Speed Up Your Workflow With Motion2 From Mt. Mograph | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

Speed Up Your Workflow With Motion2 From Mt. Mograph

Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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15 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Course Trailer

      0:39
    • 2. Why Do I Even Need This Plugin?

      0:52
    • 3. Project Overview

      0:37
    • 4. Speed Sliders

      6:34
    • 5. Excite

      7:29
    • 6. Jump

      1:52
    • 7. Trash

      0:23
    • 8. Null

      3:13
    • 9. Anchor Point Tool

      3:45
    • 10. Burst

      6:00
    • 11. Name

      2:04
    • 12. Clone

      3:35
    • 13. Rope

      4:13
    • 14. And So Much More!

      0:46
    • 15. Thanks!

      0:29
18 students are watching this class

About This Class

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In this quick course I’ll show you just a handful of the many incredibly useful tools in Mt. Mograph’s Motion2 plugin. There are so many uses for this plugin, and each one of them on their own is worth the full price. I’ll show you how I use Motion2 regularly to speed up my workflow and keep things moving in After Effects.

Matt Jylkka of MtMograph.com is an incredibly talented Motion Designer and teacher. He is also a gifted coder and makes ridiculously useful tools for speeding up his After Effects workflow. Many of his tools are available for free on his website.

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Looking for more inspiration? Head here to discover more classes on After Effects.

