The new MacBreak Studio episode is finally here! Mark Spencer and Steve Martin kept us waiting but it was worth it - the latest video tutorial is really awesome and thanks to it you will learn how to create flickering Neon Text in Apple Motion! As you will see the result is absolutely great and what's more you can deconstruct how Mark created this effect - just download the Motion project files (you'll find the links below). In order to create this nice-looking animation you should use the 3D text capabilities of Motion. Of course make sure to choose a nice font that can imitate the look of neon-shaped letters. After this Mark uses 3D text object for the glass tubes, starting with one of the more unusual material presets and adjusting it to get a soft red glow. You'll find all the details in the video:
And here's a bit more from Mark:
"For the wall that the tubes are mounted to, I again turn to 3D text by using a symbol font of a square, making it large enough to fill the screen, and then applying a brick-based material preset. Using a 3D text object for the background rather than an image has the advantage that it will interact with other 3D text objects, which don’t interact with other layer types in Motion.
For the gas inside the tubes, I turn to Motion’s bezier tool to draw curved lines inside each letter. Ok, they look more like filaments than gas, you got me there. This is the only articulated, rather than procedural, part of the process. It is limiting because changing the text means drawing new shapes for each letter, but it does allow me to create what I believe to be a better result than working with a duplicate of the text layer.
Since the “light” being cast by the “neon” doesn’t interact with the wall, I then add a point light to the scene to make it look as if the neon text is lighting the wall behind it."