9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2009 3:15 PM by Suntower

    Creating a flashing background

    Suntower Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'm trying to work on a music video and I'd like the background to 'throb' in time with the music.

       

      Basically, I just need it to alternate between a white and a black background in time with a few bars of the music. The 'Dip To White' effect is just what I need except, of course, that it only 'dips' -once-. I need something that will repeat.

       

      My current noob solution was to create a transparent clip and populate it with 'Dip To White' over and over and over and over. It works, but it's tedious in the extreme.

       

      Ideas? Is this a job for AE? If so, can someone give me a hint where to go -there-? (Me heap big scared of AE!)

       

      THANKS!

       

      ---JC

        • 1. Re: Creating a flashing background
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          Perhaps the Strobe effect over a black clip?

          • 2. Re: Creating a flashing background
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            I would think about looking into Keyframing and looking into doing, say a white layer of Video below (VT 1), and a Black Video above (VT 2). Keyframe Opacity of the Black Video between 0 and 100%..

             

            Several people, on different fora, have looked for plug-ins, or processing programs, that will basically "read" the music, and then adjust things automatically to do similar to what you want, up to moving Lighting Effects. To date, I have never heard of such a progarm, or plug-in. To my knowledge, it's by hand with Keyframes.

             

            I'd read up on Keyframing, as the initial concept is fairly abstract, but once grasped, is oh so useful. There are tons of tutorials on Keyframing too. Read, and work through some of these first, then when you "get it all," it'll seem easy.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: Creating a flashing background
              Suntower Level 1

              Perfectamundo.

               

              Probably not good for certain tempi, but for my mid-tempo thing it works a treat just to put a black clip on track 1 with the Strobe effect. I had to subdivide the clip a few times to get the flashes perfectly synced, but the alternatives would've taken MUCH longer.

               

              THANKS!

               

              ---JC

              • 4. Re: Creating a flashing background
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Also look into other Effects like Feather Edges and such. Sometimes, these "extra" effects can take an artistic composition to another level.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Creating a flashing background
                  Suntower Level 1

                  Thanks. I'm sure your solution would be more elegant---if I knew what I was doing! I'll try it when I figure out more of the lingo (so much to learn!).

                   

                  Since this is my first 'real' project I feel like I need to get the boat in the water in order to get past the 'noob' phase rather than stressing over every detail.

                   

                  I'm sure that a year from now I'll look back on my 'technique' with horror. But that's how I learn. And hopefully the results won't be -too- crap.

                   

                  Thanks for all your help!

                   

                  ---JC

                  • 6. Re: Creating a flashing background
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    Probably not good for certain tempi

                     

                    The strobe duration and frequency are fully adjustable.

                    • 7. Re: Creating a flashing background
                      Dag Norum Level 2

                      Hunt,

                      Several people, on different fora, have looked for plug-ins, or processing programs, that will basically "read" the music, and then adjust things automatically to do similar to what you want, up to moving Lighting Effects. To date, I have never heard of such a progarm, or plug-in. To my knowledge, it's by hand with Keyframes.


                      After Effects has a bulit in effect that does "sound level to keyframes". The keyframes can be used several ways, like "linked" to any effect and make that "go with the sound. Way too much to go into now, but it is possible to "read" the music (level always, but could be frequency "sensitive" with sound-preparing and duplicate layers) with no additional plugin in After Effects.

                       

                      There are also two plugins from Trapcode (sold by Red Giant Software, www.redgiantsoftware.com) that will interact with sound.

                       

                      The very best one that can both read levels and generate keyframes from selectable frequency ranges has the name " Sound Keys". Quite an helpful tool it is!

                       

                      The other called "Form" can also interact with sound, but will do that "to its own benefit" (meaning interact with its own effects).

                       

                      Yes, it takes some time to get into After Effects and plugins, but that time can very well be the "life saver" for you one of these days.

                       

                      Two silly examples:

                      (I can't show what I have made for my clients, so... anyway, sometimes I'm doing some silly stuff in order to test out things)

                       

                      Made with After Effects 6.5, here was the new animators for text and the sound to keyframes to be tested:

                       

                      http://www.norumprod.com/video/intro.mov

                       

                      Made with After Effect CS3, turned out to be a silly story "muted firefly", well, mostly to test some stuff in Trapcode Frorm (the aftershake):

                       

                      http://www.norumprod.com/video/firefly.wmv

                       

                       

                      Dag

                       

                      EDIT: Oh, these two examples were made with VERY little "by hand" keyframes.

                      • 8. Re: Creating a flashing background
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Dag,

                         

                        Thank you for that info. Not sure if the other poster had AE, but if I can find his post, I'll link this one to it.

                         

                        Appreciated,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Creating a flashing background
                          Suntower Level 1

                          Thanks I'll check this out. I've been looking for a way to dip my toe into AE. Maybe this is a small enough bite to try.

                           

                          CHEERS!

                           

                          ---JC