.
Sides: When the Filter Shape pop-up menu is set to Polygon,
this slider sets the number of sides in the polygon.
Depth: A pop-up menu to set the depth to Radial or Planar.
Although Radial typically exhibits more realistic results, there
are some cases where it may look artificial. These include
cases where the camera is set to a high DOF Blur Amount, or
if the image layer is close to the edge of the frame, is very
large, is rotated, and so on. In these cases, switching to
Planar may improve results.

Camera behaviors
Add Camera behaviors
Although most types of behaviors in Motion can be applied to
cameras, there is an additional set of behaviors specifically

designed to be applied to cameras in a 3D project. These Camera
behaviors create common camera moves such as dollying,
panning, and zooming without keyframing.
There are six camera-specific behaviors: Dolly, Focus, Framing,
Sweep, Zoom In/Out, and Zoom Layer.

Add a Camera behavior
1. Select a scene camera in the Layers list, Canvas, or Timeline.
2. In the toolbar, click the Add Behavior pop-up menu, choose
Camera, then choose an item from the submenu.

The behavior is applied to the camera object and appears
under it in the Layers list and Timeline.

SEE ALSO
Behaviors overview

Dolly
The Dolly behavior moves the camera a specified distance along
the camera’s Z axis.

After you apply this behavior, the Dolly section of the Behaviors
Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Distance: A slider to set the distance of the dolly movement.
Speed: A pop-up menu to set the type of interpolation used
for the movement. The value can be set to Constant, Ease In,
Ease Out, Ease Both, Accelerate, or Decelerate.
The HUD contains the same controls as the Inspector.

Focus
The Focus behavior animates the camera’s Focus Offset
parameter to focus on a target object. For more information on
camera focus settings, see Depth of field overview.
Tip: Use this behavior to perform a rack-focus effect during a
scene.
After you apply this behavior, the Focus section of the Behaviors
Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Target: An image well to specify the object upon which the
camera will focus. Drag an object from the Layers list into the
well.
Transition: A slider to set how long it takes for the camera to
reach the focus position, measured as a percentage of the
behavior’s duration.
Speed: A pop-up menu to set the type of interpolation used
for the movement. Values include Constant, Ease In, Ease
Out, Ease Both, Accelerate, or Decelerate.

The HUD contains the same controls as the Inspector.

Framing
The Framing behavior animates the camera along a path to
position it in front of a selected layer. You can control how the
layer fits into the frame at the ending position, and you can control
the shape of the path to affect the amount of bend or curvature,
as well as the apex of such a curved path. Other parameters
allow you to customize the camera’s orientation along the path,
the speed at which it travels, and at what point it begins orienting
towards the target object.
The Framing behavior has handles to allow you to manipulate the
path and ending position in the Canvas. For more information on
using the Framing behavior’s handles, see Use Framing behavior
onscreen controls.
Tip: Multiple framing behaviors can be arranged consecutively to
move a camera from one object to another over the course of a
scene.
WARNING: Applying a Framing behavior before or after a Basic
Motion behavior, such as Motion Path or Throw, can create
unexpected results. These behaviors can continue to affect the
object even after the behavior ends. For example, if a Framing
behavior is applied after a Motion Path behavior is applied, the
residual effect of the Motion Path is combined with the path
generated by the Framing behavior, resulting in the target object
being framed improperly.
After you apply this behavior, the Framing section of the

Behaviors Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Target: An image well to specify the object upon which the
camera is framed. Drag an object from the Layers list into the
well.
Target Face: A pop-up menu to specify which side (face) of
the target layer the camera points to at the end of the framing
behavior. For example, when you choose “Bottom (-y),” the
camera swoops in from its original position to frame the
bottom of the object, pointing up along the Y axis.

Up Vector: A pop-up menu that provides a constraint for the
camera to keep it the right way up. By default, the camera is
upright along the Y axis. When you choose “Target +X,” the
camera moves from its original position and rotates so that it’s
perpendicular to the X axis of the target object, making its
upright axis +X (the right side of the X axis, based on the 0, 0,
0 coordinate system). When you choose “World +X,” the
camera moves from its original position and rotates so that it is
perpendicular to the +X axis of the 3D space (rather than the
axis of the target layer). When you choose “Auto,” Motion tries
to guess the upright axis.

For more information on coordinates, see 3D compositing
overview.
Framing: A pop-up menu to specify how the target should be
framed. The menu choices include the following:
Fit Horizontally: Positions the camera so the full width of
the target fits in the width of the frame.
Fit Vertically: Positions the camera so the full height of the
target fits in the height of the frame.
Fit Both: Positions the camera so both width and height of
the target fit in the frame.
Simple Fit: Positions the camera so both width and height
of the project fit in the frame. If the target object is larger
or smaller than the project dimensions, it may not properly
fill the frame.
Custom Fit: This option appears when you modify the
Framing Offset parameter (described below).
Framing Offset: Three value sliders (X, Y, and, when
expanded, Z) to offset (in pixels) the point on the target that is
centered, relative to the camera. By adjusting Framing Offset,
you can target a point other than the center of the object. The
Z slider moves the camera nearer to or farther from the target.
Offset Path Apex: A slider to set the position along the path

Offset Path Apex: A slider to set the position along the path
(from the original position to the framing position) where the
bend (if any) occurs if the user chooses to offset the path.
Offset Path Apex is expressed as a value between 0 and 1 (0
being at the start of the path, 1 being the end, and 0.5 being
halfway along the path).
Path Offset: Three value sliders (X, Y, and, when expanded, Z)
to offset the camera’s position from the path, measured in
pixels.
Orientation: A pop-up menu to set whether the camera is
oriented towards the target at every frame (Orient to Current)
or oriented towards the target at its final position (Orient to
Final).
Position Transition Time: A slider to set how long it takes the
camera to reach the framing position, measured as a
percentage of the behavior’s duration.
Rotation Transition Time: A slider to set how long it takes the
camera to reach the framing orientation, measured as a
percentage of the behavior’s duration.
Transition: A pop-up menu to set the speed of the transition.
Choices include Constant, Ease In, Ease Out, Ease Both,
Accelerate, or Decelerate.
Ease Out Time: A slider to set the percentage of the
behavior’s duration when the ease-out effect starts. The ease
out ramps down the behavior’s effect until the end of the
behavior.
Ease Out Curve: A slider that sets the rate of the ease-out
effect.

The HUD contains a subset of the controls in the Inspector.

Use Framing behavior onscreen controls
When you select a Framing behavior in the Layers list, onscreen
controls become available in the Canvas, allowing you to create a
custom framing size and shape, and to visually adjust the Framing
Offset and Offset Path Apex parameters.
Note: To use the Framing behavior onscreen controls, you must
first assign a layer to the Target image well in the Behaviors
Inspector.

Target a point other than the center of the
layer
By default, the Framing behavior targets the center of the layer.
You can instruct the camera to frame another area of the target
layer using the Framing Offset parameter’s onscreen controls.
1. Click the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas, then choose Perspective.
2. Select a framing behavior in the Layers list or Timeline.
In the Canvas, a white rectangle with four corner handles
appears. This rectangle is the Framing Offset parameter
onscreen control.
3. Do one of the following:

Drag any of the four corner handles to adjust the Z value.
Note: Because the onscreen controls may be imprecise,
use the value sliders in the Behavior Inspector to limit value
changes to the Z axis alone.
Drag inside the white rectangle to adjust the X or Y values.

Set the location of the camera motion path
apex
If the Framing behavior settings create a curved camera motion
path, you can adjust the vertex (the highest point of the curve)
using the Offset Path Apex parameter’s onscreen control.
1. Click the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas, then choose Perspective.
2. With the Framing behavior selected, drag the Offset Path
Apex (the small white box) along the white line that connects
the red curved motion path to reposition the apex.
Tip: If you don’t see the small white box, drag over the dolly
tool (in the top-left corner of the Canvas) to zoom out a bit.

Offset the camera motion path
You can offset the camera’s motion path that is created by the
Framing behavior using the Path Offset parameter’s onscreen
controls.
1. Click the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of the
Canvas, then choose Perspective.
2. With the Framing behavior selected, do one of the following:
Drag the green arrow to adjust the path along the Y axis.
Drag the red arrow to adjust the path along the X axis.
Drag the blue arrow to adjust the path along the Z axis.
Drag inside the white circle (where the colored circles
meet) to adjust the path along all three axes
simultaneously.
Note: If the transform controls (colored arrows) appear
within the framing onscreen controls in the Canvas, the
framing is adjusted rather than the camera motion path. If
this occurs, orbit the camera view so that the transform
controls are offset from the framing control.

For more information on the 3D transform controls, see
Transform layers in 3D space

Sweep
The Sweep behavior pivots the camera across a specified arc.
After you apply this behavior, the Sweep section of the Behaviors
Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Start: A dial to set the camera’s starting angle relative to its
current orientation. A nonzero value causes the camera to
jump to this value at the start of the behavior.
End: A dial to set the camera’s final angle relative to its Start
parameter value.
Speed: A pop-up menu to set the type of interpolation used
for the rotation. The value can be set to Constant, Ease In,
Ease Out, Ease Both, Accelerate, or Decelerate.
Axis: A pop-up menu to set the axis around which the sweep
occurs. Value can be set to Tilt X, Swivel Y, or Roll Z.
The HUD contains the same controls as the Inspector.

Zoom In/Out
The Zoom In/Out behavior animates the camera’s Angle of View

parameter.
After you apply this behavior, the Zoom In/Out section of the
Behaviors Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Zoom: A slider to set a proportional value to modify the
camera’s Angle of View parameter. For more information
about the Angle of View parameter, see Controls in the
Camera Inspector.
Speed: A pop-up menu to set the type of interpolation for the
movement. The value can be set to Constant, Ease In, Ease
Out, Ease Both, Accelerate, or Decelerate.
The HUD contains the same controls as the Inspector.

Zoom Layer
The Zoom Layer behavior moves a camera to the position of a
target object’s anchor point. When the camera reaches the
object’s anchor point, the angle of view changes while offsetting
the camera’s position based on the Zoom parameter. (This
parameter is set to 0 by default so no animation of the Angle of
View occurs.)
This behavior also lets you animate the camera’s Angle of View
during the camera’s movement, based on the behavior’s
Transition value. For more information about the Angle of View
parameter, see Controls in the Camera Inspector.
After you apply this behavior, the Zoom Layer section of the
Behaviors Inspector contains the following parameter controls:
Object: An image well to set the target of the camera’s

movement. Drag an object from the Layers list into the well.
Transition: A slider to specify how far into the behavior the
camera stops moving and the camera’s Angle of View
parameter begins to animate instead.
If Transition is set to 50% in a Zoom Layer behavior that has a
length of 300 frames, the camera move takes 150 frames to
arrive at the position of the target object and then stops
moving for the duration of the behavior, and the camera’s
Angle of View parameter animates over the rest of the
duration. If Transition is set to 100%, the camera move takes
the full 300 frames to arrive at the position of the target object,
and the camera’s angle of view does not animate. If the Zoom
Layer behavior’s duration is 100 frames and Transition is set
to 50%, the camera move takes 50 frames to arrive at the
position of the target object.
Speed: A pop-up menu to set the type of interpolation used
for the rotation. The value can be set to Constant, Ease In,
Ease Out, Ease Both, Accelerate, or Decelerate.
Zoom: A slider to set a proportional value to modify the
camera’s Angle of View parameter. A nonzero value
determines how much the angle of view (and thus perspective)
changes relative to the camera’s initial angle of view. A zero
value for Zoom leaves the Angle of View parameter
unchanged.
The HUD contains the same controls as the Inspector.

Lighting

Lighting overview
You can apply lighting to a motion graphics project to enhance the
depth and scope of compositions, and to help create realistic
environments for composites. Although light sources are not
visible, you can simulate a visible light source by combining a
point light with an image or shape, as shown in the example
below.

Tip: Use the Match Move behavior to move a simulated light
source with a light in a movie clip. For more information on the
Match Move behavior, see Match move an object.
Motion’s lighting system works only on 3D groups (and the layers
and groups nested within them). When you add lights to a scene,
two groups of properties contribute to the appearance of lights:
Light properties: You can adjust the quality of a light itself by
selecting a light object in your project, then modifying its
parameters in the Light Inspector.
Object lighting properties: You can adjust how an image layer
in your project (a still image, movie clip, shape, and so on)
receives light cast by light objects by selecting the layer, then

adjusting Lighting parameters in the Properties Inspector.
You can manipulate any of the following light properties: type of
light, intensity, and color. A light bulb, the sun, and lighting in a
dance club have different appearances. You can use lighting
properties to simulate these differences. You can use multiple
lights to mix color. If one red and one blue spot light are pointed at
a white object, they mix to make magenta. Each type of light has
its own attributes. It may take a combination of light types to
achieve a specific effect. For example, you might want to combine
a dim ambient light with a spot light to add depth or prevent total
darkness where the spot light’s effect drops off.
SEE ALSO
Add lights
Light Inspector controls
Lighting controls in the Properties Inspector

Add lights
You can add a lights to your project one at a time, or you can add
sets of lights that have been predesigned to create specific
lighting styles.

Add a light to a project
1. Click the New Light button in the toolbar, or choose Object >
New Light.

If your project contains no existing 3D groups, the following
dialog appears:

If your project already contains at least one 3D group, go to
step 3.
If you select Keep as 2D, a light will have no effect until you
create at least one 3D group at the root level (not nested in a
2D group).
2. Click Switch to 3D.
A light object is added to the Layers list, Canvas (represented
there by a wireframe icon), and Timeline; the 3D Transform
tool in the toolbar becomes active; and the Light Inspector
opens.
3. Make adjustments to the light in the Light Inspector.

Add a preset lighting style
You can add a group of lights all at once by selecting one of
Motion’s preset lighting styles.

1. Choose Object > New Light Setup and choose one of the
preset lighting styles.
2. If a dialog appears stating that you have no 3D groups in the
project, click Switch to 3D.
A new group containing lights is added to the project. The
number and types of lights varies depending on the preset
style you chose.
3. Make any adjustments to the newly added lights to customize
them for your scene.
Note: Choosing a new light setup does not remove or replace
any lights that are already in the project.
Tip: If you’re using 3D text, turn off any lighting effects before
adding scene lights to avoid unexpected or conflicting results.
See Adjust 3D text lighting.

Disable rendering of lighting
Lighting effects can significantly impact playback performance.
You can temporarily disable lighting to improve playback speed
while working on other aspects of your project.
Click the Render pop-up menu in the top-right corner of the
Canvas, then choose Lighting (or press Option-L).

Light Inspector controls

Light Inspector controls
When you create a light, or select a light object in the Layers list,
the Light Inspector opens. In the Light Inspector, you can adjust
the following parameters:
Light Type: A pop-up menu to specify any of four light types:
Ambient: Emits light in all directions, illuminating all objects
in the scene from all directions equally. This type of light
has no position and no representation in the Canvas. The
most common use for ambient lights is to add an overall fill
effect or color cast.
Note: There’s no global ambience property in Motion, so
you may have to add an ambient light to prevent total
blackness.
Directional: Emits parallel rays of light in a specified
direction from a source located at an infinite distance.
Rotate the directional light icon (a wireframe cylinder with
one end removed) in the Canvas to change the direction in
which the light is cast. The circle represents the back of
the light, and the lines indicate the direction the light is
traveling.

Point: Emits light outward from a single point in 3D space

in all directions. Optionally, you can add falloff based on an
object’s proximity to the light. This is the default light in
Motion, and it produces results similar to that of an
incandescent light bulb.

Spot: Emits light from a conical light source and casts an
elliptical pattern on objects hit by the light. Using a spot
light allows for a high degree of accuracy when you need
to limit the area affected by the light.

Color: A standard set of controls to select the color of the
light.
Intensity: A slider that acts as a dimmer switch for lighting. If
you use a Directional light at 100% intensity pointed straight at

a red object, the object looks red. If you lower the intensity,
the object and scene get darker. However, if you increase the
intensity above 100% you may begin to overexpose your
scene, eventually causing the object to appear white. The
Intensity value slider ranges from 0 and 400, but there’s no
upper limit for Intensity (use the adjacent value slider to set a
value above 400).
Note: Multiple lights interacting with an object combine to
increase the object’s apparent brightness as they would in the
real world. If you have two spot lights overlapping in space
and pointing in the same direction with Intensity set to 100%,
you see the same result as having a single spot light with its
Intensity set to 200%.
Falloff Start: A slider to adjust where the falloff point of a light
begins. In the real world, light falls off—or has less of an effect
—as the distance from the light source increases. Usually
falloff starts at the center of the light object. Setting Falloff
Start adds additional control to your lighting. This parameter
applies to light types that use a Position parameter (Point and
Spot).
In the example below, a light is positioned slightly above the
origin of the scene. There are three rings of cards at a
distance of 200, 500, and 1000 units from the light. (In this
example, a visible light source—the bulb at the center of the
rings of cards—is simulated for illustrative purposes.) The
light’s Intensity is set to 100% and Falloff is set to 10%. When
Falloff Start is set to 0 (left, below), the light begins to fall off by
the time it hits the innermost ring. When Falloff Start is set to
200 (right, below), the inner ring is lit at 100% intensity and the
outer rings are slightly brighter than before.

When Falloff Start is increased to 500 (left, below), the inner
and middle rings are lit at 100% intensity, and the outer ring is
brighter than before. Finally, when Falloff Start is set to 1000
(right, below), all rings are lit at 100% intensity.

In the next example, the image on the left contains a light with
Intensity set to 100%, while the image on the right has a light
Intensity of 500%. In the image on the right, the outer rings are
slightly brighter, but the innermost ring is overexposed. If the
Falloff Start of the light in the image on the right is increased to
1000, the rings are overexposed.

Falloff: A slider to control the rate of falloff for a point or spot
light based on the Falloff Start setting. At low values, light falls
off over a long distance from the light source; therefore, the
light travels farther in the image. At high values, the falloff
occurs more rapidly.
Cone Angle: A dial that becomes available only when Light
Type is set to Spot. The Cone Angle is measured from the
center of the light outward and can be set to a value between
0 and 90 degrees. The distance of the light from its target
affects the result of this parameter. If the light is close, a wider
spot cone angle may be needed to light more of the object. If
the light is farther away, a lower Cone Angle may be needed
to isolate objects.
Soft Edge: A dial that becomes available only when Light Type
is set to Spot. Like Cone Angle, this parameter can be set to a
value between 0 and 90 degrees. Its starting point begins at
the outer edge of the Cone Angle. If set to 0, spot lights have
a hard edge. Low values produce a slight softening effect to
the boundary of the lit area. Higher values produce a wide,
more natural fade. Adding softness expands the area of your
light, so you might need to adjust the angle to achieve a
specific effect.

Note: Point lights, directional lights, and spot lights also
contain a set of parameters to control how they cast shadows.
For more information on these parameters, see Shadows
overview.
The Light HUD contains the Light Type, Color, Intensity, Falloff
Start, and Falloff parameters, which are also available in the
Inspector. The Light HUD also contains 3D transform controls. For
more information, see Transform layers in 3D space.

Lighting controls in the Properties
Inspector
Layers and groups have properties that control how they react to
lights in a scene. When layer or group is selected, you can adjust
these parameters in the Lighting section of the Properties
Inspector. Groups have a single Shading parameter. Layers have
Shading, Highlights, Shininess, and Diameter parameters.
Shading: A pop-up menu to set how an object responds to
lights in the scene. If set to On, the object can be lit. If set to
Off, the object ignores scene lights. If set to Inherited (the
default), the object uses the Shading value of its parent.
Note: When a layer or group is nested in one or more parent
groups, setting its Shading parameter to On overrides any
Shading parameter settings applied to the parent groups.
Highlights: A checkbox to control whether lit objects show
highlights. This parameter has no effect if Shading is set to
Off. Click the disclosure triangle to reveal an additional
Shininess parameter.

Shininess: A slider to set how strong an object’s highlights
appear. Higher values create a glossier appearance. This
Shininess parameter is disabled when the Highlights
parameter is deselected.
Diameter: A slider that becomes available when Light Type is
set to Directional, Point, or Spot. Diameter affects how lights
are reflected as highlights in 3D Text objects.

Shadows
Shadows overview
Motion projects that include point lights or spot lights can create
more natural, realistic effects by casting shadows. Shadows are
created when an opaque or semi-opaque object (a layer or group)
blocks light from hitting another object. To see a shadow in
Motion, you need at least three things: A shadow-casting light
source, an object to cast a shadow, and another object upon
which the shadow is cast. Multiple lights cast multiple shadows
that may or may not be visible depending on the relative positions
and settings of the objects in the scene.
Note: Ambient lights do not cast shadows.
In Motion, you can control whether a light source creates shadows
and whether each object in the scene receives shadows or casts
shadows (or both). You can even have an invisible object cast a
shadow. The strength, sharpness, shape, and position of the
shadow depends on the type and positions of the lights and
relative position of all three objects.

WARNING: Some changes you make to 3D objects cause
shadows to disappear. This occurs when the change causes
rasterization of the 3D object—adjusting the opacity of a group or
turning on the glow attributes for a text layer, for example.
Flattening the 3D group allows it to cast shadows again. For more
information about disappearing shadows, see Shadows and
rasterization.

Cast shadows versus drop shadows
There are two common types of shadow effects used in motion
graphics work: drop shadows and cast shadows. Motion can
create both effects, but because they have different purposes
and applications, it may be helpful to consider the differences
between them.
Cast and drop shadows simulate the effect of light blocked by an
opaque object. But a cast shadow is a 3D effect requiring a light
source and an object for the shadow to fall upon, whereas a drop
shadow is a 2D effect simulating a cast shadow without a light
source and therefore is limited to a very small range of settings.

Drop shadows are commonly used to simulate depth and

separate foreground objects from the background in 2D projects.
The classic drop shadow effect is used on light-colored titles so
the text is legible against dark and light backgrounds. In a drop
shadow effect, the imaginary light source does not create any
shading effect on the surface of the object, and the shadow’s
position is set at a fixed direction. A drop shadow is rendered as a
part of the foreground object, so it doesn’t interact with
background objects. However, because it is an effect, its
appearance can be customized. The softness, opacity, position,
and color can be adjusted and animated without having to
manipulate a light source.
Cast shadows are true 3D effects, and their appearance is
determined by the light source and the other objects in the scene.
Multiple cast shadows interact with each other and take their
shapes based on the surfaces and positions of the objects upon
which they are cast.
This section addresses cast shadow effects. For information on
drop shadows, see Add a drop shadow to a layer.
SEE ALSO
Cast a shadow
Shadow controls in the Inspector
About shadows and complex 3D layers
Shadows without lights

Cast a shadow
Shadows are controlled in the Light Inspector. To improve
performance, you can temporarily turn off the rendering of

shadows in the Canvas.

Cast a shadow
In the Layers list or Canvas, select the light, then select the
Shadows activation checkbox in the Light Inspector.
Note: To cast a shadow, the light must be offset from the
object casting the shadow, and the object casting the shadow
needs to be offset from the layer receiving its shadow.

Disable rendering of shadows
Rendering shadows can significantly impact playback
performance. You can temporarily disable shadows to improve
playback speed while working on other aspects of your project.
Click the Render pop-up menu above the Canvas, then
choose Shadows (or press Control-Option-S).

Shadow controls in the Inspector
Shadows are controlled by adjusting settings in two places:
Shadows section in the Light Inspector: Use these parameter
controls to set the shadow properties of point lights and spot
lights.
Shadows section in the Properties Inspector: Use these

Shadows section in the Properties Inspector: Use these
parameter controls to set the casting and receiving properties
of layers.
Note: 2D groups at the root level of the project (not nested in
other groups) do not have lighting or shadow controls. To enable
shadows on such a group, convert it to 3D or embed it in another
3D group.

Shadows controls in the Light Inspector
Shadows: A checkbox to turn on Shadows controls. (When
activated, the checkbox is blue.) The Shadows checkbox lets
you set some lights to cast shadows, and others not to cast
shadows.
Selecting this checkbox causes the light to cast shadows on
objects in front of it if the objects also have shadow controls
enabled. Deselecting it prevents the light from generating
shadows, regardless of settings of individual objects.
Opacity: A slider to control the apparent opacity of the
shadow.

Softness: A slider to specify how blurry a shadow will appear.

Note: The appearance of a shadow depends on the
rendering quality of the object casting it. Because a shadow
may be larger than the original object, you may see some
jagged edges or aliasing on the shadow. If you see such
artifacts, check how your image looks when the project is set
to Best quality, rather than Draft or Normal. For more
information about Canvas display quality, see Custom Canvas
view options.
Uniform Softness: A checkbox to constrain the results of the
softness slider to a uniform amount of blur on the shadow
regardless of distance between the light, the object casting
the shadow, and the object receiving the shadow.
By deselecting the checkbox, you enable nonuniform
softness, so that when objects are farther from each other,
more blur is applied.
Note: Enabling nonuniform softness can impact playback
performance.

Note: Intersecting objects reveal an unnatural effect of using
uniform softness. Because an equal amount of blur is applied
to the entire shadow, the blur appears to spill out in front of
the intersecting object, creating a strange appearance. This
effect can be eliminated in two ways: by deselecting the

Uniform Softness checkbox or by setting the object to not
receive shadows (by deselecting the Receive Shadows
checkbox in the Properties Inspector).

Color: Standard color controls to set the color of the shadow.
Although semitransparent objects cast lighter shadows than
opaque objects, you cannot create light transmission effects
wherein a semitransparent object projects some of its own
color onto another object, as stained glass does. For more
information on using the color controls, see Basic color
controls.
Note: When Shadows are enabled for point lights, spot lights,
and directional lights, Motion uses the multiply compositing
mode to blend shadows with the objects upon which they’re
cast. This means that the result is a darkening effect,
regardless of the color of the shadow. If you select a shadow
color lighter than the background upon which it is cast, the

shadow may not be visible. So, for example, when Shadows
are enabled for a light, it’s not possible to cast a white shadow
on a dark surface. To override this effect, you must disable
the Shadows parameter for the light. For more details, see
Shadows without lights.

Shadows controls in the Properties
Inspector
Every layer in a 3D group has Shadows controls in its Properties
Inspector. This includes shapes, video clips, particles, and so on.
Lights, Cameras, and 2D groups at the root level of the project
(not nested in another group) do not have Shadows controls.
Cast Shadows: A checkbox to set whether a layer casts a
shadow if it lies between a light source and another layer.

Receive Shadows: A checkbox to control whether other layers
cast shadows on the currently selected layer. The following
image depicts an object (the white ring) with the Receive
Shadow checkbox selected and the Casts Shadow checkbox
deselected.

Shadows Only: A checkbox that allows an object to block light
and cast a shadow, while the object itself does not appear in
the scene.

You can select both Receive Shadows and Shadows Only,
which makes the object invisible except for the regions where
a shadow is cast upon it.

About shadows and complex 3D layers

When using shadows with layers such as particle systems, text
objects, or replicators that are set to 3D, shadows are cast from
one part of the object onto another part. This is called selfshadowing.

Modifying the object in a way that causes rasterization prevents
shadows from displaying.

In some cases you may be able to find another way to perform
the effect that does not require rasterization. For example, in the
following images, rather than modifying the opacity of the particle
emitter, which causes rasterization, you can modify the opacity of
the particle cells and maintain the shadows.

In the second figure above, rasterization interferes with the depth
order of the particle system, and particles appear in front of the
letter A. In the third figure, no rasterization occurs, and particles
appear in their proper depth order, in front of and behind the
letter A. For more information about how rasterization affects
shadows, see Shadows and rasterization.
SEE ALSO
Particles overview
Replicator overview
Basic text overview

Shadows without lights
Lighting and shadows can each be disabled independently. You
can keep shadows visible, even when lighting is disabled, allowing
you to keep the original unshaded look of the scene. Turning off
lighting also changes the way shadows are rendered.
When shading (the visible effect of lighting) is disabled, shadows
behave differently. Rather than being multiplied with the object
upon which they are cast, the shadow’s color and opacity are
controlled only by the Shadows settings in the Light Inspector.

This allows you to create shadows of any color or opacity, from
traditional dark shadows to brightly colored or even white
shadows.

You can disable shading globally in the View pulldown menu
(choose View > Render Options > Lighting to remove the
checkmark from the menu item) or in the Render pop-up menu
above the Canvas (choose Lighting to remove the checkmark from
the menu item). You can also disable shading for a specific layer
by setting the Shading parameter in the Properties Inspector to
Off.

With spot lights, enabling Shadows but disabling shading can
create a seemingly strange result where the shadow is suddenly
cut off because it has exceeded the scope of the light cone.
Because the shading effect of the light cone is turned off, the
shadow edge looks unnatural.

To correct such an occurrence, increase the Cone Angle in the
Light Inspector.

Reflections
Cast a reflection
In the real world, all objects exhibit some degree of reflectivity
based on surface shine, brightness, angle of view, and proximity

to reflected objects. Motion simulates this natural effect,
equipping every object with a set of parameters to create and
control realistic-looking reflections. When reflections are enabled
for a layer, all other layers in the project are reflected but may
only be visible from specific angles and distances.

In Motion, reflections are controlled in the Properties Inspector. To
improve performance, you can temporarily turn off the rendering
of reflections in the Canvas.

Cast a reflection
Select the layer to receive the reflection, then select the
Reflection activation checkbox in the Properties Inspector.
Note: To cast reflections, layers must be offset from each
other (for example, X rotation or Z position).

Disable rendering of reflections
Rendering reflections can significantly impact playback
performance. You can temporarily disable reflections to improve

playback speed while working on other aspects of your project.
Click the Render pop-up menu above the Canvas, then
choose Reflections (or press Control-Option-R).

SEE ALSO
Reflection controls
About reflections and groups
Limit recursive reflections

Reflection controls
Reflections are controlled by adjusting settings in the Reflection
section and Blending sections of Properties Inspector:

Reflection section controls
Reflection: An activation checkbox that enables reflections
based on the settings of the parameters in the object (a layer
or group). (When selected, the checkbox is highlighted blue.)
Reflectivity: A slider that controls how shiny the object’s
surface appears. 0% indicates no reflectivity, while 100% is
perfectly reflective, like a mirror.
Blur Amount: A slider that controls whether real reflections
appear in sharp focus or quite blurry, depending on the
surface quality of the reflecting object.
Falloff: A checkbox that determines whether the reflection
fades with distance from the object, producing a more realistic
result.

When the Falloff checkbox is selected, additional controls
become available. Click the disclosure triangle beside the
Falloff checkbox to reveal these controls:
Begin Distance: A slider that determines the distance
(inside the reflection) where the falloff begins. When the
slider is set to 0, falloff starts at the reflection plane.
End Distance: A slider that determines the distance where

the falloff ends, beyond which the reflection isn’t visible.
Adjusting this slider moves the falloff point closer to the
reflection plane, which causes less of the reflected image
to appear.
Exponent: A slider that controls how quickly a reflection
gets fainter as the reflected object gets farther from the
reflective surface.
Blend Mode: A pop-up menu that sets the blend mode
used for the reflection. Blend modes other than Add are
useful for achieving different looks, even if they aren’t
physically intuitive. For more information about blend
modes, see Layer blending overview.

Blending section controls
Casts Reflection: The Properties Inspector of every layer or
group also contains a Casts Reflection pop-up menu (in the
Blending section) that controls whether an object is reflective.
There are three options:
Yes: The object is reflected in nearby reflective objects.

No: The object is ignored by reflective surfaces.

Reflection Only: The object becomes invisible, but appears
in reflective surfaces around it.

About reflections and groups
In addition to choosing reflection settings for individual layers, you
can adjust settings for an entire group. Reflection settings (in the
Properties Inspector) for a group override the settings of individual
layers in the group. For example, if a layer in a group is not set to
receive reflections, turning that setting on for the whole group
forces the individual layer to receive them. Turning off the setting
for the group allows the layer’s settings to act as expected.
Cast Reflection settings (in the Properties Inspector) work
differently. If the group is set to cast reflections, individual objects’
reflections can still be turned off (or set to Reflection Only).
However, if the group is set to not cast reflections at all, individual
objects never cast a reflection, regardless of their setting.
For more information about the Reflection settings and Cast
Reflection settings in the Properties Inspector, see Reflection
controls.

Limit recursive reflections
When a reflective object (layer or group) is reflected in another

object, the first object can be seen in the reflection, potentially
causing an endless repetition of reflections. Motion limits the
number of reflective bounces that can occur in a scene,
preserving performance and preventing the viewer from getting
lost in infinity. The number of allowed reflections is set per project.

Limit the number of recursive reflections in
a project
1. Choose Edit > Project Properties (or press Command-J).
The Properties Inspector for the project opens.
2. In the Reflections section, adjust the Maximum Bounces
slider.

Manage timing
Timeline overview
The Timeline is where you control all timing aspects of a project.
You can set the frames where objects begin and end, align
multiple effects so they occur simultaneously, control object
duration, and even perform common trim operations to edit the
objects as you would in a nonlinear video editing application. The
Timeline is located under the toolbar, in the Timing pane.
The Timeline consists of three areas:
Timeline layers list: On the left side of the Timing pane, this
area displays a hierarchical list of objects (layers, groups,
effects objects) in your project, mirroring the contents of the
Layers list in the Project pane. As you can in the Layers list,
you can add media to your project by dragging it into the
Timeline layers list.
Timeline track area: On the right side of the Timing pane, this
area displays colored bars (timebars) that correspond to the
objects in the Timeline layers list; the length of each timebar
represents the duration of each object over the course of your
project. You can adjust timing and synchronization by edit by
moving, trimming, or slipping timebars in the track area
Timeline ruler: Above the track area, this numbered strip
measures the timing of objects in frames. Here, you can drag
the playhead to navigate through your project as well as
perform various timing tasks.

In addition to the Timeline, the Timing pane contains two related
partitions that can be shown or hidden: the Audio Timeline and the
Keyframe Editor.
Display of the Timing pane is controlled by three buttons in the
lower-right corner of the Motion project window:

An abbreviated mini-Timeline, located at the bottom of the
Canvas, provides controls to perform quick edits such as moving,
trimming, and slipping without opening the Timing pane. For more
information, see Edit in the mini-Timeline.

Tip: You can show the Timeline on a second display, providing a
larger workspace for manipulating the timing of objects. For more

information, see View the Canvas or Timing pane on a second
display.
SEE ALSO
Show, hide, or resize the Timing pane
Add objects to the Timeline overview
Manage Timeline layers and tracks overview
Display and modify keyframes in the Timeline
Retime media overview

Show, hide, or resize the Timing
pane
Show or hide the Timing pane
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Video Timeline (or press Command-7).
Click the Show/Hide Timeline button in the lower-right corner
of the Motion project window.

Note: To collapse the entire Timing pane (Timeline, Audio

Timeline, and Keyframe Editor), make sure that all three
buttons in the lower-right corner of the Motion project window
are dimmed.

Resize the Timing pane
Do one of the following:
Drag the toolbar up or down.
Drag the boundary (the gray line) between the File Browser,
Library, or Inspector and the Timing pane to the left or right.
Deselect the “i” button in the lower-left corner of the Motion
Project window to widen the Timing pane (and hide the File
Browser, Library, and Inspector).

Add objects to the Timeline
Add objects to the Timeline overview
Just as you can drag objects (media and effects) to the Layers list
or Canvas, you can drag objects to the Timeline. There are two
ways to do this:
Add media to the Timeline layers list. This method is identical
to the workflow for dragging media to the Layers list in Project
pane.

Add media and effects objects to the Timeline track area. With
this method, you can control how media is added to the
project—inserted, exchanged with existing media, and so on
—with a series of drop menu commands.
Additionally, you can set drag-and-drop preferences to customize
how and where objects are placed the Timeline.

Add layers to the Timeline layers list
Just as you can add media to the Layers list, you can drag media
into the Timeline layers list. When you do so, a layer is added to
the Timeline layers list (and also to the Layers list, and Canvas),
and a corresponding timebar appears in the track area.
Library effects (behaviors, filters, and so on) can also be dragged
into the Timeline layers list. However, because effects objects are
applied to media layers (images, video, audio, and so on), they
cannot be grouped by themselves.
Note: You can also drag images and clips to the Timeline track
area. See Add layers to the Timeline track area.

Add a layer to a group
1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list, then
position the pointer over the Timeline layers list.
2. Do any of the following:
Add the item as the topmost layer in a group: Position the

Add the item as the topmost layer in a group: Position the
pointer over a group, and when a white border appears,
release the mouse button.
Add the item between two existing layers: Position the
pointer between two layers, and when a blue position
indicator appears, release the mouse button.
Replace an existing image layer: Position the pointer over
an existing layer, and when the pointer becomes a curved
arrow, release the mouse button.
The new layer is added to the Timeline layers list, Layers
list and Canvas.
Note: If the media item is a clip with multiple audio tracks, a drop
menu will appear, allowing you to choose between mixing down
the multiple tracks to stereo or importing audio tracks individually.
For more information, see Add audio files.

Add a layer to a new group between existing
groups
1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list into
the Timeline layers list between two existing groups.
2. When the position indicator appears, release the mouse
button.
A new group containing the new layer is created between the
existing groups.

Create a group above existing groups

Create a group above existing groups
1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list into
the Timeline layers list, below the lower edge of the bottom
layer.
2. Release the mouse button.
A new group is created above the other existing groups in the
hierarchy of groups and layers.

SEE ALSO
Import standard media files
Add Library content to a project
Display, sort, and search the Media list

Add layers to the Timeline track area
When you drag a media item from the File Browser, Library, or
Media list into the Timeline track area, a drop menu appears with
options for how the new layer should be incorporated. Depending
on where in the track area you drop the item, the menu displays
different options: Composite, Insert, Overwrite, or Exchange.

You can also drag library effects objects (behaviors, filters, and so
on) into the Timeline track area. However, because effects objects
are applied to media layers (images, video clips, audio clips, and
so on), they can’t be added as standalone objects.
Note: If you release the mouse button before the drop menu
appears, the item is added as a composite edit—above the other
tracks in the Timeline and on top of other layers in the Canvas.

Add a layer to a new Timeline track
To add a layer to a new Timeline track without modifying any other
layer in your project, use the Composite edit. The Composite edit
places the layer in the track above the one you drag to.

1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list into
the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears at the pointer, indicating the
current frame number.
2. When you reach the frame where you want the new layer to
start, position the pointer over the layer you want as a
background, holding down the mouse button until the drop
menu appears.
3. Choose Composite from the drop menu.
The new layer is composited into the project above the layer
you dragged to.

Insert a layer, splitting an existing layer

To insert a layer into a new Timeline track and split an existing
layer at the insertion point, moving it forward in time to make room
for the new layer, use the Insert command. For example, if you
insert a 100-frame movie into a group containing an existing layer,
the new movie is added to the Timeline at the frame where you
drop it, pushing the remaining frames of the original movie out 100
frames.

If you insert a new item midway through an existing layer, the
existing layer is split into two layers, each on its own track.
1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list over
an existing bar in the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears at the pointer, indicating the
current frame number.
2. Drag to the frame where you want the new layer to start,

holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3. Choose Insert from the drop menu.
The new layer is inserted into the track, breaking the original bar
into two, and pushing the frames after the insertion farther out in
time.

Replace an existing layer with a new layer
To replace an existing layer with a new layer in the Timeline, use
the Overwrite command.

If the new layer is shorter than the one currently in the group, the
Overwrite option splits the duration of the existing layer and
deletes only the frames where the new layer appears.

1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list onto
a bar the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears, indicating the frame number
where you are located.
2. Drag to the frame where you want the new layer to start,
holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3. Choose Overwrite from the drop menu.
The frames of the new layer replace the frames of the original
layer. If the original layer contained more frames than the new
one, the old layer is split into two layers and the additional frames
remain.

Replace an existing layer with a layer of the
same duration
To replace an existing layer with a layer of the same duration, use
the Exchange command. The Exchange command is a variant of
the Overwrite option, but instead of dropping the entire duration of
the new layer into the project, the duration of the existing layer is

used. For example, if you drag a 30-second clip over a 5-second
clip, choosing Exchange swaps the existing 5 seconds with the
first 5 seconds of the longer clip. If you exchange a longer clip
with a shorter one—for example, swapping a 10-second clip with
one that lasts only 5 seconds—the first 5 seconds are replaced,
and the final 5 seconds of the original remain.
The exchange edit transfers any filters, behaviors, and keyframes
from the original layer onto the new layer.
Note: You cannot use the Exchange command with audio files.
1. Drag an item from the File Browser, Library, or Media list onto
a bar in the Timeline track area.
As you drag, a tooltip appears, indicating the frame number
where you are located.
2. Drag to the frame where you want the new layer to start,
holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.
3. Choose Exchange from the drop menu.
The old layer is replaced by the new layer.

Add multiple layers
When you drag more than one item to the Timeline, the new layers
appear in their own tracks above any existing layers. This is
equivalent to performing a composite edit with a single object. A
drop menu lets you choose whether the additional layers should
be stacked up as a composite, or whether they should appear

one after another (sequentially).

1. Shift-click or Command-click to select multiple items in the File
Browser, Library, or Media list, then drag them to the Timeline
track area.
2. Drag to the frame where you want the new layers to start,
holding down the mouse button until the drop menu appears.

3. Do any of the following:
Stack the layers at the same start point: Choose Composite
from the drop menu.
Multiple layers are added to the project at the same point
in time, each new layer on its own track.
Stack the layers in sequential order: Choose Sequential
from the drop menu.
Multiple layers are added into the project, each in its own
track, one after another in the Timeline.
If you release the mouse button in the Timeline track area before
the drop menu appears, a composite edit is applied by default.
Alternatively, you can drop the multiple layers into the Timeline
layers list. Doing so results in a composite edit.

SEE ALSO
Import standard media files
Add Library content to a project
Display, sort, and search the Media list

Set Timeline drag-and-drop preferences
You can set preferences that specify where an item is dropped
when you add it to the Timeline Layers list: at the start of the
project or at the current playhead position. You can also set the
delay time before a drop menu appears when you drag a media
item to the Timeline track area.

Specify where new objects appear in the
Timeline layers list
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
2. Click the Project icon.
3. In the Still Images & Layers section, click the appropriate
button to create layers at “Current frame” or “Start of project.”
Note: The Create Layers At preference applies only when you
drag items to the Timeline layers list, the Layers list, or Canvas.
Clips dropped on a specific frame in the Timeline track area
appear at that exact location.

Set the drop menu delay preference for
items added to the Timeline track area
You can modify the time it takes for the drop menu to open when
you drag items into the Timeline track area.
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).
The Preferences window appears.
2. Click the General.
3. In the Interface section, adjust the Drop Menu Delay slider to
set the delay pause for drop menus in Motion.

Manage Timeline layers and tracks
Manage Timeline layers and tracks
overview
The Timeline layers list (on the left side of the Timing pane) mirrors
the Layers list in the Project pane and displays your project
objects (groups, layers, filters, behaviors, masks, and so on) and
their stacking order. When you reorder in the Timeline Layers list,
the change is immediately reflected in the Layers list in the Project
pane. The Timeline layers list contains many of the same controls
as the Layers list in the Project pane. For more information, see
Layers list controls.

The Timeline track area (on the right side of the Timing pane)
displays each object in a project as a colored bar (known as a
timebar). Different colors represent different types of objects.

The Timeline track area can contain the following timebars and
other icons:
Group: A double blue bar. For groups with multiple layers, the
lower bar displays three lines and a value indicating the
number of objects in the group.

Objects (video clips, stills, shapes, text, particles, replicators,
cameras, lights): A blue bar

Masks: A gray bar

Behaviors and Filters: A thin purple bar

Keyframes: Red diamonds beneath the keyframed object.
Selected keyframes appear white.

Audio: A green bar displaying the audio waveform. Audio
tracks are not displayed by default. For more information on
displaying audio tracks see Adjust audio tracks.

Select and organize Timeline layers
The Timeline layers list, on the left side of the Timing pane, mirrors
the Layers list in the Project pane. You can select, reorganize,
show, hide, and lock layers in the Timeline layers list the same
way you do in the Layers list. Changes made to one list are
reflected in the other. For more information, see the following
topics:
Select layers and groups
Add or remove layers and groups
Reorganize layers and groups
Show, hide, solo, or lock objects
Nest layers and groups
Layers list controls

Layers list controls
Layers list shortcut menu

Unlink video and audio tracks
Ordinarily, objects that contain both audio and video are linked so
they remain in sync. This link is represented by an icon in the
Timeline layers list.

Note: To display the Audio Timeline, click the Show/Hide Audio
Timeline button, located in the lower-right corner of the Motion
project window.

Objects that are linked are always edited together in the Timeline.
Operations such as cut, copy, paste, and split affect both audio
and video. However, if you ever want to break that relationship so
you can move or edit the audio or video without the other tagging
along, you can disable that link and move either object freely.
Beware that this might result in your audio and video playing out
of sync.

Manipulate audio and video elements

separately
1. In the Timeline layers list, click the link icon to the right of the
object name for the video or audio element.
A red slash appears over the link icon in all previously linked
layers.

2. Move, trim, or slip the audio bar or video bar.

The link icon also appears in the Layers list and the Audio list
of the Project pane.

SEE ALSO
Edit in the Timeline track area
Adjust audio tracks

Customize the Timeline
You can customize the display of the Timeline layers list and track
area to suit your needs.

Show or hide mask, filter, or behavior
objects
You can hide effects objects in the Timeline Layers list and track
area to simplify your view of layers in your project.
Click the Show/Hide Masks, Show/Hide Filters, or Show/Hide
Behaviors button at the top of the Timeline layers list.

When a button is dimmed, the effects object and its
corresponding bar are hidden from view in the Timeline layers list
and track area. However, the effect remains active in the Canvas.

Modify the track display
You can display your timebars in the Timeline track area in any of
several different ways to suit your preferred working style.
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma),
then click Appearance.
2. In the Timeline section of the Appearance pane, choose an
item from the Timebar Display pop-up menu:
Name: Displays the name of the object on the timebar.
Name Plus Thumbnail: Displays the name of the object and

a single thumbnail on the timebar.
Filmstrip: Displays frames of the object on the timebar.
Regardless of the Timebar Display setting, timebars for
cameras, lights, behaviors, and filters are labeled with names
only. When Timebar Display is set to Filmstrip, computer
processing time is increased.

Adjust Timeline track height
You can adjust the height of tracks displayed in the track area.
Audio and object tracks can be resized separately. However,
some tracks, including filters and behaviors, cannot be resized.
Do one of the following:
Drag a row separator between two layers in the Timeline
layers list up or down to modify the vertical size of the tracks.

Click the Timeline pop-up menu at the bottom of the Timeline
layers list, then choose a new size. Options include Mini,
Small, Medium, and Large.

Scroll the track area
You can scroll horizontally in the track area to see portions of your
timebars that extend beyond the immediate workspace.

Drag the scroller under the track area left or right.

Zoom the track area
Do one of the following:
Drag the handle at either end of the scroller, inward to zoom
in, or outward to zoom out.

To zoom from the center of the visible area, hold down the
Shift key while you drag a handle.
Drag the zoom slider left to zoom out or right to zoom in at the
position of the playhead.

Press Option–Command–Equal Sign (=) to zoom in.
Note: If your whole desktop zooms, open OS X System
Preferences, click Accessibility, click Zoom, then deselect the
“Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” checkbox.
Press Option–Command–Minus Sign (–) to zoom out.
Note: If your whole desktop zooms, open OS X System
Preferences, click Accessibility, click Zoom, then deselect the
“Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” checkbox.
On a Multi-Touch trackpad, pinch open to zoom in and pinch
closed to zoom out.

Zoom the track area to fit the entire project
or play range
Do one of the following:
Click the Zoom Time View button in the upper-right corner of
the Timeline.

With the Timeline active, press Shift-Z or Option-Command-0.

Choose View > Zoom Time View > To Project or View > Zoom
Time View > To Play Range.

Edit objects in the Timeline
Edit in the Timeline track area
As you design your project, you arrange layers spatially in the
Canvas and temporally in the Timeline. When you select a layer,
group, or effects object in the Layers list or Timeline layers list, its
timebar is selected in the Timeline track area. Drag a bar forward
or backward in time, or trim it to correspond with the timing of
other bars.
Motion uses the terms move, trim, slip, and split to describe the
different ways of editing timebars:
Move: Changes the location of an object in the Timeline
without affecting its content or duration. See Move objects in
the Timeline track area.
Trim: Changes the duration of an object in the Timeline without
affecting its location or content. See Trim objects in the
Timeline track area.
Slip: Changes the content of an object in the Timeline without
affecting its location or duration. See Slip video layers in the
Timeline track area.
Split: Divides an object into multiple objects that you can
manipulate in separate tracks. See Split objects in the
Timeline track area.

As you can with objects in the Layers list, you can delete objects
in the Timeline, as well as cut, copy, or paste them.
You can also modify all timebars in a group by editing the group
timebar.

Move objects in the Timeline track area
Move an object when you want it to begin and end at a different
point in the Timeline.

Move an object in the Timeline
In the Timeline track area, drag a bar left or right to move it in
time.
A tooltip appears, identifying the new In and Out points as you
drag the bar. A delta symbol (triangle) indicates the amount of
change in frames or timecode.

Move an object and snap it to neighboring
objects

Do one of the following:
Click to select the Snapping button in the upper-right corner of
the Timeline, then drag a bar in the track area.

Press Shift as you drag the item in the Timeline.
Vertical lines appear in the track, corresponding to the In and Out
points of other timebars. The active bar snaps to these lines as
you drag.

Move an object to the playhead position
You can move a timebar to a new location in its track by using the
Move Selected In Point or Move Selected Out Point command.
This command shifts the position of the selected object to the
current playhead position. You can also use this command to
move and align multiple objects in one operation.
1. Select the object to move.
Shift-click to select multiple objects, if desired.
2. Place the playhead at the point in the Timeline where you want
to move the object.
3. Choose Mark > Move Selected In Point (or press Shift-Left
Bracket) to align the object’s beginning to the playhead, or
choose Mark > Move Selected Out Point (or press Shift-Right

Bracket) to align the end of the object to the playhead
position.

Move an object to a specific frame
1. In the Timeline, select the object (or objects) to move, then
type the number of the frame (or timecode) where you want to
move the object.
A value field appears, displaying the number you typed.

2. Press Return.
The object’s In point moves to the specified frame number. If
you selected more than one object, they all move to the
specified frame number.

Move an object a specific number of frames
Do one of the following:
To move an object forward a specific number of frames,

select the object, type a plus sign (+) followed by the number
of the frames you want to move, then press Return.

To move an object backward a specific number of frames,
select the object, type a minus sign (–) followed by the number
of the frames you want to move, then press Return.

Trim objects in the Timeline track area
Trim an object’s timebar when you want to shorten or lengthen its
duration in the Timeline. You can trim the beginning or end of the
object by dragging from the left or right edge of the bar (the In and
Out points). You can also trim an object by using menu
commands and corresponding keyboard shortcuts. You can trim
multiple objects simultaneously, and you can trim on the fly while
your project is playing back.
Note: Video and audio objects cannot be trimmed to be longer
than the duration of their source media. To extend a video or
audio object beyond the duration of its source media, you must
change the object’s End Condition to Loop, Ping Pong, or Hold in
the object’s Properties Inspector. This limitation does not apply to
other objects, such as still images, cameras, text, and shapes, all
of which you can extend without restriction. You can also change
the effective duration of a clip without adding or removing frames,
by changing the clip’s playback speed. For more information on
the Timing controls, see Retime media overview.

When you trim a video object in the track area, Motion provides a
visual representation of how much additional footage is available
in the object’s source clip: a dimmed extension on either end of
the bar indicating that unused frames exist in the source video
clip. If you see no dimmed extensions when you trim a bar, there
are no unused frames in the source clip. Consequently, you
cannot lengthen the object (unless you change the object’s End
Condition in the Properties Inspector for the clip).

Trim an object in the timeline
1. In the Timeline track area, move the pointer to one end of the
bar you want to trim.
The pointer changes to a trim pointer.

2. Drag the end of the bar until it reaches the frame where you
want the object to start or end.
As you drag, a tooltip indicates the new In or Out point, and
the new duration of the object.

Trim an object and snap its In or Out point
to neighboring objects
Press Shift as you drag the edge of a bar in the track area.
Vertical lines appear in the track, corresponding to the In and
Out points of other bars. The active bar snaps to these lines
as you drag.

Trim one or more objects via the Mark menu
1. Select one or more objects to trim.
2. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the new In or
Out point.
3. Choose Mark > Mark In (or press I) or Mark > Mark Out (or
press O) to set a new In point or Out point.
All selected objects are trimmed to the new point.

Trim an image or video layer without
trimming its applied effects objects

You can trim a layer without affecting the duration of its applied
effects objects (masks, filters, and so on).
Hold down the Command key while you drag the edge of the
image or video clip.
The object is trimmed independently of its applied effects
objects.

Slip video layers in the Timeline track
area
Slip a video layer when you want to use a different section of your
source clip without changing the layer’s duration or where it
appears in the Timeline.
Important: Slipping is only possible after you’ve trimmed a video
layer’s timebar.
For example, if you have a shot of a door opening that is three
seconds long and you want to trim it by one second, you can use
the Slip function to select which one-second section to use: the
first second as the door leaves the jamb, the next second where
the door swings open, or the last second where it bangs against
the wall.

As with trimming, when you slip a video layer in the track area,
Motion provides a visual representation of how much additional
footage is available in the object’s source clip: a dimmed
extension on either end of the bar indicates that unused frames
exist in the source video clip. You can only slip a bar as far as the
existing unused frames in the source media.

Slip a video layer in the Timeline
1. With the pointer over the video layer’s timebar, press and hold
down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the slip pointer.

2. Still holding down the Option key, drag the middle part of the
bar left or right.
Dragging to the left replaces the frames with a section from
later in the source material; dragging to the right uses frames
from earlier in the clip.

Split objects in the Timeline track area
You can divide a single object into multiple objects, each in its
own Timeline track. Splitting lets you turn one object into multiple
pieces and then manipulate each segment of the object on its
own track. For example, you can split an object into multiple
tracks over time if want to apply an effect to the object over a
specific, finite segment of time. Or you might split an object into
multiple tracks to create the illusion that the object is moving in 3D
space, passing in front of other objects. When working in 3D, you
can even split camera tracks.

Split an object in the Timeline

1. Select the object to split.
2. Drag the playhead to the frame where you want the split to
occur.
3. Choose Edit > Split.
The object is broken into two pieces, each positioned on its own
track.

Delete objects in the Timeline track area
Motion provides three ways to remove an object from the Timeline
track area:
Delete: Removes the object, leaving a gap in the track.

Ripple Delete: Removes the object and closes up the gap left
behind.

Cut: Deletes the object, leaving a gap in the Timeline, and
copies the object to the Clipboard for later pasting.

Delete an object
1. Select the object to delete.
2. Choose Edit > Delete (or press Delete).
You can also Control-click the object, then choose Delete from the
shortcut menu.

Ripple delete an object

1. Select the object to delete.
2. Choose Edit > Ripple Delete (or press Shift-Delete).

Cut an object
1. Select an object to delete.
2. Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X).
You can also Control-click the object, then choose Cut from the
shortcut menu.

Copy and paste objects in the Timeline
As in other applications, in Motion you can copy and paste
objects. Copying leaves an object in place and copies it to the
Clipboard for later pasting.
When you paste an object, it’s placed at either the position of the
playhead or at the beginning of the project (see If it’s your first
import). For the purposes of simplicity, the remainder of this
section assumes pasted objects are placed at the playhead
position.
Objects with applied filters, behaviors, keyframes, and other
effects retain those effects when cut, copied, and pasted. You
can also copy or cut filter and behavior objects from one media
layer and then paste them into another media layer, effectively
transferring the effect to a different media item.

In addition to ordinary pasting, Motion lets you paste as an insert,
overwrite, or exchange edit. These three commands appear in the
Paste Special dialog:
Insert into time region: Pastes the Clipboard contents into the
project, pushing existing objects farther down in time.
Overwrite into time region: Pastes the Clipboard contents into
the project, deleting any existing objects at the same point in
time.
Exchange media with existing object: Replaces the selected
object in the project with the Clipboard contents.
Note: Paste Special can also be used with selected regions in
the Timeline to perform a special type of paste. For more
information, see Make changes to a region (range of frames).

Copy an object to the Clipboard
1. In the Timeline, select an object to copy.
2. Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).

Paste an object into the Timeline
1. In the Timeline, select a group to paste into.
2. Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

The pasted object is placed in a new track at the top of the other
layers in the active group. If no group is selected, the object is
pasted into the group it was copied from. If it was copied from
outside the current project, a new group is created. Pasting
multiple objects retains the relative object and layer order of the
Clipboard contents.

Paste an object, pushing other objects
farther ahead in the Timeline
1. In the Timeline, select a group to paste into.
2. Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3. Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Option-Command-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
4. Select “Insert into time region.”
5. Click OK to confirm your edit.
The object is inserted at the selected position, splitting other
objects in the same time region and pushing them to the right in
the Timeline.

Paste an object, deleting other objects in
the same time region
1. In the Timeline, select a group to paste into.

2. Position the playhead at the desired time position.
3. Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Option-Command-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
4. Select “Overwrite into time region.”
5. Click OK to confirm your edit.
The object is pasted at the selected position, overwriting other
objects in the same time region.

Paste an object, replacing another object
1. In the File Browser, select an item, then choose Edit > Copy
(or press Command-C).
Note: This task works only for items copied from the File
Browser.
2. In the Timeline, select an object to replace.
3. Position the playhead at the desired time position.
4. Choose Edit > Paste Special (or press Option-Command-V).
The Paste Special dialog appears.
5. Select “Exchange media with existing object.”
6. Click OK to confirm your edit.

The object is pasted at the selected position, replacing the other
object.

About group tracks
You can edit in the group track, even if the group is collapsed and
its nested objects are not visible in the Timeline track area.
Group tracks contain two colored bars. The narrow, dark-blue
upper bar edits all objects in the group as a single unit. It’s
labeled with the name of the group (“Group” by default). The
lower group bar—taller and a lighter shade of blue—edits
individual objects in the group. The lower group bar displays
information about the names of individual objects in the group, as
well as the number of objects that overlap in composited areas of
the Timeline.

Motion lets you move objects in the Timeline via the group track.
Depending on where you drag in the group track, you can move
all objects, individual objects, or just those objects that overlap in
time (composited objects).

Trimming the edges of the upper group bar trims the edges of the
objects in the group. If there’s only one object, trimming the upper
group bar trims that object. If there’s more than one object lined
up with the edge of the group, trimming the group trims all those
objects.

You cannot trim overlapping objects via the group track.
You can modify the upper group bar to be longer or shorter than
the contents of the group (the lower group bar). For example, you
might shorten the upper group bar to hide a section of the objects
in it. Objects that extend beyond the ends of the upper group bar
are not displayed in the Canvas.

In addition to moving and trimming, you can slip video layers in
the group track. Any portion of the lower group bar that contains
only one video layer can be slipped in this manner. Areas where
more than one layer overlap can be slipped by Control-clicking
the group bar and choosing a video layer from the shortcut menu.
For more information, see Edit in the group track.

Edit in the group track
There are a variety of editing tasks you can perform directly in the
group track. This is equivalent to making similar edits to the
various tracks contained within the group, but it’s sometimes
more efficient to make such changes in the group track instead.

Move all objects in a group at once
Drag the upper group bar left or right.
All objects in the group move in time.

Move a single object in a group
1. Click an area of the lower group bar where a single object is
visible.

That object is highlighted in the group track.
2. Drag the section left or right to move the object in the group
forward or backward in time.
The selected object moves in time.

Move overlapping (composited) objects in a
group
Drag an area of the lower group bar where multiple objects
overlap.
The composited objects move in time.

Trim objects in a group
Drag an end of the upper group bar right or left in the track
area.
Objects in the group that share the same In and Out point with
the group are trimmed along with the group.

Change the duration of the group

independently of the objects in it
Holding down the Command key, drag either end of the upper
group bar left or right.
Only the group is trimmed.
Note: After you manually change the length of the upper group
bar, it’s no longer updated when you add or modify the objects to
the group. To restore automatic updating, realign the edges of the
upper group bar with the edges of the first and last clips in the
group.

Slip a video layer via the group track
Holding down the Option key, drag an area in the lower group
bar where the video layer is located.
If there are overlapping (composited) layers, before performing
this operation Control-click the overlapping region, then
choose the desired video layer from the shortcut menu.
Note: You can only slip a layer if it has been trimmed first. For
more information on slipping, see Slip video layers in the Timeline
track area.
Dragging right slips the video clip to an earlier portion of the
source media. Dragging left slips the video clip to a later portion of
the source media. Either way, the position of the clip in the
Timeline and its duration are unchanged.

Navigate in the Timeline
Motion provides many controls for navigating the Timeline. You
can drag the playhead to “scrub” through your project as quickly
or slowly as you want, or immediately jump to a specific frame.
Additionally, you can jump to object boundaries, markers, and
other important indicators in the Timeline.
Many navigation tasks are also accessible via the timing display in
the toolbar.

Note: The timing display can be set to show frames or timecode.
To set the timing display duration to frames, choose Show Frames
from the pop-up menu on the right side of the timing display (the
downward arrow).
In addition to moving to new positions in time, you can navigate
directly to objects in the Timeline, such as objects, markers, and
keyframes.

Play back your project
Do one of the following:
Click the Play button in the transport controls (under the
Canvas).
Press the Space bar.

Move the playhead to a new point in time
Do one of the following:
Double-click the current frame number in the timing display,
enter a new frame number, then press Return.
Drag left or right over the current frame number in the timing
display to rewind or advance.
Drag the playhead in the Timeline ruler to the frame you want.
Click the Timeline ruler at the frame number where you want
to move the playhead.
With the Canvas or Project pane active, type a new frame
number, then press Return to jump to that frame.
With the Timeline active (and no objects selected), type a new
frame number, then press Return to jump to that frame.

Navigate by frame
To make it easier to find specific frames in your project, you can
step through the Timeline frame by frame, rather than skimming it.
Do any of the following:
To move forward a specific number of frames: Type a plus
sign (+), then type the number of frames to move forward.

To move backward a specific number of frames: Type a minus
sign (–), then type the number of frames to move backward.
To move forward or backward one frame at a time: Click the
“Go to next frame” or “Go to previous frame” button in the
transport controls (to the right of the Play button), or press the
Left Arrow key to move backward or the Right Arrow key to
move forward.
You can also choose Mark > Go to > Previous Frame or
Mark > Go to > Next Frame.
To move forward or backward ten frames at a time: Choose
Mark > Go to > 10 Frames Back or Mark > Go to > 10 Frames
Forward.

Move ahead or back in seconds, minutes, or
hours
1. Make sure the timing display is set to show timecode.
If the timing display is showing frames, click the downward
arrow, then choose Show Timecode from the pop-up menu.
2. Double-click in the timing display.
3. Do any of the following:
Move forward in seconds: Enter a plus sign (+), enter the
number of seconds to move forward, then enter a period.
For example, to move 2 seconds ahead, enter “+2.” (with a
period after the number), then press Return.

Move forward in minutes: Enter a plus sign (+), enter the
number of seconds to move forward, then enter two
periods after the number. (To move ahead in hours, enter
three periods after the number.)
Move backward in seconds: Enter a minus sign (–), enter
the number of seconds to move backward, then enter a
period. For example, to move 2 seconds backward, enter
“–2.” (with a period after the number), then press Return.
To move backward in minutes: Enter a minus sign (–), enter
the number of seconds to move backward, then enter two
periods after the number. (To move backward in hours,
enter three periods after the number.)

Navigate by jumping
To move the playhead quickly from point to point in the Timeline,
do one of the following:
To jump to the beginning of the project: Click the “Go to start
of project” button in the transport controls (under the Canvas),
or choose Mark > Go to > Project Start, or press Home.
To jump to the end of the project: Click the “Go to end of
project” button in the transport controls, or choose Mark > Go
to > Project End, or press End.
To jump to the next keyframe: With an animated object
selected, choose Mark > Go to > Next Keyframe, or press
Shift-K.
To jump to the previous keyframe: With the animated object

selected, choose Mark > Go to > Previous Keyframe.

Jump to the beginning or end of an object in
the Timeline
1. Select the object to navigate to.
2. Do one of the following:
Choose Mark > Go to > Selection In Point or Mark > Go to
> Selection Out Point.
Press Shift-I (for the In point) or Shift-O (for the Out point).

SEE ALSO
Work with markers overview
Display and modify keyframes in the Timeline

Display and modify keyframes in
the Timeline
You can move or delete keyframes that are displayed in the
Timeline. You can also display the animation curve for a selected
keyframe, using the Keyframe Editor.
For more information on the Keyframe Editor, see Keyframing
overview.

Display keyframes in the Timeline track area
In the upper-right corner of the Timeline, click the Show/Hide
Keyframes button.

When the Show/Hide Keyframes button is highlighted blue,
keyframes appear below the objects in the track area.

Note: Don’t confuse the Show/Hide Keyframes button with the
Show/Hide Keyframe Editor button, located in the bottom-right
corner of the Motion project window. The former turns the display
of keyframes in the Timeline track area on and off; the latter
expands and collapses the Keyframe Editor in the Timing pane.

Move a keyframe’s position in time
Moving a keyframe in the Timeline modifies the keyframe’s
position in time (but not its value).
Drag the keyframe to the left or right.

When selected, the keyframe appears white.

Change a keyframe’s value
To change a keyframe’s value (as opposed to its position in time),
do one of the following:
Control-click the keyframe, choose the parameter to adjust
from the shortcut menu, enter a new value, then press Return.
Use the Keyframe Editor, which lets you change both the
value and interpolation of the keyframe.

Copy and paste keyframes
1. In the Timeline, select the object that contains the keyframes
you want to copy.
2. In the Timeline track area, select or Shift-select keyframes,
then choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
3. In the Timeline track area, select the target object for the
copied keyframes, then choose Edit > Paste (or press
Command-V).

Delete a keyframe or group of selected
keyframes
In the Timeline track area, select the keyframe or keyframes to

delete, then do one of the following:
Press Delete.
Control-click a selected keyframe, then choose Delete
Keyframes from the shortcut menu.

Delete all keyframes
In the Timeline track area, Control-click a keyframe, then
choose Delete All Keyframes from the shortcut menu.

Display an animation curve in the Keyframe
Editor
Control-click a keyframe on a track, then choose Show in
Keyframe Editor from the shortcut menu.
The Keyframe Editor appears underneath the Timeline,
showing the animation curve and a new, untitled curve set.

SEE ALSO
Keyframing overview
Display the Keyframe Editor

Work in the ruler

Work in the ruler overview
You can perform several timing tasks in the ruler above the
Timeline track area:
Drag the playhead to a specific frame to view the project at a
specific time.
Drag the In and Out points of your project so playback occurs
only within the specified frames. See Define the play range.
Select a range of frames, so you can delete, cut, or paste into
them. See Make changes to a region (range of frames).
Add or edit project markers, which can be added to your
project to identify an important frame or range of frames. See
Work with markers overview.

Make changes to a region (range of
frames)
You can make changes to a range of frames, known as a region.
Selecting a region allows you to make changes to multiple objects
in a specific range of time in the Timeline. For example, you can
cut or copy a section of time to remove it from your project
completely, or just move it to a new position in Timeline. Regions
need not align with object edges in the Timeline—you can create a
region that begins midway through an object.

