Motion Tracking and an Exercise in Editing

DMiP Week 7

The focus this week was on motion tracking and effects using the ‘Final Cut Pro’ editing suite and the motion graphics software, ‘Motion’.

Initially we looked at an exercise in ‘Motion’.

We opened a new project and made sure the preset PAL DV was selected.

This would enable the animation to be exported to ‘Final Cut Pro’ for inclusion on a timeline, although at this stage we just had a play around with the effects to get an idea of how to generate different animations.



By selecting the ‘Library’ tab and choosing an effect, the aim was to create a path for the animation to follow. I chose the ‘Pyro’ effect from the ‘Particle Emitters’ option.

This was achieved by using the mouse to dictate the path and recording the process using the control panel at the bottom of the viewer (see picture below).

Once the path (red dotted line) was in place, one can play back the animation to view the result. The effect then follows the path you have dictated and loops as many times as required.

‘Motion’ is ideal for creating special effects to add to film footage and serves as a cheap alternative for creating explosions, fires, smoke, lightning and a whole plethora of other effects.

This software has multiple applications and can be used for lots of different projects.

Idents, website graphics and special effects for films can all be generated with this software and I hope we get the opportunity to use it again as I believe more instruction with this software would prove to be very useful to me as a Film and Media student.

The interface is very user-friendly and the applicable uses of this software are seemingly endless.

Secondly we were asked to open a new project in ‘Final Cut Pro’. We imported a series of images to be arranged on a timeline and were given an audio track to play in time with the drawings. There were over 25 still frames to be arranged, expanded or retracted, to fit the narration of the audio track. The images and audio were from a children’s story called ‘Invisible Alligators’ by Hayes Roberts.

After placing the images and audio on the timeline (above), we were asked to add motion effects to selected frames in order to give the animation a bit of life. By using the motion effects within the editing suite it is possible to zoom in on chosen frames or track across the frame to create the impression of movement.

For example, in this scene the characters are descending into an underground layer, by zooming in to the top of the frame and tracking downwards whilst zooming out, one can create the illusion of this decent.

Please see the video below to view my version of this exercise:

About Roulette Revolver

Currently a first year undergraduate in Film & Media Studies.
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