Transcripts

1. Course Trailer: 2. Why Do I Even Need This Plugin?: One of the best things you can do for yourself as a motion graphics artist is improve your efficiency. Being a good animator is probably the most important, but being able to produce high-quality animation quickly and efficiently is right up there. After Effects is a tool and you shouldn't let it slow you down. Knowing your way around the program is essential to getting stuff done. But no matter how comfortable you are with the program, there's certain bottlenecks inside of After Effects that force you to take a number of steps to achieve the effect you're after. That's where Motion 2 comes in from mtmograph.com. Motion 2 is an efficiency booster inside of After Effects. It allows you to cut out many steps from tasks that you do on a regular basis inside of After Effects. There are so many features inside Motion 2 that I use them on a daily basis. In this course, I'm going to show you the ones that I use the most. Once you finish the videos, you'll be completely blown away by how much this plug-in speeds up your workflow. So let's get started. I'll see you in class. 3. Project Overview: For the class project, you'll be creating an animation based on the four seasons. You can interpret that theme however you'd like. This is the direction that I took my animation. You can start planning out your design at any time, but I want to encourage you to watch all of the videos first. They're very quick, but it gives you a great overview of some of my favorite features inside the plugin. Once you see how it can speed up your workflow, then try to apply it to your animation. I don't cover how it created the entire animations with videos. So if you're wondering how I did a specific part my animation, I've made the project files available for download. Just check out my sample project in the project page. 4. Speed Sliders: The first feature I want to cover with Motion2 is easily my favorite and definitely one that I use every single day. This panel right over here is the Motion2 plugin. The first thing you'll come to are these three sliders. These are the speed sliders. Now to show you just how valuable these three little sliders are, I've set up a little demo. Nothing complicated, just a ball going back and forth. We've got 30 frames moving to the right and then 30 frames back to where it started. Now what will be the first thing we would do to add a little bit of personality to this animation? Well, we would ease the motion between the keyframes. Normally, I would go into the "Graph Editor", select the "Position" property, select my keyframes, ease them by pressing F9 on the keyboard and then adjust the handles so that they ease in and out, trying to get them to line up as closely as possible. Now that was very quick. I just eyeballed it. Let's see what it looks like. Not bad. Now if I wanted them to be exactly right, all I would have to do is have them selected, go to "Easy Ease", keep them selected, and then pull the influence handle so that they move together. That way I know that the influence is 70.48 on both the outgoing velocities. I could do the same thing on this side and try to get it close. 71.07, not exact, but pretty close. Makes for a pretty decent ease. Now that's perfectly fine. But it took me five, maybe six steps to get to this point. If I duplicate this layer, select my keyframes, offset it. I'll convert them back to linear. You can see what the two different animations are. Now we've got the one that I eased by hand and the other one that's straight back to linear. Now, these sliders will affect the speed handles that I just adjusted by hand. If I go into the "Position" property of the linear keyframe animation, select them, and then grab this slider right here and pull it out to the middle, let go. Just like that, you can see that the influence handles of each keyframe had been pulled out equally. Because I pulled the slider out to 46, each keyframes' incoming and outgoing velocities are set to 46 percent. These other two sliders do the same thing, but only for incoming and outgoing velocities. With my keyframe selected, if I pulled this slider out just a little bit, you see that the outgoing velocities of the keyframes are now set to 16, and if I grabbed this slider and pulled it out to 66, now my incoming velocities are set to 66. Let's see what that looks like. You've got a different looking, but perfectly symmetrical ease on our second ball animation. The great thing about these sliders is that I don't have to be in the graph editor to be adjusting them. If I go back to the timeline, convert these back to linear, and then adjust my slider. They've been updated and I only took one step to achieve that ease. Now if we preview it, there it is, something I did in 5-6 steps of the first animation is now perfectly symmetrical and done in a single click. I cannot stress enough how incredible that is. Personally, I customize the easing on every single keyframe I ever set in After Effects. Before the motion plugin, I would have to take those 5-6 steps every single time. If I was trying to match one property's ease to another's, it would get very complicated and almost never be exactly the way that I wanted it to. To show you what I mean, let's add some scale animation to this balls as well. I'll set a keyframe on the scale here, go to the midpoint, scale it up, and then have it go back down to where it was. I'm also going to adjust the position so it doesn't move as much. Let's take a look what we've got. All right, so it's very wobbly, doesn't look very nice and that's because the position is eased, the scale is not. Let's say I wanted to match the scales easing to the position's easing. Well, if I was to do this by hand, I would select those three keyframes, go into the "Graph Editor", and then maybe select all of them, "Easy ease" and then do my best to match whatever I had set for the position values. I could select the position as well to get a reference. I could even turn on the reference graph so that when I'm editing my scale, I can still see the position. But getting this to line up exactly is basically impossible by hand. I preview that. It's close, but you can see that the