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Try adding this expression to the Pulse Level (animate) parameter:
amp = 10000;
freq = 10;
Amp controls how deep the waves go (jello-ness). Freq controls how many ripples there are.
Not sure why the instructions don't mention this. You could also pickwhip in Expression Sliders for amp & freq and/or connect them to the audio levels of another layer for some interesting effects.
Thanks for the help.
When I turn the amplitude way up, I can at least see the effect, but still hard to control.
In theory, if I had an audio track with a footstep or clap every second or so and silence in between, should this be able to create a ripple each time the sound begins?
I tried taking an audio track, doing animation>keyframes>convert audio to keyframes
and I put Ripple Pule on an image layer and pickwhipped the Pulse Animate setting to the right and left combined levels of the audio.
Not getting good results though.
Any more advice welcome - the Cycor website wasn't much help for this effect.
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CC Ripple Pulse requires at least 2 keyframes to see anything. No keyframes, no effect.
There's a clue in the UI. See where it says (Animate)?
The best way to see what you're doing is to turn on Render Bump Map, set a couple of keyframes or write an expression and then move down the timeline to a good spot and adjust the Time Span and Amplitude until you have the effect you want. It's a lot easier to see in a bump map than on an image.
If you want to tie the effect to an audio layer then convert to keyframes and use the linear function to set up a relationship between your audio levels and the Pulse Level of CC Ripple Pulse.
An easy way to see the range of values is to use the graph editor with the Audio Amplitude and Both Channels selected.
In this example the audio goes from a high of about 30 to a low of 3 with 10 in the middle.
The linear function from AE's Expression language menu>Linear that you can use is
linear(t, tMin, tMax, value1, value2)
I always like to minimize typing so I'm going to declare the AudioAmplitude Both Channels Slider as t, then set the tMin and tMax to the values that I checked in the graph editor. My completed expression looks like this:
t = thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Both Channels")("Slider"); linear(t, 10, 30, -200, 200)
This is what the Bump Map looks like.
Once you figure out how the effect works it's fairly easy to control.
Thanks for the very thorough reply.
I've gotten things working a bit - used fractal noise on a solid to make a checkered background and played with varied settings.
Will go ahead and try the method you described and try to get a handle on linking to audio which would offer very cool options.
Ok - I went through all of the steps you described. Can set up with keyframes or expression and view either on image or bump map.
I added a song, and plugged in my amplitude range after checking the both cahnnels slider in Graph Editor.
WHat I was expecting to see, however, were ripples starting with each significant beat in the song or vocals. Is that how it should work?
I've tried fiddling with time span and amplitude, but wondering if there's something else I need to change.
Also, this does have some background level of music at all times - is there a way to only trigger a ripple whenever goes above a certain amplitude? (say 25 units as After Effects calls them - my range is from 6 to 75 in graph editor)
One of the difficult things about setting a ripple to music is that ripples overlap. The ripple at beat 1 will be influenced at Beat 2 if it is still on the screen when beat 2 starts. You control the overlap with the time span and the time between beats with the tMin, tMax values. These are the minimum and maximum triger values. If you want the threshold to start at 25 then set that as the value for tMin.
It also makes things easier if you add a couple of expression sliders to your comp to control the minimum and maximum values of value1 and value2. Just position your CTI between beats and adjust the the values to get a nice clean ripple. In this sample comp I set markers on the peak of the beats as a visual aid. Here's the expression:
value1 = effect("Slider Control")("Slider"); value2 = effect("Slider Control 2")("Slider"); t = thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Both Channels")("Slider"); linear(t, 35, 75, value1, value2)
Ok - I think I'm getting closer to getting this.
Read about the linear expression and understand it's remapping my keyframed audio output to the range set by Slider Control and Slider Control 2. As an experiment, I set up my slider controllers to range from 0 to 100 while at the main beats, and then set both slider controls to 0 in between beats (toggling all of the keyframes to Hold instead of interpolate), thinking if tmin and tmax of my audiowave levels were remapped to same number (0) the pulse wouldn't show up.
Not really sure what effect it's having though.
Can you explain conceptually how this is supposed to work?
Do I want both slider controls to be the same in between beats? I'd also tried with slider 1 way negative, and slider 2 way positive, but still hard to figure out what that's doing.
Thanks for all of your help.
I'm assuming the keyframes you've turned to Hold keyframes are the AudioAmplitude slider keyframes. Changing to hold doesn't do anything because there's a keyframe at every frame anyway.
It seems like you've got a handle on the expression. tMin and tMax are the values you're sampling. value1 and value2 are the new range of values. Setting tMin to 25 means everything below 25 in the samples (Audio Amplitude keyframes) gives you your set value for value1 and anything above a tMax setting of 75 would give you the set value for value2. Anything between 25 and 75 would be linear. For example if value1 was 0 and value2 was 500 then a t(sampled value from audio keyframes) value of 50 would return a value of 250.
So now here's how the plug-in works. CCRiple Pulse is waiting for the first in any pair of keyframes in the Pulse Level property to start a pulse. The value of the first keyframe can be anything. Now here comes the tricky part. The time of the first keyframe starts the pulse, but the second Pulse Level keyframe sets the rgb value of the displacement map and starts the time of the second pulse if there is a 3rd keyframe. The value at the center of the pulse also depends on the Amplitude. If the first keyframe was -100 and the second was 100 and the Amplitude was set at 100 then the value of the center of the pulse at the time of the second keyframe would be about half way between 0 and 256 or gray. If the amplitude was set to 200 then the value of the center at the second keyframe would be about 256 or white.
The size of the center of the pulse is controled by the Time Span. To see how this works set up a timeline with 4 keyframes equally spaced alternating between -100 and 100. Move the CTI the same distance past the lask keyframe. Now adjust the amplitude and timing until you get a black background white ring, black ring, and white spot. There are the values for your four keyframes displayed as concentric rings.
To make this effect work effectively with Audio Amplitude and an expression the key is to set the tMin and tMax values to correspond to the beats and adjust the value1 and value2 so one is positive and one is negative and the difference between them is about 200 for maximum displacement. Then adjust the Time Span and the Amplitude to control the size of the pulse rings. A little messing and you'll get it. The tMin and tMax and the timing are the key.
Rick - thanks for all the help you've provided. I'll go through the test you described later this weekend.
Out of curiosity, is there a resource available to the general public that explains this and other Cycor effects in such detail?
I looked at the Ripple Pulse Effect in the Cycor manual, but it doesn't provide nearly this depth of info.
The Cycore manual explains the use of the controls but that's about all. When I use a plug-in for the first time I really try and figure out what the controls do. Some are easy. This pulse ripple effect is a little more difficult.
If you are ever confused about what the controls are doing start by typing the name of the plug-in in the Search Help field at the top right corner of AE. If you're still confused start by having everything set to zero and make some adjustments. The kind of footage you use depends on the effect you're trying out. For most distortion effects I'll use a nested comp made up of a solid and a grid.
Here's the best advice I can give you about what to do next. If you get something you like create a custom animation preset, save it with a name you'll remember, then make some notes. I have a spreadsheet with about 8 years of notes that I have made and hundreds of presets in my library. It's much easier than trying to remember everything.