Creating a Cosmic Zoom in Motion

On this Week’s MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, I show Steve Martin from Ripple Training how to do a “Cosmic Zoom” effect in Motion.

Inspired by Andrew Kramer's excellent After Effects tutorial on his site Videocopilot.net, I demonstrate how you can achieve a similar result using Motion.

The “Cosmic Zoom” effect involves flying either from out in space all the way to a spot on the earth, or pulling back from a location on earth into space. For the example in this tutorial, I'm using images from Google Maps, but for commercial work, make sure you have the proper rights to the images you use.

The basic process involves first collecting a set of images taken at different distances from the earth (or different zoom levels from the same distance), aligning and nesting them one inside the other, then animated the scale of the overall composition to zoom into or out of the closest point. If you use After Effects, I show the Motion equivalents for such concepts as continuous rasterization, parenting, and precomposing.


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Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an Apple-certified Master Trainer, and consults for corporations and individuals. He is the author or co-author of a half-dozen books on motion graphics and editing from Peachpit Press and writes for ProVideo Coalition. He maintains www.applemotion.net, a resource for Motion. Mark has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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