Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Nothing exercises the mind more than delving into Motion 4 with a complex animation in mind. I needed to show fire exits from a building starting with the back of the building sweeping round to the front.

My main problem was lack of basic knowledge of how you should approach the 3D buildings. I thought you could just add various shapes to build up the scene then look at them from various angles. That approach does not work, Motion 4 needs you to apply rectangles, boxes all on the same plane otherwise you get a peeling apart effect as soon as you move away from your scene.

After pulling my hair out I emailed Mark Spencer of Ripple Training who looked at my first example and told me that all my rectangles were not on the same plane I did not understand at first then it clicked…everything must be at 90˚ to each other as shown below.


Once you get your head round the 90˚ rule the rest is plane sailing…or not…as soon as you start to add lights to your project it starts to look sexy but sexy at the cost of rendering, without lights your 3D subject can take an hour or so…add three lights and you are looking at 3,4,5 hours or more. One initial project was taking so long that I abandoned it 6 hours later !

I am about to do some sexy 3D photo frames today I will post you the results once I have something worth showing. PS. Maths was one of my worst subjects at school and working with lots of rectangles in a 3D environment brings it all back…who said you don’t need maths once you leave school…me !!!

I want to thank Mark Spencer for his invaluable input.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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