Note: Pasting a region does not paste it at the current playhead
location. To move a pasted region to the playhead location, press
the Shift key while you drag the pasted object. As you approach
the current playhead location, the object snaps into place.
You can also paste objects into a defined region using the Paste
Special command, which lets you insert, overwrite, or exchange
objects in the Timeline. Additionally, you select a region and insert
blank frames, creating an empty placeholder for a clip you don’t
yet have.

Select a region (a range of frames)
Holding down the Command and Option keys, drag in the
Timeline ruler.

A light highlighted band appears over the selected frames.

Move a region

Position the pointer over the region, then drag to move the
region.

Note: This operation does not move objects within the region.

Deselect tracks from a region
Command-click a track in a region to deselect the track.

Paste into a region
1. Select an object.
2. Press Command-C to copy or Command-X to cut your
selection.
3. Holding down the Command and Option keys, drag in the ruler
to select a region.
4. Choose Edit > Paste Special.
The Paste Special dialog appears.
5. Select “Insert into time region” or “Overwrite into time region,”
then click OK.
The Clipboard contents are pasted into the region using the
method you specified. For more information on the different
editing types, see Add layers to the Timeline track area.

Insert time into a project
1. Holding down the Command and Option keys, drag in the ruler
to select a region.
Drag as wide an area as you want to insert.
2. Choose Edit > Insert Time.
The number of frames in the region is added to the project,
beginning at the end of the selected region, pushing any

existing objects farther forward in time.

If time is inserted in a region that contains a video clip, the clip is
split onto two tracks, and objects beyond the split point are
placed in a new group.

Work with markers
Work with markers overview
A marker is a visual reference point in the Timeline that identifies a
specific frame. You can add as many markers as you want in the
Timeline ruler while playing the project, or when the playhead is
stopped.

Use markers to:
Add a visual reference to an object at a specific point in time.
See Add, move, and delete markers.
Quickly navigate to specific points in a sequence. See
Navigate with markers.
Align other objects or keyframes to an important point in time.
Add notes about a specific area in your project. See Edit
marker information.
Customize effects templates for use in Final Cut Pro X. For
more information about template markers, see What are
template markers?
You can assign different colors to different types or markers and
create marker groups.
There are two types of markers: project markers and object
markers. Project markers are fixed to a specific frame or
timecode value in the ruler. Object markers are attached to an
object and move around as you move the object in the Timeline.

Add, move, and delete markers

Add, move, and delete markers
You can add, delete, or move Timeline markers.

Add a project marker
1. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the marker.
2. Ensure that no objects are selected, then do any of the
following:
Add a project marker at the playhead: Choose Mark >
Markers > Add Marker, or press M.
Add a project marker a specific frame: Shift-click at the
desired point in the Timeline ruler, or Control-click at the
desired point in the Timeline ruler, then choose Add Marker
from the shortcut menu.
A green marker is added to the Timeline ruler.
Note: You can also press Shift-M to add a project marker at the
playhead position, even if an object is selected.

Add an object marker
1. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the marker.
2. Select the object to add the marker to, then do one of the
following:
Choose Mark > Markers > Add Marker.

Press M.
A red marker is added to the bar for the selected object.
In this way, you can add object markers at specific frames while
you play back your project.

Move a marker
Drag the marker left or right to a new location.

Delete a marker
Do one of the following:
Drag the marker vertically out of the area where it resides,
then release the mouse button.
The marker disappears with a “poof” animation.
Double-click the marker, then click Delete Marker in the Edit
Marker dialog.
For project markers, position the playhead over the marker,
then choose Mark > Markers > Delete Marker.
For object markers, position the playhead over the marker,
select the group or object, then choose Mark > Markers >
Delete Marker.)
Control-click the marker, then choose Delete Marker from the
shortcut menu.

Delete all project markers
In addition to deleting a single marker, you can delete all markers
from your project in one step.
1. Make sure no objects are selected in your project (choose Edit
> Deselect All (or press Shift-Command-A).
2. Choose Mark > Markers > Delete All Markers.

Delete all markers in a specific object
Do one of the following:
Select the object containing the markers you want to delete,
then choose Mark > Markers > Delete All Markers.

Edit marker information
You can edit the information for a marker, including its name,
starting frame, duration, and color. You can also add comments
to the marker. Comments appear in a tooltip when the pointer is
placed over the marker.

Edit marker information

1. Open the Edit Marker dialog by doing one of the following:
Double-click a marker.
Control-click a Marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
Move the playhead to a marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker (or press Option-Command-M).

2. Enter a name in the Name field.
Text added to the Name and Comment fields for project
markers appears in a small window when you place the
pointer over the marker.

3. Enter text in the Comment field.

This comment appears as a tooltip when you place the pointer
over project markers.
4. Enter a Start value or drag in the Start field.
The marker moves to the frame number you enter (or
timecode number, if the timing display is set to show
timecode).
5. Enter a Duration value or drag in the Duration field to specify
the range of frames (or timecode) for the marker.
6. Click a Color button to set the marker color.
7. Click OK to accept your changes.

Navigate with markers
You can jump from your current playhead position to a nearby
project marker forward or backward.

Jump to the next marker
Control-click the Timeline ruler, then choose Next Marker from
the shortcut menu.
The playhead jumps to the starting position of the next project
marker.
Alternatively, you can choose Mark > Go To > Next Marker or

press Option–Command–Right Arrow.

Jump to the previous marker
Control-click the Timeline ruler, then choose Previous Marker
from the shortcut menu.
The playhead jumps to the starting position of the previous
project marker.
Alternatively, you can choose Mark > Go To > Previous Marker or
press Option–Command–Left Arrow.

Jump to the next or previous marker using
the Edit Marker dialog
You can also navigate to adjacent markers via the Edit Marker
dialog.
Double-click a marker, then use the arrow buttons in the Edit
Marker dialog.

The dialog remains open and the contents are replaced with
the information for the next marker.

Edit in the mini-Timeline
The mini-Timeline lies just above the transport controls and below
the Canvas, providing an at-a-glance look at where selected
objects fit into your overall project.

The mini-Timeline also has a playhead to indicate which frame you
are viewing as well as In point and Out point markers to identify
the play range. The length of the mini-Timeline represents the
duration of the entire project.

You can drag the playhead through the mini-Timeline to scrub
your project, or to jump to a specific point in time. In the mini-

Timeline, you can also change the play range of the entire project
as well as move, trim, or slip a selected object.
You can also perform many nonlinear editing functions in the miniTimeline. You can drag clips or images from the File Browser, or
objects from the Library (such as replicators or shapes), to the
mini-Timeline. You can also move, trim, and slip objects to change
which portion of the object appears at which point in time. For
more information on editing functions such as Move, Trim, and
Slip, see Edit in the Timeline track area.

Add an object to the mini-Timeline
1. Drag an item from the File Browser to the mini-Timeline.
As you drag, a tooltip appears to indicate the frame where the
item will be placed.
2. When you reach the desired frame, release the mouse button.
The object is added to the project beginning at that frame.

Add multiple objects to the mini-Timeline
You can add multiple objects to the mini-Timeline at once. You
can choose to add the objects sequentially (one after another) or
as a composite (all at the same point in time).
1. Shift-click to select multiple items in the File Browser, then
drag them onto the mini-Timeline.

As you drag, a tooltip appears to indicate the frame where the
items will be placed.
2. Continuing to hold down the mouse button, drag to the desired
frame.
A drop menu appears.

3. Choose an edit type from the drop menu, then release the
mouse button.
Depending on the item dragged to the Timeline, up to four
drop options are available. For more information on the
Timeline drop menu, see Add layers to the Timeline track area.

Move an object in time
1. In the Layers list, Timeline layers list, or Canvas, select the
object you want to move.
The object appears in the mini-Timeline.
2. In the mini-Timeline, drag the object left or right to reposition it
in time.
A tooltip appears, indicating the new In and Out point of the
object, as well as the amount of change from the previous

position.

3. When you reach the position you want, release the mouse
button.

Shorten or lengthen (trim) an object
1. Select the object to display it in the mini-Timeline.
2. Position the pointer over the beginning or ending edge of the
blue bar in the mini-Timeline.
The pointer changes to a trim pointer.

3. Drag the edge of the bar to change its duration.
A tooltip appears, indicating the new In or Out point and the
amount of change that your edit is causing.
You cannot trim a layer to be longer than the amount of frames
available in the corresponding media file unless its End Condition
is set to Hold, Loop, or Ping Pong in the Timing controls in the
Properties Inspector.

Slip a video clip (or other multiframe object)

Slip a video clip (or other multiframe object)
in the mini-Timeline
1. Select the multiframe object you want to modify.
2. Position the pointer over the body of the clip in the miniTimeline and hold down the Option key.
The pointer changes to a slip pointer.
3. Continuing to hold down the Option key, drag left or right in the
mini-Timeline to use a later or earlier part of the clip.
A tooltip appears, indicating the new In and Out points.

Note: You cannot slip a clip if it has not been trimmed first. For
more information, see Slip video layers in the Timeline track area.

Snap the playhead to a project marker in
the mini-Timeline
Press Shift and drag the playhead in the mini-Timeline.
The playhead snaps to the frame that contains a project
marker.

Retime media
Retime media overview
Your motion graphics projects may require you to perform special
timing tricks on media: speeding up a clip, slowing it down, or
playing it back at different speeds. There are several ways to
apply retiming to a clip:
Manipulate clip timing in the Timeline with the help of modifier
keys. Indicators in the Timeline help you visualize loops and
other retiming conditions. For more information, see Retime in
the Timeline.
Adjust the Timing controls in the Properties Inspector to
modify speed and playback attributes of media clips. For
more information, see Timing controls in the Properties
Inspector.
Apply a Retiming behavior designed for commonly applied
retiming tasks, including hold frames, strobing, looping, and so
on. Take some time to look over the Retiming behaviors in the
Library before spending a lot of time in the Inspector creating
your own custom retiming from scratch. For more information,
see Retiming behaviors overview.

Retime in the Timeline
You can modify the duration and playback speed of video tracks
in the Timeline using the retime pointer or loop pointer.
Speed and duration are interdependent; that is, if you increase a

clip’s playback speed, its duration decreases, and vice versa. For
example, a 60-frame video clip played back at 30 frames per
second takes two seconds to display its 60 frames. If its In point is
frame 1, its Out point is frame 60. Playing back the same clip at
15 frames per second would take twice as long; the clip’s In point
remains the same, but its Out point becomes 120.

Shorten the video clip’s duration and speed
up its playback speed
1. With the pointer positioned over the end of a video clip (the
Out point), press and hold down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the retime pointer.

2. Drag the Out point of the clip’s bar to the left.
As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s speed and duration.
Note: The retime pointer is available only when the Time Remap
pop-up menu is set to Constant Speed in the Timing controls in
the Properties Inspector. When Time Remap is set to Variable
Speed, the retime pointer has no effect. You cannot retime
images, effects, and other nonvideo objects.

Lengthen a video object’s duration and slow
down its playback speed
1. With the pointer positioned over the end of a video clip (the
Out point), press and hold down the Option key.
The pointer turns into the retime pointer.
2. Drag the Out point of the clip’s bar to the right.
As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s speed and duration.

Loop a clip
Another way to extend a video clip’s duration is to loop it. When a
looped clip reaches its last frame, it starts playing again from its
first frame. You can easily loop a clip by adjusting it in the
Timeline.
1. With the pointer positioned over the end of a video clip (the
Out point), press and hold down the Option and Shift keys.
The pointer turns into the loop pointer.
2. Continuing to hold down the Option and Shift keys, drag the
Out point of the bar to the right.

As you drag, the tooltip displays the clip’s Out point, total
Duration, and Loop Duration.
A looped object displays barriers to indicate where loops begin
and end in the Timeline.

Change the loop point of a clip
Moving the first loop barrier in a layer’s bar changes the point
where the clip loops.
Drag the first loop barrier left or right.
The end point of the clip’s loop moves as you drag.

Timing controls in the Properties
Inspector
Media layers (movie clips and still images) have timing parameters
in the Properties Inspector. Click Show on the right side of the
Timing category to reveal the timing controls for a selected object.
When multiple objects of the same type are selected, parameters
with common values are editable. When different types of objects

are selected, such as a clip and text, the Timing controls are not
available.
Note: Still images and other layers without an inherent time
dimension have a reduced set of Timing controls (In point, Out
point, and Duration).
The Properties Inspector contains the following timing controls:
Time Remap: A pop-up menu that sets how time is remapped
in the clip. There are two menu choices:
Constant Speed: Retimes the entire clip using the same
value.
Variable Speed: Animates the speed of the clip over time.
Speed: A value slider that sets the speed of the clip as a
percentage. The default is 100%. Values lower than 100 play
back the clip more slowly than its original speed and also
extend the duration of the clip. Values higher than 100 play
back the clip faster than its original speed and shorten the
duration of the clip.
This parameter appears only when Time Remap is set to
Constant Speed.
Retime Value: A value slider used to adjust the time value of
the clip at a given frame. When you set Time Remap to
Variable Speed, two keyframes are generated at the first and
last frame of the clip. The two default keyframes represent
100% constant speed. Adding keyframes to this parameter
and assigning them different Retime Values makes the speed
of the clip ramp from one speed to another.
This parameter appears only when Time Remap is set to

Variable Speed.
In: A value slider that sets the In point of the layer, in both
constant and variable speed modes. Adjusting this parameter
moves the layer In point to the specified frame without
affecting the duration of the layer.
Out: A value slider that sets the Out point of the layer, in both
constant and variable speed modes. Adjusting this parameter
moves the layer Out point to the specified frame without
affecting the duration of the layer.
Duration: A value slider that sets the total duration of the layer.
If Time Remap is set to Constant Speed, adjusting Duration
will also affect the Speed and the Out point. If Time Remap is
set to Variable Speed, adjusting Duration does not affect
variable speed playback.
Reverse: A checkbox that controls whether the clip is played
back in reverse.
Frame Blending: A pop-up menu that sets the method used to
determine how the image is blended during each frame of
playback. The Frame Blending pop-up menu contains the
following items:
None: Displays the frame from the original clip nearest the
source frame.
Blending: The default setting. Displays a blend of the
individual pixels of adjacent frames.
Motion-Blur Blending: Applies a motion blur algorithm to
the blended frames.
Optical Flow: Uses an optical flow algorithm to blend the
two frames surrounding the desired frame. Using this

method affects playback performance most significantly.
To display frames properly, Motion analyzes the clip to
determine the directional movement of pixels. Only the
portion of the clip used in the project (the clip between the
In and Out points) is analyzed. When you choose Optical
Flow, an analysis indicator appears in the lower-left corner
of the Canvas.

If you play back the project before the analysis is
complete, the clip will appear as if Frame Blending is set to
None. When the analysis is complete, the indicator
disappears, and the clip will play back properly. You can
perform optical flow analysis on multiple clips
simultaneously. The clips are processed in the order—the
first clip you apply optical flow to is processed first, and so
on.
Note: The more motion contained in a clip, the longer the
analysis takes.
For information on pausing, reordering, or stopping a clip
analysis, see Manage retiming analysis.
Important: When importing interlaced footage and using
the Optical Flow method for frame blending, be sure the
Field Order parameter (in the Media Inspector) is assigned
to the correct value. Otherwise, artifacts may appear in the
retimed layer.

End Condition: A pop-up menu to set how playback continues
when the end of the clip is reached. There are four options:
None: The default setting. The layer’s duration in your
project is equal to the duration of its source media file.
Loop: When the last frame of the clip is reached, the clip
loops back to the first frame and plays again. This can
cause a jump in the clip’s apparent playback unless the
clip was designed to loop seamlessly.
Ping-Pong: When the last frame of the clip is reached, the
next iteration of clip playback is reversed. If you set a clip
of a ball rolling on the floor to loop with the Ping-Pong
option, it would appear to roll forward, then backward,
then forward again for the duration of the layer. The PingPong option lets you extend the duration of some video
clips more smoothly than the Loop option.
Hold: This option freezes the last frame of the clip for the
amount set in the End Duration slider.
Note: When using the Hold option with interlaced footage,
ensure that field order is properly set in the Media
Inspector. To modify a clip’s field order, select the clip in
the Media list, then choose an option from the Field Order
pop-up menu in the Media Inspector.
End Duration: A slider to set the number of frames by which
the clip is extended at the end of its duration. This value can
be adjusted only if End Condition is set to a value other than
None.

Manage retiming analysis

You can display processing information and modify analysis when
retiming a clip.

Display more information about ongoing clip
analysis
Do one of the following:
Choose Window > Show Task List (or press F9).
Click the analysis indicator (in the lower-left corner of the
Canvas, beside the Play/Mute audio button).

The Background Task List window appears.

The Background Task List shows all processes Motion is
working on in the background. Each task is labeled, has a
progress bar, and displays text describing how far along the
task is. You can interrupt current and pending operations by

pressing the pause button next to the progress bar.

Pause clip analysis
In the Background Task List window, click the Pause button.
A message appears detailing how many frames have been
processed.
Note: When analysis is paused, projects play back at a much
improved speed.

Restart clip analysis
In the Background Task List window, click the Restart button.

Reorder clip analysis
In the Background Task List window, drag the clip to analyze
to the top of the list.

Analysis begins on the repositioned clip, and the clip
previously being processed is paused.

Close the Background Task List window
when analysis is complete
In the Background Task List dialog, select the “Close when
tasks are complete” checkbox.

Animate with behaviors
Behaviors overview
Behaviors are animation and simulation effects that you can apply
to image layers, cameras, and lights to build sophisticated motion
effects without keyframes. Some behaviors even adjust individual
parameters of objects in your project, allowing you to customize
animated effects with extreme precision.
Behaviors are designed to be flexible and can be combined with
one another to create all kinds of effects.
There are 11 kinds of behaviors in Motion:
Audio behaviors: Create simple audio effects, such as fadeins and fade-outs, pans, and fly-bys. See Audio behaviors
overview.
Basic Motion behaviors: Create common animation effects
such as rotation, scaling, motion paths, fade-ins, fade-outs,
and more. See Basic Motion behaviors overview.
Camera behaviors: Animate points of view by creating basic
camera moves such as dollies, pans, and zooms. See Add
Camera behaviors.
Motion Tracking behaviors: Analyze the motion present in
video clips to stabilize camera shake or pin moving objects to
one another (match move). See Motion tracking overview.
Parameter behaviors: Animate a specific parameter of any

Parameter behaviors: Animate a specific parameter of any
object, including filters, behaviors, cameras, and lights. For
example, you can apply the Oscillate behavior to text opacity
to make letters fade in and out. See Parameter behaviors
overview.
Particles behaviors: Animate individual particles in a particle
system. See Apply behaviors to particle systems.
Replicator behaviors: Animate replicator patterns to build
stunning kaleidoscopic effects. See Apply the Sequence
Replicator behavior.
Retiming behaviors: Change the playback speed of footage to
create slow-motion and fast-motion effects, freeze frames,
reverse playback, or strobe and stutter frames. See Retiming
behaviors overview.
Shape behaviors: Animate the vertices of shapes or masks to
create morphing polygons and other effects. See Shape
behaviors overview.
Simulation behaviors: Apply real-world simulation animations,
such as gravity, orbital attraction, repelling force, and edge
collision to create sophisticated interactions among multiple
objects in your project. See Simulation behaviors overview.
Text behaviors: Set your text in motion to create advanced
titling effects. See Animated text overview and Apply the
Sequence Text behavior.
For an introduction to using and applying behaviors, see Apply
behaviors overview. For information about adjusting applied
behaviors, see Adjust behaviors overview.
Note: Audio, Camera, Motion Tracking, Particles, Replicator,

Shape, and Text behaviors are discussed in their respective
chapters.

Behaviors versus keyframes
When you apply a behavior to an object (or to a specific object
parameter) in your project, no keyframes are added. Rather,
behaviors automatically generate a range of values that are then
applied to an object’s parameters, creating animation over the
duration of the behavior. Changing the parameters of a behavior
alters the animation.
Traditional keyframes, on the other hand, apply specific values to
a parameter. When you apply two or more keyframes with
different values to a parameter, you animate that parameter from
the first keyframed value to the last.
By design, behaviors are most useful for creating generalized,
ongoing motion effects. They’re also extremely useful for creating
animated effects that might be too complex or time-consuming to
keyframe manually. Keyframing, in turn, might be more useful for
creating specific animated effects where the parameter you’re
adjusting is required to hit a specific value at a specific time. For
more information about using keyframes in Motion, see
Keyframing overview.
The animation created by behaviors can be converted into
keyframes. See Convert behaviors to keyframes.

Browse and apply behaviors

Browse for behaviors
All available behaviors appear in the Library and in the Add
Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar.
Select the Behaviors category in the left pane of the Library to
reveal the behavior subcategories in the right pane. Selecting a
subcategory reveals all behaviors of that type in the Library stack
(below the category and subcategory panes).

When you select a behavior in the Library stack, a short
description and preview of the behavior appear in the preview
area.

The animated previews help you understand how each behavior
works. Although most previews are self-explanatory, the
Parameter category previews show before/after examples of the
behavior’s effect on an animated object, with the gear graphic
turning red to show the object after the behavior takes effect. For
Simulation behaviors, the red gear graphic identifies the object to
which the selected behavior is applied.
You can apply behaviors from the Library or from the Add
Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar. See Apply behaviors
overview.

Apply behaviors
Apply behaviors overview
Most behaviors are applied to objects in the Canvas, Layers list,
or Timeline. However, the Parameter category of behaviors are

applied in the Inspector to a specific parameter you want to
animate.
Important: Text, Particles, Replicator, Audio, Shape, and
Camera behaviors should only be applied to their namesake
objects.
When you apply a behavior to an object, the object parameters
affected by that behavior are animated based on the behavior’s
default settings. For example, if you apply the Gravity behavior to
an object in the Canvas, that object’s position is animated and it
moves down, according to the Gravity behavior’s default setting.
In most cases, a behavior’s duration is the Timeline duration of the
object to which it is applied (the length of the bar in the Timeline
track area). For example, if you apply a Spin behavior to an object
that begins at frame 20 and ends at frame 300, the Spin
behavior’s duration is also frame 20 to frame 300.
Not all behaviors automatically apply motion to an object. Some
behaviors, such as Throw, require you to set the throw velocity
before the object is “thrown.” Other behaviors, such as Orbit
Around, require a source object to act as the central object for
other objects to move around.
In addition to applying behaviors to objects, you can apply
behaviors to groups in the Layers list or Timeline. Depending on
the applied behavior, all objects nested in that group are affected
in one of two ways: as if they were a single object or as individual
elements.
SEE ALSO
Add, remove, and disable standard behaviors

Add, remove, and disable a Parameter behavior

Add, remove, and disable standard behaviors
Applying a behavior to an object instantly animates specific
parameters of that object. Because behaviors don’t add
keyframes, removing a behavior instantly eliminates the animated
effect. All types of behaviors are removed in the same way.

Apply a behavior to an object
Do one of the following:
Drag a behavior from the Library stack to an appropriate
object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
An advantage to applying behaviors from the Library is the
ability to preview the animation created by the behavior in the
Library preview area.
Note: When applying a behavior to a camera or light, it’s
usually easier to drag the behavior to a camera or light in the
Layers list or Timeline than to its wireframe object in the
Canvas.
Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, then
select a behavior from the Library stack and click Apply in the
preview area.

Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, click
the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then choose a
behavior from the menu.

Apply a behavior to multiple objects
1. Select all objects to apply the behavior to.
In the Layers list, Canvas, or Timeline, Shift-click to select a
contiguous set of objects, or Command-click to select
noncontiguous objects.
2. Do one of the following:
In the toolbar, click the Add Behavior pop-up menu, then
choose a behavior.
Select a behavior in the Library stack, then click Apply in
the preview area.

Remove a behavior from an object

Remove a behavior from an object
1. Select a behavior in the Layers list, Timeline, Behaviors
Inspector, or pop-up menu in the title bar of the HUD.
2. Do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Delete.
Press Delete.
Note: You can also Control-click a behavior in the Layers
list or Timeline, then choose Delete from the shortcut
menu.

SEE ALSO
Where applied behaviors appear

Where applied behaviors appear
When you apply a behavior to a layer or group, it appears nested
underneath that layer or group in the Layers list and in the
Timeline.

A behavior icon (a gear) also appears to the right of the object
(layer or group) name in the Layers list and Timeline. Clicking this
icon enables and disables all behaviors applied to that object. The
actual parameters that let you adjust the attributes of a behavior
appear in the Behaviors Inspector.
New behaviors you apply to an object appear above behaviors
applied previously.
When you apply a behavior to an object (or parameter) in your
project, a behavior icon (a gear) appears in the row of the affected
parameter in the Properties, Behaviors, or Filters Inspector. This
icon shows you that a behavior is influencing that parameter.
When you apply a behavior to a parameter that has been
animated with keyframes, a behavior icon (a gear) appears within
a keyframe (diamond) icon.

Animation paths
When some behaviors are applied to an object, an animation path
appears in the Canvas displaying the projected path of the object
over time. Consider this path a “preview” of the animation created
by the behavior. Unlike animation paths created using keyframes
or the path created by the Motion Path behavior, animation paths

for behaviors cannot be edited. To show or hide all types of paths,
click the View pop-up menu above the Canvas, then choose
Animation Path (when the checkmark beside the menu command
disappears, animation paths are hidden in the Canvas).

Behavior effects in the keyframe editor
If you open the Keyframe Editor and look at a parameter affected
by a behavior, you see a noneditable curve that represents the
behavior’s effect on that parameter. The noneditable curve (in this
example, opacity channel animation that corresponds to the Fade
In/Fade Out behavior) appears in addition to that parameter’s
editable curve, which can be used in combination to keyframe
that parameter. For more information about the Keyframe Editor,
see Display the Keyframe Editor.

Note: Use the pop-up menu above the Keyframe Editor to select
which parameters are displayed and to create curve sets. For
more information on curve sets, see Create a custom curve view.

Add, remove, and disable a Parameter
behavior
A standard behavior is applied to an object and typically affects
multiple parameters of that object. However, the special class of
behavior known as the Parameter behavior is applied to a specific
parameter of your choosing. In this way, you can modify a single
parameter belonging to a filter, particle system, shape, text, or
any other object in your project. You can even apply a Parameter
behavior to a parameter of another behavior.
A Parameter behavior’s effect on an object depends on the
parameter to which it is applied. For example, if you apply the
Randomize parameter behavior to a particle emitter’s Position
parameter, the emitter drifts randomly around the screen when
the project plays. Applying the Randomize parameter behavior to
a shape’s Scale parameter makes the shape randomly grow and
shrink.
Important: Although you can apply a Parameter behavior to an
object, the applied behavior does not affect the object until you
select a specific parameter to apply the Parameter behavior to. A
more direct way to apply a Parameter behavior is by using the
shortcut menu in the Inspector.

Apply a Parameter behavior to a specific
parameter of an object
1. Select the object to apply the Parameter behavior to.

2. Do one of the following:
Control-click a parameter’s name in the Inspector, choose
Add Parameter Behavior, then choose an item from the
submenu.

Click the parameter’s Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you move the pointer over the
right side of a parameter row), choose Add Parameter
Behavior, then choose an item from the submenu.

Control-click a parameter in the HUD, choose Add
Parameter Behavior from the shortcut menu, then choose
an item from the submenu.
Control-click a parameter in the Keyframe Editor
parameter list, then choose a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
Use the pop-up menu above the Keyframe Editor to
choose the parameters you want displayed in the
Keyframe Editor. For more information, see Choose a
curve view.
When you apply a Parameter behavior, the Behaviors Inspector
opens.

Apply a Parameter behavior to an object

1. Do one of the following:
Drag a Parameter behavior from the Library stack to an
appropriate object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
Note: When applying a behavior to a camera or light, it’s
usually easier to drag the behavior to a camera or light in
the Layers list or Timeline than to the wireframe object in
the Canvas.
Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline,
click the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then
choose an item from the Parameter submenu.
The behavior is applied to the object, but no parameter is
assigned to the behavior.
2. To assign a specific parameter to the Parameter behavior, do
one of the following:
Select the Parameter behavior in the Layers list, click the
Apply To pop-up menu in the HUD, then choose a
parameter from the submenu.
Select the Parameter behavior in the Layers list, click the
Apply To pop-up menu in the Behaviors Inspector, then
choose a Parameter behavior from the submenu.
The parameter you chose appears in the Apply To text field.

Apply a Parameter behavior to a parameter
of another behavior

Parameter behaviors can be applied to the parameters of other
behaviors. For example, you can apply the Oscillate parameter
behavior to the Drag parameter of the Orbit Around behavior. As a
result, the orbital drag fluctuates, causing the object to fall toward
the center of its orbit.

1. Select a behavior that you’ve already applied to an object.
2. Do one of the following:
Control-click a parameter’s name in the Inspector, choose
Add Parameter Behavior, then choose an item from the
submenu.

Click the parameter’s Animation menu in the Inspector (the
downward arrow that appears when you move the pointer
over the right side of a parameter row), choose Add
Parameter Behavior from the shortcut menu, then choose
an item from the submenu.

Control-click a parameter in the HUD, choose Add
Parameter Behavior from the shortcut menu, then choose
an item from the submenu.
Control-click a parameter in the Keyframe Editor
parameter list, then choose a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
Use the pop-up menu above the Keyframe Editor to
choose the parameters you want displayed in the
Keyframe Editor. For more information, see Choose a
curve view.

Remove a Parameter behavior
1. Select a Parameter behavior in the Layers list, Timeline,
Behaviors Inspector, or pop-up menu in the title bar of the
HUD.
2. Do one of the following:

Choose Edit > Delete.
Press Delete.
Note: You can also Control-click the behavior in the
Layers list or Timeline, then choose Delete from the
shortcut menu.

Note: If you save a Parameter behavior as a favorite, the
parameter assignment is saved with the rest of that behavior’s
settings. As a result, the saved behavior will affect the same
parameters of any object it’s applied to.
SEE ALSO
Reassign a Parameter behavior to another parameter
Where applied Parameter behaviors appear

Reassign a Parameter behavior to another
parameter
After you apply a Parameter behavior, it remains assigned to that
parameter unless you reassign it via the Apply To pop-up menu.
The Apply To pop-up menu displays all parameters available for
the object to which the behavior is applied. If an object has other
behaviors or filters applied to it, those parameters also appear in
submenus of the Apply To pop-up menu.

1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Behaviors Inspector, select the

Parameter behavior to reassign.
2. In the Behaviors Inspector or HUD, choose a new parameter
from the Apply To pop-up menu.

The Parameter behavior is applied to the newly chosen
parameter and the Apply To field is updated to reflect the new
assignment. In the Inspector, a behavior icon (a gear) appears
next to the new parameter.

Where applied Parameter behaviors appear
Like other behaviors, Parameter behaviors appear nested
underneath the objects they’re applied to in the Layers list and
Timeline, along with any other behaviors applied to that object.
Note: Although Parameter behaviors appear nested under
objects in the Layers list, each Parameter behavior is applied to a
single parameter of an object, and not to the object itself.
Whereas standard behaviors display a simple gear icon in the
Layers list, Parameter behavior icons contain a funnel-shaped
image at the center of the gear. The funnel represents the
“channeling” of individual parameters.

The same icon appears in the Timeline.

Control-clicking a parameter’s name in the Inspector, or clicking
the downward arrow at the right of a parameter (visible when you
move the pointer over it) opens the Animation menu, which
displays the names of behaviors applied to that parameter.

Choosing a behavior opens the Behaviors Inspector.
As with all other behaviors, when a Parameter behavior is applied
to an object in your project, a behavior icon (a gear) appears over
the Keyframe button of the affected parameter in the Properties,
Behaviors, or Filters Inspector where it is applied.

Manage behaviors and behavior
timing
Disable, lock, hide, and rename
behaviors
When you apply a behavior to an object, the behavior appears in
three places: the Layers list, the Timeline, and the Behaviors
Inspector.
The Behaviors Inspector contains all editable parameters for a
behavior that’s been applied to an object. The Layers list and
Timeline have several controls for each behavior:

Note: In the Layers list and Timeline, Control-clicking an object’s
behavior icon (the small gear) opens a shortcut menu that displays

behaviors applied to that object. Choose a behavior from this
menu to display its parameter controls in the Inspector.

Disable the effect of a single behavior
Deselect the behavior’s activation checkbox in the Layers list,
Timeline, or Behaviors Inspector.
Behaviors that are disabled have no effect on the object to
which they’re applied.

Disable the effect of all behaviors applied to
an object or layer
Click the behavior icon that appears to the right of the object
name in the Layers list and Timeline.

A red slash appears through a disabled behavior’s icon, the
behavior names are dimmed, and their effect disabled.

Lock a behavior
Click the lock icon in the Layers list or Timeline.
You cannot modify the parameters of a locked behavior.

Show or hide all behaviors
Click the Show/Hide Behaviors button at the bottom of the
Layers list (or at the top of the Timeline layers list).

This button neither enables nor disables behaviors applied to
objects in your project; it merely controls their visibility as
objects in the Layers list and Timeline.

Rename a behavior
In the Layers list or Timeline, double-click a behavior name,
enter a new name, then press Return.

Copy, paste, move, and reorder
behaviors
After you add behaviors to an object, there are a number of ways
to copy and move them among the other items in the Timeline or
Layers list. Behaviors can be cut, copied, pasted, or duplicated
like any other item in Motion. When you cut or copy a behavior in
the Timeline or Layers list, you also copy the current states of that
behavior’s parameters.

When you duplicate an object, you duplicate all behaviors applied
to it. This way, if you’re creating a project with a number of
objects that use the same behavior, you can apply that behavior
to the first instance of that object, and then duplicate that object
as many times as necessary.

Cut or copy a behavior
1. Select a behavior in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X) to remove the
behavior and place it on the Clipboard.
Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C) to copy the
behavior to the Clipboard.

Paste a behavior
1. Select an object in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The cut or copied behavior is applied to the selected object,
with all its parameter settings intact.

Transfer a behavior from one object to

Transfer a behavior from one object to
another
You can also move a behavior from one object to another in the
Layers list or Timeline by dragging it to a new position.
In the Layers list or Timeline, drag a behavior from one object
and drop it on top of another.

Note: If you move a Parameter behavior to another object, it is
applied to the same parameter it affected in the previous object—
as long as the corresponding parameter exists. If the parameter
does not exist, the parameter assignment (Apply To field) is set to
None.

Duplicate a behavior
You can also duplicate a behavior in place.
1. Select a behavior in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:

Choose Edit > Duplicate (or press Command-D).
Control-click the behavior to duplicate, then choose
Duplicate from the shortcut menu.
Note: You can also use the Cut, Copy, and Paste
commands from the shortcut menu to duplicate a
behavior.

Drag a duplicate of a behavior to another
object
You can also duplicate a behavior and apply the duplicate to
another object in the Layers list or Timeline.
In the Layers list or Timeline, Option-drag a behavior to
another object.
The behavior is duplicated and applied to the second object,
and the original behavior is left in its original location.

Reorder behaviors
1. In the Layers list or Timeline, drag the behavior up or down in
the list of nested behaviors applied to the same object.
A position indicator appears.

2. When the position indicator is in the correct row, release the
mouse button.
All behaviors combine according to a predetermined order of
operations (see About behavior order of operations) regardless
of their order in the Layers list. Therefore, reordering the
behaviors has no effect on the resulting animations, with a few
exceptions:
The Stop behavior suspends the activity of all behaviors
beneath it in the Layers list that affect the same parameter.
The Stop behavior has no effect on behaviors above it in
the Layers list.
Parameter behaviors are applied in the order that they are
added, from the bottom to the top in the Layers list, so you
need to think about how you are building the operation. For
example, imagine a circle shape with an X Position of 50 in
the Canvas. If you apply a Rate Parameter behavior with a
positive Rate value to the X Position of the circle, the circle
will move to the right from its starting X Position of 50. If
you then apply a Negate Parameter behavior to the circle’s
X Position, the circle will start at –50 in the Canvas and
move to the left. The effect you see in the Canvas is the
result of each behavior acting upon the previously applied
behavior: an X Position value of 50 is modified by the Rate
behavior (in a positive direction), which is in turn modified

by the Negate behavior, changing the X Position and rate
to negative values.
If you swap the order of Rate and Negate in the Layers list,
Negate is processed first. The circle’s X Position value of
50 is turned into –50. This is then passed as the input to
Rate, which moves the circle in a positive direction. Now
the circle begins at the –50 X Position in the Canvas and
moves to the right.

Modify behavior timing
Behavior timing overview
You can change a behavior’s timing to control when it starts, how
long it lasts, and when it stops. There are several ways to do this:
Use the Stop parameter behavior to suspend a behavior’s
effect on a single parameter.
Trim the length of a behavior’s bar in the Timeline.
Drag a behavior’s bar left or right in the Timeline.
Change the Start Offset or End Offset parameter to stop a
behavior before the end of its bar’s duration in the Timeline.

Stop a behavior
The easiest way to control behavior timing is to use the Stop
behavior (in the Parameter category). The Stop behavior halts the
animation occurring in a single parameter, whether the animation
is based on keyframes in the Keyframe Editor or behaviors

applied to that object.

Stop a parameter from animating
1. Move the playhead to the frame where you want animation to
stop.
2. Select the affected object, then open the Properties Inspector.
3. Control-click the parameter to stop, choose Add Parameter
Behavior from the shortcut menu, then choose Stop.
If the behavior was applied to one dimension of a
multidimensional parameter, open that parameter’s disclosure
triangle and Control-click the dimensional parameter to access
the same shortcut menu, then choose Stop.
The parameter is animated until the frame where the Stop
behavior begins.
Note: When applied in this manner, the Stop behavior takes
effect at the current frame (regardless of the Create Layers At
setting in Motion Preferences).
4. To assign the Stop behavior to a different parameter, choose
a new parameter from the Apply To pop-up menu in the Stop
section of the Behaviors Inspector.

The Stop behavior halts the animation of all behaviors that affect

the selected parameter of that object. For example, if the Gravity,
Edge Collision, and Rotate behaviors are applied to a shape and
you apply the Stop parameter to the shape layer’s Position
parameter, the shape stops moving but continues rotating.
To control when animation affecting that parameter is stopped,
trim the Stop behavior in the Timeline. For more information on
trimming behaviors, see Trim behaviors.

Trim behaviors
When you apply a behavior to an object, the duration of the
behavior in the Timeline defaults to the duration of the object to
which it’s applied. However, a behavior can be modified to limit
the duration of its effect. For example, if you apply the Spin
behavior to a replicator layer, by default that replicator spins for
its entire duration. If you trim the Out point of the Spin behavior,
the spinning stops at the new position of the Out point.
As you trim the behavior bar in the Timeline, a tooltip appears,
indicating the new location of the Out point as well as the new
duration of the behavior.
Important: The motion of a Simulation behavior cannot be
stopped or changed by trimming its duration in the Timeline. For
more information, see About controlling Simulation behaviors.

Change the duration of a behavior in the
Timeline
1. Move the pointer to the In or Out point of any behavior bar in
the Timeline.
2. When the pointer changes to the trim pointer, do one of the
following:
Drag the In point to the right to delay the beginning of the
behavior’s effect.
Drag the Out point to the left to end the behavior’s effect
before the end of the object it’s modifying.

Trimming the Out point of a behavior often sets the object to its
original state beyond the Out point behavior. For many behaviors,
using the Stop behavior to pause the object’s animation is a more
efficient method than trimming its Out point. Another way to stop a
behavior’s effect and leave the affected object in the transformed
state is to adjust a behavior’s Start and End Offset parameters.

See Change the start or end offset of Parameter behaviors for
more information.

About controlling Simulation behaviors
The ideal use for behaviors (with the exception of Motion Tracking
behaviors) is creating fluid motion graphics that do not require
specific timing. This is especially true with the Simulation
behaviors, which let you create sophisticated interactions among
multiple objects in your project with minimal editing.
Unlike Basic Motion behaviors, you cannot stop or change the
motion of a Simulation behavior in the Timeline. However, you can
affect the rate of a Simulation behavior by modifying its duration in
the Timeline. You can also change the starting frame of the
behavior.
Because the Simulation behaviors mimic natural effects, such as
Gravity, the laws of inertia apply: an external force sets the object
in motion, and that object stays in motion even after the active
force is no longer present. Changing the duration of a Timeline bar
for a Simulation behavior does stop the “active” force on the
object but does not stop the motion of the object. You can, of
course, control Simulation behaviors by modifying their
parameters.
In the following image, the Orbit Around behavior is applied to the
small blue circle. The large orange circle is assigned as the object
that the blue circle moves around. The red animation path
represents the motion of the small blue circle over its duration.
The Orbit Around behavior is the same duration (240 frames) as
the large circle to which it is applied.

In the next image, the Orbit Around behavior is trimmed in the
Timeline to a shorter duration (140 frames) than the object to
which it is applied. Notice the change in the shape of the
animation path: At frame 140, where the Orbit Around behavior
ends, the object (the small blue circle) stops moving around its
target and continues moving off the Canvas. The Orbit Around
behavior—the active force—is no longer present, but the motion
of the blue circle does not stop.

Move behaviors in time
In addition to changing a behavior’s duration, you can also move
its position in the Timeline relative to the object it’s applied to. This
lets you set the frame where that behavior begins to take effect.

Move a behavior in the Timeline

1. Click anywhere in the middle of a behavior’s bar in the
Timeline.
2. Drag the behavior to the left or right to move it to another
position in the Timeline.
As you move the bar, a tooltip displays the new In and Out
points for the behavior. The tooltip also displays the delta
value, which shows the number of frames you’ve moved the
bar.

Change the start or end offset of Parameter
behaviors
Many Parameter behaviors have two additional parameters, Start
Offset and End Offset, used to change the frame where a
Parameter behavior’s effect begins and ends.
Use the Start Offset slider to delay the beginning of the behavior’s
effect, relative to the first frame of its position in the Timeline.
Adjust this parameter to make the Parameter behavior start later.
Use the End Offset slider to extend the behavior’s effect relative

to the last frame of its position in the Timeline. Using this slider to
stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the behavior bar in
the Timeline, lets you freeze the behavior’s effect on the object for
its remaining duration.
The following example shows how to use the Start Offset and End
Offset parameter with the Ramp behavior (applied to the Scale
parameter of a shape).

Use the Start Offset and End Offset
parameters
1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select an image layer,
such as a shape.
2. In the Properties Inspector, Control-click the Scale parameter,
then choose Add Parameter Behavior > Ramp from the
shortcut menu.
The Ramp behavior is applied to the Scale parameter of the
layer, and the Behaviors Inspector opens. The Ramp behavior
lets you create a gradual transition in any animatable
parameter.
3. Set the Start Value to 0 and the End Value to 200, then play
the project.
The layer scales from its original size to twice its original size
over the duration of the layer.
4. Set the Start Offset to 90 and the End Offset to 90.

The layer does not begin scaling until frame 90, and stops
scaling 90 frames from its last frame in the Timeline.

About behavior order of operations
There’s no limit to the number of behaviors you can add to an
object. When multiple behaviors are applied to a single object,
they work together to create a final animated effect.
In general, each behavior applies a value to a specific parameter.
The values generated by all behaviors that affect the same
parameters are combined to create the end result. For example, if
you apply the Throw, Spin, and Gravity behaviors to a single
object, the Throw and Gravity behaviors combine to affect the
position of the object. The Spin behavior affects the rotation of the
object.
When combining different behavior types (such as Parameter and
Simulation behaviors), or combining behaviors and keyframes, it’s
important to understand the behaviors’ order of operations.
Motion evaluates behaviors and keyframes in the following order:
Keyframes > Simulation behaviors > all other behaviors
Parameter behaviors are applied in the order in which they are
added, from the bottom of the Layers list up (like the order of
filters and the compositing order of image layers). For more
information, see Copy, paste, move, and reorder behaviors.
Important: The order of operations is always in effect—
regardless of the order in which the behaviors are applied or the

keyframes added to a layer or group.
Use the following guidelines for animating objects with multiple
applied behaviors or keyframes:
When you animate an object with keyframes and then apply a
behavior, the effect of the keyframes is evaluated first.
For example, if you animate the Rotation parameter of an
object using keyframes and then apply a Rotational Drag
(Simulation) behavior to the object, Motion evaluates the
keyframed rotation, and then applies the drag (from the
Simulation behavior) to the keyframed animation.
When you animate an object with any behavior and then add
keyframes, the effect of the keyframes is evaluated first.
For example, if you animate an object so it rotates in a
clockwise direction using the Spin behavior and then keyframe
the Rotation parameter so the object rotates in a
counterclockwise direction, the object rotates in the
counterclockwise direction. Motion always evaluates
keyframes first.
When you animate an object with a behavior and then apply a
Simulation behavior, the Simulation behavior is evaluated
before the first behavior (and therefore may have no effect).
For example, if you animate the Rotation parameter of an
object using the Oscillate (Parameter) behavior and then apply
a Rotational Drag (Simulation) behavior to the object, the
object oscillates, but is not slowed by the Rotational Drag
behavior. Motion evaluates the Simulation behavior (Rotational
Drag) before the Parameter behavior (Oscillate), applying the
drag to a 0 value. There is no data for the Simulation behavior

to affect.
Note: Although the Spin behavior appears in the Basic Motion
category, Spin is treated as a Simulation behavior in the order
of operations.
For information on combining keyframes with behaviors, see
About combining behaviors with keyframes.

Behaviors and keyframes
About combining behaviors with
keyframes
Any object can have behaviors and keyframes applied to it
simultaneously. When this happens, the values generated by the
behavior and the keyframed values applied to the parameter are
combined to yield the final value for that parameter. This lets you
combine the automatic convenience of behaviors with the direct
control of keyframing to achieve your final result.
Note: Motion has a specific order of operations for keyframes
and behaviors. For more information, see About behavior order of
operations.
For example, if you create an animation path using keyframes,
you can create a completely predictable and smooth movement.

However, if you apply the Randomize parameter behavior to the
same object, its effect combines with the keyframed motion path
you created. As a result, the animation path follows the general
direction you want, with random variation in it to make it
interesting.

Although this example shows how you can combine behaviors
and keyframes to create animation paths, you can combine
behaviors and keyframes for any parameter.
SEE ALSO
About behaviors and keyframes in the Keyframe Editor
About keyframing specific parameters in behaviors
Convert behaviors to keyframes

About behaviors and keyframes in the

About behaviors and keyframes in the
Keyframe Editor
When you keyframe a parameter that’s already affected by a
behavior, the keyframes add to or subtract from the effect of the
behavior. This effect is shown in the Keyframe Editor, which
displays two curves for each parameter modified by both a
behavior and one or more keyframes:
A bold, editable curve displaying the effect of keyframes on
the parameter
An lighter, noneditable curve displaying the combined effect of
the behavior and keyframes on the parameter at each frame.

Dragging a keyframe on the bold curve also modifies the lighter
curve, because the keyframe is modifying the values generated
by the behavior.
Important: The value displayed in the Inspector for the affected
parameter reflects the combined result of keyframes and
behaviors applied to that parameter. Editing a parameter’s values
in the Inspector only results in changes made to the underlying
parameter value, whether keyframed or not. This parameter value
is then combined with the behavior’s effect, yielding a final value

that might differ from the value you entered.
When you combine keyframes with multiple behaviors, the results
can appear to be unpredictable, depending on the combination of
behaviors applied.
SEE ALSO
Keyframing overview
Convert behaviors to keyframes

About keyframing specific parameters
in behaviors
You can also apply keyframes to specific parameters of behaviors
in your project. Doing so gives you more control when animating a
behavior’s parameters. For example, you can keyframe the
Speed parameter of the Oscillate parameter behavior to increase
the rate of oscillation over time, creating a more complex
animation path.

For more information about keyframing the parameters of
behaviors, see Apply keyframes to behaviors.

Convert behaviors to keyframes
Behaviors are best suited for fluid effects in which precise timing
is not necessary. However, there might be projects in which you
want finite control over the animated effects created with
behaviors. If necessary, several of the behaviors can be baked
into keyframes. This means that the animation curves created by
the behaviors (which have no keyframes) can be converted into
keyframed animation curves. You can then modify the keyframes
in the Keyframe Editor to meet more precise timing requirements.
Because many (though not all) behaviors affect shared object
parameters, when you convert a behavior to keyframes, all other
behaviors applied to the same object are also converted into
keyframes. The keyframes are applied to the individual
parameters that the behaviors originally affected. Additionally,
when behaviors applied to other objects affect the object being
converted (for example, the Attractor or Repel behavior), their
effect is baked into the object’s resulting keyframes value. The
original behaviors remain applied to the other objects, but the
resulting effect is not doubled as a result of the keyframes
combining with the behavior.

Convert behaviors to keyframes
1. Do one of the following:
Select an object that has behaviors to convert.
In the Inspector, select a behavior to convert.
2. Choose Object > Convert to Keyframes (or press Command-

K).
A dialog prompts you to confirm the conversion to keyframes.
3. Click Convert.
All behaviors are converted into keyframes, even if some of
the behaviors fall outside of the object’s time range.
Converting a behavior to keyframes can result in a very large
amount of keyframes. You can simplify your keyframes using
the Reduce Keyframes command. For more information, see
Simplify a keyframe-heavy curve.
Note: You cannot selectively convert individual behaviors.
The Convert to Keyframes command converts all behaviors
applied to an object.

You cannot convert many of the Simulation, Replicator, Particle,
or Text behaviors into keyframes. Simulation behaviors such as
Vortex can affect the parameters of all objects in a project, and
baking such a behavior would create an overwhelming amount of
keyframes. Such behaviors are designed to create very complex
motion that would be too time-consuming to keyframe manually.
If a behavior (or an object with applied behaviors) can be baked,
the Convert to Keyframes command appears in the Object menu
when the behavior or object is selected. If the Convert to
Keyframes command is dimmed, keyframes cannot be generated
from the behavior.

Adjust behaviors overview
You edit behavior parameters in the Behaviors Inspector or in the
HUD. All behavior parameters appear in the Behaviors Inspector.
Each behavior has a subset (or sometimes a complete set) of
parameters that appear in the HUD. The HUD and the Behaviors
Inspector reference the same parameters, so changing a
parameter in one changes the same parameter in the other.
In general, the parameters that appear in the HUD are the most
essential for modifying that behavior’s effect. Frequently, the
controls available in a behavior’s HUD are more descriptive and
easier to use than those in the Behaviors Inspector.
For example, the Fade In/Fade Out behavior HUD contains a
graphical control for adjusting a layer’s fade time.

The Fade In/Fade Out behavior Inspector contains standard
sliders for adjusting a layer’s fade time.

Display the HUD for a behavior
Do one of the following:
Select the behavior to modify in the Layers list, Timeline, or
Behaviors Inspector.
Control-click an object in the Canvas, then choose a
behavior from the Behaviors submenu in the shortcut
menu.
Note: If the HUD doesn’t appear, choose Window > Show
HUD (or press F7 or D).

Display the Behaviors Inspector
1. Select an object with an applied behavior.
2. Do one of the following:
In the Inspector, click Behaviors (if that pane is not already
showing).
Click the “i” in the upper-right corner of the behavior’s
HUD.
If the File Browser or Library are displayed, press
Command-3.

Edit multiple behaviors at the same time
If you’ve applied the same behavior to multiple objects, you can

modify all instances of that behavior at the same time.
1. In the Layers list or the Behaviors Inspector, Command-click
to select multiple behaviors of the same type.
For example, you might select all Throw behaviors applied to
different objects in your project.
2. Do one of the following:
In the HUD titled “Multiple Selected,” adjust the parameter
controls.
In the Behaviors Inspector, adjust the parameter controls.
Only behaviors that apply are available. When you adjust
the parameters, all selected behaviors are modified.

For detailed information about the adjustable parameter controls
in each type of behavior, see the following:
Basic Motion behaviors overview
Parameter behaviors overview
Retiming behaviors overview
Simulation behaviors overview
Additional behaviors

Basic Motion behaviors

Basic Motion behaviors overview
Basic Motion behaviors animate specific parameters of the object
to which they’re applied. Some affect position, while others affect
scale, rotation, or opacity.
WARNING: Building consecutive Basic Motion behaviors or
placing such a behavior before or after the Camera Framing
behavior can create unexpected results. These behaviors can
continue to affect the object even after the behavior ends, thus
influencing the subsequent behavior’s animation path. For
example, if a Framing behavior is applied after a Motion Path
behavior, the residual effect of the Motion Path behavior is
combined with the animation path generated by the Framing
behavior. Consequently, the target object might be framed
improperly. For information about Camera behaviors, see Add
Camera behaviors.
There are eight Basic Motion behaviors:
Fade In/Fade Out makes an object dissolve into view or fade
away.
Grow/Shrink makes an object enlarge or reduce its size over
time.
Motion Path creates a spline path for an object to move along.
Move pulls an object to a target point in the Canvas.
Point At causes an object to turn toward a target point.
Snap Alignment to Motion points an object in the direction its
moving along an animation path.
Spin rotates an object around a single axis.

Throw pushes an object in a single direction.

Fade In/Fade Out
The Fade In/Fade Out behavior lets you dissolve into and out of
any object by ramping the opacity of the object from 0 percent to
100 percent at the start, and then back to 0 percent at the end.
You can eliminate the fade-in or fade-out effect by setting the
duration of the Fade In Time or Fade Out Time to 0 frames.
Note: This behavior is multiplicative. This means that the Fade In
and Fade Out parameters are multiplied by the object’s current
opacity to produce the resulting level of transparency.
The Fade In/Fade Out behavior is useful for introducing and
removing animated elements. For example, you can apply the
Fade In/Fade Out behavior to text that moves across the screen
to make it fade into existence, and then fade away at the end of
its duration.
Note: The Fade In/Fade Out behavior cannot be applied to a
camera or light.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Fade In Time: A slider defining the duration, in frames, over
which the object fades in from 0 to 100 percent opacity from
the first frame of the object. A duration of 0 frames results in a
straight cut into the object, making it appear instantly.
Fade Out Time: A slider defining the duration, in frames, over
which the object fades out from 100 to 0 percent opacity at
the last frame of the object. A duration of 0 frames results in a

straight cut-away from the object, making it disappear
instantly.
Start Offset: A slider that lets you delay the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to its first frame in the Timeline.
Adjust this parameter to make the behavior start later. This
parameter value is measured in frames.
End Offset: A slider that lets you offset the end of the
behavior’s effect relative to its last frame in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline.
The HUD lets you set the Fade In and Fade Out durations with a
graphical control. Drag anywhere in the shaded area of the Fade
In or the Fade Out ramp to adjust the duration of the effect.
Note: Continue dragging beyond the limits of the graphical HUD
control to extend the durations of the Fade In or Fade Out.

Grow/Shrink
The Grow/Shrink behavior lets you animate the scale of an object,
enlarging or reducing its size over time. At the first frame of the
behavior, the object appears at its original size; the settings of the

behavior determine whether the object grows or shrinks over the
duration of the effect. The vertical and horizontal growth rates can
be set to independent values, for asymmetrical effects.
Note: The Grow/Shrink behavior cannot be applied to cameras or
lights.
You can use the Grow/Shrink behavior with high-resolution
graphics to zoom into an image, such as a map or photograph.
You can combine this behavior with the Throw or Wind behavior
to pan across the image while zooming into it. The Grow/Shrink
behavior can also be used to emphasize or de-emphasize images
in your project. For example, you can enlarge an object to make it
the center of attention, or shrink the object while introducing
another object to move the viewer’s eye to the new element.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Increment: A pop-up menu that sets how the behavior’s effect
progresses over its duration in the Timeline. There are three
options:
Continuous Rate: Uses the Scale Rate parameter to grow
or shrink the object by a steady number of pixels per
second.
Ramp to Final Value: Grows or shrinks the object from its
original size to the specified percentage plus the original
scale in the Scale To parameter. If the behavior is
shortened in the Timeline, the Grow/Shrink effect occurs
faster.
Natural Scale: Uses an exponential curve so that the
animation progresses slowly when the scale values are
small, and speeds up when the values are large, creating

the illusion of scaling at a constant speed. This is the
default option.
Scale Rate/Scale To: A slider that sets the speed and
magnitude of the effect (depending on the command chosen
in the Increment pop-up menu). Click the disclosure triangle to
reveal X and Y sliders that adjust horizontal or vertical scale
independently.
Curvature: A slider that adjusts the acceleration from the
original to the final size. Higher Curvature values ease into and
out of the effect. Because Curvature is defined by the length
of the behavior in the Timeline, minus the End Offset, this
setting does not affect the overall duration of the effect.
Note: The Curvature parameter is not available when the
Increment parameter is set to Natural Scale.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline.
The HUD consists of two rectangular regions. The first, a rectangle
with a dotted line, represents the original size of the object. The
second, a solid rectangle, represents the relative growth rate.
Drag a border of the sold rectangle to grow or shrink the object.
Drag the slider to adjust the scale of the HUD controls, increasing
or decreasing their effect.

Motion Path
The Motion Path behavior lets you create a 2D or 3D motion path
for an object to follow. When you apply this behavior, the motion
path defaults to an open spline: a straight line defined by two
points at the beginning and end of the path. You can also choose
from preset path shapes, such as a closed spline, loop, rectangle,
or wave, or use a shape to define a path. A shape used as the
source for a motion path can be animated.
For more information on customizing the Motion Path behavior,
see Work with the Motion Path behavior.
The first point on the path is the position of the object in the
Canvas at the first frame of the behavior. Option-click anywhere
on the path to add Bezier points, which allow you to reshape the
motion path by creating curves.

When you play the project, the object moves along the assigned
path. (To show or hide the motion path, choose Show Overlays
from the View pop-up menu above the Canvas.) The speed at
which the target object travels is defined by the duration of the
behavior. Speed is also affected by the Speed parameter, which
lets you modify the object’s velocity—adding acceleration and
deceleration at the beginning and end of the behavior, for
example. You can also create a custom preset defining how the
object travels along the path.
Note: When you switch between the Path Shape options, the
Inspector and the HUD display parameters specific to the
selected option.
The Motion Path behavior is an easy way to create predictable
motion without using the Keyframe Editor. It’s also a great way to
create reusable motion paths that you can save in the Library for
future use.
When the Motion Path behavior is added to an object, the Adjust
Item tool is selected, allowing you to modify the default path in the
Canvas by adding points and using the Bezier (or B-Spline)
controls attached to each point to adjust each curve. You can
also move and resize preset motion path shapes, such as a
rectangle or wave, in the Canvas.

Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Path Shape: A pop-up menu that defines the shape of the
path on which the object travels. Choose one of the following
path shapes:
Open Spline: The default shape, a straight path defined by
two points at the beginning and end of the path. You can
choose to work with Bezier or B-Spline control points.
Option-click (or double-click) anywhere on the path to add
points.
Note: You cannot add points to a motion path when Circle
or Rectangle are selected from the Path Shape pop-up
menu. To change the shape of a path when Geometry is
selected from the Path Shape pop-up menu, edit the
source shape.
Closed Spline: A closed path with the last point in the
same location as the first point. You can choose to work
with Bezier or B-Spline control points. Option-click (or
double-click) anywhere on the path to add points.
Circle: A simplified version of Closed Spline, in which the X
radius or Y radius can be adjusted to create a circle or an
ellipse. Use the outer control points to resize the circle (or
rectangle) motion path’s shape.

Rectangle: A closed path in which the width and the height
can be adjusted to create a square or a rectangle.
Wave: A wavy path (a sine wave) defined by two points,
one at the beginning and one at the end of the path, and
controlled by the End Point, Amplitude, Frequency, Phase,
and Damping parameters.
Geometry: A path based on a shape or mask. The object
travels along the edge of the shape or mask. In the
following figure, the outline of the shape on the left is used
as the motion path in the composition shown on the right.

Note: The Path Shape parameters work similarly to text
on a path. For more information about working with text on
a path, see Create and modify text on a path.
Shape Type: A pop-up menu (available when Path Shape is
set to Open Spline or Closed Spline) that sets how the path is
manipulated, via Bezier or B-Spline control points.
Bezier: Lets you manipulate the path manually by dragging
Bezier handles.
Note: For more information about creating and adjusting
Bezier curves, see Edit Bezier control points.
B-Spline: Lets you manipulate the path by dragging B-

Spline control points. The points themselves do not lie on
the surface of the shape. Instead, each B-Spline control
point is offset from the shape’s surface, “magnetically”
pulling that section of the shape toward itself to create a
curve. B-Splines are extremely smooth—by default, there
are no sharp angles in B-Spline shapes, although you can
create sharper curves, if necessary.
Note: For more information about working with B-Spline
curves, see Edit B-Spline control points.
Radius: A slider (available when Circle is the defined path
shape) that sets the size of the circular path. Click the
disclosure triangle to adjust the X radius and Y radius
independently.
Note: When the Motion Path behavior is selected, you can
also drag the onscreen control points to resize the circle.
Press Shift while dragging to resize the X and Y radii
uniformly.
Size: A slider (available when Rectangle is the defined path
shape) that modifies the size of the rectangular path. Click the
disclosure triangle to adjust the X scale and Y scale
independently.
Note: When the Motion Path behavior is selected, you can
also drag the onscreen control points to resize the rectangle.
Press Shift while dragging to resize the X and Y scales
uniformly.
Offset: A slider (available when Circle, Rectangle, or Geometry
is the defined path shape) that sets where the object starts
moving on the path.

End Point: Value sliders (available when Wave is the defined
path shape) that sets the location of two default points on the
wave’s path. The end points can also be adjusted using the
wave’s onscreen controls (active by default when the Motion
Path behavior is selected). Moving the left end point moves
the entire path; moving the right end point lengthens,
shortens, or angles the path.
Amplitude: A slider (available when Wave is the defined path
shape) that defines half the distance from the highest point to
the lowest point in the wave. Higher values result in more
extreme waves.
Frequency: A slider (available when Wave is the defined path
shape) that sets the number of waves. Higher values result in
more waves.
Phase: A dial (available when Wave is the defined path shape)
that defines the degree of the offset of waves from the start
and end points of the path. When Phase is set to 0 degrees
(default), the wave begins and ends at half the distance from
the highest point to the lowest point in the wave. When Phase
is set to 90 degrees, the wave begins and ends at the highest
point in the wave. When set to –90 degrees, the wave begins
at the lowest point in the wave. When set to 180 degrees, the
waves are the same as 0 degrees, but inverted.
Damping: A slider (available when Wave is the defined path
shape) that progressively diminishes the oscillation of the
wave. Positive values diminish the wave forward (from left to
right); negative values diminish the wave backward (from right
to left). The following illustration shows positive damping
applied to the wave motion path.

Attach to Shape: A checkbox (available when Geometry is the
defined path shape) that, when selected, forces the motion
path to follow the source shape at its original location. When
disabled, the motion path can exist in a location other than its
source shape.
Note: When Attach to Shape is selected, you cannot move
the object to another location.
Tip: To align the rotation of an object to match all changes
made to its position along an animation path, apply the Snap
Alignment to Motion behavior. For more information, see Snap
Alignment to Motion.
Shape Source: An object well (available when Geometry is the
defined path shape) that specifies the object (a shape or
mask) used as the motion path source. Choose an available
shape from the adjacent To pop-up menu, or drag a shape
from the Layers list into the object well.
Direction: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s direction
along the path. There are two options:
Forward: The object moves in a forward direction along the
path (from the start point to the end point, depending upon
the Offset parameter).
Reverse: The object moves in a backward direction along

Reverse: The object moves in a backward direction along
the path (from the end point to the start point, depending
upon the Offset parameter).
Note: The Offset parameter is available when Path Shape
is set to Circle or Rectangle.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from
the first to the last point in the motion path. There are eight
choices:
Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from the
first to the last point on the motion path.
Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches
and maintains a steady speed through the last point on the
motion path.
Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then
gradually decelerates to a stop at the last point of the
motion path.
Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates from the first
point on the motion path, then gradually decelerates to a
stop at the last point of the motion path.
Accelerate: The object moves along the path with
increasing speed.
Decelerate: The object moves along the path with
decreasing speed.
Natural: The speed at which the object moves over the
path is determined by the shape of the path. For example,
if the path is a U-shape curve, the object moves faster as
it moves toward the low point of the U and slower as it
moves up the edges.

Custom: Object speed is defined by keyframes for the
object’s speed from 0 to 100 percent. In other words, you
determine the position of the object along the path in time.
Custom Speed: A slider (available when Speed is set to
Custom) that modifies the Custom Speed velocity curve in the
Keyframe Editor. For example, you can keyframe custom
values to make an object travel forward to a specific
percentage of the path, then backward, then forward, and so
on before reaching the end of the animation.
Apply Speed: A pop-up menu that determines how the Speed
parameter (velocity) is applied over the duration of the
behavior. (Loops must be set to a value greater than 1 for the
Apply Speed parameter to have any effect.) There are two
choices:
Once Per Loop: The velocity, as defined by the Speed
parameter, is applied to each cycle. For example, if Loops
is set to 3 and Speed is set to Accelerate, the object
accelerates each time it travels over the path. The speed
is applied to the entire duration, ignoring the Loops setting.
Over Entire Duration: The velocity, as defined by the
Speed parameter, is applied one time over the duration of
the behavior. For example, if Loops is set to 3 and Speed
is set to Accelerate, the object accelerates the first time it
travels over the path, but not the second and third time.
Loops: A slider that sets the number of times the object
travels the motion path over the duration of the behavior. For
an object to travel its path more than once, or to “ping-pong,”
Loops must be set to a value greater than 1.
End Condition: A pop-up menu that defines the behavior of
the object after it reaches the end of its motion path. There

are two options:
Repeat: The object travels the motion path the number of
times defined by the Loop parameter.
Ping-Pong: The object moves along the path until it
reaches the last point on the path, then moves backward
to the first point on the path. The number of “ping-pongs”
is defined by the Loops parameter.
Control Points: Value sliders (available when the path shape is
Open Spline or Closed Spline) that set the X, Y, and Z
coordinates of the motion path control points. (Click the
disclosure triangle to display the X, Y, and Z value sliders.)
Note: You cannot apply Parameter behaviors to the control
points.
SEE ALSO
Work with the Motion Path behavior

Work with the Motion Path behavior
The following tasks demonstrate how to customize the Motion
Path behavior.

Change the shape of the motion path
With an applied Motion Path behavior selected in the Layers list,
Timeline, or Behaviors Inspector, do any of the following:
In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Path Shape pop-up

menu, then choose a shape option.
In the Canvas, double-click the motion path to add control
point points, then edit the points. For more information, see
Edit control points overview.

Use geometry for a motion path shape
You can use a shape animated with behaviors or keyframes as
the source for a motion path. This includes animated transforms (a
shape changing its location in the Canvas) and animated control
points (a shape changing its shape due to keyframed control
points).
1. Import (or draw) the shape to use as the path source.
2. With an applied Motion Path behavior selected, open the
Behaviors Inspector, then choose Geometry from the Path
Shape pop-up menu.
The Shape Source well appears in the Inspector and HUD.
3. From the Layers list, drag the shape you created in step 1 into
the Shape Source well.
4. When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse
button.
A thumbnail of the shape appears in the well and the shape is
used as the source shape for the motion path.
Note: You can disable the source shape in the Layers list (by
deselecting its activation checkbox) so that the source shape

is not visible in your project.

