Tracking Points in Motion

This Week on MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, I show Steve Martin from Ripple Training how to create a “stretchy” animation by using the Track Points behavior in Motion.

The Apple Developer's Conference this past summer opened with a beautiful motion graphics animation. I wanted to see if I could recreate a small part of that animation in Motion.

It turns out that tracking one Motion shape object to another is quite tricky. Shapes have individual control points that can be tracked to other objects using a behavior called Track Points. This behavior, however, has a few quirks that can cause quite a bit of head-scratching as you may know if you've worked with it before.

While the behavior can work very well to track points of a shape or mask to video, as it was most likely designed to do, making it track objects that you animate within Motion isn't so straightforward.

In this tutorial, I point out the dead-end approaches to avoid as I demonstrate how to make this behavior – well – behave. For example, it doesn't appear to be possible to track the points of one shape to the points of another shape – or even to an entire shape as a single object. But in Motion there's almost always another way to get where you want to go.



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, a resource for Motion. Mark has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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