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Creating a 'Hanging String' animation in Motion 5.

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Daniel van der Spuy
Creating a 'Hanging String' animation in Motion 5.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 11:40:59 am

Hi guys,

Quite a newbie to using Apple Motion, which is especially painful after coming from the slightly more cluttered but more sensical and functional After Effects CS3 (PC).

I'm currently working on a project which involves 2D images holding the appearance of printed out and cut out pieces of paper with illustrations on them- and those elements enter the scene through some kind of human-like interaction e.g. a hand coming in from the left, or more relevantly, drop from the sky and hang from string.

I created a shape and applied some gradients and texture overlays to achieve a pretty realistic piece of string, but I'm wondering how I can get that animated.

Some ideas I had were some kind of distortion but that might look un-natural. Also, with floppy string- how would that work in terms of gravity/cloth behaviours in motion?

I admittedly haven't tried to many different things but I'm working a lot and don't have too much time to fiddle with it myself too deeply before I start actually working on usable elements.

I'll see what you guys come up with :)

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Deyson Ortiz
Re: Creating a 'Hanging String' animation in Motion 5.
on Dec 6, 2011 at 1:50:41 pm

Hello Daniel,

Motion does not have cloth simulation.

I did do a quick test trying to do some sort of simulation:
The string I had to create manually with keyframes.

Here are some resources:

Also, if you would like to do more intense physic simulations like cloth, water and others I highly recommend the free software Blender.

Here is an example of template I created using Blender and Motion:

Enjoy and have a wonderful and creative day!

- Deyson Ortiz - Editor / Motion Graphics

- View my work at:

- Download Free Motion Master Templates at:

- Watch my Apple Motion Podcasts at:

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Josh Goldberg
Re: Creating a 'Hanging String' animation in Motion 5.
on Mar 23, 2015 at 10:22:11 am

I managed a cheating little workaround on this in Motion 4.

I was inspired by the viral video "The Proof We are Soulmates" ( to try to get globes hanging from strings.

1. Create your "string", a Bezier Line with several points (I made 5 for my test).

2. Make the Bezier Line rounded in the "roundness" setting in Inspector>Shape>Geometry. I set mine to 63

3. Apply the behavior "oscillate shape" to your Bezier Line. Here are my settings:

Wave Shape: Sine
Phase: 0
Amplitude 100 (beginning) 5 (end)
Speed 35 (beginning) 3 (end)
Origin -116, 6 (beginning) 0, 0 (end)

4. Play with the Origin location in the Behavior settings to get a nice swinging.

5. I set keyframes in the Amplitude, Speed and Origin to get it to almost 0 at 5 Seconds. This was to get the Globe to slowly settle.

6. Then I exported it as a QuickTime film with Alpha, and re-imported the resulting film. I put it in its own Group called Import String Group. Deactivate the Original String Group. (You could just delete it, since if all goes well, you won't need it anymore.)

7. I made a blue circle as a new shape, and for fun added some green "continents". I put them in their own Group called Globe Group.

8. I used the Match Move Behavior on the Globe Group to set its movement to the end of the Bezier Line on the imported film and after analyzing…. voila!

There must be an easier/better way to do this. Would be pleased to hear about it!

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