I’m trying to create an animated music video. Specifically, I want characters singing and objects moving in sync with the music. Anybody got any helpful tips? As for me, this is what I’ve found works well:

  • You can turn on “audio scrubbing” the timeline to play back various parts of the audio file manually. Make sure to turn on “AV-sync” (this is especially useful if you’re using the laggy shaded mode). The downside is that the audio turns out a bit garbled, so I end up just using the regular play button often.
  • When lip-syncing, it’s sometimes helpful to use the NLA (Nonlinear animation) editor to create animation strips according to various phonemes or even words, move around and mix between them easily by just moving the strips around. Turn on “Auto Blend in/out” to make sure there’s a smooth transition between overlapping strips.

  • I think I might create a karaoke-style video file as a helpful overlay when animating. I want phonemes to appear as written words on video, so as not to constantly check with the audio to see if the animation syncs up. For the pure music sections, I might also create some sort of visual text feedback to help when animating.

If anybody has any more (or better) tips, please share.

  • $\begingroup$ you might be better asking this at blenderartists.org $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Sep 11, 2019 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I already did, just thought I'd double it here. Should I delete the question? $\endgroup$
    – BuzzKirill
    Sep 11, 2019 at 11:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This site is best suited to questions that have a definitive answer . Feel free to ask multiple questions as long as they lead to complete answers. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Sep 11, 2019 at 11:40

1 Answer 1

  1. Import your song into a music program such as LMMS, and map out the beat with a drum instrument, using kick for the main beat, crashes for points where the track shifts into a high or low, and snares or a different-sounding drum for various points where you want characters to do certain things without the track shifting into a high or low.

Once you export the mapped audio track (just the drums; delete the main song), import it into Blender making sure that the first frames of the main song and the mapped audio track are aligned perfectly. Mute the song and work on your anim relying on the mapped drum pattern.

  1. While mapping out your song, have a word document open. Write the time and what action takes place. Example:
    2:43 (James draws sword) (the two characters are in standoff)
    2:47 (James races forward to attack)

You can timestamp as much as you want, on many actions as you want. Just be sure to mark your track with the appropriate snare or crash if there are certain character actions that need to be signified.

  1. If there are lyrics, go into Blender and animate them, replacing the current line of text every time there's a new sentence or stanza. Animating them syllable by syllable helps.

That's it so far! I'm working on my own music video in Blender too and I found all this stuff out the hard way. Perhaps once I finish and release the actual product, I'll release a BTS video sharing everything I learned and discovered.

Good luck on your music video!

EDIT: Obviously, you need to determine the frames per beat in order to sync to the music. Here's what you can do. Determine the BPM of you song here: https://getsongbpm.com/tools/audio

Then calculate the frames per beat of your song here: https://www.vjamm.com/support_av_bpm.php%3Flang=en.html

Adjust the value of your framerate until the frames per beat is at a whole number. Then, type in that framerate value into Blender (make sure to set it at custom), adjusting the base value underneath until the numbers on the framerate are correct. For my project, I had a framerate of 24.4.

  • $\begingroup$ Huge thanks for this in-depth answer. I can't say I quite understand the last part. Why do I need to manually sync my Blender project with the audio, if the automatic "A-V sync" setting exists? Sorry, you obviously know more than I do, I'm just trying to understand. $\endgroup$
    – BuzzKirill
    Oct 19, 2019 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, I'm not a Blender master. But I know enough on the art side of things to answer. To be clear, yes, you should use AV sync. Sorry, forgot to mention it. Use it PLUS do some manual syncing like the kind you would when making characters do certain (fight) moves in choerography. Like for example (per beat): punch, kick, jump, drop punch. With each action, make it a beat: 1, 2, 3, 4. Same principle with dance moves. It's easy and hard to explain at the same time but I hope it works. $\endgroup$
    – Qwest44
    Oct 20, 2019 at 2:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "A/V Sync" just means that playback in the editor will skip frames to keep up with the audio. Other options are to try to keep up with a specific frame rate, or don't skip at all. It won't sync animations for you, just ensure that video and audio play at the same speed. $\endgroup$
    – Rena
    Sep 12, 2020 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Pitch Key & BPM can be determined here vocalremover.org/bpm-finder $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2021 at 16:51

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