Motion 5 Magnifying Glass Effect – part 2

In part one of this tutorial we made a Motion magnifying glass effect and published it to Final Cut Pro. In this article we’ll create a 3D version. We’ll also texture it and use environmental lighting to make it look more realistic. And again we’ll be publishing it to Final Cut.

Watch part 1 first, before you follow along with part 2: Motion 5 Magnifying Glass Effect – part 1

The finished Magnifying Glass template will look something like this. Mine looks green because of the environmental lighting I’ve chosen:

Watch the video tutorial of Motion 5 Magnifying Glass Effect – part 2:

Three Ways to Add 3D Objects to a Motion Project

There are three ways to add 3D objects to your Motion project.

The first is to use a model from the 3D Objects library. This is very useful, but there are limitations. You can apply a colour filter to this objects, but you can’t change its material.

The second method is to create your 3D model in a separate application such as Blender or Maya and import it into Motion. This indeed works well. If you’ve done it correctly, the model should import with the materials you’ve applied. I’ve actually made a video where I take you through this process with Blender. Just be aware that you need to use an app called Reality Converter and its interface has changed since I made the video.

The third method and the one we’re going to be using, is to create the graphics with 3D text symbols. The advantage of doing it this way is that we can change the materials on the 3D object.

Show the Input Menu in the Menu Bar

To make life easier, you need to make sure the input menu is visible in the menu bar. This makes it easier to add symbols to our project as we build the 3D magnifying glass.

  • From the Apple menu open System Settings or System Preferences. Which one you see depends on your version of MacOS.
  • Choose the Keyboard setting
  • And the Input Sources tab
  • Enable ‘Show Input menu’
  • Then close the System window.

Now you should have the Input Menu in the bar at the top of the screen.

Opening an Existing Motion Template

If you followed part 1 of this tutorial, then you’ll already have a template you can build on.

In Final Cut Pro:

  • Open the Titles and Generators side bar and select the category where you saved the template.
  • Right-click or two-finger click on the Magnifying Glass template and choose Open in Motion.

This launches Motion and opens the Magnifying Glass project.

Motion Interface

Here’s a quick look at the Motion interface…

Saving the Template Under a Different Name

I want to keep the 2D version of the magnifying glass, so saving it under a different name will create a new template.

  • From the File menu choose Save As
  • Call this Magnifying Glass 3D, choose an existing category or create a new one
  • Click Publish.

This template is now published to Final Cut under its new name. The previous version still exists and is available in Final Cut.

Setting up the Motion Interface

I’m going to add guides for the vertical and horizontal centre of the Canvas.

  • From the View menu, choose Guides, Add Vertical Guide.
  • And again from the View menu, choose Guides, Add Horizontal Guide.

Adding these will help us position the symbols accurately. You should see two guides, one in the vertical centre of the Canvas and one in the horizontal centre. If you don’t see them, go to the View menu just above the Canvas and make sure Guides are enabled. Also from that same menu, make sure Dynamic Guides and Handles are checked.

In the Project Pane I’m going to rename Mag Group to Mag Glass. I’m doing this because it’s a little confusing having a Mag Group and also a group called Magnify in the same project.

We’re going to use the current 2D graphics as a guide for our 3D graphics.

Make sure the playhead is at the beginning of the Timeline. Because there’s a Fade In / Fade Out behaviour, everything is hidden on the first frame. So, disable Fade In / Fade Out by unchecking the box to the left of the name. We’ll re-enable it just before this effect is finalised.

Also select the Colorize filter under Mag Glass and delete it. This will prevent any confusion with colours later on.

Create a Circle for the Magnifying Glass

The first thing we’ll do is use a text symbol to create the circle of the magnifying glass.

  • Select the Mag Glass group.
  • Under the Canvas, choose the Text Tool.
  • Click anywhere in the Canvas to place a cursor.
  • From the Input menu at the top of the screen, choose Show Emoji and Symbols
  • Then go to the Bullets and Stars category.
  • Double-click the second open circle (called White Circle) in that category.
  • Close the Input window.

So, there’s now a small circle in the Canvas. How it looks depends on the font, but you’ll style it next. You’ll also notice it has a drop shadow and that’s because you applied a Drop Shadow to its group in part one.

