I love Luma Fusion. This video editor for Mac works so smooth, has an interface which is a joy to use, and makes video editing fun. Whenever I have to go back to my MacBook and edit a video it often feels like I’m stepping backward in time. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy Final Cut Pro, and it’s got a lot more bells and whistles than Luma Fusion, but the experience of editing video on my MacBook is much more functional than enjoyable 1.
One feature Luma does not possess, however, is an equivalent to Motion 2. I can make some cool titles and effects in Motion 3 and include my results in Final Cut without much of a problem. Though Motion text can move in 2d or 3d space, particles can float around in the light, and all sorts of wiz-bang oddities can adorn the screen. It’s pretty cool. While Luma Fusion has a nice titler, however, nothing made in it can set in motion. This bums me out, and it’s one of the few downsides I’ve seen in the app.
I do, however, have Keynote on my iPad. And Keynote can do all sorts of cool tricks with text, shapes, and photos. This gave me an idea. If Keynote handles motion graphic very well, and Luma Fusion is able to do chroma keying, then what would happen if I create a Keynote slide with a green background and export it to a video? Kind of like the one below.
It turns out, something pretty amazing happens. I get a motion graphic of my own design, moving in 2d space, which overlays my video in Luma Fusion. The results aren’t perfect, and will in no way match the pristine quality of a motion graphic that was produced with full alpha transparency in Motion or After Effects, but they are pretty good. With some limitations, that is.
First, a chroma key is really only good for values of either “100% opaque” or “100% transparent.” So animations which produce smoke or other transparency effects do not look good when imported to Luma Fusion this way 4, which means effects which include fades aren’t great candidates for this technique. In my video below, I get around this limitation by playing any effect which contains some variable transparency over a fully opaque solid. That way the effect can run fine. Things like moving and rotating, however, work just fine without any tweaks. Check out my example below.
I’m kind of excited to see what I can do with this technique. And when I’ve explored all I can through Keynote I may just pick up Core Animator and see what other cool ideas I can come up with.