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Using MIDI Data to Trigger Animation in After Effects?

Explorer ,
Feb 09, 2020

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Hi y'all,

I'm a musician, trying to get my feet wet in motion graphics. Is it possible to import a MIDI fiile into After Effects and use the data to trigger the animation of characters?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Ess

 

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Audio, How to

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Using MIDI Data to Trigger Animation in After Effects?

Explorer ,
Feb 09, 2020

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Hi y'all,

I'm a musician, trying to get my feet wet in motion graphics. Is it possible to import a MIDI fiile into After Effects and use the data to trigger the animation of characters?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Ess

 

TOPICS
Audio, How to

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672

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Feb 09, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 09, 2020

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AE itself doesn't do anything realtime and thus doesn't support MIDI inputs. I vaguely seem to remember that someone had developed a plug-in and some scripts once, but I'm not sure of the state of affairs. Likewise there are a number of experiumental solutions for Adobe Character Aniumator, but I can't tell you how well they may work. In any case, the simple truth likely is that in order to get really good character animation in either program you will need to spend time learning them and work within their framework rather than trying to find quick automated solutions.

 

Mylenium

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Feb 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 09, 2020

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After Effects will not directly import or use MIDI information. You'll have to convert the MIDI track to an audio file and then use the Convert Audio to Keyframes Keyframe Assistant or Red Giant>Trapcode>Sound Keys to create some keyframes. The advantage of having a Midi track available is that you can easily generate an audio file that is specific to one instrument like the Kick Drum. It is a lot easier to do that in MIDI than trying to isolate frequencies in an audio track.

 

Here's the first part of a School of Motion tutorial on the process (most of their tutorials are pretty good).

That should get you started, but if you are really new to After Effects, I strongly suggest that you start with the User Guide. You will find links on this forum, on the After Effects Product Page and right on default AE Home Screen. The links will point you here: Learn AE

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Feb 09, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 28, 2020

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In this tutorial we'll show you the steps how to generate auto keyframing in After Effects by exporting a script (.JSX) based on a MIDI file. For example a M...

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Jul 28, 2020 0
jampff LATEST
Explorer ,
Jul 28, 2020

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You definitely want to check out magicmusicvisuals.com. It comes in two tiers: Studio, and Performer, and the Performer edition animates anything based on MIDI or OSC, as well as audio. I'm familiar with both After Effects and MMV... and I asked an After Effects expert if it could do specifically what MMV does... the answer is nope.

 

AE can animate graphics to music... but only based on audio volume keyframes. MMV can animate graphics to music based on a myriad of different aspects of the music, not just its volume: you can set certain graphics to react to certain frequencies only, or to certain MIDI notes, or to the beat clock itself, or only to certain instruments in the music, or numerous (numerous numerous) other characteristics of the music .... recorded, MIDI, or live... or any combo thereof.

 

Also, AE can animate graphics, but you have to put your own graphic there first and then make it react to your recorded audio. MMV does this... AND, can also generate NEW graphics from your music, based on nodes/parameters you define. It's basically infinite what it can "draw" and "move" based on your music and your wishes... sometimes, intensely beautiful stuff. Supports shaders, video, 2D graphics, 3D objects...

 

AE is an all purpose amazing VFX/motion graphics/animation machine... it's too functionally broad and does too many different things for it to focus specifically on animating to music. Imagine that tomorrow, AE dropped all other functions EXCEPT animating to music... and the developers spent years focusing on just that one feature, really expanded it and made it as amazing as AE is now, but only for music animation... and you might have Magic Music Visuals. Using AE for music animation is like going to Target for jewelry... using MMV for music animation is like going to Tiffany & Co for jewelry. Does that make sense?

 

I just realized I sound like I'm gushing... oh well... I guess you can tell how much I like MMV. Plus I always overwrite everything so that's probably the real problem! I'm a music maker also (not an MMV employee, no affiliation or sponsorship), and was just looking for ways to create reactive visuals for my music. I think it's so cool... highly professional, a small learning curve... can create unbelievable things. Use it live in a show, or stream your visuals, or export them straight to video in anything from mp4 to ProRes 422 to png sequence. I like After Effects, but I don't even bother with its music animation stuff. MMV is just wow. Here's their showcase of the best user created videos (scroll down, there are beauties toward the bottom).

 

When I do music videos, I get the music done in my DAW, and then use Premiere Pro/After Effects/Audition/MMV, each to their various strengths for the final product.

 

Hope this helps.

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Jul 28, 2020 0