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A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting

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Bret WilliamsA couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 9, 2015 at 6:37:16 pm

A couple more questions as I dig into more of a classic animation project and I get to use more things like parameter behaviors...

Linking vs. Parenting
In AE, when I have a particular object that I'd like to move and I always want another object attached to it I'll parent one layer to the other and simply animate the other. When I use the pick whip and parent them, they stay in the place they're in and don't move. But in Motion, it's not so simple, but I understand potentially more powerful because the link behavior can link just particular things instead of the entire transform controls. But when I link a layers position to another layer, it always shifts. Sometimes a few pixels, sometimes off the screen. What is going on? Doesn't matter if I use replace or add to for the apply mode. I could of course group them, but that feels like going back to AE 4.x standards before they came out with parenting. And it just adds clutter. Simple parenting would have to be in my top requests. But in the meantime how do I make link work?

Vector Graphics
Every layer in my current project is a vector graphic. Adobe Illustrator CS5 to be exact. FWIW we're looking out the window of a car and I need to zoom in super tight on the dashboard GPS unit. Now here's where I'd normally say Motion has a edge on AE because you don't have to worry about all the collapse transformations stuff. For most purposes, it's always on, but on vector art you have to set the fixed resolution checkbox off. But even then, when I zoom in super close, I get terrible banding and it just isn't as rock sharp as AE or Ai. However, my work around has been to set it to fixed resolution and dial in the resolution until it looks good. Is that the normal workflow for vector art in Motion? Of course I'm having to dial in the fixed resolution to 10000 pixels wide in some cases. Just seems like an extra step of work.


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Robin S. KurzRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 10, 2015 at 8:09:11 am

[Bret Williams] "when I have a particular object that I'd like to move and I always want another object attached to it I'll parent one layer to the other and simply animate the other. When I use the pick whip and parent them, they stay in the place they're in and don't move."

That would be called "a group" in Motion. ;) If you are seeing a shift with the link behavior, then it's because it's relative not absolute. So if the linked layers have differences in scale, overall dimensions or the likes, then the math the link is doing for the position will lead to a shift, yes. The reason why you don't want to be using it for what you're looking for (nor is it meant to be), but rather just a simple GROUP.


[Bret Williams] "But even then, when I zoom in super close, I get terrible banding and it just isn't as rock sharp as AE or Ai."

Let me guess... you don't have the canvas set to "Best" when doing this? I'd venture to say that it'll look just fine upon export also, no?

- RK

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Bret WilliamsRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 10, 2015 at 7:44:59 pm

Parenting and grouping aren't really the same thing. But groups and pre comps aren't really exactly the same thing either. I'd be happy to group in this instance, but one of the items is already animated. So when you group a static item with an already animated item, you get a static group containing an animated item and a static item. But you can move them around together!

What I'm realizing Motion lacks here is a dialog when you group a single object asking whether you'd like to keep the keyframes and properties attributed to the group or to the object. VERY important concept for grouping after the fact. AE does this.

The workaround I always forget is to never apply animation to an object you might possibly group later. Then, in lieu of parenting, you can simply drop another object into the group.

Match Move or Linking sometimes works in that you're piggybacking on the animation of the other. But unlike AE, applying the match move or link behavior results in a shift of your design. I've even found that undoing the match move or link sometimes leaves the shift in place and doesn't return you to the point at which you added it.

Both apps have their gotchas.

In this particular instance I was trying to attach some text to an already moving illustrator object. Finally I slapped myself and just went into illustrator and added the text to the illustrator file. Duh. :)


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Robin S. KurzRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 7:11:42 am

[Bret Williams] "But groups and pre comps aren't really exactly the same thing either. I'd be happy to group in this instance, but one of the items is already animated. So when you group a static item with an already animated item, you get a static group containing an animated item and a static item. But you can move them around together! "

But then you could of come simply cut and paste the keyframes from the object to the group. ;)


[Bret Williams] "Motion lacks here is a dialog when you group a single object asking whether you'd like to keep the keyframes and properties attributed to the group or to the object. VERY important concept for grouping after the fact. AE does this."

Yes and no. I makes much more sense in the context of how AE is structured than in Motion imho. Since no object/layer can exist OUTSIDE of a group in Motion to begin with.


[Bret Williams] "In this particular instance I was trying to attach some text to an already moving illustrator object. Finally I slapped myself and just went into illustrator and added the text to the illustrator file. Duh."

