Motion Paths 2.0: How to Use Easing, Rotation and Curves

guide Feb 10, 2021

In this post, you’ll learn what’s new about Vyond’s updated Motion Path feature, how to use it and you’ll get some inspiration for how you can apply it to your own videos. 

The main update is that you can now add Points to your Motion Paths. So, instead of only moving in straight lines, you can now vary how an object gets from point A to point B.

This is actually an old feature that Vyond has reintroduced. Back in the day, when Vyond was called GoAnimate, you could add so-called Control Points to your Motion Paths.

The feature caused a lot of bugs, so it was removed, but now it’s back - and in a much better version.

Motion Paths move a Prop, a Character, or an imported object from A to B. 

How to Add a Motion Path

You add a new Motion Path by

  1. Clicking an object
  2. Choosing Motion Path in the top right corner
  3. Clicking the arrow
  4. Choosing a Motion Path category
  5. Choosing a Motion Path template.

A lot of clicks just to add a new Motion Path, I know. A bit over-engineered in my opinion, but Vyond says it’s designed this way to inspire beginners to get started with Motion Paths.

So, how do you use these new Points in a great way? Either you use one of the many Motion Path templates, like this looping one.

Or, you make your own Motion Paths from scratch, which I prefer to do.

All you need to know is what the different Path settings do. You can control the number of points, the curve style, rotation of the object, and easing

  • Points are small handles on the Motion Path that you can drag and position as you like. You can add as many points as you want.
  • Style controls how edgy or soft you want the movement across your Points to be.
  • Rotation lets you decide whether the object should stay leveled in relation to the whole scene, or stay leveled (or aligned) in relation to the Motion Path. You can also manually add a number of clockwise or counter-clockwise rotations for the object to perform before it reaches its end destination.
  • Last, but certainly not least, you can add Easing. For me, this is huge because it gives a next-level feel that resembles that of more advanced software like AfterEffects.

Without easing, the speed of movement is the same across the Path.

With easing in and out, the speed is slower first, then fast, and then slow again.

This variation in speed is not just a subjective preference that I think looks good - it’s also a more realistic way for most objects to move.

How do Objects act in the Real World?

A car doesn’t accelerate instantly, and it doesn’t brake instantly. It gradually accelerates, and gradually brakes again. So here, we use Ease in and out.

And a bowling ball doesn’t fall at the same speed until it hits the ground. It accelerates, then stops instantly. So, here we use Ease in only. 

Or maybe it bounces once, before it stops completely, Then we just add 2 more points, so the ball goes up and down again.

Try to think about how objects move, fall, and react in the real world, then try to imitate that. As a general rule, I say, Use easing on all your Motion Paths. I almost always apply “ease in out”.

Slide Already has Easing

The extremely attentive Vyond user will have noticed that “easing” was already a thing before this update; namely on the Slide effect.

When you add Slide as en Enter… or Exit effect, you’ll see that there’s a little bit of Ease applied to both.

If you just want an object to Enter a scene in a sliding motion, I say don’t use a Motion Path, use Enters and Exits instead. It’s a faster way to get the same effect, more or less.

And Motion Paths do take a bit of time to create. S, if you want to save time on Motion Paths, make sure to get familiar with the 75+ different templates that you can use and customize.

That’s all there is to the updated functionality. Points and easing, more or less. Get creative with it, but always match it to the context.

How to Make a Person Walk Across a Scene

One of the most common use-cases for Motion Paths is when we want a Character to walk across a scene. Remember that Actions loop at a constant pace, including the Walk action, so here you also want a constant speed for the Motion Path - which means no control points, and no Easing in or out.

When a Character walks it's important to synchronize the feet of the Character and the speed of the Motion Path to make it look real.

Let’s say I want a guy to stand first, then walk, then stand again. We can only apply 1 Action per. scene, so this logically requires 3 scenes.

In scene one, he stands for a second. In scene 2, I apply the Walk Action and give him a Motion Path from left to right. No ease. No rotation. Just constant movement.

In Scene 3, I apply the Stand Action again. Now the job is to Preview Scene 2 and align the duration of his Motion Path to the Walk-action, which I can’t control the speed of.

In my case, it looks realistic when it takes about 3 seconds for him to walk across the scene.

Shorter duration and he would slide forward on his feet. Longer duration, and it looks like he’s moon-walking.

Now you know what’s new in Motion Paths, when to use the new fancy features - and when to stick with the basics.

Get familiar with the new; experiment with Points, play around with styling, rotation, and easing, and you’ll quickly move beyond the templates — and choose your own Path instead.


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