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Workflow making Lyric (Karaoke style) video

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Jeff RouricWorkflow making Lyric (Karaoke style) video
by on May 3, 2013 at 6:48:53 pm

(This turned out to be a wall of text so here's the summary if you don't read.

In summary, I'm looking for a way for comps to be used again in different situations, without having to duplicate everything over and over again.

Now full description


Hi, I'm trying to figure out what the best way to do this kind of video would be. Basically, I saw an offer to make a lyric video to someone's original song. They weren't very specific on the details, so I didn't know whether to make a motograph (or whatever they call it when you have those words that go with the song and they're popping out, camera rotating, creative shapes with the words....the name escapes me), or just a normal, bland text on screen video.

Well I opted to do something like what you'd see on a karaoke video, where the words appear, light up as they are sung. And put it to a kinda strobey background that goes with the beat of their EDM song.

I thought something like this would take at most an hour.

Fast forward 4 hours and I've only got 15 seconds of the song covered...sloppily. So I skipped the offer, but now I'd like to learn how to do a video like that a nicer, more organized way than I was doing it.

Here's what I did, step by step, I'm not at AE now, so this is just from memory, some specifics might be off

- Make new comp

- Put song in comp

- Hold Cmd and scroll to listen to music bits

- Type a text layer in, 3 to 5 words for the layer, has to fit on one line.

- Turn text layer into it's own comp with precompose

- In Text Comp, put new solid, make it I dunno, orange, put it under text

- Use Solid to Luma Matte text above it.

- Duplicate Text. Place text below the solid. Set text to INVERTED luma matte (I think)

- Animate the Solid from outside the left of the comp to the right of the comp within a duration of 10 seconds.

--* Now we have a 10 second animation of the text starting as dull dim text, and glowing from left to right as time goes on (ORRR maybe it was the other way around, it starts as glowing and dulls as the matte goes over it. If that's the case, adjust positions accordingly)

- Now put THAT comp into ANOTHER Comp called "TextColored"

- In this comp we simply have an adjustment layer over the Text comp to change the color of the highlight. I made it green.

- Back outside, in the main comp with the song, I used Time Remap to set the points where the glow should be and when.

- One line of the song is now done, now I have to go back and duplicate BOTH the Text and TextColor layers (in the project window, so it's a copy and not just a different instance)

- Go into the new Text layer, delete the text over the solid and change the text under the solid to whatever the next line is. Then duplicate that text layer and put it back over the solid with the matte settings like before.

- Go into the new TextColor comp and replace the Text comp with the new Text comp for the next line

- Time remap and repeat.

- Repeat forever or until the workspace is so much of a mess that you give up


There has to be a better way. A more systematic, symbolic instance way. I'd like to not have to duplicate the TextColor comp since its just the same thing every time. And I'd like to be able to use the same comp for all the words, just at different times, then maybe I could time remap THAT comp, while the words get time remapped to the glows, each.

And if the client wants to change anything that affects all the words, like the font or size, I'd like to be able to change everything at once.

All or any of these things would be great to learn in general. Got any tips?

Also, I figured out how you could automate Photoshop to make an incrementing sequence of numbers, so IF you can do that, there would probably also be a way to have an applescript read a text file and go down line by line, making a new text layer for each line. But that's just a thought for now, I'd like to know the other stuff first :P

Thank you

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Workflow making Lyric (Karaoke style) video
by on May 3, 2013 at 7:13:54 pm

You could use this:
Scripts and expressions for working with text
found here:

also this:

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Jeff RouricRe: Workflow making Lyric (Karaoke style) video
by on May 4, 2013 at 11:18:33 pm

Ack so stupid, I just figured out a better way. Your ideas about expressions gave me more ideas. Now this is how I'm doing it for anyone looking on

- Create comp (ReflectText)

- In text layer > source : use an expression "value ="

Now the name of the composition the text is in will be exactly what the text says.

- Do the necessary matting in ReflectText

- Now it's a template to use over and over again.

- Duplicate the comp in the project window and rename it a new lyric.

- Once a verse is done and synced with music, cut the layers and put them into the ColoredText comp, then put that comp at the point where the words should start.

Now you just have to worry about where to put them and time remapping.


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