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Changing Values in the Motion Settings Dialog Box

Now things can get even more confusing. The Motion Settings dialog box—below the motion timeline and highlighted in Figure 11.18—needs some clarification. I'll cover each element in turn:

Figure 11.17 The little clip icon with its two arrows indicate whether the displayed keyframe time is its position in the clip or the entire project.

Figure 11.18 Some of the Motion Settings dialog box's components are nonintuitive.

Info—This is the keyframe's location relative to the center of the "visible area" in the motion path screen. That visible area is 80x60 pixels, so a location of –40, 30 is the lower-left corner and 40, -30 is the upper-right corner. No one at Adobe knows why the Y value is positive for a point below the center. It just is.


You can fly multiple video clips over another video or still image—so-called "pictures in a picture." One way to add some "realism" to that process is to give your flying videos drop shadows. And one way to do that is to fly a translucent gray box "beneath" a flying clip, matching its motion but remaining slightly offset from its route. You'll use these location numbers to create those parallel routes. In Hour 17, "Tips, Tricks, and Techniques: Part 2," I'll explain this process in detail.

Rotation—You can input a value between –1440 degrees and 1440 degrees (that is, between four full rotations counterclockwise and four full rotations clockwise). The number represents the angle of the clip by the time it reaches the selected keyframe. Select 360 for the new keyframe (press Tab to record the change) and then watch. Your clip makes one full counterclockwise rotation by the time it reaches the keyframe and then spins clockwise back to zero degrees by the time it reaches the endpoint.


If you want a clip to rotate and then hold that new position (360 degrees, for example) without rotating back to zero, you need to change all subsequent keyframe settings to 360 degrees.

Zoom—This is the clip's relative size from 0 to 500%. To see it in action, select the start point by clicking its hash mark on the motion timeline, set its Zoom to 0, select the new keyframe, and set its Zoom to 200 percent. Then select the end point and set its Zoom to zero. If you drag the start- and endpoints closer to the visible area, this change will become more apparent. Again, whatever value you select is the relative size your clip will achieve at the moment it arrives at that keyframe position.

Delay—This is the relative amount of time the moving clip will hold its position at the selected keyframe. It can't exceed the relative time remaining to the next keyframe. To see this in action, select a keyframe and give it a delay of 40% (if the value exceeds the relative time remaining in the clip, Premiere alerts you with a "beep").

That places a blue bar on the motion timeline, as I've highlighted in Figure 11.19. You'll note that your clip now pauses when it reaches the keyframe. Slide the keyframe on the motion timeline to the right. The blue bar will keep you from sliding it all the way to the end or beyond the next keyframe.

Motion—This sets the style of motion from the selected keyframe to the next keyframe. It can be Linear, Accelerated, or Decelerated. That is, the clip can move at a constant speed to the next spot, start slowly and then build speed, or start quickly and slow down at the end. Try all three using the start point and watch how your clip arrives at the keyframe.

Figure 11.19 Setting a delay at a keyframe places a blue bar on the motion timeline, representing its length relative the entire clip.


If you're flying an image onscreen and then flying it off, I think the most "comfortable" motion options are to set the start point to decelerate and the keyframe to accelerate. This means your clip flies on quickly but settles smoothly into place and then leaves gradually, zipping offscreen at the end.

Distortion—Drag the clip corners in the Distortion window to change your clip's shape. Again, the clip gradually will shift to that new shape as it approaches the selected keyframe, and it will shift back to normal (or to a new setting) as it moves to the next keyframe.


Alt/Option-clicking a corner lets you rotate the distorted clip on its axis (equivalent to changing the Rotation value).

If you don't like any of a keyframe's settings, click Reset. That changes all the options for that selected Keyframe back to their default values.

If you want to have a clip move to the center of the screen, select a keyframe and click Center.

Layering Clips in Motion

I will cover this topic in more detail in Hour 17. Here is a barebones overview of how to have more than one "picture in a picture" flying over a background scene. Normally when you place clips above each other on the timeline, you can see only the top clip. Being opaque, it covers all the other clips.

Using motion settings you can place several clips above one another, starting with Video 1 and climbing (to add video tracks, right/Option-click the Timeline and select Add Video Track). Give the Video 1 clip a background color and give all the clips in higher video tracks (starting from Video 2 and climbing) different motion settings. Making them cross paths shows you how clips higher on the timeline cover clips beneath—if only briefly. Preview each new clip motion by selecting Show All.

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