two properties are not easing at the exact same speed. If you're working quickly, you're going to get something that's much less symmetrical, something like this, where you can see that the position of the scale are out of sync. Now all I have to do to get them to be the exact same ease is select all my keyframes, adjust this middle slider until it's about where I want it, preview, and just like that they're easing at the exact same speed, one click. I can personally tell you that this feature alone has saved me literally days of work since I purchased it. It is single-handedly the most beneficial efficiency booster I've ever seen inside of After Effects. That's not even everything that the sliders can do. Each one of the sliders has a different function if you slide it all the way to the left while having a keyframe selected. If I select this set of keyframes and move this slider all the way to the left, it converts the keyframes to auto bezier. If you move the middle slider all the way to the left, it converts it back to linear, and if you move the third slider all the way to the left, it converts the keyframes to hold keyframes. Also, if you noticed, you can select multiple keyframes from multiple layers on multiple properties, and it will affect all of them simultaneously. It doesn't matter what kind of property or what kind of keyframe, whatever you have selected will be affected by the sliders. Also, let's say that you've been working on a project where most of your easing is consistent, let's say easing in and out is set to about 50 percent. Then let's say that one of your keyframes might have gotten messed up. Well, if your slider is already set to 50 percent, all you have to do to reapply it is click on the slider handle. Now let's take a look at some practical application of the speed sliders. On my hot chocolate animation, I have these three marshmallows appearing and then falling into the cup. Right now, keyframes are linear so the animation is ugly. But all I have to do to make this a little bit nicer is select the first keyframes of each layer, then grab the slider and try something around 70. Now the marshmallows kind of hang in the air before they ease into falling straight into the cup. Super quick and easy. I eased three layers at the same time using one click. I've said it many times, but the speed sliders are worth the price on their own and they are only one of a huge list of features that Motion2 offers. 5. Excite: The next feature I want to talk about is also going to be applied to the marshmallows, and that feature is Excite. What Excite does is adds an overshoot to any animation you make automatically using expressions. What makes Excite unique from other presets and plug-ins they try to simulate an overshoot, is that it will give you controls that allow you to quickly and easily customize the way that your overshoot looks. So let's take a look at what this does. I've already got my animation of the marshmallows dropping into the cup, well, let's say we want it to look like they dropped into the liquid and bounce a little bit. Well, we would do that through an overshoot. All I have to do to apply Excite is either have the position or one of the keyframes selected for the property that I want to apply it to, then I will click on Excite. You see already it automatically added an overshoot to my position, bouncing after that second keyframe. I could go ahead and select my other two keyframes at the same time, click on Excite, overshoots are applied to both of them, preview and maybe that's great. That could be the exact animation you were trying to go after but if it's not, you can adjust it. So if I click on my "Layer" and go to the Effects controls, you see that I have three slider controls. They're all labeled for the property that I applied Excite to, and now we have three separate controls for that property. The first is Overshoot, the second is Bounce, and the third is Friction. If I select my keyframe, go into the Graph Editor and zoom in a little bit, you can see that between these two keyframes we're seeing a graph that represents the speed of the marshmallow dropping, but there's no graph showing up for after those first two keyframes when the marshmallow is bouncing. But if we total down this little arrow on the position, we'll see expression properties, and if we click on this icon right here, it will show the result of the expression in our graph. Now you can see an exact visual of what's happening as a result of Excite being applied. Now, let's adjust some of the controls. Let's say I want the overshoot to be not quite as much. I'll drop it down to 10, and you can see that the graph updated. If I just click and drag this, you can see how it's affecting our speed graph. Having a higher value will have a more dramatic overshoot, so if we set this back down to 10 and preview, now the marshmallow doesn't bounce as much. That's pretty good. Let's take a look at the next value. Bounce will control how quick your overshoot is, so if I bump this up from 25 to 50, you can see that now there are more bounces in my animation. Turn it back down to 25, you see there's one down, one up. I turn it up to 50, we've got down, up, down, up. Now, let's see what that looks like, so you get more bouncing, makes sense. That brings us to our third slider, which is Friction. Friction controls how long your overshoot lasts, so if I was to bump this up to 80, you can see that our overshoot now decays much quicker. That's a pretty solid overshoot right there, and it was achieved with two keyframes. If you've taken my Animating With Ease class, you know just how much work it is to do a single overshoot. Now as an animator, overtime you will get faster at doing those things by hand, but once you learn how to make an overshoot well, being able to just click on a button and adjust them sliders to get the same effect is extremely handy in speeding up your workflow. If I turn on my other two marshmallows, I'll apply the same values to the other two overshoots, so we've got 10, 50 and 80, go to my second one; 10, 50, 80, 10, 50, 80. Now, if I play this back, I've got three marshmallows appearing, easing into a fall, two keyframes for each animation, automatic