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Thread: Kick - animation

  1. #1

    Default Kick - animation

    I was not sure whether to post this to the 'User' or 'Pimp' forums.
    I am rather aware that I have made errors (too much unused space, odd or erratic cuts, arty farty rubbish etc). It is my first serious attempt at cutting and I need to study more.

    It may be technically interesting. But not a cinemagraphic masterpice!




    For dull technical notes see below:
    FFT is performed on an audio sample 30 times a second. The frequencies occuring within that period into 90 values ranges, are then plotted.
    5 virtual camera shoot the scene.
    Due to my skills, some of the cameras have poor angles.

  2. #2
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    I like this stuff. When you make it do you produce the entire track from one camera angle and then repeat for the other angles, or is the software actually doing the cuts to new angles in one take?

    As there is a lot of similarity within the images from one shot to another, it may look better still with a few fades in there?

    Very enjoyable though

  3. #3
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    Fantastic.
    My only thought was each time you cut to a new shot my brain had difficulty figuring out where "now" was on the plot. Sometimes now was at the foreground with it moving towards the background as it becomes history and at other times the reverse.

    I also wonder whether for some shots "now" shouldn't appear part way along the visible sequence, maybe marked by a different coloured line, so we can see what's coming up as well as what's been.

    Absolutely fascinating, all the same - though I still prefer your concept of working with the actual musical notation/way it's played (eg by using MIDI) than the sampled audio - simply because I like the "purity" of that method and we don't see so much of it.
    Tim

  4. #4

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    My previous (Allegro) animation was done in one track. I told the software to move a single camera. In this animation (Kick), I recorded 5 separate tracks; and then manually did the cuts. I did it that way to get some more experience or manual editing, but as Shrimpfarmer noted; I did not make use of any fading.
    The method I chose was mostly due to the huge amount of Computing power needed to calculate each frame. Almost 3 hours for a 3 min video. If I had done it one track, and it took so long to render; then making adjustments would have been very time consuming.

    I suppose the same problem would arise if Shrimpfarmer wanted to use a second camera position with his stopframe greenscreened man.


    There are problems with displaying audio frequencies in "3d".
    1) It requires alot of calculating. Using my current system is became unworkable to show more than about 2 seconds of the audio.

    2) Not many of us ever get to see this data, other than the basic meters on some hi-fi's. Understanding some parts of the animation require some knowledge of how the pitch of a note is supplemented by 'upper partials', which affect the tone of the fundamental pitch. e.g. see how a drum beat creates a short burst with a wide frequency range (sadly, I was unable to treat the data as logarithmic, so the high frequencies appear very low in volume).


    I agree with TimStannard regarding the problem of knowing where 'now' is. Actually, 'now' always appears as a single white line; but I agree that some of the camera positions were chosen because they looked nice (rather than being educational).


    I also agree with his comment that MIDI information is alot easier to follow. The biggest nuisance of MIDI_only is that it does not contain any information about what each note (or notes) actually sounds like. It may be fun to see whether both MIDI and AUDIO data could me meaningfully connected.

    I am also reviewing my poor knowledge of maths ("FFT") and considering whether to invest in alternative rendering software.

    Thank you all. I have been grateful for your comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    I agree with TimStannard regarding the problem of knowing where 'now' is. Actually, 'now' always appears as a single white line;
    Ah-hah. Now I know I can look for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    but I agree that some of the camera positions were chosen because they looked nice (rather than being educational).
    That's entirely as it should be. My desire to see clearly where "now" is, is down to an aesthetic desire to relate the image to the music, rather than a scientific one.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    I also agree with his comment that MIDI information is alot easier to follow. The biggest nuisance of MIDI_only is that it does not contain any information about what each note (or notes) actually sounds like.
    That's up to you to probram in different colours etc. The "problem" with using audio is that each sample includes the entire sound at that pitch (ie if a flute, guitar and drum all combine to give off a particular harmonic, that's what we'll see). What I enjoyed about your other approach was that we could see each instrument individually.
    So....to combine the two really requires the MIDI for each channel PLUS the audio for each channel, individually calculated and rendered and then somehow combined to give a four dimensional representation...?

