Toolbar

Motion’s Toolbar is located at the top of the main window. The default set of controls provides access to all of the tools you need for manipulating objects in the Canvas and elsewhere in the application. There are tools that create new text layers, shape layers, and masks. There are also icons to apply filters and behaviors, and to create particle systems and replicators. Finally, there are icons to show and hide the various windows and panes of the Motion interface such as the Timeline, HUD, and others.

Tool Groups

Tools are grouped in different ways. Several tools have multiple modes or options, such as Shape tools that can be set to Rectangle, Circle, or Line. The Circle and Line tools are hidden until you click the Shape tool and hold down the mouse button, invoking a pop-up list of additional tool states. Tools with additional states (subtools) are indicated with a tiny downward arrow in the lower-right corner of the tool.

Figure. Arrow indicating hidden tool states in the Toolbar.

Tools are also grouped into categories of use. The first set is called the View tools because they deal with changing the view and manipulation method in the Canvas. The second set is called Create tools, because they add new content to the project, such as text and shapes. The Mask set contains tools that add a mask to an existing layer or group.

Figure. Left side of Toolbar showing View, Create, and Mask tools.

On the top-right side of the Toolbar is a series of icons that adjust the Motion interface. These controls hide and show the various panes, tabs, and windows that comprise the Motion interface.

The following tables itemize each of the tools in the default tool set, by group. The first group is the View set. Once you have selected a tool and an object in the Canvas, you can switch between tools by pressing the Tab key. Press Shift-Tab to cycle through the tools in the reverse order.

View Tools

The View tools enable you to adjust and manipulate objects in the Canvas. The first button in this group activates eight subtools. Click this button and hold down the mouse button to see a pop-up list of all the subtools.

Button
Tool name
Keyboard shortcut
Description
Figure. Select/Transform tool.
Select/Transform tool (arrow)
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools. An object must be selected in order to tab through the tools.)
Select/Transform tool is the default. This tool selects and moves objects in the Canvas. You can scale objects by dragging their corner points or rotate an object by dragging its center point.
If you have another tool selected, such as a mask tool, pressing the S key selects the previous tool option selected in the Select/Transform tools. If you are using the Adjust 3D Transform tool, press Shift-S to choose the Select/Transform tool.
Figure. Adjust Anchor Point tool.
Adjust Anchor Point tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Changes the point around which an object scales or rotates. To use it, drag the current anchor point to a new position.
Figure. Adjust Shear tool.
Adjust Shear tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Distorts an object by moving two adjacent corners at the same time, leaving the other two corners locked into place.
Figure. Adjust Drop Shadow tool.
Adjust Drop Shadow tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Changes the direction and offset of an object’s drop shadow. This tool never moves the object itself.
Figure. Adjust Four Corner tool.
Adjust Four Corner tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Allows you to distort an object by moving one of the corner points, leaving the other three corners locked into place. The image is stretched and distorted to fit the shape you create.
Figure. Adjust Crop tool.
Adjust Crop tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Allows you to hide portions of an object by dragging the edge or corner of the object.
Figure. Adjust Control Points tool.
Adjust Control Points tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Allows you to modify points and Bezier handles for masks, shapes, and motion paths.
Figure. Adjust Glyph tool.
Adjust Glyph tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
Available when a text object is selected, allows you to modify the position and X, Y, or Z rotation for individual characters (glyphs) in a text object.
Figure. Adjust Item tool.
Adjust Item tool
S (Press Tab to cycle through tools.)
A contextual tool that allows you to modify special controls such as the center point of a Circle Blur, or the shape of a particle emitter or replicator, or the start and end points of a gradient.
Figure. Adjust 3D Transform tool.
Adjust 3D Transform tool
Q
Allows you to manipulate objects in 3D space using 3D transform and rotation manipulators. To return to 2D controls, click the Select/Transform tool. To display rotational controls in the Canvas, press the Command key.
Figure. Pan tool.
Pan tool
H
Allows you to drag your view of the Canvas in different directions. The Pan tool never moves individual objects. To reset the pan, double-click the Pan tool. To pan the Canvas without selecting the Pan tool, press the Space bar and drag in the Canvas.
Figure. Zoom tool.
Zoom tool
Z
Allows you to zoom in and out on the Canvas. Click the point in the Canvas that you want to zoom toward or away from and drag to the right to zoom in or drag left to zoom out. To reset the zoom, double-click the Zoom tool. To zoom into a specific area of the Canvas, press Command-Space bar (in that order) and drag an area of the Canvas. While still pressing the keys, click to zoom in to the Canvas in 50 percent increments of the current zoom level. Press Space bar-Command-Option (in that order) and click in the Canvas to zoom out in 50 percent increments.
Figure. Walk Camera tool.
Walk Camera tool
None
Allows you to navigate through your scene as if you are walking with the camera. Click the Walk Camera icon, then use the Up Arrow, Down Arrow, Right Arrow, and Left Arrow keys to navigate.

