Repeating Animation in Motion

Repeating Animation in Motion
There are several methods to loop a behavior in Apple Motion. But if you want complete control over the animation, you can build it using keyframes and the timeline and loop/repeat the animation using the Keyframe Editor. Let's walk through the steps.

We will build a simple Bokeh animation using 5 circles, which we will control individually in the Timeline. We already have a background image for the animation, which is a 1080 x 1080 px Instagram post graphic, which I used to announce a post about Adobe Spark. The photo, red rectangle and white text were flattened and imported into Motion. The photo has a small Bokeh area, which we will enhance with our animation.

Open Motion 5 and let's get started.

  1. Start a new project with the following settings (see screenshot).

    Preset: Custom
    Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
    Field Order: Default - Upper First Odd
    Aspect Ratio: Square
    Frame Rate: 30 fps
    Duration: 3:00

  2. With the Playhead at the first frame, click File - Import and choose the background image. The image should span the entire Timeline. Rename the default group to "art".

    The Bokeh circles in the image are white and red. So those are the colors will will use, giving the appearance that our animation is really part of the photo "coming to life".

  3. With the Circle tool and holding down the Shift key, draw a circle the same size as the circle in the Bokeh in the photo (see screenshot).

  4. Select the Shape tab in the Inspector.

  5. Check the box next to Fill and set the Fill Color box to white.

  6. In the Outline section, set the Brush Color to white, the Width to 3 to 15 and the Brush Opacity to 40 - 50 %. This will soften the edge of the circle (see screenshot).

    Now that we have the Shape settings as we like, we can build the animation. We will fade in/out both the Fill and Outline of the shape using the Opacity property.

  7. With the circle still selected, go to the Properties tab.

  8. With the Playhead at the first frame of the Timeline, click the Keyframe icon for the Opacity property. Keep the Opacity slider set to 100% (see screenshot).

    Now we will fade out the circle over 1/2 second (15 frames).

  9. Move the Playhead to frame 15 and click the Opacity Keyframe icon in the Properties tab again.

  10. Move the Opacity slider to 0% to fade out the circle.

  11. Move the Playhead to frame 30 and add a keyframe. Set the Opacity slider back to 100% to fade in the circle.

    Now, we have the basic 1 second (30 frames) fade in/out animation keyframed but we want it to repeat over the entire 3 seconds of the Timeline. We will use the Timeline Editor to do this.

  12. With the Playhead set at the last frame of our animation (frame 30), right-click on the keyframe triangle and choose Show in Keyframe Editor from the menu (see screenshot).

  13. You will see the Keyframe Editor open under the Timeline.

  14. Click the arrow on the circle layer to open the Blending Opacity property.

  15. Click the arrow on the right edge of the Blending Opacity layer and choose After Last Keyframe - Repeat from the menu (see screenshot).

  16. Move the Playhead to frame 1 and test the animation. The circle should blink three times.

  17. Now, you can repeat the process for a few more circles. Set the Keyframes on the Timeline to varying locations (see screenshot).

    Circle One: Frame 1 - Frame 15 - Frame 30
    Circle Two: Frame 1 - Frame 40 - Frame 110
    Circle Three: Frame 1 - Frame 25 - Frame 45
    Circle Four: Frame 1 - Frame 12 - Frame 24
    Circle Five: Frame 1 - Frame 9 - Frame 18

I usually get best results by exporting the animation from Motion as an .mov video file. Then opening the .mov file in to HandBreak to compress the file in to an .mp4 file ready to upload to Instagram.

View the Instagram Post

Apple, Motion, iBooks Author, GarageBand, TextEdit, Pages, iMovie and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. BellaOnline is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Screenshots used by permission.

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Content copyright © 2019 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.