Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Recording a scratch track, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Working with Storyboards.
- All right, once you have the pieces together, it's often time to edit them. Now, in a way, we're going to be editing a commercial here, and, in a perfect world, we would have the actual footage that was already shot. But instead, we're going to use our created footage to tell the story. Remember, the goal with the animatic is to just roughly assemble something that really gives everybody a good idea of what the end product is going to look like. You don't put a lot of effort into it, but it's a great way to figure out the duration.
Just how long should each shot be, and can you fit everything into the timeline, without going over? Remember, pacing is important, and so by cutting these together, and doing a rough edit, we get a pretty good idea. Now, of course, in order to do that rough edit, one of the first things you're going to need, is an audio track. So I'm going to go through and actually record a rough scratch track. I'll show you some strategies on how to hook up the microphone, but then, if you'd like to follow along, we've already got the files recorded to save you a step.
Let's start by connecting into the bottom here... Into the microphone USB port. I'm just using a Blue mic here. And then I can take that USB cable, and connect it into the side of the computer. Here we go. And if I take a look here, once it powers on, you can fire open your system preferences. Just choose the Apple menu, and System Preferences and it should open, and you can go to the Sound category.
Similar on a Windows machine, just open up your Control Panel, and look at Sound. You'll want to make sure that the USB microphone is used, or you can use the internal microphone, because after all, this is just a scratch track. If you're using the internal mic, consider the ambient noise reduction option. Once that's connected, you can adjust the volume. So adjust the mic so it's closer to your body, and set the level so that it works. You don't want to peak things out, but getting somewhere about 2/3s or 3/4s over is pretty good, just keep an eye that your peaks aren't slamming all the way to the right.
So I'll back that off just a little bit so even as I get loud or excited, I rarely hit the end of the view meter. All right, that looks good. Included with Adobe, you'll find an application called Audition. You may need to download it from Creative Cloud. If you haven't installed it already, just go to your Creative Cloud app, and take a look at your apps. Once you load those up, you'll see all the ones that are available to you, and you can choose to download Adobe Audition, if it's not installed already.
All right, let's close that up. And what I need to check is the hardware. So I'll go to Audition, Preferences, Audio Hardware. This is where you choose the input device. So make sure you take a look from the pop up menu, and select it, and once you've got it selected, that's good, and then you can click OK. It's now easy to choose and select File, New, Audio File, and give this a scratch track name. And click OK.
When you choose Record, you'll note that the audio is actually being recorded into Audition, you can press the Pause button, or the Space Bar to stop. If you don't want to see the spectral frequency display, you can turn that on and off. You'll note the ability to see pitch. All right, let's play that back. - To record, you'll note that the audio is actually being recorded into Audition. - So, my audio track was cleanly recorded. With this in mind, feel free, if you'd like to take your own stab at recording the scratch track, but I've already done so.
I just wanted to make sure you were comfortable and knew that you had a tool for recording inside of the Creative Cloud. Once you get that track all done, if you need to make any basic edits, you can just simply mark any ins and outs INO and press the Delete key to close up a gap, and when you're all done, simply choose File, Export File, and you can write out a new file. I recommend an AIFF or a WAV file for a high quality file that'll be useful in your scratch track as you put together the rough animatic.
If you don't have Adobe Adution, or another audio tool, consider things like Audacity, which is free, or QuickTime Player, which is available for Mac or Windows. You'll note that when you launch QuickTime Player, you can select File, New Audio Recording. And this will bring up a new dialogue. From the pop up menu here, you could choose which microphone you're using, as well as the quality. I recommend maximum. In this case, I'm just using the built in mic. When you're ready, click the giant record button. This is my scratch track, and you see that it's actually recording my voice, right here on the computer.
When you click done, the file is there and ready to be saved. Now it's simply a matter of saying File, Save, new dialogue box pops up, and you'll note that, by default, it creates an AIFF file. In this case it's labeled aifc, but it is still a compliant AIFF file, that's ready for import into your NLE of choice.
- Creating storyboards
- Scanning sketches
- Drawing with tablets
- Coloring and cleaning up storyboards
- Creating animatic shots in After Effects
- Using 3D cameras with storyboards
- Editing an animatic assembly
- Exporting an animatic for client review