Add lights

You can add a lights to your project one at a time, or you can add sets of lights that have been predesigned to create specific lighting styles.

Add a light to a project

  1. Click the New Light button in the toolbar, or choose Object > New Light.

    Add Light button in the toolbar

    If your project contains no existing 3D groups, the following dialog appears:

    Switch to 3D dialog

    If your project already contains at least one 3D group, go to step 3.

    If you select Keep as 2D, a light will have no effect until you create at least one 3D group at the root level (not nested in a 2D group).

  2. Click Switch to 3D.

    A light object is added to the Layers list, Canvas (represented there by a wireframe icon), and Timeline; the 3D Transform tool in the toolbar becomes active; and the Light Inspector opens.

  3. Make adjustments to the light in the Light Inspector.

Add a preset lighting style

You can add a group of lights all at once by selecting one of Motion’s preset lighting styles.

  1. Choose Object > New Light Setup and choose one of the preset lighting styles.

  2. If a dialog appears stating that you have no 3D groups in the project, click Switch to 3D.

    A new group containing lights is added to the project. The number and types of lights varies depending on the preset style you chose.

  3. Make any adjustments to the newly added lights to customize them for your scene.

    Note: Choosing a new light setup does not remove or replace any lights that are already in the project.

    Tip: If you’re using 3D text, turn off any lighting effects before adding scene lights to avoid unexpected or conflicting results. See Adjust 3D text lighting.

Disable rendering of lighting

Lighting effects can significantly impact playback performance. You can temporarily disable lighting to improve playback speed while working on other aspects of your project.

  • Click the Render pop-up menu in the top-right corner of the Canvas, then choose Lighting (or press Option-L).