Apple Pro Training Series: Motion 4 Quick-Reference Guide: Particles and Replicators
- Dec 13, 2010
The particle and replicator engines in Motion make it easy to add dynamic and complex animations to projects. Particles are great for creating environmental effects such as rain, smoke, or fire; replicators can be used to create textures, animated patterns, or even video walls. While Motion ships with hundreds of particle and replicator presets, almost any visual object can be turned into a particle/replicator system.
A particle system comprises two parts: an emitter that “spits out” the particle cells, and a life cycle that determines when particles are born, live, and die. The visible part of the cycle and the particle’s behavior during each phase of that cycle is highly customizable in Motion.
Using Preset Particle Systems
- In the Utility window, click the Library tab.
- In the Library tab, choose Particle Emitters and, if desired, a specific subcategory.
- Select the desired preset from the file stack.
- To add the preset to your project, select a destination group, if desired, and then do one of the following:
- Click the Apply button at the top of the Library tab.
- Drag the preset to the desired group within the Layers tab.
- Drag the preset to the Canvas or Timeline.
Creating a Particle System
- In the Canvas window or Layers tab, select a source object to become the particle cell.
- In the Toolbar, click the Make Particles icon, or press E.
Modifying a Particle System
The Inspector tab allows you to customize the appearance and behavior of a particle system. As when modifying other layers in Motion, note which layer is selected—a particle cell or the emitter—before making adjustments.
Parameters of a Particle Cell
When a particle cell is selected in the Layers tab, the object tab will display as shown in the following figure. If the emitter is selected, these same parameters will appear in the lower portion of the Emitter tab in the Inspector.
Setting Color Mode to Original allows adjustment of the particles’ opacity over their life cycles.
Setting Color Mode to Colorize allows tinting and alpha channel manipulation.
Setting Color Mode to Over Life affects the particles’ life cycles from left to right in the gradient editor. The particles take the range of opacity and color tags from left to right as they are born, live, and then die.
The particles will randomly select a color from the gradient editor.
Motion includes 11 preset shapes for emitters that can be customized for your project. Here are examples of the emitter shapes available:
Behaviors and Filters for Particle Systems
As with any non-text layer, you can easily apply behaviors and filters to create movement or a particular appearance for a particle system. Behaviors and filters can be applied to the source object, the particle cell(s), or the emitter, each with a different result. Two behaviors are specific to particle systems: Scale Over Life and Spin Over Life.