Animating Behaviors

In addition to animating filter parameters, you can also animate behaviors. Animating behaviors might appear complicated at first because most of the behaviors are already changing, but combining these features is a powerful way to greatly enhance behaviors’ usefulness. For example, you might want to animate a Random Motion behavior to begin as a subtle random motion and then become increasingly severe as the effect progresses. Or you might want to apply a Gravity behavior, but you don’t want the object to start falling toward the ground until five seconds into the clip. Keyframes allow you to manipulate the specific parameters of each behavior.

Note: In Motion, you can bake all the behaviors that have been applied to an object into keyframes using the Convert to Keyframes command in the Object menu. For more information, see Converting Behaviors to Keyframes.

To animate a behavior
  1. Select an object in the Canvas.

  2. Apply a behavior.

  3. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.

  4. Place the playhead at the frame where you want the effect to begin changing.

  5. Using the HUD, adjust the behavior’s settings.

  6. Move the playhead to a new time position.

  7. Adjust the behavior settings again.

  8. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn off keyframe recording.

Animating Using the Inspector

Although you can animate many attributes using the HUD, many other parameters are only accessible in the Inspector. All of the Inspector’s tabs contain keyframeable parameters. In this way, you can animate the position and shape of a mask, the color and styles of a text object, or the various options within the generators. The parameters that are keyframeable depend on which object is selected and which effects have been applied to that object.

You can animate parameters in the Inspector using the Record button and the mini-Timeline playhead just as you would animate parameters in the Canvas or HUD.

To animate parameters in the Inspector
  1. Select the object you want to keyframe in the Canvas.

  2. Click the Record button (or press A) to turn on keyframe recording.

  3. Place the playhead on the frame where you want the effect to begin.

  4. Display the Inspector by clicking the tab or rearranging the screen layout to one that includes the Inspector.

    For more information on layouts, see Preset Layouts.

  5. Click the Inspector tab where the parameter you want to modify is located (filters in this example).

    Figure. Filters tab showing settings at starting point.
  6. Set the parameter to the beginning value.

  7. Move the playhead to a new position.

  8. In the Inspector, change the parameter to a new value.

  9. Click the Record button (or press A) again to disable record.

    The parameter now changes over time.

Combining Behaviors and Keyframes

Because it is possible to add keyframes to an object that may already have a behavior (or many behaviors) applied, it is possible that these two methods could conflict. For example, you might apply a Throw behavior toward the upper left, and at the same time add keyframes that instruct the object to move to the right. Now what?

Figure. Canvas window showing difference between a behavior motion path and a keyframe animation path.

The way Motion handles this sort of conflict is that the instructions are added together, giving you a combination of the two sets of instructions. In the above example, the object would move toward the upper left, but it won’t get as far, because the keyframes are pushing it in an opposing direction.

Figure. Canvas window showing an animation path affected by both keyframes and behavior.

The larger the Throw velocity rate, the more it overpowers the keyframes, and vice versa.

Once you get the hang of how it works, you can use this method to enhance and control the effects of behaviors. For example, you could apply a Gravity behavior which causes an object to fall toward the bottom of the frame, but keyframe the object’s position to move across the screen from left to right. In this way, you can create the effect of the object falling as it moves. Or you might apply a Fade In/Fade Out behavior, but use keyframes on the object’s Opacity parameter to limit the maximum opacity to 80%. The clip would still fade in and out and you could continue to modify the behavior’s attributes, but the object would never exceed the opacity value set by the keyframes.

One method for handling behaviors and keyframes is to convert behaviors to keyframes. For more information on converting behaviors to keyframes, see Converting Behaviors to Keyframes.