So… the title of this blog is a bit of a trick question. If you’re using any of the built in FCPX effects, titles, or generators, or you’re using most of the 3rd party effects or templates, you’re actually using Motion without even being aware of it.
However, because of the new integration with how FCPX works with Motion and the loss of the “Send To Motion” command, I tend to feel like Motion has become the forgotten App in the the Apple Pro Apps ecosystem. I sort of feel bad about this, because Motion is actually awesome, especially if you’re an editor like me who has no interest in becoming an After Effects/Nuke genius.
No one has the time to know and be good at everything. I always gravitated towards the Edit and Color correction ends of the business. While I had an understanding and interest in essential GFX and audio techniques, for me, if I couldn’t get something done quickly on that end, it just wasn’t going to happen… and I never had the time or natural inclination to become an After Effects or Pro Tools Master. For whatever reason, those apps just never made sense to my brain the way Final Cut, Color, and Resolve did. I liked to stay in-app/as integrated as possible when it came to GFX and audio and is why I bothered to learn Motion and Soundtrack Pro back in the FCP7 days.
The truth is that, even though GFX may not be your thing, especially if you’re a one man band, your clients are still going to expect you to be able to do high quality lower thirds, titles, and other common GFX tasks… especially for lower budget corporate, commercial, and internet projects. In fact, just about any Youtube video you make for a paying client is going to require you to know how to make some kind of endtag for it. In fact, many of these tasks end up being repetitive, and in most cases would tend to be best suited for having a template you could work with quickly right in your NLE.
This is where, as an editor, getting to know Motion was my best friend.
The reason is that things you make in Motion will show up automatically as titles, generators, or effects in FCPX, and understanding the rigging and publishing concepts inherent in Motion can save you RIDICULOUS amounts of time in your edits. It’s a bit of a different way of working, which may be why a lot of people haven’t gravitated to it… but when it comes to 85% of the common tasks asked of an editor, between FCPX and Motion, you’re going to save a ton of time doing it that way, and often at a higher quality because of the time saved and simplicity of the workflow, than you would banging your head against the wall with After Effects renders.
Also, Motion becomes a lot more powerful the deeper you get into it.
The good news is that Mark Spencer from Ripple Training created some of the best tutorials for Motion that I think anyone has made for any kind of app. More specifically, his tutorials for Rigging and Publishing for Final Cut Pro X, Mastering Replicators, Mastering The Camera, and my personal favorite, Mastering Shapes, Paint Strokes & Masks, are just awesome… especially for the average editor who just wants to be a solid B when it comes to GFX, and just wants to know how make something that looks professional quickly.
Anyway, if you want to get up to speed quickly on Motion, I can’t recommend Mark’s Motion 5: The Complete Series (which has all the tutorials I just mentioned) highly enough.
And if you’re looking for some great free Motion tutorials, you need to stop what you’re doing and check out Simon Ubsdell’s Youtube Channel.
Seriously, even though no one ever talks about it… for a lot of people, Motion is really worth learning.