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This chapter is from the book Modifying a Motion Path

Modifying a Motion Path

Modifying a motion path can be a lot of fun because you can work on it directly in the Canvas window. You can, for example, take a simple two-keyframe motion path, like the one in the previous example, and modify it to fly the image around the screen with just a few easy steps.

Motion Path as Time

Before you start to modify the motion path, take a close look at it and you will see how it represents time. In the following image, the line in the middle is the last part of the motion path. The green square at the right of the path represents the last keyframe that was set. Each dot or bead along the motion path represents an element of time. Dragging one of those time beads changes the position of the clip at that point in time. Thus, the motion path represents the clip over time.

To change a motion path:

  1. Move the pointer to a time bead. The main Pen tool icon appears.
  2. Click a time bead and drag up or down to create a new keyframe. Since this move created a curve, two handles appear next to the keyframe. These are Bézier handles.
  3. To widen the curve, drag a handle out. To make the curve narrower, drag it in. To change the angle of the curve, drag up or down on either handle.
  4. To make changes to a keyframe along the path, Control-click and choose one of the following options:
    • To change a curve to a square corner, choose Make Corner Point.

      To slow down the image as it approaches that point and ease it back out, choose Ease In/Ease Out.

      To make all points even in time, choose Linear.

      To delete a keyframe, choose Delete Point.

    In the motion path shown in the following figure, the beads between the first keyframe and the top keyframe are farther apart than those between the top and end keyframe. The closer together the time beads, the more time there is between those two keyframes. In other words, the more beads, the slower the movement. Here, the image will move more quickly between the first and second keyframes than between the second and third. In this way, the time beads that indicate Motion Path speed are exactly the opposite of the tick marks that represent clip speed in the Timeline.

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