Select another geometry source for a
motion path shape
With an applied Motion Path behavior selected, open the
Behaviors Inspector, click the To pop-up menu (located next
to the Shape Source object well), then choose the object to
use as the motion path’s shape source.
Note: To align the rotation of the object to the shape of its
motion path, you can apply the Snap Alignment to Motion
behavior (in the Basic Motion behaviors subcategory).

Move the object and its motion path
In the Layers list or Canvas, select the object (not the Motion
Path behavior), then drag the object in the Canvas.
Note: To move the object and its motion path when Path
Shape is set to Geometry, select the source object, then move
the object in the Canvas.

Distance the object from the path
By default, the object is locked to the motion path by its anchor
point.

Select the Anchor Point tool from the toolbar, then drag the
anchor point in the Canvas.
For more information on using the Anchor Point tool, see Move
a layer’s anchor point.
Note: A separate Offset parameter lets you offset the starting
location of the object on the motion path (but does not offset
the object from the path).

Use the Custom Speed parameter
1. In the Layers list, select an applied Motion Path behavior.
2. In the Behaviors Inspector or HUD, click the Speed pop-up
menu, then choose Custom.
The Custom Speed parameter control becomes available. By
default, a keyframe is set at the first and last points of the
behavior to create an animation of 0 percent to 100 percent,
where at 0 the object is at the beginning of the path, and at
100 the object is at the end of the path. This is the same
velocity used with the Constant preset.

3. Press A to enable keyframe recording.
Note: When keyframe recording is enabled, all keyframeable
parameter value sliders are tinted red, to remind you that any
value change entered creates a keyframe.
4. Move the playhead to the position where you want to create a
keyframe, then enter a percentage value in the Custom Speed
field.
For example, a value of 90 moves the object 90 percent of the
way through the motion path.
5. Continue moving the playhead and adding keyframes to obtain
the result you want.
Note: If you change the Speed parameter to a preset (such
as Constant) after creating a custom speed, the custom
velocity channel is ignored but remains intact.

Adjust a motion path in 3D space
The easiest way to modify a motion path in 3D space is to add a
camera to your project and manipulate the path in a modified
camera view.
1. If there’s no camera in your project, add a camera by doing
one of the following:
Click the New Camera button in the toolbar.
Choose Object > New Camera (or press OptionCommand-C).

Note: If none of your project groups are set to 3D, a
dialog appears asking if you want to switch your 2D groups
to 3D groups. Click Switch to 3D to allow the camera to
affect the groups.
2. Do one of the following:
Click the Camera pop-up menu in the upper-left corner of
the Canvas (the default option is Active Camera), then
choose a camera view. This example uses the Top view.
With the Active Camera (or other) view selected, use the
Orbit tool (the center tool in 3D view tools in the upper-right
corner of the Canvas) to rotate the camera.
Note: If you use the 3D view tools with any camera
selected, you are moving the camera, not just changing the
camera view.
Depending on the camera view, the object on the path
might not be visible. For example, if the object has not
been rotated in X or Y space and you are working in Top
view, the camera is looking down perpendicularly (on the Y
axis) on the object. The motion path and its points are still
visible (as long as the Motion Path behavior is selected).
In the following image, the motion path appears flat when
viewed from above—the affected object only moves in X
and Y space.

3. Drag a control point up or down to adjust the object in Z
space.
In the following image, the path is no longer flat—the affected
object moves in X, Y, and Z space.

To enter specific values for the control point locations, click
the Control Points disclosure triangle in the Motion Path
behavior parameters. The first value field is X, the second
value field is Y, and the third value field is Z.
4. To reset the camera view, do one of the following:
Double-click the 3D view tool that you previously adjusted.
For example, if you dragged the Orbit tool to rotate the
current camera, double-click the Orbit tool to reset the
camera.
If you chose (or modified) a default camera view (such as
Top, Right, Left, and so on), choose Active Camera from
the Camera menu, or choose View > 3D View > Active
Camera.
With the camera selected, click the reset button in the
Properties Inspector.
For more information about working with cameras in a 3D project,
see 3D cameras overview.

SEE ALSO
Motion Path

Move
The Move behavior places a point in the Canvas that creates a
specific location for an object or group to move toward or away
from in a straight line. When used with other behaviors, Move can

create complex motions. For example, in the following illustration,
an Orbit Around behavior is applied to the airplane shape.

In the next illustration, a Move behavior is added to the airplane
shape. The destination point of the Move path is positioned in the
center of the circle. While the airplane circles around (obeying the
Orbit Around behavior), it is also drawn to the center of the target
(obeying the Move behavior), creating a spiraling motion path.

Tip: The Move behavior is useful in 3D mode because it lets you
simulate camera movements without using a camera. For
example, when you apply the Move behavior to a group that
contains objects offset in Z space, you can create a dolly-like
move.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Position: Value sliders to define the X, Y, and Z position of the

target point. The target (the end of the Move path) is placed at
the center of the Canvas by default.
Note: You can also drag the target point in the Canvas using
the Adjust Item tool.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object
moves toward the target. With a value of 0, the object doesn’t
move at all. The higher the value, the faster the object moves.
Direction: A pop-up menu that sets whether the object moves
toward the target point or away from the point.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from
its position in the Canvas to the position of the target. There
are six choices:
Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from its
position toward the target.
Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches
and maintains a steady speed toward the target.
Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then
gradually decelerates to a stop when it reaches the target.
Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates, then decelerates
to a stop when it reaches the target.
Accelerate: The object moves toward the target with
increasing speed.
Decelerate: The object moves toward the target with
decreasing speed.
Note: To move the object more slowly toward its target,
extend the duration of the Move To behavior in the
Timeline or mini-Timeline. To move the object faster,

shorten the duration of the behavior.

Point At
The Point At behavior causes an object or group to turn toward a
target point. Use the Point At behavior with the Move To behavior
to created animated objects that not only move toward a point (or
each other), but that turn in the direction of the target.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Object: An object well that defines the target object. To set the
target object, drag an object from the Layers list to this object
well. You can also drag the target object from the Layers list
onto the Point At behavior.
Transition: A slider that determines how long it takes the object
to go from its starting orientation to pointing at the center of
the target object. This parameter is useful when the object is
pointing at a moving target object.
If Transition is set to 50% in a 300-frame project, and the
target object is not moving, the point-at object takes 150
frames to point at (or orient to) the center of the target object
and then stops moving for the duration of the behavior. If
Transition is set to 100%, the point-at object takes the full 300
frames to point at the target object. If the Point At behavior’s
duration is 100 frames, and Transition is set to 50%, the pointat object takes 50 frames to orient to the target object.
If Transition is set to 50% in a 300-frame project, and the
target object is animated, the point-at object takes 150 frames
to point at (or orient to) the center of the target object and then
continues following the animated target object for the duration

of the behavior. If Transition is set to 100%, the point-at object
takes the full 300 frames to point at the target object.
Speed: A pop-up menu that defines the object’s velocity from
its position in the Canvas to the position of the target. There
are six choices:
Constant: The object moves at a steady speed from its
position toward the target.
Ease In: The object starts at a slow speed, then reaches
and maintains a steady speed toward the target.
Ease Out: The object starts at a steady speed, then
gradually decelerates to a stop when it reaches the target.
Ease Both: The object slowly accelerates, then gradually
decelerates to a stop when it reaches the target.
Accelerate: The object moves toward the target with
increasing speed.
Decelerate: The object moves toward the target with
decreasing speed.
Axis: A pop-up menu that lets you align the rotation of the
object to the X, Y, or Z axis. The default axis is Z. This
parameter specifies which axis points at the target after the
movement is complete.
Invert Axis: A checkbox that flips the object so it faces the
proper direction. Select the checkbox if the object is aligning
on the correct axis, but appears backwards.

Snap Alignment to Motion

This behavior aligns the rotation of an object to match all changes
made to its position along an animation path. Snap Alignment to
Motion is meant to be combined with behaviors that animate the
position of an object, or with a keyframed animation path you
create yourself.
In the following example, a graphic of an airplane is shown
traveling a spiral motion path. On its own, the orientation of the
graphic doesn’t change, because only the Position parameter is
affected.

If you add the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior to the airplane
graphic, the Rotation parameter is affected so the graphic points
in the direction of motion, without the need for additional
keyframing.

Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:

Rotation Axis: A pop-up menu to rotate the object around the
X, Y, or Z axis. You can also choose All to rotate the object
around all three axes. The default rotation axis is Z. All uses
the acceleration direction as “up,” like a roller coaster.
Axis: A pop-up menu to specify whether the object aligns to
its horizontal or vertical axis.
Invert Axis: A checkbox that, when selected, flips the object
so it faces the proper direction. Select this checkbox if the
object is aligning on the correct axis, but appears backwards.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. For example, if End Offset is set to 60, the object
actively snaps to the direction of the path until 60 frames
before the end of behavior in the Timeline.
SEE ALSO
Align to Motion

Spin
The Spin behavior animates the rotation of an object, spinning it
around a single axis. Using the Custom axis controls, the rotation
does not have to occur on a principle axis (X, Y, or Z). If you trim
the end of the Spin behavior to be shorter than the duration of the
object it’s applied to, it remains at the angle of the last frame of
the behavior, as long as there are no other behaviors or
keyframes affecting that object’s Rotation parameter.
Uses for Spin are fairly obvious, but another way to use the Spin
behavior is with objects that have an off-center anchor point.

Because objects rotate around the anchor point, if you change an
object’s anchor point before you apply a Spin behavior to it, you
can change the look of the motion you create. For more
information on changing an object’s anchor point, see Move a
layer’s anchor point.
Note: Although the Spin behavior appears in the Basic Motion
category, Spin is treated as a Simulation behavior in the Motion
application’s order of operations. For more information, see About
behavior order of operations.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox (available when Spin is applied
to an object that contains multiple objects—such as a group,
particle emitter, or text) that, when selected, causes each
object in the layer or group to rotate as an individual object.
When this checkbox is deselected, the entire layer or group
spins uniformly.
Increment: A pop-up menu that sets how the behavior’s effect
progresses over its duration in the Timeline. There are two
choices:
Continuous Rate: Uses the Spin Rate parameter to spin
the object by a steady number of degrees per second.
Ramp to Final Value: Spins the object for the number of
degrees specified in the Spin To parameter over the
behavior’s duration in the Timeline.
Spin Rate/Spin To: A dial to set the speed at which the object
spins. When Increment is set to Continuous Rate, Spin Rate
defines a continuous rate of spin in degrees per second.
When Increment is set to Ramp to Final Value, Spin To defines

a number of degrees to spin over that object’s duration.
Negative values result in clockwise motion; positive values
result in counterclockwise motion.
Axis: A pop-up menu that sets whether the object spins about
the X, Y, or Z axis. You can also choose Custom, which yields
additional Longitude and Latitude parameters. The following
illustration shows the Spin behavior’s HUD control set to the Z
axis.

When Axis is set to Custom, additional Latitude and Longitude
controls become available. These controls allow the object to
spin at an angle (not locked to the X, Y, or Z axes).

The following image shows how longitude and latitude relate to
the Spin HUD control.

Latitude/Longitude: A dial (available when Axis is set to
Custom) that specifies the axis of rotation.
The HUD controls include an outer ring and an inner control. Drag
along the edge of the outer ring to manipulate an arrow that
indicates the direction and speed the object spins. Adjust the
length of the arrow to change the speed at which the spinning
occurs—drag around multiple times to increase the rate of the
spin.
The inner arrow controls the axis about which the object or group
spins. When you drag the inner controls, a globe control becomes
available to adjust the object’s spin in degrees longitude and
latitude.
Note: You can spin the arrow around the ring multiple times to
rotate the object more quickly.

Throw
The Throw behavior is the simplest way to set an object in motion.
Controls let you adjust the speed and direction of a single force
that’s exerted on the object at the first frame of the behavior.
After this initial force is applied, the object continues drifting in a
straight line at the same speed, for the duration of the Throw
behavior.
A simple example of using the Throw behavior is to send a series
of offscreen objects moving across the screen. When used in
conjunction with other behaviors such as Grow/Shrink and Fade
In/Fade Out, you can create sophisticated moving elements
without keyframing a single parameter.
The Throw behavior is also useful when you’re moving an object
through a simulation. For example, you might move the object
past other objects that have Attractor or Repel behaviors applied
to them. Because the Throw behavior only applies a single force
to move the target object at the initial frame of the behavior, any
other behaviors that interact with the target object have potentially
greater influence over its motion.

Important: The Throw behavior does not apply a continuous
force, nor can you create changes in direction or speed, because
Throw cannot be keyframed. To create keyframed changes in
direction or speed, use the Wind behavior. To create a more
complex animation path, use the Motion Path behavior.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple child objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Increment: A pop-up menu that sets how the behavior’s effect
progresses over its duration in the Timeline. There are two
choices:
Continuous Rate: Sets the speed of the object at a steady
number of pixels per second, specified in the Throw
Velocity parameter.
Note: When the Canvas displays a nonsquare pixel
image, the vertical rate is in pixels per second, and the
horizontal rate is the perceptual equivalent.
Ramp to Final Value: Moves the object from its original
position to the specified distance (in pixels) in the Throw
Distance parameter.
Throw Velocity/Throw Distance: A slider that sets either
velocity or distance, depending on the setting in the Increment
pop-up menu. When Increment is set to Continuous Rate, the

Throw Velocity slider sets a continuous speed for the object to
move in X, Y, or Z space. When Increment is set to Ramp to
Final Value, the Throw Distance slider sets a total distance (in
pixels) for the object to travel in X, Y, and Z space over its
duration. The standard slider is limited to 100 pixels. Use the
value slider to enter values greater than 100.
The 2D HUD lets you specify the direction and speed of the Throw
behavior by dragging an arrow in a circular region. The direction
of the arrow defines the direction of movement in X and Y space,
and the length of the arrow defines speed (velocity). A slider
adjusts the scale of the HUD control, increasing or decreasing the
effect of the direction/speed control.

When you click the 3D button, additional 3D controls become
available. The center arrow now defines the direction the object is
thrown in 3D space (X, Y, and Z axes). The Speed slider lets you
increase or decrease the velocity of the thrown object.

In the 2D and 3D Throw HUDs, press the Shift key while dragging
the arrow to constrain it to 45-degree angles. In the 2D HUD,
press the Command key to change the arrow’s direction without
affecting its length.
Note: The maximum speed you can define with the HUD is not
the maximum possible speed. Higher values can be entered into
the Throw Velocity/Throw Distance parameter in the Behaviors
Inspector.

Parameter behaviors
Parameter behaviors overview
A Parameter behavior is applied to a specific object parameter,
and the effect is limited to just that parameter. You can apply the
same Parameter behavior to different parameters, resulting in
different effects. For example, you can apply the Oscillate
behavior to the opacity of an object to make the object fade in
and out, or you can apply the Oscillate behavior to the rotation of

an object to make the object rock back and forth. You can also
apply Parameter behaviors to filter parameters, generator
parameters, the parameters of particle systems, or even the
parameters of other behaviors.
There are 18 Parameter behaviors:
Audio links any parameter to the dynamic sound properties of
an audio file.
Average smooths animation transitions.
Clamp restricts an animated parameter to a minimum and
maximum value.
Custom lets you make your own behaviors.
Exponential modifies the speed of animations to create more
organic effects.
Link synchronizes the value of one parameter to that of
another parameter.
Logarithmic modifies the speed of an animation to create
more organic effects.
MIDI lets you edit and animate parameters using a MIDI
controller.
Negate inverts a parameter value to its opposite.
Oscillate animates a parameter by cycling it between two
values.
Quantize modifies an animation to make parameter values
change in incremental steps.
Ramp creates gradual changes in animations.

Randomize creates jittery animations by applying a continuous
sequence of randomly increasing and decreasing values.
Rate increases a parameter over time.
Reverse reverses the direction of an animated parameter.
Stop abruptly suspends the animation of a parameter.
Track applies motion-tracking data to a parameter of an effect
(a filter, for example).
Wriggle creates jittery animations, but with a slower effect
than that of the Randomize behavior.

Audio
The Audio behavior lets you animate nearly any parameter based
on properties of an audio file, such as bass frequency. For
example, the Audio parameter behavior can be applied to the
Scale parameter of an object, causing the object to scale up and
down based on the amplitude of the bass. For more information,
see Apply the Audio parameter behavior.

Average
The Average behavior smooths the transition from one value to
another in animations that are keyframed and in behaviors that
are applied to a parameter. Use the Average behavior to smooth
out animated effects. Averaged motion moves more fluidly, while
averaged changes to parameters such as Opacity and to filter
parameters appear to happen more gradually. Use the Window
Size parameter to adjust the amount of smoothing applied to the

affected parameter.
Tip: The Average behavior can be used to smooth out the
sequence of values generated by a Randomize behavior.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Window Size: A slider that adjusts the amount of smoothing
applied to the affected parameter, by specifying the number
of adjacent frames to average together. Higher values apply
more smoothing by averaging a wider range of values,
resulting in more fluid animation. Lower values average a
narrower range of values, resulting in less smoothing, with
values closer to the original.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that displays the parameter
affected. You can also use this control to reassign the
behavior to a different parameter.

Clamp
The Clamp behavior sets a minimum and maximum value for an
animated parameter. In the following illustration, the center star
has an applied Vortex behavior set to affect the two airplane
shapes. As a result, the airplanes circle around the center star, as
indicated by the red animation paths.

In the following illustration, a Clamp behavior is applied to the X
Position parameter of the outer airplane shape. The Max value is
set to 230 and the Min value is set to 0. As a result, the animation
path is “clamped”—the image can travel 230 pixels to the right
but cannot move left past the 0 point, creating a half-circle
animation.

The circle motion path is essentially cut in half. If a negative value
is entered in the Min value slider, the image moves past the 0
point.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Clamp At: A pop-up menu that sets whether the behavior
restricts clamping to a minimum value, a maximum value, or
both minimum and maximum values.
Min: A value slider that lets you define the minimum amount of

change for an animated parameter.
Max: A value slider that lets you define the maximum amount
of change for an animated parameter.
The value is represented as a percentage, in pixels, or in
degrees, depending on the parameter assignment. For
example, if Clamp is applied to the Rotation parameter, the
Min and Max values are degrees. If Clamp is applied to the X
Position parameter, the values are in pixels.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Custom
The Custom behavior lets you make your own behaviors by
creating a set of parameters, then keyframing them to create the
type of animation you want to apply to an object. By saving
custom behaviors you create in the Library, you can build your
own collection of behaviors to suit your needs.
The Custom behavior is not applied like the other Parameter
behaviors described in this section. Rather, you apply the Custom
behavior like any other non-Parameter behavior in Motion: by
dragging it from the Library onto an object in the Canvas or Layers
list, or by selecting an object in the Canvas or Layers list, then
choosing Custom from the Add Behavior pop-up menu.
Note: Although the Custom behavior is a Parameter behavior, it
does not appear in the shortcut menu when you Control-click a
parameter.

Unlike other behaviors, the Custom behavior doesn’t apply default
parameters in the Behaviors Inspector. Instead, a pair of pop-up
menus lets you add and remove any parameters you want to use.

Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Add Parameter: A pop-up menu used to add parameters you
want to keyframe to create custom animation. Choose a
parameter from this menu to add it to the Custom parameter
list for keyframing.
Remove Parameter: A pop-up menu listing parameters you’ve
added to the current Custom behavior. Choose a parameter
from this menu to remove it from the Custom parameter list,
along with any keyframes applied to that parameter.
SEE ALSO
Add a Custom behavior

Add a Custom behavior
Before adding custom parameters to a Custom behavior, you
must apply the Custom behavior to an object in your project.

Add a Custom behavior to an object
1. Do one of the following:

Select the object you want to add a Custom behavior to,
click the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then
choose Parameter > Custom.
In the Library, select the Behaviors category, select the
Parameter subcategory, then drag the Custom icon to the
object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
The Custom behavior is applied to the object. The behavior
has no effect until you add a parameter to the behavior.
2. In the Custom area of the Behaviors Inspector, click the Add
Parameter pop-up menu, then choose a parameter to add.
This menu contains every animatable parameter.

The parameter you chose appears near the top of the Custom
area in the Behaviors Inspector.

After you add the parameters to animate in your Custom
behavior, you can keyframe them in the Keyframe Editor to
create whatever animated effect you require. For more
information on keyframing parameters to create animation, see
Apply keyframes to behaviors.

After you animate the parameters you added, you can save
the Custom behavior into the Library for future use. For more
information about saving Custom behaviors to the Library, see
Save custom behaviors.

Remove a parameter from the Custom
parameter list
Click the Remove Parameter pop-up menu, then choose a
parameter to remove.

That parameter no longer appears in the Custom parameter
pop-up menu. Any keyframes applied to that parameter are
deleted.

SEE ALSO
Custom

Exponential
The Exponential behavior creates more natural animations when
scaling objects, especially when using high values. For example,
when an object scales from very small to very large, our eyes

erroneously perceive the animation to slow down as the object
reaches its upper scale values. The Exponential parameter
behavior allows such an animation to speed up the scaling as the
values increase to compensate for that illusion, and create a more
uniform-looking scale effect.
Tip: When applied to parameters other than Scale, the
Exponential parameter behavior creates more organic animations
than other interpolation modes.
You can also change the interpolation modes of keyframes to
Exponential. For more information, see Set curve interpolation.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Start Value: A slider to set the value that’s added to the
parameter at the first frame of the Exponential behavior.
End Value: A slider to set the value the Exponential behavior
reaches at the last frame of the behavior. Over the life of the
behavior, the parameter the Exponential behavior is applied to
makes a transition from the Start Value to the End Value, plus
the original value.
Start Offset: A slider to delay the beginning of the behavior’s
effect relative to the first frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior start later.
End Offset: A slider to offset the end of the behavior’s effect
relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the end of the effect for
the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the

behavior bar resets the object to its original parameter.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Link
The Link behavior forces the value of one parameter to match that
of another “linked” parameter. The source parameter can be
attached to the same object or to another object. The linked
parameters must contain numerical data. Parameters controlled
by checkboxes, menus, and other non-numeric values cannot be
linked. The linked parameters also must contain the same number
of attributes. You cannot link a compound parameter such as
Scale X-Y-Z to a parameter such as Opacity, which has only one
slider. You can however, link a compound parameter such as
Scale X-Y-Z to Position X-Y-Z.

The values of the source parameter can be scaled to more
accurately apply to the destination parameter. For example, a
source parameter with a range of 1–100 can be scaled when
applied to a parameter with a range of 0–1. The values can also
be offset from the source, and the effect can be mixed with the
destination value to create different effects.
The Link behavior can be applied to a parameter animated with
behaviors or keyframes; however, the Link behavior does not
affect the parameter when the Start Values or End Values are
zero.
When using the Link behavior to control an object’s position
parameter, the linked coordinates are based on the center point
of the current group. So when an object is linked to another object
in the same group, it shares an identical position. However, if the
source object is in a different group, the coordinates might appear
offset in space.
If your goal is to match an identical position across groups with
different center points, you can create an invisible dummy object
in the group containing the source, link it to the source object,
then use the Match Move behavior to copy the dummy object’s
position to that of the intended target. Match Move compensates
for inter-group position offsets and provides the option to attach
one object to another or to mimic the source object’s
transformations. For more information about the Match Move
behavior, see Match moving overview.
You can also link to the group’s coordinates instead of the
object’s, and use the Offset parameters in the Link behavior to
obtain the position you want. However, if that group is
subsequently added to another group, the linked object might not

move as expected.
Note: When a link behavior is added, it’s not enabled by default.
To activate the behavior, click the activation checkbox beside the
behavior name in the Behaviors Inspector.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Source Object: An object well that defines the source object in
which the source parameter resides. Click the To pop-up
menu to select a source object in the current project.
Source Parameter: A pop-up menu showing the parameter
that serves as the source for the Link behavior. Use this menu
to select a new source parameter. Only parameters with the
same value type and number of attributes as the parameter
selected in the Apply To (Target Parameters) pop-up menu
appear here.
Note: When possible, Source Parameter defaults to the
parameter chosen in the Apply To row (described below).
Important: Changing the Apply To (Target Parameters)
setting changes which parameters appear in the Source
Parameter pop-up menu. If you cannot find the parameter
you’re looking for, you might need to choose a Target
Parameter to which you can link.
Apply To: A pop-up menu showing the parameter affected.
Use this menu to reassign the behavior to another parameter.
Apply Mode: A pop-up menu that sets how the values from
the source parameter affect the target parameter. The
choices include:
Add to source: Adds the source parameter value to the

existing value of the target parameter.
Multiply by source: Multiplies the source parameter value
with the existing value of the target parameter.
Replace with source: Replaces the existing value of the
target parameter with that of the source parameter.
Mix Over Time: A pop-up menu that sets how rapidly the
source parameter values begin to affect the target parameter.
Options include: Ease In, Ease Out, Ease In/Out, Accelerate,
Decelerate, Accelerate/Decelerate, and Custom Mix.
Mix Time Range: A slider (available when the Mix Over Time
pop-up menu is set to an Ease or Acceleration option) that
controls the number of frames over which the ease or
acceleration occurs.
Tip: Ease In and Accelerate begin at the In point of the Link
behavior; Ease Out and Decelerate end at the Out point of the
Link behavior. Therefore, you can trim the Link behavior in the
Timeline to specify where the ease or acceleration begins or
ends.
Custom Mix: A slider (available when the Mix Over Time
parameter is set to Custom Mix) that can be animated to
create a user-determined mix between the source and target
parameter values.
Scale: A slider that specifies a value to be multiplied with the
Source Parameter before it is applied to the target.
Apply Link When: A pop-up menu that limits when values from
the source are applied to the target. There are five choices:
Any source value: No limits are placed on the source
parameter values. An offset slider for each setting

associated with the source parameter appears at the
bottom of the Behaviors Inspector. If the source parameter
has a single slider, such as Opacity, a single offset slider
appears. If the source parameter has multiple sliders, such
as Position X-Y-Z, offset sliders for each of those settings
appear.
Source value above minimum: The link applies only when
the source value exceeds a defined minimum value. If the
source value falls below the defined minimum, the link
behavior stops. When selected, the Clamp Source Values
Within Range checkbox as well as offset and minimum
sliders for each setting associated with the source
parameter appear at the bottom of the Behaviors
Inspector. If the source parameter has a single slider, such
as drop shadow Blur, an offset and a minimum slider
appear for that setting. If the source parameter has
multiple sliders, such as Scale X-Y-Z, offset and minimum
sliders appear for each of those settings.
Source value below maximum: The link applies only when
the source value stays below a defined maximum value. If
the source value exceeds the defined maximum, the link
behavior stops. When selected, the Clamp Source Values
Within Range checkbox as well as offset and maximum
sliders for each setting associated with the source
parameter appear at the bottom of the Behaviors
Inspector. If the source parameter has a single slider, such
as shape Roundness, an offset and a maximum slider
appear for that setting. If the source parameter has
multiple sliders, such as Rotation X-Y-Z, offset and
maximum sliders appear for each of those settings.

Source value between min and max: The link applies only
when the source value stays within a defined range. If the
source value falls below the defined minimum, or exceeds
the defined maximum, the link behavior stops. When
selected, the Clamp Source Values Within Range
checkbox as well as offset, minimum, and maximum
sliders for each setting associated with the source
parameter appear at the bottom of the Behaviors
Inspector. If the source parameter has a single slider, such
as shape Feather, one set of three sliders (offset,
minimum, and maximum) appears for that setting. If the
source parameter has multiple sliders, such as Fill Color
(red, green, blue), sets of three sliders appear for each of
those settings.
Source value outside min and max: The link applies only
when the source value stays outside of a defined range. If
the source value falls above the defined minimum, or
below the defined maximum, the link behavior stops. When
selected, the Clamp Source Values Within Range
checkbox as well as offset, minimum, and maximum
sliders for each setting associated with the source
parameter appears at the bottom of the Behaviors
Inspector. If the source parameter has a single slider, such
as outline Width, one set of three sliders (offset, minimum,
and maximum) appears for that setting. If the source
parameter has multiple sliders, such as Shear X-Y, sets of
three sliders appear for each of those settings.
Clamp Source Value Within Range: A checkbox that becomes
available when the Apply Link pop-up menu is set to a choice
requiring a minimum or maximum value. When selected,
values that exceed the defined range are pinned to the
highest or lowest allowable setting.

(Parameter) offset: A slider that lets you create a constant
offset between the source parameter value and the value
applied to the target parameter.
(Parameter) min: One or more sliders that become available
when the Apply Link When pop-up menu is set to “Source
value above minimum,” “Source value between min and
max,” or “Source value outside min and max.” A “min” slider
appears for each component of the source parameter.
Adjusting this slider defines a minimum value to limit when the
link behavior is active.
(Parameter) max: One or more sliders that become available
when the Apply Link When pop-up menu is set to “Source
value below maximum,” “Source value between min and
max,” or “Source value outside min and max.” A “max” slider
appears for each component of the source parameter.
Adjusting this slider defines a maximum value to limit when the
link behavior is active.

Logarithmic
The Logarithmic behavior is the inverse of the Exponential
behavior. Like the Exponential behavior, it creates more natural
animations when scaling objects, especially when using high
values. The Logarithmic parameter behavior applies a
mathematical function to create a logarithmic curve (rather than
linear) between the two values—the effect ramps up quickly, and
then the effect slows down. This allows the animation to progress
slowly when the scale values are small and speed up when the
scale values are large. When applied to parameters other than
Scale, the Logarithmic parameter behavior creates more organic

animations than other interpolation modes.
The Logarithmic behavior can be applied to parameters animated
with behaviors or keyframes; however, Logarithmic does not
affect the parameter unless the Start Values or End Values are
nonzero.
Note: You can also change the interpolation modes of keyframes
to Logarithmic. For more information, see Set curve interpolation.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Start Value: A slider that sets the value added to the
parameter at the first frame of the Logarithmic behavior.
End Value: A slider that sets the value of the Logarithmic
behavior at the last frame. Over the life of the behavior, the
parameter that the Logarithmic behavior is applied to makes a
transition from the Start Value to the End Value, plus the
original value.
Start Offset: A slider that delays the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to the first frame of its position in the
Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior start later.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the end of the effect for
the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior bar resets the object to its original parameter.

Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

MIDI
The MIDI behavior lets you edit and animate object parameters
using standard MIDI devices, such as a synthesizer. For the true
motion graphics mixmaster.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Control Type: A pop-up menu that sets the mode of the MIDI
controller. There are three modes:
Note: Use this mode when the control is a keyboard key on
the MIDI device.
Controller: Use this mode when the control is a knob, dial,
key, slider, or foot pedal on the MIDI device.
Learning: Use this mode to “teach” Motion which control
(such as a knob, dial, or key) you want to use on the MIDI
device to manipulate the parameter to which the MIDI
behavior is applied. When in Learning mode, the first knob,
dial, or key that you adjust on the MIDI device is set as the
control.
Note: When the MIDI behavior is first applied, Learning is
the default control type.
ID: A slider that displays the identification number of the MIDI
control (such as a knob, dial, or key) that you are
manipulating.
Value: A slider that displays the standard MIDI value between

Value: A slider that displays the standard MIDI value between
0 and 1 when you’re manipulating the MIDI control.
Scale: A slider that multiplies the Value parameter in the MIDI
behavior. This means that when Scale is increased, the MIDI
control has a larger range of value and a greater effect on the
parameter it’s controlling. For example, when you use a knob
to adjust an object’s rotation, the default rotation value range
(when Scale is set to 1) for a full turn of the knob might only be
30 percent. When the Scale value is increased to 13, the
rotation value of a full turn of the knob is increased to 370
degrees.
Apply To: A pop-up menu (parameter assignment control) that
shows the parameter affected, and that can be used to
reassign the behavior to another parameter.
SEE ALSO
Add a MIDI behavior

Add a MIDI behavior
You apply the MIDI behavior in the same way as all other
Parameter behaviors. In the following examples, the MIDI behavior
is used to adjust an object’s opacity and rotation.
Note: This behavior can only be used if you have a MIDI device
correctly connected to your computer.

Use the MIDI behavior to adjust an object’s
opacity

1. Select an object, then locate the Opacity parameter in the
Properties Inspector.
2. Control-click the parameter, then choose Add Parameter
Behavior > MIDI from the shortcut menu.
The MIDI parameters are displayed in the Behaviors Inspector.
By default, Control Type is set to Learning.

Like all other Parameter behaviors, the Apply To field displays
the parameter to which the behavior is applied.
3. On your MIDI device, tweak the control (such as the knob,
dial, or key) you want to use as the controller for the Opacity
parameter.
The identification number of the MIDI control is displayed in
the ID field. The value range of the control is 0 to 127, the
default MIDI control value.
Because an object’s opacity can only fall between 0
(completely transparent) to 100 (completely opaque), the
default MIDI values are sufficient to adjust the parameter.
Note: When in Learning mode, the first control adjusted on the
MIDI device is set as the control. To reset the selected controller,

choose Learning from the Control Type pop-up menu, then adjust
another control on the MIDI device.

Use the MIDI behavior to adjust an object’s
rotation
1. Select an object, then locate the Rotation parameter in the
Properties Inspector.
2. Control-click the parameter, then choose Add Parameter
Behavior > MIDI from the shortcut menu.
3. On your MIDI device, tweak the control (knob, dial, key, and
so on) you want to use as the controller for the Rotation
parameter.
As mentioned above, the default Value range is 0 to 1.
Because the Rotation value of an object can be much larger,
you can use the Scale parameter to multiply the Value range.
4. To give the control more sensitivity, increase the Scale value.

SEE ALSO
MIDI

Negate
The Negate behavior inverts the value of each keyframe and

behavior effect in the parameter to which it’s applied by
multiplying the parameter by –1. The Negate behavior basically
flips each parameter value to its opposite. Animation paths are
flipped, rotation is reversed, and any effect’s parameter is
changed to its opposite.
For example, applying the Negate behavior to the Position
parameter of an object with an animation path results in the
animation path moving to the opposite quadrant of the Canvas.

Note: If you want to reverse the motion taking place on an
animation path, rather than flipping the shape of the animation
path itself, use the Reverse parameter behavior.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Oscillate
The Oscillate behavior animates a parameter by cycling it
between two values. You can customize how wide apart the high

and low values are as well as the number of oscillations per
minute. The Oscillate behavior can create all kinds of cyclical
effects. For example, if you apply the Oscillate behavior to the
rotation property of an object, it will rock back and forth. This
happens because the rotation property cycles back and forth
between the original rotation value plus and minus the Amplitude
value that’s set in the Oscillate behavior.
Applying the Oscillate behavior to the X value of the Scale
parameter instead causes the width of the object to cycle, and it
repeatedly stretches and compresses for the duration of the
behavior.
The Oscillate behavior is additive, meaning that the value
generated by this behavior is added to the original value of the
parameter to which it’s applied.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Wave Shape: A pop-up menu that sets the shape of the
oscillation’s wave. There are four shapes:
Sine: The default wave shape, creates a smooth animation
between values. For example, if Oscillate is applied to an
object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave Shape is set to
Sine, the object gracefully fades in and out.

Square: Creates abrupt changes in values. For example,
when Oscillate is applied to an object’s Opacity parameter,

and the Wave Shape is set to Square, the object flashes
on and off (like turning a light switch on and off).

Sawtooth: Ramps upward over time and then drops
sharply. For example, when Oscillate is applied to an
object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave Shape is set to
Sawtooth, the object fades in slowly and fades out
abruptly (like using a light dimmer to fade up a light, and
then flicking the power switch off).

Triangle: Similar to the sine wave, creates a smooth
animation between values but with sharper changes at the
transitions. For example, when Oscillate is applied to an
object’s Opacity parameter, and the Wave Shape is set to
Triangle, the object fades in and out more acutely than it
does with the Sine Wave setting.

Phase: A slider that sets the point of the specified oscillation
where the behavior starts. This parameter lets you put multiple
objects with identical Oscillate behaviors out of phase with one
another so they don’t all look the same.
Amplitude: A slider that sets the maximum values between
which the parameter oscillates. The parameter swings
between the amplitude value and the negative of the
amplitude value. Higher values result in more extreme swings
from the beginning to the ending of each oscillation.
Speed: A slider that sets the speed at which the oscillation
occurs, in oscillations per minute. Higher values result in faster
oscillations.
Half Range: A checkbox that, when selected, cuts the sine
wave (or other wave shape) in half and prevents it from
crossing the value of 0. For example, when Amplitude is set to
100, the parameter oscillates between 100 and –100. When
Half Range is selected, however, the parameter oscillates
between 100 and 0. When Amplitude is set to –100, the
parameter oscillates between –100 and 0.
Tip: When you’re oscillating position parameters, set Wave
Shape to Sine and enable Half Range to create a bouncing
effect.

Start Offset: A slider that delays the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to the first frame of its position in the
Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior start

later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the end of the effect for
the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior bar resets the object to its original parameters.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.
SEE ALSO
Create a decaying oscillation

Create a decaying oscillation
When you apply the Oscillate behavior to an object’s rotation or
position, a common effect is to “decay” or “dampen” the
animation over time. This means that the animation gradually
slows or comes to a stop. You can achieve this effect using
keyframes to slow the amplitude of the oscillation.

Decay an oscillating rotation using
keyframes
1. Go to the frame where you want the animation to begin, then

press A to enable keyframe recording.
2. In the Oscillate section of the Behaviors Inspector, set the
Amplitude to the maximum value you want to use in your
project.
Note: When keyframe recording is enabled, any value change
to a parameter using the Inspector, HUD, or Canvas creates a
keyframe.
3. Go to the frame where you want the animation to come to a
stop and set the Amplitude value to 0.
When the object is selected, you can see the dampening of the
animation—caused by the keyframed Amplitude parameter—in
the Keyframe Editor (when Animated is chosen from the pop-up
menu above the Keyframe Editor). The following illustration shows
the keyframed Amplitude parameter of the Oscillate behavior
superimposed over the resulting change to the Oscillate curve
itself. For more information, see Display the Keyframe Editor and
Keyframe Editor controls.

Note: The Oscillate behavior must be selected for its curve to be

visible in the Keyframe Editor.
SEE ALSO
Oscillate

Quantize
The Quantize behavior creates an incremental animation in any
keyframed or behavior-influenced parameter. For example, if
opacity is animated so an object gradually fades in over time, you
can add the Quantize behavior to make the object become
opaque in steps.
Note: The Quantize behavior only works with animated
parameters.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Step Size: A value slider that defines the size of the steps,
based on the units of the parameter to which it’s applied. For
example, when Quantize is applied to rotation, the steps are in
degrees (even though this parameter is not a dial control).
When applied to position, the steps are in pixels.
The left image below shows the projected path (the red line) of
a layer with an applied Throw behavior. The right image
displays the same animation path after the Quantize behavior
is added. In this example, the Step value is set to 90.

Offset: A slider that offsets the steps. For example, when
Quantize is applied to a Position parameter and Step Size is
set to 100, an object “steps” in increments restricted to 100
pixels; thus, the step offset is 100, 200, 300, and so on. If
Offset is set to 50, the step offset is restricted to 50, 150, 250,
and so on.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Ramp
The Ramp behavior creates a gradual transition in any parameter
that can be animated, from the Start Value to the End Value. The
speed of the transition is defined by the length of the Ramp
behavior in the Timeline, and by the behavior’s end value.
Additional parameters allow you to define how the transition
occurs; whether it’s at a single, continuous speed; or whether it
accelerates over time.
Ramp is a versatile behavior. If you apply it to the Scale property,
it works like the Grow/Shrink behavior. If you apply it to the
Opacity property, you can fade an object in or out in different

ways. Although you can use the Ramp behavior to mimic other
Motion behaviors, it can be applied to any parameter. It’s an
additive behavior, meaning that the value it generates is added to
the original value of the parameter to which it’s applied.
For example, to animate different segments of a bar graph so
each segment grows to a specific length, apply the Ramp
behavior to the each bar’s Crop parameter. After you arrange the
different bars with their starting Crop values, the Ramp behaviors
move the Top Crop parameter up, giving the illusion that each bar
is growing. Set the End Value parameter of each Ramp behavior
to the length you want each bar to reach, and you’re done!

Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Start Value: A slider to set the value that’s added to the
parameter at the first frame of the Ramp behavior.
End Value: A slider that sets the value the Ramp behavior
reaches at the last frame of the behavior. Over the life of the
behavior, the parameter that the Ramp behavior is applied to
transitions from the Start Value to the End Value, plus the
original value.
Curvature: A slider that eases the acceleration at which the

Ramp behavior transitions from the Start Value to the End
Value. Higher Curvature values result in an ease in/ease out
effect, where the transition begins slowly, gradually speeds up
as the behavior continues, then gradually slows to a stop as it
reaches the end. Because Curvature is defined by the length
of the behavior in the Timeline, this parameter does not affect
the overall duration of the effect.
Start Offset: A slider that delays the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to the first frame of its position in the
Timeline, in frames. Adjust this parameter to make the
behavior start later.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the end of the effect for
the remaining duration of the object. Trimming the end of the
behavior bar resets the object to its original parameter.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Randomize
The Randomize behavior creates a continuous sequence of
randomly increasing and decreasing values, based on the
parameters defining the range and type of values generated. Use
Randomize to create jittery effects, such as twitchy rotation,
flickering opacity, and other effects requiring rapid and varied

changes over time that would be time-consuming to keyframe.
Although the values created with this behavior appear to be
random, they’re predetermined by the parameter settings you’ve
chosen. As long as you don’t change the parameters, the frameby-frame values created by this behavior remain the same. If you
don’t like the randomly generated values, click the Generate
button in the Behaviors Inspector to pick a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate a new sequence of
values.
The Apply Mode parameter determines how values generated by
this behavior are combined with other behaviors and keyframes
that affect the same parameter. This provides you with different
ways of using a Randomize behavior to modify a parameter’s
preexisting values.
The Randomize behavior can be modified with other behaviors,
such as Average and Negate, to exercise further control over the
values generated.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Amount: A slider (available when the Apply Mode—described
below—is set to Add, Subtract, or Add and Subtract) that
defines the maximum value the Randomize behavior will
generate.
Multiplier: A slider (available when the Apply Mode—described
below—is set to Multiply) that defines the maximum value the
Randomize behavior will generate.
Apply Mode: A pop-up menu that determines how values
generated by this behavior are combined with other behaviors

and keyframes that affect the same parameter. Choose Add,
Subtract, Multiply, or Add and Subtract.
Frequency: A slider that sets the amount of random variation
per second. Higher values generate faster variations; lower
values generate slower variations.
Noisiness: A slider that adds an additional overlay of random
variance to the Frequency you’ve set. Higher Noisiness values
result in more erratic variations in the affected parameter.
Link: A checkbox, available when you apply Randomize to a
two-dimensional parameter (such as Scale) or to a threedimensional parameter (such as Position) that consists of X, Y,
and/or Z values. Select this checkbox to keep the behavior’s
effect on each value proportional.
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox (available when you apply
Randomize to a parameter of the Sequence Replicator
behavior) that, when selected, gives each replicated cell in the
Canvas a different random behavior. When Affect Subobjects
is deselected, each object undergoes the same animation.
Random Seed: A button that picks a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate new sequences of
values, based on the other parameters of this behavior.
Start Offset: A slider that delays the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to the first frame of its position in the
Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior start
later. The units of this parameter are in frames.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this

slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the last random value
generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the
object. Trimming the end of the behavior bar resets the
parameter to its original value.
Apply To: A pop-up menu shows the parameter affected, and
that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Rate
The Rate behavior increases a parameter’s value over time, with
the rate of increase determined by the Rate slider. Unlike the
Ramp behavior, this behavior has no end value, but continues to
increase or decrease the parameter it’s applied to until the end of
the parameter.
Note: To decrease a parameter over time, enter a negative value
into the Rate parameter.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Rate: A slider that sets a rate of increase over time for the
affected parameter, measured in percentage increase per
second.
Curvature: A slider that eases the acceleration at which the
Rate behavior transitions from the Start Value to the End
Value. Higher Curvature values result in an ease in/ease out
effect, beginning slowly, gradually speeding up as the
behavior continues, then gradually slowing to a stop as it
reaches the end. Because Curvature is defined by the length

of the behavior in the Timeline, this parameter does not affect
the overall duration of the effect.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the last random value
generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the
object. Trimming the end of the behavior bar resets the
parameter to its original value.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Reverse
Unlike the Negate behavior, which inverts the value of the
parameter to which it’s applied, the Reverse behavior reverses
the direction of any animation that affects a parameter, whether
it’s caused by behaviors or keyframes. For example, when you
apply the Reverse behavior to path animation that begins at the
left and moves to the right, the animation path won’t move, but
the object instead begins at the right and moves to the left. The
Reverse behavior basically switches the beginning and ending
points of animated objects.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,
and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another

parameter.

Stop
The Stop behavior suspends parameter animation (created by
keyframes or applied behaviors) of an object. For example, if you
assign the Stop parameter behavior to the Position parameter of
an object moving across the screen and rotating, the object
ceases to move across the screen but continues to rotate.
Each behavior’s effect on the object is frozen at the first frame of
the Stop behavior in the Timeline. Keyframes applied to that
parameter cease to have any effect for the duration of the Stop
behavior in the Timeline. If the Stop behavior is shorter than the
object to which it’s applied, all keyframes and behaviors affecting
that channel immediately take effect after the last frame of the
Stop behavior. For more information, see Stop a behavior.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter being
stopped, and that can be used to reassign the Stop behavior
to another parameter.

Track
The Track behavior applies tracking data to a parameter of an
effect, such as the center point of the Light Rays filter. For more
information on using the Track behavior, see Track a filter’s
position parameter.

Wriggle
The Wriggle behavior works similarly to the Randomize behavior,
but with a slower effect.
Tip: A Wriggle behavior applied to an Opacity parameter set to
100% does not have much effect. This is because there isn’t
much room to “wriggle.” For a better result, set the Opacity to 0,
or change the Apply Mode to Subtract.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Amount/Multiplier: A slider that defines the maximum value
that the Wriggle behavior generates. The Amount slider is
available when the Apply Mode is set to Add, Subtract, or Add
and Subtract. The Multiplier is available when the Apply Mode
is set to Multiply.
Apply Mode: A pop-up menu that determines how values
generated by this behavior are combined with other behaviors
and keyframes that affect the same parameter. This provides
you with different ways of using a Wriggle behavior to modify a
parameter’s preexisting values. The options are Add,
Subtract, Multiply, or Add and Subtract.
Frequency: A slider that sets the amount of random variation
per second. Higher values generate faster variations, whereas
lower values generate slower variations.
Wriggle Offset: A slider that offsets the sequence of random
values when you want to apply the same Wriggle behavior to
multiple objects. By offsetting each object’s version of the
Wriggle behavior, you can prevent objects from moving in
sync.

Noisiness: A slider that adds an additional overlay of random
variance to the Frequency you’ve set. Higher Noisiness values
result in more erratic variations in the affected parameter.
Link: A checkbox, available when you apply the Wriggle
behavior to a two-dimensional parameter (such as Scale) or
three-dimensional parameter (such as Position) that consists
of X, Y, and/or Z values. Select this checkbox to keep the
behavior’s effect on each value proportional.
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when the Wriggle
behavior is applied to a parameter of the Sequence Replicator
behavior. When Affect Subobjects is selected, each object
has a different wriggle behavior. When Affect Subobjects is
deselected, each object undergoes the same animation.
Random Seed: A button that picks a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate new sequences of
values, based on the other parameters of this behavior.
Start Offset: A slider that delays the beginning of the
behavior’s effect relative to the first frame of its position in the
Timeline. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior start
later. This parameter is measured in frames.
End Offset: A slider that offsets the end of the behavior’s
effect relative to the last frame of its position in the Timeline, in
frames. Adjust this parameter to make the behavior stop
before the end of the behavior bar in the Timeline. Using this
slider to stop the effect, instead of trimming the end of the
behavior bar in the Timeline, freezes the last random value
generated by this behavior for the remaining duration of the
object. Trimming the end of the behavior bar resets the
parameter to its original value.
Apply To: A pop-up menu that shows the parameter affected,

and that can be used to reassign the behavior to another
parameter.

Retiming behaviors
Retiming behaviors overview
When you select a clip, a group of Timing parameters appears in
the Properties Inspector. These controls adjust some of the same
effects as the Retiming behaviors, such as slowing down or
speeding up, looping, or reversing a clip. However, the Timing
controls affect the entire clip. The Retiming behaviors, on the
other hand, let you define which portion of the clip is modified by
a timing change. Any timing changes made to a clip using the
Inspector’s Timing controls are respected by the Retiming
behaviors. For example, if you changed the speed of the clip to
50% in the Properties Inspector, a Retiming behavior uses that
half-speed clip as its source. For more information on Timing
controls in the Properties Inspector, see Retime media overview.
There are 11 Retiming behaviors:
Flash Frame inserts a range of random frames into the
playback of a clip.
Hold Frame freezes the frame at the behavior’s In point.
Loop replays a segment of a clip.
Ping Pong replays a segment of a clip backward and then
forward.
Replay triggers playback of a clip segment that begins at a

different frame in your project.
Reverse plays a clip or image sequence backwards.
Reverse Loop replays a segment of a clip in reverse.
Scrub moves a virtual playhead around a clip.
Set Speed changes the playback rate of a clip.
Strobe simulates the look of a strobe light or lower-frame-rate
video.
Stutter randomly inserts hold frames, of random durations,
into the playback of a clip.

Flash Frame
The Flash Frame behavior inserts a user-defined range of random
frames (adjacent to the current frame) into the playback of a clip.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Random Frames: A slider that sets the probability that a frame
within the duration of the behavior is replaced with a random
frame. When this value is set to 0, no random frames are
inserted. When set to 100, every frame is random. The default
value is 10%.
Frame Range: A slider that defines the range from which the
random frames are chosen, based around the current frame.
The default value is 10 frames.
Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the sequence of
random frames. The default value is 1, which means one
random frame is inserted at a time. When Duration is set to

30, for example, 30-frame sequences (chosen from the Frame
Range) are randomly inserted. The Duration value overrides
the Random Frame count (so a new random frame does not
interrupt the sequence).
Random Seed: A button that picks a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate new values, based
on the other parameters of this behavior.

Hold Frame
The Hold Frame behavior holds the frame at the behavior’s In
point for the duration of the behavior. The clip continues playing
normally after the behavior’s Out point. For example, if the Hold
Frame behavior begins at frame 60 and ends at frame 300, the
clip plays normally until frame 59, frame 60 is held for 240 frames,
and then normal playback resumes—frame 61 of the clip—at
frame 301.
The Hold behavior is applied at the current frame, rather than at
the start of the object.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Offset: A slider that sets the offset for the hold frame. When
set to 0 (the default), the frame at the start of the behavior is
the hold frame. When set to 60, however, the frame at the
start of the behavior (the hold frame) is the start frame plus 60
frames. This parameter is measured in frames.
Tip: Flickering may occur if the Hold Frame behavior is
applied to interlaced footage. To avoid this, ensure that Field
Order is properly set in the Inspector. To change field order,

select the footage in the Media list, open the Media pane in
the Inspector, then choose a field order option from the Field
Order pop-up menu. See Source media controls in the Media
Inspector.

Loop
The Loop behavior loops a segment of the clip within the duration
of the behavior. The loop’s starting frame is derived from the start
frame of the behavior. For example, if the behavior is applied at
the start of a clip, and Loop Duration is set to 30, the first 30
frames of the clip loop repeatedly until the end of the behavior. At
the end of the behavior, normal playback resumes from the frame
at the end of the loop duration.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Loop Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the looped
frames. The default value is 30 frames.

Ping Pong
The Ping Pong behavior “ping-pongs” playback of a segment of
the clip within the duration of the behavior. The ping-pong effect’s
starting frame is derived from the start frame of the behavior. For
example, if the behavior is applied at the start of a clip, and
Duration is set to 30, the first 30 frames of the clip play forward,
then play in reverse, then forward, and so on until the end of the
behavior. At the end of the behavior, normal playback resumes.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:

Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the ping-pong
frames. The default value is 30 frames.

Replay
The Replay behavior resets the playhead at the beginning of the
behavior to a specific frame, then plays the clip normally from that
frame. The clip plays back normally after the end of the behavior.
Use this behavior to trigger playback of the clip at different times,
without making multiple copies of the movie object.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Start From: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
replay starts from an absolute frame number or an offset from
the frame at the start of the behavior. There are two menu
items:
Absolute Frame: Sets the replay to start at the frame
specified in the Start Time parameter. For example, if the
behavior starts at frame 60 of the clip and Start Frame is
set to 30, when playback reaches frame 60, the clip starts
playback over from frame 30.
Offset Frame: Offsets the start frame of the replay. For
example, if the behavior starts at frame 60 of the clip, and
Start Frame is set to 30, when playback reaches frame 60,
the clip starts playback at frame 90. If Start Frame is set to
–30, the clip starts playback over from frame 30.
Start Time: A slider that sets the start frame where the replay
begins. The default is frame 1.

Reverse
The Reverse behavior plays the clip or image sequence
backwards.
There are no parameters for this behavior.

Reverse Loop
The Reverse Loop behavior loops a segment of the clip in reverse
within the duration of the behavior. If Loop Duration is set to 30
and the behavior begins at frame 1, frames 1–30 are played in
reverse, then frames 31–60 are played in reverse, frames 61–90
are played in reverse, and so on.
Tip: To achieve a nice stutter effect, set Loop Duration to 2.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:
Loop Duration: A slider that sets the duration of the looped
frames to be played in reverse. The default value is 30 frames.

Scrub
Like the Scrub filter, the Scrub behavior moves a virtual playhead
around a clip, allowing you to change the timing of the clip without
moving it in the Timeline. Additionally, the Scrub behavior lets you
animate the offset parameter using keyframes or Parameter
behaviors, often with interesting results. Try applying the Oscillate
behavior to the Frame offset, with the Offset From parameter set
to Current Frame. Scrub does not affect clip audio.

Note: You can also apply Parameter behaviors to the Retime
Value parameter in the Timing controls for the clip object. The
Timing controls are located in the Properties Inspector. Time
Remap must be set to Variable Speed to access the Retime Value
parameter.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Frame Offset: A slider that sets the offset of the virtual
playhead.
Offset From: A pop-up menu that sets the position where the
virtual playhead is offset. There are two menu items: First
Frame or Current Frame.

Set Speed
The Set Speed behavior lets you change the speed (playback
rate) of a clip. The speed specified in the behavior begins at the
behavior’s In point and exists for the duration of the behavior. The
clip continues playing at its default speed after the behavior’s Out
point. For example, if the Set Speed behavior begins at frame 60
and ends at frame 300, the clip plays normally until frame 59,
plays back at the rate specified in the behavior from frame 60 to
frame 300, then resumes its default playback speed at frame 301.
You can apply an ease-in or ease-out effect to the speed change.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Speed: A slider that sets the speed of the clip as a
percentage. The default is 100% (the clip’s normal speed). A
Speed setting of 50% plays the clip at half speed.
Note: The Speed parameter can be keyframed to create

Note: The Speed parameter can be keyframed to create
variable playback rate changes.
Ease In Time: A slider that sets the number of frames over
which the ease-in speed change occurs (from the start of the
behavior). The default value is 20 frames.
Ease In Curve: A slider that defines the curvature of the ramp
when easing into the speed change. A value of 0 creates a
sharp transition to the new speed; a value of 100 creates the
smoothest ease in to the new speed. The default is 50%.
Ease Out Time: A slider that sets the number of frames over
which the ease-out speed change occurs (from the end of the
behavior). The default value is 20 frames.
Ease Out Curve: A slider that defines the curvature of the
ramp when easing out of the speed change. A value of 0
creates a sharp transition from the new speed to the original
speed; a value of 100 creates the smoothest ease out. The
default is 50%.

Strobe
The Strobe behavior simulates the look of a strobe light or lowerframe-rate video by holding a number of frames as defined by the
Strobe Duration parameter over the playback of the clip. For
example, when Strobe Duration is set to 10, frame 1 is held for 10
frames, frame 11 for 10 frames, frame 21 for 10 frames, and so
on. The frames in between (2–10, 12–20, 22–30, and so on) do not
appear.
Adjust this behavior using the control in the Behaviors Inspector:

Strobe Duration: A slider that sets the number of frames to
hold. A value of 1 plays the clip at normal speed. The default
value is 5 frames.

Stutter
The Stutter behavior randomly inserts hold frames, of random
durations, into the playback of a clip. The effect is similar to a
tape that sticks during play in a videocassette recorder.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Stutter Amount: A slider that sets the probability that a hold
frame is generated at the given frame. When set to 0%, no
hold frames are created; when set to 100%, every frame is a
hold frame. Values between 0 and 100 indicate the probability
of frames (within the duration of the behavior) that are
replaced by hold frames. The default value is 10%.
Duration Range: A slider that sets the maximum duration of
hold frames. A value of 1 inserts single-frame hold frames at a
frequency determined by the Stutter Amount parameter.
Increasing the Duration Range increases the range of hold
frames. For example, a value of 30 creates random hold
frames with a minimum of 1 frame and a maximum of 30
frames. The default value is 3 frames.
Random Seed: A button that picks a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate new values, based
on the other parameters of this behavior.

Simulation behaviors

Simulation behaviors overview
Simulation behaviors perform one of two tasks. Some Simulation
behaviors, such as Gravity, animate the parameters of an object
in a way that simulates a real-world phenomenon. Other
Simulation behaviors, such as Attractor and Repel, affect the
parameters of objects surrounding the object to which they’re
applied. These behaviors allow you to create sophisticated
interactions among multiple objects in your project with minimal
adjustments. Like the Basic Motion behaviors, Simulation
behaviors also affect specific object parameters. Examples
include Attractor, Gravity, and Repel.
Important: Several Simulation behavior parameters contain
object wells into which you drag target objects used as attractors,
repellers, orbiters, and so on. Dragging an object to a well can be
tricky—be sure to drag the object name (or thumbnail) from the
Layers list to the object well in the Inspector (without releasing the
mouse button). If you click the object in the Layers list and release
the mouse button, that behavior object is deselected its
parameters are no longer displayed in the Inspector. This applies
to all wells, including mask source wells and image wells.
There are 16 Simulation behaviors:
Align to Motion changes the orientation of an object to match
its direction along an animation path.
Attracted To pulls an affected object toward a designated
target.
Attractor pulls objects toward the affected object.
Drag simulates the force of friction on a moving object,

Drag simulates the force of friction on a moving object,
slowing it down over time.
Drift Attracted To pulls an affected object toward a designated
target, then makes the object come to rest, rather than
overshooting the target and bouncing around.
Drift Attractor pulls other objects toward the affected object,
then makes those objects come to rest, rather than
overshooting the affected object and bouncing around.
Edge Collision causes an object to collide with and bounce off
the edges of the Canvas frame.
Gravity causes an object to fall over time.
Orbit Around causes the affected object to circle around a
designated target.
Random Motion animates an object along a random path.
Repel pushes objects away from the affected object.
Repel From pushes the affected object away from a
designated target.
Rotational Drag simulates the force of friction on spinning
objects.
Spring causes the affected object to move back and forth
around a designated target.
Vortex causes objects to circle around the affected object.
Wind “blows” an object in a specified direction.

Align to Motion

The Align to Motion behavior changes the rotation of an object to
match changes made to its direction along an animation path. This
behavior is meant to be combined with Simulation behaviors that
animate the position of an object or with a keyframed animation
path you create yourself.
Note: The Align to Motion behavior does not work on objects
animated using the Motion Path behavior. Instead, use the Snap
Alignment to Motion behavior (in the Basic Motion subcategory).

Unlike the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior, which produces
absolute changes in rotation that precisely match changes in
direction, Align to Motion has a springy reaction and creates a
more lively effect.
In the above example, the airplane travels along the keyframed
animation path, but the plane isn’t aligned to the animation path
(notice the rotation handle). Using the Align to Motion behavior, the
airplane’s angle of rotation moves so it points in the direction of
the animation path. By adjusting the Drag parameter, you can
make the object careen wildly about its anchor point as it goes
around curves in the animation path.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:

Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple child objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Rotation Axis: A pop-up menu that rotates the object around
the X, Y, or Z axis. You can also select All to rotate the object
around all three axes. The default rotation axis is Z.
Axis: A pop-up menu that sets whether the object aligns to its
horizontal or vertical axis.
Invert Axis: A checkbox that flips the orientation with which the
object aligns to the motion.
Spring Tension: A slider that adjusts how quickly the object’s
rotation changes to match a change in the object’s direction.
Lower values create a delay between a change to an object’s
position and its subsequent change in rotation. Higher values
create more responsive changes in rotation.
Drag: A slider that adjusts whether the change in rotation
made by this behavior overshoots the new direction of the
object. Low drag values result in springy changes in rotation,
where the object rotates back and forth as it overshoots
changes in direction. High drag values dampen this effect,
making the object’s rotation stick more closely to the changes
made in rotation. Higher values also cause the object’s
rotation to lag behind the object’s change in position.
SEE ALSO

Snap Alignment to Motion

Attracted To
An object with the Attracted To behavior applied moves toward a
single specified target, the object of attraction. Additional
parameters allow you to adjust the area of influence that defines
how close an object must be to move toward the object of
attraction, and how strongly it is attracted.

The Drag parameter lets you define whether attracted objects
overshoot and bounce about the attracting object, or whether they
eventually slow down and stop at the position of the target object.
You can apply two or more Attracted To behaviors to a single
object, each with a different object of attraction, to create tug-ofwar situations where the object bounces among all objects it’s
attracted to.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple child objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text

layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Object: An object well that defines the object of attraction. To
set the defined target object, drag the object from the Layers
list to the Object well in the Attracted To HUD or Inspector. In
the Layers list, you can also drag the target object onto the
Attracted To behavior.
Strength: A slider defining the speed at which the object
moves toward the object of attraction. With a value of 0, the
object doesn’t move at all. The higher the value, the faster the
object moves.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. There are two menu items:
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the
object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.

Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence, in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of
influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects
outside the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that reduces the distance attracted objects
overshoot the object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in
the object overshooting the object of attraction, moving past
and then careening back around toward the target object
again and again. Higher Drag values result in the object
coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the axes on which
the affected object (or objects) moves around the object to
which it is attracted. When Z is enabled, the object moves
about its attractor object in Z space.

Attractor
The Attractor behavior, when applied to an object, causes other
objects that lie within the area of influence move toward it. You
can manipulate the strength with which other objects are
attracted, as well as the distance required for attraction to begin.

By default, objects overshoot the object of attraction and bounce

around, never coming to rest. The Drag parameter lets you adjust
this behavior, changing whether attracted objects overshoot and
bounce around, or whether they eventually slow down and stop at
the position of the target object.
The Attractor behavior can affect all objects in the Canvas that fall
within the area of attraction, or you can limit its effect to a specific
list of objects by using the Affect parameter.
The Attractor behavior can also be applied to objects in motion. If
you animate the position of the target object to which you’ve
applied the Attractor behavior, all other objects in the Canvas
continue to be attracted to its new position.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project
are affected by the Attractor behavior. There are three
options:
All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the
Attractor behavior.
Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects in
the same group as the object of attraction are affected.
Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected
Objects list are affected by the Attractor behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is
chosen in the Affect pop-up menu. Drag objects from the
Layers list into this list to have the objects affected by this
behavior. To remove an item from the list, select the item and
click Remove. The Affected Objects list contains the following
columns:

Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing
the object.
Name: This column lists the name of the object.
Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which attracted
objects move toward the target object. With a value of 0,
attracted objects don’t move at all. The higher the value, the
faster attracted objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. There are two menu items:
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the
object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of influence
move toward the object of attraction. Objects outside the area
of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that reduces the distance attracted objects
overshoot the object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in

the object overshooting the object of attraction, moving past
and then careening back around toward the target object
again and again. Higher Drag values result in the object
coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the object (or objects) moves toward the target object. For
example, when X and Y are enabled, the object moves in the
XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object moves in the
YZ plane.

Drag
The Drag behavior simulates the force of friction on a moving
object, slowing it down over time. Applying the Drag behavior is
an easy way to decelerate objects with multiple behaviors that
create complex motion.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple objects, such as
a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text layer. When
this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected individually. When this checkbox is
deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent object are
affected by the behavior together.
Amount: Sliders that slow down an object over time, causing it
to eventually come to a stop. Higher Drag values result in the
object coming to rest sooner. Click the Amount disclosure
triangle to adjust the drag applied to the X, Y, and Z values
separately. An example of this is to create a situation where

an object’s vertical speed slows down faster than its
horizontal speed.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space that Drag
affects. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object
drags in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object
drags in the YZ plane.

Drift Attracted To
The Drift Attracted To behavior is similar to the Attracted To
behavior, but by default an object moves toward the object of
attraction and comes to rest, rather than overshooting the object
of attraction and bouncing around.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple objects, such as
a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text layer. When
this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected individually. When this checkbox is
deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent object are
affected by the behavior together.
Object: An object well that defines the object of attraction. To
set the defined target object, drag the object from the Layers
list to the Object well in the Drift Attracted To HUD or
Inspector. In the Layers list, you can also drag the target
object onto the Drift Attracted To behavior.
Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which the object
moves toward the object of attraction. With a value of 0, the
object doesn’t move at all. The higher the value, the faster the

object moves.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. There are two menu items:
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the
object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that sets the radius of the circle of
influence, in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of
influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects
outside the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that reduces the distance attracted objects
overshoot the object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in
the object overshooting the object of attraction, moving past
and then careening back around toward the target object
again and again. Higher Drag values result in the object
coming to rest sooner.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the affected object (or objects) drifts toward the object to
which it is attracted. For example, when X and Y are enabled,

the object drifts in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled,
the object drifts in the YZ plane.

Drift Attractor
The Drift Attractor behavior is similar to the Attractor behavior, but
by default objects within the area of influence move toward the
object of attraction and come to rest, rather than overshooting the
object of attraction and bouncing around.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project
are affected by the Drift Attractor behavior. There are three
options:
All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the
Drift Attractor behavior.
Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects in
the same group as the object of attraction are affected.
Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected
Objects list are affected by the Drift Attractor behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is
chosen in the Affect pop-up menu. Drag objects from the
Layers list into this list to have those objects affected by the
behavior. To remove an item from the list, select the item and
click Remove. There are two menu items:
Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing
the object.
Name: This column lists the name of the object.

Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which attracted
objects move toward the target object. With a value of 0,
attracted objects don’t move at all. The higher the value, the
faster attracted objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. There are two options:
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the
object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that determines how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When Falloff Type is set to Exponential, the attraction falls off
more quickly than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that sets the radius of the circle of
influence, in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of
influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects
outside the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that reduces the distance attracted objects
overshoot the object of attraction. Lower Drag values result in
the object overshooting the object of attraction, moving past
and then careening back around toward the target object
again and again. Higher Drag values result in the object
coming to rest sooner.

Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the object (or objects) drift toward the target object. For
example, when X and Y are enabled, the object drifts in the
XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object drifts in the
YZ plane.

