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Motion, odd behaviour, amazingly slow performance

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Lars Kristian Flemmen
Motion, odd behaviour, amazingly slow performance
on Feb 27, 2011 at 6:42:28 pm

Im creating a composition in Motion where a series of "light tracks" follow black silhouettes around the city.

Using penstroke and write on to make them "draw themselves" after the characters.

For no apparent reason, after working on them for an hour or so, the light tracks suddenly seize to appear, and no matter how much i check opacity, layers, masks, etc, they won´t come back. jumping randomly around the timeline sometimes makes one or another appear, but not when rendered out as a qtm.

Currently it´s pissing me off (it´s the third or fourth time it happens), and I´d appreciate any good advice or tips!

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Gareth Randall
Re: Motion, odd behaviour, amazingly slow performance
on Feb 28, 2011 at 12:56:13 pm

Hi Lars,

I've experienced a similar issue with write-on behaviours and paint strokes. They would be working fine and then suddenly become invisible for no reason. It took me a while to work out that the Shape Styles were being deselected. Have you tried going back into the Shape Styles menu for each stroke and re-selecting the style?

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Lars Kristian Flemmen
Re: Motion, odd behaviour, and custom speed question.
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:06:20 pm

Hi Gareth,

No, haven´t checked the style actually, got caught up in the fact that applying "matte magic" to a mask made everything dissapear. And pressing undo didn´t fix it - will try to check the shape styles tonight.

I have another question as well though:
Since the characters aren´t running at a constant speed - I need to customize how fast the stroke is "written on". So far I have been manipulating the "last point offset" parameter in the keyframe editor to achieve this effect - but it doesn´t perform consistently, differing in wether its possible to do at all etc.
I haven´t been able to successfully manipulate the "custom speed" setting - is something wrong with my workflow?

1. Record mode
2. moving the cursor to the correct place in the timeline
3. adding keyframe and adjusting speed so that the light "catches up" to the character
4. Moving the cursor again.
5. Repeating number 3

etc. etc.

Doesn´t produce any results? Am I missing something?

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Andy Neil
Re: Motion, odd behaviour, and custom speed question.
on Feb 28, 2011 at 5:38:47 pm

Ok. First of all, regarding your "light tracks":

If you want to manipulate the paint strokes writing on, you're NOT going to want to use a shape style from the light category. Often times, those styles have animated properties in the color and opacity that will be contrary to what you're looking to do, and extremely difficult to manipulate how you want. You're better off creating the effect from scratch so you're in control of everything.

Secondly, I wouldn't bother with the write on behavior for this particular effect. The write on behavior manipulates the First/Last Point offset. Since you need to keyframe the write on, I would just use the last point offset parameter to animate on. Fewer moving parts. Your previous problem with last point offset was likely due to a shape style. Building the light track from scratch will eliminate that problem.

However, to check your problem with the Custom Speed setting in a write on effect, I find it helpful to open the keyframe editor so I can see what's going on. You should be able to see the animation line of the Last point offset. Then if you apply keyframes to the custom speed parameter, you should be able to see it working properly or not in the editor. But that's more of an aside. As I said, I would skip the Write On behavior, and just keyframe the Last Point Offset.


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