overshoot added using Excite. It's that easy. Again, this can be applied to any property, if we come back to this ball animation, I've got the position and scale animating two keyframes for each value. If I select a keyframe from each property and press Excite, that will automatically add an overshoot to each property. If I go to my effect controls, this is where the labeling comes in handy. You'll see that I now have a Scale Overshoot and a Position Overshoot, that way you can adjust both properties independently. You see that I have an overshoot now on both my position and my scale, I could grab these first two keyframes, give it a little bit of an ease out, and now we have a perfectly decent-looking overshoot. I could increase my Positions Overshoot, increase the Bounces, and increase the Friction and now we've got a completely different look. The Scale Overshoot and the Position Overshoot are totally different. I could adjust the values of these as well and get something that looks completely different. May I remind you that all of this is being achieved with just four keyframes. After Excite has been applied, you can go back and adjust your animation and the overshoot will automatically update. So if I were to move the position of these first keyframes, so now it's at an angle, the overshoot goes in the direction of the motion. If I were to adjust the motion path, you see that it matches the angle of the motion. One last thing that's worth talking about with Excite is that you've probably noticed on every instance that I've applied Excite to, the first keyframes have not been linear. If I get rid of my scale animation and I go back to having just a linear straight line animation of the ball's position and convert the keyframes back to linear as well, this still produces an overshoot, but we can add much more dynamic movement to the overshoot if we ease the first keyframe and leave the second keyframe as linear. So let's switch over to the Graph Editor and make sure that the expression calculation is being shown. Our linear. keyframes are producing a straight velocity motion. So it's traveling at a constant speed until the second keyframe, then Excite is producing an overshoot but you'll notice that the speed jumps up really high and the velocity of the first two bounces is actually greater than the initial velocity between the two keyframes. To make this more dynamic, let's ease the first keyframe. Now, the incoming velocity of this first keyframe is matched by the overshoot produced by Excite. The overshoot is much more dynamic and accurate. So when you're using Excite, the initial keyframe of every motion can be eased to produce a better resulting overshoot. The second keyframe of every motion should stay linear and that's what tells Excite to trigger the overshoot based on the velocity of the initial keyframe. If we were to go further in time to where overshoot is finished, we could add a second animation and excite will add a second overshoot. Remember to ease the first keyframe, take a look at our graph editor. Now we've got a second overshoot that matches the velocity of the incoming keyframe and we could even turn up the easing even more to produce a more dramatic overshoot, and let's see what that looks like. We've got our original overshoot and our second overshoot. So for every pair of keyframes that are producing animation, the first keyframe can be eased, and the second keyframe should be linear. If you wanted a motion to happen between the two overshoots, all you have to do to disable the overshoot is apply easing to both keyframes. So if I move this set of keyframes further out and we look at the Graph Editor to see when this first overshoot finishes, then I can set a keyframe here, move forward, set another keyframe, then I'll grab all three of these keyframes to preserve this animation, change the position of the ball while preserving that motion path of the second animation, take these two key frames and ease them, and if we look at the graph editor again, now we can see that our first animation has the overshoot, our second animation is just eased With no overshoot, then I can bring this pair of key frames backwards so that our second overshoot happens sooner. If I preview that animation, we have our first overshoot, no overshoot and then our second overshoot. This is really an amazing feature. 6. Jump: The next feature I want to cover is very similar to excite, but this time instead of producing an overshoot, it produces a bounce. So if we take a look at my popsicle animation, the three layers drop, one on top of each other. But I want each one of them to bounce. So to do this, I'll start with the blue, turn off the white and red layers, and apply jump. Similarly to excite, we now have sliders controlling the jump. You can see that at its default, it sends the blue straight back up the way that it came. If I turn the gravity up, you can see that now it doesn't bounce quite as high. If we take a look at what's happening in the graph editor, the outgoing speed matches the incoming speed and then is reduced on each bounce. Turning up the gravity increases the decay of the bounces, and turning the max jumps down to say three, decreases the total number of bounces. If you're used to seeing bounces using the value graph, I'll switch over to that so you can see what's going on. We have a steady changing value that is then oscillate it into a symmetrical balance. For this animation, I'm going to turn the max number of jumps down to two. So I just get two bounces after that initial hit, and then we'll take a look at the stretch value. What this will basically do is increase or decrease the speed of your bouncing. So if I wanted to bounces to take much less time, I set this down to something like 15. Now you've just got a tiny little bounce. Maybe that's great. I want the bounce to be a little bit higher. So I'm going to change the gravity from a 100 to 50, and that's exactly the bounce that I was looking for. So I'll go back out into my timeline. Apply jump to both the other position properties, and then just copy over these values again. So we've got 15, 50, and 2. So go 15, 50, 2 15, 50, 2. Turn those back on and now they all bounce very quick, completely customizable. 