Edge Collision
The Edge Collision behavior is ideal for setting up complex motion
simulations with objects that do not exit the Canvas. Objects with
the Edge Collision behavior applied come to a stop or bounce off
after colliding with the edge of the Canvas frame. For example, if
you apply the Throw behavior to an object and set the velocity to
send the object toward the edge of the frame, then apply Edge
Collision, the object will bounce off the edge of the frame
according to the Bounce Strength parameter. Edge Collision has
no effect on objects larger than the Canvas.
The angle at which the object bounces depends on the angle at
which it hits the edge of the frame; the speed it travels after
bouncing is set by the Bounce Strength parameter.
Important: By default, the Edge Collision behavior uses the size
of the project and the bounding box to determine how the object
collides with the edge of the Canvas. For example, in an NTSC
Broadcast SD project (720 x 486 pixels), an object bounces off
the right and left edges of the project at its bounding box. With
groups (particles, text, and objects), only the object’s center is
used. You can make the object travel farther off the Canvas
before it bounces by adjusting the Width and Height parameters.
If you’re using this behavior with an object that has an alpha
channel that’s smaller than its bounding box, adjust the Crop

parameter in the object’s Properties Inspector to fit the bounding
box as closely as possible to the edge of the image.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple objects, such as
a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text layer. When
this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected individually. When this checkbox is
deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent object are
affected by the behavior together.
Bounce Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which objects
travel after colliding with an edge. A value of 0 causes objects
to come to a complete stop when colliding with an edge that’s
perpendicular to the direction of motion. Higher values cause
an object to move faster after bouncing. This parameter only
slows the object in the direction perpendicular to the bounced
edge.
Active Edges: Six checkboxes that define which collision box
edges are detected by the Edge Collision behavior. You can
turn edges on and off in any combination.
Left Face: Defines the left edge for the collision.
Right Face: Defines the right edge for the collision.
Top Face: Defines the top edge for the collision.
Bottom Face: Defines the bottom edge for the collision.
Back Face: Defines the back edge (in Z space) for the
collision.
Front Face: Defines the front edge (in Z space) for the

collision.
Width: A slider that sets a width (the right and left edges of the
Canvas) other than the size of project. By default, Width is set
to the project size.
Height: A slider that sets a height (the top and bottom edges)
other than the size of project. By default, Height is set to the
project size.
Depth: A slider that sets a depth (the back and front faces, in
Z space) for the edge collision. By default, Depth is set to 100
pixels.

Gravity
The Gravity behavior causes an object, or the objects in a group
(when Affect Subobjects is selected), to fall over time. The
gravitational acceleration can be increased or decreased,
resulting in a change to the rate of fall. Objects affected by the
Gravity behavior continue to fall past the bottom edge of the
Canvas (unless the Edge Collision behavior has been applied).
The following illustration shows an object affected by the Throw,
Snap Alignment to Motion, and Gravity behaviors all at once.

As you can see, the Gravity behavior can be used in conjunction
with other behaviors that animate the position of objects to create
natural-looking arcs and animation paths that simulate thrown
objects falling to the ground. For example, apply the Throw
behavior to an object to send it flying through the air, and then
apply the Gravity behavior to it to make the object arc up and
then fall down past the bottom of the Canvas.
You can also set the Acceleration parameter to a negative value,
effectively applying “antigravity” to the object and making it fly up.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple objects, such as
a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text layer. When
this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected individually. When this checkbox is
deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent object are
affected by the behavior together.
Acceleration: A slider that sets the strength of gravity affecting
the target object. The higher this value, the faster the target
object falls.

Orbit Around
Similar to the Attracted To behavior, the Orbit Around behavior’s
default parameter settings give the object sufficient initial velocity
to orbit around another object in a perfect circle.

Note: Behaviors such as Attractor and Repel applied to nearby
objects might disrupt an object with the Orbit Around behavior
applied to it.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox, available when this behavior
is applied to an object that contains multiple objects, such as
a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text layer. When
this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected individually. When this checkbox is
deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent object are
affected by the behavior together.
Object: An object well that defines the object to orbit around.
To set the defined target object, drag the object from the
Layers list to the Object well in the Orbit Around HUD or
Inspector. In the Layers list, you can also drag the target
object onto the Orbit Around behavior.
Strength: A slider that sets the speed of the object.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. The default is Linear.
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the

object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of influence
move toward the object of attraction. Objects outside the area
of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that causes the orbit to decay. The default value
for Orbit Around is 0, which results in a stable orbit. Any other
value causes the orbit to decay and the object to spiral into
the object of attraction.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the orbit occurs. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the
object orbits in the XY plane. In the illustration below, X and Y
are selected in the Include parameter. The red motion paths
represent the motion of the white airplanes around the target
object (the circle). The light gray box represents the boundary
of the group.

In the illustration below, Y and Z are turned on in the Include
parameter. The white airplanes move around the target object
in the YZ plane.

Pole Axis: A pop-up menu that becomes available when the X,
Y, and Z axes are enabled in the Include parameter. Because

all points are at a fixed distance from the target or attractor
object (the Pole Axis), the object can be visualized on a
sphere of all possible orbits, with the target object at the
center of the sphere. The Pole Axis defines the two points on
the sphere that the orbit must pass through. There are four
menu items:
X: Aligns the Pole Axis set to the X plane.
Y: Aligns the Pole Axis to the Y plane.
Z: Aligns the Pole Axis to the Z plane.
Random: When Random is selected, the axes shift to a
different random position.
Direction: A pop-up menu that sets whether objects move
around in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

Random Motion
The Random Motion behavior animates the position of an object
and makes that object move around the Canvas along a random
path. The Random Motion behavior is useful for creating varied
animation paths for large numbers of objects you want to move at
the same time. For example, you can create an arrangement of
ten objects in the Canvas and apply the Random Motion behavior
to them all.
Although the motion created with this behavior appears to be
random, it is predetermined by the group of parameters you’ve
chosen. As long as you don’t change the parameters, the
animation path created by this behavior remains the same. If you
don’t like the path that was randomly generated, click the

Generate button in the HUD or the Behaviors Inspector to pick a
new random seed number. This number is used to generate a
new path.
You can also use the Random Motion behavior to add variation to
the animation paths created by other behaviors that affect an
object’s position. In the following example, adding Random Motion
to an object with the Orbit Around behavior results in a more
erratic animation path from orbit to orbit, although it still moves
around the center as before.

Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox that appears when this
behavior is applied to an object that contains multiple objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Amount: A slider that determines the speed the object moves
by changing the length of the animation path. Higher values
result in faster motion and longer animation paths.
Frequency: A slider that determines the number of twists and

turns in the animation path, which can be seen by the
crookedness of the resulting animation path. Higher values
create more turns in the animation path. Lower values result in
straighter animation paths.
Noisiness: A slider that determines an additional level of
jaggedness along the animation path shape defined by the
Amount parameter. Higher values result in a more jaggedlooking animation path.
Drag: A slider that controls the speed the object moves along
the animation path. While the Amount parameter controls the
length of the animation path, the Drag parameter shrinks or
enlarges the animation path as a whole.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
random motion is in effect. For example, when X and Y are
enabled, the motion occurs in the XY plane; when Y and Z are
enabled, the motion occurs in the YZ plane.
Random Seed: A button that picks a new random seed
number. This number is used to generate new animation
paths, based on the values you’ve picked in the other
parameters of this behavior.

Repel
If you apply the Repel behavior to an object, that object pushes
away all other objects within the area of influence in the Canvas.
The strength with which objects are pushed away can be
increased or decreased, as can the distance repelled objects
travel.

You can also specify which objects are affected by this behavior,
creating an effect where only specific objects are moved, while
others remain still.
The Repel behavior is the opposite of the Attractor behavior, and
is part of a group of simulation behaviors that create complex
animated relationships between two or more objects.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project
are affected by the Repel behavior. There are three options:
All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the
Repel behavior.
Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects in
the same group as the repelling object are affected.
Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected
Objects list are affected by the Repel behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is
chosen in the Affect pop-up menu. Drag objects from the
Layers list into this list to be affected by the Attractor behavior
when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect pop-

up menu. To remove an item from the list, select the item and
click Remove. The Affected Objects list contains the following
columns:
Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing
the object.
Name: This column lists the name of the object.
Strength: A slider that defines the speed at which repelled
objects move away from the object. With a value of 0, repelled
objects don’t move at all. The higher the value, the faster
repelled objects move.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially.
Linear: Repulsion between objects falls off in proportion to
the object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is repelled, and the faster it
moves away from the object doing the repelling.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
repulsion between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move away from the object of repulsion. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of influence
move away from the object of repulsion. Objects outside the

area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that reduces the distance repelled objects travel
away from the repelling object.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the objects move away from the object with the applied Repel
behavior. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object
moves away in the XY plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the
object moves away in the YZ plane.

Repel From
Whereas the Repel behavior pushes other objects away, the
Repel From behavior has the converse effect, making the object
it’s applied to move away from a selected object in the Canvas.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox that appears when this
behavior is applied to an object that contains multiple objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Object: An object well that defines the object to be repelled
from.
Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which the object is
repelled. With a value of 0, the object is not repelled at all. The
higher the value, the faster the object is repelled.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the

distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially.
Linear: Repulsion between objects falls off in proportion to
the object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is repelled, and the faster it
moves away from the object doing the repelling.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
repulsion between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move away from the object of repulsion. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of influence
move away from the object of repulsion. Objects outside the
area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider used to reduce the distance the object or
objects travel away from the repelling object.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the object moves away from the selected object. For example,
when X and Y are enabled, the object moves in the XY plane;
when Y and Z are enabled, the object moves in the YZ plane.

Rotational Drag
Rotational Drag is similar to the Drag behavior, except that it

affects Rotation instead of position. Rotational Drag simulates
friction affecting objects that are spinning due to keyframed or
behavior-driven changes to the Rotation parameter. By setting
higher Drag values, you can slow rotational changes to an
eventual stop.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox that appears when this
behavior is applied to an object that contains multiple objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Amount: A slider used to slow down an object’s rotation over
time, causing it to eventually come to a stop. Higher Amount
values result in the rotation ending sooner.

Spring
The Spring behavior creates a relationship between two objects,
so that an object with the Spring behavior applied to it moves
back and forth around a second object. The Attract To parameter
defines the object that serves as the target and center of the
Spring behavior. Additional parameters let you adjust the speed of
the behavior (Spring Tension) and the acceleration of the object at
each change in direction (Relaxed Length).
If the Attract To object is at rest, the resulting motion is fairly
simple and the springing object moves back and forth in a straight
line. If the Attract To object is in motion, the springing object’s

motion is much more complex, changing direction according to
the velocity of the Attract To object.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox that appears when this
behavior is applied to an object that contains multiple objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Attract To: An object well that defines the object of attraction.
To set the defined target object, drag the object from the
Layers list to the Attract To well in the Spring HUD or
Inspector. In the Layers list, you can also drag the target
object onto the Spring behavior.
Spring Tension: A slider that determines how fast the object is
pulled toward the object of attraction.
Relaxed Length: A slider that sets the distance from the target
object where object attraction diminishes to zero. As the
springing object’s distance increases past this point, the force
of attraction increases proportionally, to bring it back toward
the target object.
Repel: A checkbox that, when selected, pushes objects apart
as the target object gets closer to the object of attraction than
the Relaxed Length value. When this checkbox is deselected,
no repelling force is applied.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the affected object moves back and forth around the assigned

object. For example, when X and Y are enabled, the object
moves back and forth in the XY plane; when Y and Z are
enabled, the object moves back and forth in the YZ plane.

Vortex
The opposite of the Orbit Around behavior, the Vortex behavior
exerts a force on all objects surrounding the object to which the
Vortex behavior is applied.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect: A pop-up menu that limits which objects in your project
are affected by the Vortex behavior. There are three options:
All Objects: All objects in the Canvas are affected by the
Vortex behavior.
Related Objects: The default setting. Only other objects in
the same group as the object of attraction are affected.
Specific Objects: Only objects appearing in the Affected
Objects list are affected by the Vortex behavior.
Affected Objects: A list that appears when Specific Objects is
chosen in the Affect pop-up menu. Objects you drag from the
Layers list into this list are affected by the Attractor behavior
when the Specific Objects option is selected in the Affect popup menu. To remove an item from the list, select the item and
click Remove. The Affected Objects lists contains the following
columns:
Layer: This column lists the name of the layer containing
the object.

Name: This column lists the name of the object.
Strength: A slider that sets the speed at which the affected
objects move about the object of attraction.
Falloff Type: A pop-up menu that determines whether the
distance defined by the Influence parameter falls off linearly or
exponentially. The default is Linear.
Linear: Object attraction falls off in proportion to the
object’s distance.
Exponential: The closer an object is within the area of
influence, the more strongly it is attracted, and the faster it
moves toward the object of attraction.
Falloff Rate: A slider that sets how quickly the force of
attraction between objects affected by this behavior falls off. A
low Falloff Rate value results in objects quickly getting up to
speed as they move toward the object of attraction. A high
Falloff Rate causes objects to accelerate much more slowly.
When set to Exponential, the attraction falls off more quickly
than when set to Linear.
Influence: A slider that defines the radius of the circle of
influence, in pixels. Objects that fall within the area of
influence move toward the object of attraction. Objects
outside the area of influence remain in place.
Drag: A slider that causes the vortex to decay. The default
value for Vortex is 0, which results in a stable vortex. Any
other value causes the vortex to decay and the object to spiral
into the object of attraction.
Include X, Y, and Z: Buttons that specify the space in which
the objects vortex around the target object. For example,
when X and Y are enabled, the object circles around in the XY

plane; when Y and Z are enabled, the object circles around in
the YZ plane.
Pole Axis: A pop-up menu that becomes available when the X,
Y, and Z axes are enabled in the Include parameter. Because
all points are at a fixed distance from the target or attractor
object (the Pole Axis), the object can be visualized on a
sphere of all possible orbits, with the target object at the
center of the sphere. The Pole Axis defines the two points on
the sphere that the orbit must pass through. For more
information, see this parameter’s discussion in Orbit Around.
Direction: A pop-up menu that sets whether objects move
around in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

Wind
Apply the Wind behavior to an object to animate its position and
move it in a specified direction. Unlike the Throw behavior, the
velocity specified by the Wind behavior is a continuous force, and
its parameters can be keyframed to achieve gradual changes in
speed and direction.
The Wind behavior is better than the Throw behavior when you
want to vary the speed of the affected object. You can apply
another behavior (such as Randomize or Ramp) or keyframe the
Velocity parameter of the Wind behavior to vary the speed and
direction of the object. You cannot make gradual changes in
speed or direction with the Throw behavior.
Adjust this behavior using the controls in the Behaviors Inspector:
Affect Subobjects: A checkbox that appears when this

behavior is applied to an object that contains multiple objects,
such as a group, a particle emitter, a replicator, or a text
layer. When this checkbox is selected, all objects enclosed in
the parent object are affected individually. When this
checkbox is deselected, all objects enclosed in the parent
object are affected by the behavior together.
Air Thickness: A slider and value slider that adjust how fast the
object accelerates on the X, Y, or Z axis when the speed is
changed. Lower values (simulating thinner air) have less effect
when pushing the object, so it takes longer to get up to speed.
Higher values (thicker air) have more effect and push the
object up to speed more quickly.
Velocity: A slider and value slider that adjust the speed on the
X, Y, or Z axis where the simulated air is blowing the object.
Higher values result in faster motion.
The HUD lets you specify the direction and speed of the Wind
behavior by dragging an arrow in a circular region. The direction
of the arrow defines the direction of movement in X and Y space,
and the length of the arrow defines speed (velocity). A slider lets
you adjust the scale of the HUD control, increasing or decreasing
the effect the control has over the object.

Press the Shift key while dragging the arrow to constrain it to 45degree angles. Press the Command key to change the arrow’s
direction without affecting its length.
When you click the 3D button, a center arrow control defines the
direction the object is “blown” by the wind in 3D. The Speed slider
increases or decreases the velocity of the blown object.

Note: The maximum speed you can define with the HUD is not
the maximum speed possible. Higher values can be entered into
the Velocity parameter in the Behaviors Inspector.

Additional behaviors
Audio, Camera, Motion Tracking, Particles, Replicator, Shape,
and Text behaviors are designed specifically to be applied to their
respective objects: Audio files, cameras, particle emitters or cells,
replicators or replicator cells, shapes, and text.
SEE ALSO
Audio behaviors overview
Add Camera behaviors
Apply behaviors to particle systems
Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior
Shape behaviors overview
Motion tracking overview
Animated text overview

Save and share custom behaviors
Save custom behaviors
You can save customized behaviors to the Library in any of
several organizational categories for future use. Behaviors saved
in the Library appear with a custom icon. You can also save
multiple behaviors to the Library as a single file or as multiple files.
For example, if you create an animation that uses multiple
behaviors and you want to save the cumulative effect of those
behaviors, you can save them all as one item in the Library.
Alternatively, you can create new folders in existing categories.

You can create a folder in the Favorites or Behaviors category.
Folders created in the Behaviors category appear in the Library
sidebar. Folders created in the subcategories, such as the Basic
Motion subcategory, appear in the Library stack and not the
sidebar.

Save a behavior to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or
Behaviors category.
For organizational purposes, it’s best to save custom
behaviors to the Favorites or Favorites menu category.
2. Drag the customized behavior to save from the Layers list,
Timeline, or Inspector into the stack at the bottom of the
Library.
Note: If a custom behavior is dragged to another subcategory,
such as the Glow (Filters) subcategory, it is placed in the
Behaviors category and the Behaviors category becomes active.

Save multiple behaviors to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or
Behaviors category.
2. In the Layers list, select all behaviors to save and drag them to
the stack, holding down the mouse button until a drop menu
appears.

3. Choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files” from the drop menu,
then release the mouse button.
“All in one file” saves behaviors together. They are listed as
one item in the Library. “Multiple files” saves the behaviors as
individual objects in the Library.

For information on naming items saved to the Library, saving
multiple items of different types to the Library, as well as creating
and organizing folders in the Library, see Save custom objects to
the Library.

Delete custom behaviors
You can delete custom behaviors from the Library, if necessary.

Delete a custom behavior
In the Library stack, Control-click the custom behavior, then
choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

Delete a custom folder from a subcategory
in the Library stack
Control-click the folder in the Library stack, then choose Move
to Trash from the shortcut menu.

You can also delete the folder from the OS X Finder. The folder is
stored in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Motion/Library/ folder. If the Library folder is hidden in
the OS X Finder, hold down the Option key, then choose Go >
Library.
Important: Deleting a custom object or folder cannot be undone.

Move behaviors to another computer
Each customized behavior you drag into the Motion Library is
saved as a separate file in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/
folder on your computer. For example, a saved custom behavior
named My Motion Path in the Favorites folder of the Library
appears in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Motion/Library/Favorites/ folder. Items saved to the
Library appear in the OS X Finder with a .molo extension (“Motion
Library object”). These items cannot be opened from the Finder.
You can move saved behaviors to other computers that have
Motion installed.

Copy a custom behavior to another
computer
Copy Motion custom behaviors from your computer’s
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/

folder to the same folder on another computer that has Motion
installed.

Animate with keyframes
Keyframing overview
Keyframing is the process of assigning different parameter values
to an object at specific points in time to animate some aspect of
the object. Although behaviors are ideal for quickly adding
complex motion or effects to an object, keyframes provide
additional precision, ensuring that a specific event happens at the
exact frame you choose. For example, if you want to time a
movement or effect to match a musical beat or a word in the
soundtrack, a keyframe is the best tool for the job.

When you set more than one keyframe for a parameter, Motion
interpolates the in-between frames, generating a smooth change
over time. For example, if you want a title to change from green to
blue over time, you can set two keyframes at two points in time.
The first keyframe defines the text’s color as green, and the
second keyframe sets the color to blue. Motion makes the frames
between those points change smoothly from green to blue.
Motion lets you keyframe color values, position, rotation, opacity,
and almost every other parameter in the application—for both

image layers and effects objects (cameras, lights, behaviors,
filters, and so on). For example, keyframes allow you to animate
static filters and modify behaviors, resulting in complex, precisely
timed animations.
There are two basic ways to add keyframes to your project. And
you can edit keyframes in several areas of the Motion workspace:
in the Inspector, HUD, Timeline track area, and Keyframe Editor.
SEE ALSO
Behaviors overview

Add keyframes
Motion provides two basic ways to apply keyframes to animate
your project:
Record button method: Turn on the Record button to create a
new keyframe whenever you adjust any parameter. This
method is useful when you want to create keyframes for
multiple parameters in your project.

Initial-keyframe method: Manually add a keyframe to a
parameter to have any further adjustment of that parameter
create additional keyframes at the current playhead position.
This method is useful when you want to create keyframes for
a single parameter of a specific object in your project.

Add keyframes to one or more parameters
using the Record button
1. Do one of one following:
Click the Record button in the transport controls under the
Canvas.
Press A.
Choose Mark > Record Animation.

The Record button is highlighted.
2. Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
3. Drag the playhead to a new position in time.
4. Modify one or more parameters by doing any of the following:
Use the onscreen controls to move, scale, or manipulate
objects.
Use the controls in the Inspector or HUD to move, scale or
manipulate objects.
Keyframes are added at the current playhead position for
any parameters you modified.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add additional keyframes.
As long as the Record button is enabled, any parameter
modifications your make in your project are recorded as new
keyframes. In the Inspector, all modifiable parameters are
highlighted red to remind you that parameter changes are being
recorded as keyframes.

Turn off the Record button
If keyframe recording is enabled, you can turn it off the same way
you turned it on.
Do one of the following:
Click the Record button in the transport controls under the
Canvas.

Press A.
Choose Mark > Record Animation.

Add keyframes to a single parameter using
the initial-keyframe method
1. Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. Modify a parameter by doing any of the following:
Use the onscreen controls to move, scale, or manipulate
the object.
Use the controls in the Inspector or HUD to move, scale or
manipulate the object.
3. Create an initial keyframe by doing one of the following:
Press Control-K.
Pressing Control-K adds a keyframe to the last parameter
you modified (in step 2 above). For example, if you scale a
layer using its onscreen handles and then press Control-K,
a keyframe is added to the Scale parameter.
In the Transform section of the Properties Inspector, click
the Add/Delete Keyframe button for the parameter you
want to keyframe.
Note: The Add/Delete Keyframe button (a plus sign in a
gray diamond) is hidden until you position the pointer over
the far-right side of the parameter row you want to add a
keyframe to.

In the Transform section of the Properties Inspector, click
the Animation menu on the far right side of a parameter,
then choose Add.
Note: The Animation menu (a downward arrow) is hidden
until you position the pointer over the far-right side of the
parameter row you want to add a keyframe to.

In the Inspector, Control-click a parameter’s name, then
choose Add from the shortcut menu.
A keyframe for the parameter you modified is added at the
current frame, and the parameter you modified appears red in
the Inspector, indicating that keyframing is now turned on for
that parameter.

4. Move the playhead to a new time position.
5. Modify the same parameter again, as described in step 2.
Another keyframe is added at the current frame.
Note: When you animate parameters using the initialkeyframe method, you cannot turn off or suspend keyframe
recording.

Animate in the Canvas
Add an animation path in the Canvas
The easiest way to apply keyframes is to manipulate objects
directly in the Canvas while the Record button is enabled. Using
this method, you can animate changes to basic parameters such
as scale, rotation, position, distort, and so on.
When the Record button is enabled and you move the playhead
to a new frame, any change you make to any object generates
new keyframes. When animating an object’s position, an
animation path is created—a red line in the Canvas showing the
direction of motion (a small white arrow at the beginning of the
path) and the location of keyframe points (small white diamonds
along that path).

Note: To view the animation paths of keyframed objects, ensure
that Animation Path is selected in the View pop-up menu (in the
upper-right corner of the Canvas).
If the playhead is positioned on a previously set keyframe,
changes you make modify that keyframe rather than the curve,
regardless of whether the Record button is on or off.

Move an object across the screen
1. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe
recording.
2. Place the playhead at the starting frame.
3. Place the object in a starting position.

4. Move the playhead forward.
5. Drag the object to the ending position.

6. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe
recording.
A red animation path shows the route the object will take when
you play back your project, flying from position one to position
two over the interval you set.
Note: If you can’t see the animation path, click the View popup menu above the Canvas, then choose Animation Path.
When this setting is active, a checkmark appears next to it in
the View pop-up menu.

SEE ALSO
Manipulate animation paths

Manipulate animation paths
You can modify an animation path by adding keyframes to or
deleting keyframes from the path, by dragging keyframes on the
path, or by dragging a path segment between two adjacent
keyframes.
Additionally, you can set the keyframe type to curved or angled,
changing the shape of the path.

When you drag a keyframe in the Canvas, the frame number
corresponding to that keyframe and its X, Y, and Z position values
are displayed in the status bar (above the Canvas).

Add keyframe points to an animation path

Double-click or Option-click the animation path.
A new keyframe point is added. By default, keyframe points
are curved Bezier points.

Reposition a keyframe point
After you add keyframe to an animation path, you can change its
location in Canvas, thereby changing the shape of the path.
Drag a keyframe point to a new position in the Canvas.
The shape of the animation path changes, based on the new
position of the keyframe point.

Reposition a segment of the animation path
Drag the path segment between the two selected keyframe
points.
Note: You can also Shift-select the keyframe points that
bound the path segment or segments you want to move, then
drag one of the selected keyframe points (or the segment
between two adjacent keyframe points).

Reposition the entire animation path
Do one of the following:

Holding down the Option and Command keys, drag a
keyframe point on the animation path.
Holding down the Option and Command keys, drag a portion
of the animation path between two keyframe points.
Holding down the Option and Command keys, drag the
object’s center onscreen control.
The animation path and the object are moved to a new position in
the Canvas, and no new keyframes are created.

Reposition an object on an animation path
When you move an object on an animation path to a new position
in the Canvas, a portion of the animation path is repositioned
along with the object.
Do any of the following:
Reposition an object without adding a new keyframe: Drag the
center onscreen control of the object.
If the object is on a keyframe point, the object and the
keyframe point are moved to a new position in the Canvas. If
the object is between two keyframe points, the object and the
two adjacent keyframe points are moved to a new position in
the Canvas.
Reposition an object and add a new keyframe: Make sure the
object is positioned on the animation path between two
keyframe points, then drag the object (but not its center

onscreen control).
The object is moved to a new position in the Canvas, and a
new keyframe point is created at that position.
Note: If the object is on a keyframe point, dragging the object
does not create a new keyframe; rather, the current keyframe
point is moved along with the object to a new position in the
Canvas.

Change the angle of a keyframe point
By default, keyframe points on an animation path use Bezier
curves. You can modify the curve angle by dragging tangent
handles or by converting Bezier keyframe points to linear points.
Do any of the following:
Change the angle of a Bezier keyframe point: Select a Bezier
keyframe point in the Canvas, then drag its tangent handles.
Convert a smooth Bezier keyframe point to a sharp linear point:
Control-click a keyframe point in the Canvas, then choose
Linear from the shortcut menu.
The tangent handles of the keyframe point disappear, leaving
a sharply angled linear keyframe. To quickly convert the
keyframe point back to a curved Bezier point with tangent
handles, Command-drag the keyframe.
Convert a sharp linear keyframe point to a smooth Bezier point:
Control-click the keyframe point and choose Smooth from the

shortcut menu.
Tangent handles appear on the Smooth keyframe point, and
the animation path becomes curved. To quickly convert a
curved Bezier point back to a sharply angled linear point,
Command-click the keyframe.
Note: The Very Smooth option is not available for animation
paths and remains dimmed in the shortcut menu.
For more information on manipulating Bezier points, see Complex
shapes and masks overview.

Delete, disable, or lock a keyframe point
Deleting a keyframe point modifies the shape of the animation
path; disabling a keyframe point temporarily removes it from the
path; locking a keyframe point prevents editing.
Do any of the following:
Delete a keyframe point: Control-click a keyframe point in the
Canvas, then choose Delete Point from the shortcut menu (or
select the keyframe point, then press Delete).
The keyframe is removed, changing the shape of the
animation path.
Disable a keyframe point: Control-click a keyframe point in the
Canvas, then choose Disable Point from the shortcut menu.
The keyframe is disabled and no longer influences the shape

of the animation path. To re-enable the keyframe, Control-click
the disabled keyframe, then choose Enable Point from the
shortcut menu.
Lock a keyframe point: Control-click a keyframe point in the
Canvas, then choose Lock Point from the shortcut menu.
The keyframe is locked and can no longer be edited. To
unlock the keyframe, Control-click the locked keyframe point,
then choose Unlock Point from the shortcut menu.

Animate via the Inspector
Animate parameters in the Inspector
Although you can animate basic object properties by dragging
onscreen controls in the Canvas, many other parameters are
accessible only in the Inspector. Each section of the Inspector
contains keyframeable parameters. For example, you can animate
the position and shape of a mask, the color and styles of a text
object, or the options in a generator. The parameters that are
keyframeable depend on which object is selected and which
effects are applied to that object.

Animate parameters in the Inspector using
the Record button
1. In the Canvas, select the object to keyframe.

2. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe
recording.
3. Drag the playhead to the frame where you want the effect to
begin.
4. Open the Inspector containing the parameter you want to
modify (the Filters Inspector, in this example).
Note: When the Record button is turned on, animatable
parameter values appear red. When the Record button is off,
parameter values that have no keyframes remain a light shade
of gray.

5. Set the parameter to the beginning value.
6. Move the playhead to a new position.
7. In the Inspector, change the parameter to a new value.
8. Click the Record button (or press A) again to disable record.

The parameter now changes over time.

Animate parameters in the Inspector by
setting an initial keyframe (Record button is
off)
1. In the Canvas, select the object to keyframe.
2. Place the playhead on the frame where you want the effect to
begin.
3. Open the Inspector containing to the parameter you want to
modify.
4. Set the parameter to the beginning value, then do one of the
following:
Press Control-K.
In the Inspector, click the parameter’s Animation menu,
then choose Add.

Note: The Animation menu (a downward arrow) is hidden
until you position the pointer over the far-right side of the
parameter row you want to add a keyframe to.
In the Inspector, Control-click the parameter name, then
choose Add from the shortcut menu.
In the Properties Inspector, click the parameter’s
Add/Delete Keyframe button.
Note: The Add/Delete Keyframe button (a plus sign in a
gray diamond) is hidden until you position the pointer over
the far-right side of the parameter row you want to add a
keyframe to.

A keyframe is added at the current frame, and the
parameter appears red in the Inspector.

5. Move the playhead to a new position.
6. In the Inspector, change the parameter to a new value.
The parameter now changes over time.

Animation menu
The Animation menu in the Inspector provides access to
additional keyframing options.
Every keyframeable parameter in the Inspector has an Animation
menu, available by Control-clicking a parameter’s name to reveal
a shortcut menu, or by moving the pointer to the right side of a
parameter row in the Inspector, then clicking the downward arrow
that appears.

Note: If the Animation menu corresponds to a parameter that
cannot be animated, the Enable Animation and Keyframe menu
items are dimmed.
The Animation menu contains the following items:
Reset Parameter: Removes keyframes and settings for this
parameter, resetting the parameter to its default value.
Show in Keyframe Editor: Opens the Keyframe Editor and
displays the parameter’s keyframes and curves. For more
information, see Display the Keyframe Editor.
Add: Adds a keyframe at the current frame in the project. If
the playhead is positioned on a frame where a keyframe has
been added, this menu command is dimmed. To add a
keyframe without accessing the Animation menu in the
Inspector, press Control-K; a keyframe is added to the last
modified parameter of the object (regardless of the status of
the Record button) at the current frame.
Delete: Deletes the keyframe. The Delete option is available
only if the playhead is positioned on a frame where a
keyframe exists.
Previous: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe for
this parameter. The Previous command is available only if a
keyframe exists earlier in the project.
Next: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this
parameter. The Next command is available only if a keyframe
exists later in the project.
Note: You can also choose Mark > Go To > Previous
Keyframe (or press Option-K) or Mark > Go To > Next
Keyframe (or press Shift-K) to move from keyframe to

keyframe.
Enable/Disable Animation: Activates or deactivates keyframes
for the parameter. Choosing Disable Animation hides the
keyframes already set, restoring the parameter to its default
value. However, the keyframes are not thrown away. (A dash
appears in the parameter row to indicate that the animation is
disabled.) Choosing Enable Animation returns the parameter
to its last keyframed state.
Add Parameter Behavior: Opens a submenu listing all available
Parameter behaviors you can use to animate the parameter.
For more information, see Add, remove, and disable a
Parameter behavior.
Add To Rig: Lets you add a parameter to an existing rig, or to
a new rig. Rigs are useful when you create templates for
Final Cut Pro X. For more information, see Rigging overview
and Final Cut Pro templates overview.
Publish: Sends the parameter control to Final Cut Pro X when
you create and save a template for the editing application. The
Publish command also lets you send rig controls (widgets) to
Final Cut Pro. For more information on the Publish command,
see Publish parameter controls to Final Cut Pro. For more
information on rigging, see Rigging overview.

Manage keyframes with the Animation
menu
You can use the Animation menu in the Inspector to manage
common keyframing tasks.

Note: The Animation menu (a downward arrow) is hidden until
you position the pointer over the far-right side of the parameter
row you want to add a keyframe to.

Set keyframes using the Animation menu
1. In the Inspector, change the value of the parameter you want
to keyframe.
2. Click the Animation menu for the affected parameter, then
choose Add.
A keyframe is added at the frame and the affected parameter
appears red in the Inspector, indicating that any further
changes at other playhead locations will add keyframes to this
parameter.
3. To set another keyframe for the same parameter, move the
playhead to the next location, then change the value of the
parameter.

Delete a keyframe
1. Move the playhead to a frame where there’s a keyframe.
2. In the Inspector, click the Animation menu for the parameter
you want to change, then choose Delete.
Note: To delete all keyframes for a parameter, choose Reset
Parameter from the Animation menu.

Reset all keyframes for a parameter
In the Inspector, click the Animation menu for the parameter
you want to reset, then choose Reset Parameter.
All keyframes are removed for that parameter.

Keyframe controls in the Inspector
In the Inspector, basic keyframe controls are available on the right
side of animatable parameter rows. These controls allow you to
determine the status of a parameter at a glance, to add or delete
keyframes at the current playhead, and to navigate to next and
previous keyframes in the Timeline.

Moving the pointer over an animatable parameter reveals the
Add/Delete Keyframe button (a plus sign enclosed in a gray
diamond). Click the button to place a keyframe for that parameter
at the current frame. If a parameter is keyframed at the current
frame, as well as before and after the current frame, additional
navigation controls appear:

Previous Keyframe: A left angle bracket that appears when
there’s a keyframe in the Timeline to the left of the playhead
position. Click this control to move to a previous keyframe in
the Timeline.
Add/Delete Keyframe: A diamond-shaped button with several
states. A gray diamond indicates that there’s no keyframe at
the current frame. Click this button to add a keyframe at the
playhead position. When you add a keyframe, the diamond
turns orange, indicating that there’s a keyframe at the current
frame. Clicking the orange diamond deletes the keyframe.
When the playhead advances to a frame that’s not
keyframed, the diamond turns gray.
Next Keyframe: A right angle bracket that appears when
there’s a keyframe to the right of the playhead position. Click
this control to move to the next keyframe in the Timeline.
Reset button: A curved arrow button at the top of each
parameter section in the Inspector. Click this button to remove
all keyframes applied to all parameters in this section of the
Inspector and restore those parameters to their default state.

Animate via the HUD
Parameters that appear in the HUD can be keyframed using the
Record button or by setting an initial keyframe. Using this
technique, you can animate basic object properties such as
opacity or position, or create advanced effects such as setting
static filters into motion. In this example, the HUD is used to
animate an object’s opacity.

Animate a parameter via the HUD
1. Place the playhead where you want to begin to animate.
2. Do one of the following:
Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe
recording, then click a slider handle in the HUD.
Even if you don’t change the slider’s value, clicking it sets
a keyframe at that point. This way, the parameter remains
at its previous value from the beginning of the clip until that
keyframe, then begins the interpolation toward the next
keyframe.

With the Record button off, click a slider handle in the
HUD, then press Control-K.
A keyframe for that parameter is added at the playhead
position.
3. Move the playhead forward to a new time.
4. Change the same parameter slider.
5. Move the playhead forward again.
6. Change the same parameter slider again.
7. If keyframe recording is on, click the Record button (or press
A) to turn off keyframe recording.

Use keyframes to modify behaviors
Apply keyframes to behaviors

You can also use keyframes to animate behaviors. Combining
behaviors and keyframes is a powerful way to enhance behaviors’
usefulness.
For example, you might want to apply a Gravity behavior, but
delay the object’s fall until five seconds into the clip. Keyframes
allow you to manipulate the parameters of each behavior.
Certain parameters cannot be animated, such as the Throw
Velocity parameter of the Throw behavior and the Spin Rate
parameter of the Spin behavior. If a parameter can be animated,
the following occurs:
When keyframe recording is turned on (via the Record button),
the parameter value appears red in the Inspector.
Moving the pointer over the parameter row in the Inspector
reveals the Add/Delete Keyframe button (a plus sign in a gray
diamond).
When you add keyframes to a parameter that has been
animated with a behavior, a behavior icon (a gear) appears
within a keyframe icon (a diamond).

Note: In Motion, you can convert all behaviors applied to an
object into keyframes using the Convert to Keyframes command
in the Object menu. See Convert behaviors to keyframes.

Keyframe a behavior’s parameters using the
Record button
1. Select an object in the Canvas.
2. Apply a behavior.
For more information about applying behaviors, see Apply
behaviors overview.
3. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe
recording.
4. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the effect to
begin changing.
5. In the Inspector or HUD, adjust the behavior’s parameter
settings.
For more information, see Animate parameters in the
Inspector and Animate via the HUD.
6. Move the playhead to a new time position.
7. Adjust the behavior settings again.
8. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe
recording.

About combining keyframes and

About combining keyframes and
behaviors
When you combine keyframes with behaviors, Motion adds the
two sets of instructions together. For example, if you apply a
Throw behavior toward the upper left of the Canvas, and at the
same time add keyframes that instruct the object to move to the
right, the behavior-driven object moves less leftward because the
keyframes are pushing it in an opposite direction. The larger the
Throw velocity rate, the more the behavior overpowers the
keyframes, and vice versa.
You can use this method to enhance and control the effects of
behaviors. For example, you can apply a Gravity behavior that
causes an object to fall toward the bottom of the Canvas, and
then keyframe the object’s position to move across the Canvas
from left to right. As a result, the object falls as it moves rightward.
Likewise, you can apply a Fade In/Fade Out behavior, but use
keyframes on the object’s Opacity parameter to limit the
maximum opacity to 80 percent. The resulting clip fades in, but
not completely.
Additionally, you can convert behaviors to keyframes. See
Convert behaviors to keyframes.

Work with keyframes in the
Timeline
View keyframes in the Timeline

When keyframing, it’s often helpful to view your keyframes in the
Timeline. This lets you move keyframes to line them up with other
important timing elements in your project such as edit points,
sound cues, markers, and other keyframes. In the Timeline,
keyframes appear in the track area as small red (or white, when
selected) diamonds beneath the object they animate. You can
also view keyframe values in the Timeline, and delete keyframes
you don’t need.

View keyframes in the Timeline
Click the Show Keyframes button in the upper-right corner of
the Timeline so that it’s highlighted blue.

Any applied keyframes appear in the track area as small red
(or white, when selected) diamonds beneath the object they
animate.

Identify a keyframe’s value
Control-click (or double-click) a keyframe in the Timeline and
view its value in the shortcut menu.
Note: Multiple keyframes on the same frame are listed in the
menu.

Display a keyframe with its associated
animation curve in the Keyframe Editor
Control-click the keyframe in the Timeline, then choose Show
in Keyframe Editor from the shortcut menu.
The Keyframe Editor appears below the Timeline. For
information on working in the Keyframe Editor, see Display the
Keyframe Editor.

Modify keyframes in the Timeline
When keyframes are visible in the Timeline, you can change their
positions in time. Moving a keyframe in time does not modify the
keyframe’s parameter value. Rather, it changes the position in
time when the keyframe occurs. This can have a significant effect
on the nature of the animation. For example, if you have two
keyframes that animate an object from the top of the screen to
the bottom over a duration of five seconds, dragging one of the
keyframes farther from the other forces the animation to occur

more slowly.
The value of a keyframe can also be modified in the Timeline.
When multiple keyframe values are set in the same frame, only
one keyframe marker appears in the Timeline. However, you can
choose to edit any of its values.

Move a keyframe in the Timeline
Drag the keyframe left or right to adjust its position in time.

Edit a keyframe value in the Timeline
1. Control-click (or double-click) the keyframe.
A shortcut menu appears displaying all of the parameters
keyframed at the current frame.

2. Choose the keyframe parameter to edit.

3. Enter a value into the value field, then press Return.
Note: To exit an active value field without making changes,
press Esc.

Copy and paste keyframes in the Timeline
1. In the Timeline track area, select one or more keyframes.
Shift-click to select multiple contiguous keyframes; Commandclick to select multiple noncontiguous keyframes.
2. Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
3. Move the playhead to the frame where you want to paste the
keyframes.
4. In the Timeline layers list, select the target object (or objects)
for the copied keyframes, then choose Edit > Paste (or press
Command-V).
Note: You can copy and paste keyframes from multiple
objects to single or multiple objects. The objects must share

the same parameters for the keyframes to apply.

Delete a keyframe in the Timeline
Control-click the keyframe to delete, then choose Delete
Keyframes from the shortcut menu.
If there are multiple keyframes applied at the playhead
position, they’re all deleted.

Delete all of an object’s keyframes in the
Timeline
Control-click any keyframe, then choose Delete All Keyframes
from the shortcut menu.
For more control of effects using keyframes, you can use the
Keyframe Editor.
Note: Although you can delete keyframes in the Timeline,
there is no way to add keyframes from the Timeline.

Align a keyframe to a marker in the Timeline
In the Timeline, you can align a keyframe with other important
timed events. For example, you might want to align a filter
keyframe applied to one object with the In or Out point of another
object, or to a marker, or to a keyframe in another track.

1. Turn on the Show Keyframes button at the top of the Timeline.
2. Turn on the Snapping button at the top of the Timeline.

When the Snapping button is on, it’s highlighted blue.
3. Holding down the Shift key, drag a keyframe in the Timeline
until it snaps to a marker, another keyframe, or In or Out point
of another object.
In the following image, the keyframe snaps to the purple
marker in the Timeline ruler.

About keyframes and effect duration
When you change the duration of an effect such as a filter or
behavior in the Timeline track area, the timing of all keyframes
applied to that effect is scaled proportionally. This means that

keyframed changes to an effect speed up or slow down when the
effect is shortened or lengthened. This happens whether you
change the duration of the effect bar, or change the duration of
the image bar an effect is applied to.

Object parameters such as Position, Rotation, Scale, Opacity, and
so on are not affected.
Tip: To change the duration of a timebar without altering the
timing of keyframes, hold down the Command key while dragging
one end of the bar left or right.

Work in the Keyframe Editor

Work in the Keyframe Editor
Display the Keyframe Editor
The Keyframe Editor provides a visualization of changing keyframe
values in the form of animation curves. Animation curves plot
keyframes on a line over time; changing keyframe values modify
the shape of the curve. In the Keyframe Editor, you can view and
modify these curves to fine-tune animation in your project.

On the left side of the Keyframe Editor, a parameter list shows
parameters that have keyframes. And on the right side, a graph
area displays animation curves for those keyframed parameters.
The Keyframe Editor makes it easy to add and delete keyframes,
as well as move them in two-dimensional space to modify their
values (up-down) and their positions in time (left-right). You can
manipulate curves and define a variety of interpolation methods,
creating dramatically different types of effects.
For a complete list of Keyframe Editor features, see Keyframe
Editor controls.

Show the Keyframe Editor
Do one of the following:

Click the Show Keyframe Editor button in the bottom-right
corner of the Motion workspace.

Choose Window > Keyframe Editor.
Press Command-8.
The Keyframe Editor appears in the Timing pane (under the
Timeline if the Timeline is displayed).

Keyframe Editor controls
The Keyframe Editor comprises a list of parameters on the left, a
multifunctional graph on the right where keyframes and curves for
each parameter are displayed, and tools for modifying keyframes
and curves. These elements are described below:

Show Curve Set pop-up menu: Choose an item from the
menu to filter the parameters shown in the Keyframe Editor.
For more information, see Choose a curve view.
Keyframe editing tools: Select any of three tools for editing
keyframes and curves in the graph:

Edit Keyframes tool: Select and edit keyframes the same
way you edit Bezier curves.
Sketch Keyframes tool: Manually draw curves that
generate keyframes conforming to the shape drawn.
Transform Keyframes tool: Drag a selection box to enclose
and manipulate a group of keyframes simultaneously.
For more information about using these tools, see Modify
keyframes.
Parameter list: View keyframeable parameters of selected

objects, including image layers, filters, and behaviors. When
you select multiple objects in the Layers list or Timeline, you
can compare their parameters here. The parameter list
contains the following items:
Activation checkbox: Checkboxes in the left column set
which parameters are displayed in the graph. Deselect a
checkbox to hide a parameter’s keyframes and curves
from the graph on the right.
Parameter name: Object and parameter names appear in
the second column of the parameter list. Control-click a
parameter name to apply a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
Value: Parameter values at the playhead position appear in
the third column. Modify a parameter value by dragging
left or right over the number in this field. Or double-click
the field, then enter a value. The value displayed and
editing options depend on several factors: If the playhead
is on a keyframe, this field shows the value for that
keyframe, and adjusting the value alters the keyframe. If
the playhead is not on a keyframe, this field shows the
value of that parameter at the current frame. If the
parameter has keyframes, adjusting the value creates a
new keyframe at that frame. (For more information on
changing the values of keyframes, see Modify keyframes.)
Keyframe and keyframe navigation buttons: Keyframe
controls appear in the fourth column. These controls are
identical to those found in the Inspector: the Previous
Keyframe button, Add/Delete Keyframe button, and Next
Keyframe button. See Animate parameters in the
Inspector.

Animation menu: The Animation menu appears in the fifth
column for each parameter in the list. To open this menu,
position the pointer over this column (in the row of the
parameter you want to animate), then click the downward
arrow that appears. The Animation menu in the Keyframe
Editor contains all commands found in the Inspector’s
Animation menu, plus several additional commands:

Reset Parameter: Removes keyframes and settings for
the parameter, restoring the default value.
Add: Adds a keyframe at the current frame in the
Keyframe Editor. If the playhead is positioned on a
frame where a keyframe has been added, this
command is unavailable. (Alternatively, you can use a
keyboard shortcut—Control-K—to add a keyframe.)
Delete: Deletes the current keyframe. This command is
available if the playhead is positioned on a frame where
a keyframe exists.
Previous: Moves the playhead to the previous keyframe
for this parameter. This command is available if a
keyframe exists earlier in the project.
Next: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this

Next: Moves the playhead to the next keyframe for this
parameter. This command is available if a keyframe
exists later in the project.
Enable/Disable Animation: Activates or deactivates the
keyframed value. Choosing Disable Animation hides the
keyframes you set, restoring the parameter to its
default value. However, the keyframes are not thrown
away. Choosing Enable Animation returns the
parameter to its last keyframed state.
Interpolation: Sets the type of curve for the parameter.
See Curve interpolation methods for examples of the
different interpolation methods. Choose Constant,
Linear, Bezier, Continuous, Exponential, or Logarithmic.
Before First Keyframe: Defines what happens between
the first keyframe and the beginning of the clip. See Set
curve extrapolation for examples of extrapolation
methods. Choose Constant, Linear, Ping Pong, Repeat,
or Progressive. You can also turn the extrapolation into
keyframes by choosing Generate Keyframes.
After Last Keyframe: Defines what happens between
the last keyframe and the end of the clip. See Set
curve extrapolation for examples of extrapolation
methods. Choose Constant, Linear, Ping Pong, Repeat,
or Progressive. You can also turn the extrapolation into
keyframes by choosing Generate Keyframes.
Lock/Unlock Parameter: Locks the parameter from
changes. When a parameter is locked, neither
keyframes nor curves are adjustable.
Reduce Keyframes: Opens the Reduce Keyframes
dialog, which lets you apply a thinning algorithm to the

keyframes for the parameter. This reduces the number
of keyframes in a parameter while preserving the shape
of the curve. The thinning algorithm can be adjusted in
two ways: Increasing the Maximum Error Tolerance
results in fewer keyframes; increasing the Smoothing
Factor makes smoother curves between keyframe
values.
Set to Curve Snapshot: Reverts keyframe changes
made in the selected curve to the most recent
snapshot. This command is available when Take/Show
Curve Snapshot is turned on (the camera button in the
upper-right corner of the Keyframe Editor). For more
information, see Compare a modified curve to its
previous state.
Graph area: Shows the keyframes and curves of active
parameters (those in the parameters list). Each curve is a
different color, although some colors are duplicated. Areas
before the first keyframe and after the last keyframe are
represented by dotted lines. Selected parameters and
keyframes appear white.
A time ruler shows the locations of keyframes, project
markers, playback In and Out points, and the playhead. Zoom
controls at the bottom of the graph let you focus on specific
regions of the sequence. For more information on using the
zoom/scroll controls, see Customize the Timeline.
Audio Waveform pop-up menu: Turns on the display of audio
waveforms for the selected item in the background of the
graph. This lets you line up an effect to take place at the same
time as an event that occurs in the audio. If there are multiple
audio tracks in the project, you can use this menu to view the

waveform of any individual audio track in the project, or the
master track.

Clear Curve List button: Deletes all items in the parameter list
from a custom set.

Fit Visible Curves in Window button: Scales the graph area
vertically and horizontally so that the curve is entirely visible.
This button does not change the value of your keyframes.

Take/Show Curve Snapshot button: Turns on and turns off the
state of all curves in the Keyframe Editor. With a snapshot
turned on, the original unaltered curve is represented by a
lighter color—visible in the background behind the curves
you’re adjusting—and can be used as a reference showing
the curve’s original values. As long as you remain in the
Keyframe Editor editing the current set of curves, the
snapshot curve remains available. Clicking this button again
causes the current snapshot to disappear. For more

information about curve snapshots, see Compare a modified
curve to its previous state.

Snapping button: Enables snapping. When this control is
enabled, keyframes snap to markers, other keyframes, and
other snappable items.

Auto-Scale Vertically to Fit Curves button: Rescales the graph
vertically so that the curve is entirely visible. This does not
change the value of your keyframes.

Tip: You can show the Keyframe Editor on a second display,
providing a larger workspace for modifying keyframes and curves.
For more information, see View the Canvas or Timing pane on a
second display.

Modify keyframes and curves
Add or delete keyframes
To add or delete keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, select the Edit
Keyframes tool (above the parameter list), then perform the

following tasks:

Add a keyframe
In the parameter list (on the left side of the Keyframe Editor),
click the Animation menu for any parameter, then choose Add.
Note: The Animation menu (a downward arrow) is hidden until
you place the pointer over the right side of the parameter’s
row in the list.
A keyframe is added at the position of the playhead.

Add a keyframe to an existing animation
curve
In the Keyframe Editor, double-click or Option-click the
animation curve in the graph area.
A keyframe is added to the curve at the pointer position. The
new keyframe is set to the interpolation method used by the
rest of that curve. For example, Position parameters use
Bezier curves by default, so new keyframes are added as
Bezier keyframes. For more information on interpolation
methods, see Set curve interpolation.

Add a keyframe to an animation curve and
adjust its value
In the Keyframe Editor, Option-drag a curve segment.
A keyframe is added to the segment at the pointer position,
and its value is displayed as you drag the keyframe.

Delete a keyframe
Do one of the following:
Select the keyframe in the Keyframe Editor, then press Delete.
Note: You can drag a selection box around multiple
keyframes.
Control-click the keyframe, then choose Delete from the
shortcut menu.
Navigate to the keyframe, then click the Animation menu for
the keyframed parameter and choose Delete.
The Animation menu is hidden until you place the pointer over
the right side of a parameter row.

Delete all of a parameter’s keyframes
In the parameter list in the Keyframe Editor, click the

Animation menu for a parameter, then choose Reset
Parameter.
The Animation menu is hidden until you place the pointer over
the right side of a parameter row.
Note: You can also use the corresponding Animation menu in
the Inspector.

Modify keyframes
To modify keyframe values in the Keyframe Editor, select the Edit
Keyframes tool (above the parameter list), then perform the
following tasks:

Change the value of a keyframe
Do one of the following:
In the graph area of the Keyframe Editor, drag the keyframe
along the Y axis (up-down) to change its parameter value. To
change its position in time, drag along the X axis (left-right).
Press the Shift key while dragging to constrain movement to
one axis. (To constrain keyframes to the Y axis, select “Lock
keyframes in time in Keyframe Editor” in the Time pane of the

Motion Preferences window.)
When dragging a keyframe in the graph, numbers appear
indicating the position and value of the keyframe. The first
number is the frame number (or timecode number) and the
second number is the parameter value.

When you drag two keyframes closer along the X axis, the
transformation between those values happens more quickly.
When you drag keyframes farther apart from each other, the
change happens more slowly.
Double-click the keyframe to modify, enter a value in the value
field, then press Return.

This changes the value of the keyframe along the Y axis (updown).
Note: To dismiss an active value field without making
changes, press Esc.
In the parameter list, drag a value slider:

Drag right to increase the keyframe value.
Drag left to decrease the keyframe value.
Hold down the Shift key while dragging to change the value
in increments of 10.
Hold down the Option key while dragging to change the
value in increments of .01.

Move a keyframe in time by a specific
number of frames
1. Select a keyframe in the Keyframe Editor.
2. Do any of the following:
Move the selected keyframe to a specific frame: Enter a
number, then press Return.
Move the selected keyframe forward by a specific number
of frames: Enter a plus sign (+) and the number of frames,
then press Return.
Move the selected keyframe back by a specific number of
frames: Enter a minus sign (–) and the number of frames,
then press Return.

Change keyframe values by moving an
entire curve
You can select and move animation curves in the graph area of
the Keyframe Editor.
Do one of the following:
Holding down the Option and Command keys, drag a
keyframe on the curve up or down.
Holding down the Option and Command keys, drag a curve
segment between two keyframes up or down.

Change keyframe values by moving a
segment of the curve
In the Keyframe Editor, Shift-select the keyframes that bound
the path segment or segments you want to move, then drag
one of the selected keyframes up or down.
The path segment moves up or down, changing the shape of
the curve.

Reverse, lock, and disable keyframes
With the Edit Keyframes tool (above the parameter list) selected,
you can also perform advanced keyframe modifications. You can
reverse keyframes to invert the corresponding animated effect
without re-animating it, lock keyframes (individually or in groups) to
prevent accidental adjustment, or disable an entire curve to
suspend animation for that parameter.

Reverse keyframes
1. In the graph area Keyframe Editor, drag a selection rectangle
in the graph to select the keyframes to reverse.

2. Control-click a selected keyframe, then choose Reverse
Keyframes from the shortcut menu.
The keyframes are reversed.

Lock keyframes
In the Keyframe Editor, select the keyframes to lock, then
control-click one of the keyframes in the graph and choose
Lock from the shortcut menu.
Locking prevents further modification the keyframes. (You can
also lock all keyframes in the Keyframe Editor by selecting
“Lock keyframes in time in Keyframe Editor” in the Time pane
of Motion Preferences.)

Disable a curve
In the Keyframe Editor, select the keyframes to disable, then
Control-click a keyframe in the graph and choose Disable from
the shortcut menu.
Disabled keyframes are ignored and have no effect on the
object’s animation. If you disable a keyframe, the curve
readjusts itself as if that keyframe didn’t exist, even though the
keyframe is present in the Keyframe Editor, in a dimmed state.

Copy and paste keyframes and curves

With the Edit Keyframes tool (above the parameter list) selected,
you can copy and paste keyframes and animation curves. This
technique is useful for copying a keyframed effect from one object
to another, for moving a keyframe segment earlier or later in the
same parameter, or for creating keyframes in one parameter and
applying them to another.

Copy and paste keyframes
Use this technique to copy and paste a segment of an animation
curve from one parameter to another, or from one object to
another.
1. Select keyframes by doing one of the following:
In the graph area of the Keyframe Editor, drag a selection
rectangle around the keyframes.
In the graph area, Shift-click the keyframes you want to
select.
Note: If the curve appears white but the keyframes do not,
the keyframes are not selected.
2. Copy or cut the selected keyframes by doing one of the
following:
Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).

Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X).
3. To paste the keyframes to a different parameter, do the
following:
a. Select the destination parameter in the parameter list (on
the left side of the Keyframe Editor).
b. Place the playhead at the point where you want the
keyframes to begin.
c. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The keyframes are added to the new parameter.
Note: Pasted keyframes might not make a curve identical
to the original if the parameter scales are different.

Copy and paste an animation curve
Use this technique to copy and paste an entire animation curve
from one parameter to another, or from one object to another.
1. Select an animation curve by doing one of the following:
Select a row in the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor.
Shift-click or Control-click in the parameter list of the
Keyframe Editor to select multiple rows.
2. Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C) to copy the
selected curve.
Note: You cannot use the Cut command on a complete

curve.
3. To paste the curve to a different parameter, do the following:
a. In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, select the
destination parameter.
b. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The curve is added to the new parameter.
Note: Pasted animation curves might not make a curve
identical to the original if the parameter scales are
different.

Manually draw an animation curve
The Sketch Keyframes tool (next to the Edit Keyframes tool) lets
you sketch animation curves in the Keyframe Editor graph area,
creating keyframes as you go. To sketch a curve, the parameter
to animate must first appear in the parameter list. See Create a
custom curve view for methods of displaying curves.

Sketch an animation curve
1. In the parameter list in the Keyframe Editor, select the

parameter to sketch.
2. Select the Sketch Keyframes tool (the pencil icon above the
parameter list).
3. Drag in the graph area to sketch an animation curve.
Drawing new keyframes overwrites existing keyframes at the
frames where you draw.

Add an individual keyframe using the Sketch
Keyframes tool
1. In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, select the
parameter to modify.
2. Select the Sketch Keyframes tool (the pencil icon above the
parameter list).
3. Click in the graph area to add a keyframe.
Additional clicks create additional individual keyframes.

Transform multiple curve segments
simultaneously
Use the Transform Keyframes tool to drag a selection box around
multiple keyframes and then manipulate their positions by
dragging the box or adjusting its handles. Dragging the selection
box moves the selected keyframes in whatever direction you
move. As a result, you can affect where the keyframes are
positioned in time or you can affect their parameter values, or you
can do both at the same time. Adjusting a selection box handle
scales the keyframes, changing their timing and parameter values.

Draw a selection box using the Transform
Keyframes tool
1. Select the Transform Keyframes tool (above the parameter list
in the Keyframe Editor).
2. In the graph area, drag to create a selection box enclosing the
keyframes you want to manipulate.
A box with eight handles appears in the graph area.

Important: When transforming keyframes using the
Transform Keyframes tool, by default keyframes are adjusted
in whole-frame increments. You can adjust keyframe in subframe increments if the “Allow sub-frame keyframing”
checkbox is turned on in the Time pane of Motion
Preferences. Sub-frame adjustments allow greater precision,
but use the Next/Previous Keyframe controls (or keyboard
shortcuts) to move the playhead to keyframes that are
between frames. If you move a sub-frame-adjusted keyframe
using the pointer, the frame snaps to the nearest whole frame.

Drag the selection box to change keyframe
timing and parameter values
Drag inside the selection box to move the box and the
enclosed keyframes.
Moving left and right repositions the keyframes in time, and
moving up and down increases and decreases the parameter
values of the keyframes.
Note: No matter where you drag the box, only the keyframes
selected by the original box are manipulated, even if the
repositioned box overlaps keyframes outside the original
selection. To manipulate additional keyframes, redraw the
selection box in the graph area.

Scale the selection box relative to the
handle opposite the one you’re dragging
Drag any handle to resize the selection box.
The selection box changes shape relative to the handle on the
opposite side or corner of the box, which remains locked in
place.

Scale the selection box about its center

Hold down the Option key and drag a handle of the selection
box.
Both sides of the box scale up or down around its center as
you drag along the axes.

Deform the selection box asymmetrically
Hold down the Command key and drag a corner handle of the
selection box.
Each corner handle moves independently of the other three
corner handles of the selection box.

Deselect the selection box
Do one of the following:
In the Keyframe Editor, click once anywhere outside the
selection box.
Choose the Edit Keyframes tool.
The selection box disappears.
Tip: You can also draw a new selection box outside of the old
one to surround a different group of keyframes.

Apply a Parameter behavior to a curve

Parameter behaviors can also be applied to curves via the
Keyframe Editor.

Apply a Parameter behavior to an animation
curve
In the Keyframe Editor parameter list, Control-click a curve
name and choose a Parameter behavior from the shortcut
menu.

SEE ALSO
About behaviors and keyframes in the Keyframe Editor
Add, remove, and disable a Parameter behavior

Compare a modified curve to its previous state
When modifying keyframes, it’s helpful to have a frame of
reference for your curves. A saved reference of curves lets you
compare modified curves to the original curves. Additionally, a
saved reference—known as a curve snapshot—acts as a safety
net if you need to restore a curve’s original state.

Take a curve snapshot
Click the Take/Show Curve Snapshot button in the upper-right

corner of the Keyframe Editor.

With Take/Show Curve Snapshot enabled, as you move
keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, the original curve—as it
appeared when you took the snapshot—retains its color. As
long as you remain in the Keyframe Editor editing the current
set of curves with the Take/Show Curve Snapshot button
enabled, the snapshot curve remains available.

Revert a curve to its most recent snapshot
If, after editing a curve, you want to revert to the snapshot, you
can do so from the Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor.
In the Keyframe Editor, click the Animation menu for the
parameter you want to revert, then choose Set to Curve
Snapshot.
The Animation menu (a downward arrow) is hidden until you

move the pointer over the right side of the parameter row.
The curve reverts to the state of its most recent snapshot.

Important: If you leave the Keyframe Editor, or load a different
set of curves into the Keyframe Editor, curve snapshots are taken
again, replacing the previous curve snapshots.

Set curve interpolation and
extrapolation
Set curve interpolation
Although you can manually create nearly any curve shape to build
the animation you want, the Keyframe Editor provides tools to
control the automatic interpolation of curves—that is, the
computed values between keyframes. Depending on the
interpolation method you choose, you can dramatically alter the
shape of animation curves, and therefore the impact of your
effects.
To set the interpolation for a curve, you select the keyframe you
want to modify, then choose a distribution algorithm. For more
information about the preset algorithms, see Curve interpolation
methods.

Set an interpolation method for a keyframe

Do one of the following:
Control-click a keyframe in the Keyframe Editor, choose
Interpolation from the shortcut menu, then choose a method
from the submenu.
Select multiple keyframes, Control-click one of them, choose
Interpolation from the shortcut menu, then choose a method
from the submenu.
The interpolation method chosen is applied to the entire
selection.

Set an interpolation method for a curve
segment
Control-click a segment between two keyframes in the
Keyframe Editor, choose Interpolation from the shortcut menu,
then choose a method from the submenu.
Only the segment between the surrounding two keyframes is
affected by the interpolation method you choose. You can set
different interpolation methods for other segments of the same
curve.

When different interpolation methods are applied to segments of
an animation curve, the methods used in the curve appear with a
dash next to their name in the Interpolation submenu (in the
Keyframe Editor parameter list).

Change the interpolation method for an
entire parameter
Click in the fifth column of the Keyframe Editor parameter list
to open the Animation menu for the parameter, then choose a
method from the Interpolation submenu.

The selected interpolation method is applied to that
parameter’s curve.

Change the interpolation method for
multiple parameters
1. In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, Shift-click to
select multiple parameters.
2. Click in the fifth column of the Keyframe Editor parameter list
to open the Animation menu, then choose a method from the
Interpolation submenu.
The selected interpolation method is applied to all selected
curves.

SEE ALSO
Curve interpolation methods

Curve interpolation methods
The Interpolation submenu of the Animation menu contains the
following methods that set the shape of curves between
keyframes:
Constant: When applied to a keyframe or curve segment, this
method holds the keyframe at its current value and then
abruptly changes to the new value at the next keyframe.

Linear: When applied to a keyframe, this method creates a
uniform distribution of values through the keyframe from its
two adjacent keyframes. When applied to a segment, this
method creates uniform distribution of values between points.

Bezier: This method lets you manipulate the keyframe curve
manually by dragging the tangent handles. If multiple Bezier
keyframes are selected, or Bezier interpolation is applied to
the curve segment, the handles of all selected keyframes are
modified.

Continuous: This method behaves like Bezier interpolation, but
without access to the tangent handles (which are calculated
automatically). The parameter begins to change gradually,
reaching its maximum rate of acceleration at the midpoint,
then tapers off slightly as it approaches the second keyframe.
When applied to a keyframe, the segments before and after
the keyframe are affected. When applied to a curve segment,
the segment between the keyframes is affected.

Exponential: This method creates an exponential curve
between the current keyframe and the next, changing the
value slowly at first, then reaching its maximum rate of
acceleration as it approaches the next keyframe.

Logarithmic: This method creates a logarithmic curve between
the current keyframe and the next, changing the value rapidly
at first, then slowing drastically as it approaches the next
keyframe.

Ease In: This method has a reverse-inertia effect, so a value
change slows coming into a keyframe. When applied to a

curve segment, the value change eases into the segment. This
option is available only when you Control-click a keyframe; it is
not available in the Animation pop-up menu.

Ease Out: This method creates a typical inertia-like lag, so a
value change begins more slowly coming out of a keyframe.
When applied to a curve segment, the value change eases out
of the segment. This option is available only when you Controlclick a keyframe; it is not available in the Animation pop-up
menu.

Ease Both: This method combines Ease In with Ease Out,
applying both at once. This option is available only when you
Control-click a keyframe; it is not available in the Animation
pop-up menu.

SEE ALSO
Set curve interpolation

Convert to Bezier interpolation
Bezier interpolation—the default keyframe type—is the most
flexible method of curve generation because it allows manual
modification of the curve. If you’ve converted Bezier keyframes to
another linear keyframes, Motion lets you convert them back to
Bezier keyframes.

Convert a linear keyframe into a Bezier
keyframe
While holding down the Command key, drag the keyframe in
the keyframe graph.
Tangent handles appear and your mouse movement controls
one of the handles.

Note: Command-clicking a Bezier point resets it to Linear
interpolation.
To simultaneously modify the tangent handles of more than one
keyframe point, Shift-click to select multiple points, then adjust the

tangent handles. If there are no tangent handles on the point, drag
the point while holding down the Command key.

Adjust tangents of a keyframe point
Each Bezier keyframe point has two tangent handles that adjust
the angle of curve at the keyframe. By default, these handles are
locked together (moving one moves the other, creating a uniform
curve at the keyframe point). However, you can break the handle
to create separate curve segments on each side of a keyframe
point. Doing so lets you create irregular curves.

Do any of the following:
“Break” tangent handles to adjust one independently of the
other: Hold down the Option key and drag a tangent’s handle,
or Control click a tangent handle, then choose Break Handle
from the shortcut menu.
Relink broken tangent handles: Hold down the Option key
while dragging a tangent, or Control-click a tangent handle
and choose Link and Align Handles.

Constrain a tangent handle’s angle to 45degree increments
While holding down the Shift key, drag the handle.

