Aug 24, 2012

3D Animated Music Bars

Hello and welcome to another 3Ds MAX Tutorial. In this step by step tutorial we will talk about creating 3D Music Bars by using Audio Controllers inside the Curve Editor. We will get some nice animated music bars that synchronize with the music that you want to use. See the video below:

You can use Cylinders as well, or any other 3D Primitive that has Height as a parameter.

So let's get started.

Step 1: Open 3Ds MAX and click on the Time Configuration button at the bottom right part of the GUI  and change the End Time. You have to decide how many frames you want to render before creating the animation (remember that 30 frames is 1 second, so for example if your song has 1 minute/60 seconds then use 1800 frames). I just wanted to show you how to change the End Time but for the sake of this tutorial I am using the default 100 frames.

Step 2: Create a Chamfer Box from Extended Primitives:

Step 3: Go to the Modify Tab and change the Parameters to the following:

Length: 10
Width: 10
Height: 80
Fillet: 0.38
Fillet Segs: 5

Step 4: Now Right Click in the Viewport and select Curve Editor:

Step 5: This will open the Track View - Curve Editor. Then select Sound from the left pannel and Right Click it > Properties:

Step 6: Inside the ProSound click on the Add button and choose your sound file.  

NOTE: You have to use WAV files because 3Ds MAX doesn't support MP3 files. Make sure that you convert the song that you want to use into a WAV then add it to the ProSound:

Step 7: After you have added the WAV file to the ProSound hit Close:

Now if you press on Play you can hear the Sound playing into 3Ds MAX.

Step 8: Select your ChamferBox in the Viewport then inside the Curve Editor select Object (ChamferBox), then press on the + sign and select Height from the list:

Step 9: Right Click on the Height and hit Assign Controller:


Step 10: Inside Assign Controller dialog choose AudioFloat and hit OK:

Step 11: Inside Audio Controller click the Choose Sound button and select your WAV file again. Also Modify the Min ammount to 5 and the Max to 150 (these control the minimum and maximum height of the box).

Step 12: Select the Move Tool (W) and by holding Shift drag the ChamferBox on the X axis to Clone it. From the Clone dialog choose Copy, Number of Copies: 9 and then press on OK:

Step 13: Now you can scrub through the timeslider and see the animation but there is a problem, all ChamferBoxes are having the same height and they don't look like music bars at all:

 To fix this we will need to change the Controller Range Min and Max parameters for each ChamferBox at a time.

Step 14: Select the second ChamferBox and double click the Height under the Object (ChamferBox) inside the Curve Editor then modify the Max range to a smaller value. You can also modify the Min amount to give more variation to the bars:


Step 15: Select the third ChamferBox and double click on the Height under the Object (ChamferBox) and modify the Min and Max inside the Controller Range to add more variation:

Step 16: Repeat Step 14/15 for each ChamferBox until you get something like this:

Now hit the Play Button right after the Time slider and enjoy your synchronized 3D music bars. 

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If you have any question about this tutorial please use the comment section below. Thanks for watching and I'll see you next time with another tutorial :)

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