Apple Motion 5 tip: Make rectangles have hard edges

Here is how to make sure Motion displays rectangles without soft edges. By default they are displayed with soft edges. Here is a 2×2 rectangle with a position in whole pixels (i.e. not at -0.5, 1.25). You can see the centre is a two by two square, a extra two pixels around the edge make it have a soft border:

I think this is so that Motion doesn’t change the visible dimensions when you increase the ‘roundness’ setting of the shape.

Sometimes it is useful for rectangles to not use any softness at their edges. If you know your output animation or Final Cut Pro plugin will be used at a specific resolution, you might want the edges of rectangular areas to be hard and not blurred. Some Adobe Photoshop users refer to this as forcing ‘pixel perfect’ rendering (thanks John B. Manos).

You can do this by selecting the rectangle in the Inspector and going to Shape:Style and setting the Feather to -0.1 and Falloff to -1000:

This will make sure Motion and Final Cut will not use soft edges when drawing the rectangle – just 100% of the fill colour or nothing. Here are two 2×2 pixel rectangles. The right-hand square has a Feather of -0.1 and Falloff of -1000:

Here is what the squares look like as you drag them in Motion 5:

9th November 2019

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