Set curve extrapolation
When you begin adding keyframes, you instruct Motion to modify
the in-between frames to interpolate the effect. But what values
are used for the frames before the first keyframe and after the last
one?
By default, when you add your first keyframe, that same value is
extended forward and backward to the beginning and end of the
clip (as if you hadn’t added a keyframe). In other words, the
frames before that first keyframe remain at the value of that first
keyframe. Similarly, the frames after the last keyframe hold at that
last defined value.
You can override this default behavior to create loops and other

patterns. This is known as extrapolation. When you apply an
extrapolation method to a parameter, animation is added beyond
your first or last keyframes. Extrapolation is useful when you need
to extend the duration of an effect such as a moving background.
Several extrapolation algorithms are available in the Before First
Keyframe and After First Keyframe submenus of the Animation
menu. For descriptions of the preset algorithms, see Curve
extrapolation methods.

Apply an extrapolation method to a
parameter before the first keyframe
In the Keyframe Editor, click in the fifth column of the
parameter list to open the Animation menu for the parameter
to change, then choose an item from the Before First
Keyframe submenu.

Apply an extrapolation method to a
parameter after the last keyframe
In the Keyframe Editor, click in the fifth column of the
parameter list to open the Animation shortcut menu for the
parameter to change, then choose an item from After Last
Keyframe submenu.

SEE ALSO
Curve extrapolation methods

Curve extrapolation methods
The following extrapolation options are available in the Before First
Keyframe and After Last Keyframe submenus. (In each of the
illustrated examples below, the extrapolation setting is applied
after the last keyframe.)
Constant: This method, the default, holds the beginning or
ending segments of the curve to the same value as the first or
last keyframe.

Linear: This method extends the curve beyond the first or last
keyframes uniformly, along the existing trajectory of the first or
last keyframe.

Ping Pong: This method copies the curve and repeats it,
alternating forward and backward.

Repeat: This method duplicates the curve, applying it again
and again.

Progressive: This method extends the curve by repeating the
existing shape of the curve, but rather than returning to the
exact values, repeats from the existing end value.

SEE ALSO
Set curve extrapolation

Convert extrapolation data into keyframes
By default, keyframe extrapolation occurs without creating
keyframes. This lets you experiment with various methods.
However, you can convert an extrapolation method into keyframes
to further manipulate them, using the Generate Keyframes
command. You can choose how many extrapolation cycles you
want converted into keyframes. Cycles after the number chosen
remain in the extrapolated state.

Convert extrapolation data into keyframes
1. In the Keyframe Editor, click the Animation menu for the
parameter you want to modify, then choose Generate
Keyframes from the Before First Keyframe or After Last
Keyframe submenu.
The Animation menu remains hidden until you position the
pointer over the fifth column in the parameter list.

The Generate Keyframes dialog appears.

2. Choose the number of cycles to be keyframed.
3. Click OK to confirm your selection.

SEE ALSO
Set curve extrapolation
Curve extrapolation methods

Choose which curves are displayed in
the Keyframe Editor
Choose a curve view
Displaying too many parameters in the Keyframe Editor can make
the graph area difficult to read. You can limit the list of parameters
displayed in the graph area by choosing a view option from the
Show Curve Set pop-up menu.
Located at the top of the parameter list, the Show Curve Set popup menu lets you display built-in parameter curve sets as well as
custom sets you build yourself. (For information about creating a
custom curve set, see Create a custom curve view.) The Curve

Set pop-up menu displays the name of the selected curve set
(Animated, All, or Modified, for example).

View all parameters for all selected objects
Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose All.
By default, only animated parameters display curves in the
graph. Nonanimated parameters appear as dotted lines.
Deselect a parameter’s activation checkbox to hide it in the
graph. You can display or hide all parameters associated with
a group or object by selecting or deselecting its checkbox.

View only animated (keyframed or behaviorinfluenced) parameters

Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose
Animated.
Parameters with more than one keyframe are displayed.

View keyframes for a specific parameter of
an object
In the Inspector, click the Animation menu for the parameter,
then choose Show in Keyframe Editor.
Note: The Animation menu is hidden until you place the
pointer over the right side of a parameter row.
The keyframes appear in the Keyframe Editor and an untitled
curve set is selected in the Show Curve Set pop-up menu.

View parameters changed from their default
values
Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose
Modified.
This option shows the parameters that have been modified
from their default values, or are currently being modified (in
the Canvas, Inspector, or HUD).

View only active parameters

Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose Active.
This option shows only parameters being modified in real time.
For example, with Active selected, dragging an object in the
Canvas displays its X, Y, and Z Position parameters in the
Keyframe Editor.

View keyframes corresponding to a specific
parameter
Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose a
parameter type (such as Rotation, Opacity, or Retiming).
Only parameters of the chosen type are displayed.

View keyframes corresponding to a specific
parameter for multiple objects
1. In the Layers list, Canvas, or Timeline layers list, Shift-select
the objects that contain keyframes you want to view.
2. In the Keyframe Editor, click the Show Curve Set pop-up
menu, then choose a parameter type (such as Scale).
Only parameters of the chosen type are displayed for the
selected objects.

SEE ALSO

Create a custom curve view

Create a custom curve view
In addition to using the built-in curve set views, you can make and
manage your own view using the last two options in the Show
Curve Set pop-up menu: New Curve Set and Manage Curve Sets.
As you create and store custom parameter sets, they appear in
the Show Curve Set pop-up menu (at the top of the parameter list
in the Keyframe Editor), allowing you to switch between them.
Deleting, duplicating, and modifying custom sets is done in the
Manage Curve Sets dialog (accessible from the Show Curve Set
pop-up menu).

Create a custom curve set
1. Click the Show Curve Set pop-up menu, then choose New
Curve Set.
A dialog appears.
2. Enter a name for the set, then click OK.
After you create a curve set, you can choose it from the Show
Curve Set pop-up menu.

Add parameters to a custom curve set
Do one of the following:
After you create a custom curve set, drag a parameter name
from any pane in the Inspector into the Keyframe Editor
parameter list.

In the Inspector, click the Animation menu for the parameter,
then choose Show in Keyframe Editor.
The Animation menu (a downward arrow) remains hidden until
you position the pointer over the far-right side of the
parameter row you want to modify.
The parameter is added to the custom curve set.

Delete a parameter from a custom curve set
In the Keyframe Editor, drag the parameter out of the list.

Delete all parameters from a custom curve
set
Click the Clear Curve List button in the top-right corner of the
Keyframe Editor.

Delete a custom curve set
1. In the Keyframe Editor, click the Show Curve Set pop-up
menu, then choose Manage Curve Sets.
The Manage Curve Sets dialog appears.

2. Select the name of the set to delete.
3. Click the Delete button (–) at the top of the dialog.
The set is deleted.
4. Click Done to close the dialog.

Duplicate a custom curve set
1. In the Keyframe Editor, click the Show Curve Set pop-up
menu, then choose Manage Curve Sets.
The Manage Curve Sets dialog appears.
2. Select the name of the set to duplicate.
3. Click the Duplicate button at the top of the dialog.
The set is duplicated.
4. Double-click the set name in the list, then enter a name for the
set.
5. Click Done to close the dialog.
The new set now appears in the Show Curve Set pop-up
menu. These sets are saved with the project, so each time
you reopen the project, they are available. You can store as
many parameter sets as you like. After you store a set, you
can change or delete that set as needed.

Switch between custom curve sets
Use the Manage Curve Sets dialog to switch back and forth
between custom curve sets that contain common animated
parameters. For example, if you created a custom curve set for
an object’s Position and Rotation parameters, and your project
also contains another object with animated Position and Rotation
parameters, you can switch back and forth between their curve
sets.
1. In the Keyframe Editor, click the Show Curve Set pop-up
menu, then choose Manage Curve Sets.
2. Select the Relative checkbox in the left column of the Manage
Curve Sets dialog.
The curve set is displayed for the currently selected object.

SEE ALSO
Choose a curve view

Save an animation curve
After you apply keyframed animation to an object, you can save
its curve to the Library and then apply your custom animation to
an object in any project. Animation curves saved in the Library
appear with a custom icon.

Note: Items saved to the Library appear in the Finder with a
.molo extension (“Motion Library object”). These items cannot be
opened from the Finder.
If you create animation that uses multiple curves and you want to
save the cumulative effect of the animation, you can save all
curves as one item in the Library.
Although you can save animation curves into the Content category
of the Library, it’s generally recommended that you save items
you use frequently in the Favorites category—some Motion Library
categories contain so many items that using the Favorites or
Favorites Menu categories can save you search time. In the
Favorites category, you can create additional folders to organize
custom items.
You can also create folders in existing categories, including
Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Content. Folders created in the
Content category appear in the Library sidebar. Folders created in
subcategories, such as Basic Motion, appear in the Library stack
and not the sidebar. For more information on creating folders in
the Library, see Save custom behaviors.
Animation curves saved to the Favorites Menu category can be
applied to objects using the Favorites menu.

Save an animation curve to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Favorites or Favorites Menu
category.

2. Drag the name of the parameter animation curve to save from
the parameter list in the Keyframe Editor into the stack at the
bottom of the Library.
The saved animation curve is placed in the
/Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Motion/Library/Favorites folder or the
/Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Motion/Library/Favorites Menu folder.
Note: If you drag an animation curve to another subcategory,
such as the Glow (Filters) subcategory, the curve is placed in the
Content category, which becomes active.

Save multiple animation curves to the
Library
1. Open the Library and select the Content, Favorites, or
Favorites Menu category.
2. In the parameter list of the Keyframe Editor, select the
animation curves you want to save and drag them to the
stack, holding down the mouse button.
3. When the drop menu appears, choose “All in one file” or
“Multiple files.”
“All in one file” saves the animation curves together, listed as
one item in the Library. “Multiple files” saves the curves as
individual items in the Library.

Note: When you Control-click an animation curve icon in the
Library stack, the Edit Description shortcut menu item becomes
available. This is a handy tool for entering custom notes about an
item saved in the Library. After you choose Edit Description, enter
your notes in the text field, then click OK.
For information on naming items saved to the Library, saving
multiple items of different types to the Library, as well as creating
and organizing folders in the Library, see Save custom objects to
the Library.

Work in the mini-curve editor
Mini-curve editors provide a way to animate parameters outside
the Keyframe Editor’s interface using keyframes in a graph.
Animations created in a mini-curve editor don’t appear in the
Keyframe Editor.
Two Particle behaviors—Scale Over Life and Spin Over Life—
have mini-curve editors in the Inspector (when the Increment Type
parameter is set to Custom). Mini-curve editors are also present
for paint objects, in the Stroke pane of the Shape Inspector.
By default, the mini-curve editor is collapsed and shows a scaleddown representation of the parameter curve.

Expand a mini-curve editor
Click the disclosure triangle next to the collapsed mini-curve
editor in the Inspector.
The expanded mini-curve editor appears.

When expanded, the mini-curve editor shows a representation
of the relevant animation curve. In the example above, the
Over Life parameter is mapped to the X axis and the Custom
Spin parameter is mapped to the Y axis.

Add keyframes in the mini-curve editor
The procedure for adding keyframes in a mini-curve editor is
slightly different than adding them in the full-sized Keyframe
Editor.

Do one of the following:
Double-click the curve.
Option-click the curve.
Control-click the curve, then choose Add Keyframe from the
shortcut menu.

Modify a keyframe value in the mini-curve
editor
1. Double-click the keyframe in the mini-curve editor in the
Inspector.
Its value field is activated.
2. Enter a value in the value field, then press Return.
Note: To dismiss an active value field without making
changes, press Esc.

Rescale the mini-curve editor so the entire
curve is visible
Select the Auto Fit checkbox (located beneath the lower-right
corner of the mini-curve editor).
The animation curve is scaled to fit within the confines of the
mini-curve editor.

The mini-curve editor provides the Edit Keyframes, Sketch
Keyframes, and Transform Keyframes tools, and each functions in
the same manner as in the Keyframe Editor. For more information
on using the Edit Keyframes tool, see Modify keyframes. For more
information on using the Sketch Keyframes tool, see Manually
draw an animation curve. For more information on using the
Transform Keyframes tool, see Transform multiple curve
segments simultaneously.

Animate on the fly
Motion lets you create animations while your project is playing
back. This is similar to how audio engineers adjust sliders for each
audio channel while listening to the mix. The next time the project
is played back, all changes are incorporated.
Because so many of Motion’s effects are displayed in real time,
you can perform a sort of “visual mix” and modify the parameters
of your effects while the project is playing back. Make
adjustments to any slider or parameter, interactively manipulate
objects in the Canvas, and then, if you don’t like the results,
rewind and do it again. Each time you alter a parameter, you
replace the keyframes previously assigned.

Animate a parameter on the fly via the
Inspector or HUD

1. Click the Record button, press A, or choose Mark > Record
Animation to turn on keyframe recording.
2. Click the Play button or press the Space bar to begin
playback.
3. As your project plays, adjust a parameter slider in the
Inspector or HUD.
4. Click the Record button again to disable Record.
The changes you made during playback are recorded as
keyframes for that parameter. You can view them in the
Keyframe Editor.
Note: You can also animate on the fly using the initial
keyframe method. For more information on the initial keyframe
method, see Add keyframes.

Delete keyframes recorded on the fly
If you don’t like the animation you made, you can delete the
keyframes and try again.
Do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Undo (or press Command-Z) to revert to the
state before you began recording your animation.
Select one or more keyframes, then press Delete.
Control-click a keyframe, then choose Delete from the

shortcut menu.
Select a keyframe, then choose Delete from the Animation
menu for that parameter.
Note: To delete all keyframes for a parameter, click the
Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor parameter list or
Inspector, then choose Reset Parameter.

Create a handmade animation path in the
Canvas
A common use for animating on the fly is to create hand-drawn
animation paths. Although you can choose various curve types, it
is very difficult to simulate semi-random movement except by
sketching with a mouse or tablet pen.
1. Enable Record (press A).
2. Click the Play button to begin playback.
3. Select the object to manipulate and drag it in the pattern of
your choice.
The position and speed of your movement are recorded and
applied to the position keyframes for that object.

You can further manipulate the path by dragging individual
keyframes, or re-recording a new animation path for that
object.

Simplify a keyframe-heavy curve
When a parameter contains at least one keyframe, or when the
Record button is enabled, a keyframe is added every time you
modify a parameter at a new playhead position. If you animate
while the project is playing, you create a keyframe at every frame.
Additionally, when you convert a behavior to keyframes, you often
end up with an unwieldy amount of keyframes.
In many cases, the curve created by your animation can be
represented using fewer keyframes. Often, this provides a
smoother rate of change and lets you take advantage of
interpolation methods such as Bezier or Continuous.
You can streamline your keyframe curves in two ways: by

simplifying an existing animation curve using the Reduce
Keyframes command in the Animation menu for that parameter or
by adjusting keyframe thinning options before recording
keyframes.

Reduce keyframes in an existing animation
curve
1. Click the Animation menu for the parameter you want to
modify (in the fifth column in the Keyframe Editor parameter
list), then choose Reduce Keyframes.
The Reduce Keyframes dialog appears.

2. Adjust the Error Tolerance and Smoothing parameters to
obtain the curve you want.

Adjust keyframe thinning before animating
on the fly
Use the Recording Options dialog to adjust the Keyframe Thinning
setting or to disable recording during playback. (This setting has
no effect on ordinary keyframing.)
1. Do one of the following:
Choose Mark > Recording Options (or press Option-A).
Double-click the Record button (under the Canvas).
The Recording Options dialog appears.

2. Select a Keyframe Thinning option:

Off: No thinning is applied. Keyframes are added at every
frame where the parameter is changed.
Reduced: Motion eliminates keyframes that can easily be
replaced with a simple curve.
Peaks Only: Only keyframes with dramatic value changes
are recorded.
Don’t record keyframes during playback: Select this
checkbox if you don’t want keyframes to be recorded
while the project is playing back.
3. Click OK.

Disable animation recording during
playback
If the Record button is enabled or a parameter contains at least
one keyframe, keyframes are added when you make parameter
adjustments. To prevent creating accidental animation, you can
restrict automatic keyframing so it happens only when the project
is not playing.
1. Choose Mark > Recording Options.
The Recording Options dialog appears.
2. Select “Don’t Record keyframes during playback.”
3. Click OK.

Create Final Cut Pro
templates
Final Cut Pro templates overview
Final Cut Pro X ships with numerous effects, titles, transitions, and
generators, nearly all of which were created in Motion. You can
modify these default effects or create your own using the
Final Cut Pro templates that come with Motion. If you’re a content
creator, you can build and distribute custom Final Cut Pro effects
to other artists and editors or to clients.
When you save a Final Cut Pro template in Motion, the resulting
effect, title, transition, or generator becomes available in one of
the Final Cut Pro media browsers. For example, a transition
template saved in Motion appears as a new transition in the
Transitions Browser in Final Cut Pro, ready to be applied to an
editing project. What’s more, in Motion, you can choose which
parameters to publish, allowing the Final Cut Pro user complete,
some, or no control over modifying the effect.
Note: Audio files saved in a Motion template will not be available
in Final Cut Pro.
There are four types of Final Cut Pro templates:
Final Cut Effect: Create a custom stylized effect that can be
applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro Timeline. A sepia-tone
color correction might make an audience think of days gone

by, while a radiant glow might suggest an otherworldly setting.
See Create an effect template.
Final Cut Transition: Create a custom transition that can be
applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro Timeline. A transition
artfully connects the edit point between two clips. One scene
might dissolve into the next in a cloud of smoke, or one setting
might displace another through a kaleidoscope. See Create a
transition template.
Final Cut Title: Create a custom text animation that can be
added to a Final Cut Pro sequence. Text might flare in or out
in a fiery glow, or fall into place from offscreen. See Create a
title template.
Final Cut Generator: Create generalized graphical content that
can be added to a Final Cut Pro project. A Final Cut Generator
is nearly identical to any other Motion project—it can include
text, shapes, replicators, camera moves and lighting,
generators, and so on. It can be static or animated. See
Create a generator template.
Important: Because you cannot change template types after
you open a project, determine what kind of template you want
to build before creating a Motion project. A standard Motion
project, however, can always be published as a Final Cut
Generator.
SEE ALSO
Template workflow
Guidelines for better template creation

How do templates work?
Template workflow
Creating templates for Final Cut Pro X in Motion involves several
simple steps:

Stage 1: Select a template type
In the Motion Project Browser, create a new project by selecting
one of four template types—Final Cut Effect, Final Cut Transition,
Final Cut Title, or Final Cut Generator—then click Open.

Stage 2: Add Motion effects to the template
placeholders
The new Motion template project that opens contains graphical
placeholders—target layers (a downward arrow graphic in the
Canvas) where you drag Motion behaviors, filters, and other
special effects. You can include temporary images to preview the
effect you are building. Ultimately, these effects will be applied to
footage in Final Cut Pro. For more information, see Placeholders
versus drop zones.

Stage 3: Add additional layers and effects (if
necessary)
If your effect requires additional graphics, add new layers to the
template (shapes, paint strokes, particles, and so on) and modify
them with effects (lighting, camera moves, or filters, for example).

Note: These new graphics will ultimately be composited over
Final Cut Pro clips and cannot be separated from the effect.

Stage 4: Add user interface controls to
make the template adjustable in
Final Cut Pro
To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify specific parameters, you
can “publish” sliders, checkboxes, or dials, making them available
in the Final Cut Pro Inspector.

Stage 5: Save the template project
When you save a template in Motion, the effect, transition, title, or
generator is exported to the relevant Final Cut Pro media browser
(the Effects Browser, Titles Browser, Transitions Browser, or
Generators Browser). In Final Cut Pro, when the template is
added to the Timeline or applied to a clip in the Timeline, an
activation checkbox and published parameter controls appear in
the Final Cut Pro Inspector.
The duration of the effect is determined by the length of the
Final Cut Pro clip it is applied to. Special markers allow you to
control the template’s timing in Final Cut Pro. See What are
template markers?

Placeholders versus drop zones
Most of the Final Cut Pro templates in Motion contain placeholder

layers, which appear in the Canvas as downward arrow graphics.

In Motion, you drag effects objects (behaviors, filters, and so on)
into these placeholder layers. The result is a custom effect that
you can later apply to clips in Final Cut Pro. When you do so, two
things happen:
The target clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline populates the
placeholder.
The effects embedded in the placeholder are applied to the
target clip.
Placeholder layers are not intended to hold source media (images
or movie clips) that you apply in Motion. Although you can drag an
image or clip into a placeholder in Motion to test what the effect
will look like, those images are not used in Final Cut Pro.
If you want users to be able to add additional source media to an
applied template in Final Cut Pro, you can add one or more drop
zones to the template in Motion. Drop zones remain empty until
users assign source media to them in Final Cut Pro.
Placeholders and drop zones can be scaled or transformed in
templates to create certain looks and movements. For example,
you can create a picture-in-picture effect by adding a drop zone

to a template, scaling the drop zone down, then positioning it in a
corner of the Canvas. When a user applies the template to a clip
in Final Cut Pro, that clip populates the effect, and an empty drop
zone appears in the corner of the Viewer; the user can then
assign a different clip to the picture-in-picture drop zone.
Placeholders and drop zones share many of the same
parameters, such as Pan, Scale, and Fill Color. If you modify
placeholder parameters in Motion (via the placeholder’s Image
Inspector), those adjustments do not affect the clip in
Final Cut Pro to which the effect template is applied. For drop
zones, however, parameter modifications made in Motion do
affect the media assigned to the drop zone in Final Cut Pro. For
more information on drop zone (and placeholder) parameters, see
Drop zone controls.
Note: Drop zones can also be used when creating Motionspecific templates (not for use in Final Cut Pro). For more
information, see Drop zones overview.

Work with effect templates
Create an effect template
Use the Final Cut Effect template to create a custom stylized
effect that can be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X Timeline.

Create a new effect template

1. In Motion, choose File > New From Project Browser (or press
Option-Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, click Final Cut Effect, then click the
Preset pop-up menu and choose a project size.

Important: Be sure to create the template at the highest
resolution you will use in your Final Cut Pro project. If you are
creating 4K-specific templates, you can enable a setting that
allows the Final Cut Pro media browsers to display only
templates designed for use in 4K projects. For more
information, see Set template resolution.
3. Click Open (or press Return).
If the correct preset is already chosen, you can double-click
Final Cut Effect in the Project Browser.
A new, untitled Motion project opens, with the Effect Source
placeholder layer selected.

Note: You cannot delete the Effect Source placeholder from
an effect template. Nor can you create additional Effect
Source placeholders.
4. To add a reference image to the Effects Source placeholder to
preview your work, do one of the following:
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image onto
the placeholder arrow in the Canvas.
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image to the
Effect Source layer in the Layers list.
Be sure to release the mouse button when the pointer is over
the placeholder (the downward arrow in the Canvas or Effect
Source layer in the Layers list). If you miss the target, you
create a new layer, which cannot be dragged to the
placeholder layer.
The image is added to the Effect Source layer, replacing the
arrow graphic in the Canvas. This image is temporary media
used to preview the result of the effect you are building. It is
not used in the Final Cut Pro effect.

5. Add filters or behaviors to the Effect Source layer to create a
custom effect.
The filter and behavior parameters can be modified and
animated. For more information on working with filters, see
Filters overview. For more information on behaviors, see
Behaviors overview.
6. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify specific parameters,
choose Publish from the Animation pop-up menu of each
parameter you want to make accessible.
Publishing a parameter makes its user interface control (the
slider, checkbox, or dial) available in the Final Cut Pro
Inspector when the custom effect is applied to a clip.
Published parameters can be adjusted and keyframed in
Final Cut Pro. For more information, see Add parameter
controls overview.
7. Optional: When you’re satisfied with the custom effect you’ve
built, you can remove the preview image from the template by
selecting the Effect Source layer, then clicking the Clear
button in the Image Inspector.
8. Choose File > Save, then do the following:
a. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template.
If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the
Final Cut Pro Effects Browser as “New Template.”
b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
You can also create a custom category. Categories

represent how the effects are organized in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser.
Custom categories also appear in the browsers.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
A theme is a metadata tag that assists in categorizing
different templates as being part of a single family. For
example, you may have different template types that are
related to the same project, such as a transition, an effect,
and a group of titles. By tagging the templates with the
same theme, all templates, regardless of their template
type, appear in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
Themed templates also appear in other effects browsers.
For example, a themed Final Cut Effect template appears
in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in the
Effects Browser.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list that’s not used in the template but which you
want to save for later inclusion), select “Include unused
media.”
For information on where template-related files are saved,
see About template files and media save locations.
e. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion
Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
9. Click Publish.

The template and remaining media are saved and exported to
the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser. If you did not remove the
reference image, it appears in the template’s thumbnail in the
Final Cut Pro Effects Browser.

Apply the effect in Final Cut Pro
Locate the effect in the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser, then
apply the effect to a clip in the Timeline.
Images or clips used in the Motion placeholder layer appear in
the Effects Browser icon, but are not applied to the clip in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline.

For information about applying and editing effects in Final Cut Pro,
see Final Cut Pro X Help.

Modify a Final Cut Pro effect
Many of the presets in the Final Cut Pro X Effects Browser were
created in Motion. You can modify them in Motion, then save
them as custom effects in Final Cut Pro.
For a step-through example of modifying a preset Final Cut Effect,
see Example: Modify a preset Final Cut Pro effect in Motion.

1. In Final Cut Pro, click the Effects Browser button in the

toolbar.
The Effects Browser appears.
2. Locate the effect to edit.
To preview the effect, move the pointer over the effect’s
thumbnail.
3. Control-click the effect, then do one of the following:
If the effect is a Final Cut Pro preset, choose “Open a copy
in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
A copy of the project opens in Motion, and the duplicated
file appears in the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser.
If the effect is a template created in Motion, choose “Open
in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
The original project opens in Motion.
4. Modify the project in Motion, then do one of the following:
Save a copy of a Final Cut Pro preset with the default
name: Choose File > Save.
Save a copy of a Final Cut Pro preset with a new name:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Save the updated Motion-created template and overwrite
the original version: Choose File > Save.
Save the updated Motion-created template as a copy:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.

Note: When a preset Final Cut Pro effect is applied to the
Final Cut Pro Timeline and then modified in Motion, the
saved changes do not affect instances of the default
preset in the Final Cut Pro Timeline. However, if the version
of a preset in the Final Cut Pro Timeline has already been
modified in Motion, any subsequent changes made to the
template in Motion affect instances of the effect in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline.
The template is saved and appears in the Effects Browser in
Final Cut Pro.

Example: Modify a preset Final Cut Pro
effect in Motion
In Final Cut Pro X, the Bokeh Random effect adds moving, blurred
particles to a clip. This example describes how to modify that
effect in Motion by adding and removing parameter controls.
Note: Bokeh comes from the Japanese term “boke,” meaning
blur or haze. Bokeh is a term used in photography to describe the
aesthetic quality of a blurred image.

Use Motion to add a control to the Bokeh
Random effect
1. In Final Cut Pro, select a clip in the Timeline, then click the
Effects Browser button in the toolbar.

2. In the Effects Browser, select the Light category, Control-click
the Bokeh Random effect, then choose “Open a copy in
Motion” from the shortcut menu.
A copy of the template opens in Motion, and the duplicated
file appears in the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser.
3. In the Layers list in Motion, click disclosure triangles to open
the Light Layer 02 group, the Bokeh group, and then the
Circles group.
Note that the effect is composed of behaviors, a Gaussian
Blur filter, and rigged particle parameters. For detailed
information on rigging parameters, see Rigging overview.
4. In the Circles group, select the Bokeh 4 particle emitter.
5. In the Emitter Inspector, click the Color Mode pop-up menu,
then choose Colorize.

6. Select a new color from the Color controls (just under the
Color Mode pop-up menu).
In the Canvas, the circular particles change to the new color.
7. Do one of the following:
Click the Color parameter’s Animation menu (the
downward arrow that appears when you place the pointer
over the right side of the parameter row), then choose
Publish.

Control-click the Color parameter’s name, then choose
Publish from the shortcut menu.

8. In the Layers list, click the Project object, and then in the
Project Inspector, click Publishing.
The controls that are published in the preset Bokeh Random
effect are listed: Type, Blend Mode, Size, Number, Pattern,
Speed, Blur Amount, Opacity, and Color. After you save this
template in Motion (as described below), the modified effect
will be added to the Effects inspector in Final Cut Pro, making
the Color parameter available to Final Cut Pro users.

Use Motion to remove a control from the
Bokeh Random effect
In the Publishing pane of the Project Inspector, do one of the
following:
Click the Type parameter’s Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the
right side of the parameter row), then choose Unpublish.
Control-click the Type parameter’s name, then choose
Unpublish from the shortcut menu.
The Type control is removed from the list and will not be
available in Final Cut Pro.

Save the modified Bokeh Random effect
Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).

Note: To save the effect with a different name or to a
different category in the Effects Browser, choose File > Save
As. The initially created file (Bokeh Random Copy) remains in
the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser and Motion Project Browser,
but can be deleted in the OS X Finder, in the folder in
/Users/username/Movies/Motion Templates.
The effect is now ready for use in Final Cut Pro. Unlike the
original preset, Bokeh Random Copy includes a control to
change the color of the particles, and no longer includes a
control to change the shape of the particles.

Work with transition templates
Create a transition template
Use the Final Cut Transition template to create a custom transition
that can be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X Timeline.

Create a new transition template
1. In Motion, choose File > New From Project Browser (or press
Option-Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, click Final Cut Transition, then choose
a project size from the Preset pop-up menu.

Important: Be sure to create the template at the highest
resolution you will use in your Final Cut Pro project. If you’re
creating 4K-specific templates, you can enable a setting that
allows the Final Cut Pro media browsers to display only
templates designed for use in 4K projects. For more
information, see Set template resolution.
3. Click Open (or press Return).
If the correct preset is already chosen, you can double-click
Final Cut Transition in the Project Browser.
A new, untitled Motion project opens containing two
placeholder layers: Transition A and Transition B.

Note: You cannot delete the Transition A and Transition B
placeholders from a transition template. Nor can you create

additional Transition placeholders.
4. To add a reference image to the placeholders to preview your
work, do the following:
a. From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image onto the
Transition A layer in the Layers list (or onto the Transition A
arrow in the Canvas).
b. From the File Browser or Library, drag a second still image
onto the Transition B layer in the Layers list.
Be sure to release the mouse button when the pointer is
over a placeholder (the downward arrow in the Canvas or
Transition layer in the Layers list). If you miss the target,
you create a new layer, which cannot be dragged to the
placeholder layer.
The images are added to the Transition A and B
placeholder layers, replacing the downward arrow graphics
in the Canvas. The images serve as temporary media to
preview the result of the transition you are building. They
are not used in the Final Cut Pro X transition.
5. Modify Transition A and Transition B so they flow into each
other midway through the transition, using filters, behaviors, or
other combinations of effects.
For example, animate a lens flare filter that moves across the
screen as Transition A fades into Transition B.
When designing the template, think about how best to line up
the end of incoming clip A with the beginning of the transition,

and the end of the transition with incoming clip B. For
example, a transition that begins on a full-screen Placeholder
A and ends on a full-screen Placeholder B avoids jarring
jumps. Because the default behavior between the transition
placeholders is a simple cut, to smooth out the transition, you
may need to adjust the placeholder timebars to overlap in the
Timeline, then animate their opacity using keyframes or a
behavior.
For more information on working with filters, see Filters
overview. For more information on behaviors, see Behaviors
overview.
6. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify parameters, choose
Publish from the Animation pop-up menu of each parameter
you want to make accessible.
Publishing a parameter makes its user interface control (the
slider, checkbox, or dial) available in the Final Cut Pro
Inspector when the custom effect is applied to a clip.
Published parameters can be adjusted and keyframed in
Final Cut Pro. For more information, see Add parameter
controls overview.
7. Optional: When you’re satisfied with the transition you’ve built,
you can remove the preview images from the template by
selecting each Transition layer, then clicking the Clear button
in the Image Inspector.
The temporary image is removed.
8. Choose File > Save, then do the following:

a. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template.
If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the
Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser as “New Template.”
b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
You can also create a custom category. Categories
represent how the effects are organized in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Transitions
Browser. Custom categories also appear in the browsers.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
A theme is a metadata tag that assists in categorizing
different templates as being part of a single family. For
example, you may have different template types that are
related to the same project, such as a transition, an effect,
and a group of titles. By tagging the templates with the
same theme, all templates, regardless of their template
type, appear in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
Themed templates also appear in other effects browsers.
For example, a themed Final Cut Transition template
appears in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in
the Transitions Browser.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list that is not used in the template but which
you may want to include in the template later), select
“Include unused media.”

For information on where template-related files are saved,
see About template files and media save locations.
e. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion
Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
9. Click Publish.
The template and remaining media are saved and exported to
the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser. If you did not remove
the reference image, it appears in the template’s thumbnail in
the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser.

Override the default transition length set in
Final Cut Pro
The duration of transition template is determined by the
Final Cut Pro project settings. However, you can override that
default duration in Motion.
In Motion, select the Project object in the Layers list, then
select the Override FCP checkbox in the Properties Inspector.
The transition also has adjustable In and Out points in the
Final Cut Pro project.

Apply the transition in Final Cut Pro
Locate the transition in the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser,
then apply the transition to an edit point in the Timeline.

Images or clips in the Motion placeholder layer appear in the
Transitions Browser icon, but are not applied to the clip in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline.

For information on applying and editing transitions in Final Cut Pro,
see Final Cut Pro X Help.

Example: Create a Prism Blur transition
This example demonstrates how to create an original, simple
Final Cut Pro X transition in Motion. Clip A dissolves into clip B
with a prism blur effect.

1. Choose File > New (or press Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, select Final Cut Transition, choose the
project preset required for your Final Cut project, set the
Duration to 200 frames, then click Open.
Note: This example uses the Broadcast HD 720 preset.
The project opens and contains a single group with two
placeholder layers: Transition A and Transition B.
3. Optional: To preview what the effect will look like, drag a still
image from the File Browser to Transition A in the Layers list
and then drag a different still image to Transition B, releasing
the mouse button when the pointer changes to a curved
arrow.

These images are for preview purposes only, and will not be
saved to Final Cut Pro.

Note: This example does not use any images.
When you play the project (press the Space bar), no transition
is present by default. Transition A ends, and transition B
begins abruptly.
4. In the Timeline, position the pointer over the end of the
Transition A bar, then trim the bar by dragging its end edge to
the end of the project.

5. Trim the Transition B bar by dragging its beginning edge to
frame 80.
6. Animate the opacity of Transition A by doing the following:
a. Click the Record button (press A) and select Transition A.
b. Drag the playhead to frame 1, then set Opacity to 100 in

the Properties Inspector.
Because the default Opacity value is 100, move the
Opacity value slider back and forth, or enter 100 in the
adjacent value slider to be sure a keyframe is created.
Tip: To see keyframes in the Timeline, click the Show/Hide
Keyframes button in the upper-right corner of the Timeline.

c. Drag the playhead to frame 80, then set Opacity to 100 in
the Properties Inspector.
Again, adjust the Opacity value to be sure a keyframe is
created. This prevents any dipping to black as transition A
fades into transition B.
d. Drag the playhead to frame 130, then set Opacity to 0 in
the Properties Inspector.
When you play the project, Transition A fades into
Transition B.
7. In the Layers list, select the Group.
8. In the toolbar, click the Add Filter pop-up menu, then choose
Blur > Prism.

9. Animate the blur amount of the Prism filter by doing the
following:
a. Drag the playhead to frame 1, then open the Filters
Inspector and set Amount to 0.
b. Drag the playhead to frame 105, then in the Filters
Inspector, set Amount to 50.

c. Drag the playhead to frame 200, then in the Filters
Inspector, set Amount to 0.
When you play the project, Transition A fades into
Transition B with a prism blur that moves right, then left.
10. Choose File > Save, then do the following:
a. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template.
If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the

Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser as “New Template.”
b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
You can also create a custom category. Categories appear
in the Motion Project Browser and the Final Cut Pro
Transitions Browser.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion
Project Browser and the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser. A
theme is a metadata tag that helps categorize templates.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list that’s not used in the template that you may
decide to include in the template later), select “Include
unused media.”
For information on where template-related files are saved,
see About template files and media save locations.
e. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion
Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
After the prism blur transition is applied to the
Final Cut Pro X Timeline, its duration can be easily
modified. For more information transition duration, see
Create a transition template.

Create a transition background

You might want a custom transition to include a background
image or clip. For example, if your Transition A and Transition B
clips are animated to scale down, you can apply a background
image to cover the black areas of the exposed frame. You can
create a background by adding a drop zone to the transition
template. After you apply the transition to a clip in the
Final Cut Pro X Timeline, you can assign source media to the drop
zone.
Drop zones in templates allow Final Cut Pro users to place media
into designated regions of the applied effect. You can add filters,
behaviors, animations, and other effects to drop zones in Motion
to affect clips later added to those drop zones in Final Cut Pro.
For more information, see Placeholders versus drop zones and
Drop zones overview.

1. In the Final Cut Transition project, choose Object > New Drop
Zone.
A drop zone layer (titled “Drop Zone”) appears in the layers list
and Canvas.
2. Select the drop zone layer, then do one of the following in the
Image Inspector:
Use a clip as the drop zone’s source media in
Final Cut Pro: Click the Type pop-up menu, then choose
Media Source.

When the transition is added to a Final Cut Pro project, a
Drop Zone image well appears in the Final Cut Pro
inspector. Using this image well, an editor can add a
source clip that appears as a background during the
custom transition. Using the drop zone’s onscreen controls
(accessed by double-clicking the drop zone in the
Final Cut Pro Viewer), an editor can pan or scale the
source clip within the drop zone. For more information,
refer to the Final Cut Pro X Help.
Use a still image as the drop zone’s media source in
Final Cut Pro: Click the Type pop-up menu, then choose
Timeline Pin.
When the transition is added to a Final Cut Pro project, you
can select a single frame of a clip as the source frame in
the drop zone by dragging a numbered handle along the
Timeline. For more information, see Final Cut Pro X Help.

Note: You can set a drop zone background color that’s apparent
when the drop zone’s source media is panned or scaled. For
more information, see Drop zones overview.

Modify a Final Cut Pro transition
Many presets in the Final Cut Pro X Transitions Browser were
created in Motion. You can modify them in Motion, then save
them as custom transitions in Final Cut Pro.

1. In Final Cut Pro, click the Transitions Browser button in the
toolbar.
The Transitions Browser appears.
2. Locate the transition to edit.
To preview of the effect, move the pointer over the transition’s
thumbnail.
3. Control-click the transition and do one of the following:
If the transition is a Final Cut Pro preset, choose “Open a
copy in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
A copy of the project opens in Motion, and the duplicated
file appears in the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser.
Note: The “Open a copy in Motion” command is not
available for FxPlug transitions.
If the transition is a template created in Motion, choose
“Open in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
The original project opens in Motion.
4. Modify the project in Motion, then do any of the following:

Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with the default
name: Choose File > Save.
Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with a new name:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Save the updated Motion-created template and overwrite
the original version: Choose File > Save.
Save the updated Motion-created template as a copy:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Note: If the preset Final Cut Pro transition was applied to
the Final Cut Pro Timeline before being modified in Motion,
the saved changes do not affect instances of the transition
in the Final Cut Pro Timeline. However, after the modified
transition is applied to the Final Cut Pro Timeline, any
subsequent changes made in Motion to the template affect
instances of the transition in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
The template is saved and appears in Transitions Browser in
Final Cut Pro.

Work with title templates
Create a title template
Use the Final Cut Title template to create a custom title that can
be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X Timeline.

Create a new title template
1. In Motion, choose File > New From Project Browser (or press
Option-Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, click Final Cut Title, then click the
Preset pop-up menu and choose a project size.

Important: Be sure to create the template at the highest
resolution you will use in your Final Cut Pro project. If you’re
creating 4K-specific templates, you can enable a setting that
allows the Final Cut Pro media browsers to display only
templates designed for use in 4K projects. For more
information, see Set template resolution.
3. Click Open (or press Return).
If the correct preset is already chosen, you can double-click
Final Cut Title in the Project Browser.
A new, untitled Motion project opens containing two layers: a
text layer (Type Text Here) and a placeholder layer (Title
Background).

4. To add a reference image to the Title Background placeholder
to preview your work, do one of the following:
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image onto
the placeholder arrow in the Canvas.
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image to the
Title Background layer in the Layers list.
Be sure to release the mouse button when the pointer is
over a placeholder (the arrow in the Canvas or Transition
layer in the Layers list). If you miss the target, you create a
new layer, which cannot be dragged to the placeholder
layer.
The image is added to the Title Background layer,
replacing the downward arrow graphic in the Canvas. This
image is temporary media used to preview the effect you
are building. It is not used in the Final Cut Pro X title.
Note: If you don’t want to use a reference image or do not
want to modify the clip in Final Cut Pro, you can delete the
Title Background placeholder.

5. Modify the text as needed and add animation, filters, text
behaviors, and other effects to create custom titles.
Because users can change the text in Final Cut Pro, it’s not
necessary to modify the default text (“Type Text Here”) in
Motion. You can adjust and animate parameters in the Text
Inspector, Filters Inspector, Behaviors Inspector, and
Properties Inspector to create a memorable title sequence.
For more information about using text, see Basic text overview
and Animated text overview.
6. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify specific parameters,
choose Publish from the Animation pop-up menu of each
parameter you want to make accessible.
Publishing a parameter makes its user interface control (the
slider, checkbox, or dial) available in the Final Cut Pro
Inspector when the custom title is added to a clip. Published
parameters can be adjusted and keyframed in Final Cut Pro.
For more information, see Add parameter controls overview.
For information specific to publishing text parameters, see
About publishing text parameter controls.
7. Optional: When you’re satisfied with the custom title you’ve
built, you can remove the preview image from the template by
selecting the Effect Source layer, then clicking the Clear
button in the Image Inspector.
The temporary image is removed and not saved to the
template’s Media folder. For more information, see About
template files and media save locations.
8. Choose File > Save, then do the following:

a. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template.
If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the
Final Cut Pro Titles Browser as “New Template.”
b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
You can also create a custom category. Categories
represent how the effects are organized in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Titles Browser.
Custom categories also appear in the browsers.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
A theme is a metadata tag that assists in categorizing
different templates as being part of a single family. For
example, you may have different template types that are
related to the same project, such as a transition, an effect,
and a group of titles. By tagging the templates with the
same theme, all templates, regardless of their template
type, appear in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
Themed templates also appear in other effects browsers.
For example, a themed Final Cut Title template appears in
the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in the Titles
Browser.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list that is not used in the template but which
you may want to include in the template later), select
“Include unused media.”

For information on where template-related files are saved,
see About template files and media save locations.
e. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion
Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
9. Click Publish.
The template and remaining media are saved and exported to
the Final Cut Pro Titles Browser. If you did not remove the
reference image, it appears in the template’s thumbnail in the
Final Cut Pro Titles Browser.

Apply the title in Final Cut Pro
From the Final Cut Pro Titles Browser, do one of the following:
Drag the title into the Timeline, above the clip you want to
composite it over.
When you release the mouse button, the title is anchored to
the clip, and the clip is used as the background. The title can
span multiple clips in the Timeline. The clips populate the Title
Background placeholder, inheriting any transforms, filters, or
other effects applied to the placeholder in Motion.
Drag the title to the main Timeline as a clip.
When you release the mouse button, the title is added to the
main Timeline. If the title effect contains a Title Background
placeholder, the placeholder is ignored, and a background
clip cannot be specified. Drag the In and Out points to
increase or decrease the duration of the title.

For information on working with titles in Final Cut Pro, see
Final Cut Pro X Help.

Create a title background
In a title template, the Title Background placeholder is not
intended to hold source media (images or movie clips) added in
Motion. Although you can drag an image or clip onto the Title
Background placeholder in Motion to preview how the titles will
look composited over media, those images are never used in
Final Cut Pro X. If you want to give Final Cut Pro users the option
of adding their own source media a title, add a drop zone to the
title template in Motion.
Drop zones can be any size and can be placed in any region of
the frame. You can add filters, behaviors, and animations to drop
zones in Motion so those effects influence clips later added in
Final Cut Pro. For more information on drop zones, see Drop
zones overview. To better understand the difference between
placeholders and drop zones, see Placeholders versus drop
zones.

Create a background for a title template
In a Final Cut Title project in Motion, choose Object > New
Drop Zone.
A drop zone layer (titled “Drop Zone”) appears in the layers list

and Canvas.
When the template is saved in Motion, the title is added to the
Final Cut Pro Titles Browser. When a Final Cut Pro editor add
the title to their Timeline, a Drop Zone image well appears in
the Final Cut Pro inspector. Using this image well, an editor
can add a source clip that appears beneath the titles. Using
the drop zone’s onscreen controls (accessed by doubleclicking the drop zone in the Viewer), an editor can pan or
scale the source clip within the drop zone. For more
information, refer to Final Cut Pro X Help.
Tip: From Motion, you can publish a rigged checkbox that
turns the drop zone on or off in the main Final Cut Pro
Timeline. Alternatively, you can create two versions of the title
template, one that uses a standard drop zone as a
background and one that doesn’t. For more information on
rigging, see Rigging overview. For more information on
publishing, see Add parameter controls overview.

Modify a Final Cut Pro X title
The presets in the Final Cut Pro X Titles Browser were created in
Motion. You can modify these presets in Motion, then save them
as new title effects in Final Cut Pro.

1. In Final Cut Pro, click the Titles Browser button in the toolbar.
2. In the Titles Browser, locate the title to edit.

To preview the title effect, move the pointer over title’s
thumbnail.
3. Control-click the title and do one of the following:
If the title is a Final Cut Pro preset, choose “Open a copy
in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
A copy of the project opens in Motion, and the duplicated
file appears in the Final Cut Pro Titles Browser.
If the title is a template created in Motion, choose “Open in
Motion” from the shortcut menu.
The original project opens in Motion.
4. Modify the project in Motion, then do one of the following:
Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with the default
name: Choose File > Save.
Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with a new name:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Save the updated Motion-created template and overwrite
the original version: Choose File > Save.
Save the updated Motion-created template as a copy:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Note: If the preset Final Cut Pro title was applied to the
Final Cut Pro Timeline before being modified in Motion, the
saved changes do not affect instances of the title in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline. However, after the modified title is
applied to the Final Cut Pro Timeline, any subsequent

changes made in Motion to the template affect instances
of the title in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
The template is saved and appears in Titles Browser in
Final Cut Pro.

Work with generator templates
Create a generator template
Use the Final Cut Generator template to create a custom
generator that can be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X
Timeline. A generator template is similar to a standard Motion
project. However, when saved, it’s exported to the Generators
Browser in Final Cut Pro.
Like any content added to a Final Cut Pro project, a generator
template can be composited over a clip in the Final Cut Pro
Timeline, or added to the main Timeline. The duration of the
generator in Final Cut Pro is determined by its duration when
created and saved in Motion.

Create a new generator template
1. In Motion, choose File > New From Project Browser (or press
Option-Command-N).
2. In the Project Browser, click Final Cut Generator, then choose

a project size from the Preset pop-up menu.

Important: Be sure to create the template at the highest
resolution you will use in your Final Cut Pro project. If you’re
creating 4K-specific templates, you can enable a setting that
allows the Final Cut Pro media browsers to display only
templates designed for use in 4K projects. For more
information, see Set template resolution.
3. Click Open (or press Return).
If the correct preset is already chosen, you can double-click
Final Cut Generator in the Project Browser.
A new, untitled project opens. The project contains no
placeholders.

4. Build the project as you would any other Motion project, using
shapes, text, behaviors, camera animation, and so on.
Note: You can also add drop zones to create additional
effects, such as a picture-in-picture effect. Drop zones allow
Final Cut Pro users to place media into designated regions of
the applied effect. For more information, see Drop zones
overview and Placeholders versus drop zones.
5. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify specific parameters,
choose Publish from the Animation pop-up menu of each
parameter you want to make accessible.
Publishing a parameter makes its user interface control (the
slider, checkbox, or dial) available in the Final Cut Pro
Inspector when the custom effect is applied to a clip.
Published parameters can be adjusted and keyframed in
Final Cut Pro. For more information, see Add parameter
controls overview.
Note: If you have many parameters that you want to adjust
with a single control, you can rig the parameters to a slider,
pop-up menu, or checkbox. When the rig controls are
published with a template, the slider, pop-up menu, or
checkbox becomes available in the Final Cut Pro X project.
For more information, see Rigging overview.
6. Choose File > Save, then do the following:
a. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template.
If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the
Final Cut Pro Generators Browser as “New Template.”

b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
You can also create a custom category. Categories
represent how the effects are organized in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Generators
Browser. Custom categories also appear in the browsers.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion
Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.
A theme is a metadata tag that assists in categorizing
different templates as being part of a single family. For
example, you may have different template types that are
related to the same project, such as a transition, a
generator, and a group of titles. By tagging the templates
with the same theme, all templates, regardless of their
template type, appear in the Final Cut Pro Themes
Browser.
Themed templates also appear in other effects browsers.
For example, a themed Final Cut Generator template
appears in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in
the Generators Browser.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list that’s not used in the template but which you
may want to include in the template later), select “Include
unused media.”
For information on where template-related files are saved,
see About template files and media save locations.

e. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion
Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.
7. Click Publish.
The template is saved and exported to the Final Cut Pro
Generators Browser.

Apply the generator in Final Cut Pro
From the Generators Browser in Final Cut Pro, do one of the
following:
Drag the generator into the Timeline, above the clip you want
to composite it over.
The generator can span multiple clips in the Timeline.
Add the generator to the main Timeline as a clip.
When you release the mouse button, the generator is added
to the main Timeline. Drag the generator’s In and Out points in
the Timeline to change the duration.

For information on working with generators in Final Cut Pro X, see
Final Cut Pro X Help.

Modify a Final Cut Pro X generator
Many presets in the Final Cut Pro X Generators Browser were

created in Motion. You can modify these presets in Motion, then
save them as generators in Final Cut Pro.

1. In Final Cut Pro X, click the Generators Browser button in the
toolbar.
The Generators Browser appears.
2. Locate the generator to edit.
To preview the generator, move the pointer over the
generator’s thumbnail.
3. Control-click the generator and do one of the following:
If the generator is a Final Cut Pro preset, choose “Open a
copy in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
A copy of the project opens in Motion.
If the generator is a template created in Motion, choose
“Open in Motion” from the shortcut menu.
The original project opens in Motion.
4. Modify the project in Motion, then do any of the following:
Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with the default
name: Choose File > Save.
Save a copy of the Final Cut Pro preset with a new name:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Save the updated Motion-created template and overwrite

the original version: Choose File > Save.
Save the updated Motion-created template as a copy:
Choose File > Save As, complete the save dialog
information, then click Publish.
Note: If the preset Final Cut Pro generator was applied to
the Final Cut Pro Timeline before being modified in Motion,
the saved changes do not affect instances of the title in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline. However, after the modified title is
applied to the Final Cut Pro Timeline, any subsequent
changes made in Motion to the template affect instances
of the title in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
The template is saved and appears in Generators Browser in
Final Cut Pro.

Publish a standard Motion project as a
Final Cut Pro X generator
When possible, use the Final Cut Effect, Title, Transition, and
Generator templates to create effects content for Final Cut Pro X.
However, if necessary, you can convert a standard Motion project
for use in Final Cut Pro. There are two ways to do this:
Publish the Motion project as a Final Cut Generator, which
exports the template to the Final Cut Pro Generators Browser,
where it can be applied to the Timeline and edited like any
other generator.
Save the Motion project as a QuickTime file, then import the
QuickTime movie into the Final Cut Pro project like any other

footage.
Although you cannot add an Effect Source, Transition A, Transition
B, or Title Background placeholder to a Motion project, you can
add standard drop zones, which let Final Cut Pro users insert
customized content into the generator.
Like template projects, standard Motion projects let you publish
specific parameters to the Final Cut Pro inspector. For more
information on publishing parameters, see Add parameter controls
overview.

Publish a standard Motion project as a
generator in Final Cut Pro
1. When you save your Motion project, choose File > Publish
Template.
2. In the save dialog, enter a name for the template, complete
the other options, then select Publish as Final Cut Generator.
For more information about save dialog options for templates,
see Create a generator template.
3. Click Publish.
The template is saved and appears in Generators Browser in
Final Cut Pro.

Add, replace, or remove
placeholder images
When creating a template for Final Cut Pro X, you can add an
image to a placeholder layer, replacing the downward arrow
graphic in the Canvas. This allows you to:
Preview the effect you are building in Motion
Create a thumbnail image for the effect in Final Cut Pro
However, this image is not used when the effect is applied to a
clip in Final Cut Pro.
Important: When adding preview media to a placeholder, use a
still image rather than a video clip, which can introduce timing
conflicts in Final Cut Pro.

Add a placeholder image to a template
Do one of the following:
From the File Browser or Library, drag an image onto the
placeholder arrow in the Canvas; when the pointer becomes a
curved arrow, release the mouse button.
From the File Browser or Library, drag an image to the Effect
Source layer in the Layers list; when the pointer becomes a
curved arrow, release the mouse button.

When you publish the template, the image is saved with the
template and is used as the thumbnail for the effect in
Final Cut Pro browser. You can change the image used for the
thumbnail in the Final Cut Pro browser by replacing the
placeholder image.

Replace an image in a template placeholder
1. To replace a reference placeholder image, do one of the
following:
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image onto
the downward placeholder arrow in the Canvas, and when
the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse
button.
From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image to the
Effect Source layer in the Layers list, and when the pointer
becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse button.
2. Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).
The “Media exists outside the document. Do you wish to copy
it?” dialog appears.
3. Do one of the following:
To save the new image with the template in the
/Users/username/Movies/ folder in the OS X Finder, click
Copy.
When you save the template, the new image is saved with
the template and is used as the thumbnail for the effect in

Final Cut Pro browser.
To save the template without the new image, click Don’t
Copy.

Clear media from a template placeholder
When you save a template containing a placeholder image, that
image is stored on your computer in the same folder as the
template (/Users/username/Movies/Motion Templates/), potentially
creating multiple instances of media files and taking up storage
space. To save storage space, you can clear placeholder images
from templates before saving.
1. In the template project, select an Effect Source, Title
Background, Transition A, or Transition B placeholder.
2. In the Image Inspector, click the Clear button in the Final Cut
Placeholder controls.

The preview media is removed from the template, and the
placeholder arrow reappears in the affected layer.
Note: When you clear a placeholder image, its source media
is not loaded into Motion the next time you modify the
template (by choosing the “Open a copy in Motion” command
in the Final Cut Pro media browsers). And if you previously
added a placeholder image to create a thumbnail for a
Final Cut Pro effect, clearing the placeholder image from the
template in Motion deletes the thumbnail from Final Cut Pro.

Manually remove media saved with a
template
1. In the OS X Finder, go to the /Users/username/Movies/Motion
Templates/ folder.
2. In the appropriate Effects, Titles, or Transitions folder, open
the theme folder that contains your template, then open the
Media folder.
3. Drag the media to the Trash.

Add parameter controls
Add parameter controls overview
When you use a template in Motion to create an effect, transition,
title, or generator for Final Cut Pro X, you can “publish” nearly any

parameter. Publishing a parameter places its user interface
control (a slider, dial, checkbox, and so on) in the Final Cut Pro
inspector, ready to be adjusted. Publishing parameters also lets
you decide how much control (if any) a Final Cut Pro user has over
modifying an effect.
When creating templates in Motion, you have the following
publishing options:
Publish no parameters, making the effect a nonmodifiable
preset with no adjustable controls in the Final Cut Pro
inspector.
Publish specific parameters, giving users limited control over
modifications made in the Final Cut Pro inspector.
Publish rig widgets, which map multiple parameters to a few
pop-up menus, sliders, or checkboxes, enabling editors to
make complex effect adjustments with simplified controls.

Publish parameter controls to
Final Cut Pro
The following tasks describe how to publish parameters,
compound parameters, rig controls, and other template elements.
Published parameters appear in the Final Cut Pro X inspector.

Publish a parameter control
1. In the effect, transition, title, or generator template, select the

image layer, filter, or behavior containing the parameter to
publish.
2. In the selected item’s Inspector, do one of the following:
Click the parameter’s Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the
right side of the parameter row), then choose Publish.

Control-click the parameter’s name, then choose Publish
from the shortcut menu.
3. Save the template.
When you apply the modified effect, transition, title, or generator
to a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline, the parameter control you
published appears in the Final Cut Pro inspector, ready for
adjustment.

Publish compound parameter controls (a
parameter with nested subparameters)

1. In the template project, select the image layer or effects object
containing the compound parameter to publish.
2. Open the selected item’s Inspector.
To publish a compound parameter to Final Cut Pro in a
collapsed state (its subparameters hidden by a disclosure
triangle), make sure the parameter’s disclosure triangle is
closed.
To publish a compound parameter in an expanded state
(disclosure triangle open and its subparameters exposed),
make sure the parameter’s disclosure triangle is open.
3. Do one of the following:
Control-click the parameter’s name, then choose Publish
from the shortcut menu.
Click the parameter’s Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the
right side of the parameter row), then choose Publish.
4. Save the template.
The parameter and its subparameter controls are published.
When the modified effect is applied to a clip in Final Cut Pro,
the compound parameter retains its state (collapsed or
expanded) at the time of publishing. If the result is not what
you expected, click the disclosure triangle in the Final Cut Pro
inspector to expand or collapse the subparameters manually.

Note: Examples of parameters with subparameters include
Scale (with X, Y, and Z values) and Shear (with X and Y
values).

Publish subparameter controls of a
compound parameter
You can also publish specific subparameters of a compound
parameter. This is a good way to limit an editor’s control over
effects parameters in a Final Cut Pro project.
1. In the template project, select the image layer or effect object
containing the subparameter to publish.
2. In the item’s Inspector, click the compound parameter’s
disclosure triangle to show its subparameters.
3. For each parameter to publish, do one of the following:
Click the parameter’s Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the
right side of the parameter row), then choose Publish.
Control-click the parameter’s name, then choose Publish
from the shortcut menu.

4. Save the template.
The subparameter control is published. When you apply the
modified effect to a clip in Final Cut Pro, the subparameter
appears in the Final Cut Pro inspector.

Publish an activation checkbox for a filter or
behavior
Publishing a filter or behavior activation checkbox lets
Final Cut Pro users quickly turn an effect on or off.
1. In the template project, select the filter or behavior whose
activation checkbox you want to publish.
2. In the Behaviors or Filters Inspector, do one of the following:
In the header row of the behavior or filter, click the
Animation menu (the downward arrow that appears when
you place the pointer over the right side of the row), then
choose Publish.
Control-click the behavior or filter name, then choose
Publish from the shortcut menu.
Note: If you publish only the blue activation checkbox and
no other parameters in the behavior or filter’s group of
controls, only the checkbox is published.
3. Save the template.
When you apply the modified effect to a clip in Final Cut Pro, a
checkbox with the name of the published filter or behavior

appears in the Final Cut Pro inspector. Deselecting the
checkbox disables the effect of that filter or behavior (including
its constituent parameters).

Publish a rig control (widget)
1. Add a rig to the template, assigning specific parameters to the
rig’s widget controls.
For more information about building rigs, creating widgets, and
assigning parameters, see Rigging overview.
2. Select the rig, then do one of the following in the Rig
Inspector:
In the Checkbox, Pop-up, or Slider widgets, click the
Animation menu (the downward arrow that appears when
you place the pointer over the right side of the widget’s
parameter row), then choose Publish from the shortcut
menu.
Control-click the Checkbox, Pop-up, or Slider parameter
name, then choose Publish from the shortcut menu.
3. Save the template.
When you apply the modified effect, transition, title, or
generator to a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline, the rig control
you published appears in the Final Cut Pro inspector.

Publish a gradient editor control

1. In the template project, select the image layer or effect object
that contains the gradient editor to publish.
2. In the item’s Inspector, Control-click the Gradient parameter,
then choose Publish from the shortcut menu.
3. Save the template.
When you apply the modified effect, transition, title, or
generator to a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline, the gradient
editor control appears in the Final Cut Pro inspector.

Publish a filter’s onscreen controls
You can publish a filter’s onscreen controls so that Final Cut Pro
users can make filter adjustments by dragging handles in the
Final Cut Pro Viewer.
1. In the template project, select the filter object.
2. In the Filters Inspector, select the Publish OSC checkbox.

3. Save the template.
When you apply the modified effect, transition, title, or generator
to a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline, the onscreen controls for
the filter appear in the Final Cut Pro Viewer.
Note: When you publish onscreen controls, their corresponding
numeric controls in the Inspector are not published. You must
publish Inspector parameter controls separately. See “Publish a
parameter control” above.
For more information about filter onscreen controls, see Adjust
filters using onscreen controls and Publish filter parameters for
use in Final Cut Pro X.

Manage parameter controls
The following tasks describe how to review, reorder, and
unpublish parameters, as well as how to customize a published
parameter name.

Review parameter controls to be published
1. In the Layers list of the template project, click Project.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Publishing.
Parameters (for all object types) set to be published appear in
the list.

Reorder parameter controls in the
Publishing pane
1. In the Layers list of the template project, click Project.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Publishing.
3. Drag a parameter up or down in the Published Parameters list.

Rename a published parameter control
1. In the Layers list of the template project, click Project.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Publishing.
3. In the Published Parameters list, double-click the name of a
parameter, enter a name, then press Return.
Note: To navigate to the originally published parameter
(before the name change), Control-click the parameter and
choose Reveal Original Parameter.

Unpublish a parameter control via the
Inspector
Select a layer or effect object in the Layers list, then in the
Inspector, do one of the following:
Click the published parameter’s Animation menu (the

Click the published parameter’s Animation menu (the
downward arrow that appears when you place the pointer
over the right side of the parameter row), then choose
Unpublish.
Control-click the published parameter’s name, then choose
Unpublish from the shortcut menu.

Unpublish a parameter control via the
Publishing pane
1. In the Layers list of the template project, click Project.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Publishing, then do one of the
following:
Click the Animation menu (the downward arrow that
appears when you place the pointer over the right side of
the parameter row), then choose Unpublish from the
shortcut menu.
Control-click the parameter name, then choose Unpublish
from the shortcut menu.

About publishing text parameter
controls
When you apply a title or generator containing text to a clip in
Final Cut Pro X, the Title inspector becomes available. This
inspector contains many of the same basic controls as the Motion
Text Inspector (Font, Size, Alignment, and so on).

However, if the applied title or generator contains published text
parameters, those parameters appear in a separate pane in
Final Cut Pro: the Title inspector.
Note: When you publish a text parameter already in the
Final Cut Pro Text inspector, the parameter appears in both the
Title inspector and the Text inspector. Changes made to the
parameters in the Title inspector affect the same parameters in
the Text inspector, and vice versa.
The Text inspector in the Final Cut Pro includes many of the same
controls available in the Motion Text Inspector. If you want to
control a parameter not included in the Final Cut Pro Text
inspector, publish that parameter in the title or generator template
in Motion.
For more information on working with text in Final Cut Pro, see
Final Cut Pro X Help. For more information on Motion’s text
parameters, see Text Inspector overview.

What cannot be published in a
Final Cut Pro template?
The following Motion items cannot be published in templates for
Final Cut Pro X:
Audio of any kind, including Source Audio wells in the Audio
Parameter behavior
Image wells (except for drop zone Source Media wells)
Mini-curve editors

Timing controls in the Image Inspector or Media Inspector
Retiming behaviors (such as Ping Pong, Loop, and Stutter)
The Range Minimum/Range Maximum slider rig widget)
Placeholder Pan and Scale controls in template placeholders
Project properties (such as Pixel Aspect Ratio, Frame Rate,
and Background Color in the Properties Inspector)
Some Keyer filter and Luma Keyer filter controls
Noncompound groups of controls, such as the Lighting
parameter in the Properties Inspector
Onscreen path for the Motion Path behavior
Note: Although you can publish a Motion Path behavior to
Final Cut Pro, the path does not appear in the Final Cut Pro
Viewer.
In general, Motion lets you publish most controls in the
application. However, some publishable controls are not
supported in Final Cut Pro. The following items have components
that are not accessible after a template is added to a
Final Cut Pro project:
Parameters related to text path onscreen controls
Mask or shape control points
Parameters with deselected activation checkboxes
The Histogram in the Levels color correction filter
Audio behavior parameter controls
Note: Audio files saved in a Motion template are not available

in Final Cut Pro.

Control template timing and
animation
What are template markers?
Markers are visual reference points you add to the Timeline to
identify specific frames. There are several types of markers. The
first, known as Standard, is designed for use in Motion and has no
effect if saved in a Final Cut template. The remaining marker
types, known as template markers, are designed to control the
timing of templates in Final Cut Pro X.
For basic information on using markers in the Timeline, see Work
with markers overview.
When building a template in Motion, you typically don’t know the
duration of the clips it will be applied to in Final Cut Pro. By
default, the duration of a Motion template is determined by the
length of the Final Cut Pro clip it’s applied to. Template markers
let you control the timing of template after it’s applied in
Final Cut Pro, by designating regions in the Timeline to be played,
ignored, or looped. You can also use a template marker to
designate a specific frame to be used as the template’s thumbnail
in the Final Cut Pro Effects, Transitions, or Titles Browser.
Template markers fall into five categories:
Build In: Designates the end point of an intro section of a
template, and instructs Final Cut Pro to play that section at the

same speed as the original template (as created in Motion),
regardless of the duration of the clip in the Final Cut Pro
Timeline. For example, if a Build In marker is present at the
30-second mark, the first 30 seconds retain the original timing
(as created in Motion). Beyond the 30-second mark, the
template is time-stretched (or time-shrunk) to the duration of
the Final Cut Pro clip.
Build Out: Designates the start of an outro section of a
template, and instructs Final Cut Pro to play that section at the
same speed as the original template (as created in Motion),
regardless of the duration of the clip in the Final Cut Pro
Timeline. For example, if a Build Out marker is present 30
seconds from the end of the Final Cut Pro clip, the last 30
seconds retain the original timing (as created in Motion). Prior
to the Build Out marker, the template is time-stretched (or
time-shrunk) to the duration of the Final Cut Pro clip.
If no Build In or Build Out markers are present, the entire
template is time-stretched to correspond to the duration of the
clip in Final Cut Pro. For example, if you apply a template that
is three minutes long to a six minute long clip in Final Cut Pro,
the effect stretches over the six-minute duration of the
Final Cut Pro clip.
Note: Transition templates assume a default duration in
Final Cut Pro (determined in Final Cut Pro Preferences). This
duration can conflict with the effects of these marker types.
For example, you might specify that the intro animation of a
transition lasts for 45 frames, while the default duration in
Final Cut Pro is set to 30 frames for the entire transition. For
information on how to override the Final Cut Pro default
duration, see Create a transition template.

Loop: Loop markers indicate where the template should begin
looping playback.
Poster Frame: Poster Frame markers determine the frame of a
template to be used as the thumbnail for the template in the
Final Cut Pro Effects Browser, Transitions Browser, or Titles
Browser.
Text Edit: Text Edit markers identify ideal edit points in your
title templates.

Add template markers
To create a Build In, Build Out, Project Loop End or Poster Frame
marker, you must first add a project marker to a Motion project,
then change its type in the Edit Marker dialog. To create a Text
Edit marker, you must first add an object marker, then change its
type in the Edit Marker dialog.