7. Trash: If I come back into my Demo Comp, I just want to show you really quickly that let's say we don't want the overshoot anymore. Well, all you have to do is select the property or properties that have the overshoot applied, and click on this little icon right here, a trash can, that will automatically delete the expressions in the Effect Control sliders that were controlling the overshoot. So we're back to having normal keyframes. 8. Null: For the next feature, we're going to use this sample animation. Let's say that I have these two objects animating and I'm happy with the way that they are moving in relationship to each other, but I don't like how they're down into the left instead of being centered in the comp. Well, if I've already animated these two objects, my normal workflow would be to create a null object by going to Layer, New, Null Object. Parenting these two objects to that null and then repositioning it until it's about center, I can turn on my guides to help. So that's pretty good. Well, like almost every other feature, Matt from Mt. Mograph has managed to take that process and cut it down to a single click of a button. So if I undo back toward my objects are often down to the left. With both of them selected, I'll click on this button called Null. That automatically generates a null centered between the two objects and parents the two selected objects to the null. Now I can grab the null and reposition the two objects while preserving the motion path. I can even come into my Align palette and align that null to the center of the composition, and because the null object is centered between the two shapes, I now know that those two shapes are centered around my composition. I use this feature of motion constantly. If we come back to my strawberry animation, you can see that I have multiple layers with position animation happening. Each one of these layers is parented to the layer below it in a chain. So we've got the shading attached to the tip, the tip attached to the mid, mid to the base, base to the strawberry. The strawberry is really the master layer, wherever this goes everything else follows it. But because that layer also has a position animation, I can't just click and drag it without affecting the motion path. But let's say I'm not happy with the positioning of the whipped cream. Well, these two layers have position animation, so if I were to reposition them, it would add keyframes that I'm not wanting. So I'll undo to get back to where I was. Because I already have my parent chain set up, all I have to do is select the highest level in the parent chain, which is the base of the whipped cream and then click on the "Null" button and that will create a null centered on the anchor point of the base layer, and parent the base layer to it. Now I can move that around while preserving my animation. If I parent the Null Control to the strawberry, it still moves with the animation of the strawberry. So my parent chain is preserved. Then I can reposition the null so that the whipped cream is further down on the strawberry and my animation is preserved. The Null Control isn't limited to just being a reposition tool, you can also use it as a second layer of animation. So I could set keyframes for the rotation and the position. Add an Excite. Adjust my controls, reposition the layer. Now I've got a secondary layer of animation using that Null Control. It's subtle, but when done well, subtle animations are what make your motion look better. 9. Anchor Point Tool: I've got a spinning box with an overshoot on the rotation value. By default, the anchor point is set to the center of my box. The rotation is happening around that anchor point. Now, let's say I wanted to change the anchor point from the center down to the left. Well, normally, I would switch to the Pan-Behind Tool and then click and drag my anchor point until it's right about at the corner. Preview. That's pretty good. But you can tell that that's not exactly on the corner. It's not very precise. If I undo that, we're going to open up another part of Motion. If you click on this button right over here on the right, it will make our speed slider smaller and open up a bunch of buttons. These buttons will control where your anchor point is, based on your layers bounding box. Let's say that I want the anchor point to be in the bottom-left corner. Well, I'll click on this bottom-left button, and instantly, our anchor points snaps to the bottom left. Now, the rotation happens exactly on that bottom left corner. That's great. Let's say I wanted it to be at the top middle. I'll just click on this button. Now, it rotates around that point. You can snap the anchor point to any one of these locations very easily. If you click on the button in the middle, it'll snap the anchor point back to where it originally started. But now, let's take a look at a scenario that's a little bit more complicated. This strawberry already has animation applied on the position and rotation values, and it has excite applied to both of them as well, so it has the overshoot. If I wanted to change the anchor point location at this point, I couldn't use the Pan-Behind Tool because I already have position animation. This will add another key frame and then mess up the animation that I already had. I'd have to get rid of these key frames, move my anchor point, and then reanimate my position value. But with Motion2's anchor point repositioned, it actually preserves the animation of your key frames while adjusting location of your anchor point. If I zoom in here a little bit, you can see the motion path of my position animation tied to the anchor point with this layer selected. If I click on the top middle, you see that the motion path moved with it. The layer didn't move. Now, if I preview that animation, the rotation is happening off of that anchor point at the top now. If I put it down at the bottom, again, anchor point snaps on the bottom, motion path is preserved, and other rotation animation is happening off of the bottom. This is a very simple example of a preserving a motion path. If I were to take off the overshoot and then add a handful of key frames all over the place, and