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Audio reacting animation

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Dominykas Kurlis
Audio reacting animation
on Mar 30, 2019 at 5:35:20 pm

Hello!
I'm just learning After Effects and I really like the audio react effect, but I fail to find tutorials for what I want to make with it. I already learnt how to turn audio into keyframes and link them to a property, but that's too limiting, since the effects goes back to initial position when the audio gets silent. What I want to achieve is a continuous change in one direction.
It's difficult to describe, so I'm adding a video to illustrate what I want to do:






Let's say I link audio keyframes to position of the cube. I somehow want to make the cube only move one direction when the audio plays and not go back when audio is silent. Same with rotation. I would imagine audio intensity would have to do something with the speed of the movement - the louder the sound, the faster the movement. And if I could make this one directional movement loop, that would be ideal.

I also saw in some tutorials that these audio reacting properties can be edited via expressions, if someone could explain how those work for what I want to achieve, that would be great.

I hope I made myself clear enough with my limited English skills, and please, explain things to me as if I'm 5 years old, I haven't used After FX much before.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Audio reacting animation
on Mar 31, 2019 at 7:52:36 pm

Hey Dominykas,

that's a good topic to explore. Below are few questions to get familiar further, in order to not to dive too deep here:
1. Do you want this solution to work, with any sounds, and readjust based on some parameters? OR, this is a single execution only, with this particular audio in mind?
2. Do you have links to other videos, to get a sense of what audio-reacts you have in mind?

Based on the above, we could offer you a more clear solution.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.


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Dominykas Kurlis
Re: Audio reacting animation
on Apr 1, 2019 at 9:56:06 am

1. I want to make a music video using audio reaction. Since I make music myself, I can make different tracks for each instrument, that way I'd have a lot more optinions for animation. I want to know at least the basics of what parameters do what using audio reaction and perhaps I could figure things out myself from there.

2. For the final product I'm aiming for something similar to this, but probably more simple:





I guess most of it is made manually, but I want to see how far I can go mostly using audio react effect.

I also had an idea to make a sidescrolling video similar to this one:





but the speed of the scrolling would be affected by some instrument objects would move or change hue based on other sounds.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Audio reacting animation
on Apr 2, 2019 at 5:00:46 pm

The simplest way to make an audio react - to link parameter/transformation property to audio amplitude. With that said, its a data stream of keyframes, changing on every frame, based on the audio.

If you make music yourself, that means you could export each track at the specific audio frequencies and use them to drive animation for particular scenarios / cases.

On the other hand, the main limitation in your scenario is the fact that audio changes its values abruptly. Animation can be controlled by interpolating values from A to B and passing them to other transformation property in a controlled range. However, once MAX audio value is reached at the specific moment, audio amplitude levels will continue further. If thats fine - then you are good to go, but you might want the animation to stop, instead of following further.

Its all about what you want to control and animate :)

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.


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Dominykas Kurlis
Re: Audio reacting animation
on Apr 5, 2019 at 9:29:41 am

It's okay for me if the values go above MAX, but I still cannot figure out how to make values keep adding. Let's say I just want to rotate an object in one direction. When I link the rotation property to audio, the rotation keeps returning to original value: when a sound plays, the object rotates +10 for example, sounds stops, object rotates -10. I don't want it to rotate back, I only need it to continuously rotate in one direction. I've read that I need to change some range value to none in an expression, but I have no idea how to do that. Step-by-step explanation would be great. Thanks!


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Max Haller
Re: Audio reacting animation
on Apr 3, 2019 at 7:30:16 pm

theres a cool plugin called freq react https://davey.studio/react/

I've used it to do animations similar to what you've linked. It lets you "build on" instead of the property going back and forth with the audio amplitude. It's pretty easy to use, it was free when I got it originally but it looks like it's 30 USD now. It gives you control over what frequency range a property will will be linked to and lets you add the value so you could make that square move across the screen like in your first example.


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