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The right combo

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Mark Suszko
The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 4:52:15 pm

You guys are always so helpful, please make any suggestions you like about how you would approach this gag in Motion 3:

The shot is in motion 3, I need to build a very tight close-up of the combination lock to a safe or vault door, and instead of the numbers spaced around the perimeter of the rotating knob, I want to rotate that knob clockwise and counter-clockwise and have key words or phrases appear where you expect to see the combination numbers.

My first reaction is to build all of this in photoshop first and then just play with layers and grouping and masking, but are there tricks in Motion 3 that could do this faster and with more precision?
I'm most concerned with building the circular lettered section of the lock mechanism to hold five, single or two-word keyword phrases that are readable in a small window at the top of the lock mechanism.

As always, thanks for anything you care to contribute, it is very much appreciated.






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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 5:21:32 pm

Maybe I'm old school, but the photoshop deal sounds the best. I would go with what you are most comfortable with, too. It's important to learn new and interesting things in Motion to improve your workflow, but if you can do the job faster in Photoshop layers, that's what you should do. I'm not as experienced in Motion as I could be though and I'm interested in seeing what others say.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Andy Neil
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 5:35:17 pm

Photoshop is likely more precise than Motion, but it's not a terribly difficult effect to pull off in Motion alone. You can set text to draw on in a circle or even use the shape of the knob as the path for the letters.

If you're going for ultra realistic, I'd be tempted to create the knob and letters in Photoshop because the text should have that unique combination-lock look.

Andy


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Mark Suszko
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 6:50:47 pm

As far as the "look" here, I can do anything from cartoony to photo-realistic, but I'm aiming for something to match the other spots in my campaign so we're looking to more flat-shaded and simple gradient textures and 2-d art flown in 3-d space and not trying too hard to hide that fact. I can make a vault door, no sweat. The spot "hinges" on the quality of the closeup shot of the lock, where I sneak my key copy points in as it rotates diferent worsd in and out of view. It has to look just realistic enough to instantly get across exactly what it is; a closeup of the top half of the combination knob turning.

I am going to go push pixels around in photoshop this afternoon and see what I can come up with. The whole text-on-a-circle thing is something I've never had need to learn before. I figured Motion 3 might have a simple way to array text based on the bezier tools or something. Any tips are most welcome.


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Mark Suszko
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 8:07:17 pm

After a little play in photoshop, I popped over to Motion, where I found it was maybe faster and easier to animate the text. Here's a snapshot of a bit of my desktop. Once I'm at this point, I can just keyframe the word's rotation using the "path offset" parameter. I think I will build the knob textures in photoshop and apply them to a comp in motion3 with a layer in the group for this text path. Have to see if I should incorporate little vertical hash marks in there of if that distracts more.



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Andy Neil
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 9:18:42 pm

Personally, I think the hash marks are key to really selling the effect. And I wouldn't animate the text with the path offset, but rather place the text, hash marks and knob in the same group and rotate the group.

Andy


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Mark Suszko
Re: The right combo
on May 10, 2010 at 9:58:59 pm

I'm trying it your way Andy, and I think you're on to something there. This is looking more doable every minute, thanks.


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Stephen Smith
Re: The right combo
on May 11, 2010 at 2:45:20 pm

You may want to buy a lock and then animate that. iStockphoto has a bunch.




Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Mark Suszko
Re: The right combo
on May 11, 2010 at 3:22:11 pm

No money for that in the budget, Stephen. But you can steal a dial from the Motion 3 content section where it is part of the temp gauge animation.

I actually am doing okay so far on this. Today I'm working on constructing the combination dial. The tricky bits are positioning the curved text on the dial properly and making it look embossed into the dial material, but not losing that effect as soon as the dial group gets rotated. Playing with blend modes and opacity shows promise, but I waste time with "guess-and-press" trials.

Also, trying to accentuate the overall depth of the comp to make it look more dimensional. I think I'm going to mess with the camera settings to make a more fisheye distortion, after the dial/knob is built... I can't find a way to make actual 3-d cylinders in M3, so I'm suggeting it to the eye, "trompe l'oeil" style, by adding gradients and varying drop shadows to concentric circles, and that is helping a lot. Still not had much success mapping good textures to the dial and knob, but moving ahead. Client is dropping by this PM and hasn't seen or heard abotu this concept yet, so I'm trying to get the knob assembly all done, well enough to be able to show the rotation action with one of their keywords on it, then they don't have to use their imaginations to visualize the completed look so much, which is always a challenge with ANY client. Then they can say "go ahead" or "find another concept".

I WILL crack this safe. I have "caper movie" and "Mission Impossible" music playing on the iPod today, which helps.:-)


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