Animate on the fly

Motion lets you create animations while your project is playing back. This is similar to how audio engineers adjust sliders for each audio channel while listening to the mix. The next time the project is played back, all changes are incorporated.

Because so many of Motion’s effects are displayed in real time, you can perform a sort of “visual mix” and modify the parameters of your effects while the project is playing back. Make adjustments to any slider or parameter, interactively manipulate objects in the Canvas, and then, if you don’t like the results, rewind and do it again. Each time you alter a parameter, you replace the keyframes previously assigned.

Animate a parameter on the fly via the Inspector or HUD

  1. Click the Record button, press A, or choose Mark > Record Animation to turn on keyframe recording.

  2. Click the Play button or press the Space bar to begin playback.

  3. As your project plays, adjust a parameter slider in the Inspector or HUD.

  4. Click the Record button again to disable Record.

    The changes you made during playback are recorded as keyframes for that parameter. You can view them in the Keyframe Editor.

    Note: You can also animate on the fly using the initial keyframe method. For more information on the initial keyframe method, see Add keyframes.

Delete keyframes recorded on the fly

If you don’t like the animation you made, you can delete the keyframes and try again.

Do one of the following:

  • Choose Edit > Undo (or press Command-Z) to revert to the state before you began recording your animation.

  • Select one or more keyframes, then press Delete.

  • Control-click a keyframe, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

  • Select a keyframe, then choose Delete from the Animation menu for that parameter.

    Note: To delete all keyframes for a parameter, click the Animation menu in the Keyframe Editor parameter list or Inspector, then choose Reset Parameter.

Create a handmade animation path in the Canvas

A common use for animating on the fly is to create hand-drawn animation paths. Although you can choose various curve types, it is very difficult to simulate semi-random movement except by sketching with a mouse or tablet pen.

  1. Enable Record (press A).

  2. Click the Play button to begin playback.

  3. Select the object to manipulate and drag it in the pattern of your choice.

    The position and speed of your movement are recorded and applied to the position keyframes for that object.

    Canvas showing a handmade animation path

    You can further manipulate the path by dragging individual keyframes, or re-recording a new animation path for that object.