While it’s hardly the best-known of Apple’s professional tools, Motion 5 ($50) packs an extraordinary punch for video creators and editors, particularly given its low price. Pitched as a tool to let you “customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects”—and certainly valuable for use with Apple’s video editing apps—Motion can create standalone 4K, 2K, and web-ready animations using text, shapes, photos, music, and videos. Recently-released version 5.1 includes support for Mac Pros, but the app runs impressively on more affordable Macs, as well.
The key benefit of Motion is ease of use: a completely understandable timeline lets you layer text, objects, and imagery, controlling the sequences in which they appear, animate, and disappear. Combined with numerous included animations and effects, the high-resolution and color-accurate output can make your graphics look beautiful. One hitch: while there’s “3-D” support, it’s closer to 2.5-D, with simple 3-D camera angles to view substantially flat compositions.