Apple’s Motion 5.0.5 update – new and removed features

Although welcome, the recent 5.0.5 update to Motion was nowhere near as big as the 10.0.6 update to Final Cut Pro. As is usual, Apple’s release notes refer to bug fixes and performance improvements. This time there are also user interface speed increases and a few interesting new features.

Text Edit Markers

If you are designing titles, generators or effects which have a series of text layers that take turns in appearing, you can add a Text Edit marker to each text layer. Editors using the template in Final Cut Pro can navigate from marker to marker to make it easier to enter and edit text.

Here’s the Motion timeline for Final Cut’s built-in title from the Bumper/Opener section: ‘Snap – Text Build':

Of the many layers in the template, four are editable text: They are labelled as information, description, title and subtitle. The first three have special markers. These markers are assigned in the usual way: by using ‘Add Marker’ from the Mark > Markers menu or by using the ` or m keyboard shortcuts with the specific layer selected. You change this marker to a Text Edit marker using the ‘Edit Marker…’ command from the Mark > Markers menu and changing the type of the marker using the pop-up menu:

Here’s what the title template looks like in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6. If you double-click the first text element, you go into text edit mode. A pair of arrows appear in the top-left of the viewer:

Once you’re happy with the first text element, you can jump to the position corresponding to the next Text Edit marker by pressing the right pointing arrow (or by pressing Shift-Option Tab):

This market shows another advantage of Text Edit markers: if some text isn’t editable, such as this clone of the editable text layer, the marker selects the next layer ready for editing. You can return to the previous Text Edit marker using the left pointing arrow (or by pressing Option Tab).

Here are the next two text layers:

In the case of ‘Snap – Text Build’ there is no Text Edit marker on the ‘Subtitle’ layer. Final Cut defaults to jumping to the mid-point of the text layer. Final Cut only honours the first Text Edit marker on an editable text layer. It ignores any Text Edit markers you add to non-text layers.

Open multiple Motion projects at a time

You can have more than one project open at the same time, which makes it much simpler to make a new kind of template based on an existing one. For example, you can make an effect based on elements of a title or generator. 

New timeline navigation keyboard shortcuts

Scale up timeline Command-Option +
Scale down timeline Command-Option -
Scale timeline to project duration Command-Option 0
Fit timeline to window Shift-Z

You might have to turn off Zoom in the Universal Access system preference to get access to these shortcuts, alternatively you can use the Customize the Command set to change the shortcuts. As in previous versions there’s another relevant command you can assign a keyboard shortcut to:

Scale timeline to play range – No default keyboard shortcut 

Great news for me as I found myself ‘Shift-Z-ing’ at least once a day in an attempt to zoom out the timeline.

Drag-copy of layers between open projects

If you do this instead of using copy and paste, layers and sub-layers don’t get ‘ copy’ added to their names.

Copying content in Motion via the clipboard uses XML

I don’t know if this was true in previous versions of Motion, but this might be useful if you want to have a close look at specific XML in an external editing application.

This might be useful for third-party Motion tools that can analyse parts of a project. Unfortunately you cannot make changes to the XML and paste it back into Motion.

No more Image Unit filters

The 5.0.5 update has also removed a feature – 114 ‘Image Unit’ filters – filters based on the Core Image effects used by other apps – including Quartz Composer. This seems a very high number of filters, but given the nature of Image Units, perhaps only 30 were useful, the rest having already having been superseded by Motion filters and features or not working in Motion at all.

If you need to continue making changes to Motion projects that use Image Unit filters, keep a copy of Motion 5.0.4 around. They will still work in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6, but there’s a chance they might not work in a future version.

Image Unit Generators no longer appear in the library, but they can still be used in Motion 5.0.5. Given that you can drag layers from project to project, you can use this Image Unit Generators Motion project as a place to drag these generators from:

These generators may work for now, but I wouldn’t rely on them working in future versions of Motion and Final Cut Pro.

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