Mark the last frame of a template’s intro
section
When you add a “Build In – Mandatory” marker or “Build
In – Optional” marker to a template, frames between the
beginning of the project and the Build In marker play (in Final Cut
Pro) at the same speed as in the original Motion template. The
“Build In – Optional” marker publishes a checkbox that disables
playback of the intro section when deselected.
1. Position the playhead on the frame where you want the

marker to appear, then press Shift-M.
A green project marker appears in the Timeline ruler, and a
(subtle) green vertical line appears in the mini-Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
3. In the Edit Marker dialog, choose one of the following from the
Type pop-up menu:
Build In – Mandatory: Choose this marker type to play the
frames between the beginning of the project and the “Build
In – Mandatory” marker at the same speed as in the
original Motion template. Beyond the marker, the effect is
time-stretched (or shrunk) to match the duration of the
Final Cut Pro clip.
This intro is always played, regardless of where the
template is placed in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
Build In – Optional: Choose this marker type to play the
frames between the beginning of the project and the “Build
In – Optional” marker at the same speed as in the original
Motion template and to include a checkbox to disable the
intro’s playback.
The project marker becomes a Build In marker, and the
Timeline ruler displays a gold glow over the affected

region.
When a “Build In – Optional” marker is added to a
template, a Build In checkbox is published (added to the
Published Parameters list in the Publishing pane of the
Project Inspector). After the template is added to a
Final Cut Pro project, the Build In checkbox appears in the
Final Cut Pro inspector. When the checkbox is deselected,
frames before the marker are not played.

Mark the last frame of a template’s outro
section
When you add a “Build Out – Mandatory” marker or a “Build Out
– Optional” marker to a template, frames between the Build
Out marker and the end of the project play (in Final Cut Pro) at the
same speed as in the original Motion template. The “Build
Out – Optional” marker publishes a checkbox that disables

playback of the outro section when deselected.
1. Position the playhead on the frame where you want the
marker to appear, then press Shift-M.
A green project marker appears in the Timeline ruler, and a
(subtle) green vertical line appears in the mini-Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
3. In the Edit Marker dialog, choose one of the following from the
Type pop-up menu:
Build Out – Mandatory: Choose this marker type to play the
frames between the “Build Out – Mandatory” marker and
the end of the project at the same speed as in the original
Motion template. Prior to the marker, the effect is timestretched (or shrunk) to match the duration of the
Final Cut Pro clip.
This outro is always played, regardless of where the
template is placed in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
Build Out – Optional: Choose this marker type to play the
frames between the beginning of the project and the “Build
In – Optional” marker at the same speed as in the original
Motion template and to include a checkbox to disable the
intro’s playback in the template.

The project marker becomes a Build Out marker, and the
Timeline ruler displays a gold glow over the affected
region.
When a “Build Out – Optional” marker is added to a
template, a Build Out checkbox is published (added to the
Published Parameters list in the Publishing pane of the
Project Inspector). After the template is added to a
Final Cut Pro project, the Build In checkbox appears in the
Final Cut Pro inspector. When the checkbox is deselected,
frames before the marker are time-stretched and frames
after the marker are not played.

Specify the frame where the template
begins looping playback
You can add a Project Loop End marker to instruct Final Cut Pro

to begin looping playback at a specific frame. When playback
reaches this frame, the project plays from the beginning of the
project or from the Build In marker, if present. Frames beyond the
Project Loop End marker are never played.
1. Position the playhead on the frame where you want the
marker to appear, then press Shift-M.
A green project marker appears in the Timeline ruler, and a
(subtle) green vertical line appears in the mini-Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
3. In the Edit Marker dialog, choose Project Loop End from the
Type pop-up menu.
The project marker becomes a Project Loop End marker, and
the Timeline ruler displays a gold glow over the affected
region.

Setting a marker type to Project Loop End changes any marker
set to a Build Out type back to Standard. Similarly, if a Project
Loop End marker exists, adding a Build Out marker resets the
loop marker back to Standard.
Tip: Adding a loop marker to the second frame in a template
signals that the effect is time-invariant—the first frame of the
project loops forever. This can be useful for generators that do not
contain animation, such as a solid color generator, or for filters
that are not animated by default, such as a color correction filter.
Note: Templates with applied Time filters (Echo, Scrub, Strobe,
Trails, or WideTime) should not use Loop markers, because
unexpected timing results can occur.

Set the frame to be used as the template’s
thumbnail in the Final Cut Pro browser
You can add a Poster Frame marker to instruct Final Cut Pro to

use a specific frame of a template as the thumbnail for the
template in the Final Cut Pro Effects Browser, Transitions
Browser, or Titles Browser.
1. Position the playhead on the frame you want to use as the
poster frame, then press Shift-M.
A green project marker appears in the Timeline ruler, and a
(subtle) green vertical line appears in the mini-Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
3. In the Edit Marker dialog, choose Poster Frame from the Type
pop-up menu.
Although the project marker appearance does not change, it
becomes a Poster Frame marker (a tooltip appears if you
move the pointer over the marker).
If a Poster Frame marker exists, adding a new Poster Frame
marker resets the first marker to Standard.

Specify a frame as an ideal text edit point in
a title template

You can add Text Edit markers to specify the optimal edit points
for text in a title template. For example, if your title animates
offscreen, you can add a Text Edit marker to quickly navigate to a
frame where the text is visible in the Final Cut Pro Viewer.
1. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the marker.
2. Select the text to add the marker to, then do one of the
following:
Choose Mark > Markers > Add Marker.
Press M.
A red object marker is added to the timebar of the
selected object.
3. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
4. In the Edit Marker dialog, choose Text Edit from the Type popup menu.
Although the object marker appearance does not change, it
becomes a Text Edit marker.
You can add multiple Text Edit markers to a template.
In the Final Cut Pro Timeline, double-click the title to enter text-

edit mode. In the Viewer, use the Next Text Layer and Previous
Text Layer buttons to navigate between Text Edit markers. For
more information about working with titles in Final Cut Pro, see
Final Cut Pro X Help.

Move a marker
Drag the marker to a new position in the Timeline ruler.
When you drag the marker, the current frame is displayed
above the pointer.

Change the marker type
1. Do one of the following:
Position the playhead over the marker, then choose Mark >
Markers > Edit Marker.
Double-click the marker.
Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
2. In the Edit Marker dialog, click the Type pop-up menu, then
choose a marker type.
The Build In and Build Out markers appear as small green
arrows in the Timeline ruler. The Project Loop Out marker
appears as a small orange arrow. At the top of the ruler, the
area specified as the intro, outro, or loop section displays a
gold glow.

For more information on the Edit Marker dialog, see Work with
markers overview.

Animation guidelines
Effect, title, transition, and generator templates can include
animation like a standard Motion project. When the template is
added to a clip in Final Cut Pro X, animation in the placeholder is
applied to the clip, whether created by behaviors or keyframes.
Animation in the template that is longer than the duration of the
clip to which it’s applied in Final Cut Pro is scaled to fit.
Important: If you don’t want your template animation scaled to fit
the duration of a clip in Final Cut Pro, you can use markers to
designate segments where the animation is locked. Additionally,
you can use markers to designate sections where animation loops
indefinitely in the Final Cut Pro project. For more information, see
What are template markers?.
When publishing parameters in your templates, consider the
following guidelines:
When possible, avoid publishing keyframed parameters.
Published keyframes can cause unexpected results when you
edit or when you animate the parameters in the Final Cut Pro
inspector.
Do not publish a parameter that’s controlled by a behavior.
For example, if you publish an Opacity parameter that’s
controlled by a Fade In/Fade Out behavior, you cannot adjust
the opacity parameter after the template is added to the

Final Cut Pro project.
Because the duration of templates often conflicts with the
duration of the Final Cut Pro clips they’re applied to, try to
publish nonanimated parameters in the template, then
keyframe those parameters in Final Cut Pro.
Use behaviors instead of keyframes in templates when
possible. Behaviors can be a more flexible animation tool for
templates. Behaviors don’t rely on specific timing or use
keyframes to create an animation. Publish behavior
parameters that you want to control in Final Cut Pro.
SEE ALSO
Keyframing overview
Behaviors overview

Timing guidelines
Depending on the template type, different timing rules apply when
you apply the template to a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
When publishing parameters and applying templates, consider the
following guidelines:
Final Cut Effect: When you apply an effect template in
Final Cut Pro, the effect is integrated into the clip. For
example, when a color-correction effect template that’s 300
frames in Motion is saved and applied to a 2,300-frame clip in
Final Cut Pro, the resulting effect is 2,300 frames.
Animated effect templates are also scaled according to the
duration of the clip they’re applied to in Final Cut Pro. For
example, if a template in Motion is 300 frames long, and the

placeholder layer is animated to rotate 360 degrees (one
complete rotation) from frames 0 to 300, when the template is
applied to a 900-frame clip in Final Cut Pro, the complete
rotation is stretched to 900 frames.
You can override the timing adjustment in Final Cut Pro by
applying markers to the template in Motion. For example, to
control frame-counting effects, such as Timecode generators,
apply special markers to instruct Final Cut Pro when to play
specific ranges of the template. For more information, see
Add template markers.
Final Cut Transition: In Final Cut Pro, the default transition
duration is set in the Editing pane of Final Cut Pro
Preferences. When you apply a transition template to an edit
point in the Final Cut Pro timeline, the duration of the transition
effect is modified to the default transition duration. For
example, in a Final Cut Pro Broadcast HD 1080 project (29.97
fps) with a default transition duration of two seconds, an
applied 300-frame transition template is compressed to 60
frames (2 seconds at 29.97 fps).
To override the transition duration setting in Final Cut Pro
Preferences, select the Override FCP checkbox in the
Properties Inspector in Motion. If this checkbox is selected
when the transition is saved, the transition retains its original
duration when added to the Final Cut Pro project.
Whether the transition duration uses the Final Cut Pro default
or is overridden, you can adjust the In and Out points of the
transition in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.
Final Cut Title: When added to a Final Cut Pro project, a title
template is anchored to the clip it’s applied to. Its duration is
based on the duration of the template in Motion. After the title

is applied, you can adjust its duration in the Final Cut Pro
Timeline.
Final Cut Generator: When added to a Final Cut Pro project, a
generator template uses its default duration (its duration when
the template was created and saved in Motion). After the
generator is applied, you can adjust its duration in the
Final Cut Pro Timeline.

Set template resolution
Before you create a template, decide what resolution your project
requires. Although the template scales to fit the resolution of the
Final Cut Pro X project it’s applied to, you should create the
template at the highest resolution you will use.
Additionally, you can save a template in multiple display aspect
ratio settings, for delivery to different-sized screens. For more
information, see Add multiple display aspect ratios to a template.
Note: An image added to a placeholder is fit based on the
template project settings in Motion. Because the image in the
placeholder is not used when the template is applied to a
Final Cut Pro project, stretching or scaling of the media does not
affect the Final Cut Pro clip the template is applied to.
When you create templates with 4K resolution, you can add a
metadata flag so that Final Cut Pro users can quickly find 4K
templates (and filter out all non-4K templates).

Flag a template as having 4K resolution
In the Layers list in Motion, select the Project object and then
select the Designed for 4K checkbox in the Properties
Inspector.
After the template is published to Final Cut Pro, select the
“4K-ready content only” checkbox in the Final Cut Pro media
browsers to display only templates designed for use in 4K
projects. (The “4K-ready content only” checkbox appears only
in Final Cut Pro projects using one of the 4K or 5K formats.)

Add multiple display aspect ratios
to a template
When creating a template for Final Cut Pro X, you can build
alternate versions that have different display aspect ratios—all
within a single template. For example, when you create a template
with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can add an alternate version
customized for 4:3 displays. When the template is applied to a
clip Final Cut Pro, the editing application chooses the version that
matches its display aspect ratio. These alternate display versions
of a single template are called snapshots. Snapshots eliminate the
need to create multiple versions of the same template for multiple
display ratios.
If you expect a template to be applied to differently sized clips in
Final Cut Pro, perform the workflow described in this section

before saving the template.

Add a display aspect ratio to a template
1. In the Layers list in Motion, select the Project object.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Snapshots.
The Display Aspect Ratio Snapshots list appears, showing the
project’s current default aspect ratio.
3. Click the Add button (+) and choose a different aspect ratio
from the shortcut menu.

If you chose Custom, the Custom Display Aspect Ratio
calculator appears.
The new aspect ratio appears in the list, and the project
adjusts.
Note: You cannot add a snapshot that matches an existing
Display Aspect Ratio snapshot.

4. To reposition your objects to better fit the new aspect ratio,
click Edit Snapshot.
A small floating window appears, indicating that you are in
aspect ratio-edit mode.
5. Position and scale the layers in your project to fit the new
display aspect ratio, then click the Stop Rig Edit Mode button
in the floating window.
Click the items in the list to view the results in the Canvas.
Note: When working with an alternate snapshot, the
resolution listed in the Properties pane of the Inspector (when
Project is selected in the Layers list) may seem strange. This is
because the Display Aspect Ratio is shown, rather than the
Pixel Aspect Ratio.
6. Choose File > Save or File > Save As, then do the following:
a. In the save dialog, enter a name for your template.
b. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.
c. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.
d. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in
the Media list not used in the project), select “Include
unused media.”
When the template is applied to the Final Cut Pro Timeline,
the template aspect ratio that matches the Final Cut Pro
project is used.

Create a custom display aspect ratio (DAR)
snapshot
Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) is the ratio of the width of a pixel to its
height. For example, NTSC pixels are slightly taller than they are
wide. They have a pixel aspect ratio of 10/11 (approximately
0.9091). Display Aspect Ratio (DAR) is a ratio of the final displayed
image’s width to its height. For example, the iPad display aspect
ratio is 1.3333 (also written as 4:3), but broadcast NTSC has a
display ratio of 1.3636. To calculate the display aspect ratio of an
image from its dimensions and pixel aspect ratio, multiply the pixel
aspect ratio by the width and divide by the height. The most
common aspect ratios are 4:3 (also referred to as standard, 4x3,
or 1.33:1) and 16:9 (widescreen, 16x9, or 1.78:1). Older monitors
and televisions are generally 4:3, so the screen is 33 percent
wider than it is high. Newer HD monitors and televisions are 78
percent wider than they are high.
1. In the Layers list, select the Project object.
2. In the Project Inspector, click Snapshots.
3. Click the Add button (+) and choose Custom from the shortcut
menu.
4. Click the Pixel Aspect Ratio pop-up menu, then choose an
option, such as NTSC D1/DV.
The pixel aspect ratio (PAR) appears in the field to the right of
the pop-up menu.
5. Enter the width and height in the fields to the right of the PAR

value, such as 720 x 480.
The new custom DAR is listed in the Display Aspect Ratio
Snapshots list.

About template files and media
save locations
When you save a template, the project and all associated files are
saved in your /Users/username/Movies/Motion Templates/ folder
on your computer, organized by template type. For example, a
Final Cut Effect template is saved to
/Users/username/Movies/Motion Templates/Effects/; a Final Cut
Transition is saved to /Users/username/Movies/Motion
Templates/Transitions/, and so on. The template types include
Compositions (templates created in Motion for use in Motion),
Effects, Generators, Titles, and Transitions.
When you save a template in Motion, you assign a category and
have the option to assign a theme.
In the OS X Finder, templates are stored according to the
following folder hierarchy: template type/category/theme. For
example, if you save a Final Cut Effect template to the “Blur”
category with an optional “News” theme, it is stored in the Finder
in the /Users/username/Movies/Motion
Templates/Effects/Blur/News/yourtemplatename folder.
Note: You can also sort by theme in the Motion Project Browser
using the Theme pop-up menu.

Contents of the template folder
Each template folder contains the following items:
large.png: This file is used for the preview in the Motion
Project Browser and as a preview in the Final Cut Pro browser
when the project loads in the background.
small.png: This file is used for the thumbnail preview of the
template in the Final Cut Pro browser. The current frame when
the template is saved in Motion is used for the preview frame.
yourtemplatename.mov: This file is used for the movie preview
of the template that plays when the template is selected in the
Motion Project Browser. This file is created when you select
the “Save Preview Movie” checkbox before saving.
yourtemplatename.moef, -.motn, -.moti, or -.motr: This is the
Motion template’s project document.
.moef is the Final Cut Effect template extension.
.motn is the Final Cut Generator template extension.
.moti is the Final Cut Title template extension.
.motr is the Final Cut Transition template extension.
Media folder: This folder contains all media in the project—
media used in the placeholder and other clips and images
used in the project, including content such as particle cell
sources. If you clear the media in the template placeholder
before saving the template, that media is not saved in the
Media folder.
Note: If you select “Include unused media” in the save dialog,

Note: If you select “Include unused media” in the save dialog,
media in the Media pane (the storage area for media not used
in the Motion project), is included in the Media folder.

Sharing templates
To share templates and associated media files between users and
computers, place the associated template files in the same folder
structure on another user’s computer in the
/Users/username/Movies/Motion Templates/ folder.

About using masks in templates
You can use shapes and masks in any Final Cut Pro template
type. For the best template results, use the following guidelines:
Limit the use of shapes to generator templates. Shapes are
ideal generator template elements because they can be
scaled in Final Cut Pro X without degradation. (However, too
many shapes in a template can adversely impact performance
in Final Cut Pro.)
A shape added to a placeholder layer is converted to a mask.
When a template with a masked placeholder is applied to a
clip in Final Cut Pro, the mask is applied to the clip. Objects in
the template outside the placeholder are not affected.
Mask parameters (Roundness, Feather, and Mask Blend
Mode, and so on) can be published so they are editable in
Final Cut Pro. However, the onscreen mask controls in Motion
are not available in Final Cut Pro. To reposition a template
mask in Final Cut Pro, publish the mask’s transform

parameters (located in the mask’s Properties Inspector). For
more information on publishing, see Add parameter controls
overview.
For more information on working with shapes and masks, see
Shapes, masks, and paint strokes overview.

Guidelines for better template
creation
To get the best results when creating custom templates, consider
the following suggestions:
Although you can drag a video clip into a placeholder layer for
preview purposes, the clip’s duration can interfere with timing
built into the template. For that reason, it’s better to use still
images in templates when you need to preview an effect.
Complex Motion layer effects such as particle emitters and
replicators are not recommended for use in any template
types, because they might negatively affect Final Cut Pro X
performance.
The first time you save a template that’s a work in progress,
deselect the Save Preview Movie checkbox in the save dialog.
Doing so prevents Motion from creating a movie preview each
time you save the draft template. (The preview movie appears
in the Motion Project Browser.) When you’re ready to save the
final version of the template, select the Save Preview Movie
checkbox to create the preview movie.
When creating complex templates that involve multiple drop

When creating complex templates that involve multiple drop
zones, use a Final Cut Generator or Final Cut Title template.
As with any project in Motion, too many effects (such as filters,
text objects, and so on) adversely impact performance in
Final Cut Pro.
Create animation using behaviors rather than keyframes.
Behaviors are easier to modify when the template is applied in
Final Cut Pro.
Avoid publishing parameters animated with behaviors or
keyframes. Published parameters allow template
customization in Final Cut Pro.
Shapes are nice graphic elements to add to a template
project (outside of the placeholder), as they can be scaled
without degradation. (Shapes added to a placeholder become
masks). However, too many shapes in a template will
adversely impact performance in Final Cut Pro.
Ensure that “Create Layers At” in the Project pane of Motion
Preferences (click Command-Comma to open Preferences) is
set to “Start of project.”
In the Motion Timeline, ensure that all filter and behavior bars
extend to the end of the project.
Before saving a template, decide whether you want to save or
clear preview media, based on the following considerations:
Media not cleared is saved with the template, creating
longer render times and consuming storage space.
Media saved with the template is available when the
template is reopened in Motion (via the “Open in Motion”
command in the Final Cut Pro media browsers), allowing

you to pick up where you left off in the previous templatebuilding session.
When keying green screen or blue screen footage, using a
keying template is not recommended. Footage should be
keyed directly in its own project in Final Cut Pro or Motion.
This is because the Keyer filter analyzes the footage it is
initially applied to. You can render a keyed clip with its alpha
channel and add the clip to a Final Cut Pro project. For more
information, see Keying overview.
Do not use image sequences when creating templates.
If an object in a template has an applied Link Parameter
behavior, do not move the object to another group. Doing so
breaks the links.
If you publish parameters for an object and then delete that
object, all parameters set to be published are also deleted.
Do not use deprecated filters (older filters that are no longer
supported in Motion 5) in a template. Although the filter may
render correctly in Motion, it may not render correctly after the
template is applied to a Final Cut Pro clip.
If using a third-party filter, ensure that your template contains
a Project Loop End marker (or that the project’s duration is set
to one frame). If the template does not contain a Project Loop
End marker, the effect is re-rendered in Final Cut Pro following
certain editing actions, such as blading or trimming.
Template placeholder layers cannot be duplicated. If a group
that contains a placeholder is duplicated, other objects in the
group are duplicated, but not the placeholder.
If you plan to loop template animation, or need to match the

template and a Final Cut Pro project frame for frame, create
the template with the same frame rate as the Final Cut Pro
project. For more information on looping template animation,
see Add template markers.

Build rigs
Rigging overview
Even a relatively basic Motion project contains numerous
parameter controls. You can customize and even combine
multiple controls using rigging.
Rigging lets you map one or more parameters at preset values to
a single control. For example, you can rig a single slider to change
the size, color, and tracking of a text object to a specific range of
preset values. Or you can rig a single a checkbox to activate
shadows and reflections for all objects in a project.
The customized master controls (checkboxes, pop-up menus,
and sliders) in a rig are called widgets. You can create widgets to
adjust nearly any parameter of any object in your project,
including behaviors, filters, particle systems, replicators, text,
shapes, video clips, images, cameras, lights, and so on. Widgets
can even control other widgets. There’s no limit to the number of
parameters each widget affects. You can use multiple widgets in
a rig to create a customized control panel where a few controls
modify a wide range of parameters in the project.
Rigging is especially useful in Final Cut Pro X templates, allowing
users to modify a complex group of parameters with a small set of
controls, or limiting user control to ensure that junior compositors,
editors, and others in the production pipeline adhere to
established specs and client needs. But rigs are also useful in

Motion, allowing you to simplify the control set of a complex
project. Instead of making changes by manipulating individual
parameters, you can modify the Motion project using just a few
widgets in a rig. For examples showing how rigs can simplify a
Motion project, see How to use a single rig and How to use
multiple rigs.
The following image shows a Rig in the Inspector with a single
checkbox widget controlling the color of multiple objects. The
name of the checkbox has been customized (“Dark colors”).

SEE ALSO
How does rigging work?
Build a simple rig
Work with widgets
Publish rigs to Final Cut Pro

How does rigging work?
When you create a rig and add a widget control, you assign sets
of snapshots to the widget. A snapshot is a record of parameter
states for one or more objects in your project. Widgets let you

switch between stored snapshots. For example, you can use a
checkbox widget to record a snapshot of a shape’s Scale and
Color parameters at one set of values (large and red) and then
record another snapshot at a different set of values (small and
green). In this example, when you select and deselect the
checkbox widget (in the Widget Inspector), the shape snaps from
large and red to small and green, and vice versa. See Snapshots
overview.
There are three types of widgets, each offering a different level of
control over snapshots:
Checkbox: The most basic widget, toggles between two
snapshots. For more information, see Checkbox widget.
Pop-up menu: A slightly more complex widget, lets you
choose from among multiple snapshots. For more information,
see Pop-up menu widget.
Slider: The most complex widget, lets you apply gradual
changes between multiple snapshots. For more information,
see Slider widget.
There are several ways to record snapshots. The most basic
method is to use the Rig Edit Mode button in the Widget
Inspector. In rig edit mode, any changes you make to the
parameters of any object update the active snapshot in that
widget. For more information, see Build a simple rig. For additional
ways to assign snapshots, see Snapshots overview.
There are several factors to consider when using rigs:
Each parameter in a project can be assigned to only one
widget at a time. However, you can store many values for that
parameter as different snapshots that can be accessed using

a pop-up menu or slider widget.
Because a parameter cannot be controlled simultaneously by
two widgets, you cannot duplicate (or cut/copy and paste) a
rig or widget. Similarly, if you duplicate or copy and paste an
object with rigged parameters, the new object’s parameters
are not rigged.
If a parameter is assigned to a widget, that parameter cannot
be modified while you are actively recording a different
widget’s snapshot. For example, if you have a slider widget
controlling a shape object’s color, and you begin recording a
snapshot for a different widget, the shape’s color is not
modifiable.
Some parameter types cannot be rigged. Some parameters
that use the mini-curve editor to affect an object over a range
(such as the various “over stroke” parameters in the Shape
inspector) cannot be added to a rig or modified while
recording a snapshot. If you modify a parameter that cannot
be rigged in edit mode, the change is applied globally—
affecting all snapshots containing that object.

Build a simple rig
The following task describes how to add a basic rig to a project,
add a widget to the rig, then assign parameters and snapshots
(parameter states) to the widget.

1. Choose Object > New Rig (or press Control-Command-R).

A new rig is added to the project (shown in the Layers list and
Timeline layers list).

2. In the Rig Inspector, click one of the three buttons:
Add Slider: Adds a slider widget to the rig, enabling users
to apply gradual changes between multiple parameter
states
Add Pop-up: Adds a pop-up menu widget to the rig,
enabling users to choose from among multiple parameter
states
Add Checkbox: Adds a checkbox widget to the rig,
enabling users to toggle between two parameter states

The new widget (in this example, a pop-up menu widget)
appears in the Layers list under its parent rig:

And the Widget Inspector opens:

By default, the widget contains empty placeholders for
snapshots (parameter states). In this example, the pop-up
menu widget contains three options: Snapshot 1, Snapshot 2,
and Snapshot 3. You can rename them using the Rename
button. See Create and manage snapshots.
3. To assign parameters and snapshots (specific parameter
states) to the widget, do the following:
a. In the Rig inspector or the Widget inspector, click the Edit
Mode Start button.
A window appears containing the Stop Rig Edit Mode
button. The appearance of this window indicates that you

are in rig edit mode: Any changes you make to parameters
of any object in your project will be recorded as a
snapshot.

b. Record a snapshot by making changes to objects in your
project in the Canvas, the HUD, or the Inspector.
In this example, any changes you make are applied to the
Snapshot 1 pop-up menu item.
c. When you finish making changes to parameters, click Stop
Rig Edit Mode.
The snapshot is stored and the parameters you modified
are added to the Widget Inspector, alongside a joystick
icon indicating that the parameter is rigged.

d. To set additional snapshots, choose an unassigned
snapshot in the widget (in this example, choose Snapshot 2
from the pop-up menu), then repeat steps a, b, and c.

After you add snapshots to a widget, adjusting the widget control
(the checkbox, pop-up menu, or slider) loads a snapshot,
changing the state of affected parameters in your project.
For information about other methods to create snapshots, see
Snapshots overview and Control rigs from parameter Animation
menus.

Work with widgets
A rig has no effect until it contains a widget with assigned
snapshots (parameter states). Widgets are special controls used
to drive parameters in the project.
Widgets are represented in four places in the Motion workspace:
In the Layers list, under the parent rig.
In the Rig Inspector. If the rig has multiple widgets, they all
appear here.
In the HUD.
In the Widget Inspector.
Widgets can be reordered and renamed. Renaming widgets can
be important if you have multiple widgets of the same type.
Otherwise you see a list of controls that have identical, generic
names.

When viewing the Widget Inspector, the controls for the selected
widget are displayed. When viewing the Rig inspector, controls for
all widgets in the rig are displayed. The Widget Inspector and Rig
Inspector both display the parameter controls used to modify the
widget (an Edit Mode button and the parameters you’ve assigned
to it). However, the HUD displays only the assigned widget control
(the checkbox, pop-up menu, or slider that toggles or adjusts the
widget), not the parameters used to modify the widget.

When a rig is selected, the HUD shows all widget controls
assigned to that rig.

Add a widget and assign a parameter in a
single step
As an alternative to creating a widget using the buttons in the Rig
Inspector, you can create a rig and a widget and then apply a
parameter to the widget in a single step.
Do one of the following:

In the Inspector, click a parameter’s animation menu (the
downward arrow that appears when you position the pointer
over the right side of a parameter row), choose Add To Rig,
choose a rig, then choose a widget type from the submenu.
Drag a parameter row from any Inspector pane to a rig object
in the Layers list.
Dropping the parameter row immediately on the rig object
creates a slider widget. Pausing briefly causes a drop menu to
appear, allowing you to select the widget type you want to
create.
A new widget appears in the Layers list, under its parent rig. In
the Widget Inspector, the parameter you chose appears under
the Edit Mode button, ready for snapshot assignment. For more
information, see Create and manage snapshots and Control rigs
from parameter Animation menus.

Reorder widgets in a rig
In the Layers list, drag the widgets into the order you want
them to appear.

Rename a widget

By default, each widget is named according to its type
(“Checkbox,” for example). However, you can assign a custom
name to identify the settings the widget will affect.
Double-click the widget name in the Layers list, enter a new
name, then press Return.

Widget names cannot be changed in the Inspector.
Note: If the widget has been published, the name change
does not carry through to the published parameter. To
synchronize names, rename the widget manually in the
Publishing pane of the Project Inspector, or unpublish and
republish the newly named widget.

Move a widget to another rig
If there are multiple rigs in a project, widgets can be moved easily
between the different rigs.

In the Layers list, drag the widget you want move onto another
rig.

Delete a widget from a rig
Select the widget, then do one of the following:
Press Delete.
Choose Edit > Delete.
Control-click the widget, then choose Delete from the shortcut
menu.

SEE ALSO
Checkbox widget
Pop-up menu widget
Slider widget

Widget types
Checkbox widget
Checkbox widgets allow you to switch between two snapshots—
that is, between two sets of parameter states. Typically, checkbox
widgets are used to create an on/off type of effect, although you
can store any parameter states in either snapshot, creating more
of a toggle effect.

The activation checkboxes in the Rig Inspector (highlighted blue
when selected) and in the Layers list (beside the checkbox widget)
have no effect on the constituent parameters of the checkbox.
Checkbox widgets contain the following controls in the Rig
Inspector and Widget Inspector:

Checkbox: Use this widget control to switch between two
snapshots (parameter states).
Edit Mode: Click the Start button to enable snapshot
recording. For more information about recording snapshots,
see Snapshots overview.
Note: When you record a snapshot (using the Edit Mode
button or the methods described in Snapshots overview), the
affected parameters (those you modify in the Inspector or via
onscreen controls in the Canvas) are added to the widget.
When you finish recording a snapshot, new controls for the
modified parameters appear in the Widget Inspector. These
parameters are duplicates of the same parameters that occur
in other Inspector panes. Parameters controlled by a rig
display a special icon (a joystick) on the right side of the
parameter row in the Inspector.

Pop-up menu widget
Pop-up menu widgets are similar to checkbox widgets but allow
you to save more than two parameter states (snapshots). Each

item in a pop-up menu widget represents a snapshot. When you
choose an item in the pop-up menu, the affected parameters in
your project toggle to a different saved state.
The activation checkboxes in the Rig Inspector (highlighted blue
when selected) and in the Layers list (beside the pop-up menu
widget) have no effect on the constituent parameters of the popup menu.
Pop-up menu widgets contain the following controls in the Rig
Inspector and Widget Inspector:

Pop-up: Use this widget control to switch between multiple
saved snapshots.
Rename: Use this button to enter a custom name for the item
in the pop-up menu.
Add/Delete: Click the Add button (+) to add an item to the
pop-up menu; click the Delete button (–) to remove an item.
Each item represents a new snapshot.
Edit Mode: Click the Start button to enable snapshot
recording. For more information about recording snapshots,
see Snapshots overview.
Note: When you record a snapshot (using the Edit Mode
button or the methods described in Snapshots overview), the

affected parameters (those you modify in the Inspector or via
onscreen controls in the Canvas) are added to the widget.
When you finish recording a snapshot, new controls for the
modified parameters appear in the Widget Inspector. These
parameters are duplicates of the same parameters that occur
in other Inspector panes. Parameters controlled by a rig
display a special icon (a joystick) on the right side of the
parameter row in the Inspector.
Initial Value: Use this control (in the Options section) to set the
initial value for the pop-up menu widget when it’s published
and used as a template in Final Cut Pro X. There are three
options:
Last Saved: When the template is used in Final Cut Pro,
the pop-up menu value defaults to the menu item assigned
when the project was last saved. This option ensures a
consistent pop-up menu state, while still permitting users
to choose alternate states manually. This is the default
setting.
Sequential: Each time the template is used (in a single
project) in Final Cut Pro, the setting of this pop-up menu
changes, rotating through the available menu items. The
first time the template is used, this pop-up menu defaults
to the first menu item. The next time the template is used,
the pop-up menu is set to the second menu item, and so
on. For example, in a wipe transition template with a popup menu widget assigned to control the shape of the wipe,
the first time you add the template to the Final Cut Pro
timeline, the wipe is a star; the next time you apply the
template to the Final Cut Pro timeline, the wipe is a circle,
and so on.

Random: Each time the template is used in Final Cut Pro,
another menu item from this pop-up menu is assigned by
default. For example, in a title template with a pop-up
menu widget assigned to control the title’s font, each
successive time the title is used in a project, a font is
randomly selected from the font list.

Slider widget
Slider widgets let you select values interpolated between
snapshots. When you drag the slider, the affected parameters
change gradually, ramping between the values of adjacent
snapshots. Each snapshot assigned to a slider is represented by
a separate snapshot tag—a small shaded circle underneath the
slider widget.
For information on adding snapshot tags, see the tasks in Create
and manage snapshots.
Clicking a snapshot tag sets the value of the slider to the tag’s
value and enables the tag’s snapshot for editing. Setting the slider
to values between tags causes the rigged parameter values to be
interpolated between the surrounding snapshot values.

The activation checkboxes in the Rig Inspector (highlighted blue
when selected) and in the Layers list (beside the slider widget)
have no effect on the constituent parameters of the slider.
Slider widgets contain the following controls in the Rig Inspector
and Widget Inspector:

Slider: Use this widget control to move between snapshots.
The snapshot tags beneath the slider indicate the saved
snapshots.
Snapshot tags: The small (unlabeled) shaded circles
underneath the slider indicate saved snapshots. Double-click
below the slider to add snapshot tags. Add as many snapshot
tags as you want. Snapshot tags work similarly to tags that
represent individual colors in a gradient. To learn how tags are
used when creating gradients, see Gradient editor controls.

Edit Mode: Click the Start button to enable snapshot
recording. For more information about recording snapshots,
see Snapshots overview.
Note: When you record a snapshot (using the Edit Mode

button or the methods described in Snapshots overview), the
affected parameters (those you modify in the Inspector or via
onscreen controls in the Canvas) are added to the widget.
When you finish recording a snapshot, new controls for the
modified parameters appear in the Widget Inspector. These
parameters are duplicates of the same parameters that occur
in other Inspector panes. Parameters controlled by a rig
display a special icon (a joystick) on the right side of the
parameter row in the Inspector.
Range Minimum: Use this parameter (in the Options section) to
set the low end of the numeric range displayed next to the
slider widget. For example, if you want the slider widget to
range from 0 to 11, set Range Minimum to 0.
Range Maximum: Use this parameter (in the Options section)
to set the high end of the numeric range displayed next to the
slider widget. For example, if you want the slider widget to
range from 0 to 11, set Range Maximum to 11. If you want the
slider widget to range from 0 to 100, set Range Maximum to
100.
Note: Range Minimum and Range Maximum have no effect
on the actual parameter values that the slider widget controls.
Range Minimum and Range Maximum merely designate an
arbitrary numeric range that’s displayed next to the slider
widget.
Interpolation: Use this pop-up menu (in the Options section) to
set how values on the slider are interpolated. The interpolation
applies to the segment of the slider between the current
snapshot tag and the next one. You can set interpolation
methods for each segment of the slider. By default, all
segments are set to Linear. There are three menu options:

Constant: Holds the value of the first snapshot until the
slider reaches the next snapshot, at which point the
parameter changes. (This is similar to changing states
using a pop-up menu widget.)
Linear: Creates a simple interpolation between states.
Ease: Creates a smooth interpolation, where the effect is
weighted towards the nearer snapshot tag.

Manage parameter snapshots
Snapshots overview
When you click the Edit Mode Start button in the Widget Inspector
or Rig Inspector, Motion begins recording parameter changes you
make (including parameters you animate). Also, a window appears
containing a Stop Rig Edit Mode button.

The parameter changes you make while in rig edit mode are
stored in the current snapshot (the item selected in the widget
checkbox, pop-up menu, or slider). Other snapshots in the rig are
unaffected. After you stop rig edit mode, any parameter you
modified (in the Canvas, or in the HUD or Inspector) is added to
the Widget Inspector, and its state is saved in the snapshot.
Only one snapshot can be modified per edit mode session. To
edit more than one snapshot, end the editing session, select

another snapshot (by clicking another snapshot tag for a slider, by
choosing a new menu item for a pop-up menu, or by changing the
state of a checkbox), then start a new edit mode session.
Parameters affected by a rig display a joystick icon on the right
side of the parameter row.

Any parameter controlled by a rig is added to the Widget
Inspector, below the Edit Mode Start button and above the
Options parameters.

Note: Each parameter can be controlled by only one widget.
After a parameter is assigned to a widget, you cannot assign that
parameter to additional widgets.
You can add parameters to a widget after a snapshot is created

by clicking the Start Rig Edit Mode button again and making
changes to new parameters (see Create and manage snapshots)
or by manually adding parameters to the widget (see Control rigs
from parameter Animation menus).
Important: After a parameter is added to a widget, changes
made to that parameter modify the selected snapshot even if Rig
Edit Mode is stopped, and even if the Widget Inspector is not
visible.

How snapshots are saved
Snapshots are saved in the widget. Any parameter affected by a
snapshot is persistently displayed in the widget (even if that
parameter is unmodified by the current snapshot setting).
Parameter controls in widgets are duplicates of the parameter
controls they’re linked to.
For checkbox widgets, there are two snapshots: one for the
selected state and one for the deselected state. Making
changes to the linked parameters affects the snapshot for the
current state of the checkbox.
For pop-up menu widgets, there are as many snapshots as
there are menu items. Add menu items by clicking the Add
button (+) to the right of the pop-up menu in the Widget
Inspector. Making changes to the parameters affects the
selected pop-up menu item.
For slider widgets, you must select a snapshot tag before
enabling Edit Rig Mode.

After parameters are added to the widget, they can be modified
only when a specific snapshot tag is selected. If a slider widget is
set between two tags, you cannot modify parameters.

Create and manage snapshots
You can record and modify snapshots using the controls in the
Rig Inspector or Widget Inspector.

Record a snapshot
1. Select a rig or widget in the Layers list.
For information about creating rigs and widgets, see Build a
simple rig.
2. In the Rig Inspector or Widget Inspector, choose a snapshot

state from the widget control you want to record to:
Checkbox widget: To record to the selected state, select
the checkbox. To record to the deselected state, deselect
the checkbox.
Pop-up menu widget: Click the pop-up menu, then choose
an item (Snapshot 1, Snapshot 2, or Snapshot 3) to record
to.
Slider widget: Select a snapshot tag (one of the gray
shaded circles under the slider) to record to. To create a
new snapshot tag, double-click an empty area below the
slider. When selected, the snapshot tag is highlighted blue.
3. Click the Edit Mode Start button under the widget control you
prepared in step 2.
A window appears containing a Stop Rig Edit Mode button.
The appearance of this window indicates that changes you
make to parameters will be recorded.

4. Make changes to one or more parameters of one or more
objects in your project using the onscreen controls in the
Canvas or the numeric controls in the HUD or Inspector.
Each adjustment you make is recorded to the snapshot setting
selected in the widget (the checkbox, pop-up menu item, or
slider position).

5. After you set the parameters to the desired snapshot state,
click the Stop Rig Edit Mode button.
Recording is stopped, and the snapshot is stored to the
widget. Modified parameters are added to the Widget
Inspector (under the Edit Mode Start button) alongside a
joystick icon indicating that the parameter is rigged.

6. To set additional snapshots, repeat steps 2 through 5.

Rename a snapshot in a pop-up menu
widget
By default the snapshot settings in a pop-up menu widget are
named Snapshot 1, Snapshot 2, and Snapshot 3. You can give
them more descriptive names using the Rename button.
1. Select a rig or widget in the Layers list.
For information about creating rigs and widgets, see Build a
simple rig.

2. In the Rig Inspector or Widget Inspector, choose an item from
the pop-up menu (Snapshot 1, Snapshot 2, or Snapshot 3),
then click the Rename button.
3. Enter a new name in the highlighted field, then press Return.

The menu item updates to the new name.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to rename additional pop-up menu
items.

Add snapshot items to a pop-up menu
widget
By default, the pop-up menu widget contains three menu items
(Snapshot 1, Snapshot 2, and Snapshot 3). You can add or
remove menu items using the Add or Delete button.
1. Select a rig or widget in the Layers list.
For information about creating rigs and widgets, see Build a
simple rig.
2. In the Rig Inspector or Widget Inspector, choose an item from
the pop-up menu, then do one of the following:

Add a menu item: Click the Add button (+) to the right of
the pop-up menu, enter a name for the new item in the
highlighted field, then press Return.
Remove a menu item: Click the Delete button (–) to the
right of the pop-up menu.

Add a snapshot tag to a slider widget
By default there are two recordable snapshot settings in a slider
widget, represented by snapshot tags: shaded gray circles under
the slider, and at either end. When you record snapshots to these
two tags, values along the slider between the two tags are
interpolated; in other words, when you drag the slider, the
affected parameters change gradually, ramping between the
values of adjacent snapshots.

You can add additional snapshot tags to the slider widget to
create more complex ranges of parameter change.
1. Select a rig or widget in the Layers list.
For information about creating rigs and widgets, see Build a
simple rig.
2. In the Rig Inspector or Widget Inspector, double-click an
empty area below a slider widget.
A new snapshot tag appears under the slider. Parameters at
this position inherit their values based on the interpolation
point between the two snapshot tags adjacent to the new
snapshot tags. You can reorder snapshot tags by dragging
them left or right under the slider.
To record new or additional parameter values for a snapshot
tag, see “Record a snapshot” above.

Delete a snapshot tag from a slider widget
Drag the tag away from the area under the slider.

Control rigs from parameter
Animation menus
Using the Animation menu, you can create or modify a rig while
you’re modifying specific parameters in your project.

Add a parameter to a rig
In the Inspector, click the Animation menu for the parameter
(the downward arrow that appears when you place the pointer
over the right side of a parameter row), choose Add to Rig >
Rig, then choose a rig and a specific widget from the
submenus.

The parameter is added to the selected widget in the rig.
Note: You can also create a rig via this submenu.

Remove a parameter from a widget
In the Inspector, click the Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the right
side of a parameter row) of the parameter to remove, then
choose Remove from Widget [name of widget].
The parameter is removed from the widget.
Note: Parameters can be removed from a widget in the
parameter list in the Widget Inspector or in the Inspector
containing the original parameter.

Reveal the widget driving a parameter
In the Inspector, click the Animation menu (the downward
arrow that appears when you place the pointer over the right
side of a parameter row) for the parameter, then choose
Reveal Widget [name of widget].
The Inspector displays the Widget pane.

Reveal the original parameter used in a
widget
In the Widget inspector (not the Rig Inspector), click the
Animation menu (the downward arrow that appears when you
place the pointer over the right side of a parameter row) for
the parameter, then choose Reveal Target Parameter.

The Inspector containing the original parameter is opened and
the parameter name briefly blinks yellow.

Note: The Reveal Target Parameter command can be
especially helpful when a widget is driving multiple similarly
named parameters from different objects. This command
allows you to identify the parent object.

How to use rigs
How to use a single rig
Although rigs are often used to build master controls for use in
Final Cut Pro X projects, they’re also useful in Motion, to simplify
the control set of a complex project. Instead of making changes
by manipulating individual parameters in various Inspectors, you
can modify the Motion project using just a few widgets in a single
rig.
You can make changes to a Motion project by adjusting widgets in
the Rig Inspector, in the Widget Inspector, or in the Rig HUD.
However, it may be easiest to adjust widgets in the Rig HUD,
which displays only the widgets you’ve created (and none of the
additional controls used to create and customize widget settings).

A rig is especially helpful when you need to share a complex
project with multiple users or when the project is designed to be
updated each time it’s used. For example, you can create a basic
project for an animated lower-third title that incorporates two text
objects, a background replicator, and a lens flare generator that
moves across the text.

Each time the project is used, the size and position of the
background generator must change to match the length of the
text. Also, the lens flare must only appear on top of the letters. By
adding a rig to the project, you can create a small set of controls
that modify only the parameters such changes require.

As an alternative to adjusting widgets in the Rig HUD, you can
publish the widgets, then adjust them in the Project Inspector.
(Open the Project Inspector by selecting the Project object at the
top of the Layers list). For more information about publishing, see
Publish rigs to Final Cut Pro.

You can even apply keyframes to a slider widget to create
dynamic animated effects based on saved snapshots in the slider.
(Pop-up menu and checkbox widgets cannot be keyframed, nor
can they accept behaviors. For more information, see About
widget animation.)

How to use multiple rigs
You can create multiple rigs in a single project to better organize
related widgets. Likewise, you can group each rig in the Layers list
with the object or objects it affects. That way you can quickly
navigate to the relevant rig to control the specific, related
parameters.

You can also use one widget to control another. Treat the widget
as you would another parameter control when manipulating a
snapshot for a widget.
Note: You cannot create recursively controlled widgets. That is,
you cannot use one widget to drive a second widget that’s
already driving the first.

About widget animation
When a Motion project contains a rig with a slider widget, you can
use keyframes to animate the parameters modified by the slider
(using the same keyframing method you use for unrigged
parameters). Keyframing a slider widget lets you create powerful
and complex effects where multiple parameters driven by a single
widget are animated simultaneously. In rig edit mode, you can
also apply Parameter behaviors to a rigged object.
Note: Pop-up menu widgets and checkbox widgets cannot be
keyframed, nor can they accept behaviors.
For more information about animating with keyframes, see
Keyframing overview.

Publish rigs to Final Cut Pro
Rigging is especially useful in Final Cut Pro X templates, allowing
users to modify a complex group of parameters with a small set of
controls, or limiting user control to ensure that junior compositors,
editors, and others in the production pipeline adhere to
established specs and client needs. After you add widgets
(checkboxes, pop-up menus, and sliders) to a rig in a
Final Cut Pro template in Motion, you must choose which widgets
you want to publish. When you save the template, its published
widgets become available in Final Cut Pro.

Publish a widget to Final Cut Pro

In the Rig or Widget Inspector, Control-click the name of the
parameter to publish, then choose Publish from the shortcut
menu.
Note: The template must be saved for its published
parameter controls to be available in Final Cut Pro.

View published parameters in Motion
You can review the parameters set to be published in your
template by opening the Project Inspector.
1. Click the Project object at the top of the Layers list.
2. In the Project Inspector, open the Publishing pane.
The Publishing pane displays all published parameters,
including widgets. When saved in a template, published
parameters also appear in the inspector in Final Cut Pro. For
more information about publishing, see Add parameter
controls overview.

Create particles
Particles overview
Particle systems let you create sophisticated effects involving
large numbers of automatically animated objects.
You can add a premade particle system to your composition from
the Library, or you can create your own custom particle effects
using nearly any image layer or group in your project, including still
images, shapes, text, and movies.

Particle systems consist of two basic elements:
Particle emitter: A special type of effect applied to a layer,
causing the layer to multiply and animate according to the
parameters you set in the Inspector.
Particle cell: The image layer that’s multiplied and animated by
the particle emitter.
The emitter and cells have separate sets of parameters that

control the particle system’s behavior. If you imagine that a
garden hose is a particle system, the nozzle acts as the emitter,
while the water represents the flow of particles. Changing the
parameters of the emitter changes the shape from which the
particles are emitted as well as their direction. Changing the cell’s
parameters affects each particle.
Each particle created in the Canvas is essentially a duplicate of
the cell, and is animated according to the parameters of that
particle system over its lifetime.

The layer you use as a particle system’s cell determines the
appearance of that particle system. Particle systems can contain
multiple cells (image layers), resulting in the release of several
types of particles from a single emitter. Many of the most
sophisticated particle presets in the Particle Emitters library are
constructed in this way.

SEE ALSO
Add preset particles or create custom particles
What happens when you create a particle emitter?

Add a particle system to a project
Add preset particles or create custom
particles
There are two basic ways to add a particle system to a project:
Choose a preset from the Particle Emitters category of the
Library.
Create a custom particle system using your own image, video
clip, shape, or text. You can also use multiple images as
source cells for a single particle system.

Add a preset particle system from the

Library
The easiest way to add a particle system to your project is to use
a preset in the Particle Emitters category of the Library. There are
many types of particle effects to choose from. If you find one
close to what you need, you can easily customize its parameters
after you add it to your project. Particle systems are added to a
project exactly like any other object in Motion.

1. In the Library, select the Particle Emitters category, then
select a subcategory, such as Nature, Pyro, SciFi, and so on.

2. In the Library stack under the categories and subcategories,
select a particle preset.
An animated preview of the selected particle emitter plays in
the Library preview area.
3. Do one of the following:
Click Apply in the preview area to add the selected particle
system to the center of the Canvas.
Note: If Create Layers At is set to “Start of project” in the
Project pane of Motion Preferences, the particle system is
added at the first frame. See If it’s your first import.
Drag the particle system from the Library stack into the
Canvas to the position where you want it to appear.
Drag the particle system from the Library stack into a
group in the Layers list or Timeline.
Drag the particle system from the Library stack to the track
area of the Timeline or mini-Timeline; when you reach the
frame where you want the new particles to start, release
the mouse button.
The new particle emitter layer appears in the Layers list and in
the Canvas, composited against any other layers you’ve
already added.
When you add a particle system from the Library, the system acts
as it did in the preview area. If necessary, modify the particle
system parameters in the HUD or Inspector. See Emitter
adjustment overview. You can modify a particle system only after
it’s added to a project.

Note: Some emitters look best when motion blur is enabled.
Preset Library emitters that benefit from motion blur include Jelly
Bands, Light Transit, Rain Streaks, and Silly String. To enable
motion blur, choose Motion Blur from the Render pop-up menu
(above the Canvas), or choose View > Render Options > Motion
Blur (or press Option-M).

Create a custom particle system
To create a custom particle system, you must select a layer in
your project to use as the source for a cell in a new particle
emitter. You can use any layer in your project as a cell source,
including still images, video clips, text, or shapes created in
Motion. The layer you select when you create an emitter becomes
the first cell in that particle system. The cell specifies the look of
the actual particles generated in the Canvas.
Note: You can also use a group as the source for an emitter cell,
but your computer’s processing performance may slow
drastically.
1. Create an image layer to serve as the cell source for the
particles that your emitter will generate.
This example uses an image of a simple white circular
gradient, such as the “basic blur” image located in the Library
(in the Particle Images subcategory of the Content category).

2. Move the object in the Canvas to the location where you want
the center of your particle system to be.
3. Select the object, then do one of the following:
In the toolbar, click the Make Particles button.

Press E.
The new custom particle emitter layer appears in the
Layers list and in the Canvas, composited against any
other layers you’ve already added. If necessary, modify
the particle system parameters in the HUD or Inspector.
See Emitter adjustment overview.

Create complex particles using multiple
source layers
You can add as many cells as you want in a single emitter,
creating complex compositions with different overlapping

particles.
1. Add one or more image layers to your project.
2. In the Layers list, select the layers to use as the particle cells,
then do one of the following:
In the toolbar, click the Make Particles button.

Press E.
A new particle emitter layer appears in the Layers list and
in the Canvas. The emitter’s cells (the image layers you
selected in the previous step) appear in Layers list under
the emitter object.
3. To create additional cells for the emitter, drag layers in the
Layers list onto an existing emitter.
Note: Layers dragged from the File Browser or Library
directly are not added to an emitter, but as a layer in a new
group.
The layers you drag are copied to the particle system,
appearing as new source cells in the Layers list (under the
emitter object) and in the Canvas as part of the complex
particle system. The original layers remain as standalone items
in the project. You can deselect their activation checkboxes in
the Layers list to hide them in the Canvas. (However, if you
delete the original layers, their source cells are deleted from

the particle system.)
When you play the project, each source cell generates particles
simultaneously, according to each source cell’s parameters.
When selected in the Layers list, each cell displays its own
Particle Cell Inspector.
Note: When multiple sources are used to create a particle
system, the resulting emitter is positioned in the Canvas at the
average of the sources’ positions.

Optimize particle system resolution to
improve playback performance
Particle systems often create particles that grow or move off the
Canvas before they “die.” This can make the size of a layer or
group much larger than the dimensions of the Canvas. Although
the particles are not visible after they move off the Canvas (unless
Show Full View Area is enabled in the View menu), they’re still
present in the project and are processed. You can improve
playback performance by constraining the resolution (height and
width) of the group containing the particle emitter.
Note: Using a movie with applied filters as a particle cell source
adversely impacts your computer’s processing performance. For
better performance, export your sequence with the filter applied,
then import it back into Motion and use the movie as the cell
source.
1. In the Layers list, select a group that contains a particle
emitter.

2. In the Group Inspector, select the Fixed Resolution checkbox.
For more information, see Constrain group size.

What happens when you create a
particle emitter?
After you add a particle emitter to a project, the following occurs:
An emitter appears in the Layers list and is selected.
A cell containing the image or images to be “particle-ized”
appears as a sublayer underneath the emitter (click the
disclosure triangle beside the emitter layer to hide or reveal its
cells).
The original source layer (the cell source) is disabled.

Note: Changes made to the original source layer, such as
opacity or shearing, are also applied to the particles even after
the emitter is created.
In the Canvas, a bounding box with transform handles
appears around the selected particle system.
Note: For projects with a frame rate greater than 30 frames

Note: For projects with a frame rate greater than 30 frames
per second (fps), you may see only the bounding box (not the
first particle) at the first frame of your project. Because Motion
generates particles at a default rate of 30 per second, there’s
no guarantee that a particle will appear on every frame.
The first particle appears in the Canvas in the same location
as the original (now-disabled) source layer.
The Emitter HUD appears. If you’ve hidden the HUD, press F7
to show it.
The Emitter Inspector becomes available.
By default, the first frame of a new particle system (with a single
cell) has one particle. If you play your project (press the Space
bar), additional particles are generated and emerge from the
center of the emitter.

By default, new cells emit one particle per frame in all directions
(for 30-fps projects), and each particle moves 100 pixels per
second away from the emitter over a lifetime of 5 seconds (150
frames in a 30-fps project).

Note: Use the Initial Number control in the Particle Cell Inspector
to change the default behavior so a particle system begins with a
burst of particles at the first frame. For more information, see
Emitter controls.

Adjust a particle system
Emitter adjustment overview
You can adjust particle systems (emitters and cells) in your project
in a number of ways:
Modify the general appearance of the emitter by changing the
source image, adjusting cell opacity, changing an emitter’s
position in the Canvas, or deleting cells or the entire emitter.
Adjust basic parameter controls in the HUD.
Adjust all parameter controls in the Inspector.

Modify basic particle system attributes
You can make basic adjustments to a particle system by

replacing its source image, adjusting cell opacity, removing
unwanted cells, changing the emitter’s size or position in the
Canvas, or removing the entire emitter.

Replace a preset emitter’s cell source image
After you add a preset emitter to your project, you can customize
it by replacing its source image.
1. In the File Browser or Library, select the file you want to use
as the replacement graphic for the preset, then add it to the
project.
2. In the Layers list, drag the layer to the emitter cell source you
want to replace.
Note: If the cell layer is not visible, click the disclosure triangle
next to the emitter.
3. When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse
button.
The original cell source image is replaced with the new layer.
4. Optional: Hide the new cell source layer by deselecting its
activation checkbox in the Layers list.
The cells based on this layer remain in your particle system,
but the static cell source layer is hidden in the Canvas.

Adjust an emitter’s cell opacity

Adjust an emitter’s cell opacity
Adjust the opacity of individual cells in a particle system by
modifying the cell parameters in the Particle Cell Inspector or by
modifying the cell source layer’s opacity in the Properties
Inspector.
Do one of the following:
Select a cell in the Layers list, then adjust the Opacity tag in
the gradient editor in the Particle Cell Inspector (or change
Color Mode to Colorize and adjust the Opacity parameter in
the Color controls). For information about adjusting opacity
and color, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.
Select the original, deselected cell source layer—not the cell in
the emitter—and change its opacity in the HUD or Properties
Inspector.

Adjust an emitter’s size or position using
onscreen controls
You can modify the size and position of particle emitters in the
Canvas using onscreen transform controls.
1. In the Layers list, select the particle emitter to adjust.
2. In the toolbar, click and hold the 2D transform tools pop-up
menu, then choose the Adjust Item tool.

When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the emitter onscreen
controls appear in the Canvas. The onscreen controls vary
depending upon the shape of the emitter (chosen from the
Shape pop-up menu in the Emitter Inspector).
3. Resize the emitter in the Canvas by dragging the emitter
shape’s outline, or one of its corner points, or (for a Line
emitter shape) one of the plus signs (+) on either end of the
line.
4. Reposition the emitter in the Canvas by dragging inside the
emitter shape (but not directly on the outline).

Remove a cell from an emitter
You can remove a cell from an emitter that contains multiple cells.
In the Layers list or Timeline, select the cell to remove, then
press Delete.

The original source layers remain in the project (in the Layers
list).

Remove an emitter from a project
You can remove a particle system from the Layers list or Timeline.
Select the particle emitter, then press Delete.
The emitter and its cells are removed from the project, but the
original source layers remain in the project.

Modify particle system parameters in
the HUD
Adjust a particle system in the Emitter HUD
When you create an emitter, the particle system begins working
according to the default parameters in its Emitter Inspector and
Particle Cell Inspector. You can modify the most important of
these parameters in the Emitter HUD.

Display an Emitter HUD
Select the emitter in the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas.
The Emitter HUD appears. (If it does not appear, press F7.)

Adjust parameters for a 2D emitter in the
HUD
Do any of the following:
Drag a slider:
Birth Rate: Sets how many particles are created every
second.
Life: Sets how long each particle remains onscreen (in
seconds) before disappearing from existence.
Scale: Sets the size of each particle, relative to the original
size of the cell.
Emission Range: Sets the angle at which particles are
emitted.
Drag in the graphical emission control to modify several
parameters simultaneously: Emission Range, Emission Angle,
and Emission Speed. For more information, see Emitter HUD
controls.

Adjust parameters for a 3D emitter in the
HUD
When the 3D checkbox in the Emitter Inspector is selected, the
Emitter HUD offers additional 3D controls for manipulating the
emitter in 3D space.
Do any of the following:
Drag any of the following sliders:
Birth Rate: Sets how many particles are created every
second.
Life: Sets how long each particle remains onscreen (in
seconds) before disappearing from existence.
Scale: Sets the size of each particle, relative to the original
size of the cell.
Emission Range: Sets the angle at which particles are
emitted.
Drag in the graphical emission control to modify the Emission
Latitude and Emission Longitude parameters. For more
information, see Emitter HUD controls.

Transform an emitter in 3D space via the
HUD
When you select a particle emitter in the Layers list and then
select the 3D Transform tool (in the toolbar), the Emitter HUD
expands to display additional controls that allow you to transform
the emitter in X, Y, and Z space:
1. With an emitter selected in the Layers list, click the 3D
transform tool in the toolbar.

2. In the Emitter HUD, drag in any of the control squares to
move, rotate, or scale the emitter in 3D space.
These controls are available in both 2D emitters and 3D
emitters.

For more information on using the 3D transform controls in the
HUD, see Transform layers in 3D space.

For particle systems containing multiple cells, the Emitter HUD
parameters simultaneously modify the effect of each cell’s
parameters relative to one another. This means that for a particle
system consisting of two cells with different scale values,
changing the scale in the HUD resizes both cells simultaneously.
For example, increasing the scale in the HUD by 200% does not
change the scale of both cells to 200%, but resizes the cells
relative to their original scale values.

For this reason, in emitters with multiple cells, the HUD
parameters are displayed as percentages. When you modify the
parameters of a single cell, the cell parameters are adjusted
directly.
SEE ALSO
Emitter HUD controls

Emitter HUD controls
Adjust an emitter using the controls in the Emitter HUD:
Birth Rate: A slider that defines how many particles are
created every second.
Life: A slider that defines how long each particle remains
onscreen (in seconds) before disappearing from existence.
Scale: A slider that defines the size of each particle, relative to
the original size of the cell.
Emission Range: A slider that defines the angle at which
particles are emitted.
Emission control (not labeled): A circular graphical control that

Emission control (not labeled): A circular graphical control that
lets you modify several parameters simultaneously, described
below:
Emission Range (2D only): Drag the two points on the outer
ring of the graphical emission control to define the range of
degrees at which particles are generated. In other words,
the Emission Range parameter defines the size of the
“slice” of the pie graph that the particles fill when
generated. This graphical control adjusts the same
parameter as the Emission Range slider.
Emission Angle (2D only): Drag the blue arrows clockwise
or counterclockwise to change the direction in which
particles are emitted (within the angle defined by the
Emission Range control).
Emission Speed (2D only): Drag the blue arrows outward or
inward to define how quickly particles move away from the
emitter.
Use the following modifier keys to more precisely
manipulate the graphical emission control in the HUD:
Shift (while adjusting Emission Angle): Restricts angles
to 45-degree increments.
Shift (while adjusting Emission Range): When working
with a 2D emitter, restricts to 22.5-degree increments.
Command: When working with a 2D emitter, adjusts
Emission Angle only.
Option: When working with a 2D emitter, adjusts
Emission Speed only.
Emission Latitude/Emission Longitude control (not labeled, 3D

only): When using a 3D particle emitter (when the 3D
checkbox is selected in the Emitter Inspector), the spherical
emission control of the HUD lets you modify the Emission
Latitude and Emission Longitude parameters.
Drag the sphere in the center of the circle to modify the
emission direction (in degrees latitude and longitude) of the
particles. You can also enter specific values in the Emitter
Inspector.

Drag the Emission Range slider (above the sphere) to define
the range of degrees at which particles are generated. In
other words, this control defines the size of the cone that the
particles fill when generated in 3D space.

SEE ALSO
Adjust a particle system in the Emitter HUD

Modify particle system parameters in
the Inspector
Adjust a particle system in the Inspector
Particle emitter parameters and particle cell parameters, though
closely related, serve different purposes:
Particle emitter parameters control the overall shape and
direction of the animated mass of particles. Other emitter
parameters simultaneously modify the parameters of all cells
inside that emitter. You can adjust emitter parameters in the
Emitter Inspector.
Particle cell parameters control the behavior of particles after
they’re generated by the emitter. You can adjust cell
parameters in the Particle Cell Inspector.

Adjust a particle emitter in the Emitter
Inspector
1. Select an emitter object in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. In the Inspector, click Emitter.
3. Adjust the Emitter Controls.

The controls of the Emitter Inspector are dynamic—different
parameters appear depending on the number of cells in the
particle system, the emitter shape that’s used, and whether
the 3D checkbox is selected or deselected.
For a complete list of these controls, see Emitter controls.

Adjust a particle cell in the Particle Cell
Inspector
1. Select any cell in an emitter in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. In the Inspector, click Particle Cell (if the pane is not already
displayed).
3. Adjust the Cell Controls.
For a complete list of these controls, see Particle cell controls

SEE ALSO
Single-cell versus multi-cell emitter controls
Emitter controls
Particle cell controls

Single-cell versus multi-cell emitter controls
If a particle system has only one cell, the Emitter Inspector
displays both the emitter controls and the cell controls. In this

case, you can control every aspect of the particle system from
this single Inspector, which saves you from going back and forth
between the Emitter and Particle Cell Inspectors.

If a particle system has two or more cells, the Emitter Inspector
looks much different. The list of controls is much shorter, and the
majority of the cell controls are replaced with a smaller group of
master controls (hidden by default).

Changes made using the master controls modify the effect of
each cell’s parameters relative to the other cells in the system.
For example, in a particle system with three cells that have
different Scale values, increasing the Scale parameter in the
Emitter Inspector multiplies the Scale value of all three cells by the
same percentage. This has the result of increasing or reducing the
size of every particle in the system, while keeping the size of each
particle relative to one another the same. For this reason, the
master control values of multi-cell particle systems appear as
percentages.

Emitter controls
The parameters in the Emitter Controls section of the Emitter
Inspector determine how particles are distributed and rendered in

your project.
Several of these parameter controls are identical to those found in
the Emitter HUD, with one difference: Although the emission
control in the Emitter HUD lets you manipulate the Range, Angle,
Latitude (3D), Longitude (3D), and Speed parameters using a
single graphical control, the Emitter Inspector uses individual
numeric controls for each parameter.
Note: The settings for emitters in the Properties Inspector and
Emitter Inspector can be keyframed to change values over time.
However, there’s no way to control the animation of individual
particles.
Some parameters in the Emitter Inspector depend on the settings
of other parameters. All combinations of parameters are
described below:

Shape: A pop-up menu to set the overall shape of the emitter.
Different shapes significantly alter the distribution of generated
particles. When you choose an emitter shape, different Emitter
Inspector parameters appear that are unique to that shape.
For example, when Rectangle is the selected shape, Outline,
Tile Fill, and Random Fill become available in the Arrangement

options.
The Shape pop-up menu contains the following items:
Point: The default shape for new emitters, specifies a
single point of emission for a particle system.

Line: Particles emerge from a line. Using the onscreen
controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the toolbar)
or controls in the Properties Inspector, you can specify the
length and location of the line. In the Inspector, you can set
a specific number of points where particles emerge. This
emitter shape is useful for creating sheets of particles that
cascade over a wide area.

Rectangle: Particles emerge from a rectangle along its
edge, or in a tile-fill or random-fill pattern. Using the
onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the

toolbar), you can specify the size and location of the
rectangle: Drag the corners to adjust width and height;
drag edges to adjust width or height independently. You
can choose different rectangle patterns via the
Arrangement parameter (described below). In the following
image, the Arrangement parameter is set to Outline.

Use modifier keys to more precisely manipulate the
corners of the Rectangle onscreen controls (with the Adjust
Item tool selected in the toolbar):
Option: Adjustments to size are scaled uniformly, with
the anchor point remaining fixed.
Shift: Adjustments to size are made proportionally.
Circle: Particles emerge from a circle-shaped emitter.
Depending on the setting you choose in the Arrangement
parameter (described below) particles emerge in an
outline, tile-fill, or random-fill pattern. This emitter shape is
useful for surrounding an element in a composition with
particles that emerge from its edge. Using the onscreen
controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the toolbar),
you can specify the size and location of the circle. In the
following image, the shape’s Arrangement parameter is set
to Outline.

Burst: Particles emerge from a burst pattern. Using the
onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the
toolbar), you can specify the size and location of the burst.

Spiral: Particles emerge from a spiral pattern. Using the
onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the
toolbar), you can specify the size and location of the spiral.

Wave: Particles emerge from a waveform. Using the
onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the
toolbar) or the Start Point and End Point controls in the
Emitter Inspector, you can specify the length and location
of the wave.

Geometry: Particles emerge from the edge of a shape,
defined by a spline object used as the shape source. The
following image on the right shows the shape used as the
emitter source. The image on the left shows particles
emerging from the edge of the shape source.

