RSS Mark Spencer

Final Cut Pro & Motion

by Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, editor, teacher and writer based in the Bay Area. His company Day Street Productions is a production and post studio focused on corporate video. He is an Apple-certified instructor for Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Motion, teaching for organizations such as BAVC, Stanford University, DVExpo, MacWorld, and consulting for corporations and individuals. He is the author of the Apple Pro Training Series book Motion Graphics and Visual Effects from Peachpit Press and has written for print and online publicat...

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After Effects and Motion Share and Compare

MacBreak Studio Special Episode

By Mark Spencer | July 21, 2010

On this week's MacBreak Studio, I host Steve Taylor - an LA-based motion graphics designer who's tool of choice is After Effects. I thought it would be fun and interesting to compare how After Effects and Motion handle different motion graphics tasks and so this is the first of a series of "share and compare" sessions that looks at cameras and null objects in both After Effects and Motion. Enjoy. Read More


camera motion ripple training

Mastering Motion’s Camera

Working with Angle of View

By Mark Spencer | July 02, 2010

In this excerpt from Ripple Training's newest tutorial Mastering Motion's Camera, host Mark Spencer explains how to work with the camera's Angle of View.

Motion 4 - Using Angle of View (Movie)

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echo motion ok go trails

Creating the “OK Go” Effect in Motion

By Mark Spencer | June 21, 2010

A quick look at how to create the look of one of OK Go's videos. Read More


Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration

Reel Excellence

By Mark Spencer | April 02, 2010

Came across this outstanding reel from Nando Costa thanks to Motionographer and just had to share it - what do you think? Read More


final cut pro macbreak master templates motion templates

Adjustable Final Cut Pro Master Templates

An outstanding "hack" to make your Master Templates flexible

By Mark Spencer | March 26, 2010

On this MacBreak Studio episode, I show Steve Martin a fantastic trick from fellow Motion Guru Patrick Sheffield's new book How to Cheat in Motion that lets you adjust different parts of your Motion template - but directly inside Final Cut Pro. This is a great tip for anyone who works with Master Templates in Final Cut Pro. Read More


alpha channel motion

Motion Tip: Alpha Channels and Outlines

Create an outline around any graphic or video that has transparency

By Mark Spencer | March 16, 2010

I recently saw a question about how to create an outline around a graphic in Motion. It's not as easy as I thought it would be, but it's not too difficult either. Here's a method that is quick and flexible.

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Motion Graphics and Health Care Reform

Motion Graphics and Health Care Reform

The White House Gets Savvy

By Mark Spencer | March 09, 2010

No matter how you feel about healthcare reform, the government is putting out some nice motion graphics to sell its plan. Yes, it's an overdone technique, but they've still done a good job using text, simple graphics, clean animation, and an appropriate soundtrack to tell a story in an engaging manner. Read More


Reversing Keyframes in Motion

And how to find some shy keyframes that prefer to stay hidden

By Mark Spencer | February 17, 2010

Here's a quick tip on how to reverse a keyframed animation, in particular for a shape style preset which doesn't reveal its keyframes to you in the normal manner. In addition, we'll look at how extend or shrink the timing of a keyframed animation with a special little tool in the Keyframe Editor. Read More


Motion and Motion Blur in FCP

How to get motion blur to appear in embedded Motion projects

By Mark Spencer | February 08, 2010

Having trouble getting motion blur to show up in your Motion project that is embedded in your FCP sequence? There are a couple of key steps you have to follow to make it work correctly - here they are. Read More


Motion and Transparency

How to get your Motion project to have transparency in Final Cut Pro

By Mark Spencer | February 05, 2010

I see a lot of questions on the forums about Motion and transparency - primarily when folks try to export a movie from Motion to place over a video clip in Final Cut Pro. Here's a few things to check, to watch out for, and a suggested workflow to make everything play nicely together. Read More


color matching motion

Color Matching in Motion

Having Trouble Matching Colors in Motion? Here's the Trick.

By Mark Spencer | January 29, 2010

Motion graphics artists frequently need to match colors of design elements to colors of imported graphics, such as corporate logos. If you've tried to do this in Motion, you may have discovered a slight mismatch in the colors, which is frankly unacceptable. Here's a short video demonstrating the issue and a way to fix it. Read More


livefonts motion

Changing the Color of LiveFonts in Motion

In case you had given up trying...

By Mark Spencer | January 24, 2010

Have you ever been frustrated trying to change the color of a LiveFont in Motion? Here's the trick to making it work.