then ease all of my key frames using the sliders. Then I'll take off the overshoot of the rotation, had some rotation key frames as well. Ease those, and then I'll just smooth out my motion path a little bit. Preview that. We've got a really crazy animation going on. But that's not the important thing. The important thing to note is that I can adjust the anchor point of the strawberry while preserving this motion path. If I wanted to change the anchor point from the bottom middle to, say, the top-right corner, you can see that the motion path moves with it, and now the rotation is happening off of that anchor point. This is another one of those features that I can't believe how useful it is. By the time I realized that I need to change the anchor point in my animation, I'm usually too far into it to be able to preserve what I've already done. I would have to get rid of the position animation, adjust the anchor point, and then reanimate it. This allows me to preserve my animation while still changing the anchor point. Super helpful. To top it all off, you can reposition multiple anchor points at the same time. Here, I have five boxes, all with anchor points in different places. If I click on any one of the anchor point positions, each one of my layer's anchor points is now on the bottom left. Anywhere that I click, it's applied to every layer. 10. Burst: We're going to use the Pi as an example for the next feature, which is called burst. Burst is for adding a secondary layer of animation to your primary motion. I want to use burst as a secondary animation to my Pi slice rising up out of the pen. To use burst, we'll just click on the button. That will automatically generate a shape layer that has the burst accent already built and gives us a whole bunch of controls that allow us to completely customize the look. Let's go through the controls. First of all, we have a global position, and this is how you move around the burst. You can adjust the position values or you can click this button and then select right where you want the center of the burst to be. This is where I want the burst to originate from. Next we have number of copies, and this controls how many lines are in our burst. You can turn it up really high, or keep it pretty simple. I'm going to leave mine at four. Next is copies revolution. If I hide my overlays and adjust this value, you can see what it's doing. It's proportionally spacing out the accent marks from the original. I'm definitely going to need this because I want my accent to only come off of the corner of the Pi and not around the entire thing. Next we have revolution offset, which is just a way to randomize the burst if you wanted a more asymmetrical fill. I want mine to stay symmetrical, so I'll leave that at zero. Then we have burst offset, which is another randomizer, but instead of adjusting the spacing of the lines between each other, it's adjusting the space between the lines and the anchor point. I'll leave that at zero and then we have distance from center. This is what we're going to use to animate the burst. Next we have a checkbox that allows us to link the width and height of each accent mark together. If I enable that, you'll see that they are now symmetrical. The next slider is the burst width. If I increase this, you see that they also increase. Because we link the width and the height, they're exactly the same. If I uncheck this, I can adjust these independently. So naturally, the width will let us control the width of each line, and the height will allow us to control the length. We'll eventually be animating the burst height. Going down on the list, we then have our stroke width. Since we have a stroke on top of our lines right now, we can control how thick that is. Then we have the ability to turn the fill on or off, which will leave it just for the stroke, turn that back on, then we can change the fill color. I'll go ahead and do that now, I want to make it the same as this highlight color, and then I have the ability to turn the stroke on and off. So I'll turn that off because I don't need a stroke, and then we have the ability to change the stroke color if you were to use one, and then we have our burst roundness control. Right now we have round caps on the ends of each of our burst lines. If I was to turn this down to zero, you can see that now they're flat. If I was just to turn it up a little bit, they'd be rounded rectangles. I want mine to be completely round, so I'll just turn that back up. Next we have link sequential width and height, and by default that's automatically enabled. If I go to the sequential width and turn it up, you can see that this is cascading a scale around the burst revolution. If I was to just scroll back up and turn the number of copies up further, you can see a little bit more of what this is doing. Playing around with all of these controls, you can come up with some pretty fun animations that are completely unique. If I were to come down and unlink the sequential width and height, then I can adjust the two properties independently. I'll leave that checked and send it back to zero, turn my copies back down to four, and now we've covered all the different controls. You should definitely play around with all the controls to see what you can come up with. For this particular instance, I'm going to keep it pretty simple. I know I'm going to want to animate the distance from the center, so I'll set a keyframe on that value, and I also know I'm going to animate the burst height, so I'll set a keyframe for that value. Then I'll come to my burst layer and press U to bring up the keyframes, and trim the layer by holding Option or Alt on a PC and pressing the left bracket, and then I will drag my burst layer down so that it's right on top of my Pi, and now I want to work on positioning. I'll change the revolution, and then I'll open up the rotation of my layer, and rotate it around so that it lines up with the corner of the Pi. Now, at the start of the burst animation, going to want it to be close to the Pi. So I'll turn the distance from center down and I'll turn the burst height down. That's about where I'd like it. Then I'll go forward a few frames, change the distance from center to be