To apply a shape as the geometry shape source for a
particle emitter, drag the shape to the Shape Source well
in the Emitter Inspector (when the Shape pop-up menu is
set to Geometry).

Image: Particles emerge from within an area defined by an
image or from only the edges of the image. The image may
or may not have an alpha channel. If it does, the shape of
the alpha channel can also be used to define the emitter
shape. The following image on the right shows the image
used as the emitter image source. The image on the left
shows the particles emerging from within the image.

To apply an image as the image source for a particle
emitter, drag the image to the Image Source well in the
Emitter Inspector (when the Shape pop-up menu is set to
Image).
Box: This option is available when the 3D checkbox
(described below) is selected in the Emitter Inspector.
Particles are emitted from a three-dimensional cube along
its surface (Outline), or in a tile-fill or random-fill pattern (set
in the Arrangement pop-up menu, described below). Using
the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in
the toolbar), you can specify the size and location of the
rectangle. Drag the front horizontal edge to adjust height;

drag the front vertical edge to adjust width; drag a back
edge to adjust depth; drag a front corner to simultaneously
adjust the width and height. To reposition the emitter, drag
in the shape (but not on an edge or corner point). The
following image shows a Box shape with Arrangement set
to Tile Fill.

Sphere: This option is available when the 3D checkbox
(described below) is selected in the Emitter Inspector.
Particles are emitted from a three-dimensional sphere
along its surface (Outline), or in a tile-fill or random-fill
pattern (set in the Arrangement pop-up menu, described
below). Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item
tool selected in the toolbar), you can specify the radius and
location of the sphere. Drag the outline of the sphere to
adjust its radius; drag in the sphere to reposition it in the
Canvas.
Arrangement: A pop-up menu (available when the Shape popup menu is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere) to
specify the pattern used to generate particles. There are three
menu options:

Outline: Emits particles along the edge of the shape in 2D
emitters and along the surface of the shape in 3D emitters.
Tile Fill: Emits particles from a tiled pattern of rows,
columns, and ranks (for 3D emitters) in the circle,
rectangle, image, box, or sphere. You can specify the
number of columns, rows, and ranks, as well as the Tile
Offset.
Random Fill: Emits particles randomly from within the
circle, rectangle, image, box, or sphere.
Size/Radius: A slider (available when the Shape pop-up menu
is set to Rectangle or Box) to set the size of the rectangle or
cube from which particles are emitted. When Rectangle is the
selected shape, the Width and Height controls become
available. When Box is the selected shape, an additional
Depth control becomes available. When Circle is the selected
shape, this parameter becomes Radius.
Note: Height is measured in project pixels, and Width is
measured in square pixels, to ensure that a numerically
square shape will look square when Correct for Aspect Ratio
is enabled in the View pop-up menu in the top-right corner of
the Canvas. For more information about square pixels, see
Pixel aspect ratio overview.
Columns: A slider available when Shape is set to Rectangle,
Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile
Fill. Sets the number of horizontal emitter points on a grid over
the selected emitter shape. In the case of an irregular shape
(nonrectangular), grid points that fall outside of the shape are
ignored.
Rows: A slider available when Shape is set to Rectangle,

Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile
Fill. Sets the number of vertical emitter points on a grid over
the selected emitter shape. In the case of an irregular shape
(nonrectangular), grid points that fall outside of the shape are
ignored.
Ranks: A slider (available when Shape is set to Box or Sphere,
and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill) to set the number of points
in Z space on a grid over the selected shape from which
particles are emitted.
Tile Offset: A slider available when Shape is set to Rectangle,
Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile
Fill. Values from 0 to 100% offset the rows toward the right,
and values from 0 to –100% offset the rows toward the left. A
value of 50 or –50% creates a “brickwork” pattern.
Image Source: An image well (available when Shape is set to
Image) to specify the object used to define the shape of the
emitter.
Shape Source: An image well (available when Shape is set to
Geometry) to specify a spline object used to define the shape
of the emitter.
Emission Alpha Cutoff: A slider available when Shape is set to
Image. When the Image Source object contains an alpha
channel, this slider defines the minimum opacity value
necessary to create particles at that point on the source
image. For example, when Emission Alpha Cutoff is set to
25%, particles appear only where the alpha value of the
image is equal to or greater than 25% opacity. The lower the
Emission Alpha Cutoff value, the more particles appear. For
this parameter to be effective, the alpha channel must have
areas of varying transparency.

Start Point: Value sliders (available when the Shape pop-up
menu is set to Line or Wave) to define, in X and Y coordinates,
the first point of the line used as the emitter shape. Click the
disclosure triangle to modify the Z position of the start point.
You can adjust these values in the Canvas using the onscreen
controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the toolbar).
End Point: Value sliders (available when Shape is set to Line or
Wave) to define, in X and Y coordinates, the second point of
the line used as the emitter shape. Click the disclosure triangle
to modify the Z position of the start point. You can adjust
these values in the Canvas using the onscreen controls (with
the Adjust Item tool in the toolbar selected).
Emit At Points: A checkbox available when Shape is set to
Line, Rectangle (with Arrangement set to Outline or Random),
or Circle (with Arrangement set to Outline or Random), Burst,
Spiral, Wave, Geometry, Box (with Arrangement set to
Outline), or Sphere (with Arrangement set to Outline). When
the Emit At Points checkbox is selected, particles emerge
from a limited number of points (as defined in the Points
parameter, described below). When the checkbox is
deselected, particles may emerge from anywhere on the line
or edge. When the Adjust Item tool is selected in the toolbar,
the points become visible in the Canvas.
Points/Points Per Arm: A slider available when the Emit At
Points checkbox is selected and Shape is set to any of the
following: Line, Rectangle, Image, or Circle (with Arrangement
set to Outline or Random Fill); or Burst, Spiral, Wave, or
Geometry. Defines the number of points where particles are
emitted. For Rectangle or Circle shapes, the particles are
emitted from evenly distributed points along the edge of the
shape when Arrangement is set to Outline. When the Adjust

Item tool is selected in the toolbar, the points are visible in the
Canvas.
Using a large number of points slows your computer’s
processing performance.
Radius: A slider (available when Shape is set to Circle, Burst,
Spiral, or Sphere) to define the size of the shape from which
particles are emitted.
Twists: A slider (available when Shape is set to Spiral) to set
the number of turns in the spiral. The default value is 0.25.
Number of Arms: A slider (available when Shape is set to
Burst or Spiral) to set the number of branches from which
particles are emitted. The default value is 3.

Amplitude: A slider (available when Shape is set to Wave) to
define half the distance from the highest point to the lowest
point in the wave. Higher values result in more extreme waves.
Frequency: A slider (available when Shape is set to Wave) to
set the number of waves. Higher values result in more waves.
Phase: A dial (available when Shape is set to Wave) the set
the degree of the offset of the waves from the start and end

points of the path. When set to 0 degrees (default), the wave
begins and ends at half the distance from the highest point to
the lowest point in the wave. When set to 90 degrees, the
wave begins and ends at the highest point in the wave. When
set to 90 degrees, the wave begins at the lowest point in the
wave. When set to 180 degrees, the waves are the same as
they are at 0 degrees, but inverted.
Damping: A slider (available when Shape is set to Wave) to set
the direction of progressive diminishment of the oscillation of
the wave. Positive damping values diminish the wave forward
(from left to right); negative values diminish the wave
backward (from right to left).
Offset: A slider available when Shape is set to Line, Rectangle
(with Arrangement set to Outline), Circle (with Arrangement set
to Outline), Burst, Spiral, Wave, Geometry, or Image. Offsets
the emitter itself or the particles generated on the shape. For
example, when the emitter Shape is a Line, changing the
Offset value moves the emitter’s position in the Canvas. When
the emitter Shape is a Rectangle and Arrangement is set to
Outline, changing the Offset value moves the particles along
the edge of the shape.
3D: A checkbox that, when selected, enables the Box and
Sphere options in the Shape pop-up menu. Further, because
all emitter shapes can be manipulated in 3D space, additional
3D parameters are available for all emitter shapes when the
3D checkbox is selected: Render Particles, Emission Latitude,
and Emission Longitude. These additional parameters appear
in the Emitter Inspector and HUD.
These parameters are available for all shapes, regardless of
the Arrangement setting.

Note: When the 3D checkbox is selected, particles cannot
receive reflections, and the Reflections parameter (in the
Properties Inspector) is no longer available for the emitter.
Additionally, when the 3D checkbox is selected, In Global 3D
(Better) must be selected from the Render Particles pop-up
menu for particles to cast shadows and to be affected by
lights.
For more information on the additional 3D controls in the HUD,
see Adjust a particle system in the Emitter HUD.
Emission Angle: A dial (available when the Shape pop-up
menu is set to a 2D shape) to set the direction in which
particles travel. This control works in conjunction with the
Emission Range control (described below). It’s equivalent to
one of the functions of the graphical emission control in the
Emitter HUD.
Note: When using an emitter shape other than a Point, such
as a Line, Circle, Rectangle, Spiral, Burst, or Wave, and with
Arrangement set to Outline, setting the Emission Angle
parameter to 180 degrees and the Emission Range parameter
to 0 degrees restricts the emission of particles to the inside of
the shape. Setting the Emission Angle parameter to 0 degrees
and the Emission Range parameter to 0 degrees restricts the
emission of the particles to outside of the shape.
Emission Range: A dial to restrict the area around the center
of each emission point where particles are generated, in the
direction of the Emission Angle. It’s equivalent to one of the
functions of the graphical emission control in the Emitter HUD.
Note: When using a Line, Circle, Rectangle, Spiral, Burst, or
Wave (but not Geometry) shape, setting Emission Range to 0
degrees keeps particles perpendicular to the emitter when

they emerge.
Render Particles: A pop-up menu (available when the 3D
checkbox is selected) to select between two rendering
methods for the particles:
In Local 3D (Faster): The default setting, renders particles
faster but does not allow for intersections with layers in the
emitter group or with layers in other groups. Nor does it
allow particles to cast shadows.
In Global 3D (Better): Allows the particles to intersect with
layers in the emitter group and with layers in other groups.
When turned on, your project’s playback performance is
slowed.
Important: For the 3D particles to cast shadows, and be
affected by lights and depth-of-field settings, you must
select the 3D checkbox and choose In Global 3D (Better)
from the Render Particles pop-up menu.
Emission Latitude: A dial (available when the 3D checkbox is
selected) to set the emission direction (in degrees latitude) of
the particles.
Emission Longitude: A dial (available when the 3D checkbox is
selected) to set the axis of rotation (in degrees longitude) from
which the particles are emitted.
Depth Ordered: A checkbox (available when the 3D checkbox
is selected) that, when deselected, causes particle distribution
to be completely random, regardless of size. Consequently,
particle arrangements may appear to violate the rules of
perspective.

When selected, this checkbox draws the particles in the
particle system according to each particle’s actual 3D position
in the project. In other words, particles closer to the camera
appear closer; particles farther from the camera appear more
distant.

Render Order: A pop-up menu to set whether new particles
are drawn on top of or underneath particles that have already
been generated. There are two options:
Oldest First: New particles appear on top of older

particles.
Oldest Last: New particles appear underneath older
particles.
Interleave Particles: A checkbox that, when selected, mixes
particles generated from multiple cells together. Deselecting
this checkbox layers particles in the same order as the cells
that generate them.
Note: This option has no effect with particle systems
containing only one cell. Leaving this option off speeds
rendering with multiple cells.
Face Camera: A checkbox (available when 3D is enabled) that
forces the particle system to face the active scene camera.
For more information on cameras, see Add a camera.
SEE ALSO
Adjust a particle system in the Inspector
Single-cell versus multi-cell emitter controls
Particle cell controls

Particle cell controls
Think of the particle cell as the “mold” for the particles generated
in the Canvas by the emitter. The parameters in the Cell Controls
group determine how particles behave after they are released
from the emitter. Cell controls appear at the bottom of the Emitter
Inspector when a particle system is selected, and in the Particle
Cell Inspector when a particle cell is selected.

Adjust an emitter’s cells using the Cell Controls:
Birth Rate: A slider that defines the birth rate of the cell—that
is, how many particles of this cell emerge from the emitter
every second. Higher values create denser particle effects.

Birth Rate Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of
variance in the Birth Rate of generated particles. A value of 0
results in no variance (particles emerge from the emitter at the
same rate). A value greater than 0 introduces a variance
defined by the Birth Rate slider, plus or minus a random value
falling within the Birth Rate Randomness setting.
Initial Number: A slider that defines the initial number of
particles. This control determines how many particles of this
cell appear at the first frame of a particle effect. The result is
an initial burst of particles that eventually evens out according
to the Birth Rate setting.

Life: A slider that defines the duration of every particle, in
seconds—that is, how long each particle lasts before
vanishing from existence. This effect is similar to how sparks

disappear after flying away from a sparkler. Unless the Color
Over Life setting or Opacity Over Life setting (both described
below) is used to fade each particle out over its life, particles
immediately vanish at the end of their lifetimes.

Life Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of variance
in the life of generated particles. A value of 0 results in no
variance—all particles from the selected cell emerge with the
same lifetime. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance
defined by the Life slider, plus or minus a random value falling
within the Life Randomness setting.
Speed: A slider that defines initial speed—that is, how quickly
each particle flies away from the emitter. This, in conjunction
with the Life and Birth Rate settings, determines how many
particles appear in the Canvas at a given frame. This
parameter is equivalent to one of the functions of the graphical
emission control in the HUD.
Speed Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of
variance in the speed of generated particles. A value of 0
results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell
emerge with the same speed. A value greater than 0
introduces a variance defined by the Speed slider, plus or
minus a predetermined random value falling within the Speed

Randomness setting.
Align Angle: When this checkbox is selected, particles rotate
to match the shape on which they are positioned. This
parameter is available in all cases but the following: when the
Shape setting (in the Emitter Inspector) is Rectangle, Circle,
Image, Box, and Sphere and the Arrangement setting is Tile
Fill or Random Fill; or when the Shape setting is Point.
Angle: A dial that sets the angle of rotation, in degrees, at
which new particles are created.
Angle Randomness: A dial that sets an amount of variance in
the angle of generated particles.
Spin: A dial that animates particles in a system by initially
spinning each particle around its center. Adjustments to this
control are in degrees per second.
Spin Randomness: A dial that sets an amount of variance in
the spin of generated particles. A value of 0 results in no
variance—all particles from the selected cell spin at the same
rate. A value greater than 0 introduces a variance defined by
the Spin parameter, plus or minus a random value falling
within the Spin Randomness setting.
Additive Blend: By default, particles are composited together
using the Normal blend mode. Select this checkbox to
composite all overlapping generated particles together using
the Additive blending mode. The result is that the brightness of
overlapping objects is intensified. This blending occurs in
addition to the compositing method set in the Blend Mode
parameter of the Properties Inspector.

Color Mode: A pop-up menu that sets how particles are
tinted. There are five options:
Original: Particles are generated using the original colors
from the source layer. When this setting is selected, the
Opacity Over Life gradient editor becomes available
(described below).

Colorize: Particles are tinted using the color specified in the
Color parameter. When this setting is selected, additional
Color and Opacity Over Life controls appear (described
below).

Over Life: Particles are tinted based on their age, with the
range of possible colors defined by the Color Over Life
gradient editor (described below).

Pick From Color Range: Particles are tinted at random,
with the range of possible colors defined by the Color
Range gradient editor (described below). A point on the
gradient is randomly chosen, so the relative sizes of each
color region determine the frequency of the color being
used.

Take Image Color: Each new particle’s color is based on
the color of the image at the position where the particle

was generated. This menu item is available only when the
Shape pop-up menu in the Emitter Inspector is set to
Image.
Opacity Over Life: A gradient editor (available when the Color
Mode is set to Original or Colorize) that animates changes to
the opacity of particles over their lifetime. For more information
on using gradient controls, see Change a gradient’s color and
opacity.
Color: Color controls (available when the Color Mode pop-up
menu is set to Colorize) to set the color of particles. You can
also modify the alpha channel of each particle, altering its
opacity. This parameter is unique to the cell object. You can
click the color well to choose a color, use the eye dropper, or
open the disclosure triangle and adjust the Red, Green, Blue,
and Opacity channel sliders. For more information on using
color controls, see Basic color controls.
Color Over Life: A gradient editor (available when the Color
Mode is set to Over Life) that sets the range of color that each
particle assumes as it ages, beginning with the leftmost color
in the gradient, and progressing through the range of colors
until finally reaching the rightmost color at the end of its life.
For more information on using gradient controls, see Change a
gradient’s color and opacity.
Color Repetitions: A slider (available when Color Mode is set to
Over Life) that sets the number of times the gradient color
pattern is repeated over the life of the particle.
Color Range: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode is
set to Pick From Color Range) that sets a range of colors used
to randomly tint new particles. The direction of the gradient
colors is not relevant. Color Range has the same controls as

the Color Over Life gradient editor.
Scale: A slider that defines the scale of every particle of a cell.
Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale parameter to
reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and
Y to resize the width and height of generated particles; use Z
to change the depth of 3D text particles. This control affects
the initial scale of the particle (compared to the Scale Over
Life behavior in the Particles behavior category).

Note: When you use an image as a particle cell source and
set a low Scale value, set the render quality in the Render
pop-up menu (above the Canvas) or the View menu to Best
(choose View > Quality > Best).
Scale Randomness: A slider that defines an amount of
variance in the scale of generated particles. A value of 0
results in no variance—all particles from the selected cell
emerge with the same size. A value greater than 0 introduces
a variance defined by the Scale parameter, plus or minus a
random value falling within the Scale Randomness setting.
Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale parameter to
reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and
Y to vary the width and height of generated particles; use Z to

vary the depth of 3D text particles.
Attach To Emitter: A slider that sets how closely particles
follow the position of a moving emitter. If set to zero, particles
follow their own path after being emitted, resulting in particles
that trail along the motion path the emitter is following. If this
parameter is set to 100, in the absence of other behaviors, all
generated particles follow the emitter, surrounding it in a
moving cloud of particles.

Play Frames: A checkbox (available if the particle system was
created from a QuickTime movie) that controls playback. If
selected, playback of the animation or movie clip used to
generate each particle loops. If deselected, particles are
generated using the still frame specified by the Random Start
Frame parameter or the Source Start Frame parameter (both
described below).
Random Start Frame: A checkbox (available if the particle
system was created from a QuickTime movie) that introduces
variation into animated particles generated from QuickTime
objects. If selected, each newly generated particle begins at a
different frame of the animation. Stills are chosen randomly if
Random Start Frame is deselected.
Source Start Frame: A slider available if the particle system

Source Start Frame: A slider available if the particle system
was created from a QuickTime movie and Random Start
Frame is deselected. Use this control to set the start frame of
the animation (if the Play Frames checkbox is selected) or the
still frame to display (if the Play Frames checkbox is
deselected).
Hold Frames: A slider (available if the particle system was
created from a QuickTime movie) that sets the number of
times each frame of the source movie is repeated during
playback. The larger the Hold Frames value, the slower your
playback.
Hold Frames Randomness: A slider (available if the particle
system was created from a QuickTime movie) that varies the
number of frames to “hold.”
Show Particles As: A pop-up menu that sets whether particles
are displayed in a preview mode or as they actually appear.
By default, this parameter is set to Image, which displays
each particle as it is supposed to appear. However, the
nonimage preview modes play more efficiently when viewing a
complex particle system and also provide other ways of
analyzing particle motion. There are four menu items:
Points: Displays each particle as a single point. This is the
fastest preview mode, useful for displaying the type and
speed of particle motion in a system.

Lines: Displays each particle as a line. This is a good
preview mode to use to analyze the vector of each
particle’s motion. The length of each line is determined by
that particle’s speed, and the angle of each line equals
each particle’s direction.

Wireframe: Displays each particle as a bounding box.
Because the bounding boxes are good indicators of each
particle’s orientation in the system, this preview mode is
useful for evaluating the movements of individual particles.
For example, it’s easy to see the angle of rotation for
particles spinning or following a complex motion path.

Image: The default setting, displays the full particle system
effect.

Note: The option chosen in the Show Particles As pop-up
menu appears in your final render. Used deliberately, this
can result in some interesting effects.
Point Size: A slider (available when Show Particles As is set to
Points) that sets the largeness of the points.
Random Seed: Although particle systems seem random,
they’re deterministic. This means that the variation in each
particle system is created based on the number shown in the
Random Seed field. Unless this seed number is changed, a
particle system with the same Random Seed value always
plays back with the same motion. If you don’t like the current
random motion or distribution of the particle system, you can

change the seed value by typing a new number or clicking
Generate. This changes the random calculations performed
for that system for all randomness parameters.
Particle Source: In particle systems with more than one cell,
an image well representing each cell appears at the bottom of
the Emitter Inspector. Each Particle Source well has a
checkbox you can use to enable or disable that cell.
SEE ALSO
Adjust a particle system in the Inspector
Single-cell versus multi-cell emitter controls
Emitter controls

Adjust a particle emitter in the
Properties Inspector
You can modify an emitter’s position, scale, blend mode, drop
shadow, and other attributes in the Properties Inspector. These
properties are separate from the emitter parameters in the Emitter
and Particle Cell Inspectors.

1. Select an emitter object in the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas.
2. In the Inspector, click Properties.
3. Adjust the controls.

For detailed information on all Properties Inspector parameters,
see Properties Inspector controls.
Note: When you select a particle cell and open the Properties
Inspector, only one parameter group is available: the Timing
controls, which adjust the In and Out points of the particle cell. For
more information, see About particle system timing.

Animate emitters and cells
Animate emitters and cells overview
By adding behaviors to a particle system’s emitter, or to the cells
themselves, you can create sophisticated, organic animation that
would be impossible to accomplish any other way. You can
animate an emitter using behaviors designed specifically for
particles, or by using Basic Motion, Parameter, or Simulation
behaviors. You can also animate emitter parameters and cell
parameters with keyframes.
Consider the following guidelines when animating a particle
system:
Apply the Particles behaviors (Scale Over Life and Spin Over
Life) to modify and animate the rotation and size of the
particles over their lifetime. For details, see
Apply behaviors to particle cells or to the emitter to create
even more varied effects (simulation behaviors can be
especially effective). Any behavior that you apply to a cell is in
turn applied to each particle the cell generates.
Apply a Simulation behavior to an emitter or another object in

Apply a Simulation behavior to an emitter or another object in
your project (an object that is not part of the particle system)
to make particles interact with other objects in the project. For
example, applying the Repel behavior to an object will cause
particles to weave around that object.
Keyframe the Emitter Inspector parameters to modify the
particle system’s overall characteristics over time, such as
increasing or decreasing the size, speed, or lifetime of newly
generated particles.
Keyframe the emitter’s Position parameter (in the Properties
Inspector) to alter the position and geometric distribution of a
particle system over time, such as creating a path of bubbles
that follows an object onscreen. For more information on
keyframing, see Animate parameters in the Inspector.

Use Motion Tracking behaviors to track an emitter to a moving
object in a clip, or to apply existing tracking data in your
project to an emitter. For more information about Motion
Tracking behaviors, see Motion tracking overview.
SEE ALSO
Apply behaviors to particle systems
View animated emitter curves in the Keyframe Editor

Apply behaviors to particle systems
Applying behaviors to particle systems is a quick and easy way to
move emitters in your project and to create nearly limitless
animations.
With all Basic Motion behaviors, after individual particles emerge,
they’re unaffected by changes to the position of the emitter. This
means that moving the emitter around the screen using behaviors
results in the creation of a trail of particles that behave according
to their particle cell parameters.
There are two ways to apply behaviors to a particle system:
To the emitter: Behaviors applied to emitters affect the emitter
itself, not its individual particles. For example, using the Throw
behavior to send an emitter flying across the Canvas creates a
trail of particles.
To the emitter cell: Behaviors applied to cells are in turn
applied to each particle generated from that cell. This can
result in some extremely complex animations as dozens of
particles move according to the behaviors you’ve defined.
Behaviors applied to cells have no effect on the position of the
emitter.

Apply a behavior to an emitter
Do one of the following:
Drag a behavior from the Library onto an emitter in the
Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.

Select the emitter, click the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the
toolbar, then choose a behavior.

Select an object in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, then
select a behavior from the Library stack and click Apply in the
preview area.

In the Canvas, the emitter begins to move according to the
parameters of the applied behavior.
Note: Not all behaviors instantly activate an object when applied.
For example, you must adjust the Throw Velocity parameter of a
Throw behavior to cause an object to move.

Apply a behavior to a cell
Behaviors applied to cells are in turn applied to each particle
generated from that cell.
Do one of the following:
Drag a behavior from the Library onto a cell in the Layers list.

Select a cell in the Layers list, click the Add Behavior pop-up
menu in the toolbar, then choose a behavior.

Select a cell in the Layers list, then select a behavior from the
Library stack and click Apply in the preview area.

The emitter begins to move according to the parameters of the
applied behavior.
Note: Not all behaviors instantly activate an object when
applied. For example, you must adjust the Throw Velocity
parameter of a Throw behavior to cause an object to move.
Tip: If you do not see the expected result when applying
behaviors to particle cells, try selecting or deselecting the
Affect Subobjects checkbox (in the Behaviors Inspector) or
selecting a different option from the Affect pop-up menu in the
HUD or Behaviors Inspector. These parameters determine
whether the entire object (such as the particle emitter) or its
components (such as the particle cells) are affected by the
behavior and how an object interacts with surrounding
objects, respectively. (The Affect Subobjects checkbox
appears in the Behaviors Inspector only when the Throw and

Spin behaviors are applied to a group containing multiple
objects, such as a group, particle emitter, or text.)
In the Canvas, the emitter begins to move according to the
parameters of the applied behavior.
Note: Not all behaviors instantly activate an object when applied.
For example, you must adjust the Throw Velocity parameter of a
Throw behavior to cause an object to move.
Tip: If you do not see the expected result when applying
behaviors to particle cells, try selecting or deselecting the Affect
Subobjects checkbox (in the Behaviors Inspector) or selecting a
different option from the Affect pop-up menu in the HUD or
Behaviors Inspector. These parameters determine whether the
entire object (such as the particle emitter) or its components (such
as the particle cells) are affected by the behavior and how an
object interacts with surrounding objects, respectively. (The Affect
Subobjects checkbox appears in the Behaviors Inspector only
when the Throw and Spin behaviors are applied to a group
containing multiple objects, such as a group, particle emitter, or
text.)

Apply a Parameter behavior to an emitter or
cell parameter
You can apply Parameter behaviors to parameters in the Emitter
or Particle Cell Inspector. A Parameter behavior is a special kind
of behavior that animates a single parameter of an object.
Do one of the following:

Drag a behavior from the Parameter category of behaviors in
the Library onto an emitter or cell in the Layers list or Timeline,
then, in the Behaviors Inspector, click the To pop-up menu
and choose a parameter from the submenus.
Select an emitter or cell in the Layers list or Timeline, click the
Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, and choose a
Parameter behavior; then, in the Behaviors Inspector, click the
To pop-up menu and choose a Parameter from the
submenus.
In the Emitter or Particle Cell Inspector, Control-click a
parameter, then choose a Parameter behavior from the
shortcut menu.
The Parameter behavior is applied to the parameter you chose.
Play back your project to see the result.
For more information, see Parameter behaviors overview.

Apply a Particles behavior to an emitter or
cell
The Particles category of behaviors in the Library contains two
behaviors specifically for use with the cells or emitter in a particle
system:
Scale Over Life: This behavior lets you grow or shrink the
particles in a system over the duration of each particle’s life.
Spin Over Life: This behavior lets you spin the particles in a
system over the duration of each particle’s life.

Do one of the following:
Drag a behavior from the Particles category of behaviors in the
Library onto an emitter or cell in the Layers list or Timeline.
Select an emitter or cell in the Layers list or Timeline, click the
Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then choose a
Particles behavior.
For a description of each Particles behavior parameter, see Scale
Over Life and Spin Over Life.

Particles behavior controls
Scale Over Life
The Scale Over Life behavior has one main parameter control and
three optional parameter controls that vary, depending on the
selected Increment Type:
Increment Type: A pop-up menu that sets which method is
used to resize particles over their lifetime. There are four
options:
Natural Scale: Specifies starting and ending scale
percentages used to animate each particle’s size over its
lifetime. Natural Scale uses an exponential curve to allow
the animation to progress slowly when the scale values are
small, and speed up when the values are large. This
creates the illusion that the scaling is occurring at a
constant speed.
Rate: Specifies a steady rate at which particles change

Rate: Specifies a steady rate at which particles change
size over their entire lifetimes.
Birth and Death Values: Specifies starting and ending scale
percentages used to animate each particle’s size over its
lifetime. The scale amount generated by this option for a
specific particle at a specific time is multiplied by the
preexisting particle Scale (defined in the Cell Controls
section of the Emitter Inspector).
Custom: Lets you customize the scale of the particles over
their lifetime via a mini-curve editor (described below).
Scale At Birth: A slider (available when Increment Type is set
to Natural Scale or Birth and Death Values) that defines the
initial size of particles when they’re created. Click the
disclosure triangle next to the Scale At Birth parameter to
reveal separate X, Y, and Z subparameters. Use X and Y to
change the width and height of generated particles; use Z to
change the depth of 3D text particles.
Scale At Death: A slider (available when Increment Type is set
to Natural Scale or Birth and Death Values) that defines the
size of each particle at the end of its lifetime. Click the
disclosure triangle next to the Scale At Death parameter to
reveal separate X, Y, and Z subparameters. Use X and Y to
change the width and height of generated particles; use Z to
change the depth of 3D text particles.
Scale Rate: A slider (available when Increment Type is set to
Rate) that defines how quickly each particle changes size.
Positive values grow particles over time, while negative values
shrink particles over time. Click the disclosure triangle next to
the Scale Rate parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z
subparameters. Use X and Y to change the width and height
of generated particles; use Z to change the depth of 3D text

particles.
Custom Scale controls: A group of controls (a mini-curve
editor and two sliders, described below) appears when
Increment Type is set to Custom. Use the mini-curve editor for
more precise control over the Scale of particles in your
particle system.
Mini-curve editor (unlabeled): A graph with the curves and
control points you can drag to adjust the scale of particles
in your particle system. For more information on using
mini-curve editors, see Work in the mini-curve editor.
Custom Scale: A slider to adjust the value of the selected
keyframe in the mini-curve editor.
Over Life: A slider to adjust the position of the selected
keyframe in the life of the particle.

Spin Over Life
The Spin Over Life behavior has one main parameter control and
three optional parameter controls that vary, depending on the
selected Increment Type:
Increment Type: A pop-up menu that sets which method is
used to spin particles over their lifetime. There are three
options:
Rate: Specifies a steady rate and direction in which
particles spin over their lifetime.
Birth and Death Values: Specifies starting and ending spin
degrees used to animate each particle’s rotation over its
lifetime. The spin amount generated by this option for a

specific particle at a specific time is added to the
preexisting particle spin (defined in the Cell Controls
section of the Emitter Inspector).
Custom: Lets you customize the spin of the particles over
their lifetime via a mini-curve editor (described below).
Spin Rate: A slider (available when Increment Type is set to
Rate) that determines how quickly each particle spins and the
direction of the spin. Positive values spin particles faster over
time and in a counterclockwise direction; negative values spin
particles slower over time and in a clockwise direction.
Spin At Birth: A slider (available when Increment Type is set to
Birth and Death Values) that determines the initial spin of the
particles when they’re created.
Spin At Death: A slider (available when Increment Type is set
to Birth and Death Values) that determines the spin of the
particles at the end of their lifetime.
Custom Spin controls: A group of controls (a mini-curve editor
and several other controls, described below) available when
Increment Type is set to Custom. Use the mini-curve editor for
more precise control over the Spin of particles in your particle
system.
Mini-curve editor (unlabeled): A graph with the curves and
control points you can drag to adjust the spin of particles
in your particle system. For more information on using
mini-curve editors, see Work in the mini-curve editor.
Custom Spin: A dial to adjust the value of the selected
keyframe in the mini-curve editor.
Over Life: A slider to adjust the position of the selected

keyframe in the life of the particle.

View animated emitter curves in the
Keyframe Editor
You can also animate emitter or cell parameters using keyframes.
When you do so, a curve describing that animation is available in
the Keyframe Editor. The selected object determines which
curves appear in the Keyframe Editor (when Animated is selected
from the pop-up menu in the top-left corner of the Keyframe
Editor). For more information about animating with keyframes, see
Keyframing overview.

Display keyframed emitter or cell curves
Display keyframed emitter curves: With the Keyframe Editor
open (press Command-8 if it’s not already open), select an
emitter in the Layers list to display animated emitter
parameters such as Position and Rotation (in the Properties
Inspector) or Emission Angle and Range.
Display keyframed cell curves: With the Keyframe Editor open
(press Command-8 if it’s not already open), select a cell in the
Layers list to display animated parameters such as Birth Rate
or Angle.
Note: To manually send an animated parameter to the
Keyframe Editor, click an animated parameter’s Animation
menu (the downward arrow that appears when you place the

pointer over the right side of a parameter row in the
Inspector), then choose Show In Keyframe Editor.

The parameter is displayed in the Keyframe Editor in a new,
untitled curve set.

For more information about keyframe curves, see Display the
Keyframe Editor.

Create 3D particles
Two emitter pattern styles in the Shape pop-up menu have 3D
options: Box and Sphere. The Box and Sphere shape options are
available only when the 3D checkbox is selected in the Emitter
Inspector.

Although the Rectangle, Circle, Line, Wave, Image, and Geometry
emitter shapes have no inherent 3D parameters, they can be
moved and rotated in 3D space. Additionally, the Line and Wave
emitter shapes have quasi-3D properties: Their start and end
points can be moved into Z space (depth).

And when you nest an emitter in a 3D group, you can use
Simulation behaviors to pull particles out of their X and Y planes,
into Z space.

Turn an existing 2D particle system into 3D
particles
1. After adding an emitter to a project, select the 3D checkbox in
the Emitter Inspector.
For information about adding an emitter, see Add preset
particles or create custom particles.

2. If your project does not contain a camera, click the New
Camera button in the toolbar.
If your project is a 2D project, a dialog appears asking if you
want to switch your 2D groups to 3D.
3. Click Switch to 3D.
A camera is added to the project, and your layers are turned
into 3D layers.
4. In the 3D view tools (in the upper-right corner of the Canvas),
drag in the Orbit tool (the center tool).

As the camera rotates, you can see that the particles are
emitted in X, Y, and Z space (all three dimensions).

Tip: Use Simulation behaviors to create animated particles in
3D space that interact with other objects in the project. For
example, use Orbit Around to create particles that circle
around a target object. For more information, see Simulation
behaviors overview.
5. Optional: If you want the particles to face the camera as it
rotates around the emitter, select the Face Camera checkbox
in the Emitter Inspector.

Create a 3D box or sphere particle emitter
1. After adding an emitter to a project, select the 3D checkbox in
the Emitter Inspector.
For information, see Emitter controls.

2. In the Emitter Inspector, click the Shape pop-up menu, then
choose Box or Sphere.
Particles emanate from a box or sphere pattern, in 3D space.

Make particles intersect with other layers
Particles can intersect with other rotated layers in 3D space.
In the Emitter Inspector, click the Render Particles pop-up
menu, then choose In Global 3D (Better).
In the following image on the left, with Global 3D selected,
particles intersect with other objects in the project that are
transformed in 3D space. In the image on the right, with Local
3D selected, particles do not intersect with other objects.

About particle system timing
When you create a particle system, its duration can be as long or
short as necessary, regardless of the duration of the original

source layers used to create the particle system. The duration of
a particle system is defined by the duration of the emitter object.
Changing the In or Out point of an emitter in the Properties
Inspector, Timeline, or mini-Timeline changes the duration of the
entire particle system.
By default, particles are generated by every cell in a system for
the duration of the emitter. The duration of each generated
particle is defined by the Life parameter of the cell that generated
it, and not by the duration of the cell itself.
The duration of the cell governs the time span over which new
particles are generated. You can change a cell’s duration by
dragging its position or its In and Out points in the Timeline. In this
way, you can adjust the timing that defines when each cell’s
particles emerge.

For example, you can create a particle system that simulates an
explosion by offsetting the appearance of three types of particles.
First, dense white sparks emerge from the center. Half a second
later, more diffuse orange blast particles appear around a larger
area. One second after that, hot smoke emerges from underneath
both of these layers as they fade away.

You can offset a cell in the Timeline or mini-Timeline so that the
cell starts before the emitter. This creates a “pre-roll” in which the
particle simulation begins before the particles are drawn.
For more information on adjusting the timing of layers in the
Timeline, see Timeline overview.

Guidelines for using graphics in
particle systems
Creating a particle system from scratch begins with designing the
particles you want it to emit. You can use any image, shape, text,
or movie supported by Motion as a source for a cell.

Still images
Particle systems that use still images as their cell sources render
in real time much faster than systems that use video or animation
clips. A still image is often all you need to create a compelling
particle system.
Use the following guidelines when creating graphics for use as
particles:

Graphics size: If you’re not sure what size you want your
particles to be, it’s a good idea to make your graphics larger
rather than smaller. Increasing the size of particles beyond the
size of the original graphic can introduce unwanted artifacts.
One caveat, however, is that the larger the cell source size,
the slower your playback performance.
Particle edges: The quality of the edges of your graphics can
be extremely important for creating convincing particles. Soft,
translucent edges might look better than hard, over-defined
ones.
Object color: By default, particles are created using the
original colors of the source image used as the cell. If
necessary, you can tint the emitted particles using the Color
Mode controls in the Emitter and Particle Cell Inspectors.
Choose between tinting all particles with a single color or
creating a gradient tint that changes color over time. You can
also choose to apply a gradient preset to the particles (see
Use the gradient preset pop-up menu). Tinting particles
applies the tint color uniformly over the entire particle system.
Alpha channels: Always create graphics that you want to use
as cells with predefined alpha channels. For more information
on importing files with alpha channels, see About alpha
channels.

QuickTime movies
You can also use QuickTime movies as the image source of a
particle cell. For example, you can create an animation in Motion,
render it as a QuickTime movie, then import it into another Motion
project to use as image source for a cell. In general, the same

recommendations for creating still graphics apply to the creation
of animation or video clips you intend to use as cells, but there are
additional considerations.
Use the following guidelines when creating animations for use as
particles:
Playback performance: Using a movie clip as the image
source of a particle cell may impact your project’s playback
performance.
Retimed clips: If you retime a movie clip (in the Properties
Inspector or with a Retiming behavior) used as the image
source for a particle cell, the effect of the retiming is carried
through to the particle system.
Looping clips: Particles created from QuickTime clips loop
over and over for the duration of each particle’s life. If the clip
you use doesn’t loop well, there will be a jump cut at every
loop point. Another option is to use very short movies to
introduce randomness into the appearance of the particle
system.
Minimal compression: Ideally, QuickTime clips to be used as
particles should be saved using a high-quality codec, such as
Animation, Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit 4:2:2, or ProRes
4444. Other codecs can be used, but they might introduce
unwanted artifacts depending on the level of compression
used.

About using filters and masks with
particles

You can apply filters or masks to an emitter. (However, you
cannot apply filters or masks to the cells in an emitter.)

Filters
When you apply a filter to an emitter, the entire particle system is
transformed, including every element in the onscreen pattern.

Note: Although you cannot apply a filter to an individual cell, you
can apply a filter to the image source of a cell (the disabled layer
in Layers list used to create the particle cell).
For more information on applying filters to layers in your project,
see Filters overview.

Masks
You can apply masks to the image source of a particle cell. The
effect of the mask on the cell source is carried through to the
emitted particles.

You can also apply masks to the emitter object itself.

For more information on working with masks, see Masks and
transparency overview.

Save custom particle effects to the
Library
After you create a particle system, you can save it as a particle
preset in the Particle Emitters, Favorites, or Favorites Menu folder
in the Library, for future use. When you place particle systems in
the Library, they become particle presets that can be used like
any other particle preset.

Tip: For organizational purposes, create a folder of your own in
the Favorites or Favorites Menu category to store custom particle
systems.

Save a particle system to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Particle Emitters, Favorites, or
Favorites Menu category.
2. Drag the emitter you want to save from the Layers list into the
stack at the bottom of the Library.
The customized emitter is saved in the
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/
folder (in the Particle Emitters, Favorites, or Favorites Menu
subfolder). Any custom layers created in Motion (such as a
shape layer) that you used to create that particle system are
included in the file.

SEE ALSO
Save custom objects to the Library
Move Motion projects, objects, or presets to another computer

Create replicators
Replicator overview
The Motion replicator builds complex patterns of repeating
elements—from a simple line of animated shapes to flowing
kaleidoscopic imagery—without manual duplication or tedious
keyframing.
You can add a preset replicator to your project from the Library,
or you can create your own custom replicator using nearly any
image layer in your project, including video, still images, shapes,
and text. For example, with very few clicks of your mouse you can
create spinning loops based on a simple shape.

Replicators consist of two basic elements:
Replicator: A special type of effect that generates multiple
duplicates of an image layer, then arrays the copies in the
Canvas, creating a complex pattern. You specify the shape

and arrangement of the pattern, such as a spiral, circle, or
box.
Cell: The image layer that’s duplicated and assembled as a
pattern in the Canvas.
The replicator and its cells have separate sets of parameters that
control the look of the mosaic pattern you see in the Canvas.
Changing the replicator parameters modifies the overall onscreen
pattern, allowing you to create rectangular, circular, spiral, and
other geometric layouts. Changing the cell parameters affects
each element in the onscreen pattern, allowing you to modify
attributes such as the angle, color, and scale of the pattern
pieces.
You can also modify elements in the pattern by making changes
to the source layer used to create a cell. For example, if you use a
rotated rectangle shape as the replicator source layer, the
replicated elements in the Canvas appear rotated. If the source
layer has applied filters, the effects of the filters are retained in the
elements of the replicator pattern.
Unlike particle systems, replicator patterns are static by default.
However, many of the preset replicators available in the Library
are already animated, and you can always manually keyframe
parameters of custom replicators, or apply behaviors. For
example, by keyframing a replicator’s Offset parameter, you can
create a wave of dots that slither across the screen.

You can add behaviors to the replicator or its cells to create even
more varied effects (simulation behaviors can be especially
effective). Behaviors applied to a replicator or a replicator cell can
be applied to each element of the pattern. This lets you achieve
almost limitless variation and complexity that would take hours to
animate using keyframes. You can also apply a behavior such as
Vortex to another object in your project (an object that is not part
of the replicator pattern), and have the pattern elements
circumnavigate that object.
A special behavior called Sequence Replicator choreographs the
parameters of your onscreen elements (their position, scale, and
opacity, for example) in a sequential animation. For more
information, see Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior.
Replicators take advantage of the Motion app’s 3D capabilities.
Some replicator shapes are inherently 3D, and others can have
points that exist in 3D space. Additionally, behaviors applied to a
replicator in 3D space can pull pattern elements out of a plane.
For more information, see Work with 3D replicators.
Note: Although you can replicate any image layer in your project,
you cannot replicate replicators themselves, or particle emitters,
lights, cameras, or rigs.
SEE ALSO
How are replicators and particle systems different?

Add a preset replicator or create a custom replicator
What happens when you create a replicator?

How are replicators and particle
systems different?
Although the replicator and particle systems share many
parameters, they’re very different tools. Both use layers (shapes,
text, images, and so on) as cell sources and both generate
onscreen elements from those sources. However, each produces
a unique effect from those raw materials. A particle system
generates dynamic (animated) elements that change over time:
Particles are born, emerging from an onscreen “emitter”; they
move across the Canvas; and they die, according to the “laws of
nature” you specify in the parameters of the system.
A replicator, however, is not a dynamic simulation. Its elements
are not emitted like particles, and thus have no birth rate, life, or
speed parameters. The replicator builds a pattern of static copies
of a source layer in an arrangement that you specify. Although the
replicated elements you see onscreen are static by default, you
can animate a replicator’s parameters. For example, you can
designate a simple star shape as the source of your onscreen
pattern and then replicate the star multiple times along the outline
of a circle. By keyframing a few parameters of your new replicator
object, you can launch the stars into animated orbit around the
center of the circle, making them change color as they whirl.
SEE ALSO
Replicator overview

Particles overview

Add a replicator to a project
Add a preset replicator or create a
custom replicator
There are two basic ways to add a replicator to a project:
Choose a preset from the Replicators category of the Library.
Create a custom replicator using your own image, shape, or
video clip as a cell source. You can increase replicator
complexity by using multiple cell sources.

Add a preset replicator from the Library
The easiest way to add a replicator system to your project is to
use a preset in the Replicators category of the Library.
1. In the Library, select the Replicators category, then select a
subcategory, such as Mattes, Transitional, Backgrounds, and
so on.
2. In the Library stack under the categories and subcategories,
select a replicator object.
A preview of the selected replicator appears in the Library
preview area.

3. Do one of the following:
Click Apply in the preview area to add the replicator to the
center of the Canvas.
Note: If Create Layers At is set to “Start of project” in the
Project pane of Motion Preferences, the replicator is
added at the first frame. See If it’s your first import.
Drag the replicator from the Library stack into the Canvas
at the position where you want it to appear.
Drag the replicator from the Library stack to a group in the
Layers list or Timeline layers list.
Drag the replicator to the track area of the Timeline or miniTimeline. When you reach the frame where you want the
new replicator to start, release the mouse button.
The replicator preset appears in the project, composited
above objects below it in the Layers list.
If necessary, modify the replicator parameters in the HUD or in
the Replicator Inspector. You can also replace the preset image
source with one of your own images, clips, shapes, or text layers.
For more information, see Adjust a replicator overview. You can
modify a replicator only after it’s added to a project.

Create a simple custom replicator

You can create a custom replicator pattern by designating an
image layer in your project as a source for the cell. Applying a
replicator to that layer creates a nonanimated, filled rectangular
pattern. You can then modify the replicator parameters to suit
your project needs.
1. Create a layer to serve as the cell source for a custom
replicator.
This example uses a bird graphic from the Content folder in
the Library.

2. Select the layer in the Layers list or Canvas, then do one of
the following:
In the toolbar, click the Replicate button.

Choose Object > Replicate (or press L).
The new custom replicator layer appears in the Layers list and

in the Canvas, composited against any other layers you’ve
already added.

If necessary, modify the replicator parameters in the HUD or in
the Replicator Inspector. For more information, see Adjust a
replicator overview.

Create a complex replicator using multiple
source layers
You can create a more complex pattern containing multiple
elements by adding multiple image sources to a single replicator.
Each source becomes a cell in the replicator, and each cell has its
own set of parameters.
1. In the Layers list or Timeline, select the layers to replicate.
This example uses two graphics from the Content folder in the
Library.

Note: Shift-click to select contiguous layers; Command-click
to select noncontiguous layers.
2. Do one of the following:
In the toolbar, click the Replicate button.
Choose Object > Replicate (or press L).
The cells of the default rectangle replicator pattern are created
from the source layers (which are deselected so they do not
appear in the composition).

When multiple cells create a replicator pattern, the elements
appear at the same points on the pattern. The replicator is
positioned at the average of the source’s positions.

Add additional cells to an existing replicator
In the Layers list, drag an existing image layer onto the
replicator.
Note: If you drag a media item from the File Browser or
Library onto a replicator in the Layers list, the item is not
added to the replicator; rather, it’s added to your project as a
new layer in a new group.

The layer is duplicated as a new cell in the replicator.
Note: If the layer you drag to a replicator is a shape or mask,
a drop menu appears, giving you the option to add the spline
object as a replicator cell or as a mask. For more information,

see About using filters and masks with replicators.

What happens when you create a
replicator?
After you add a replicator to a project, the following occurs:
A replicator appears in the Layers list and is selected.
One or more cells containing the image or images to be
replicated appear as sublayers underneath the parent
replicator (click the disclosure triangle beside the replicator
layer to hide or reveal its cells).
The original source layer (the cell source) is disabled.

Note: Changes made to the original source layer, such as
opacity or shearing, are also applied to the pattern even after
the replicator is created.
In the Canvas, a bounding box and with transform handles
appears around the selected replicator.
For custom replicators, the Adjust Item tool is selected in the

toolbar so you can immediately begin dragging the replicator’s
onscreen handles.

With the Adjust Item tool selected, dragging the bounding box
outline or corner points in the Canvas resizes the replicator.
Dragging inside the bounding box (but not the outline)
repositions the replicator object as a whole.
The Replicator HUD appears. If you’ve hidden the HUD, press
F7.
The Replicator Inspector becomes available.
The replicator and its cell (or cells) have separate parameters that
control the look of the mosaic pattern you see in the Canvas.
Changing the replicator parameters modifies the overall onscreen
pattern, allowing you to create rectangular, circular, spiral, and
other geometric layouts. Changing the cell parameters affects
each element in the onscreen pattern, allowing you to modify
attributes such as the angle, color, and scale of the pattern
pieces.
After replicators are modified, you can save them in the Library
for later use. See Save custom replicators to the Library.

Adjust a replicator
Adjust a replicator overview

You can adjust replicators in your project in a number of ways:
Modify basic replicator properties, including a source image,
cell opacity, and the pattern’s size and position in the Canvas.
Delete a replicator cell or an entire replicator.
Adjust basic parameter controls in the HUD.
Adjust advanced parameter controls in the Replicator
Inspector or Replicator Cell Inspector.

Modify the basic appearance of a
replicator
After adding a preset replicator or creating a custom replicator,
you modify it further by replacing its source image, adjusting cell
opacity, or changing the replicator pattern’s size or position in the
Canvas.

Replace a preset replicator’s source image
After adding a preset replicator to your project, you can replace
its source image to better suit your needs.
1. In the File Browser or Library, select the file you want to use
as the replacement graphic for the replicator preset, then add
it to the project.
2. In the Layers list, drag the object to the replicator cell you
want to replace.

Note: If the cell layer is not visible, click the disclosure triangle
next to the replicator layer.
3. When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse
button.
The original source object is replaced with the new object.
4. Optional: Hide the new source layer by deselecting its
activation checkbox in the Layers list.
The cells based on this layer remain in your replicator pattern,
but the source layer itself is hidden in the Canvas.

Adjust replicator element opacity
You can adjust the opacity of individual elements in a replicator by
modifying the cell parameters in the Replicator Cell Inspector or
by modifying the source layer’s opacity in the Properties
Inspector.
Do one of the following:
Select the cell in the Layers list, then adjust the Opacity tag in
the gradient editor in the Replicator Cell Inspector (or change
Color Mode to Colorize and adjust the Opacity parameter in
the Color controls).
Select the original source layer—not the replicator cell—and
change its opacity in the HUD or Properties Inspector.

Change the stacking order of elements
The elements in the pattern are stacked according to their order in
the Layers list and Timeline. In a replicator with multiple cells,
changing cell stacking order changes the appearance of the
pattern in the Canvas.
In the Layers list, drag a cell to a new position above or below
other cells in the replicator.

Adjust a replicator’s size or position using
onscreen controls
1. In the Layers list, select the replicator to adjust.
2. In the toolbar, click the 2D transform tools pop-up menu, then
choose the Adjust Item tool.

When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the replicator onscreen

controls appear in the Canvas. The onscreen controls vary
depending upon the shape of the replicator (chosen from the
Shape pop-up menu in the Replicator Inspector).
3. To resize the replicator, drag the replicator shape’s outline in
the Canvas.
4. To reposition the replicator, drag inside the shape (but not
directly on the outline) in the Canvas.
The size or position of the replicator shape is adjusted. For
example, if the shape is a spiral or circle, dragging the shape
outline changes the Radius parameter value. Dragging inside
the shape (but not directly on the outline) repositions the
replicator in the Canvas.

If the replicator shape is a rectangle, dragging a corner or
edge of its bounding box changes the Size parameter value.
Depending on which handle you drag, you can constrain the
transform to width, height, or depth (in a box-shaped
replicator). Or you can drag a corner handle to scale the
replicator in multiple dimensions simultaneously.

Remove a replicator or a replicator cell
In a replicator that contains multiple cells, you can remove cells to
change the appearance of the onscreen pattern. You can also
remove a replicator (and its cells) entirely.

Remove a cell from a replicator
In the Layers list or Timeline, select the cell to remove, then
press Delete.
The cell is removed from the Layers List, and the replicator
pattern in the Canvas is modified.

Remove a replicator and its cells from a
project
Select a replicator in the Layers list or Timeline, then press
Delete.
The original source layer or layers remain in the project.

Modify a replicator in the HUD
When you create a replicator from a source layer, the onscreen
pattern is built using the default parameters in the Replicator
Inspector and Replicator Cell Inspector. You can modify the most
important of these parameters in Replicator HUD and the
Replicator Cell HUD. The HUD also provides quick access to the
Opacity and Blend Mode parameters, located in the Properties
Inspector.

Adjust a replicator in the Replicator HUD
1. In the Layers list or Timeline, select a replicator.
The HUD appears. (If it does not appear, press F7.)
2. Modify any of the controls in the HUD: Opacity, Blend Mode,
Shape, Arrangement, Columns, Rows, or Origin.
These controls are a subset of the controls in the Replicator
Inspector and in the Properties Inspector. For more
information, see Replicator controls and Adjust a replicator in
the Properties Inspector.

Adjust a cell in the Replicator Cell HUD
1. In the Layers list or Timeline, select a replicator cell.
The HUD appears. (If it does not appear, press F7.)
2. Modify any of the controls in the HUD: Angle, Angle End, Angle
Randomness, Scale, Scale End, or Scale Randomness.
These controls are a subset of the controls in the Replicator
Cell Inspector. For more information, see Replicator cell
controls.

Modify a replicator in the Inspector

Adjust a replicator in the Inspector
Replicator and replicator cell parameters, though closely related,
serve different purposes:
Replicator parameters control the overall shape, arrangement,
offset, stacking order, build order, and number of elements in
the replicator pattern.
Replicator cell parameters control the behavior and
appearance of the elements in the replicator pattern.
For a replicator with only one cell (one source image), the
replicator and replicator cell controls appear in the same
Replicator Inspector. In this case, you can control every aspect of
the replicator using these controls. However, in replicators with
multiple cells, each cell has its own Replicator Cell Inspector
containing all parameters for that cell.
Replicator parameters are dynamic—different controls appear
depending on what is selected from the Shape pop-up menu and
the Arrangement pop-up menu (which is itself dynamic, invoking
additional parameters). For example, with Rectangle as the
selected pattern shape, additional parameters appear in the
Inspector that allow you to modify the size of the rectangle, the
number of rows and columns, and other attributes. And with
Spiral as the selected shape, parameter appear that allow you to
adjust the radius of the spiral, the number of twists and arms, the
number of points per arm (the locations on the shape where the
elements sit), and other attributes.

Further, different parameters are also available depending on the
selected arrangement for the shape. You can achieve very
different looks by changing only a few parameters.

Adjust a replicator in the Replicator
Inspector
1. Select a replicator in the Layers list or Timeline.
2. In the Inspector, click Replicator.

3. Adjust the Replicator Controls and Cell Controls.
The contents of the Replicator Inspector are dynamic:
different parameters appear depending on the option you
choose in the Shape pop-up menu. Also, different parameters
appear depending on the option you choose in the
Arrangement pop-up menu.
For a complete list of these controls, see Replicator controls.

Adjust a cell in the Replicator Cell Inspector

1. Select a replicator cell in the Layers list or Timeline.

2. In the Inspector, click Replicator Cell.

3. Adjust the Cell Controls.
For a complete list of these controls, see Replicator cell
controls.

Replicator controls
The parameters in the Replicator Inspector give you complete
control over every aspect of the pattern created by the selected
replicator. This includes the shape upon which the pattern is built
and the shape’s related parameters, such as the size of the
pattern, how the elements are arranged in the pattern, and so on.
Some parameters in the Replicator Inspector depend on the
settings of other parameters. All combinations of parameters are
described below:
Shape: A pop-up menu to set the overall shape of the
onscreen replicator pattern. The default setting is Rectangle.
Choose any of up to ten shape styles from the menu to alter
the distribution of the pattern elements.

The Shape pop-up menu contains the following items:
Line: Elements are positioned on a line. In the Inspector,
you can set a specific number of points on the line—one
element is positioned at every point (including the end
points of the line).

Rectangle: Elements are positioned in a rectangle along
the replicator outline, or in a tile or random fill pattern.
When Rectangle is selected, the Arrangement parameter
becomes available (described below).

Circle: Elements are positioned in a circle along the
replicator outline, or in a tile or random fill pattern. When
Circle is selected, the Arrangement parameter becomes
available. In the following image, the circle’s Arrangement
is set to Outline.

Burst: Elements are positioned in a flare pattern.

Spiral: Elements are positioned in a spiral pattern.

Wave: Elements are positioned on a waveform.

Geometry: Elements are positioned along the edge of a
shape, defined by a spline object used as the shape
source. For more information, see Create a custom
replicator shape.

For information on using geometry (a shape) as a replicator
shape, see Replicator cell controls.
Image: Elements appear within an area defined by an
image or along its border, depending on the Arrangement
setting. The image may have an alpha channel. If so, the
shape of the alpha channel can also be used to define the
pattern. For more information, see Create a custom
replicator shape.
Box: This option is available when the 3D checkbox

(described below) is selected in the Replicator Inspector.
Elements are positioned in a three-dimensional cube along
the replicator outline, or on its surface in a tile or random
fill pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the Adjust
Item tool selected in the toolbar), you can specify the size
and location of the rectangle. Drag the front horizontal
outline edge to adjust height; drag the front vertical edge to
adjust width; drag a back edge to adjust depth; drag a
front corner to simultaneously adjust the width and height.
To reposition the replicator, drag in the replicator (but not
on an edge or corner point). In the following image, the
box’s Arrangement is set to Tile.

Sphere: This option is available when the 3D checkbox
(described below) is selected in the Replicator Inspector.
Elements are positioned in a three-dimensional sphere
along the replicator outline, or on its surface in a tile or
random fill pattern. Using the onscreen controls (with the
Adjust Item tool selected in the toolbar), you can specify
the radius and location of the circle. Drag the outline of the
sphere to adjust its radius; drag in the sphere to reposition
it in the Canvas.
Arrangement: A pop-up menu (available when the Shape popup menu is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere) to

specify the layout of the elements in the selected shape.
There are three menu options:
Outline: Elements are positioned along the edge of the
shape.

Tile Fill: Elements are positioned in a tiled pattern of rows
and columns in the circle, rectangle, image, box, or sphere
pattern. You can specify the number of columns and rows,
as well as the Tile Offset. This is the default setting.
Random Fill: Elements are positioned randomly within the
circle, sphere, rectangle, or box pattern.
Size/Radius: A slider (available when Shape is set to
Rectangle or Box) to set the size of the rectangle or cube
shape. Click the disclosure triangle to display separate Width,
Height, and Depth (for the Box shape) parameters. When
Circle is the selected shape, this parameter becomes Radius.
Note: For projects using the default camera settings and a
default Z position for the replicator, Height is measured in
pixels, and Width is measured in square pixels, to ensure that
a numerically square will look square when “Correct for
Aspect Ratio” is selected in the View pop-up menu in the topright corner of the Canvas. For more information about square
pixels, see Pixel aspect ratio overview.

Shape Source: An image well (available only when Shape is
set to Geometry) to specify a shape object as the source for
the replicator pattern. To set the shape source for the
replicator, drag a shape from the Layers list or Timeline into
the Shape Source well.
Image Source: An image well (available when the Shape
parameter is set to Image) to specify an image object as the
source for the replicator shape. To set the image source, drag
an image from the Layers list or Timeline into the Image
Source well.
Emission Alpha Cutoff: A slider (available when the Image
Source object contains an alpha channel) to set the minimum
opacity value necessary to create an element at that point on
the source image. For example, when set to 25%, elements
appear only at points where the alpha value of the image is
equal to or greater than 25% opacity. The lower the Emission
Alpha Cutoff value, the more cells appear. For this parameter
to be effective, the alpha channel must have areas of varying
transparency.

Start Point: Value sliders (available when Shape is set to Line
or Wave) to define, in X and Y coordinates, the first point of
the line or wave on which the elements are positioned. Click
the disclosure triangle to modify the Z position (depth) of the
start point. You can adjust these values in the Canvas using

the onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the
toolbar).
End Point: Value sliders (available when Shape is set to Line or
Wave) to define, in X and Y coordinates, the end point of the
line or wave on which the elements are positioned. Click the
disclosure triangle to modify the Z position (depth) of the end
point. You can adjust these values in the Canvas using the
onscreen controls (with the Adjust Item tool selected in the
toolbar).
Amplitude: A slider (available only when Shape is set to Wave)
to define half the distance from the highest point to the lowest
point in the wave. Higher values result in more extreme waves.
Frequency: A slider (available only when Shape is set to Wave)
to define the number of waves. The default is value is 1.

Phase: A dial (available only when Shape is set to Wave) to
define the degree of offset of the waves from the start and
end points of the path. When set to 0 degrees (default), the
wave begins and ends at half the distance from the highest
point to the lowest point in the wave. When set to 90 degrees,
the wave begins and ends at the highest point in the wave.
When set to –90 degrees, the wave begins at the lowest point

in the wave. When set to 180 degrees, the waves are the
same as at 0 degrees, but are inverted.
Damping: A slider (available only when Shape is set to Wave)
to set the diminishing oscillation of the wave. Positive damping
values diminish the wave forward (from left to right); negative
values diminish the wave backward (from right to left).

Points: A slider that does the following:
When Shape is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or
Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Outline or Random Fill,
specifies the number of evenly distributed element points
along the edge of the shape.
When Shape is set to Line or Wave, specifies the number
of evenly distributed element points on the line or wave.
When Shape is set to Geometry, specifies the number of
evenly distributed element points around the shape.

When the Adjust Item tool is selected in the toolbar, these
points are visible in the Canvas.
Offset: A slider that does the following:
When Shape is set to Line or Wave, moves the elements
along the line or wave.
When Shape is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or
Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Outline, moves the
elements along the edge of the shape.
When Shape is set to Geometry, moves the position of the
elements along the edge of the shape.
Build Style: A pop-up menu and related controls to specify
how elements are built over the replicator shape. When Shape
is set to Rectangle, Circle, or Image, and Arrangement is set
to Outline; or when Shape is set to Geometry, the pop-up
menu contains the following options:
Clockwise: Places the elements along the shape in a
clockwise direction.
Counter Clockwise: Places the elements along the shape in
a counterclockwise direction.

When Shape is set to Rectangle or Image, and
Arrangement is set to Tile Fill, and Origin set to Upper Left,
Upper Right, Lower Left, or Lower Right, the Build Style
pop-up menu contains the following options:
Across: Builds the elements across the pattern in the
direction implied by the Origin parameter.
By Row: Builds the elements over the pattern by row.
By Column: Builds the elements over the pattern by
column.
When Shape is set to Box, and Arrangement is set to Tile
Fill, and Origin is set to Front Upper Left, Front Upper
Right, Front Lower Left, Front Lower Right, Back Upper
Left, Back Upper Right, Back Lower Left, or Back Lower
Right, the Build Style pop-up menu contains the following
options:
Across: Builds the elements across the pattern in the
direction implied by the Origin parameter.
By Row, Column, Rank: Builds the elements over the
pattern by row, column, then rank starting from the
Origin.

By Column, Row, Rank: Builds the elements over the
pattern by column, row, then rank starting from the
Origin.
By Row, Rank, Column: Builds the elements over the
pattern by row, rank, then column starting from the
Origin.
By Column, Rank, Row: Builds the elements over the
pattern by column, rank, then row starting from the
Origin.
By Rank, Row, Column: Builds the elements over the
pattern by rank, row, then column starting from the
Origin.
By Rank, Column, Row: Builds the elements over the
pattern by rank, column, then row starting from the
Origin.
Radius: A slider (available when Shape is set to Burst, Spiral,
Circle, or Sphere) to set the size of the selected shape.
Twists: A slider (available only when Shape is set to Spiral) to
set the number of turns in a spiral. The default value is 0.25.
When Number of Arms is set to one, a single spiral is created.

Number of Arms: A slider (available only when Shape is set to
Burst or Spiral) to set the number of branches on which the
elements are positioned. The default value is 3.
Points Per Arm: A slider (available only when Shape is set to
Burst or Spiral) to set the number of element points on each
branch of the burst or spiral. When the Adjust Item tool is
selected in the toolbar, the points are visible in the Canvas.
Columns: A slider (available when Shape is set to Rectangle,
Circle, or Image, and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill; or when
Shape is set to Box or Sphere and Arrangement is set to
Outline or Tile Fill) to specify the number of vertical columns (or
horizontal element points) on a grid over the selected
replicator. In the case of an irregular shape (nonrectangular),
points that fall outside the shape are ignored.

Rows: A slider (available when Arrangement is set to Tile Fill)
to set the number of horizontal rows (or vertical element
points) on a grid over the selected replicator. In the case of an
irregular shape (nonrectangular), points that fall outside the
shape are ignored. This control is also available for Box and
Sphere when Arrangement is set to Outline or Tile Fill.
Ranks: A slider (available when Shape is set to Box and

Arrangement is set to Tile Fill or Outline; or when Shape is set
to Sphere and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill) to specify the
number of points in Z space (depth) on a grid over the
selected replicator. In the case of an irregular shape
(nonrectangular), points that fall outside the shape are ignored.
Tile Offset: A slider (available when Shape is set to Rectangle,
Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile
Fill) to specify the amount (in percentage points) that the
elements are offset from the pattern. Values from 0 to 100%
offset the rows toward the right, and values from 0 to –100%
offset the rows toward the left. A value of 50 or –50% creates
a brickwork pattern.

Origin: A pop-up menu to specify how the elements traverse
across the pattern from a point of origin. For example, when
set to Left, the elements sweep across the pattern from left to
right. When set to Upper Right, the elements traverse from the
upper-right corner point of the shape to the lower-right corner.

When Shape is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or
Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill or Random Fill the
Origin pop-up menu contains the following options:
Upper Left: Elements originate in the upper-left corner of
the pattern and end in the lower-right corner.
Upper Right: Elements originate in the upper-right corner
of the pattern and end in the lower-left corner.
Lower Left: Elements originate in the lower-left corner of
the pattern and end in the upper-right corner.
Lower Right: Elements originate in the lower-right corner of
the pattern and end in the upper-left corner.
Center: Elements originate in the center of the pattern and
move outward. This is the default Origin option.
Left: Elements originate at the left side of the pattern and
end at the right side.
Right: Elements originate at the right side of the pattern
and end at the left side.
Top: Elements originate at the top of the pattern and end
at the bottom.

Bottom: Elements originate at the bottom of the pattern
and end at the top.
When Shape is set to Circle or Sphere, and Arrangement is
set to Tile Fill or Random Fill, the Origin pop-up menu contains
the following options:
Center: Elements originate in the center of the pattern and
build outward. This is the default Origin option.
Edge: Elements originate along the edge of the pattern and
build inward.
When Shape is set to Box, and Arrangement is set to Tile Fill
or Random Fill, the Origin pop-up menu contains the following
options:
Front Upper Left: Elements originate in the front upper-left
corner of the pattern and end in the back lower right.
Front Upper Right: Elements originate in the front upperright corner of the pattern and end in the back lower left.
Front Lower Left: Elements originate in the front lower-left
corner of the pattern and end in the back upper right.
Front Lower Right: Elements originate in the front lowerright corner of the pattern and end in the back upper left.
Back Upper Left: Elements originate in the back upper-left
corner of the pattern and end in the front lower right.
Back Upper Right: Elements originate in the back upperright corner of the pattern and end in the front lower left.