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c4d cinema 4d integration motion

Cinema 4D Finally Brings 3D to Motion

Here's How To Do It

By Mark Spencer | December 25, 2009

Cinema 4D's friendly interface and robust motion graphics toolset have made it the tool of choice for creating 3D motion graphic elements for title sequences, bumpers, interstitials, and the like. And it's ability to export multipass renders as well as 3D data to After Effects have made it easy for After Effects users to integrate 3D into their projects. Well, with release 11.5, Final Cut Studio users can finally do the same, because Cinema can now export 3D data directly to a Motion project. By taking advantage of Motion's real time render engine and Final Cut Pro integration, you can now create professional 3D projects or even Master Templates for your projects.There are a few tricks to getting Cinema 4D to play nicely with Motion. In the video, I step through the workflow for preparing a Cinema 4D project for Motion, and then preparing the Motion project, swapping in video elements, adding text, and finally creating a Motion template that you can use in Final Cut Pro. Read More


keyframes motion

Reapplying Keyframes in Motion

3 Ways to Copy Keyframes

By Mark Spencer | December 03, 2009

I've been getting a few questions about copying and pasting keyframes in Motion. While you can copy-paste, there are a few other options that may work better for you. This short video looks at three different options for taking keyframes applied to one layer and applying them to another. Read More


fcp final cut pro motion ripple training

Ripple Training Releases New Final Cut Pro and Motion Tutorials

Comprehensive World-Class Training for Flagship Final Cut Studio Applications

By Mark Spencer | December 01, 2009

Final Cut Pro 7 Core Training: This 5 hour + tutorial is the culmination of our 10 years delivering Final Cut Pro training in both the classroom and on video. The result is Final Cut Pro 7 - Core Training which encapsulates our mission to provide no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point explanations that won't waste your time, yet provide a thorough real-world context for understanding the big picture.Motion 4 Fast Forward: The title of our tutorial is also our mission: to get you up to speed in Motion 4 faster than you thought possible, while empowering you with the skills and techniques necessary to confidently approach any motion graphics projects you or your clients can dream up. This tutorial has a 4 hour running time and includes over 80 project files. Motion 4 Fast Forward is available in DVD or iTunes Editions.See a detailed table of contents and watch movie excerpts at Ripple Training. Read More


Don’t Work for Peanuts

Don’t Work for Peanuts

Beware of Bottom-Fishing Producers

By Mark Spencer | December 01, 2009

Here's the text of an ad I saw on craigslist just last night:"I need someone to create 10 original Motion 3 templates in broadcast quality 1080i60. Each template must be between 20 to 30 seconds in length and use a 3D effect of some sort. Pay is $200. Perfect work if you are talented and fast. Please have samples of your work available for me to see. In your response please let me know what your turnaround time for the templates would be. You should be able to send me a quicktime version for approval, before we exchange final payment and sending the of the files. Again, this must be an original template. This will probably turn into a regular monthly or bi-weekly task for the right person."Really? 10 original broadcast-quality templates for $200? I've been working with motion graphics for years and have created what I would call broadcast-quality templates, and each one took me a few days to create. I understand that there are plenty of folks looking to break into this (or any) industry who are willing to work for cheap or for free in order to get a foot in the door - I did it myself back in the day - but I would never advise anyone to take a job like this. If the producer is really looking for original, quality work, then they should pay for it - and no one who is capable of providing original, quality work should be giving it away for free.One more point to my little rant. Notice how the ad promises that it will "probably turn into a regular task" - well, I'll tell you from personal experience (and I've heard many other folks say the same thing): once you do a job for someone, you have locked in your price. Doing that first job at a discount in order to get more work at full price just doesn't pan out that way. If you are a newbie looking for experience, you may have to work cheap or work for free for to get experience and make connections. If you are good at what you do, then charge what your time is worth! Send these types of producers the message that they can't rip off artists that spend years learning their craft. Read More


Top VFX/MoGraph Twitterers to Follow

Top VFX/MoGraph Twitterers to Follow

Great Links to Cool VFX and Motion Graphics Served Fresh

By Mark Spencer | November 16, 2009

Topher Welsh at the videohive blog writes exactly how I feel about Twitter: "Personally I think that the whole "updating your status" part of Twitter is ridiculous. There, I said it. I don't care what you are eating for dinner, or if someone is being annoying in the movie theatre. Keep it to yourself. The thing that keeps me addicted to Twitter is the people that tweet the cool stuff: The behind the scenes of Terminator Salvation, The VFX breakdown of Fast and Furious 4, the new tutorial that Aharon Rabinowitz just put onto Red Giant TV. Those are the reasons why I use Twitter, and these are the people that you should be following."See his short list of folks to follow here. Be sure to scroll down to the comments section for a few more folks to follow. Read More


Motion Graphics: Friday Inspiration

Motion Graphics: Friday Inspiration

Notes From The motion09 Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico

By Mark Spencer | October 16, 2009

Getting inspired by watching motion graphics design and visual effects on TV or the web is one thing. Getting to hear from and hang out with the artists who create the outstanding work we see in motion picture title sequences, trailers, broadcast design packages, games and commercials is quite another. Read More



Motion 4 Up and Running Tutorial Released

Learn Motion 4's Powerful New Features Quickly

By Mark Spencer | September 17, 2009

Ripple Training has just released my latest tutorial, Motion 4 Up and Running. See excerpts from the training and get all the info at Ripple's site. Read More


New Final Cut Studio

Final Cut 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5, DVDSP 4

By Mark Spencer | July 23, 2009

Today Apple announced an update to its Final Cut Studio pro apps suite. Info on Apple's site: Ripple Training, we have 19 movies covering all aspects of the new features: Read More