View Full Version : Smoothing audio for displacement

08-08-2013, 08:26 AM
Really enjoying displacing objects for that random procedural look (move over C4D!). i'm experimenting with audio tracks to drive the displacements and getting some interesting results.

I can see the modified motion in the GE, would be nice if I can smooth the path it gives me in some way. Is there a way to "round off" some of the audio spikes within LW?

08-08-2013, 09:02 AM
Many years ago, I experimented with audio files affecting the facial expressions - in an audio editor, I was cutting the audio stream into segments, each containing its own type of vowel "a" - "o" - "eee" - "yu:" - .. and some others. These sounds are saved as separate files I passed through a filter, so that in fact they turned to abstract audio, who only spoke when to involve a specific expression.

08-08-2013, 09:04 AM
OK, here's what I did - if anyone has a better solution please post!

Created a null called Audio. Added the audio to the Y position.
Created another null called audioFollow: Applied Mike Greens SpringyThingy to it to round off the motion, basically upping the Spring Constraint.
Bake the motion using MFmotionBaker - this is Mental Fish's script, the LW BakeMotion doesn't appear to bake motion modifiers.
Us the baked data to drive my displacement.

It's all a little bit "destructive" if I don't like the movement. Is there a way in the GE to point to an object being moved by a Motion Modifier to avoid the baking process?

Got it! Avoid the baking by adding Channel Filter Node Editor to the (in this case) Layer Opacity of my texture, add Item Info and get the Y position of the audioFollow null. Phew! Hopefully it makes sense!

08-08-2013, 03:02 PM
Smoothing audio is basically the removal of high freq. content (detail). Could you run your audio thru a couple stages of low pass filtering in an audio editing package, leaving just the low bass or sub-bass spectrum? Interesting idea of using SpringyThing to build a mechanical (versus aural) low-pass filter to do the same thing.

08-08-2013, 03:32 PM
Thanks Chrusion and OFF. I could run the audio through filters but I was hoping there was something a little more live within LW that I could tweak on the fly. Handy to know is if you add Oscilator or Noisy Channel it'll add to the audio created keys rather than override them

Word of warning, though. DP's Channel Filter Node Editor will crash Layout when the scene is opened on the mac, LW11.6.

08-10-2013, 03:38 AM
Looks like this could have helped, fresh out:


unfortunatley, no mac version.

09-06-2013, 08:52 AM
I know it's a bit of an old thread now but I've found a solution to this that others may find extremely useful. Basically, to get what I need I've used After Effects to create keyframes from audio (using Trapcodes SoundKeys in my case, but it's not essential). Apply the result to the position of a 3d null (hint: use Separate Dimensions before copying keyframes to the Y channel, for instance) then send null to LW. Use the position of the null to drive displacements etc. If its not to your taste, tweak in AE and send through where the data will be automatically updated.

It's a really simple trick and takes out a lot of faffing in LW!

As a feature request, I'd like to see the AE to LW script bake JavaScript on motion channels and convert to world co-cords (esp useful if layers are parented) before sending through to LW. That way I wouldn't need to copy/paste keyframes in AE, just use a simple 'pick-whip' expression.