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Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.

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Pierce WilsonMethod of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 29, 2012 at 3:21:31 pm

Hello All. First off, I feel like my lack of After Effects knowledge is hurting me, in that I am unable to fully describe what I want to achieve. In essence, I would like to "fill in" an audio wave form, so instead of being a simple line, it is more of a 2D shape. Below are two images, the first being what I currently have as far as a waveform goes, the second being the effect I would like to achieve (drawn on in photoshop) Does anyone know any way of achiving this, short of tracing the waveform with a mask, for each frame?

Thanks a lot

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 29, 2012 at 3:58:21 pm

You might want to try the Auto-Trace feature in AE. Here's a link to a tutorial on the topic:

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Pierce WilsonRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 29, 2012 at 4:27:19 pm

Ah that does seam to get very close to what I am trying to achieve, though finding a way to move all of the vector points to create a shape, and not just an outline, is proving to be a challenge.

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John CuevasRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 29, 2012 at 10:40:09 pm

Here's one method, but it will only work if your waveform extends past the left and right borders of the composition. Create your composition and waveform. Now render out a png sequence to a folder. Open up photoshop and create/record an action using the magic wand tool to sample an area where on one side of the line. Where you sample must always fall on that side of the line. So if your waveform was in the middle of your comp(like in your picture) you could sample at the bottom right of the .png and should be good. If it's on the 'wrong' non-filled side, invert the selection and fill it. You could with a little work create an action to create an alpha channel or another layer to use as a matte.

Finally just batch automate the entire .png sequence and you have a filled waveform.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"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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Pierce WilsonRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 31, 2012 at 1:45:16 am

Thanks a lot for your response! I haven't done much with photoshop automation, however I will look into that, as I am playing with the idea of adding shapes to the waveform to create depth. (as shown below) Not sure if this is something that would be automatable, but ill give it a shot!

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:02:17 am

A quick solution is apply Effect>Generate>Paint Bucket on an Adjustment Layer. Here's a JPG of what your setup should look like - audiowaveform_mainsetup.jpg

Of importance is the requirement to create borders for the bottom and left/right edges. I've done this with a single Solid and three masks.
The Paint Bucket effect works by filling in an area with a flat color. The area can be defined in terms of its RGB, RB+Alpha or Alpha Channel. Ensure that you use Alpha Channel. You'll need to place the Fill Point within the area that you want to fill and then finesse the Tolerance property to fill only the areas that you want as there is a tendency that its default value will result in an overflow of the fill.

To get rid of the borders, you'll need a Solid and a mask to define an area within the borders. Then apply the Stencil Alpha Blending Mode to this top-most layer. Here's what your UI should look like -
audiowaveform_finalsetup.jpg with the Stencil Alpha Layer added into the mix.


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Pierce WilsonRe: Method of "Filling In" an Audio Waveform.
by on Oct 31, 2012 at 1:39:50 am

Thank you so much! That was exactly what I was looking for! I was very close to just sitting down and masking out each wave form for each frame...and that would have been heinous...

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