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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
Illustration by John Hersey

The magic tempos


From:

After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: The magic tempos

If possible, before we start animating a job, we love to get the music. The music and the tempo and beats in that music can give us a nice animation grid for where to place cuts, keyframes, etcetera. Now when a composer creates music for you in your project, there are some specific tempos or speeds that they can use that will make your life a lot easier, we call these the magic tempos. And indeed, if you have access to the exercise files there's a folder called Bonus Content that includes a PDF called Magic Tempos.

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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
3h 30m Intermediate Jan 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This project-oriented course leads you through the creative and technical process of building an opening title sequence from scratch in Adobe After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to pull together numerous skills you've learned in the other After Effects Apprentice courses, from working in 3D space to creating type and shape layers to writing expressions. Along the way, Chris lets you in on the mental process he uses when creating similar spots for real-world clients, while sharing numerous tips that will help broaden your After Effects skills.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.

Topics include:
  • Animating to music
  • Arranging layers in 3D space
  • Performing time stretches
  • Working with 3D camera tracking
  • Typesetting and animating text
  • Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
  • Creating and animating shape layers
  • Building and delivering a broadcast package
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

The magic tempos

If possible, before we start animating a job, we love to get the music. The music and the tempo and beats in that music can give us a nice animation grid for where to place cuts, keyframes, etcetera. Now when a composer creates music for you in your project, there are some specific tempos or speeds that they can use that will make your life a lot easier, we call these the magic tempos. And indeed, if you have access to the exercise files there's a folder called Bonus Content that includes a PDF called Magic Tempos.

In it, we described the philosophy of how the tempo of music maps to frames inside your animation. And on the second page we give you a table of what we call the magic tempos, where specific beats per minute, the tempo that musicians like to think of, mapped to very clean, even frames per beat, the spacing in frames inbetween the beats. We gave this list to our musician ahead of time and said, please pick one of these tempos for the music. Now it so happens that the subject of this project is about heart attacks.

So we did a little research to find out what is the common tempo of a heartbeat. We found it can fall anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute, with 72 being common. So the musician had asked us what our frame rate was, 23.976, and looked for a tempo that was close to this target tempo of around 72 beats per minute and lo and behold, here's one right here, 71.93. Now the musician knows what tempo to compose our music at. Even if the composer has not done composing the music, if you know that they're going to compose at this tempo ahead of time, you now have a framework for how to space out your animation timing, namely, 20 frames between each beat of the music.

Since we got the music first, I'm going to go back at After Effects, twirl open Sources, twirl open Music, grab our soundtrack finalbeat.wav, and add it to the Final Composition.

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