View Full Version : Create Motion Graphics in Edit Media (Control tab plus Toolshed)

09-08-2009, 05:09 PM
Ripped off from a recent TriCaster Feature Requests Thread:

...how about adding new motion controls to the text edit tab to mimic a few animated effects... like... wiping across an image instead of just MOVING it?

[Also,] adding the ability to make different layer wipe at different times would be even better. [I'd also like] other effects like minimizing in, or minimizing out on an anchor point, so it blows up from an anchor point or it shrinks into one. [Edits, mine -- Q1]

Some of what you are asking for is already there, by creating your text in the editor. I've been doing the "maximize/minimize" thing you mention for years.

To be more specific, Luis, Bob is suggesting you might try building your graphic and text overlays in EDIT MEDIA, instead of EDIT TEXT.

Once there, go to Media Bin > Titles folder, and select one of the 3 Title Page templates having the .cg extension. I'd recommend you start with the one that's called Title Page.cg, or perhaps even Craw Page.cg if you're daring (this one has a motion path already assigned to the sample text therein - but you can go in and alter that, by altering the Position node settings and also the number of keyframes and their respective locations along the duration of the .cg page element.

While we're at this juncture, I should mention that once you've selected your .cg page template, and dragged it onto the timeline, now might be a good time to establish a desired length for the animated graphic you're about to create.

Do this by holding down ALT + Dragging either the left or right edge (you want to see the I/O indicator appear during the action, and *NOT* the Stretch indicator!

Stretch is *not* for use on .cg or still image files: It's primarily intended for speeding up or slowing down the playback rate of audio and video clips in the timeline -- but *not* for image files. Using stretch on the latter file types will result in jittery behavior when played back!

That said, you might do well to ALT+Edge-Drag the .cg or still image file to the desired length, before you set up a motion path for the file, in the Controls Tab Position nodes

Once motion has been keyframed according to your liking (refer to the Edit Media section of your TriCaster manual, for understanding how to apply motion to a file in the timeline), *then*, you might go ahead, and *further* tweak the length of the element with ALT+Edge-drag, which will thereby alter the speed of the newly-created animated image element.

Let's review what we've *just* discussed:
When changing the timeline element's length, in NewTek editors to date, you must:

"edge-drag" on an audio, video, or audio/video clip (I/O indicator appears during this action, because you're altering the in or out point of that element)[

...but you
"ALT+edge-drag" on a graphic file (I/O indicator appears during this action, because you're altering the in or out point of that element)

Why must you use the ALT keyboard qualifier before dragging the edge of a .cg, or .jpg, .png, or other image file? Because if you don't, that element will likely manifest a jittery behavior when you play it back: In NewTek editors to date, using the Stretch function (i.e., via "Edge-Drag") on audio or video files is appropriate for creating a speed change: but for .cg or still image files, Don't Stretch! Instead, ALT+Edge-Drag (I/O adjust) on these.


For more dazzling eye-candy, feel free to go into the Media Bin tab, then, navigate to your custom text or graphics you've created outside of the TriCaster Edit Media environment (This could include popular image file types, created in Corel, Adobe or Aura, or other apps).

Place the new element(s) on separate tracks in the timeline display, for layering. If the image has an Alpha channel, you can simply click on the OVERLAY button (simply hit "Y" for the keyboard shortcut), to activate transparency in that graphic having the alpha transparency data in it).

If your graphic doesn't include alpha (i.e., transparency) information in it, you could choose to make a portion of it transparent, by
1. clicking on the graphic to select it
2. going to the Controls tab, then
3. scrolling down the Control tree, to the Chroma/Luma Keying node, and select either Chroma or Luma in the corresponding checkbox on the right:
Choose Chroma key if you wish to define a transparency level for a specific color in the selected image.
Choose Luma key if you wish to define a transparency level for either black or white values in the selected image)
4. right-click on the chroma keying (or luma keying) swatch, and when the eye-dropper tool appears, drag it over any portion of the image in the monitor display (or on the color picker that appears, selecting the color of your choosing).

[I]Again, have your manual open to the appropriate section, if you'd like further assist for this.

From there, simply go down, one by one, adjusting for the desired keying effect: but make sure you've got
overlay turned on for the image you wish to affect with a transparency setting
this same image, positioned in the timeline, in the track just beneath the track you want to partially obscure, by virtue of the keyed graphic you're creating
shadow effect turned on in the Control tab > Shadows node, if you're desirous of making your text or other graphic element "pop".
(text graphic overlays, generally look lethargic -- quite weak, without a touch of "shadow" and/or outline effect, no?

conversely, you could use the Shadow gadget within the Title tab of the Media Bin tab, if you're creating the title within EDIT MEDIA's text page.cg, Craw page.cg, or Scroll page.cg template. By the way, feel free to steal some of the elements found in the Media Bin > Titles > Templates folder.

Now, once you've got your text graphics created, with their transparency levels set as you wish (note: all these parameter nodess in the Control tab are completely animatable, by setting corresponding keyframes, and spacing them apart appropriately. Be sure to use the various keyframe controls for completed (you might create them by dragging a Text Template onto the timline. With said template selected, go up to the Controls tab, then click it.

