Applying and Removing Behaviors

Behaviors are applied directly to objects in one of the following ways:

Behaviors are removed by selecting the behavior in the Canvas, Layers tab, Timeline, or Inspector and pressing Delete. For detailed information about applying and removing behaviors, see Applying Behaviors and Removing Behaviors.

Where Behaviors Appear

When you apply a behavior to an object, it appears nested underneath that object in the Layers tab and in the Timeline.

Figure. Layers tab showing behaviors applied to an object.

New behaviors you apply to an object appear above other behaviors that were applied previously.

Parameter controls that let you adjust the attributes of a behavior appear in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

Figure. Inspector showing Behaviors tab.

A Behaviors icon also appears to the right of the object name in the Layers tab and Timeline. Clicking this icon enables and disables all behaviors that have been applied to that object.

Figure. Behaviors icon in the Layers tab.

Note: Behaviors can be hidden from view in the Layers tab using the Show/Hide Behaviors button in the lower-right corner of the Layers tab. For more information, see Hiding and Showing Effects.

When any behavior is applied to an object in your project, a Behaviors icon (a gear) appears in the Animation menu to the right of the affected parameter in the Properties, Behaviors, or Filters tab where it’s applied. This icon shows you that a behavior is influencing that parameter.

Figure. Behaviors icon in the Animation menu for a parameter.

Animation Paths

When certain behaviors are applied to an object, an animation path appears and displays the projected path of the object over time. Consider this path a “preview” of the animation created by the behavior. Unlike animation paths created using keyframes or the path created by the Motion Path behavior, animation paths for behaviors cannot be edited. To show or hide all types of paths, use the View pop-up menu above the Canvas.

Behavior Effects in the Keyframe Editor

If you open the Keyframe Editor and look at a parameter that is affected by one or more behaviors, you see a noneditable curve that represents the behavior’s effect on that parameter. The noneditable curve appears in addition to that parameter’s editable curve, which can be used to keyframe that parameter.

Figure. Keyframe Editor showing editable and noneditable curves.

Note: Use the Show pop-up menu in the Keyframe Editor to select which parameters are displayed and to create curve sets. For more information on curve sets, see Custom Parameter Sets.

For more information on combining behaviors and keyframes, see Combining Behaviors with Keyframes.

Applying Behaviors

You can apply behaviors directly to objects in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline. Some behaviors automatically animate specific parameters of the layer to which they’re applied. For example, the Throw behavior affects only an object’s Position parameter, and the Grow/Shrink behavior affects only an object’s Scale parameter. Other behaviors animate the parameters of layers that surround the layer to which the behavior is applied. For example, the Attractor behavior causes other layers to move toward the affected layer by animating their Position parameter.

Important: Text, Particles, Replicator, Audio, Shape, and Camera behaviors should only be applied to their namesake objects. The Grow/Shrink and Fade In/Fade Out behaviors cannot be applied to cameras and lights.

With the exception of the Custom behavior, Parameter behaviors can also be applied to a parameter of an object (such as position) in addition to the object itself. For more information, see Applying Parameter Behaviors.

Note: The Create Layers At preference (in the Project pane of Motion Preferences), which allows you to specify whether layers are created at frame 1, or at the current playhead position, applies only to layers that are created or imported, such as text, shapes, or a QuickTime movie file.

You can also apply behaviors directly to groups in the Layers tab or Timeline. Depending on the applied behavior, all objects nested within that group are either affected as if they were a single object or as individual elements. You can often change this result by adjusting the Affect or Affect Subobjects parameter in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

Tip: If you do not see the expected result when applying behaviors to objects, try turning the Affect Subobjects parameter on or off or choosing a different option from the Affect pop-up menu. These parameters determine whether the entire group or its components (such as the child objects nested within that group) are affected by the behavior and how an object interacts with surrounding objects, respectively. The Affect Subobjects checkbox only appears in the Inspector when the Throw and Spin behaviors, or the Simulation behaviors, are applied to a group or object that contains multiple objects, such as a particle emitter or text.