Create Tools

The Create tools generate new layers. You can modify the attributes for the newly created layers in the Inspector. The first button in each group activates any available subtools. Click this button and hold down the mouse button to see a pop-up list of all the subtools for that group.

Button
Tool name
Keyboard shortcut
Description
Figure. Rectangle tool.
Rectangle tool
R
Creates a new rectangle shape in the Canvas and adds a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the position where you want one corner to appear and drag to the position of the opposite corner. Pressing Shift while you drag constrains the layer to a square.
Figure. Circle tool.
Circle tool
C
Creates a new circle shape in the Canvas and adds a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the position where one edge of the circle should begin and drag toward the opposite edge. Pressing Shift while you drag constrains the shape to a circle.
Figure. Line tool.
Line tool
None
Creates a new line shape in the Canvas and adds a shape layer to the Layers tab. Click at the position where one end of the line should begin and drag toward the opposite end. Pressing the Shift key while you drag constrains the line to specific angles.
Figure. Bezier tool.
Bezier tool
B (Switches Bezier/B-Spline tool.)
Creates a new freeform shape with Bezier point vertices. To create a shape, click repeatedly in the Canvas to add points to your shape. To close the shape, click the first point of the shape or press the C key. To create an open-ended shape, double-click the last point.
Figure. B-Spline tool.
B-Spline tool
B (Switches Bezier/B-Spline tool.)
Creates a new freeform shape with B-Spline vertices. To create a shape, click repeatedly in the Canvas to add points to your shape. To close the shape, click the first point of the shape or press C. To create an open-ended shape, double-click the last point.
Figure. Paint Stroke tool.
Paint Stroke tool
P
Creates shape-based paint strokes. Click where you want to start the stroke, then drag to create the stroke. Command-drag to adjust the size of the brush stroke before you create the stroke.
Figure. Text tool.
Text tool
T
Creates new text and lets you edit the text of existing text layers. To create a text layer, click the tool in the Canvas at the position where you want the text to appear, then begin typing. Choose the Select/Transform tool (or press Esc) to grab or move the new text layer. To change the text of an existing text layer, select the Text tool, then click the text. The text becomes editable.

Mask Tools

The Mask tools can only be accessed when a layer (a visible object in the Canvas, such as an image or replicator) or 2D group is selected. Using a Mask tool creates a new mask that hides portions of the selected layer. By default, the area inside the mask remains visible. Masks have their own set of controls available in the Inspector. For more information about masks, see Using Shapes, Masks, and Paint Strokes.

The first button in each group activates any available subtools. Click this button and hold down the mouse button to see a pop-up list of all the subtools for that group.

