Tutorial 204: 3D Visualizer

Joe Clay | Feb 20, 2020

In this tutorial, we're taking audio and using it to drive a setup similar to the one we made in Tutorial 166: Free 3D Terrain. By adding some simple expressions to Wave World's Frequency and Amplitude parameters in each producer, we can make our own visualizer. It's like a plane of water that is affected by sound.

While this can be done in vanilla AE by following our other tutorials, Tutorial 70: Pump up the Jam and Tutorial 162: Beat-based Time Shifting, we definitely would recommend Trapcode Sound Keys for best results.

That allows us to easily split of frequency ranges and make a more unique visualizer that can pulse with different elements of your audio.

Expressions

These are the expressions for using Sound Keys. If you're using vanilla AE, you'll need to normalize your audio (find the highest peak in your audio graph and divide by that) and then multiply by your amp/freq variable. The first one obviously goes in a producer's Amplitude parameter and the second one goes into Frequency.

amp = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Amplitude Multiplier")("Slider");
thisComp.layer("SoundKeys").effect("Sound Keys")("Output 1") * amp;
freq = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Frequency Multiplier")("Slider");
thisComp.layer("SoundKeys").effect("Sound Keys")("Output 1") * freq;

This is an experimental adjustment to the Wave Speed parameter. I ended up turning it off.

speed = thisComp.layer("SoundKeys").effect("Sound Keys")("Output 1");
value - (speed * .2);

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Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the After Effects file shown in the tutorial as well as all of the elements used to build it. Note: it does not contain the music as we cannot distribute it. This project file was built in AE 2020 but there's a legacy version that should work back to CC (15.X).

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