General overview / Getting Started with Motion

In this free tutorial- you will learn a general overview on how Apple Motion works to create a quick animated title. If you have never used Motion, or have done any kind of Motion graphics in the past this lesson is for you.

In this lesson we will cover the following topics:

What IS apple motion?
Why should I use it?
Price comparison to After Effects
Operating system concerns
The Motion 5 Interface
Importing items
The Library
Groups and layers
The Inspector
Adjusting properties
Creating text layers
Introduction to behaviors
2D- 3D layers
Arranging items in 3D space
Using the throw behavior in 3D space
Using a Fade in Fade out behavior

This is the first in a series of Apple Motion tutorials. If you are looking for more tutorials be sure to subscribe to my channel AV-Ultra, where I have tutorials on Premiere Pro, After Effects, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro X, Element 3D, Mocha, and many others.

If you are looking for formal training in video production or motion graphics, editing software, I am a technical trainer based in Milwaukee WI, and have classes available. I offer classroom based learned but can also travel to Your location and work with you and your team.

Element 3D Sphere replicator tutorial

In this tutorial we look at the Sphere replicator shape option in Element 3D.  The way this works is that the replicator itself is a sphere and depending on the number of instances of a particle you have in a scene, the more filled out the sphere will be.

Here are the different sections covered in this tutorial:

Using the sphere replicator

Adjusting the sphere properties

Adding rotations to particles

Using the particle look random rotation

If you are looking for more tutorials on Element 3D, I have a bunch available on my tutorials page.

If you are looking for more formal training on Element 3D, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Motion, Final cut pro or other video production topics and software i offer classroom based or custom 1 on 1 training if you are in the Milwaukee Chicago Madison area.  

You can see my classes available at my home site at

Not in the area?  I offer a 1 on 1 web based training using Screen Hero.  You pick the topics and we cover exactly what you are looking for.

Lastly, If you are looking for some help with VFX or animation, I may be available for short or midrange contract work.

Lower thirds in After Effects part 3 of 3: Creating a fully animated lower third

This is part 3 of 3 lessons talking about simple lower thirds.

In our first lesson, we looked at what a lower third is, and how to create a very simple one using a shape layer and gradients.

in our second lesson, we created a more styled eye catching design using tools built into After Effects, and photo imagery.

In this lesson we continue from our design in part 2- and add to it. In here we make use of alpha mattes and precomps to give our design more life than simply fading in and fading out.

The topics covered in this lesson are:

Assembling our lower third

Using alpha mattes,

Animation of position properties

Easing of keyframes (keyframe interpolation)

Viewing multiple comps at once

Finessing our animation

Using the Light Sweep effect

Time Reversing of Keyframes
If you are looking for more tutorials or After effects, Premiere, Final Cut, Apple motion or video production Training I am available for private or group instruction through

There, you can find more tutorials as well as online classes and face to face training opportunities.

Tutorial: Using the Adobe Media encoder

I recently started creating and uploading a series of tutorials about the different software and techniques I teach.

In this tutorial, learn how to properly use the Adobe Media Encoder to speed up your renders, save them for the end of the day, split work among different computers, specify timecode overlays and so much more.  It’s *almost* everything there is to know about the AME in one lesson.

Continue reading

Constant change for growth

Here’s something I typically don’t share.

Went I went to school I didn’t have a penny to my name. I had quit a career of 6 years to go back to what I always loved. I was pretty broke and filled out scholarships and grant papers part time while working to try and fund my schooling.

I got really good at it.
I wrote them all the time, and I cant write for a damn but made use of writing centers and 3-4 people proofing and reworking my writing to make it better

I got a few degrees and was commencement speaker for my graduating class. I won a few awards and even got a couple oversized novelty checks (I was very disappointed the giant checks came with “real” small ones too)

I worked an internship making flyers and filming. I actually made something like 200 fliers and still have a copy of every single one printed in my closet) I built media centers and signage and filmed a bunch. I wouldn’t take payment for 2 years because really my stuff want that good, but it got a lot better.

And while I still believe everything I do has a stink of “this sucks” on it, it turns out I know a lot. And at the same time I feel like I’m just getting started.

Most people have goals and they have things they “want” to do. But a lot of people don’t do it. They make excuses why they fail. “I never went to school for that, I might not be that good, I don’t have this kind of equipment, people might not like it” Etc. Sometimes its too inconvenient. Or it’s fear.

Ask anyone that has transformed themselves. If they got in great shape from not so good, who got a great job, anyone… who radically changed their life, and everyone of them will tell you it was the hardest thing they have ever done. At the same time they will say, looking back, it was the greatest thing they ever did.

Change, and growth, takes an enormous amount of effort.
It’s only for those that do more than “want” change.

I say this often: You want to do xyz? What are you doing about it?
Are you making goals? do you have a plan? Do you NEED it? No? Then you dont want it and furthermore you’re wasting your time and other peoples time.

You want to be a better artist? Draw every day.
You want to lose weight? Track your caloric consumption and expenditure.
You want to save money? Track it. Continual growth can only be seen from a distance. Dont focus on yesterday. Focus on today. Right now, and 6 months from now.

And it will be hard, and you will hate it and you might quit. For the few that don’t quit. the ones that keep going, only greatness awaits.

But this is all just my opinion. This has worked for me so far. I, like most people I’ve talked to about this, have no map.

What is your greatness for 2015?