Icon
Tool name
Keyboard shortcut
Description
Figure. Rectangle Mask tool.
Rectangle Mask tool
Option-R
Creates a new rectangular mask in the Canvas. Click at the position where you want one corner to appear and drag to the position of the opposite corner. Pressing the Shift key while you drag constrains the mask to a square.
Figure. Circle Mask tool.
Circle Mask tool
Option-C
Creates a new circular mask in the Canvas. Click at the position where one edge of the mask should begin and drag toward the opposite edge. Pressing the Shift key while dragging constrains the mask to a circle.
Figure. Freehand Mask tool.
Freehand Mask tool
None
Creates a freeform mask in the shape that you draw. Drag to create the freeform shape. The shape automatically closes the mask between the first and last points.
Figure. Bezier Mask tool.
Bezier Mask tool
Option-B (Switches Bezier/B-Spline Mask tools.)
Creates a new freeform mask with Bezier point vertices. To create a mask, click repeatedly in the Canvas to add points to your mask. To close the mask, click the first point of the mask or press C. To create an open-ended mask, double-click the last point.
Figure. B-Spline Mask tool.
B-Spline Mask tool
Option-B (Switches Bezier/B-Spline Mask tools.)
Creates a new freeform mask with B-Spline vertices. To create a mask, click repeatedly in the Canvas to add points to your mask. To close the mask, click the first point of the shape or press C. To create an open-ended shape, double-click the last point.

Camera and Effects Icons

The first icon on the right side of the Toolbar adds a new camera to a project. The next four icons make up the effects controls. These are special controls providing instant access to the most common effects. Because these controls apply effects to existing objects, they are not available unless an object is selected.

Icon
Icon name
Description
Figure. New Camera icon.
New Camera
Adds a new camera to the workspace. When you add a camera to a 2D project, a dialog appears asking if you want to convert your 2D groups to 3D groups. Although a camera can be added to a 2D project, the camera has no effect on a 2D group.
Figure. Add Behavior icon.
Add Behavior
Activates a pop-up menu of behaviors. Choosing an item from the menu applies that behavior to the selected object(s). Objects to which behaviors can be applied include layers (images, particle emitters, and so on), groups, cameras, and lights. Generally, a subset of the controls for the behavior appear in the HUD; all of the controls appear in the Inspector. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, onscreen controls (if any) become available for the behavior.
Figure. Add Filter icon.
Add Filter
Activates a pop-up menu of filters. Choosing an item from the menu applies that filter to the selected object. Filters can only be applied to layers (images, text, shapes, particle emitters, masks, replicators, generators, and so on). Filters cannot be applied to cameras or lights. Most of the controls for the filter appear in the HUD; all of the controls appear in the Inspector. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, onscreen controls (if any) become available for the filter.
Figure. Make Particles icon.
Make Particles
Uses the selected layer (shape, text, image, and so on) as the source for a particle cell. The originally selected layer is disabled. A subset of the controls for the particle system appear in the HUD; all of the controls appear in the Inspector. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, onscreen controls become available for the particle emitter (except when Point is selected from the emitter Shape pop-up menu).
Figure. Replicate icon.
Replicate
Uses the selected layer (shape, text, image, and so on) as a source cell for the replicator. The originally selected layer is disabled. A subset of the controls for the replicator appear in the HUD; all of the controls appear in the Inspector. When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the replicator onscreen controls become available.

Interface Icons

The interface icons on the far right of the Toolbar provide access to the main elements of the Motion interface. Click any of these icons to show or hide the corresponding window, tab, or pane.

Icon
Icon name
Keyboard shortcut
Description
Figure. HUD icon.
HUD
F7, D
F7 turns display of the HUD on and off. If the HUD is not displayed, press D. Once the HUD is displayed, pressing D cycles through the HUDs for the selected object.
Figure. File Browser icon.
File Browser
Command-1
Shows/hides the File Browser. Hides and shows the utility window if the File Browser is the only open tab.
Figure. Library icon.
Library
Command-2
Shows/hides the Library. Hides and shows the utility window if the Library is the only open tab.
Figure. Inspector icon.
Inspector
Command-3
Shows/hides the Inspector. Hides and shows the utility window if the Inspector is the only open tab.
Figure. Project Pane icon.
Project Pane
F5
Shows/hides the Project pane.
Figure. Timing Pane icon.
Timing Pane
F6
Shows/hides the Timing pane.

Customizing the Toolbar

You have many options for personalizing the Toolbar. You can change which controls appear on the Toolbar as well as the order in which they appear. You can put spaces and separators between the tools to group them to your liking. You can view all of the controls as icons, icons with a text description, or just as text.