  • Click on the Inspector window and select the Text tab
  • Then make sure you’re in the Format panel.
  • In Format increase the Size (we’ll size it more accurately later) and change the Alignment to Centre.

What we want to do next is position the anchor point of the circle where the two guide lines intersect.

  • Select the default Transform tool from under the Canvas.
  • Click and drag the anchor point onto the intersection.
  • Release when the guides turn yellow.
  • In the Canvas, change the Zoom to 200% (or whatever works best with your screen size).
  • In the Inspector locate the Offset controls.
  • Use the Y offset to move the circle down until the two side handles are lined up with the horizontal line.
  • You can make fine adjustments by holding the Option key as you drag.

So, now what we should have is both the circle and its anchor point in the dead centre of the Canvas. If the circle isn’t in the centre, it will wobble if we animate its rotation.

  • Choose the Appearance panel and change the face colour, so it stands out against the original circle graphic.
  • Go to the Properties tab and increase the top Scale slider until the circle is roughly the same size as the original graphics.
  • Back in Text tab and Appearance, check the 3D box.

The whole panel changes to show all the settings for 3D text.

  • While holding down the Option key drag down on the Weight value until the circle is thinner.

You might need to return to the Properties tab to increase the Scale.

  • Back in Appearance, change the Front Edge to Bevel
  • And increase the Front Edge Size to around 5.
  • Increase the Depth to around 42.
  • In the Project Pane, change Mag Glass into a 3D group by clicking the icon just to the left of the lock.

The drop shadow disappears because a 3D layer doesn’t have the parameter for it in the Properties tab. We’ll use a different technique later to apply a drop shadow.

  • Double-click on the circle layer and change its name to ‘Glass’
  • And delete the old 2D version of the Glass.

Adding a Material to the Glass Object

Let’s add a material to the 3D glass and make it look more like a metallic object.

  • Click on the new Glass layer

Further down the Appearance panel you’ll find the Material section.

  • Make sure it’s set to Single.

By default the symbol has a Basic material.

At its most fundamental level a material is made of two things, a texture and a shader. A texture is an image that defines the substance of the object. And the shader defines how it reacts to light.

Motion materials selector
  • Click on the material to see the options.
  • Choose Metal and then Distressed Metal

The circle now has a rough texture and it’s not very shiny.

  • But let’s change this to a Chrome material: select Metal and then Chrome

And you can see it’s shinier. But you might want the circle to be brighter. You could add lights to the scene, but you could change the finish of the material instead.

  • From the Add Layers menu, choose Finish and then Custom Specular.

The circle becomes brighter and a new section called Finish is created. You can use the Intensity slider to adjust the brightness.

Adding Environmental Lighting

Because the circle is shiny, it reflects the environment around it. You might be wondering what the environment is, well you can choose for yourself.

  • In the Inspector, under the Lighting section, set Lighting Style to Off.
  • Check Environment
  • And click Show to see the settings.

From the Type pop-up menu, you can choose the environment that best suits your project. For example, you might choose Wood because it reflects a predominantly green environment onto the circle.

Motion environment selector

The environment you choose effects the brightness as well as the colour.

  • Under the Environment Type, adjust the Intensity slider to compensate.

Adding a Drop Shadow

When we changed the Mag Glass into a 3D group, we lost the drop shadow effect. Let’s add a drop shadow to the Circle. At the bottom of the Appearance panel:

  • Check the Drop Shadow box and click Show to see its controls.
  • While watching the changes in the Canvas, adjust the Distance and then the Blur.

Creating a Stem for the Magnifying Glass Handle

You’re got the ring that holds the glass, next create the stem for the handle.

  • In the Project Pane, right-click or two-finger click the new Glass layer and choose Duplicate.
  • Double-click the duplicate and change the name to Stem.

It’s inherited the material, lighting and drop shadow settings. All we need to do is change the symbol that defines the shape.

  • Select the Stem layer
  • In the Inspector select the Text tab and then the Format panel.
  • In the Text field, at the bottom, delete the circle.
  • From the Input menu choose Show Emoji and Symbols
  • Select the Parentheses category from the list on the left
  • Double-click on one that looks like a vertical line.
  • Close the Input window.

You should now see a vertical bar with the same material settings as the circle.