further out, turn out the burst height, go forward a few more frames, and then turn the burst height back down. Then I'll drag my distance from center keyframe out, so that it's constantly moving outwards. Then I'll trim the burst layer to that point and we can preview the animation. That's a perfectly decent accent, but we can take it a little bit further if we select the second keyframe on the burst height and then just give it an ease. Then I think the whole thing can happen a little bit faster. So I'll zoom in, select these keyframes and move them over one frame, select these two keyframes, move them over, I'll trim my layer down and preview that, and then I'll just move my layer back a few frames, so it lines up with the Pi a little bit nicer, then I'll bring the burst height down just a little bit. Then I'll also come into the burst width and make them a little bit skinnier, preview that, and I think you could actually have an even just a little bit more quickly. When you're working on something that happens this quickly, a single frame can make a huge difference. But I'm pretty happy with the way that looks. It's a nice little secondary action to the motion of the Pi slice, and it just makes for something a little bit more interesting to look at. 11. Name: For the next feature I'm going to show you the poor man's 3D text. This is just a quick and dirty way to make fake 3D text inside of After Effects. The typical method is to just duplicated text layer a bunch of times and then parent it to the main layer, so that's what I'm going to do. I'll make a Copy, Parent it, and then offset the position by maybe 10 pixels, duplicate again 20, 30, 40, 50. Now I have five duplicates on top of my main text that are all parented to that layer. I'll Move that layer to the top, and looking at the layer name so you can see that this can be a little confusing. After Effects automatically took the two in my Motion2 text, and incrementally renamed each layer. If I was working in a much larger project that had a whole bunch of layers this could be very confusing and slow me down. One solution that I used a lot was selecting all of the duplicates, and then changing the label color to something else like yellow. That way I knew that all of the yellow layers were duplicates. But there's a feature inside Motion2 that will make this much easier. If I Undo that label change with those layers selected I will come over to the button called Name and Click on it. This will bring up a dialogue that lets me type in a new name, so I'll call this 3D Duplicate. Then I have the option to add a separator before or after. In this case, I want to leave it for after, and then I can choose from this drop down what I want the separator to look like. I'm fine with just having a hyphen so I'll leave it that way, and then I'll click on Rename. Instantly, you'll see that all of my layers had been renamed, 3D duplicate - and then a sequence in numbers. Now we can quickly single out which layer is the master layer inside of all of these texts layers. If I wanted the order to be different all I have to do is reselect the layers. Whichever layer you select first will be the first layer in the sequence. If I start at the bottom hold Shift and then go to the top, and then hit Rename again, you see that the numbers just reversed. This is another one of those features that just crazy handy. Being able to stay organized like this inside of After Effects is so important if you want to work quickly and efficiently. 12. Clone: Next I want to talk to you about Clone. I have these four different shapes. Let's just animate the position values of them randomly. I'll set a position keyframe for all four, move forward, change the position of all the layers, move forward again, change the position, try to be a little bit random, go forward again, one more time, and then go forward. Now, I want to turn this animation into a loop. So I need each object to end where it started. So what I'd like to be able to do is select all of these keyframes, copy them, and then paste. But if I do that, After Effects freaks out and gives us four new shape layers, and instead of copying and pasting the keyframes, it actually just copied and pasted the layer itself. So I'm going to delete those layers. Now, for some reason, After Effects is unable to identify that you just want to select the key frames and not the layers themselves. So since I can't just copy and paste all four at once, I would have to do each one individually. Copy paste, copy paste, copy paste, and then I have my loop. But there's an easier way. This is where Clone comes into play. Instead of copying and pasting each keyframe by hand, I can select those keyframes, put my play-head where I want those keyframes to end up, and then click "Clone", and just like that, I now have these original keyframes right where my play head is, if I preview that, I have a seamless loop. Now it's not a very interesting loop, but it is a loop. If I were to grab all my keyframes, I could give a little bit of personality to the curves, change it up a little bit between these, and you can see how quickly and easily I'm able to adjust the way that my animation looks, just by moving these sliders. Now, let's say I wanted to offset them so they're not all moving at the exact same time. I'll select all these keyframes and move them forward 10 frames, then I'll select this set and move them forward 10 frames, and grab that and move it forward 10 frames, then I'll move my preview area to be there, and now, the animation is little bit more randomized. Now that all of these keyframes are offset in time, once you get to this point, the animation of this first layer stops, and then at this point this layer stops and so on. If I select all of these keyframes, and go to this point in time, and click on "Clone", you can see that that duplicated all of my layers keyframes. If I extend all these layers out, we can see that now we have a seamless loop. Now, let's say we want to get crazy and have a completely random animation. Well, I'll select these keyframes, go to this point in time and click "Clone", then I'll maybe select this group of keyframes right here, and come back to Clone, maybe grab all