Apple Motion 5 – 101: Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Motion5By Kevin P McAuliffe (doddleNEWS)

If you’re a motion graphic designer on the Mac, investing in an application like Apple Motion 5 is almost a no brainer.  Whether you use Final Cut Pro X or not, Motion 5 is an excellent application that offers you a wide variety of possibilities, and features that even applications like Adobe’s After Effects doesn’t. In this article series, Apple Motion 5 – 101, we’re going to get into Apple’s Motion 5, and show you why it’s $49 that will be well spent if you’re either an editor or motion graphic designer.

Getting Started

Upon launching Apple Motion 5, you are brought to the Project Browser, and this is where you need to decide the type of project you want to work on. Now, something that is important to keep in mind is that Motion 5 has been developed by Apple to basically create effects and animations for FCP X.

Now, that doesn’t mean you are limited to that, but you will notice that the options that jump out at you right away are exactly for that. You have Final Cut Effect, Final Cut Transition, Final Cut Generator, and Final Cut Title. We will be taking a look at those options in a later article. For now, the project type we want to use is just a standard Motion Project.

If you’re not creating for FCPX, you want just a standard Motion Project.

Now, something else that is important to keep in mind is that, unlike an application such as After Effects, where you can work on multiple animations/timelines at the same time, Apple’s Motion 5 is really designed to work on one timeline at a time. Meaning that you could have a timeline that has one clip on it, or one that has many clips on it, but at the end of the day, it’s one timeline you’re dealing with.

In our next article, I’m going to show you how to quickly create a correct project type, based on the footage you are using, and how to get in and alter its parameters, in case you made a mistake.

Check out our growing list of Apple Motion 5 – 101 tutorials here. You can grab Motion 5 and Compressor 4, only $49 each. Also, check out Final Cut Pro X here, it’s only $299 and there’s a free 30-day trial.

Kevin P McAuliffe is one of the Senior Editors at Extreme Reach in Toronto, Canada. His current clients include Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and E1 Entertainment to name a few.  You can send him an e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter @kpmcauliffe.

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