5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2013 9:38 PM by Dan Thomas (DAGWare)
Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 (105 points)

I'm an extreme newbie at Motion 5, and I want to do something that's probably really simple, but I can't figure out how to do it.


I'm working on a FCPX Title effect. I'm attempting to modify the "Trailer" Title in Motion 5. Consider this portion:

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 8.20.44 AM.png

I want it to look more like the iMovie version, where descriptions like "EDITED BY" are wrapped, like this:

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 8.24.10 AM.png

The FCPX effect has the entire "line" in one text element. My guess is that I need to break it up into multiple text elements, which sounds simple enough. But when I'm using it in FCPX, and I type into one of the text elements, I want all of the text elements to adust themselves as though it was one text line, horizontally. In other words, as I type "DAN THOMAS", the text elements to the right would move over to accomodate the new text, and all of them would stay centered horizontally.


I'm guessing this is fairly simple, but even if it isn't, I'm game. I'm a developer, so I'm not totally inept. Just under-educated.





iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • fox_m Level 5 (5,030 points)

    The method I would use would be to break down each into title/name pairs, so that the first (in this example) would be "edited by dan thomas". Add that to the canvas. In the Inspector > Text > Format > Advanced Formatting, select All Caps and set the All Caps Size to 100%.


    Go to Inspector > Text > Layout and select Layout Method: Paragraph and Auto-Shrink: Left and Right (this way, it won't matter how long the segment is, it will be compacted to fit in its allocated space !) (Auto-Shrink doesn't change the font height with this setting - only character widths.)


    Double click on the text in the canvas and at about 130 on the ruler, right-click and select: Right Tab. At about 150 on the ruler right-click and select: Left Tab. Add a Tab character before "edited"; a return + tab after "edited" and a tab after "by". Select Edited By and set the font size to 26 and the Line Spacing to -21. Select "Dan Thomas" and set the font size to ~ 76.  If you want the "Edited" to line up with the top of the Name text, select only "edited" and adjust the Line Spacing further.


    Once you get the first "template" done, you can simply duplicate it and replace words for the left edge text (just remember to type the tabs and returns in) and you can fully select the template name and replace that.  With the AutoShrink feature, the texts should always "fit" their alloted space (and it looks rather cool, actually.)


    Lining up the segments will be your last issue. You'll see here, there may be overhangs from the guidelines, but overall, the texts will behave.

    Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 4.43.05 PM.png

    You can see that the text in the Edited by segment is more "normal" looking whereas the production designer segment is relying on the auto-shrink more and the characters compress to fit their space.


    Resize your segments to a little less than roughly 1/3 the canvas size (develop this in a 1080 project.)


    That's a rough outline of an approach I might take to accomplish this (others might have a better idea.) "Season to taste." 



  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 (105 points)

    Thanks for the reply. I didn't get very far with your instructions, probably because I'm clueless . I do, however, understand what your instructions are trying to get me to do, and I think it's a good idea. I'm just having trouble executing it. Here's the issues I ran into:


    1. I was able to set the tab stops, but when I edit the text and press the tab key, it acts like all I did was press the space bar. In other words, it doesn't "tab" the text - almost as though the tab stops aren't there, but I can see them in the ruler and also in the inspector, so I'm fairly sure they're present.
    2. When I changed the Layout Method and Auto-Shrink, the Anchor Point for the text moved to the left edge. How do I reset it to the center?


    I feel like such a moron, but I really thank you for helping!



  • fox_m Level 5 (5,030 points)

    Make sure all the text is selected when adding tab stops (clear the ones you have first.) Sorry I wasn't clear about that. Sometimes Motion lets you get away with "global" tab stops if no text is selected and no cursor is present in the text. (If you type the Enter key [not return!] when finished entering text in the canvas, the Text Object is selected and not any of the text... fyi... So I'll guess that the cursor was probably at the last position in the text when you added the tab stops - so put it there again to clear them [click on the tab stop and drag them, up or down, off the ruler bar; or right-click on them and select "Delete Tab" from the dropdown.] -- Motion's handling of TextEdit is a little...  er... rather fussy.)


    Leave the text alignment set to left. (The Anchor Point properties under Behavior Controls is for use with sequenced behavior effects -- and nothing else -- if that's what you were refering to.) Tabs won't work correctly set to anything else. If you need center text - use a center tab. You definitely have to have the right-align tab stop for the job title segment. [Tabs work, when not set up "globally," on a line-by-line basis.]


    Here's my project file for you to look at (or use) -- it's just one demo "line" (3 segments)



    (This is just a common Motion Project -- copy the Group 2 group to a Title project [recommend renaming it too!])


    Once you get one done - duplicate and position copies. [duplicate groups for different lines -- easier to organize]


    If you need more info -- i'll stay on this one.

  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 (105 points)

    Awesome! Thanks for the help. I may not get to work on this tonight, but if I don't get there tonight, definitely tomorrow. I really appreciate your help, and I'll post as soon as I either fix it, or get stuck again. And I won't expect an instant response from you, since I can't do any more tonight. Not that I expected one anyway, but you know what I mean...





  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 (105 points)

    I got a chance to play around some more with this, and I got it working pretty good. Thanks for all your help!