The problem is that all of the hearts and the background are in unison both with the beat and with scale. If there were really individual hearts beating then the distance between the hearts would change. The tilt also adds to the visual confusion, especially when it changes direction, and there seems to be no motivation for the movement . You've just got way too much going on in the scene. The eye and the brain are going to focus on one thing and interpret that first and then look for other things of interest. When you scale all of the hearts the same and throw in the tilt move you have given the eye and the brain so much to look at with no focal point that you end up with the visual perception that you're just zooming in on a still image.
When I start designing something I start simple and then simplify. If the eye becomes distracted, and, most importantly, if the animation does not work without sound, then there's something wrong that can usually be fixed by simplifying the motion. I'm not even sure that the concept of a wall of hearts beating in unison to the music is a concept that works for me but I'd start by applying a non uniform scale animation to the hearts only then put some kind of texture on the background so you could see the change in scale, and I'd either completely take out the tilt or use a very simple camera move that either moves in or out depending on what the next shot is going to be. Take a look at this simple test example and note how the simple camera move and the background grid make it easier to see what's going on with the hearts. Dropbox - AnimatedHearts_CC.aep (Note: Dropbox is going to probably add a .txt extension after the .aep. Just remove it to make the comp open)
Listen to Rick,- but one alternative approach could be using freeform pro (mettle.com) - a fenomenal tool for creating 3d motion out of 2d- pictures.
This ffprotest little example was put together in a couple of minutes - all based on a basic screendump from the net.
Motions are key frameable and can easily be driven by your sound file
(btw : not just a few minutes since I also took a plunge into Dan Ebberts expressions , lets say 15 minutes ...)
Ok so sorry about the late reply, it's been a long day at work..... First of all i want to say thank you for writing such a detailed response on your observation. It is very much appreciated I must say this example you have given me is EXACTLY what i was going for. If i'm looking at this right, this worked because the deep blue background and the hearts are both 3D layers and therefore are connected to each other. The hearts being set to constraint also played a huge difference, if I'm seeing this right, and that's what you meant by it being a "non uniform scale"? Rather than actually zooming into the hearts with my previous example the size of the hearts are changing.
Also the concept i displayed is a little misleading, yes the hearts will be in sync with the beat however the video will not focus on them as heavily as i've displayed and will be more 2D than 3D. This video is primarily going to be focused on kinetic typography with movie clips to express the song.
I see, thank you. I will definitely look into that as well.
Rick i'm trying to get the "Constraint scale expression" to pickwhip to the "bottom channel slider" But when i turn the constraint proportions off like you did, to get in your comp it doesn't work, and still acts like the hearts are zooming into the screen. I'm not sure what is going on, I am completely confused. Is it because the slider expression is set to "linear(value)?