To apply a behavior to an object
Do one of the following:
  • Drag a behavior from the Library to an appropriate object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.

    To apply a behavior to an object in the Timeline, drag the behavior to the object in the Timeline layers list or the Timeline track area.

    Note: It is usually easier to drag a behavior to a camera or light in the Layers tab or Timeline than directly to the object in the Canvas.

    An advantage to applying behaviors from the Library is the ability to preview the animation created by the behavior in the Library Preview area.

  • Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then select a behavior from the Library stack and click Apply in the Preview area.

    Figure. Apply button in the Library Preview area.
  • Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then click the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar and choose the behavior you want from the pop-up menu.

    Figure. Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar.
To apply a behavior to multiple objects
  1. Select all of the objects to which you want to apply the behavior.

    In the Layers tab, Canvas, or Timeline, Shift-click to select a contiguous set of objects, or Command-click to select individual, noncontiguous objects.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Toolbar, click the Add Behavior icon, then choose a behavior from one of the submenus.

    • Select a behavior in the Library, then click Apply in the Preview area.

  3. Play the project to see the animated effect in action.

Important: Not all behaviors automatically create motion on an object. Some behaviors, such as Throw, require you to set the throw velocity (in the HUD or in the Inspector) before the object is “thrown.” Other behaviors, such as Orbit Around, require a source object to act as the central object for other objects to move around.

When a behavior is applied to an object, the object parameters affected by that behavior are automatically animated based on the behavior’s default settings. For example, if you apply the Gravity behavior to an object in the Canvas, that object’s position is animated and it moves down, according to the Gravity behavior’s default setting.

Default Behavior Duration

In most cases, a behavior’s duration is the Timeline duration of the object to which it is applied. For example, if you apply a Spin behavior to an object that begins at frame 20 and ends at frame 300, the Spin behavior’s duration is also frame 20 to frame 300. For information on trimming the duration of a behavior, see Trimming Behaviors.

Removing Behaviors

Because behaviors don’t add keyframes, removing a behavior instantly eliminates its animated effect. All types of behaviors are removed in the same way.

To remove a behavior from an object
  1. Select a behavior in the Layers tab, Timeline, Behaviors tab, or pop-up menu in the title bar of the HUD.

    Figure. Behaviors tab showing a selected behavior.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Delete.

    • Control-click the behavior in the Layers tab or Timeline, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

    • Press Delete.

Applying Parameter Behaviors

Parameter behaviors function differently than other behaviors. All behaviors affect specific parameters of an object—when a Spin behavior is applied to an image, the Rotation parameter for that image is automatically affected; when a Fade In/Fade Out behavior is applied to a clip, the Opacity parameter for that clip is automatically affected, and so on. Parameter behaviors are applied to individual parameters of an object, camera, filter, behavior, and so on, rather than to the object itself.

This includes the parameters of filters, emitters and cells in particle systems, shapes, text, and so on. You can also apply Parameter behaviors to the parameters of other behaviors that have been applied to an object.

In a simple comparison, a Throw behavior is applied to a text layer and the text travels across the Canvas. The Throw behavior affects the Position parameter of the text layer. If an Oscillate Parameter behavior is applied directly to the Position parameter of a shape, that shape moves back and forth across the Canvas.

A Parameter behavior’s effect on an object depends on the parameter to which it is applied. For example, if you apply the Randomize parameter behavior to a particle emitter’s Position parameter, the emitter drifts around the screen when the project plays. Applying the Randomize parameter behavior to a shape’s Scale parameter makes the shape randomly grow and shrink.

Important: Although you can apply a Parameter behavior to an object using Library behavior or the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar, the applied behavior will not affect the object until you select a parameter to which you want to apply the Parameter behavior. A more direct way to apply a Parameter behavior is by using the shortcut menu in the Inspector.

