motionally.com | inexpensive HD motion graphics

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully you'll find the answers to your questions here. If you don't, please ask directly.

FAQ: Basics

So how does this work?

You look through the Templates and find one you like — all templates are currently priced at US$50. You fill out the order form, specifying the options you need for your production and any changes you'd like to make (simple changes are free, more complex changes start at US$25). We'll confirm your order and a final price and send PayPal payment details by email. You don't need a PayPal account, credit cards are fine.

Within a day or so (time zone differences are likely) we will send you a version of the template(s) you ordered, customised to your production's requirements. You drop that file into the right place on your system:

We provide a simple script to create that directory and an easy way to drop files there.

How do I use the template in Final Cut Pro?

Can you send me titles for use with my Avid/Vegas/Liquid/something else system?

Yes. We can send you pre-rendered QuickTime movies using the Animation codec — or a PNG image sequence — that will import straight into your system. However, you'll need to provide a list of all the titles required and the turnaround time will be longer than a simple colour change. Files will be large, so you can expect to take some time for them to download. You might find it much simpler to buy a copy of Final Cut Studio and render your own, but we're not going to try to convert you.

How do I make sure everything will work perfectly?

We offer sample templates for free in a variety of formats. You can expect any templates you order to work in exactly the same way, so please try the samples to make sure they work for you.

We will provide titles that, to the best of our knowledge, are correctly formatted, but will not be held responsible if something goes wrong further down the line. Problems — usually a format mismatch like progressive instead of interlaced — that are discovered late in the production process can require expensive or time-consuming solutions. To avoid problems, please check final output quality early and often. If you're ordering a whole show's worth of pre-rendered titles, we'll produce a single title to confirm correct formatting before we produce them all.

FAQ: Making Changes

I know how to use Motion. Can I make changes myself?

Yes. Nothing is locked, so feel free to use Motion to change any aspect of the template to suit your needs. However, resale or redistribution of the templates is prohibited. We do not use DRM, serial numbers or any other kind of copy protection — we trust you to do the right thing. Even if you choose not to buy anything, we hope you can pick up some tricks from seeing our examples here.

I don't know how to use Motion. Can you please change the colour/font/timings for me?

Yes. Colour, font and (simple) timing changes are free, but there's a fee (from US$25) for more extensive modifications to the existing templates.

Please note that if you want a title to animate as it leaves the screen, the length must be pre-determined. You may want to request multiple lengths (each version counts as a change) or simply fade the title out instead.

If you would like to add a logo or make more complex changes, just follow the order process through and we'll send you a quote before proceeding further.

I don't know how to use Motion, Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Server. Can you teach me?

Yes — if you live in Brisbane, Australia and want to come to one of the regular classes I teach at Next Byte. I'm an Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Server. My work has been broadcast in HD in North America and used in presentations by Microsoft.

Do you have a template that looks like [ThisGreatTitleISawOnYouTube]? Can you make one?

The range of templates on the site is growing all the time. We're focusing on simple, clean, effective titles at present, but the range will grow to encompass a wide variety of styles. Feel free to suggest ideas and we'll see what we can do.

We also do custom titles on request, though costs can be higher.

FAQ: Technical

Are your titles broadcast safe?

Yes. All text is placed within the 4:3 title safe area of a 16:9 canvas — unless requested otherwise. Similarly, all colours chosen fall within the 16-235 (RGB) range, though a broadcast safe filter is usually a good idea just in case.

Why do you need to know all this information about the video format?

There are so many ways to produce video that we simply can't provide all the different options needed for instant download. If we send you titles in the wrong format, your video could look OK in production but terrible at final export — not what anyone wants. Every file we send out is therefore customised to your specific needs:

Generally, you'll want to choose "1920x1080 interlaced" for broadcast HD or "1280x720 progressive" for web or computer presentations. PAL territories use 25fps and NTSC territories use 29.97fps. Film is 24 fps progressive worldwide. (Note that pre-rendered Animation-codec movies with alpha channels will be progressive — which should work well in any context other than a credit roll or crawl.)

My software says my video format is 1440x1080. Can you provide that?

There are many different actual video resolutions used in HD, though all of them produce a 16:9 image at the end of the day. Briefly, though the full HD resolution is 1920x1080, many cameras record a resolution of 1440x1080, and so your projects use that resolution too. These pixels are "non-square" and always cover a 16:9 canvas without distortion.

In testing, we've found that in HD, you get better quality results from titles that use square pixels. Final Cut Pro won't have any problems with this — let me know if your software does. If you're given the option, import with aspect ratio set to "square". A quick spec summary:

1080p can mean 1920x1080, 1440x1080 or 1280x1080, depending on codec.
We provide 1920x1080.

720p can mean 1280x720 or 960x720, depending on codec.
We provide 1280x720.

We can provide SD templates, but different formats require different techniques.

What fonts can be used?

For Motion templates, anything that's on your system and mine (except Comic Sans) is fine. Here's a list of fonts built into Mac OS X. I also use Adobe Creative Suite, so any fonts included with that (such as Myriad) are OK.

In general, medium weight sans-serif font (not Arial) are recommended. Some of the built-in Japanese fonts (Hei, Hiragino Kaku Pro) have clean, simple Latin-script Gothic characters and can be a different yet appropriate choice. There are also some good free fonts out there, so if there's a font you'd like to use, just ask. Of course, if you can use Motion, feel free to change the font yourself.

FAQ: Other

Royalty free? Really?

Yes, you can use any templates you purchase as many times as you wish, on as many productions as you wish. You can make changes too. However, resale or redistribution of the templates themselves is prohibited. If your production includes credits, a credit is required: "Motion graphics: Iain Anderson / motionally.com".

Your titles are really expensive! Why aren't they cheaper?

Remember, each title for sale here is a template, not a single, unchangeable piece. With Final Cut Pro, you can generate your entire production's titles from a single template purchase. Around $100 for an entire production's worth of titles is hardly expensive.

While it's true that you can find simple animated background loops for $20 or less, they are not a complete, professionally designed template. For consistency, you need to standardise text styles and formats, not just backgrounds.

Can't I just use LiveType or the built-in Master Templates to do this?

You can do some nice things with LiveType and Final Cut Pro's built-in templates, but it takes time to get just the right effect. Also, LiveType doesn't integrate with Final Cut Pro as well as Motion-based Master Templates do. But yes, of course, if you have the time and skills to make your own titles, please go ahead. Our templates provide an alternative to boring titles for those productions without the budget for a dedicated motion graphics artist.

I'm happy with static titles that fade up and down. Aren't animated titles a waste of time?

They can be. Poorly designed titles detract from the video behind them, but well-designed titles, in the right context, can really help. Before Final Cut Pro 6 introduced Master Templates, they were also difficult to use or expensive to produce. Now, they're as easy as using a Text generator.

Motionally isn't a real word!

My apologies. All "dictionary word" domains were registered many years ago. "Motion" and "ally" are both real words, though. So is "emotionally".

So can I go to "e.motionally.com"?

Sure.

I'm looking for something a little different.

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