of this, move it forward, Clone, and then finally grab these, Clone here, grab all of this, move right here, hit Clone again. Suddenly, we have a completely random, totally crazy, unique animation. Now, I'm not saying this is something I'd want to post a dribble, but it's pretty crazy how quickly I was able to generate this many key frames, in such a crazy random pattern, using multiple layers on multiple properties. I use Clone all the time because of that. 13. Rope: All right. Come back to my seamless loop animation to show you one last feature of motion, and that's Rope. What Rope will do is connect any two objects with a line. So if I were to select my star layer and my triangle, and click on Rope, a layer is generated and it's automatically put to the bottom of your comp. But if I bring it up to above my background layer, you can see that now we have a line that's going between our star and our triangle. If I preview the animation, you can see the line stays between those two objects. That is a very useful feature, and it also works in 3D space. If I enable 3D on all of my layers, and then I push the triangle layer back in Z space, you can see that the line is still connected to the star. If I add a camera and orbit around, you can see that not only is the line being preserved between the two objects in 3D space, but it is maintaining its thickness. That is a key feature that makes Rope incredibly helpful. I've tried a handful with different ways of connecting layers with lines before, and this is the only one I've used that will maintain the thickness of your line. You don't always need that, but there are definitely cases I've run into where line consistency is extremely important. I'm going to undo a few steps back to where we were just using 2D layers. Then I want to look at the Rope layer itself. If I go to the Effects Controls, you see that we have options. If you're familiar with the beam effect, that's what Rope is using to generate the line. So you have controls like the starting and ending thickness, if you want to simulate something like perspective or a little bit of a taper on a line. You also have the ability to control the softness of the line, as well as the inside and outside colors. This effect also allows you to control the length of a line. If I were to turn this down, you can see that our line extends from the center outwards. So that's one way you could animate the line. Or if you wanted to animate the line from one object to another, you would use the time slider, and this will allow you to animate the line in that way. Now let's say I also want to connect the star to the circle. Well, I'll select those two, press "Rope", move that layer up. Now I have those two connected. Then I'll select my square and my circle, "Rope", bring it up. Then I'll make my box and my triangle connected. Preview that animation, and I've got these four objects connected by strings. It's a very cool effect and super quickly executed. Now this is a prime example for the name feature. All of the Rope layers are named the same thing. If I select all four layers and click on "Name", then I can type in Rope, hit "Rename", and now they're all sequenced. Another thing Rope automatically does when you generate it is shies the layer. So if I were to hit the "Shy" button, all the Rope layers would go away. So if you're happy with the way your lines look, you can just hit the "Shy" button and then you can just focus on the objects that are being connected by the lines. I'm going to bring them back and we'll look at one more feature. Let's say, instead of having everything connected to each other, I want everything to be connected to the star. Well, to do that, let's look at one of the Rope layers that isn't connected to the star. If we come up with the Effect Controls, you can see that we have a Rope-Start and Rope-End property. This allows you to select the two layers that the Rope is being generated between. Right now the start is the box layer and the end is the triangle layer. Instead of the triangle, I want it to go to the star. Now that line is connected from the box to the star. I'll do the same thing for the circle. Then all I have to do is turn off my Rope layer 3, and all the objects are now connected to just the star. If I wanted to get more complicated, I can turn that one back on, connect the box to the triangle, connect the triangle to the circle, and now each object is connected to every other object. Again, let's keep this nice and tidy by selecting all of our layers, "Name", "Rope", "Rename", nice and organized. "Shy" layer, all I have to worry about now is the animation between these objects. 14. And So Much More!: That's everything I'm going to cover in this course. Those are definitely the features that I used more than any others. But that doesn't mean I don't use the other features. I have used everything inside of Motion2, and every single one of the features is incredible. Orbit, spin, and stare are all amazing for making complex animations, extremely simple and customizable. Warp is just awesome. You have to go check out what that does. Blend is a great feature for fine-tuning your motion, and those are just the main features. There's also some tasks in here for creating a vignette just like that, and I can customize it extremely quickly. There's also a puppet tool rigging feature, a color rigging feature, and a project organization feature. There's so many features you just have to go check it out for yourself. I use Motion2 every day for speeding up my workflow. So definitely go check it out at mtmograph.com. 15. Thanks!: Hopefully now you have a great understanding of just how beneficial this plugin can be to your workflow. Like I said, I use it every single day. I want to say a big thank you to Matt from Mt. Mograph for allowing me to make this course and for making such an amazing plugin. You should definitely go check out his website where he has a ton of great motion graphics tutorials. I want to thank you for taking my course. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the ask me anything thread in the discussion's page. If you want to learn more about animating and after effects, be sure to check out my other courses.