Apple Motion

Template:Infobox Software

Motion is a software application produced by Apple Computer for their Mac OS X operating system. It is used to create and edit motion graphics and titling for video production.


Market Position

Motion competes with compositing applications such as Adobe After Effects and Discreet Combustion. It does not have the ultimate power of those older and more complex programs, but it is both less expensive and more accessible to the beginner.

Unlike the competition, Motion will perform many effects in real time, which makes it much easier to use and understand. Using behaviors (see below), Motion can create complex and sophisticated effects very easily. However, few After Effects users have entirely replaced it with Motion, because AE still has many powerful features Motion lacks.

Motion is probably the first program other than games and operating systems to make full use of the capabilities of modern video cards. Much of the processing in Motion is offloaded from the CPU to the video card, and in general the higher powered video card you have, the better.

The original product was introduced on April 19, 2004.

How Motion Works

Motion was designed to make animation easier and more accessible to developers. Traditional compositing and animation software was designed to give professional users power and control, at the expense of a sizable learning curve. Motion was designed to be simpler to use and less expensive than the competition.

In Motion, users can import their own graphics files and use pre-prepared graphics such as text and shapes. Objects can be grouped into layers, like other motion graphics programs, but they always retain their own distinct identity. It's easy to take various parts, each of which are individual objects, and group them into a layer. Selecting that layer lets you move all of the objects as a body. This hierarchical system can be confusing at first, but it's very powerful once mastered.

Motion introduced behaviors, which can be combined to create realistic animations. For instance, take an object and activate the Throw behavior to send it across the screen. Then, apply Gravity to it to make it fall down realistically. Next, you can apply Edge Collision to it and the combination of these effects will cause the ball to bounce around the screen in a way that looks realistic to the human eye. You can tweak the effects using various parameters, varying the strength of the bounces, the amount of gravity to apply and so on.

This is very different from traditional animation software, which allows you to use key frames to determine the position of an object at any given time. The software then automatically creates motion to fill the spaces between the keyframes. This makes it easy to know exactly where your objects are on the screen at any given time, but it is considerably more difficult to create realistic animations that build up on different, conflicting forces.

You can use both behaviors and keyframes in Motion, and you can even combine them with the same object. This allows even beginning animators to produce realistic animations.

Most reviewers agree that Motion is a lot of fun to use, but that it doesn't yet have the power and depth After Effects and other, more professional programs, have.

Motion 2

At a pre NAB event in April 2005 Apple Computer released the second version of Motion along with new revisions of the other Pro applications, optimised for the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X v10.4. New features include more responsive live editing, the ability to address up to 4 GB of RAM and GPU acceleration at 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit float color depths.

The new version of Motion is part of Final Cut Studio.

External links


  • Lindsay, A. (November, 2004). Motion. DV, 12, 54 – 58.

Template:Compu-soft-stubde:Motion it:Motion


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