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When you're working with Motion, you'll often be using alpha channels (that is, transparency).  For example, if you want a lower third to animate onto screen, you'll need for Final Cut to know which parts of the lower third are "see-through."


By default, Motion is set up to handle such a workflow: the black background that you see in your Canvas actually renders transparent. If you need a true colored background -- or if you just want to work on a background color other than black -- you'll need to adjust your background settings in Project Settings (Cmd+J).



motionbg.png

Under the General tab, notice the Background options at the bottom.  You can change the color of your canvas using the Background Color control.  The Background drop-down affects whether Motion will render out this background color (versus rendering it as transparency).  If you do need a solid background behind your composition, you might find this approach tidier than the old workaround of creating a solid layer at the bottom of your project.

Also, remember that you can turn the background on and off from your Canvas window:  Using the Channels controls at the top of your Canvas, try changing the view from Color to Transparent in order to see the normal, grey-checkered-box background instead of a color matte.

motionbg-transparency.png

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