Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Sound, part of After Effects Artist in Action: Eran Stern's Personal Transporter.
- View Offline
We've reached the final chapter in this course. And, in this chapter, we have two more things that we need to do. And, this will actually be the final touches. We will add some sounds effects. And, we will create an overall color correction giving the whole scene a cinema look. In this movie, we'll start by adding some sound effect and ambient music, just to emphasize the impact actions. We'll also use the sound in order to tell the story, actually give the audience a reason why our actor is running away, and creating himself a personal transporter wormhole (and, of course, vanish into thin air).
I'm going to start by opening the 17th composition, Sound Effect, under the fifth folder, Final Touches. This is the state that we left at the previous part. I'm just going to press zero to show you what we have until this point. (video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Of course, it's looking not too bad.
With an additional sound effect and some ambient music, it will really help to merge everything together. Now, I have to admit After Effects is not the perfect tool for this kind of task. If you have access to other software, such as Adobe Premiere or Adobe Audition, these will be much better options in order to generate your final mix. I'm just going to walk you through the steps I've used. And, my weapon of choice to create such mixes is, of course, Adobe Audition.
So, if you want to create the final output using Adobe Audition, and you have the full Creative Suite, you can actually take advantage of the dynamic link option, which means it will allow you to drag your timeline without even rendering it, place it inside Adobe Audition, and then start to compose your final score. However, in this case, I just want to show you another trick in After Effects. And, this will help you to actually render a reference movie for generating final mix. And, this is, of course, if you don't have access to dynamic link, or you want to create this mix in a different work station.
For this, we need to create some kind of a reference clip. Since I already have a pre-cached RAM preview represented by this green bar, I can actually save it to file without re-rendering. Before doing so, you might want to take a minute to actually modify your RAM preview settings. You can find them under the Edit menu if you go to Template>Output Module.
Here, from the Setting Name, you can actually load your RAM preview settings. Let's visit those settings and edit them. I'm going to change the Post-Render Action to None, because I don't need to see the video after the file is being rendered. I'm also going to change the format from animation to something more convenient. On my system, I'm going to choose Apple ProRes 422. You can go with anything you like.
I'm going to press OK here. And, once again, I'm going to press OK over here. Now, every time I'm going to save my RAM Preview, After Effects will use these settings. Let's choose OK here. Make sure the composition is still selected, and then go under the Composition menu, and just ask it to save your RAM Preview. Since we have three dots here, we will be presented with an additional dialog here, but this additional dialog will only give you the option of where you want to save your output movie.
I'm going to save it to my Desktop here; ask it to save, and the render will start immediately. There's nothing you can do here. You must change those settings ahead of time. Now, we have a reference clip that we've created, and we can use it in our audio session. I've already created the audio final score for this shot. In this case, I'm not going to share with you my source files, but I will render the final mix, which you can then, of course, use in this composition, and in every work that you are doing.
As I told you before, I chose Adobe Audition in order to create it, so I'm going to launch Adobe Audition now, and then go to the File menu, and I'm going to open my recent sound session. Everything is being loaded to the Multi -Track Editor. And, we can see that our 17 Sound Effect RAM composition is already in place. And, I've used it as a video reference.
I also solo of this clip. And, if we're going to play this, this is the render that we've just created from After Effects. Okay, I'm going to stop it for now, and just show you the things that I've edit. I've sensed that we need to tell the audience why Yuval is actually running here. Okay, it's just entering the screen quite dramatically.
And, I think that the reason for him to enter the screen is because somebody is chasing him, of course. And, in order to give the audience some hint for this, I already placed here a audio file for guns that we can hear in the background. So, I'm going to solo this one as well, and play it for you. (video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Fantastic!Now, let's add some ambient music, just so we'll have some kind of atmosphere.
I'm going to solo the 8th track, and this is an ambient audio that will help to actually move the story. So, from the beginning, let's play it once again. (video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Okay. Can you feel the drama? I sure can. Now, let's add something to describe the main effect, the air circle, and let's hear it from the beginning, once again, with this effect.
(video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Of course, we need to also add some sounds, or whooshes, when those rings are coming down. For that, I'm just going to dismiss all my solo buttons, so we can hear everything in concert. Let's go to the beginning, and play the final mix.
(video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Hopefully, you got the chance to hear how much the audio is actually contributing to the whole story. Now, we wish to render the final mix to After Effects. I want to remind you that, in After Effects, we already have the main audio.
We might need to control its volume over there. So, I'm going to mute this track, and then go to the File menu, and here we can use the Export, Multitrack mixdown for the entire session. So, from the list here, I'm just going to go to the place where I've saved all my project files, and then press OK in order for Audition to create the mixdown for the ambient music and the sound effect.
Now, I can return to After Effects and highlight the Source Files folder, and import the final mix that we've just created. So, Command+I on the Mac, Ctrl+I on the PC, to invoke the Import dialog, and then select the File, and choose Open. Now, I'm going to drag this file to my Sound Effects composition, and just place it underneath all the layers. This is just a personal preference.
And, let's play the mix inside After Effects to see if we have to change anything. (video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [00:09:.4734] To me, it sounds almost perfect. I just sensed that the recorded audio from the camera was a little bit louder.
So, in this case, you can do quick fixes inside After Effects. For example, you can select the layer that you what to change. In my case, this was the action layer over here. And then, from the Window, I'm going to choose the Audio meters. And now, I can basically drag the audio meters a little bit lower, as long as the layer is selected. This will actually, if I am going to open up the audio for the layer, this will actually control the layer, and it will change the volume in terms of decibels for the whole layer.
This is much easier instead of working your way inside the timeline. Okay. Once again, let's go to the beginning, and let's play it to hear if there's a difference. (video playing)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And, it sure did. It sounded a little bit more balanced now. And, I think that this is where I'm going to leave it.
And so, this is how you add some sound effects and ambient music to emphasize the impact actions, and also help to tell the story.
- Reviewing, choosing, and preparing footage
- Removing noise
- Separating the actor from the background
- Tracking the actor's hands
- Adding paint and particle effects
- Parenting the tracking data
- Inserting sound effects and music