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  • Generate a sound wave in After Effects that changes colour over time

  • Thomas Hannen

    September 26, 2022 at 8:38 am

    I’m trying to find a way to generate a sound wave animation where the colour of the wave being generated changes as the person speaking swaps over. I can do this with text just fine, and I have expressions to switch over based on some keyframes, but I cannot work out how to do this on an audio waveform.

    After Effects’ built-in Audio Waveform plugin can switch colour, but it changes the entire waveform when you animated it. I want existing waves to stay one colour when new audio after the keyframe should be a different colour.

    I tried using Trapcode Particular with Sound Keys. I analysed the amplitude of my audio, and made a null which is modified in the Y-axis as the amplitude changes.

    I want the waveform to look as much as possible like the built-in Audio Waveform- ie an amplitude and time graph moving over time, and ideally would be symmetrical about its X axis.

    I set Particular to emit a directional stream of Streaklet particles, and increased the Wind on the Y axis to “blow” them along. But as they blow along, they compress down over time.

    See video attached: the top line is Particular, lower line is Audio Waveform.

    I’ve tried adjusting many other values – air resistance is zero, mass at very low numbers – nothing seems to achieve the right effect.

    Is there a way to do this? Or another way entirely?

    Many thanks

  • Filip Vandueren

    September 27, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    I would use the audio waveform effect, and use that as an alpha matte for a second layer, that layer should just create blocks of color moving right to left. That could also be achieved by a simple particle system.

  • Thomas Hannen

    September 28, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Of course! Great solution – many thanks!

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