Tools and Techniques Specific to the Motion Application

Motion takes a fresh approach to the art of kinetic graphics creation, incorporating the latest in software design and powerful Apple hardware. Although it includes all the tools and techniques that artists rely on, Motion introduces a number of powerful features that accomplish key tasks with an ease and elegance previously unheard of in motion graphics.

Additionally, Motion offers other unique features.


A set of robust tools called behaviors simplify the convoluted workflows traditionally required to create animations and physics simulations. Unlike keyframes, behaviors are interactive in real time, enabling you to adjust multiple parameters while you watch the animation or simulation play back onscreen. There are special behaviors for video retiming, motion tracking, smoothing shaky camera footage, keying, text animation, camera movement, and audio effects.


Another tool unique to Motion, the replicator, creates customizable, kaleidoscopic patterns from copies of an image layer, yielding intricate, dazzling design effects that would take hours to build in other applications.


A powerful new tool in Motion called rigging lets you manipulate multiple attributes in a composition with a single master control.

Final Cut Pro X Templates

Motion also lets you create effects, title, and transition templates for use in Final Cut Pro X, and when you publish the templates, you can include rigs, simplifying the task of parameter adjustment in Final Cut Pro.

Heads-Up Display (HUD)

A special floating window called the heads-up display (HUD), provides at-a-glance access to your most frequently used parameter controls. The HUD changes dynamically, depending on what is selected in your project. The HUD also provides access to unique visual controls for some of the behaviors.

Real-Time Feedback

With the right hardware configuration, most effects in Motion can be viewed in real time. This means that you can watch how the various elements of your composition interact as you modify them. Rather than making a set of assumptions and then waiting to see how they turn out, you can immediately see how your ideas work, then make adjustments on the fly.

Input Devices

If you have a two- or three-button mouse connected to your computer, you can right-click to access the same controls specified by the Control-click commands in the user documentation. If you are working on a MacBook or MacBook Pro, some keyboard shortcuts require you to use the Function key (Fn—next to the Control key) in conjunction with the keys specified in the user documentation. For more information about keyboard shortcuts in Motion, see Keyboard Shortcuts.

If you have a Multi-Touch device, such as a Magic Mouse or trackpad, you can use various gestures for interface navigation, scrolling, frame scrubbing, and zooming. You can also use gestures to change the size of icons in the File Browser and Library. These gestures are discussed in their relative sections of the documentation.