We have a fun episode of MacBreak Studio for you this week, in which I show you how to create a 3D asteroid field and fly a camera through it.
I’m taking advantage of Motion’s brand new ability to import 3D models that are in the USDZ format – a format most commonly associated with Augmented Reality, but now you can bring those models into Motion, light them, animate them, composite them into scenes, and publish them for use in Final Cut Pro X.
In addition to importing 3D models, Motion now comes with a library of 60 built-in 3D objects organized into logical categories, and I use one of them – a rock – to build today’s scene. Actually, the earth and moon in the scene are from Motion’s library as well, animated with a couple of parameter behaviors.
If you are familiar with behaviors, emitters, and replicators in Motion, they can all be used on 3D models. Here, I use a replicator to create the asteroid field, and then I use several different techniques to vary the size, position, angle, and animation properties of each “asteroid” so that they don’t all look and act the same. The replicator itself has a great set of parameters for creating variation, but I also use the sequence replicator behavior to have animation move through each object at a different time.
If you turn down the automatic environmental lighting applied to 3D objects, you can create a custom lighting setup using Motion’s point, directional, ambient, and/or spot lights. Here I used a directional light to mimic the sun hitting the side of the earth.
To complete the animation, I added a Dolly behavior to the camera to move it through the asteroid field, revealing the earth and moon behind them. If you are interested in learning more about how to work with 3D objects in both Motion and Final Cut Pro X, including information on how to use the soon-to-be released mTracker 3D plugin from motionvfx.com, check out our brand new tutorial at rippletraining.com, currently on sale. Let us know what you think of the video!