Now, go to the Layers note, and adjust the transparency level for that particular graphic if you wish; go to the Position node, and create motion for that graphic as well, establishing "anchor points" for the motion by placing 2, 3, or 4 keyframes or so along the length of the graphic's duration on the timeline. (the Keyframe button is in the upper right, with the Ease-In and Ease-Out buttons nearby.

To establish a motion path, use the handles in the display area above the timeline, to grab the image, and manipulate it manually -- or go to the Position node under Controls tab, and adjust the appropriate nodes, for the X, Y, and Z axis (the latter provides for 3D motion, as it were).

1. Having the timeline element you wish to create a motion path for, selected, and with the play bar over it,
2. Go to the very top of the positioner window, just below the Media Bin, Controls, and Toolshed tabs, and grab the yellow triangle (the playbar's head), dragging it horizontally, to the center of the window for now.
3. In the upper right of the Edit Media interface, click on the Keyframe button (this is a temporary means I use for locking down my graphic's "current" state, before adding motion or other changes)
4. Drag the playbar header to the far right, then make changes that result in the position you want the graphic to end up in (this may be off-screen, so it's invisible at that point, if you like) then hit the Keyframe button again, and optionally, also hit the Ease-In button that's nearby, to bring the animation to a smooth stop.
5. Drag the playbar header to the far left (that's the position for the graphic element you're working on), then create the start position by changing the appropriate settings either in the positioner window (grabbing the handles and moving the graphic as you wish), or by use of the X, Y, and Z Position and/or Size nodes in the Controls tab's tree.

Tip: I often choose to have the graphic located off-screen at the zero point, and at the end-point: this approach often eliminates the need for me to create Fade up and Fade out, node settings under the Layer Fading node under the Controls tab.

Now, tweak the animation after playing it back, altering the location of the centrally-located, middle keyframe you made at the first (or you might try deleting it altogether, to see what result you'll get, if you like; generally, I like to have a keyframe at the beginning and end of the motion, as well as two more, somewhere in between:

The two keyframes I create somewhere within the outer keyfreames enable me to create just a small difference in position between the two, rather, widely-spaced points, so as to aid the viewer in properly reading and "taking in" just what's being artfully hurled on-screen before their eyes.

Ease-In and Ease-Out
Typically, I will often have the motion graphic element, say, in the form of animated text, fly on-screen, with
Ease-Out engaged at the First key frame,
Ease-In at the Second Keyframe,
Ease-Out at the 3rd, and
Ease-Out at the last keyframe, if the image is to appear to fly off-screen with increasing rapidity as it heads toward it's end-point (well outside the "action-safe" viewing area) or conversely,
Ease-In at the last keyframe, if the image is to remain on-screen until it fades off (thru use of the Layer Fading node control).

You can always use the Undo and Redo command (shortcut: CTRL+Z and CTRL+Y respectively) while experimenting with the motion you're creating, hitting the spacebar to play the clip, then striking it again, to bring it to a pause.

and when done, hit the Keyframe button, and

Hit the Keyframe button, and select Ease-In button as well, if you want the end-behavior to be such that the motion ceases with a smooth stop.
3. Drag the Play Bar the element where you want it, then hit the keyframe button; select Ease-Out for start keyframe, and select Ease-In for a keyframe where you want the motion to slow down as it approaches that spot (good choice for end-behavior, so you might be most inclined to use it at the last keyframe, for sure.

I often will use both Ease-In *and* Ease-Out when I wish to emphasize a change in direction at a particular keyframe, for an element in motion).

Remember, when you've determined you're just about done, but you wish to tweak the speed of animation (this is done by changing the I/O duration with the ALT+Edge-Drag action), don't forget to use the ALT qualifier on .cg and still images.

Now, when you've got a motion graphic on a particular track just the way you like it, why not save that motion (and other parameters inherent therein) by going to the Toolshed tab just to the right of the Controls tab:

Once there, the custom-set parameters for the timeline element you've got selected, can be saved as a TOOLSHED PRESET, for quick and easy replication of the very same position, motion, length/speed, transparency level, etc., etc., for a newly imported .cg or graphic (or even video clip) you might bring into a new project later down the road.

As a bonus, instructions for its use are right inside Toolshed!

Finally, you can go to the Render button (lower right corner) or if not too processor-intensive, have your project play from the timeline, via the Firewire port, through use of the Output to Tape... gadget, again, lower right corner of the interface, but be forewarned, that outputting your timeline project to a VCR, DV deck, etc., will not result in an Alpha-enabled recording to that device.

Instead, you'd want to Render that clip out in a file type that's got Alpha encoded in it: and that would be TriCaster Overlay (avi with Alpha).

With manual open, creating your very own motion graphic overlays for the very first time in Edit Media, that amaze, you'll kick yourself for not having done so sooner, even if only for the sake of having created Toolshed Presets for ease and convenience in completing compelling motion imagery quickly - just to have on hand for future projects.