Input menu Character View Parentheses
  • If you’re still zoomed in, use the Command and minus keys to zoom out.
  • Using the 2D version of the stem as a guide, drag a corner handle to scale the line down.
  • Then zoom in again using the Command and plus keys
  • Scroll down to see the whole of the stem.
  • Move the stem, so it overlaps the edge of the glass.
  • And use the side handles to make it the right width.
  • Then drag the anchor point and snap to the vertical guide to make sure it’s centred.
  • With the Stem layer still selected, click on the Appearance panel.
  • Change the Front Edge to Round
  • And crank up the Front Edge Size until it clearly looks round.
  • Select the old 2D Stem layer in the Project and delete it.

Creating the Magnifying Glass Handle

Next we’re going to create a handle for the magnifying glass.

  • In the Project Pane, right-click or two finger click Stem and choose Duplicate.
  • Rename this Duplicated layer as ‘Handle’. 
  • In the Canvas, scroll so you can see the whole of the 2D version of the handle.
  • Make sure the new Handle layer is selected
  • And using the Transform tool, drag its anchor point and line up the bottom with the 2D version underneath.
  • Then drag down the top handle to line up the top.
  • Choose the Format panel and expand Scale.
  • Use the X value to adjust the width of the handle.

Change the Handle Material

Let’s go wild and change the Handle material.

  • With the 3D Handle layer selected, choose the Appearance panel.
  • Change the material to Plastic and for now just choose the Blue Plastic.
  • Click on the Colour chip and drag down the brightness slide to change the colour to black.
  • From the Substance parameter, change the Type to Shiny.
  • And in the Environment section, reduce the Intensity.
  • Then in the 3D Text section, increase the Front Edge Size.
  • Delete the old 2D Handle layer.
  • Use the Shift-Z shortcut to make the project fit the Canvas.

Checking the Published Parameters

Because I created the new graphics inside the Mag Glass group, the published parameters will still work fine.

  • Click the Project layer and then the Project tab.

You’ll find the Position, Scale and Rotation all work as expected. When you rotate the magnifying glass, you’ll see there’s a natural interaction with the environment lighting. You’ll also see the position of the drop shadow changes in a very natural way.

If you’ve changed the settings in the Project tab, reset them before continuing.

Refining the Magnifying Glass Effect

I’d like to make the magnified area look more like glass. I can use a filter to add some imperfection and I can also create highlights around the edge.

Before I do that I’ll go to the View menu just above the Canvas and deactivate Guides, so they disappear from the Canvas.

Create Imperfections with a Prism Filter

To make the glass look less perfect, I’m going to add a Prism filter.

  • Select the Magnify group.
  • From the Filters menu, choose Blur and then Prism.

The Prism effect is added and the Inspector takes you to the Prism settings in the Filters tab. But there is also an on-screen control.

  • Drag the arrow out to increase the amount. You can also rotate it to change the angle.

The Prism filter can make objects look blurry, so I’ll keep the amount fairly low.

Masking the Prism Effect

If you want to go extreme with the Prism amount, you’ll notice that the effect goes beyond the edge of the glass. To stop this happening, you can create a mask. We actually need to make the mask in the Mag Glass group. This is because it has the Position setting for Mag Glass that’s published to Final Cut and we want the mask to move with the magnifying glass.

Prism filter going beyond edge of the glass
  • Select Mag Glass.
  • Make sure the playhead is on frame zero.
  • Under the Canvas, select the Circle shape.
  • While holding down the Shift key drag out a circle over the glass. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect.
  • With the Circle layer selected, go to the Properties tab in the Inspector.
  • To the right of Position, open the menu and choose Reset Parameter.

The circle is in the correct horizontal position, but not the vertical position. This is because we re-positioned the whole of the Mag Glass group in part 1 of this tutorial.

  • Select the Mag Glass group.
  • Locate the Anchor Point parameter and double-click the Y value to select it.
  • Use the Command-C shortcut to copy. 
  • Select the Circle layer
  • Double-click the Y Position
  • Paste with the Command-V shortcut and hit Return.

The mask is now in the vertical and horizontal centre of the glass.

  • Click on the Shape tab and the Geometry panel
  • Change the Radius to 400.

If it doesn’t fit correctly, simply tweak the Radius.

Next we’ll add this shape as a mask on the Magnify group.

