Tracking 3D Text to a Scene in Motion 5

In “Under 5 Minutes” Mark Spencer will teach you how to make animate light streaks in 3 easy steps.

Start by creating a Shape Source with the bezier tool, make a path for the streaks to follow, then animate the light streak using a Sequence Paint Behavior with custom Rotation and Opacity parameters.

In this episode, I’ll show you how to track 3D text to a video clip.
Here we are in Motion, where I have an aerial shot of the Hoover Dam courtesy of ArtBeats, and I’ve added some 3D text. If you haven’t yet explored 3D text in Motion, you’ll want to check out our brand new tutorial available at
If I scrub the project, the camera moves over the dam. My goal is to make the text move along with the scene as if it’s actually there hanging out in the air above the dam.
I’m not using Motion’s tracking feature to do this, because the text isn’t tracking to any particular point. Rather, I’m going to “eyeball” it – you might be surprised how well this can work to make text to appear to be floating in a scene.
With the playhead on the first frame, I’ll select the text layer, and with the Adjust 3D Transform tool active, I’ll change its rotation and position to make it look like we are looking down on it at and angle, as if it’s parallel with the face of the dam, and below us.
Then, I’ll go to the Properties Inspector and manually set keyframes for all the Position and Rotation axes.
Next, I’ll move my playhead to the end of the project, and adjust the text to match this change perspective: changing it’s rotation and position as needed.
Now, I’ll scrub the project and adjust my starting and ending positions until I get a decent match to the underlying video clip. If needed, I can make these adjustments in the Inspector.
Finally, since Position keyframes are interpolated as bezier by default, I’ll press Command-8 for the Keyframe Editor, Shift-select all the Position parameters, and then change their keyframe interpolation to linear to match the rotation keyframes, and the constant motion of the video clip.
I’ll press Command-8 to close the Keyframe Editor, click in an empty area of the Layers list to deselect the text, and play that back.
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