To add controls to the Toolbar
  1. Do one of the following to display the Customize Toolbar dialog:

    • Choose View > Customize Toolbar.

    • Control-click the Toolbar, then choose Customize Toolbar from the shortcut menu.

  2. Drag the buttons or icons you want to add to the position of your choice in the Toolbar.

  3. Click the Done button to close the dialog.

To remove an item from the Toolbar
  • Control-click the button or icon you want to remove, then choose Remove Item from the shortcut menu.

    Note: You can also remove items from the Toolbar when the Customize Toolbar dialog is open by dragging the items away from the Toolbar and releasing the mouse button. A “poof” animation appears to indicate that the button has been removed.

Spaces and Separators

In addition to adding and arranging controls in the Toolbar, you can add spaces, flexible spaces, and separators to arrange and group the contents of your Toolbar.

Figure. Separator types in the Customize Toolbar dialog.
  • Separator: A separator adds a dotted vertical line between two controls. The separator has no function other than as an organizational tool. The default layout uses a separator between the effects icons and the interface icons.
  • Space: A space adds a single icon’s width of space between other controls.
  • Flexible Space: A flexible space distributes controls evenly across the Toolbar, taking up as much or as little space as needed to fill the empty parts of the bar. The default layout has a flexible space between the Mask tools and the Effects icons.

Additional Buttons and Icons

The Customize Toolbar dialog provides access to additional icons that are not present in the default set.

Button
Icon name
Description
Figure. Customize icon.
Customize
Opens the Customize Toolbar dialog.
Figure. Colors icon.
Colors
Opens the Colors window.
Figure. Fonts icon.
Fonts
Opens the Mac OS X Font panel. You can also browse fonts within the Motion Library. For more information, see Using the Library Font Preview.
Figure. New Generator icon.
New Generator
Opens a menu from which you can select any generator and add it to the project.
Figure. New Light icon.
New Light
Adds a new light to the project, visible in the 3D workspace.
Figure. Layers icon.
Layers
Shows or hides the Layers tab in the Project pane.
Figure. Media icon.
Media
Shows or hides the Media tab in the Project pane.
Figure. Audio icon.
Audio
Shows or hides the Audio tab in the Project pane.
Figure. Timeline icon.
Timeline
Shows or hides the Timeline in the Timing pane.
Figure. Keyframe Editor icon.
Keyframe Editor
Shows or hides the Keyframe Editor in the Timing pane.
Figure. Audio Editor icon.
Audio Editor
Shows or hides the Audio Editor in the Timing pane.
Figure. Template Browser icon.
Template Browser
Opens the Template Browser. For more information on using the Template Browser, see Creating New Projects from Templates.
Figure. External Video On icon.
External Video On
When you have an additional monitor connected to your system, clicking this icon automatically sends output to the external monitor. Clicking it again turns off output to the additional monitor. Without using this icon, you must choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma) and change the Output settings.
Figure. External Video Off icon.
External Video Off
When you have an additional monitor connected to your system, clicking this icon turns off output to the additional monitor. Without using this icon, you must choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma) and change the Output settings.

Changing the Icon View

The Toolbar controls can be viewed as icons, text, or both. By default, both names and icons are displayed. Once you get familiar with the icons, you can choose to hide the names to save desktop space. Alternately, go with just the names to save the most space.

To change the view in the Toolbar
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the Toolbar, then choose an option from the shortcut menu.

  • Choose an option from the Show pop-up menu in the lower-left corner of the Customize Toolbar dialog.

Figure. Icon & Text display mode in the Toolbar.
Figure. Icon Only display mode in the Toolbar.
Figure. Text Only display mode in the Toolbar.

Hiding the Toolbar

Once you get familiar with the common controls and the keyboard shortcuts, you may want to hide the Toolbar altogether to simplify the interface and provide more room for the Canvas.

To hide the Toolbar
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Toolbar button in the upper-right corner of the main window.

  • Choose View > Hide Toolbar.

  • Press Command-Option-T.

Figure. Toolbar button in the Toolbar.

If the Toolbar is currently hidden, these same controls all show the Toolbar instead of hiding it.