  • Right-click or two-finger click the Magnify layer and choose Add Image Mask.
  • The Image Mask tab opens in the Inspector.
  • Drag the Circle layer into the Source well.

The Prism effect has been masked and the Circle has been automatically hidden. Now you can go completely crazy with the Prism filter and it won’t spill out over the edge.

Reflected Highlights in the Glass

Let’s enhance the glass further by giving it some reflected highlights.

  • Make sure the playhead is on frame 0.
  • Select the Magnify group
  • And from the Object menu, choose New Group.

This creates a new group above the Magnify group.

  • Name this new group ‘Highlights’.

The reason you’re creating highlights in a new group is so it doesn’t inherit the rotation setting from Mag Glass. Later I’ll show you how to make it inherit the position settings with a Link parameter behaviour.

  • With the Highlights group selected, choose the Circle tool under the Canvas.
  • While holding down the Shift key, drag out a circle anywhere in the Canvas.
  • With the Circle layer selected, go to the Properties tab
  • Open the Animation menu to the right of Position and choose Reset Parameter.

This place’s the circle in the centre of the Canvas and also in the centre of the magnifying glass.

Adjust the top Scale slider until the circle is just smaller than the glass, so you can see a gap around the edge.

  • Re-name the circle as ‘Highlight’.
  • Right-click on the Highlight layer and choose Duplicate.
  • Name the duplicate ‘HL Mask’.
  • With HL Mask selected, go to the Shape tab in the Inspector.
  • And make its Fill colour darker, so it will stand out against the Highlight layer underneath.
  • Go to the Geometry panel and click the Radius arrow to expand its settings.
  • Reduce the X scale and increase the Y scale so you can see two crescents of the white circle underneath.
  • Right-click or two-finger click on the Highlight layer and choose Add Image Mask.
  • Drag the HL Mask layer into the source well.

You can see it’s created a mask. But you need the opposite of what you’re seeing. You want to hide what’s inside the mask and keep what’s outside it.

  • In the Inspector, under Mask Options, check the Invert Mask box.

The mask is now working correctly.

  • With the Highlights group selected, go to the Filters menu and choose Blur, Gaussian Blur
  • And crank up the Amount.
  • Click on the Properties tab and drop the Opacity for the Highlights group.

We now have some nice looking highlights for out magnifying glass.

Linking the Highlights Position to the Mag Glass Group

To finish off, we need to link the position of the Highlights group to the position of the Mag Glass.

  • Select the Highlights layer
  • In the Properties tab open the menu to the right of Position
  • Choose Add Parameter Behaviour and then Link.

The Behaviours tab opens to show the Link parameters, including a source well.

  • Drag the Mag Glass group into the source well.

Now the position of the Highlights is linked to the position of the Mag Glass. It’s the Mag Glass position that’s published in Final Cut, so this will all work fine.

If you select Mag Glass and adjust the position you’ll see the highlights are moving with the magnifying glass. Remember to reset the position, if you do make changes.

Publish Template Parameters to Final Cut Pro

Now you’ve added the Prism filter and created the highlights, you might want to publish parameters to control these effects in Final Cut Pro.

  • Select the Prism filter
  • To the right of the Amount slider, open the menu and click Publish.

I could check the Publish OSC (on-screen controls) box. But when I tried to use this in Final Cut, I kept accidentally bringing up transform controls for the Glass object. So, in this case, I’m going to stick with publishing the slider control.

It would be useful to publish the Highlights Opacity setting in case we needed to change that later.

  • Click the Highlights group and select the Properties tab
  • From the menu to the right of the Opacity slider, select Publish.
  • In the Project Pane, click on the Project layer at the top.
  • Click on the Project tab
  • Change the name of Amount to something more obvious like ‘Prism Amount’.
  • And change the name of Opacity to something like ‘Highlight Viz’, so you know what it does.
  • Save the template with the Command-S shortcut.

Test the Template in Final Cut Pro

Let’s take a look at the template in Final Cut Pro, to make sure it’s working.

  • Select the Titles and Generators sidebar
  • Choose your Titles category
  • And drag the Magnifying Glass template onto the Timeline as a Connected Clip.
  • In the Inspector window, make sure you’re in the Title Inspector.

You can adjust the settings in the Title Inspector to adjust the look and behaviour of the magnifying glass. You can also animated the settings by creating keyframes.

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