Motion and the OoO, Part 1
A Multi-part Motion Tip
By Mark Spencer | June 24, 2008
The OoO? Some sort of secret society? Almost - OoO stands for Order of Operations, and if you're not familiar how Motion calculates the changes you make to layers and groups, you might not get the results you want. Let's take a closer look.
In this first example, we'll use our friendly drop shadow. When you add an image, video, or shape to Motion, you have the option to add a drop shadow by clicking the checkbox in the Inspector.
A drop shadow with Rotation set to 315 degrees, which is the angle of the implied light source - making the shadow appear down and to the right of the object. I've used a large Distance value to separate the shadow from the layer and make its direction more obvious.
Note: if you are working with text, you won't see a drop shadow option in the Properties tab. Instead, you'll find it in the Text tab, under the Style section.
So now we have a drop shadow that looks just fine - until we rotate the layer! The shadow moves along with the layer - so if you were to animate the layer's rotation, the shadow would move as well, which isn't how shadows in the real world behave.
The shadow is almost on the opposite side of the rotated scissors on the right - as if the light source had moved when the scissors rotated.
So what's going on? What's happening is that Motion is applying the drop shadow first, then applying the rotation transformation (changes to position, rotation, scale, shear, and anchor point are all called transformations).
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