Back Lower Left: Elements originate in the back lower-left
corner of the pattern and end in the front upper-right.
Back Lower Right: Elements originate in the back lowerright corner of the pattern and end in the front upper-left.
Left: Elements originate at the left side of the pattern and
end at the right side. The pattern is identical on each row.
Right: Elements originate at the right side of the pattern
and end at the left side. The pattern is identical on each
row.
Top: Elements originate at the top of the pattern and end
at the bottom. The pattern is identical on each rank.

Bottom: Elements originate at the bottom of the pattern
and end at the top. The pattern is identical on each rank.

Front: Elements originate at the front of the pattern and
end at the back. The pattern is identical on each column.
Back: Elements originate at the back of the pattern and
end at the front. The pattern is identical on each column.
Center: Elements originate in the center of the pattern and
move outward. This is the default Origin option.
X Axis: Elements originate along the X axis of the pattern
and move outward.
Y Axis: Elements originate along the Y axis of the pattern
and move outward.

Z Axis: Elements originate along the Z axis of the pattern
and move outward.
Note: The origin pop-up menu also determines where the
Sequence Replicator behavior starts its animation. For more
information on the Sequence Replicator behavior, see Apply
the Sequence Replicator behavior.
Shuffle Order: A checkbox that, when selected, rearranges
the order in which the elements appear.

Replicate Seed: A random seed generator button and field
(available when Shape is set to Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box,
or Sphere, and Arrangement is set to Random Fill) to modify
the Random Fill pattern. Click the Generate button to set a
new random seed number.
Although the result of the Random Fill option from the
Arrangement pop-up menu seems random, it’s deterministic.
This means that the random variation in the pattern is created
based on the number shown. Unless this seed number is
changed, a replicator with the same parameter settings and
source object always appears the same. If you don’t like the
current random fill, you can change the seed number by
typing a new number or clicking Generate. This changes the
random calculations performed for that pattern. This
parameter is also used to randomize the Shuffle Order
parameter.
3D: A checkbox that, when selected, enables the Box and
Sphere options in the Shape pop-up menu.
Reverse Stacking: A checkbox that, when selected, inverts the
order in which elements are stacked. To see the effect of this
parameter, elements must be overlapping.

Face Camera: A checkbox (available when the 3D checkbox is
selected) that, when selected, forces pattern elements to face
the camera when the camera or the replicator is rotated.
When Face Camera is deselected, the elements face forward
in the replicator pattern and appear flat (unless the source
layer or pattern elements are rotated in 3D space). Because
Motion does not support 3D objects (other than 3D text), this
option is key to giving 2D layers the appearance of 3D as the
camera is animated.
Note: Because replicator pattern elements are 2D (flat)
objects (unless 3D text is used as the replicator source), the
pattern elements are not visible when you use the orthogonal
reference camera views, such as Left, Right, and Top (unless
the source layer or pattern elements are rotated in 3D space).
This is because orthogonal views are at right angles
(perpendicular) to the elements. For more information on using
cameras, see 3D cameras overview.

Create a custom replicator shape
Two settings in Shape pop-up menu (in the Replicator Inspector)
let you set a custom layout pattern for elements in the replicator:
Geometry: Elements in the replicator pattern are arrayed along
the outline of a custom geometry shape (a circle or Bezier
shape, for example) that you designate.
Image: Elements in the replicator pattern are arrayed along the
outline of, or as a fill within, an image or movie clip that you
designate.
When you choose Geometry or Image from the Shape pop-up
menu, a source well becomes available. When used as geometry
sources, images (such as stills or clips) and geometry (shape)
layers can be used to specify the shape of the replicator pattern.
The following tasks describe how to use image and geometry
layers as cell sources and shape sources.

Use a geometry object as the shape source

of the replicator pattern
1. Import (or draw) the shape to use as the pattern shape in an
existing replicator.
The shape is added as a layer to your project.
2. In the Layers list, select the replicator, then, in the Replicator
Inspector, click the Shape pop-up menu and choose
Geometry.
The Shape Source well appears in the Inspector and HUD.
3. From the Layers list, drag the shape to the Shape Source well.

4. When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse
button.
A thumbnail of the shape appears in the well and is used as
the source for the shape of the replicator. To hide the original
shape you created in step 1, deselect its checkbox in the
Layers list.
Note: Image objects cannot be used as a shape source when

the Shape pop-up menu is set to Geometry.

Use an image as the shape source of the
replicator pattern
1. Import an image to use as the pattern shape in an existing
replicator.
The image is added as a layer to your project.
2. In the Layers list, select the replicator, then, in the Replicator
Inspector, click the Shape pop-up menu and choose Image.
The Image Source well appears in the Inspector and HUD.

3. From the Layers list, drag the image into the Image Source
well, and when the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release
the mouse button.
A thumbnail of the image appears in the well and is used as

the source for the shape of the replicator pattern. To hide the
original shape you created in step 1, deselect its checkbox in
the Layers list.
4. To set the type of pattern, click the Arrangement pop-up
menu, then choose an option:
Outline: Pattern elements are placed along the rectangular
outline of the image source.
Tile Fill: Pattern elements are flanked in rows and columns
inside the borders of the image source.
Random: Pattern elements are distributed in random
fashion inside the borders of the image source.

Replicator cell controls
Adjust replicator cells using the controls at the bottom of the
Replicator Inspector (for replicators with a single cell) or in the
Replicator Cell Inspector (for replicators with multiple cells):
Align Angle: A checkbox (available when Shape is set to
Rectangle, Circle, Image, Box, or Sphere, and Arrangement is
set to Tile Fill or Random Fill) that forces replicator elements to
rotate to match the shape on which they’re positioned.

Angle: A dial to set (in degrees) the rotation of the replicator
elements. When the 3D checkbox is selected in the Replicator
Inspector, the default dial modifies the Z angle. To modify the
rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes (X, Y, and Z),
click the disclosure triangle and adjust the X, Y, and Z dials.
When the 3D checkbox is selected, this parameter group also
displays the Animate pop-up menu (described below).
Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of the
Angle parameter when the 3D checkbox is selected) that sets
the angle interpolation for keyframed animation of the Angle
parameter. There are two menu choices:
Use Rotation: The default interpolation method. When the
Angle parameter is keyframed, pattern elements rotate
from their start rotation to their final rotation. Depending on
the animation, the elements may twist before reaching their
final orientation (the last keyframed value). For example, if
the X, Y, and Z Angle parameters are animated from 0
degrees to 180 degrees in a project, the elements rotate
on all axes before reaching their final orientation.
Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method
provides smoother animation but does not allow multiple
revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern elements’

start orientation (first keyframe) and their end orientation
(second keyframe).
Angle End: A dial to set (in degrees) the rotation of the
replicator elements at the end of the pattern. The angle value
of the elements at the end of the pattern equals the Angle
value (start) plus the Angle End value. For example, if Angle is
set to 0 degrees and Angle End set to 90 degrees, the
elements are not rotated at all at their origin, and are rotated
by 90 degrees at the end of the pattern.

In a 3D project, using the default dial modifies the Z angle. To
modify the rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes
(X, Y, and Z), click the disclosure triangle and adjust the
individual X, Y, and Z dials. When the 3D checkbox is
selected, this parameter group also displays the Animate popup menu (described below).
Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of
the Angle End parameter when the 3D checkbox is
selected) that sets the angle interpolation for keyframed
animation of the Angle parameter. There are two menu
choices:
Use Rotation: This is the default interpolation method.

Use Rotation: This is the default interpolation method.
When the Angle End parameter is keyframed, pattern
elements rotate from their start rotation to their final
rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements
may twist before reaching their final orientation (the last
keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle
parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180
degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes
before reaching their final orientation.
Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method
provides smoother animation but does not allow
multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern
elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) and their end
orientation (second keyframe).
Angle Randomness: A dial that defines an amount of variance
in the rotation of replicator elements. A value of 0 results in no
variance—all elements have the same rotational value. A value
greater than 0 introduces a variance. The angle for an element
is defined by the Angle and Angle End parameter, plus or
minus a random value falling within the Angle Randomness.
In a 3D project, using the default dial or value slider (when the
disclosure triangle is closed), modifies the Z angle. To modify
the rotation of the pattern elements on all three axes (X, Y,
and Z), click the disclosure triangle and adjust the X, Y, and Z
dials. When the 3D checkbox is selected, this parameter
group also displays the Animate pop-up menu (described
below).
Animate: A pop-up menu (available as a subparameter of
the Angle Randomness parameter when the 3D checkbox
is selected) that sets the angle interpolation for keyframed
animation of the Angle Randomness parameter. There are

two menu choices:
Use Rotation: This is the default interpolation method.
When the Angle Randomness parameter is keyframed,
pattern elements rotate from their start rotation to their
final rotation. Depending on the animation, the elements
may twist before reaching their final orientation (the last
keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Angle
parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180
degrees in a project, the elements rotate on all axes
before reaching their final orientation.
Use Orientation: This alternate interpolation method
provides smoother animation but does not allow
multiple revolutions. It interpolates between the pattern
elements’ start orientation (first keyframe) and their end
orientation (second keyframe).
Additive Blend: By default, replicator elements are
composited together using the Normal blend mode. Select this
checkbox to composite all overlapping elements using the
Additive blend mode. The result is that the brightness of
overlapping objects is intensified. This blending occurs in
addition to the compositing method set in the Blend Mode
parameter in Properties Inspector.
Color Mode: A pop-up menu to specify how replicator
elements are tinted. There are five menu options:
Original: Elements are created using the original colors
from the source layer. When this setting is chosen, the
Opacity Gradient editor becomes available (described
below).

Colorize: Elements are tinted using the color specified in
the Color parameter. When this setting is chosen additional
Color and Opacity Gradient controls become available
(described below).
Over Pattern: Elements are tinted based on how they are
ordered in the pattern. When Over Pattern is chosen, the
Color Gradient editor becomes available (described
below).
Pick From Color Range: Elements are tinted at random,
with the range of possible colors and transparency defined
by the Color Range gradient editor (described below). A
point on the gradient is randomly chosen, so the relative
sizes of each color region determine the frequency of the
color being used.
For more information on using the gradient controls, see
Change a gradient’s color and opacity.
Take Image Color: Each element’s color is based on the
color of the image at the position of the element point. This
mode is only available when an image in used as the
replicator shape.

Color: This color well becomes available when the Color Mode
is set to Colorize. Use it to specify a color to tint replicator
elements. You can also alter each element’s opacity. This
parameter is unique to the cell object. You can click the color
well to choose a color, or open the disclosure triangle and use
the Red, Green, Blue, and Opacity channel sliders or value
sliders.
Opacity Gradient: A gradient editor (available when Color
Mode is set to Original or Colorize) to change the opacity of
replicator elements over the pattern. This gradient control is
limited to grayscale values, which are used to represent
varying levels of transparency. White represents solid
elements; progressively darker levels of gray represent
decreasing opacity; and black represents complete
transparency. A simple white to black gradient represents a
pattern that is solid at its origin, but which fades out gradually.
For more information on using gradient and opacity gradient
controls, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.

Color Gradient: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode
is set to Over Pattern) to specify the range of color and
transparency of the pattern, beginning with the leftmost color
in the gradient, then progressing through the range of colors to
the rightmost color at the end of the pattern.

Gradual color changes do not appear in each element, but
only across the pattern as a whole.

An Opacity control is available at the top of the gradient editor.
For more information on using gradient controls, see Change a

gradient’s color and opacity.
Color Range: A gradient editor (available when Color Mode is
set to Pick From Color Range) to specify the range of colors
and transparency used to randomly tint the pattern.
Color Repetitions: A slider (available when Color Mode is set to
Over Pattern) to set the number of times the gradient is
repeated over the pattern.
Scale: A slider to set the scale of replicator elements. By
default, Scale is set to 100%—the size of the replicator
elements is equal to the size of the source layer. Click the
disclosure triangle next to the Scale parameter to reveal
separate X, Y, and Z scaling subparameters. Use X and Y to
resize the width and height of elements separately; use Z to
change the depth of 3D text elements.
Scale End: A slider to set the scale of the replicator elements
at the end of the pattern, relative to the Scale value. For
example, if Scale is set to 100% and Scale End set to 50%,
the elements are 100% at their origin and half their size at the
end of the pattern. Click the disclosure triangle next to the
Scale End parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling
subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height of
elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D text
elements.
Scale Randomness: A slider to set an amount of variance in
the scale of replicator elements. A value of 0 results in no
variance—all elements in the pattern are the same size. A
value greater than 0 introduces a variance. The scale for an
element is defined by the Scale parameter, plus or minus a
random value falling within the Scale and the Scale End. Click
the disclosure triangle next to the Scale Randomness

parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling
subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height of
elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D text
elements.

Play Frames: A checkbox (available if the replicator is using a
QuickTime object as the source for a cell) that, when selected,
loops playback of the animation or movie clip used for each
element. If this checkbox is deselected, the animation or clip
is frozen at the still frame specified by the Random Start
Frame parameter or the Source Start Frame parameter
(described below).
Random Start Frame: A checkbox (available if the replicator is
using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) that, when
selected, introduces variation so that each element in the
pattern begins at a different frame of the clip. If the Play
Frames checkbox is deselected, still frames are chosen
randomly.
Source Start Frame: A slider (available if the replicator is using
a QuickTime object as the source for a cell, and if Random
Start Frame is deselected) that designates the start frame of
the clip (when the Play Frames checkbox is selected) or the

still frame to display (when Play Frames is deselected).
Source Frame Offset: A slider (available if the replicator is
using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell, and
Random Start Frame is deselected) to offset the start frame
chosen in the Source Start Frame slider. At their origin, the
elements play the animation from the frame specified in the
Source Start Frame slider. Each adjacent pattern element in
the Canvas advances the start frame by the offset amount.

Hold Frames: A slider (available if the replicator is using a
QuickTime object as the source for a cell) to set the number of
times each frame of the source movie is repeated during
playback. The larger the Hold Frames value, the slower your
playback.
Hold Frames Randomness: A slider (available if the replicator
is using a QuickTime object as the source for a cell) to vary
the number of frames to hold.
Show Objects As: A pop-up menu that sets whether replicator
elements are displayed in a preview mode or as they actually
appear. The nonimage modes play back more efficiently when
viewing a complex replicator pattern. By default, this pop-up

menu is set to Image, which displays each element as it is
supposed to appear. Choose one of the following four options:
Points: Displays each element as a single point. This is the
fastest preview mode. When you choose Points, the Point
Size slider appears, allowing you to increase the size of the
points for easier viewing. In the following image, the Point
Size is set to 8.

Lines: Displays each element as a line. This option is
effective only when elements of the replicator are animated
using Simulation behaviors or the Throw (Basic Motion)
behavior. The movement of each pattern element is
represented by a line; use this view to analyze motion
vectors of elements. The length of each line is determined
by that element’s speed, and the angle of each line equals
each element’s direction. In the following image, the
replicator elements are animated using the Vortex
behavior.

Note: Element movement created by the Sequence
Replicator behavior or by keyframing the replicator
parameters is not displayed.
Wireframe: Displays each element as a bounding box.
Because the bounding boxes are good indicators of each
element’s orientation in the pattern, this preview mode is
useful for evaluating the movements of individual elements.
For example, it’s easy to see the angle of rotation for
elements that are spinning or following a complex motion
path.

Image: Displays elements as they will appear in your final
render. This is the default setting.

Note: The option chosen in the Show Objects As pop-up
menu appears in your final render.
Random Seed: Although the result of adjusting the Angle
Randomness, Scale Randomness, Pick From Color Range,
Random Start Frame, or Hold Frame Randomness parameters
seems random, it’s deterministic. This means that the random
variation in the pattern is created based on the number shown
in the Random Seed field. Unless this seed number is
changed, a replicator with the same parameter settings
appears the same. If you don’t like the current random scale
or angle, change the seed number by typing a new number
the field or by clicking Generate.
Object Source: An image well displaying a thumbnail of the
replicator cell. To swap out a cell, drag a new source layer
from the Layers list to the Object Source well.
In a replicator with multiple cells, each cell appears in a
separate image well listed at the bottom of the Replicator
Inspector. A checkbox lets you enable or disable that cell.

Adjust a replicator in the Properties
Inspector

You can modify a replicator’s position, scale, blend mode, drop
shadow, and other attributes in the Properties Inspector. These
properties are separate from the replicator parameters in the
Replicator and Replicator Cell Inspectors, which control the shape
and size of the replicator, as well as all aspects of its pattern and
cells.

1. Select a replicator in the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas.
2. In the Inspector, click Properties.
3. Adjust the controls.

For detailed information about the Properties Inspector, see
Properties Inspector controls.
Note: When you select a replicator cell (as opposed to the
replicator, itself) and open the Properties Inspector, only one
group of parameters is available: the Timing controls, which adjust
the In and Out points of the replicator cell.

Animate replicators
Animate replicators overview
By adding behaviors or keyframes to a replicator or its cells, you
can quickly animate the pattern of replicated images in complex,
dramatic ways:

Apply Basic Motion or Simulation behaviors to a replicator
object to animate an entire replicator pattern as a whole, or to
replicator cells to animate each element in the pattern
symmetrically. To make replicator elements interact with other
objects in your project, apply a Simulation behavior to the
replicator or another object (an object that’s not part of the
replicator). For example, applying the Orbit Around behavior to
an object will cause replicator elements to circle around that
object.
Use the Sequence Replicator behavior—a special behavior
designed for replicators—to animate individual pattern
elements in turn over time, without creating keyframes.
Use Parameter behaviors to animate individual parameters in
the Replicator Inspector or Replicator Cell Inspector.
Use keyframes to animate individual parameters in the
Replicator Inspector or Replicator Cell Inspector. Or use
keyframes in the Properties Inspector to animate a replicator’s
position, rotation, or opacity over time.

Apply behaviors to replicators and
replicator cells
You can apply Basic Motion, Parameter, and Simulation behaviors
to a replicator. Some behaviors can be applied directly to
replicator cells, such as Throw and Spin (from the Basic Motion

subcategory) and Gravity and Edge Collision (from the Simulation
category).

Do one of the following:
Drag a behavior from the Library onto a replicator or replicator
cell in Layers list or Timeline.
Select a replicator or replicator cell in the Layers list or
Timeline, then choose an item from the Add Behavior pop-up
menu.
The behavior is applied to the replicator or cell, which begins
to move according to the parameters of the behavior.
Not all behaviors instantly activate a layer (including a
Replicator layer) when applied. For example, when you apply
the Throw behavior to a layer, you must adjust the Throw
Velocity parameter to make the layer move.
For more information, see Behaviors overview.

As previously noted, the replicator also has a special behavior
called Sequence Replicator, which animates individual cells in
sequence over time. For more information, see Apply the
Sequence Replicator behavior.
SEE ALSO
Special behavior considerations

Special behavior considerations
When you apply one of the Simulation behaviors, or the Spin or
Throw behavior, to a replicator that already has keyframed
animation, some animation created by the keyframes is ignored.
For example, if the Angle parameter in the Cell Controls of the
Replicator Inspector is keyframed to make the pattern elements
rotate over time, and you apply a Spin behavior—with the Affect
Subobjects checkbox selected—the elements ignore the
replicator’s Angle keyframes and rotate according to the rate set
in the Spin behavior parameters. To rotate the entire replicator
layer and enable the Angle keyframe animation, deselect Affect
Subobjects in the Spin parameters.

Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior
The Sequence Replicator behavior animates elements of a
replicator in sequence over time. This is the only way to animate
elements individually—keyframing the cell parameters or applying
other behaviors affects all elements in the pattern uniformly.

Using the Sequence Replicator behavior, you can select and
apply replicator cell parameters such as Position, Color, Scale,
Rotation, or Opacity, then animate those parameters in a
cascading sequence that passes through each element in a
replicator pattern.

The starting point for the sequence animation is based on the
replicator’s origin or build style. For example, if a spiral
replicator’s Origin parameter is set to Center, the sequence
animation begins at the center of the spiral and moves outward; if
the Origin of a rectangle replicator with a tile fill is set to Upper
Left, and the Build Style is set to Across, the sequence begins
with the elements in the upper-left corner of the pattern, then
moves toward the lower-right corner.
You can apply the Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator or
to its cells. Either application creates the same animation.
After you create a Sequence Replicator behavior, you can save it
to the Library as a custom behavior.

Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior
Do one of the following:

In the Layers list or Timeline, select a replicator or replicator
cell, click the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then
choose Replicator > Sequence Replicator.

In the Library, select the Behaviors category, select the
Replicator subcategory, then drag the Sequence Replicator
from the stack to a replicator or replicator cell in the Layers
list, Timeline, or Canvas.
The Sequence Replicator controls appear in the Behaviors
Inspector. For the behavior to have any effect on the replicator,
you must add parameters using the Parameter pop-up menu at
the top of the Sequence Replicator controls. For details, see the
next task.

Add and animate parameters in the
Behaviors Inspector
After you apply the Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator,
you must assign one or more parameters for the behavior to
modify. In the following example, the Rotation, Opacity, and Scale
parameters are assigned to the Sequence Replicator behavior in
the Behaviors Inspector.
1. In the Layers list or Timeline, select the Sequence Replicator
behavior.
2. In the Parameter row of the Behaviors Inspector, do the
following:
a. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Rotation.
b. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Opacity.
c. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Scale.
The added parameters appear above the Add and
Remove pop-up menus. No animation occurs until you set
a value for the parameters.
3. Ensure that keyframe recording is turned off (the Record
button in the transport controls under the Canvas is not
highlighted).
4. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Rotation dial to set a spin
value.
In this example, Rotation is set to 160 degrees, so that each

element rotates from 0 degrees to 160 degrees over the
pattern for the duration of the Sequence Replicator behavior.

Note: If the elements are already rotated (in the Cell Controls),
the elements are rotated 160 degrees from their original
rotation value.
Play your project (press the Space bar). Each element rotates
160 degrees in sequence, popping into place before the next
element begins rotating.
5. To ease the transition between each element’s animation,
drag the Spread value slider to the right.
In this example, Spread is set to 12. In addition to creating a
more graceful animation, changing the Spread value can also
dramatically change the appearance of the pattern.

6. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Opacity slider to the
lowest value you want the elements to fade to during the
animation.
In this example, Opacity is set to 0. Each element fades from
100% opacity to 0% opacity over the duration of the
Sequence Replicator behavior.

Note: If the elements already contain some transparency,
they fade from their original opacity value to 0%.
7. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Scale slider to the right to
increase the size of each element over time.
In this example, Scale is set to 190%.

Play your project. The animation begins at the original value for
any added parameter, then transforms to the value you specify in
the Sequence Replicator parameters. The animation begins at the
origin of the pattern (set in the Origin or Build Style parameter of
the Replicator Inspector or HUD) and moves to through the
elements to the end of the pattern.

Change the way the sequence moves
through the pattern
After you apply parameters to the Sequence Replicator behavior,
you can use Sequence Controls parameters to change the way
the sequence moves through the replicator pattern. The following
task continues with the project used in the previous example.
1. With the Sequence Replicator behavior selected, play the
project (press the Space bar) to see the effects of the
sequencing.
By default, the Sequencing parameter (in the Behaviors
Inspector) is set to “To,” which specifies that the animation
begins at the original value of the cells and moves to the value
set in the Sequence Replicator behavior for that parameter.

The starting point for the sequence animation is based on the
build or origin of the pattern (as defined in the Origin or Build
Style parameters in the Replicator Inspector). In the current
example, the elements begin completely opaque, at 100%
scale, and with 0 degrees of rotation at the origin of the
pattern. As the sequence moves toward the end of the
pattern, the elements become completely transparent, are
scaled to 190%, and are rotated 160 degrees.

2. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Sequencing pop-up
menu, then choose From.
Play your project. The animation now moves from the value
set in the Sequence Replicator behavior to the original value of
the cells. This is the opposite of the To Sequencing option.

3. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Sequencing pop-up
menu, then choose Through.
Play your project. The sequence goes through a full animation
cycle starting at the original value of the cells, moving to the

value set in the Sequence Replicator, then returning to the
original value of the cells. This is similar to combining the To
and From Sequencing options.

4. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Unit Size pop-up menu,
then choose All.
Play your project. The sequence animation affects all
replicator elements simultaneously. The default Unit Size
setting is Object, which applies the sequence animation to the
elements of the replicator based on the origin of the pattern.

5. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Loops slider to the right to
set a value of 3.
Play your project. The sequence now loops three times. The
value of the Loops parameter defines the number of times the
animation repeats over the duration of the replicator object.

6. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the End Condition pop-up
menu, then choose Ping Pong.
By default, the End Condition parameter is set to Hold, which
completes a sequence animation cycle, then starts the cycle
again from the beginning. When set to Ping Pong, the
animation cycles forward one time, then cycles backward,
then forward, and so on.
Note: The End Condition parameter has no effect for Loop
values less than or equal to 1.

SEE ALSO
Sequence Replicator controls

Sequence Replicator controls
Use the following controls in the Behaviors Inspector to modify the
sequence animation:
Parameter: Two pop-up menus (Add and Remove) that
designate pattern elements to animate in sequence. When you
choose an item from the Add pop-up menu, additional
controls appear at the top of the Behaviors Inspector. You can
adjust these controls (or keyframe them) to modify the
sequence animation, which is based on the change in value
between these parameters and the original values of the cells.
The Add pop-up menu items include the following options:
Rotation: Adds a rotation dial and value slider that enables
you to Specify (in degrees) the rotation of replicator

elements.
Color: Adds a row of color controls that let you specify a
tint for replicator elements. You can click the color well to
choose a color or open the disclosure triangle and use the
Red, Green, and Blue sliders. For more information about
using color controls, see Basic color controls.
Opacity: Adds an opacity slider, allowing you to define the
transparency of the pattern elements.
Scale: Adds a scale slider that lets you define the size of
replicator elements. Click the disclosure triangle next to the
Scale slider to reveal separate X and Y subparameters to
adjust the width and height of the cells separately. By
default, Scale is set to 100%—the size of the replicator
cells is equal to the original size defined in the cell
parameters. Click the disclosure triangle next to the Scale
parameter to reveal separate X, Y, and Z scaling
subparameters. Use X and Y to resize the width and height
of elements separately; use Z to change the depth of 3D
text elements.
Position: Adds two value fields that define the offset of
elements from their original position in X and Y space.
Click the disclosure triangle next to the parameter name to
reveal separate X, Y, and Z position subparameters. For
example, to create an animation in which elements move
upward along the Y axis over the replicator pattern, enter a
positive value in the Y Position field. In the following
images, Y Position is set to 300.

Sequencing: A pop-up menu to set how the sequence
animation moves through the elements of the pattern, based
on the change from the original parameter value to the value
set in the Sequence Replicator parameters. The starting point
for the sequence animation is based on the selected Origin or
Build Style parameters (in the Replicator Inspector). For
example, if a line replicator’s Origin parameter is set to End
Point, the sequence animation begins at the end of the line
and moves toward the start of the line by default. To change
the starting point for the sequence animation, change the
Origin or Build Style of the pattern in the Replicator Inspector
or HUD. The Sequencing pop-up menu contains the following
options:
To: Animation begins at the original value of the cells and
moves to the value set in the Sequence Replicator
behavior for that parameter. For example, if the original
opacity value of a cell is 100%, and opacity is set to 0% in
the Sequence Replicator parameters, onscreen elements
begin completely opaque and become completely
transparent.
From: Animation moves from the value set in the Sequence
Replicator behavior to the original value of the cells. For
example, if the original opacity value of a cell is 100% and
opacity is set to 0% in the Sequence Replicator
parameters, onscreen elements begin completely
transparent and become completely opaque. This is the

opposite of the To option in the Sequencing pop-up menu.
Through: The sequence goes through a full animation cycle
starting at the original value of the cells, moves to the value
set in the Sequence Replicator, and then returns to the
original value of the cells. For example, if the original
opacity value of a cell is 100% and opacity is set to 0% in
the Sequence Replicator parameters, onscreen elements
begin completely opaque, become transparent, and then
become completely opaque again.
Through Inverted: The sequence goes through an inverted
animation cycle starting from the value set in the Sequence
Replicator, moves to the original value of the cells, and
then returns to the value set in the Sequence Replicator.
For example, if the original opacity value of a cell is 100%
and opacity is set to 0% in the Sequence Replicator
parameters, the onscreen elements begin completely
transparent, become opaque, and then become
completely transparent. This is the opposite of the Through
Sequencing option.
From Keyframes: Lets you use animation originally created
in the source layer’s parameters (except alpha
parameters). Additionally, you can keyframe how the
animation moves through the values set in the Sequence
Replicator parameters.

Source: A pop-up menu (available when the Sequencing popup menu is set to From Keyframes) to enable animation
created by keyframes in a replicated source layer (the layer
that is disabled when the replicator is created). There are two
options: Use Source Animation and Ignore Source Animation.
Unit Size: A pop-up menu to specify whether the sequence
animation is applied to the replicator pattern as a whole, to its
elements, or to a keyframed range. There are three options:
Object: The default setting, applies the animation to each
element in sequence over the duration of the behavior

All: Applies the sequence animation to all replicator
elements simultaneously.

Custom: Lets you specify the percentage of elements in
the pattern affected by the sequence animation
simultaneously. Although you can create keyframes for the
Custom option, it’s not required to affect the sequence. As
shown in the following images, the Object and All options
allow you to sequence the animation through the origin or
build style of the pattern, or through all pattern elements
simultaneously.

However, custom lets you define an area of elements—
based on percentage—that are affected by the sequence.

When you choose Custom from the Unit Size pop-up
menu, the Start and End parameters (described below)
become available.
Start: A slider (available when the Unit Size pop-up menu is
set to Custom) to specify the offset of the start of the range of
elements affected by the sequence animation as it moves
over the replicator pattern. In the above image, Start is set to
10%.
End: A slider (available when the Unit Size pop-up menu is set
to Custom) to specify the end of the range of elements
affected by the sequence animation as it moves over the
replicator pattern. By default, End is set to 10%. In the above
image, End is set to 30%.
Note: If the Sequencing pop-up menu is set to From
Keyframes, the Custom option in the Unit Size parameter has
no affect.
Spread: A slider to control the amount of falloff of the
animation. To create a softer transition between each element,
increase the Spread value.
Traversal: A pop-up menu to set the action of the sequence

behavior to one of the following:
Constant Speed: The sequence animation moves from the
origin of the replicator pattern through the end of the
pattern at a constant speed. The sequence moves in the
direction specified in the Replicator Inspector (such as
Origin or Build Style).
Ease In: The sequence animation begins slowly and
increases to normal speed as it moves through the
replicator pattern.
Ease Out: The sequence animation begins at normal speed
and slows toward the end of the replicator pattern.
Ease In/Out: The sequence animation begins slowly,
increases to normal speed as it moves toward the middle
of the duration of the replicator pattern, then slows as it
reaches the end of the replicator pattern.
Accelerate: The sequence animation increases in speed.
Decelerate: The sequence animation decreases in speed.
Custom: This option lets you keyframe how the animation
moves through the replicator pattern. When the Traversal
pop-up menu is set to Custom, the Location parameter
replaces the Loops parameter.
Location: A slider (available when Traversal is set to
Custom) to define where on the pattern the animation is in
effect.
For more information on using the Custom Traversal
option, see Control sequence timing with keyframes.
Loops: A slider to set the number of times the animation

sequences through the replicator pattern over its duration.
Note: Loops is not available when the Traversal parameter is
set to Custom.
End Condition: A pop-up menu that sets how the sequence
animation is repeated over the duration of the replicator
object. This parameter has no effect for Loop values less than
or equal to 1. There are three End Condition options:
Hold: Completes the sequence animation cycle one time,
then starts it again from the beginning (after the last
element in the sequence completes its animation).
Wrap: Treats the sequence animation as a continuous loop
so the spread wraps from the last element in the sequence
to the first element.
Ping Pong: Completes the sequence animation cycle
forward, then completes the animation backward, then
forward, and so on.

Control sequence timing with keyframes
When the Traversal parameter in the Sequence Replicator
behavior is set to Custom, you can create location keyframes to
specify where on the pattern the animation is in effect. Use the
Traversal parameter to create a sequence animation that travels
through a replicator pattern in a unique way. The following
example shows how to use the Custom Traversal option to scale
the elements around a circle replicator shape by creating
keyframes.

Use keyframes to create custom sequence
timing
1. Add a Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator, then, in
the Behaviors Inspector, add parameters and set their values.
In this example, the Scale parameter is added and the Scale
value set to 200%.

2. Click the Traversal pop-up menu, then choose Custom.
3. Press A to enable keyframe recording, then move the
playhead to the frame where you want to begin the animation.
4. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Location slider (or use the
adjacent value slider) to set where the sequence begins.
As you drag the slider, the sequence moves through the
pattern elements. Location values specify (in percentage
points) where in the pattern animation is occurring, with 0%
representing the origin of the pattern, and 100% representing

the end of the pattern.
A keyframe is added to the Location parameter.
5. Go to the next frame where you want to set a keyframe, the
adjust the Location slider.
Another keyframe is added to the Location parameter.
6. Repeat step 5 until you create all your keyframes.
7. Press A again to turn off keyframe recording.
8. Play the project (press the Space bar).
The animation moves through the replicator pattern based on
its keyframed locations. In this case, the scale moves
erratically back and forth around the circle, rather than in a
constant direction.

Use Parameter behaviors with the
Sequence Replicator behavior
You can add Parameter behaviors to Sequence Replicator
parameters to create even more varied, complex effects without

keyframing. (Parameter behaviors are a special kind of behavior
applied to a specific parameter of an object. For more
information, see Parameter behaviors overview.)

Apply a Parameter behavior to a Sequence
Replicator behavior
1. Add a Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator.
2. In the Layers list or Timeline, select the Sequence Replicator
behavior.
3. In the Behaviors Inspector, Control-click the parameter you
want to add a Parameter behavior to, then choose a behavior
from the Add Parameter Behavior submenu.
Note: You can add a Parameter behavior only to a parameter
that has an Animation menu (which appears as a downward
arrow when you place the pointer over the right side of a
parameter row in the Inspector).
The Parameter behavior is added and appears above the
Sequence Replicator behavior in the Behaviors Inspector. A
behavior icon appears in the Animation menu of the Sequence
Replicator parameter.

Note: When the Wriggle or Randomize parameter behavior is
added to a Sequence Replicator parameter, the Affect
Subobjects checkbox becomes available. Select the checkbox
if you want each element in the pattern to display a different
random behavior.
For more information about applying and adjusting Parameter
behaviors, see Add, remove, and disable a Parameter
behavior.

Display replicator animation curves in
the Keyframe Editor
When you keyframe parameters in the Properties Inspector,

Replicator Inspector, and Replicator Cell Inspector, you can view
the resulting keyframe curves in the Keyframe Editor.
Different parameters (and their keyframe curves) appear in the
Keyframe Editor depending on which layer you select in the
Layers list:
Select the replicator layer to display animated parameters of
the Replicator Inspector, such as Position and Rotation in the
Properties Inspector, or Size or Tile Offset (available when the
shape is a rectangle).
Select the cell layer to display animated parameters of the
Replicator Cell Inspector, such as Angle or Scale.
For more information, see Keyframing overview.

1. Click the Show Keyframe Editor button in the bottom-right
corner of the Motion workspace.

The Keyframe Editor opens in the Timing pane. Make sure the
pop-up menu in the top-left corner of the Keyframe Editor is
set to Animated.
2. Do one of the following:
To display animation curves representing keyframed
replicator parameters in the Properties Inspector and
Replicator Inspector (Position, Rotation, Size, Tile Offset,

and so on), select a replicator object in the Layers list or
Timeline.
To display animation curves representing keyframed
replicator parameters in the Replicator Cell Inspector
(Angle, Angle Randomness, and so on), select a replicator
cell object in the Layers list or Timeline.

For more information about keyframe curves, see Choose a curve
view.

Work with 3D replicators
Two replicator pattern styles in the Shapes pop-up menu have 3D
properties: Box and Sphere. The Box and Sphere shape options
are available only when the 3D checkbox is selected in the
Replicator Inspector. Box and Sphere replicators build a pattern
of elements in 3D space. The 2D Rectangle and Circle replicator
shapes have columns (in the Y plane) and rows (in the X plane),
but Box and Sphere have an additional Ranks parameter, which
adds depth (in Z space) to the replicator.

Although the Rectangle, Circle, Line, Wave, Image, and Geometry
replicators have no inherent 3D parameters, as with any other
Layer in Motion, they can be moved and rotated in 3D space.
Additionally, Line and Wave replicator shapes have quasi-3D
properties: Their start and end points can be moved into Z space.
In the following image, the Z Start Point and Z End Point have
been adjusted to give the replicator depth.

Create a 3D replicator
Box and Sphere replicators build a pattern of elements in 3D
space. The 2D Rectangle and Circle replicator shapes have

columns (in the Y plane) and rows (in the X plane), but Box and
Sphere have an additional Ranks parameter, which adds depth (in
Z space) to the replicator.
1. After adding a replicator to a project, select the 3D checkbox
in the Replicator Inspector.
For more information on adding a replicator to a project, see
Add a preset replicator or create a custom replicator.
2. In the Replicator Inspector, click the Shape pop-up menu,
then choose Box or Sphere.
If your project is not yet 3D, the replicator pattern appears flat.
3. If your project does not contain a camera, click the New
Camera button in the toolbar, then click Switch to 3D.
A camera is added to the project, and your layers are
converted to 3D layers.
4. In the 3D view tools (in the upper-right corner of the Canvas),
drag in the Orbit tool (the center tool).

As the camera rotates, you can see that the replicator cells
are aligned in Z space
Tip: Use Simulation behaviors to create animated replicators
in 3D space that interact with other objects in the project. For

example, use Orbit Around to make replicator elements circle
around a target object. For more information, see Simulation
behaviors overview.

Make replicators interact with other objects
When a replicator is a member of a 3D group, certain behaviors
can be applied to pull replicator pattern elements out of their X
and Y planes.
1. After adding a replicator to a project, select the 3D checkbox
in the Replicator Inspector.
This example uses a burst replicator shape. For more
information on adding a replicator to a project, see Add a
preset replicator or create a custom replicator.
2. If your project does not contain a camera, click the New
Camera button in the toolbar, then click Switch to 3D.
A camera is added to the project, and your layers are turned
into 3D layers.
3. In the Layers list, select an object (a white circle shape in this
example), and in the Properties Inspector, click the Position
disclosure triangle, then drag in the Z value slider.
In this example, the white circle’s Z Position is set to 225.
4. In the Layers list, select the replicator, click the Add behavior
pop-up menu in the toolbar, then choose Simulations >
Attracted To.

No animation occurs until an object is assigned to the
Attracted To behavior.
5. With the Attracted To behavior selected in the Layers list, drag
the target object (in this example, the white circle) to the
Object well in the Behaviors Inspector.
With the default Attracted To settings, the entire replicator
moves as one toward the target object.
6. In the Behaviors Inspector, select the Affect Subobjects
checkbox.
7. To play the project, press the Space bar.

As the project plays, each replicator element is affected
individually, moving forward in Z space toward the attractor.
Under the behavior’s influence, the replicator elements move
past their attractor element, and return to their original
position.

For more information about working in 3D, see 3D compositing
overview.

About replicator timing
After you create a replicator, its duration can be as long or short
as necessary, regardless of the duration of the original source
layers used for the pattern cells. The duration of a replicator is
defined by the duration of the replicator timebar in the Timeline
track area. Changing the In or Out points of a replicator in the
Properties Inspector, Timeline, or mini-Timeline changes the
duration of its timebar.
Although the duration of source layers has no affect on the
replicator, the duration of each cell affects how long the elements
created from that cell are visible in the project. You can change a
cell’s duration by dragging its In and Out points in the Timeline. In
this way, you can adjust the timing that defines when each cell
type appears. For example, to create a pattern in which three
types of elements appear at different times in the animation, you
can offset the cells in the Timeline. In the following image, the
“crosshair” cells appear first. One second later, the “drop” cells
appear. One second after that, the “soft circle” cells appear.

Tip: You can animate the opacity of each cell to create a fade-in
effect; you do this by keyframing the Opacity parameter in the
Replicator or the Replicator Cell Inspector.
For more information on adjusting the timing of layers in the
Timeline, see Timeline overview.

About using filters and masks with
replicators
You can apply filters or masks to a replicator or to the image
sources used to create replicator cells. (However, you cannot
apply filters or masks to the replicator cells themselves.)

Filters
When applied to the replicator, a filter affects every element of the
replicator pattern. When applied to an image source layer, the
effect of a filter is retained when the layer is replicated.

For more information on applying filters to layers in your project,
see Filters overview.

Masks
When you apply a mask to an replicator source layer, the effect of
the mask is retained when the layer is replicated.

You can also apply a mask to the replicator object itself.

Note: Although you cannot apply masks to a 3D replicator, you
can apply them to the image source layer used to create a cell in
a 3D replicator.
For more information on working with masks, see Masks and
transparency overview.

Save custom replicators to the
Library
After you create a replicator you like, you can save it as a
replicator preset in the Replicator or Favorites category of the

Library for future use.

Save a custom replicator to the Library
1. Open the Library and select the Replicators, Favorites, or
Favorites Menu category.
Note: For organizational purposes, you may find it useful to
create a folder of your own in the Favorites or Favorites Menu
category to store replicators.
2. From the Layers list or Timeline, drag the replicator to save
into the stack at the bottom of the Library.
The customized replicator is saved as a file on your computer
in the /Users/username/Library/Application
Support/Motion/Library/ folder (in the Replicators, Favorites, or
Favorites Menu subfolder). Any custom layers created in
Motion (such as a shape layer) used to create that replicator
are included in the file.

SEE ALSO
Save custom objects to the Library
Move Motion projects, objects, or presets to another computer

Create and edit basic text
Basic text overview
Although trends in type design change, a balanced use of type
and graphics remains key to achieving the right effect in
commercials, documentaries, title sequences, broadcast logos,
corporate presentations, and personal video projects. No matter
what style your project requires, Motion provides unique tools for
creating dynamic text effects.

It’s easy to add text to a Motion project. Simply select the Text
tool in the toolbar, click in the Canvas, and start typing. A new text
layer is created (shown in the Canvas, and represented in the
Layers list and Timeline), and you can apply various treatments to

it—text styles, special effects filters, animation behaviors,
keyframes, and so on.
Further, you can modify text as a single object or as separate
glyphs (characters), applying different effects character by
character.
This chapter covers the basics of text creation and modification,
including how to:
Add text
Select and modify text in the Canvas
Preview and apply fonts
Use preset text styles
Edit text in the Inspector
Modify text glyphs, adjusting text character by character)
After you add text and format it to your liking, you can begin to
create dynamic animation effects (see Animated text overview).
You can also create and animate sophisticated 3D text (see 3D
text overview).

Add text to a project
Set preferences before you add text
You can set Motion to create text at either the current frame (the
frame where the playhead is positioned when you add the text) or
at the start of the project. You can also specify a default duration

for new text layers.

Set layer creation and duration preferences
1. Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma),
then click the Project icon.
2. In the Still Images & Layers section of the Project pane, select
a Default Layer Duration preference:
Use project duration: New text layers (and any other new
layers you add) run the length of the project. This means
that if you’re working in a 300-frame project and you
create text, the duration of the text (in the Timeline) is 300
frames.
Use custom duration: New text layers (and any other new
layers you add) run for the duration you enter in the
adjacent text field (measured in seconds or frames,
depending on the option you choose in the pop-up menu).
3. Select a Create Layers At preference:
Current frame: New text layers (and any other new layers
you add) are created at the current location of the
playhead.
Start of project: New text layers (and any other new layers
you add) are created at the beginning of the project,
regardless of the playhead location.

Add text
You can add text to a Motion project in a number of ways.

Add basic text in the Canvas
1. In the Layers list, select the group to add a text layer to.
Note: If no group is selected, the text is added to the last
selected group (the underscored group in the Layers list).
2. In the toolbar, click the Text tool (or press T).

3. Click in the Canvas.
The insertion point flashes in the Canvas. Before you enter
text, an empty text layer is added to the project and the Text
HUD appears.
Note: If the HUD does not appear, press F7 or click the Show
HUD button in the toolbar.

4. Optional: Choose font formatting options in the Format pane of
the Text Inspector or in the HUD.
You can choose a font type, size, alignment, and more.
5. Enter text.
As you type, the following occurs:
The text appears in the Canvas.
The mini-Timeline and the text layer in the Layers list are
labeled using the characters you type.

The same text appears in the track bars of the group and
layer in the Timeline.

Note: By default, the text layout method (adjustable in the
Layout pane of the Text Inspector) is set to Type. The Type
layout option creates no right margin. Therefore, if you enter a
long string of text, the characters extend on a single line
beyond the edge of the Canvas until you create a manual line
break (by pressing Return). The Type layout mode is useful
when you’re working with short strings of text and also when
animating horizontal scrolling effects in the Canvas. For
information on changing text layout and setting margins, see
“Add paragraph-style text with margins that wrap,” below.
6. When you finish typing, do one of the following:
Press Esc.
Press Command-Return.
Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar.
The text is selected and appears with a bounding box in the
Canvas; and the Select/Transform tool is selected.
Important: After you finish typing, press Esc or select another
tool on the toolbar—do not use a keyboard shortcut. When the
Text tool is selected, typing a keyboard shortcut (other than
Esc) adds text to the Canvas.

Add paragraph-style text with margins that
wrap
When the Text tool is selected, clicking in the Canvas prompts
basic text entry; dragging in the Canvas activates paragraph-style
text entry. Paragraph-style text is contained within margins that
cause the text you type to wrap to the next line. You can adjust
the margins of the paragraph to create a column of text as narrow
or as wide as you like.
1. In the toolbar, click the Text tool (or press T).

2. Drag in the Canvas.
When you release the mouse button, a custom paragraphstyle text entry field appears in the Canvas. The field enclosed
within a bounding box representing margins. A ruler appears
above the bounding box. In the Layout pane of the Text
Inspector, the Layout Method pop-up menu is set to
Paragraph.

3. Begin typing at the flashing insertion point.
Text automatically wraps to the next line when you reach the
right margin (the right side of the bounding box).
Note: You can also type paragraph text in the Text editor field
of the Format pane (in the Text Inspector).
4. When you finish typing, press Esc or Command-Return.
5. To adjust the margins, drag a handle on the bounding box.
When text extends beyond the upper and lower edges of the
text-entry field, a scroll control appears on the right side of the
text-entry field.

For more information about text margins, see Create and

adjust text margins and Margins controls in the Layout pane.

Add text from the Inspector
After you add a blank text object to your project (by selecting the
Text tool and clicking in the Canvas), you can enter and edit text in
the Text editor of the Inspector, rather than in the Canvas. The
Text editor, located at the bottom of the Text Inspector’s Format
pane, is useful when working with large amounts of text.
1. Click the Text tool (or press T), then click or drag in the Canvas
to create a blank text object.
If you click in the Canvas, you activate the default layout
method (Type), which requires that you insert manual line
breaks (by pressing Return) to make text wrap to a new
line.
If you drag in the Canvas, you activate the Paragraph
layout method, which wraps text into a column.
2. In the Text Inspector, click Format to open the Format pane.
3. Optional: Choose font formatting options in the Format pane.
You can choose a font type, size, alignment, and more.
4. Click in the Text editor at the bottom of the Format pane, then
begin typing.

Note: To resize the Text editor, drag the three small gray
circles along the bottom edge of the text field.

Import a text file
You can add plain text (TXT) or Rich Text Format (RTF) to a Motion

project. After you add a text file, you can edit its content the same
way you edit Motion-created text. The appearance (font, size,
layout, and so on) of the text imported from an RTF file is
preserved (although some formatting options available in RTF files,
such as text wrapping, are not supported in Motion); the text
appearance in a TXT file is based on the settings in the Motion
Text Inspector.
For more information about importing text files, see About TXT and
RTF files.
1. In the File Browser, select the TXT or RTF file you want to use.
2. Do one of the following:
Drag the file to the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
Click the Import button in the preview area of the File
Browser.
The text is added to the project and can be modified.
Note: Alternatively, you can import a text file using the File
> Import command.

Copy and paste text from another
application
You can copy text from another document or browser and paste
the text into a Motion project.
1. Open the text document (an RTF, TXT, Pages, or other text
file) in a text-editing application.

2. Select and copy the text.
3. In the Motion toolbar, select the Text tool, click in the Canvas,
then do one of the following:
Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click in the Text
editor, then choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
Consider the following guidelines when pasting text from another
application into Motion:
Pasted RTF text retains the original font attributes, including
family and typeface, size, color, outline, and drop shadow.
When pasted, pure black text is converted to white text.
White text copied from Motion is pasted to the clipboard as
black text.
Text pasted into an empty text-entry field in the Canvas or into
the Text editor (in the Format pane of the Text Inspector)
retains its original paragraph format, including alignment,
justification, and tabs.
Text pasted into existing text in the Canvas or in the Text
editor does not retain its original paragraph format.
If an image is copied with the text, the image is not included
when the text is pasted in Motion.
Dynamically numbered lists are not supported. Lists become
standard text when pasted.

About TXT and RTF files
When you add a TXT file to a project, the following occurs:
The text is formatted based on the settings in the Text
Inspector.
The Layout Method (in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector)
is set to Paragraph.
Note: To change the layout of the text, choose another option
from the Layout Method pop-up menu. The ruler and scroll
controls become available in the Paragraph and Scroll layouts.
The scroll control becomes available in the Crawl layout.
The paragraph margins are set to the Safe Zones of the
project. (Press the Apostrophe key to turn Safe Zones on and
off.)
When you add an RTF file to a project, the following occurs:
The formatting of the text (font, style, line spacing, outline, and
other styles set in the text editing application) is preserved in
the project.
The Layout Method (in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector)
is set to Paragraph.
Margins in the original text file are preserved in the Canvas.
When you double click the imported text in the Canvas, a
paragraph-style text-entry field becomes active, displaying the
following in the Canvas:
An adjustable bounding box representing the margins of
the text
A ruler at the top of the bounding box

A ruler at the top of the bounding box
A scroll control to the right of the bounding box (if text
extends vertically beyond the borders of the bounding box)
Any tabs from the original text file, displayed as black
icons in the ruler at the top of the bounding box
You can resize the margins by dragging the edges of the
bounding box or adjusting the Margins controls in the Layout
pane of the Text Inspector. See Select and modify text in the
Canvas and Display the Layout pane of the Text Inspector.

Select and modify text in the
Canvas
After you add text to Motion, you can select and edit text directly
in the Canvas. To select text characters for modification, use the
Text tool.

To select text as an object, use the Select/Transform tool.

Select text characters
Do one of the following:
Select the Text tool in the toolbar, then drag within the text
object in the Canvas.
If you don’t begin the drag within a text object, a new text
object is created.
Select the Text tool in the toolbar, lick between two text
characters in the Canvas, hold down the Shift key, then press
the Right Arrow key or the Left Arrow key to select characters.
Click the Select/Transform tool in the toolbar, then doubleclick text in the Canvas.
In the Layer’s list, select a text layer, then in the Text editor (at
the bottom of the Text Inspector’s Format pane), drag within
or double-click text.

Move the text insertion point
With the Text tool selected, click text in the Canvas, then do any
of the following:
Move the text insertion point: Press the Right Arrow or Left
Arrow key.
Jump to the beginning of a text line: Press Command–Left
Arrow.

Jump to the end of a text line: Press Command–Right Arrow.
Jump to the beginning of the word: Press Option–Left Arrow.
Jump to the end of the word: Press Option–Right Arrow.
Move the insertion point through multiple lines of text (for a
single text object): Press the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow
key.

Replace or modify text
Select text in the Canvas, then begin typing.
The selected text is replaced by the new text.

Delete a word
In the Canvas, do one of the following:
Double-click a word, then press Delete.
Click at the end of a word, then press Option-Delete.

Preview and apply fonts
You can choose a font before you enter text, or just start typing
text and then modify the font later. You can preview available

fonts in the Library. You can apply fonts from the Library, from the
Format pane of the Text Inspector, or from the HUD.
Motion uses supported fonts (OpenType, Type 1 or PostScript,
and TrueType) located in the following folders on your computer:
/Library/Fonts/
/Users/username/Library/Fonts/
For information on installing fonts, see Mac Help (in the Finder,
choose Help > Mac Help).

Find a font in the Library
You can find specific fonts in the Library.
Do one of the following:
Select any font name or thumbnail in the font stack of the
Library, then quickly type the first two letters of font name you
want.
The font you seek is highlighted in the stack.
Click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the Library,
then type the name of the font in the Search field.
Only fonts containing the search term appear in the stack.

Preview fonts in the Library

1. In the Library, click the Fonts category.
2. Click the font subcategory to preview available fonts.
Note: The first subcategory, All Fonts, contains all fonts from
the other subcategories.
If you’re in list view, the font list appears in the stack. If you’re
in icon view, font thumbnails appear in the stack, as shown in
the image below.

3. In the stack, click a font thumbnail or name.
The font is displayed in the preview area, with the font name
and type.

Preview and apply fonts in the Canvas
If you’ve already added text to your project, you can preview
different fonts in the Canvas.
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click the Font pop-

up menu.
The menu of available fonts opens.
3. Drag the pointer up or down in the menu to preview fonts.
As you drag through the menu, the text changes in the
Canvas.
4. After you choose a font, release the mouse button.
Note: You can also use the wheel of a three-button mouse or
a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad to move up and
down the menu.
For more information about controls in the Format pane, see
Format controls in the Text Inspector

Preview and apply fonts in the HUD
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the HUD (press F7 if it’s not already open), click the Font
pop-up menu.

The menu of available fonts opens.
3. Drag the pointer up or down in the menu to preview fonts.
As you drag through the menu, the text changes in the
Canvas.
4. After you choose a font, release the mouse button.
Note: You can also use the wheel of a three-button mouse or
a two-finger swipe on a Multi-Touch trackpad to move up and
down the menu.

Change the font of text in your project by
dragging a font type to the Canvas
1. In the Library, click the Fonts category, then click a font
subcategory.
2. Drag a font from the Library stack onto the existing text in the
Canvas.

As you drag the font over the text, a transparent thumbnail of
the font appears and the pointer becomes a green add pointer
(+). When you release the mouse button, the text is changed
to the selected font.

Change the font of text in your project using
the Apply button
1. In the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline, select a text layer to
modify.
2. In the Library, click the Fonts category, then click a font
subcategory.

3. In the stack, click a font.
4. In the preview area, click Apply.

The text is changed to the selected font.

Use preset text styles
The Motion Library contains preset 2D and 3D text styles that you
can apply to text. A text style is a group of Appearance
parameters that are modified and saved in the Library. For
example, the Neon text style applies a rounded font style and
includes a gradient outline simulating the bright glow of an
electrified glass tube filled with neon gas. You can apply these
presets from the Library or from the Text Inspector.

You can also customize and save your own text style or format (or
both) in the Library. See Save a custom text style.

Apply a preset text style from the Library
1. In the Library, select the Text Styles category.
2. Select the 2D Styles or 3D Styles category, then select a style
from the stack.

3. Do one of the following:
Select the text in the Canvas, then click the Apply button in
the preview area.
Drag the style from the stack to text in the Canvas, Layers
list, or Timeline.
The text style is applied to the text. If you applied a 3D
style, the text is extruded and becomes 3D text (the 3D
Text checkbox is selected in the Appearance pane of the
Text Inspector). For more information, see 3D text
overview.

Apply a preset text style from the Text
Inspector
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the Appearance pane or Format pane of the Text Inspector,
click the preset pop-up menu and choose an item from the 2D
Styles or 3D Styles categories.

The text style is applied to the text. If you applied a 3D text
style, the text is extruded and becomes 3D text (the 3D Text
checkbox is selected in the Appearance pane of the Text
Inspector). For more information, see 3D text overview.

Apply a preset text style from the HUD
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the HUD (press F7 if it’s not already open), click the preset
pop-up menu (below the Blend Mode pop-up menu) and
choose an item from the 2D Styles or 3D Styles categories.

The text style is applied to the text. If you applied a 3D text
style, the text is extruded and becomes 3D text (the 3D Text
checkbox is selected in the Appearance pane of the Text
Inspector). For more information, see 3D text overview.

Edit text in the Inspector
Text Inspector overview
You can perform advanced text editing tasks in the Text
Inspector.
The Text Inspector is divided into three subpanes:
Format: Contains controls for adjusting basic text parameters
such as font, size, alignment, line spacing, tracking, and
kerning. See Display the Format pane of the Text Inspector.
Appearance: Contains controls for adjusting visual text styles,
including opacity, blur, color, outline, glow, and drop shadows.
See Display the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector.
Layout: Contains controls for adjusting text arrangement
settings such as margins, tabs, scrolling, word wrapping, and
text on a path. Display the Layout pane of the Text Inspector.
Many of the controls in the Text Inspector are also available in the
HUD.
If a text parameter can be animated, moving the pointer over the
right side of the parameter’s row in the Inspector displays the Add
Keyframe button and the Animation menu. Click either to access

keyframe and animation controls. For more information, see
Keyframe controls in the Inspector and Animation menu.

To reset a parameter to its default settings (including removing
keyframes), choose Reset Parameter from the parameter’s
Animation menu. To reset a group of parameters, such as the text
Face controls or the Sequence controls of a text behavior, click
the reset button in the Inspector.

Note: For parameters with no default setting (including most
parameters in the Format and Layout panes), there is no reset
button.

Display the Text Inspector or Text HUD
Open the Text Inspector to access advanced parameter controls
that adjust text format, appearance, and layout. Some of these
controls are also available in the Text HUD.

Display the Text Inspector
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. Do one of the following:
Click Inspector (in the upper-left corner of the Motion
workspace), then click Text.
Choose Window > Inspector.
Click the “i” button on the HUD.
Press Command-3.

Display the Text HUD
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. Press F7 or D.

Edit text format
Display the Format pane of the Text

Display the Format pane of the Text
Inspector
The Format pane of the Text Inspector contains controls for
adjusting basic text attributes such as font, typeface, size,
kerning, and character rotation. Many Format parameters can be
animated (keyframed). For information about common formatting
tasks, see Format text. For a list of all Format pane controls, see
Format controls in the Text Inspector.

Show the Format pane
In the Text Inspector, click Format.

SEE ALSO
Format text
Format controls in the Text Inspector

Format text
The following tasks are useful when editing text format, including
changing fonts, moving the text insertion point, and adjusting
kerning. For a complete list of available controls, see Format

controls in the Text Inspector.

Resize text
Do any of the following:
Change font size: Drag the Size slider in the Basic Formatting
controls.
Scale the text: Drag the Scale slider in the Advanced
Formatting controls.
Click the disclosure triangle to reveal separate X and Y Scale
controls.
Note: To scale the text as a layer, select text, then drag a
scale handle in the Canvas.

Rotate or shear text
In the Advanced Formatting controls, do any of the following:
Rotate text characters: Adjust the Rotation dial.
Click the disclosure triangle to expose separate X, Y, and Z
Rotation controls.
Shear text characters: Drag the Slant slider.

Kern text characters
1. In the toolbar, click the Text tool (or press T).

2. In the Canvas, position the insertion point (click the mouse
button) between the characters to kern, then do one of the
following:
In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, drag the Kerning
slider or adjacent value slider to set a kerning value.
Press Option–Command–Right Bracket (]) to increase the
space between characters by one-pixel increments.

Press Option–Command–Left Bracket ([) to reduce the
space between characters by one-pixel increments.

Format controls in the Text Inspector
The parameter controls in the Format pane of the Text Inspector

allow for common text adjustments.

Basic Formatting controls
Preset: An unlabeled pop-up menu at the top of the Format
pane, used to apply preset text styles from the Library to text
in your project. You can also use this pop-up menu to save
format settings (and appearance settings from the
Appearance pane) of text in your project. The default menu
item is Normal.
For more information on applying and saving text styles, see
Use preset text styles.
Collection: A pop-up menu to filter the font categories
available in the Font pop-up menu. When set to All Fonts,
every font installed on your OS X system appears in the Font
pop-up menu.
Font: A pop-up menu to choose a font for selected text.
Typeface: An unlabeled pop-up menu (to the right of the Font
pop-up menu) to choose a type style, such as Regular, Bold,
Condensed, and so on. The available typefaces are specific to
the font family selected in the Font pop-up menu.
Size: A slider to set the point size of the text. The slider is
constrained to a maximum of 288 points. To create larger text,
drag to the right over the numeric value, or click the value,
type a new number, then press Return.

Note: You can also scale text in the Canvas using onscreen
controls, but doing so scales text as an object independently
of type point size.
Alignment: Buttons to set the alignment and justification of
text.
Vertical Alignment: Buttons to set the vertical alignment of text.
Line Spacing: A slider to set the distance between each line of
text (leading) in point-size increments.
Tip: To modify the spacing for individual lines of text when
hard returns are present, select text with the Text tool, then
adjust the Line Spacing slider. Spacing is modified on the line
that includes the selected text.
Tracking: A slider to set the spacing between text characters,
applying a uniform value between each character.
Kerning: A slider to adjust spacing between text characters.
Baseline: A slider to adjust the baseline of text characters (an
invisible horizontal line defining the bottom alignment of
characters).

Advanced Formatting controls

Scale: A slider to resize text characters proportionally. To
scale in only X or Y space, click the disclosure triangle to set
separate X and Y scale values.

Affects Layout: A checkbox (available when the Scale
parameter is disclosed) to set how scaling affects text on a
path. (For information about text paths, see Create and modify
text on a path.) For example, when Affects Layout is
deselected and text is on an open spline path (and Wrap
Around is deselected in the Layout pane), increasing the Scale
parameter causes text characters to bunch up along the
length of the path. When Affects Layout is selected, increasing
scale extends text characters beyond the path; decreasing
scale bunches up characters toward their set alignment (left,
right, or center).

Offset: Value sliders to offset text from its original position
(anchor point). Click the disclosure triangle to access separate
X, Y, and Z position values.
Rotation: A dial to rotate text characters in Z space. Click the

disclosure triangle to access separate X, Y, and Z rotation
controls and also the Animate pop-up menu.
Animate: A pop-up menu (available when the Rotation
parameter is disclosed) to change the interpolation for
animated 3D rotation channels. There are two menu options:
Use Rotation: The default interpolation method, whereby
text characters rotate from their start rotation to their final
rotation. Depending on the animation, the characters may
twist before reaching their final orientation (the last
keyframed value). For example, if the X, Y, and Z Rotation
parameters are animated from 0 degrees to 180 degrees
in a project, the text characters rotate on all axes before
reaching their final orientation.
Use Orientation: This method provides smoother
interpolation but does not allow multiple revolutions;
interpolates between the text characters’ start orientation
(first keyframe) and their end orientation (second
keyframe).
For more information about the Animate parameter, see
Properties Inspector controls.
Note: You must keyframe the Rotation parameter for the
Animate parameter options have an effect.
Slant: A slider to simulate italics by adding a slant value to text
characters.
Monospace: A checkbox that, when selected, applies a fixed
amount of space between each text character.
All Caps: A checkbox to make text characters uppercase.

All Caps Size: A slider (available when the All Caps checkbox
is selected) to set the size of uppercase characters based on
a percentage of the font point size.
Editable in FCP: A checkbox that, when selected, allows
editing of text strings, text size, and text tracking in templates
published to Final Cut Pro X.
For more information on publishing to Final Cut Pro, see
Final Cut Pro templates overview.

Text editor
Text: A text field (the darker shaded area) to add and edit text
in your project from the Inspector. For more information, see
Add text.

Edit text appearance
Display the Appearance pane of the
Text Inspector
The Appearance pane of the Text Inspector contains controls for
adjusting visual text styles, including color, outlines, glow effects,
and drop shadows. You can animate most of these parameters.
In the Appearance pane, you can also apply preset text styles
from the Library to text in your project—modified Appearance
parameters that create a specific look for text, such as a red glow
and gradient face. You can also create custom text styles and
save them to the Library. For more information, see Use preset

text styles.
There are several groups of controls in the Appearance pane:
Face controls
Outline controls
Glow controls
Drop shadow controls
When you select 3D text, two additional groups of controls
become available in the Appearance pane:

3D Text controls (For more information, see 3D Text controls.)
Lighting controls (For more information see Lighting and
environment controls.)
You can enable or disable a group of style controls by selecting or
deselecting the activation checkbox to the left of the group
header. (When selected, the checkbox turns blue.) By default,
Outline, Glow, and Drop Shadow are deselected.

Show the Appearance pane
In the Text Inspector, click Appearance.

Modify text color
In the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector or in the HUD, you
can change the color of text using standard color controls.

Note: To adjust individual color channels, you must use the
Appearance pane of the Text Inspector.
You can also apply a gradient to text, from the Appearance pane
or from the Library.

Set text color in the Inspector
1. Select text in the Layers list, Canvas, or Timeline.
2. In the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector, make sure that
the “Fill with” pop-up menu is set to Color.
3. Do one of the following:
Click the color well, then use the Colors window to set the
text color.

Click the downward arrow to the right of the color well (or
Control-click the color well), then click in the pop-up color
palette to select a color. Drag in the lower palette to set the
color to a grayscale color.

Click the eyedropper tool to the right of the Color well, then
click a color in the Canvas.
In the Inspector, click the Color disclosure triangle to show
the color channel parameters, then use the sliders or value
sliders to adjust each color channel.

Set text color in the HUD
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the HUD (if it’s not displayed, press F7 or D) click the color
well, then choose a text color in the Colors window.

The text is dynamically updated as you select a color.
Note: To select a color from the Canvas (or anything on the
desktop), click the color picker in the Colors window, position
the picker over the color you want to select, then click again.

Apply a text gradient
In the Inspector, you can apply a gradient fill to text, then
customize or animate the gradient in the Gradient editor. For
general information about working with gradients, see Gradient
editor controls.

Like preset text styles from the Library, preset gradients can be
applied to text. Gradient presets are located in the Gradients
category of the Library. A custom gradient that you apply to text
can also be saved in the Library for use in future projects.
1. Select text in the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline.
2. In the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector, click the “Fill
with” pop-up menu, then choose Gradient.
In the Inspector, the Color controls are replaced with the
Gradient editor. The default gradient is white and blue (Atlantic
Blue).

In the Canvas, the default gradient is applied to the text.

Apply a preset text gradient

1. Select the text and make sure the “Fill with” pop-up menu is
set to Gradient in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector.
2. Click the Gradient preset pop-up menu (on the right side of
the Gradient row), then choose a preset gradient.

The selected gradient is applied to the text.

Apply a preset gradient from the Library
1. In the Library, click the Gradients category.
2. In the stack, select a gradient.
A preview of the selected gradient appears in the preview
area.

3. Do one of the following:
Drag the gradient to text in the Canvas, Layers list, or
Timeline.
Make sure text is selected in the Canvas, Layers list, or
Timeline, then click Apply in the preview area.
The gradient is applied to the text.

Modify text opacity
There are several ways to change the opacity of text:
To change the overall opacity of a text object, use the Opacity
sli