Colin Ancalmo – Animated Abstraction

For this assignment I made two spheres scale and change to the rhythm of “I Will Survive”. I ended up spending a lot of time shape control from audio / midi inputs, so that is why there ended up only being two shapes on a white background.

For inputs, I had one patch load a midi file and set initial tempo (not automatically). Then once you press “Start” it begins a music tempo using the “transpose” block, triggering the start of the song clip, as well as generic kick / hats on generic beats. There is some delay between the “transpose” and the Midi notes that i tried to account for, but it could use improvement. Listening to the clip, you’ll hear the midi and percussion is all on the left ear, those sounds are what are really triggering the movement.

Audio Patch: The right is the “detonate” max tutorial patch

For the Geometry, I was sending percussion bangs and midi note values to a second patch. The percussion bangs were triggering shape scaling and color changes to the beat. The Midi note values were used to trigger the mesh resolution of the outer wireframe sphere, with lower notes being lower res. This ended up not coming across as cleanly as I had hoped.

You can right-click patch cords to clean them up!

If I had more time, I would try this process with a song that is 100% Midi and add more shapes for each instrument.

Tangent: If anyone is curious, you can not auto-convert .nsf’s (gameboy audio files) or any other proper chiptune tracker (Famitracker, FT 0CC, Delfmask, Impulse…) to Midi. I spend too much time learning that the hard way…

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Interesting visual interpretation of the song. I especially like the way you use mesh resolution as the changing attribute – creates a great effect.

  2. Sylvia Lin says:

    I like how many shape varieties you have included in this animation. The interaction between the inner and outer shapes can also use some colors for emphasis.

  3. Cem Alemdar says:

    The changing 3D shapes feel really amazing. I loved when it became a plane for a second. Your clap sound feels slightly off the beat, and I think the clap is tied to the size of the sphere so it makes that slightly off as well. I didn’t get why you had a long playlist objects with many elements, didn’t you just have the song and the clap?

    1. Colin Ancalmo says:

      Thanks! I had some difficulty lining up the midi file of the melody, the transpose tempo for the samples, and the original song clip. The long playlist was all of the 808 or 909 samples the prof showed us in class, but I ended up only using 3 of them.

  4. Patrick Luck says:

    Great music selection, the strong beat is really accentuated by the visuals.

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