Materials overview

3D text objects in Motion have properties designed to give them a natural and realistic appearance. They respond to lighting conditions and exhibit shading, reflectivity, and other attributes of real-world objects.

3D text object in Canvas with Brushed Metal material and Above lighting style applied

Attributes that define a 3D text object’s surface appearance are called materials.

After you create a 3D text object, you can apply a preset material or create a custom material by combining a collection of one or more material layers—image overlays that combine to create a naturalistic 3D texture.

Think of material layers as the building blocks for creating an object in real life. For example, you might begin creating an object by deciding what substance it should be made of—wood, plastic, metal, and so on. Depending on that basic substance, the object will have some fundamental properties, including color, texture, reflectivity, and so on. Next, you apply paint or another finish to the object to modify its color, sheen, and reflectivity. Motion even allows you to apply a “distress” layer to add a bit of texture, aging, or other elements to make the object feel more organic and realistic.

3D Text Inspector showing material layers

Each material layer type has a variety of controls and settings to customize the specific look and feel of the material.

You can apply multiple material layers of differing types to compound their effects, and you can rearrange the order in which material layers are applied to create varied results. You can also apply different materials to specific facets of a 3D text object.