3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2014 12:21 PM by philbearman

    New feature idea - Beat Grid


      Hi all,


      I've got an idea for a new feature and thought I'd post it here in case other people agree that it's a good idea and would like to submit a feature request to help get it noticed.


      Beat Grid



      It would be useful to be able to overlay a grid of vertical lines onto the timeline which show the positions of musical beats and bars.  This would assist with positioning keyframes and edit points in projects that are based around music.


      You would need to be able to specify a tempo, time signature, and an offset.  Beats should be shown with one colour or thickness of line, with downbeats coloured differently or a different thickness, and it should be an option to snap keyframes to the beat grid.



      Musical synchronisation forms the basis of a huge amount of motion graphics work, and therefore I think this feature would be very useful and popular.  (My current method is to put beat markers on the audio layer, but making a grid overlay as part of the user interface would be a much neater/easier method.)


      Here's a mock-up of how I imagine it looking: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1388508/BeatGridMockup.jpg

      The green lines represent downbeats (i.e. the first beat of a bar), and the yellow ones are individual beats.


      Ideally you'd be able to interactively drag the green downbeat lines to offset the position of the whole grid, and drag the yellow beat lines to change the grid spacing (i.e. tempo), as well as entering numeric values.  These should be saved per comp rather than being a global grid setting, and appearance should be configurable as a general AE preference (eg line colours).



      An extension of this could be automatic beat detection to configure the grid, but to be honest it wouldn't be difficult to set it up manually if implemented the way I've described above.


      If you think this would be useful, please post a feature request at Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form .  I'm sure this would be relatively easy for the team to implement and be a huge time saver for many of us.




        • 1. Re: New feature idea - Beat Grid
          philbearman Level 1

          Here's a short video I've made to demonstrate how this would work:



          • 2. Re: New feature idea - Beat Grid
            Dave LaRonde Level 6

            Are you familiar with the musical terms "accelerando", "ritard" and "rubato"?   Real-live breathing musicians with a pulse -- i.e. not computers -- know them well.  If you don't, I'd look them up.


            Otherwise, the use this of proposed plugin could be severely limited.

            • 3. Re: New feature idea - Beat Grid
              philbearman Level 1

              Hi Dave,


              Yes I'm familiar with those terms, and appreciate what you're saying, but I don't think this would 'severely limit' the use of a beat/timeline grid.


              There's plenty of music out there that does have a consistent tempo (particularly electronic music, and library music which is usually produced on computer), and there are also plenty of occasions when it would be useful to have a time-interval grid, even when music isn't being used.    (I've started thinking of it as a 'timeline grid' rather than a 'beat grid' now.


              What I'm proposing is not a plugin, but a simple addition to the user interface - a grid you can turn on and off, just like the grid in the comp viewer.


              Personally, with the work I do, I would benefit from such a feature like this on an almost daily basis, hence why I'm putting the idea out there in the hope that other people agree.