To apply a Parameter behavior to a specific parameter of an object
  1. Select the object to which you want to apply the Parameter behavior.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Control-click a parameter in the Inspector, then choose a Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu.

      Figure. Inspector showing shortcut menu listing Parameter behaviors.
    • Control-click a parameter in the HUD, then choose a Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu.

      Figure. HUD showing shortcut menu listing parameter behaviors.
    • Control-click a parameter in the Keyframe Editor, then choose a Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu.

      Once a Parameter behavior is applied to a parameter, the Inspector automatically opens to the Behaviors tab.

      Note: Use the Show pop-up menu to choose the parameters you want displayed in the Keyframe Editor. For more information, see Filtering the Parameter List.

To apply a Parameter behavior to an object
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Drag a Parameter behavior from the Library to an appropriate object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.

      Note: It is usually easier to drag a behavior to a camera or light in the Layers tab or Timeline than directly to the object in the Canvas.

    • Select an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline, then click the Add Behavior icon in the Toolbar and choose an item from the Parameter submenu.

    The behavior is applied to the object, but no parameter is assigned to the behavior.

  2. To assign a specific parameter to the Parameter behavior, do one of the following:

    • Select the Parameter behavior, then choose a parameter from the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu in the HUD.

      Figure. HUD showing Apply To (Go) pop-up menu listing all parameters available for the selected object.
    • Select the Parameter behavior, then choose a Parameter behavior from the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    Once assigned, the parameter to which the behavior is applied appears in the Apply To text field.

Note: If you save a Parameter behavior as a favorite, its parameter assignment is saved along with the rest of that behavior’s settings. As a result, it can be applied like any other behavior and that new object’s parameter is automatically affected.

Where Parameter Behaviors Appear

Like other behaviors, Parameter behaviors appear nested underneath the objects to which they’re applied in the Layers tab and the Timeline, along with any other behaviors that have been applied to that object.

Note: Although a Parameter behaviors appear nested under objects in the Layers tab, keep in mind that each Parameter behavior is applied to a single parameter of an object, and not the object itself.

Notice that the Parameter behavior icon includes an image similar to a funnel. The funnel represents the “channeling” of individual parameters.

Figure. Layers tab and Timeline layers list showing a parameter behavior applied to an object.

Opening a parameter’s Animation menu in the Inspector displays the names of all the behaviors currently applied to that parameter. Choosing one automatically opens that item’s Behaviors tab.

Figure. Filters tab showing the Animation menu listing the two parameter behaviors applied to one of the filter parameters.

Like all other behaviors, when a Parameter behavior is applied to an object in your project, a Behaviors icon appears in the Animation menu of the affected parameter in the Properties, Behaviors, or Filters tab where it is applied, as well as in the Animation menu of each affected parameter in the Keyframe Editor.

Reassigning a Parameter Behavior to Another Parameter

Once you apply a Parameter behavior, it remains assigned to that parameter unless you reassign it. This is possible using the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu, located at the bottom of the Parameter behavior controls in the HUD or Behaviors tab.

The Apply To (Go) pop-up menu displays all of the properties available for the object to which the behavior is applied. If an object has other behaviors or filters applied to it, those parameters also appear within submenus of the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.

To reassign a Parameter behavior to another parameter in the HUD
  1. In the Layers tab, Timeline, or Behaviors tab of the Inspector, select the Parameter behavior you want to reassign.

  2. In the HUD, choose a new parameter from the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.

    The Parameter behavior is applied to the newly chosen parameter and the Apply To field is updated to reflect the new assignment. In the Inspector, the Behaviors icon now appears next to the new parameter.

To reassign a Parameter behavior to another parameter in the Inspector
  1. Select the object containing the Parameter behavior you want to reassign.

  2. In the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, choose a new parameter from the Apply To (Go) pop-up menu.

    Figure. Behaviors tab showing Apply To (Go) pop-up menu for choosing a parameter.