PRODUCT: Motype 2
Yanobox, the creator of Nodes and Mosaic, has released Motype 2, a spectacular text-based animation system for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X and Motion, and Adobe’s Premiere Pro and After Effects. As always, Yanobox released Motype 2 on FxFactory (www.fxfactory.com), where you can find a huge collection of effects and titles for these two NLEs and motion graphics apps. Motype 1 was quite powerful if you needed animation on a single line of text. Motype 2 blows Version 1 out of the water with support for paragraphs and, well, more of everything.
I used Final Cut Pro X and Motion for this review. It all starts with opening Final Cut or Motion, and opening the titles list. Motype 2 has no less than 272 presets. Such a huge number of presets offers a nice benefit: you can quickly start with the one that comes closest to what you want and take it from there. Luckily, even if you don’t know much about motion graphics, Motype 2 comes with a complete ‘help’ guide.
The support for paragraphs of text was the most-wanted feature. You can use it for anything from commercials to movie credits. Motype 2 lets you animate entire paragraphs and lists by converting the characters, words, sentences and paragraphs themselves into colorful, moving, swirling and exploding animations. To create paragraphs, you can use a RTF or text editor. The former allows you to carry over much of the formatting into Motype’s own editor. This part of the interface requires a launch of the editor through FxFactory, which gives it a bit of a clumsy feel, but it soon becomes clear why it’s needed. Motype 2 doesn’t support all of the formatting text can have, so the intermediary solution is fully focused on Motype’s capabilities alone to prevent errors.
Motype 2 lets you animate parts of the text and that is directly related to formatting. Some text formatting isn’t rendered in the end result but serves to give separate characters different colors and animations. Motype 2 can still animate the text as a whole, but the ability to animate separate characters, with or without trails and/or particles is what makes Version 2 really powerful. Color needn’t be a single color either. Hue gradients are available too and these too can be animated on a per-character basis or restricted to some characters or words by using text formatting in the editor.
Motion itself is controlled by a Motion mixer that supports different rates of change — even different for the text, trails and particles — with no less than 22 automated animation interpolation methods, not including the “freeze” option that lets you use timing-based keyframes.
In Motype 2 trails can be simple, or of a type called ‘motion blur.’ This gives you a directional trailing instead of a symmetric effect. Motype 2 also has ‘motion painting,’ which simulates long exposures that can result in organic looking light trails or liquid-like flowing text. Motion painting is more advanced — read, more difficult to get right — than motion blur, especially for the animation timing.
When in After Effects or Motion, Motype 2 can use the host’s 3D camera for rotation and fly-through animations. Also new and useful for workgroup projects is that Motype 2 effects work across host applications, so a Motion user can share their work with an After effects specialist.
Motype 2 is, in short, a plug-in that enables you to take text, no matter the length of it, and convert it into something exciting to look at. That makes it a useful tool for anything from commercials to titles to credits. If you create these only now and then, the odds are that you’ll stick with the presets and adjust a parameter here and there for good measure. If you’re animating text on a regular basis, Motype 2 enables you to create something truly unique.
Motype 2 is available from the FxFactory for $129.