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SYFer
MIDI question
on Jul 3, 2006 at 10:49:51 pm

Howdy!

I have a situation where I am trying to achieve the kind of motion between 2 objects that is usually done in AE with an expression. To wit, I want Object_A's scale to change as the position of Object_B is modified.

I do not have a compatible control surface to experiment with, but was wondering if I could set a MIDI Parameter Behavior to control the scale on Object_A to be controlled by a particular key or slider then set up a MIDI Parameter Behavior for Object_B to control its position--I'm thinking I could assign the SAME key or slider to each and then control both simultaneously with the slider. This would work like an expression in After Effects and since I do happen to want this related bahavior to occur in a live setting (similar to a VJ environment), the MIDI controller would be a perfect solution.

Any thoughts?

Aside from this theoretical MIDI approach, am I correct in assuming that I don't really have a way to tie these two object's different parameters together?

Thanks for any insights you can provide!

--Dave Hurley


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Noah Kadner
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 3, 2006 at 11:17:50 pm

Not sure specifically what you want to happen but it sounds like something you could set up with Behaviors.

Noah


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SYFer
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 3, 2006 at 11:27:29 pm

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question, Noah!

Sure, behaviors would be the way to go, but I want the position of one object to affect the scale of another. Kinda like dragging a pickwhip from one parameter to an unrelated parameter in AE and building an expression (i.e, as I move Object_B to the right, Object_A shrinks down). As far as I know, I can't do this in Motion.

Sure, I can add behaviors to each item individually and keyframe them to occur in concert, but in a quasi-live setting (think VJ), I can't simultaneously tweak two behavior sliders at one time. I was wondering if programming multiple parameters to a single MIDI controller ID number would give me a viable workaround.

-Dave

"...all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness..." yada yada


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Noah Kadner
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 4, 2006 at 12:28:20 am

Sure that would work too but again not sure specically what the intended effect is- because I can't see your computer from here. The behaviors are very powerful- far more than AFX expressions if you take some time with experimentation. But if all you want to do is midi control of two specific parameters- Motion can do that too.

Noah


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SYFer
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 4, 2006 at 9:50:10 pm

Thanks again Noah, but I think I'm simply failing to explain this adequately.

The intended effect doesn't really matter (and I want to apply it broadly)--the issue is how I can change two unrelated parameters or properties on seperate objects in a Motion comp simultaneously with only one variable (or more likely, a control surface slider).

While Behaviors and Parameter Behaviors (and even Parameter Behaviors on Parameters in Parameter Behaviors) are indeed powerful stuff, there are just some things you can do in After Effects with expressions that you simply cannot yet do in Motion. One of them is linking a change in one object's (layer's in AE) position (or opacity or whatever property) to some unrelated property on another object. At least I don't know how to--if there's a trick out there, I'd like to see it.

It would be nice if we had a new Parameter Behavior called "Link" which, when applied, would alow yout to specify any property or parameter on any object and transfer the value of the current parameter to it. With a mathematical equation. Pretty much Java Scripting like AE.

That being said, I now wonder if anyone out there who has used MIDI control surfaces can tell me if I am able to assign more than one MIDI Parameter Behavior to a single control slider or key. Since my application is live, that would actually be a perfect solution. If I was using expression scripting, I could drag a null object around the canvas like a joystick to affect several animations. That I can do in After Effects, but it sure isn't going to render on the fly.

Also, if anyone has a quick pointer to a current list of qualified MIDI interfaces for Motion, I'd appreciate it. I can't seem to turn one up in my searches, but will keep snooping.

Thanks and sorry for the lack of brevity,
-Dave Hurley

"...all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness..." yada yada


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Jim Kanter
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 4, 2006 at 11:49:16 pm

I'm not at my production machine right now to test it, but try assigning the MIDI parameter behavior to one parameter, the duplicate the behavior and assign it to the other parameter.


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SYFer
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 5, 2006 at 12:22:52 am

Hi Jim!

I'm one of the guys who proctored your Motion classes at NAB this year with Jem--good chatting with you here.

I have tried assiging different behaviors to the same key and the software seems to allow it but unfortunately I do not have a MIDI device here to test with, so really don't know if it works in practice. If you get a chance to play with this, let me know. I want to tweak multiple params by moving only one slider.

--Dave

"...all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness..." yada yada


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Noah Kadner
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 5, 2006 at 12:40:56 am

PS- MIDI is a very old and well established standard. I suspect there are few standard MIDI devices that would not work with Motion.

Noah


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specialcase
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 5, 2006 at 1:01:23 am

Heya,

Yeah, pretty much anything MIDI will work, even the notorious MIDI flute. Behringer makes a couple of sweet units that are covered with faders or knobs. And you can definitely map multiple parameters to the same MIDI channel, no sweat.


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SYFer
Re: MIDI question
on Jul 6, 2006 at 1:18:27 am

Excellent news. Thanks to all of you for your helpful input!

--Dave

"...all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness..." yada yada


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Stephen Bennett
Re: MIDI question
on Mar 23, 2008 at 9:10:20 pm

I know this is an old post, but I've been researching the same question for a different reason. I want to manipulate the camera in Motion 3's 3D space and record the keyframes as I "fly" through the environment.

I am testing now, but basically a 3 or 4 axis joystick is the best input device for this effect.

Using a shareware production called Junxion (kinda pricy at US$110), I can convert almost any USB control surface device into a MIDI controller and assign a MIDI port to each button, wheel, switch, slider, wheel, etc.

Using Motion's parameter for MIDI, I have successfully manipulated X and Y and Z coordinates for the camera at the same time!

It's easier "watching" this happen from the perspective camera's point of view....switching to the active camera view to check the look I am trying to create.

Now, if anybody has had any luck importing 3D Illustrator images into Motion's 3D space, then I'm set for creating some 3D logos or titles...and flying through and around them at will! All without waiting for a Motion compatible version of Maxwerks Animator to come out!



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