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The Apple Motion Interface


One of the best ways to learn a new software program is to get familiar with the user interface or workspace. The AppleR MotionR workspace is uncluttered but still contains a lot of resources ready to use in your projects.

If we click on the Motion icon in the Dock on your Mac, you will get the Project Browser which gives you a list of template options for starting a new project. Of course, you can start a new blank or empty project by clicking the Blank option. The Recent option will list all your projects. The Compositions options contains several prebuilt projects that can be used as a starting point for your own project. These starter projects include lower thirds, menus and opening titles. At the bottom of the window you also have buttons for opening a project from a file on your computer. Finally, when you click an option, you will get a preview of the project and a description including the HD format, frame rate, duration, resolution and aspect ratio.

Once you chose an option from the Project Browser, the Motion workspace will open. To make the workspace simple, we have only a few sections. Letís move from top left to bottom right. First, we have a section with three tabs for displaying the contents of the File Browser, Library and Inspector. As you might think, the File Browser tab will display the contents of your computer and any connected external drives. The Library contains all the built-in Motion resources, which we will discuss in more depth later. Finally the Inspector will display all the controls for what is selected on the Canvas or screen, which is to the far right.

Moving to the right from the tabbed section, we have the Project pane which works much like the Layers panel in PhotoshopR and After EffectsR. The hierarchy of these layers controls the composition of all the elements on the Canvas. An object on a lower layer can be hidden or obscured by an object on a higher layer. Also, this hierarchy controls the results obtained from blend modes and special effects applied to them. Moving again to the right, we have the Canvas which is where we will see the playback of the project and control placement of objects.

Moving down from the Canvas, we have the Toolbar. Like most Toolbars, this one contains all the tool icons for working on your project. Under the Toolbar, we have the Timing pane, which contains the visual and audio Timelines and the Keyframe Editor.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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