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Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects

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Rob Vicars
Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects
on Mar 12, 2018 at 2:13:03 pm

Hi folks, used this site for years and never posted anything, but I just cannot find a clear answer for this (admittedly subjective) question anywhere. Hopefully someone can advise!

I'm creating tutorial videos in AE using vector graphics for my company. I have several videos completed, and have recorded a voice over separately. While I tried to get the voice actor to record with everything in sync and timed correctly, this of course requires a little bit of editing, ensuring things like button pulses and other animations happen in time with the audio.

I know AE isn't a good place to edit audio, but my sticking point is, I'm likely to need to tweak BOTH audio and visuals every so often. I tried dynamic linking the AE project into PR, which didn't work well as the preview couldn't render such a complicated project quickly enough. In AE, RAM previewing through each small section after an adjustment and chopping the audio into several layers isn't ideal either.

What I'd like to know is - is there a good workflow solution for this sort of work. Explainer videos and other graphic-centric animations that require potentially lots of audio sync.

Any help or advice always appreciated!

Best

Rob


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects
on Mar 12, 2018 at 10:09:31 pm

Here's a key question -- are you trying to do this all as one big, long AE comp?

You could give yourself a big break by breaking it down into a series of shorter comps, where the timing issues aren't as crucial. Give yourself trim handles, render & import into Premiere Pro where the REAL final assembly takes place. In AE, just use the audio -- including any sound effects -- as references to help you animate.

For projects like this, I don't even bother rendering out audio. I know the audio will be found in PP, which is built for editing. AE stinks at it.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rob Vicars
Re: Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:19:37 am

Thanks for this David - yeah I have been doing it as one long thing. Though obviously there are comps within comps littered throughout, but only with specific sections in them (i.e. all the subtitles are in their own comp, and certain screenshots that have lots of movement) as opposed to a comps with ALL the content in.

The projects are pretty big and take an age to render so breaking it up is probably an excellent idea. I'll give that a go with the new ones! Thank you!


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John Cuevas
Re: Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects
on Mar 13, 2018 at 1:41:29 pm

Have to do quite a few of these projects. What I like to do is rough cut my audio in the editor, drop that into AE. Next I'll use layer markers to mark up the entire audio waveform for when events need to happen. For each major section or scene, I'll make a precomp, put just the audio for that section in it, then create animation, leaving myself a 30 to 60 frames at the end for transitions. Usually at this point, I'll figure out if I have to adjust the audio, because it's too slow/fast, and either I'll do that simultaneously with the audio in my other app or just make a note of it for later.

Depending on the nature of the video, I might render out all the precomps separately and edit the final in another app, or do one large render and just mix it with the audio in another app. I'll also render out the adjusted audio and bring that in for my final edit, either to use it or adjust the original.

Anyway, that's the method to my madness.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Rob Vicars
Re: Voice Over Audio Workflow for After Effects
on Mar 13, 2018 at 2:57:58 pm

Interesting, thanks John! Splitting it up would probably help in general as the client likes to make gratuitous changes with tiny timescales quite often. Nice idea about putting each bit of VO audio in the precomp as well - natural instinct would have been to have that separately. Will give it a go!


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