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Digital Heaven releases AutoMotion

At the LA Final Cut Pro User Group meeting in January, Digital Heaven Cofounder Martin Baker previewed AutoMotion. AutoMotion, it turns out, is a new way to automate text-based animations in Motion projects. In a technologically clever interpretation of the workflow, users can create a single Motion Project as a template – the pattern for all the following animations. This was demonstrated as being particularly efficient for lower-third variations across a program.

Taking the template and merging it with a tab-delimited text file, each line in the text file fills the template, creating a new project for each line. autoMotion simply requires the user to connect the line in the Motion project being used as the template to the corresponding column in the tab-delimited text file. Once connect – a five second process – 40 new Motion Projects where created and saved.

Being fairly simple Motion projects, they opened in Final Cut Pro an previewed in real time over motion video. A round of applause greeted the demonstration.

The editing and updating capabilities available through AutoMotion are where a lot of the value lies for the average editor who’s producer or director may rethink an color or font, or simply want to make changes. In AutoMotion this is absurdly easy compared with modifying 40 lower third titles in a project. When the source template project was edited the changes rippled through all the results. Or, as Martin demonstrated, add an additional template to the AutoMotion project and assign that to some of the imported (from text) titles.

For the techno-geek, the cool thing is that Digital Heaven are creating and modifying Motion project files, which are expressed in XML, while Final Cut Pro et al play the result as a movie or clip and Motion opens it as an editable project. The power of QuickTime at work and a very clever use of it by Digital Heaven.

AutoMotion for Mac OS X is now shipping. The software is available for download purchase from the Digital Heaven online store for US$395. A 30 day fully functioning demo version is available.

More information at Digital Heaven.

Martin Baker was interviewed on Creative Planet’s Digital Production BuZZ on the January 26th show about autoMotion and Digital Heaven’s other software products.

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