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Frames and custom measurement

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John BoneFrames and custom measurement
by on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:18:00 pm

HI
I have a question.
I work alot with music videos and work from a given bpm most of the time. Say the track = 12 frames to the beat I have gotten into the habit of creating a slug / measurement ruler to ensure my layers are running properly. This sometimes is a blank layer with markers placed at every 12 frames, sometimes its a blank layer cut to 4 beats ( 48 frames ) and duplicated throughout the timeline. My question is this, my way is a very labourious way of keeping track of every 12th frame, as I have to set each marker by hand, is there any easier method for me to keep tabs of my custom measurement within AE and across the whole timeline? in and out of diferent comps ?
thanks
JB



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Dave LaRondeRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:33:04 pm

I'd say your method could be pretty dangerous. You have no wiggle room if the tempo changes in a piece of music. If you music stays at the same ol' boring tempo I suppose your system would work.

However, I'm used to a little rubato, which requires scrubbing.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John BoneRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:32:21 pm

I see what you mean Dave
I guess I will have to get to grips with audio keyframes then and use these as pointers, only I would still like to be able to visually jump between 1 bar 2 bar 4 bar of frames, and looking at keyframes makes me go crosseyed!
So does that mean there IS no other way than the manual way?

cheers
JB


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Dave LaRondeRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:00:24 pm

[John Bone] "So does that mean there IS no other way than the manual way?"

For accuracy, not really.

I recall doing one animation in Days of Yore based on salsa music in 4/4.... pretty easy stuff. To help myself out, I cut together two black & white slugs on the beat in my editing application to use as a visual reference. That way, I could establish where the cut/movement/whatever would fall BEFORE going to AE: the lower the frame rate, the greater the chance the beat will hit in the middle of a frame. It's good to get that settled beforehand. The always-realtime aspect of an editing application helps a LOT to establish where the beat ought to go.

The video was really tiny: something like 320x240 or even smaller. I just imported it into AE, and there's the beat.

I've found that unless you've got something with a really clearly-defined beat on drums -- like a separate percussion track, for example -- Convert Audio To Keyframes just makes a mess of things. I've even fooled with Trapcode's Soundkeys, which lets you isolate frequency and set a volume threshold to help find the beat. I haven't had much luck using it, either, but you might have better luck.

Hey, musical artistes suffer for their art, y'know? I guess they want you to suffer, too.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:34:20 pm

If you have a layer selected you can tap the * key on your number pad during an audio preview in AE to add layer markers. If you don't have a layer selected, it adds composition markers. If you work with Premiere, you can do the same thing to add timeline markers which - when the Premiere project is imported into AE - brings those into AE. This just requires a basic understanding of the song and one listen-through with your hand tapping out the beat.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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John BoneRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 24, 2010 at 5:07:39 pm

Thanks!
And Dave you have given me a great idea . .
A simple color key.mov created in FCP relating colors to beats and bars / 1 beat / 1 bar / 4 bar / and changes in verse and chorus. something that can be placed at the top of my AE timeline scaled very small but give me an indication of key audio changes.
This will take me a little prep but once in After Effects, will speed up my workflow no end! thanks!


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Kevin CampRe: Frames and custom measurement
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:59:08 pm

if your beats are truly as regular as every 12 frames (as your earlier example), you could try something like the strobe light effect set to 'makes layer transparent' on a solid that is at the top of the comp.

the duration and period are set in seconds, but entering a simple equation of frames/framerate will convert frames to seconds. if your frame rate is 29.97, a duration of 1/29.97 and a period of 12/29.97 would give you a one frame 'pulse' every 12 frames.

of course your solid could be anything... a square, a line, an x... whatever you wanted to use as a marker.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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