|Creativecow.net Product Review
Peter Wiggins takes a thorough look at the new Motion from Apple. Never before has there been such interest and anticipation over a piece of software and Peter Wiggins hopes that this article gives an insight into the creative capabilities, workflow and SPEED of Motion.
Flick Pictures Ltd,
©2004 Peter Wiggins and Creativecow.net. All rights are reserved.
One of the best features in the Final Cut Pro HD & Motion combination is the ability to eliminate the export/import then export/import again stages of processing a Final Cut clip through another application. There are a few wrinkles in the process that I will describe later, but the operation is essentially a smooth one.
Here are the two clips in FCP that I want to add a credit to. It's not too early for a tip, so here we go. Before running these through Motion, duplicate the layer so you've always got the original footage as a reference, it's also always a good idea to have a duplicate clean copy of the sequence as well.
Here I've selected the two clips highlighted that are on my new duplicated layer.
Now for the magic: -
In the file menu, navigate down to Export and from there select Export to Motion Project.
The export selection screen will now ask where you want to store the Motion project, also two checkboxes enable the opening of Motion and the key to the whole operation, the embedding of Motion content. This is important because as soon as save is hit, a new file from Motion will be automatically inserted on the FCP timeline where the original clips were. It will still have to be rendered, but that's all you have to do to link the programs together. A couple of caveats here, the media in the FCP HD project needs to be on the same hard drive as the Motion project. Also freeze frames are not supported in the export process.
Here are our two clips laid together in one layer on the Motion timeline. Motion also supports multiple layers, distorts, markers, blend modes and parameters, and any keyframing. You can of course open a clip directly in Motion and render that out without opening Final Cut at all. You can also import a Motion sequence into Final Cut, but this will appear a flat file.
The big downside is Motion does not import filters, generators, transitions or audio levels. This means you are limited to using either Motion filters or AE filters applied in Motion only. An alternative, but lengthy option is to apply the filter in FCP and export/import this as a new clip before heading off to Motion.
Now let's add a credit in Motion let's animate the clockwork particle emitter behind the text for a bit more interest.
Now as soon as I hit save in Motion, this composite is immediately updated in FCP, pretty cool don't you think?
On the Final Cut timeline, the new clip has the red bar above it and will have to be rendered before it can be played.
Yet essentially That's all there is to it, to pinch a phrase from an old UK gameshow.
The new clip appears in the FCP browser window with the .motn extension. No worries about clip dimensions, frame sizes or codecs. If you want to amend the clip, that's no problem either. If you have Motion still open then any changes will be updated when you hit save, the clip will have to be re-rendered though. Otherwise clicking on the clip and selecting open in editor will launch Motion with the composite loaded.
Motion also works with DVD Studio Pro, but I have to say Ive been so busy with Final Cut & Motion, I haven't even had the time to open up DVD Studio Pro. Oh well, maybe an opportunity for the showreel!
What I do know is that you can export a Motion project to Compressors batch window that will eliminate the need for an intermediate render.
Go to next section: Third party plugins
This review may not be re-published without the permission of Peter Wiggins
Please visit the forums or read other articles at Creativecow.net if you found this page from a direct link.