How do I set the start time for an audio track?

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How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby dondo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:02 am

I'm a fairly new user of Moho, but I've been digging through the manuals and help text and I think I'm pretty far along the learning curve. Which means I understand probably 10% of what Moho offers! :) I've been pretty amazed at how capable this thing is. And it seems like every time I think, "there must be a way to do that," after several hours of reading and researching I discover it was right there under my nose the whole time. So I'm hoping this is one of those...

I'm working on 10-15 minute animations to illustrate a children's storybook (written and illustrated by my wife). The stories typically switch between a half dozen scenes, which I'm producing as independent movie clips (which my wife then composes together in Framemaker).

She provided the audio files as a single file. Since I'm new to this and I wanted to reduce the number of things I had to learn at the same time, I've been avoiding figuring out how to split them up. Instead, I've been using the sequencer and dragging the audio file so it starts at the beginning of each scene. That, however, is a time-consuming, error-prone PITA.

Is there any easier way to quickly move a channel so the frame that would naturally be at, say, location 6800 will move to frame zero? If not, how do people typically approach creating a mid-length animation?
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby synthsin75 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:43 am

With the layer and desired start frame selected, use the menu command Animation>Set Layer Start Time
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby dondo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:14 am

Wow, thanks for the quick response!

That's what I originally thought, but it does the opposite of what I want - instead of moving the audio file back, it shifts it out so it starts later in the animation. If I could specify a negative value in the "frame" textbox that'd maybe work, but that autocorrects to zero.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:17 am

What I would do is put the audio on the timeline in a video editor (Vegas, Premiere, etc.) Then, I set my edit points for each scene with markers, and export each scene's audio as its own clip. This way, when I import the audio to Moho, it automatically starts at frame 1 for that scene. Easy peasy, and no need to adjust the audio start time in Moho.

Normally, I will set up my animatic this way, and cut the storyboard to the audio track (usually a temp track at this stage, with reasonably accurate timing.) When I'm done, I set my markers and output the audio and video* for each scene. Then, as I animate each scene to the animatic's timing and render it out, I overcut each scene's final output back in the animatic edit. By the end of this process, the entire animatic will have been replaced with finished animations, and I have my finished film. (This is a standard workflow throughout the industry btw.)

(*Some users will output movie files of the animatic scenes but I prefer to export a jpg sequence for each scene and import that to Moho as an Image Sequence layer. This insures frame accuracy, plus a low-quality jpg sequence streams well even across a slow network.)
Last edited by Greenlaw on Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby dondo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:22 am

Thanks so much. That was kinda what I figured. I am... uh, I am not a professional, not trying to dispute the experts. I'm going to have to go look up the difference between an "animatics" and an "animation." :)

Like I said, I'm just trying to reduce the cognitive load as I come up to speed. Since I just create the animation and render it out in moho, I'm not sure that'd end up being less work for me than dragging the timeline. But everything else I've wanted was there, I figured I was missing something. :)

Thanks again.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:38 am

No problem. Feel free to ask any questions like that here.

An animatic is a version of the storyboard that's been chopped up in an editor, usually with an audio track. This is basically your movie with still pictures. It's used to work out each scene's timing before you animate anything. Think of it as a blueprint for your entire film.

Sometimes the animatic will depict crude animation using the still images, but this is almost never necessary. It can look pretty cool though. :)

For comparison, I have a few examples of animatics and final animations online. If you're curious, I can post some links after I get home this evening.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby dondo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:43 am

Yup! I just looked it up and now the workflow you described makes complete sense. For the next one I'll adopt that flow, seems much easier. Yay experts!
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:04 am

Here's a link to an article on my website that may be of interest:

http://littlegreendog.com/2016/02/27/he ... yboard/17/

The subject is an animated title sequence for a client's live action movie pitch which my wife Alisa and I created the designs and animations for. (All done using Moho.) The article shows the storyboard, the animatic, and the final animated titles.

Hope this helps.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby synthsin75 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:24 am

Here's a quick menu script to make this easier in Moho: https://sites.google.com/site/synthsin/ ... ects=0&d=1

You can either enter how many frames you want to move the layer, with negative values being to the left, or you can hit the "Current frame to zero" button to automatically calculate the value needed to move the current frame to frame zero.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby dondo » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:51 am

I'm not sure what I'm more impressed by... how capable this application is, or how amazing you guys are. That's exactly what I was looking for!

THANK YOU (both)
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby synthsin75 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:55 am

The scripting is probably my favorite feature of Moho. Glad I could help.
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby Greenlaw » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:51 am

This forum is one of my favorite features of Moho. :P
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Re: How do I set the start time for an audio track?

Postby synthsin75 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:18 am

Greenlaw wrote:This forum is one of my favorite features of Moho. :P


Can I amend my answer?
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