The replicator in Motion builds patterns of repeating elements with minimum effort. The
elements of the patterns can consist of video, still images, shapes, text, or any other type
of layer in a Motion project. For example, with very few clicks of your mouse you can
create spinning loops based on a basic shape.
Replicator source shape
Replicator parameters can be keyframed to change a pattern’s dynamics over time. For
example, you can create a wave of dots that follow one another across the screen by
keyframing the replicator’s Offset parameter.
You can add behaviors to the replicator or its cells to create even more varied effects
(simulation behaviors can be especially effective). Behaviors applied to a replicator or a
cell can be applied to each element of the pattern. This lets you achieve almost limitless
variation and complexity that would take hours to animate using keyframes. You can also
apply a behavior, such as Vortex, to another object in your project (an object that is not
part of the replicator pattern), and have the pattern elements circumnavigate that object.
A special behavior called Sequence Replicator allows you to choreograph the parameters
of your onscreen elements (their position, scale, and opacity, for example) in a sequential
animation. For more information, see
Using the Sequence Replicator Behavior
Using the Replicator
Replicators take advantage of Motion’s 3D capabilities. Some replicator shapes are
inherently 3D, and others can have points that exist in 3D space. Additionally, behaviors
applied to a replicator can pull pattern elements out of a plane. For more information,
Using Replicators in 3D Space
The Difference Between a Replicator and a Particle System
Although the replicator and particle systems share many parameters, they are very
different tools. Although both use layers (shapes, text, images, and so on) as cell sources
and both generate onscreen elements from those sources, each produces a unique
effect from those raw materials. A particle system generates dynamic elements that
change over time: Particles are born, emerging from an onscreen “emitter”; they move
across the Canvas; and they die, according to the “laws of nature” you specify in the
parameters of the system.
A replicator, however, is not a dynamic simulation. Its elements are not emitted like
particles (replicator elements do not have birth rate, life, or speed parameters). The
replicator builds a pattern of static copies of a source layer in a shape and arrangement
that you specify. Although the replicated elements you see onscreen are static by default,
the replicator parameters can be animated. For example, you can designate a simple
star shape as the source of your onscreen pattern and then replicate the star multiple
times along the outline of a circle. By keyframing a few parameters of your new replicator
layer, you can launch the stars into animated orbit around the center of the circle, making
them change color as they whirl.