Creating an animated Pac-Man in Motion

This week on MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, I show Steve Martin from Ripple Training how I used Motion to create a Pac-Man type animation.

For this year’s holiday video for the Delfina Restaurant Group, we decided on a more whimsical approach (you can see the completed video here). Their marketing director asked me to make a Pac-Man animation, in which the Pac-Mac is a pizza and it would eat its way through the course, adding ingredients to itself as it moved through the game.

I started by photographing elements at one a couple of the restaurants, and then isolating each element by remove the background in Photoshop©. I then used a reference of the actual game board to replace all elements, rebuilding the entire board with Delfina-specific objects. This was the most time-consuming part of the whole process.

Once the board was built, I animated the Pac-Man to open and close its mouth by stacking a closed mouth version on top of an open mouth version and the using an Oscillate parameter behavior to control the opacity of the top layer, set to a square patten so that it would blink on and off. No keyframes required!

To animate the Pac-Man along the path, I turned to the Motion Path behavior which was perfect for this task. Adding the Snap Alignment to Motion behavior made sure the Pac-Man turned when needed, always facing forward. Again, no keyframes needed.

To be able to make adjustments without changing my camera animation, I simply added a second “building” camera that I could use at any time to zoom in close to adjust a part of the course, or get a bird’s eye view of the entire layout.

Finally, I created animated masks to hide each item after the Pac-Man ate it. These masks I did animate with keyframes to match the timing of the Pac-Man’s movements.

Motion made this process fun and easy to accomplish. Check it all out above. If you want to up your Motion game, check out our introductory training that will get you up to speed quickly.


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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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