    YIKES!

    But this is fascinating stuff which always produces things of beauty. I'm glad someone is doing it.

    [/QUOTE]
    Tim

  6. #6

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    I love this kind of thing. I like to see the music. I like to hear something and see it's peek etc...... I do this in Windows Media player all the time. It's kind of hypnotic in a way.

    Just one thought can you make the waves more sensitive ?

    Great job Tim.

  7. #7

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    There are several areas where the sensitivity could be increased, but there is a limit to how much computing power (and time) is available, and the physical limitations of our screens.

    The audio contains 44,100 samples each second. If we try to view it all, then a frame (1280 pixels wide) would only display a small fraction of a second. I opted for the time difference between each Lines to coincide with the frame rate (30fps), which I think is one Line per 1500 samples. Having around 90 of these Lines gave me around 3sec of viewable audio.

    The 5,000 frames took 3 hours to render.

    I mentioned earlier another area where sensitivity could be increased. Although each Line is the results of splitting the audio spectrum into around 96 bands, I am generally only analysing the audio frequencies between 300htz and 5,000htz. Humans can hear a much larger range (as with headphones specced from 20htz to 20,000htz). Although the animation shows some of the audio very well, many details don't appear at all.

    I assume the guys with the most money, use the most computers with the most expensive software etc. But it's a shame there are no freeware products which user configurable controls to produce a similar video file from any WAV file. Like MidnightBlue, I like Media Player's visualisations.

    Although TimStannards hint of a MIDI note which carries it's own harmonic and dynamic structures (i.e. tone and volume) to be merged with other audio at 'now' is appealing, I am
    interested in ways to integrate this techy stuff with real life video.

    What effects might let us 'see' sound? How might audio be visualised?
    And perhaps, 'why' bother?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    What effects might let us 'see' sound? How might audio be visualised?
    And perhaps, 'why' bother?
    To answer the final question first: Because we can
    (Or, more accurately, because you can)

    There are some basics as to how we (at least within our culture) might "see" sound. Something light by Mozart (maybe Eine Kleine Nachmusik) would be light in colour and quite possibly look like lace and snowflakes. Something like Led Zeppelin's Kashmir needs some sort of relentless repeating patterns and a brown/yellow/ochre sort of burnt summer colour. Something baroque might still be light in colour but more requires regimented patterns than say the Mozart. Mahlers symphonies would need to be dark in colour. Wagners works full of busy activity. Punk rock, dark colours and angular patters. Abba bright and bold.

    Whilst individuals will vary, I wouldn't mid betting we broadly "see" music in the same sort of way.

    How can we best analyse the music scientifically in order to best interpret it? I've no doubt people are working on it as you are. In fact we're probably paying for this to happen at a couple of universities right now

    And can we ever really hope to automate this. WMP and GForce are interesting enough, but will they ever be able to replace, say, Gerald Scarfe's visualisations in Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (I'm not a big fan of the piece, but I think the images are absolutely perfect visual representations of the music).
    Tim

  9. #9

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    A couple of points first Mahler's work is Blue/Violet. Especially his 5th.
    Secondly You don't like the Wall ? Is it the grammar, "We don't need no education".

    On a more serious note, sound, light and emotion are all waves.
    Low note longer wave length, high note shorter wave length.
    Red colour longer wave length, blue colour higher wave length.
    Apathy/grief longer wave length joy/enthusiasm shorter wave length.

    I think this is why some sounds or colours harmonise with people to either create or resonate with a persons mood/emotion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    A
    Secondly You don't like the Wall ? Is it the grammar, "We don't need no education".
    Heh heh.
    No I like it, I'm just not a big fan. It doesn't have the breadth, variety and imagination that other Floyd albums have. It's all a bit samey.

    However, call me fickle, but "Thick as a Brick" is my favourite Tull album. There's just no pleasing me (as anyone who's suffered one of my film reviews will tell you).

    Back on topic. I considered your simplified approach, but this is precicesly why it's so difficult. A piece played low pitch and legato might well be sad or mournful but it might be a romantic uplifting piece. How do you tell the software? (OK key will have something to do with it but that's no guarantee)
    Tim

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