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So in this video we're going to learn how to preview audio and add some markers to our scenes so we can time things out for animation later. Now even though our scene looks rather busy, this will make sense once we actually start editing the appearance of these objects to the beat of the music. Now since this is a rather jumbled scene, I'm just going to turn the visibility of all these layers off except for the background layer. Now since I do want to control the appearance of these layers as they move throughout the scene, I just want to have a general count so I can know how many markers I want to add to my music.
So if we count from layer 1, we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 is the background layer. So six elements obviously if you look at the number of the layers that would tell you the same thing as well. Now select our layer 8. The way you preview audio in After Effects is by using the period key on your keypad. Now when you hit the period key on your keypad, music will play back in real time, and then you can add markers in real time by pressing the Asterisk key on your keypad.
Now the corresponding keystrokes if you're on a keyboard that doesn't have a keypad, it's Ctrl+. and Ctrl+8 in order to actually add marker. So Ctrl+. to preview the audio, Ctrl+8 to add the markers. So let's get started by previewing the audio. I'm going to select layer 8 and press the period key. (music playing) Okay, you can press the Spacebar on your keyboard to stop playback.
There is a preference in After Effects in your Preferences where you can change the length of the audio preview if you need a longer one. Now this time, I want to press the period key since we have some familiarity with the music, we can start adding some markers in real-time using the asterisk key. Now don't panic if it doesn't happen the first time. Just let the playhead roll back and add more markers. As long as layer 8 is selected, your markers will appear on layer 8. All right, let's get going.
(music playing) And then press the Spacebar when you're finished. Now whether or not I have rhythm remains to be seen, but let's count the number of markers. We have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Now that worked out beautifully, but let's open up layer 8 and open up the Audio options and open up the waveform. See, this way, we can scrub through the timeline and actually look to see if our markers are lining up to the beat.
See, the waveform, the larger the area here, the louder the music is. So typically, when you're trying to nail something on the beat, you'll want to go with the marker that's closer to the larger point. Now I'm noticing with these two markers I was probably trying to hit the same beat. So I'm going to slide this left marker just by clicking right on the edge and dragging it over to the edge right here to just this area. Now as you're clicking and dragging with your current-time indicator, if you hold the Shift key, it will snap to the different markers.
So that way you can use the red line to actually make sure that you lined up with the beat. So there we go and then here. Okay, perfect! Now let's press the period key one more time and you'll notice the current time indicator scrubbing through and we can just watch visually to see if things lined up. (Music Playing) So I'm going to stop playback and just move this one ahead a little bit so these appear right after each other.
Now there's one last thing with markers in terms of timing to audio. If you double-click on the marker you can actually open up labels. So here I can type a message or any kind of comment or anything like that. There is obviously all kinds of information you can add to markers. You can even add duration. But I just want to type 1st so I know this is the first element that's going to appear in the scene. When I click OK, now you can see that appear in the timeline. So obviously it pays to have a short label if you have a bunch of markers that are right next to each other.
So once you have your markers in your scene, you're actually ready to start timing animation to the markers, and we're going to jump into that in the next video.
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