Certainly the easiest, most effective option in that case, yes. :)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bret WilliamsRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:29:24 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "But then you could of come simply cut and paste the keyframes from the object to the group. ;)
"


If it worked. Every time I tried that, it pasted the keyframes to the top layer in the group. Not the group.



[Robin S. Kurz] "Yes and no. I makes much more sense in the context of how AE is structured than in Motion imho. Since no object/layer can exist OUTSIDE of a group in Motion to begin with."

It lets you work how you want to work. Motions little gotchas get you when you try to work backwards. You've created something very intricate and then you realize you need to group it. Causes the problems I've described. As well, you can't see a group full screen. The benefit of groups over pre comps is easily working in context with the other elements. You'd have to open up multiple windows to do that in AE and it's just easier to step in, adjust, step out, repeat. But at least if you've shrunk down a pre comp to a tiny size, you can open the pre comp and work on the elements full size. In Motion, once they're all shrunk down, you can't work on the elements full size any longer. You can zoom in on the canvas, but that's just pixelating everything. However if you're working in 3D with a camera you have isolate mode where you can do exactly what I'd like to do in regular 2D mode. It brings the group up full and lets you work on the elements full size. AND, oddly enough, if you zoom in on the canvas it will continuously rasterize the elements! Much like Illustrator does. AE certainly doesn't do that. It's actually working more like a full 3D app in this mode. The canvas boundaries fall away too. Really well implemented. Just wish we could do something similar in 2D comps. Am I missing a button? I just discovered the X button and that's really cool.


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Robin S. KurzRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 6:13:59 pm

[Bret Williams] "Every time I tried that, it pasted the keyframes to the top layer in the group. Not the group."

Very odd. Works just fine here.


[Bret Williams] "As well, you can't see a group full screen."

Sure you can.



Even if it's (of course) different than in AE, yes, but works with 2D groups as well.


[Bret Williams] "I just discovered the X button and that's really cool."

There's also ⇧X as well, yes (which shows *everything*).

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bret WilliamsRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 6:55:07 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Even if it's (of course) different than in AE, yes, but works with 2D groups as well."

Ah, but try to get it to work in a 2D group without a camera in the comp. The function is off without a camera. BUT, as I'm just discovering it will work in a completely 2D environment with a camera applied. Even if the camera is turned off. So cool!


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Marco FeilRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:53:07 am

Parenting:
Have you tried the Match Move behavior? Add the behavior to the child and use the parent as source.

Vector Graphics:
Have you tried changing the playback and render quality from normal to best?
I convert most of my vector graphics to vector PDF files, they work best for me, perhaps that helps.


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Bret WilliamsRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 10, 2015 at 2:32:24 pm

I'll look into match move. I thought I'd used it in conjunction with tracking. And yes I have the quality to full and best, and always double check quality at 100% scale of the canvas. The only reason the Ai files work is because they're saved with PDF compatibility set to on I think. Motion sees them as PDF files. But you may be on to something. I'll try replacing them with true PDFs. What I'm seeing could easily go unnoticed for years, until you have to zoom in 3000% one day. It's like Motion has to sample the gradients at some number, but it's not high enough. They band. And the edges are not sharp. Not pixelated like a bitmap would be, but overly anti-aliased perhaps. It's like the aliasing meets its maximum (or minimum?)and gets scaled up as well. Anyway, going back to fixed resolution fixes both if you crank it up high enough.


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Robin S. KurzRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 7:15:28 am

[Bret Williams] "The only reason the Ai files work is because they're saved with PDF compatibility set to on I think. Motion sees them as PDF files. "

A far better solution that I would highly recommend, is to use "Motionize" to make actual Motion SHAPES from the Illustrator file.

http://scottash.com/motionize/

(it creates Motion SHAPES btw, not PROJECTS as one might think when you see the file. Meaning you cannot OPEN them, but rather you IMPORT them from the file browser)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bret WilliamsRe: A couple more AE to Motion type questions - vector gfx and parenting
by on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:20:54 pm

I dunno. I've seen demos of that. Right now, as I make changes to all the motion elements in the scene, I simply open them in Motion and press save and they're instantly updated in Motion. You can do the same for illustrator files in AE, but I don't do it for that very reason. Only if I need to extrude something.


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