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Thread: Allegro - animation

  1. #1

    Default Allegro - animation

    If you have a moment, I am ready for humiliation, ridicule or other helpful comments.

    Thank you.

  2. #2


    I have a lot of admiration for anybody who can confront the time and effort needed to do animation. It held my interest till the end. Although some sort of big finale would have been good. I don't know what.

    Great looking piece Tim.

  3. #3


    The hardest part was to write code to convert a MIDI file into files by Video software; then the necessary scripting in the video software to use the data.
    On a quad4 the rendering (of all the special effects etc) took 5hrs.

    At the end, it simply fades to white; and as MB commented; no big finale. At the moment, the animation is just a load of coloured panels. It does not tell a story (it has dubious educational value), or explain anything. It has no message or real purpose.

    I am, of course, open to suggestions or comments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK


    Nice to see you having a play with animation Tim. I think your on to something here. What I like about it is that it encourages you to really listen to the music and then study the animation to follow what is making the sounds.

    The start loses a little impact caused by the white screen spreading from the left. I like it better when the notes fill more of the screen. It picks up fairly quickly though. I think the closeups of the notes are visually more impactive than the more distant shots. It really kicks off when you introduce the faster movement and that is very enjoyable.

    I have no idea how its done but I can assure you its worth doing. As I watched it I imagined introducing all sorts of things into the scene. I wondered if these could be added using green screen or some similar method to avoid the need to render them.

    Good stuff indeed and I bet it was very satisfying to do.

    Well done mate.

  5. #5


    An excellent effort.
    I go along with Shrimpy inasmuch as the animation is a little lost at a few points, especially around 1.40> where it became too small/indistinct.
    Great idea though which might benefit from slightly more dramatic music and a closer view.
    My hat off to you.
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I love it. This is exactly the sort of thing I had at the back of my mind when you raised the question about software a couple of months back - but far better than I could have imagined - at least in terms of the 3D effects and movement.

    Trying to create a visualisation that is closely associated with the music fascinates me (on a cerebral level - I don't have any plans to actually DO anthing myself). This is the music as written and played as opposed to all sorts of software that exists that provides visualisations of the sounds.

    I have an expectation that music which sounds beautiful will also look beautiful.

    You have achieved a great deal here - a great starting point. You've overcome one difficulty - that of showing different instruments playing at the same time by the use of colour and different layers in a 3D landscape.

    You asked for ideas:
    I may be wrong but it seems to me that the graphics are based on pitch, note on and note off. Instrument (MIDI channel) = colour. Pitch = position. Note on start of coloured bar. Note off = end of bar. Correct so far?

    Now is it possible to how about introducing some sort of expression. As I see it we have a number of things to play with: volume of each note (=MIDI attack) and exactly where in relation to the beat the note is played are two obious ones. Effects asigned to aftertouch or modulation effects may not be so relevant for a piece like this.

    I see two options available - the shade of the colour and the width of the bar. I would suggest a wider bar for a harder struck note.
    This leaves us with the changing the shade to show whether the note is struck exactly on the beat, or slightly ahead or behind the beat - I think this is important because this is what distuinguishes music played by a human from music by computer (and ideed one performer from another)

    Food for thought? Or the ramblings of someone who should really go to bed?

  7. #7


    I have been very grateful for all the comments and suggestions.

    As TimS described, I am only using some of the data available from the MIDIfile. And that the coloured rectangles don't give any information about the actual dynamics (ADSR) or timbre (tone).

    I confess some self indulgence with the long shots, where we see is masses of white and tiny blocks of colour. I am a bit new to things like 'perspective' and have had to read an explanation about why things look smaller when they are further away.

    I have a number of other technical things to consider. For example, why the images are not sharper; and how to make more sensible edits between different camera positions.

    And for anyone mildly amused, why did I credit Bach with the music, when it seems he probably did not write it? Ooops! And a learned doctor of music has advised me that a few of the notes are clearly wrong. Ooops again!

    Shrimpfarmer hinted at integrating reallife footage. That is harder, as I would want the lighting in the footage to match with the virtual lighting in the animation (the youtube video uses a single, distant spotlight) to get the correct shadows. And it becomes harder if I wanted my lights to move during the piece. I am following his own experments with interest.

    My current means of producing this video is very machine intensive. Every Note's position, size, shape, brightness and shadows must be re-calculated for every frame. Rendering a longer piece could take several days.

    I have been surprised by the lack of MIDI based animation on YouTube (other than many uploads from software named 'music animation machine' Music Animation Machine MIDI Player). Given the amount of MIDI used in modern music, there seems little implementation of MIDI within Video editing software. Which explains why my type of animation is rare.

    I shall put my thinking cap on. In the meantime, please bear with me when I ask obcure questions in the Forums. Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Nothing to add apart from to say that I really enjoyed that Tim. Well beyond my capabilities and respect for the amount of work you put in.


  9. #9


    Brilliant, so simple. Are you a musician? You know the frequencies of the sounds, great work!

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