The Patent "Clockophone", Erkinator & Honey

PS. I am curious as to why the picture of a single rotor in post 12 is so popular compared to other images…

that is curious. maybe some one linked to your image.

Thanks for the kind words @pauljs75_ - I will be rendering a video shortly of a more complete instrument set for the “Tubular Bells” bit and the Whiter Shade section. I think I will get the model to a slightly more refined state then pass it to my server to make the video. The last attempt (not published) took 42 hours on the Mac - too long to tie up my favoured machine for Blender work.

I would be seriously interested in a script that can use a MIDI file to trigger animation events in Blender. I am a little rusty with programming these days, I once made a living from programming, but now in retirement am a little out of date. May last efforts were with VB and ESRI’s own proprietary languages in both ArcView and ArcInfo, if anyone knows of these products.

All of my work with Reason and Linux musics apps, and I have done a very large amount here as can be seen from my website, can be output as MIDI files, with the exception of the audio tracks done with my various guitars and would be prime material for a script to power this machine as it develops. Currently the animation can run at 24 FPS on my Macbook, provided I hide the reed organ pipes.

So here is the challenge:

Can anyone either provide a script to translate MIDI events into Blender animations, or point me in the right direction to do this myself with Python?

Cheers, Clock.

Hmmmm - nobody taking up the challenge :frowning: Maybe I will have to do this the hard way.

So here is the update, now we have some compressed air and a controller for the reed organ:

Cheers, Clock. :smiley:

there is already such a script.
(edit) some one in the python and plugins section will probably know of it…also, you might search the animation section.

OK I am getting somewhere - I have got myself a version 2.49 of Blender and used the script in my previous post to create an animation of some cubes - somewhat testing on my patience, but I have a handle on it now. All I need to do now is bring the animations from the 2.49 blend file into a 2.75 one - at this point I am hopelessly stuck - can anyone help me here? I have of course tried appending the object - no animation was carried over, appending the Actions - did not work, tried appending the lpo’s - you guessed it - did not work. Grrrrrrrr.

Cheers, Clock.

OK I cured the problem - just animate some empties rotating in time with the MIDI file, using the script previously mentioned, with a copy of Blender 2.49 - then open the project with 2.75 - save under a new name and then append the empties into my main project - simple when you think of it and a big thank you to “he who told me how to do it” - I will post a video of a 88-key keyboard playing “The Entertainer” once it has finished rendering.

The only issue is that the last version of Blender 2.49 is for MacOS 10.5 - I am running 10.10 so the graphics are a bit jumpy, but it is workable. I also leaned to detach the original Ipo’s from the first empty so I could use them again and again as the “format” Ipo. I then gave them a false user so they stay in the project. It took me less than 2 hours to complete the animation for all 88 keys (well those I played anyway) for a song of about 5 mins duration, I don’t know how many notes there are but it is a lot.

Cheers, Clock.

Thank you for the kind words @eppo. I will look at the tut and see if I can use it.

OK So here is the first - not very good - video of a keyboard playing a song, done by using a MIDI file to animate the piano keys. :smiley:

The Process was as follows:

  1. Buy sheet music for “The Entertainer” - practice until I could play it all the way through from memory - this is the longest part.
  2. Plug my TMK88 into my Mac via an IK Media iPro routed to Reason - just internet search it.
  3. Play the music with Reason in record mode.
  4. Export MIDI and Audio files.
  5. Make animations in 2.49
  6. Complete project in 2.75.
  7. Render video.
  8. Swear out loud, many times.
  9. Render video with Audio codec set…:o
  10. Post it here.

Cheers, Clock.


The keyboard, once I hace corrected the slightly duff key animation, will be added here:

another thing you could use is driven f-curves, that are responsive to the amplitude of your soundtrack. like amplitude = y position for example. it’s very easy, but I haven’t done it in awhile. I can look into how to do it if you like though.

Yes please - that would be very useful, I know nothing of driven f-curves, I am afraid to say. Presumably, if I could split out say 12 frequency ranges and then drive an object by the amplitude of each frequency range, I could add some interesting animations! Sounds good to me.

I cannot believe, by the way, that some a****** has just put a copyright claim on my video, saying I used their rendition of “The Entertainer”, can you believe it, theirs is only 2min 56 secs long and played as a one note melody, mine is all multi-note melody, 4 mins 40 secs long and fully syncopated. Jeez the cheek of some people, it was probably a vain attempt to put sh*** adverts on my post…

Cheers, Clock.

usually drivers are a pain, but as I recall this one is a modifier, for f-curves, which I think can be accessed via N key in the f-curve editor
(edit) i’ll have to wait to look further into it, because I’m having a bit of a full day here…

I just want to say that I’m still following your work here and although I’m not a musician I’m excited about the workflow and how you explore uncharted new Blender possibilities.

When I saw this image I was a bit astonished about the dimensions of your clockophone, though. That is a huge instrument :slight_smile:

ok, I found it. It’s in your f-curve editor, under key menu >> bake sound to f-curves.

Thanks for that - I have done some experimenting, for the piano, I need frequencies from 27.5Hz to 4186.01Hz and have tried to bake an F-curve to one specific note. My first impression is that I cannot isolate one note ( I tried middle C - 261.625Hz) due to the presence of harmonics from other notes in the sound file, so I cannot use this approach to get the notes from a piano sound file to achieve the piano key animations :no: and will continue with my previous method for now. It does, however, give me the opportunity to power a range of “devices”, like lights or similar that respond to a frequency range within the sound file. I have experimented with moving cubes and scaling bones - which looks promising and I will post another video later on.

Thanks again for the heads-up @Modron - it will be very useful in developing my project. :slight_smile:

I have also perfected a way to improve the sync from sound to animation of the latest video - it is just off at the end…

Cheers, Clock.


Thanks @Minoribus - yes it is huge, and getting bigger, the base for the scale was the tubular bells, and then the tubas…

So here is my frequency splitter, built using “Bake Sounds to F-curve” - thanks to @Modron again…

Please let me know what you think… :smiley:

Cheers, Clock.

PS. It was me playing the sound track… Reason and the old TMK88 again.

ah, super cool. glad it was useful to you.

Thanks for that @Modron - I have now built the “Clockometer” to measure overall volume, the first glass tube and the rest do the frequency split.

Cheers Clock.

I have been busy :smiley: now I can get the model prepared ready for another render of the first two pieces of music, the Tubular Bells, extract and the Whiter Shade intro. I know I have some drums to go, but that is going to be a long job and I want to see how the video renders are progressing. The Synth is used in the Tubular Bells section. I will do some more detail around the controls in an image file, once I have some time… :eyebrowlift:

I am going to animate the camera around the “Clockophone” during the next video.

Cheers, Clock.

Next Development:

I have been refining my MIDI animation technique - I am going to call it “Musimation”, :smiley: to make it distinct from other developers’ work. The meshes in this video are very simple and the render is at a low sample rate, it’s all about proving I can do it technically at this stage. I will refine the technique so that the drums are arranged as a drum kit would be and the drums will be played by just two sticks. I have a working technique to do this using an armature rigged character and a variety of constraints and will post another video once I have finished the animation and rendered it. After that, I will model the drums properly and add them to the “Clockophone”. I hope you are not getting too bored with this :frowning: - it is proving to be engrossing work for me…:slight_smile:

Here’s the video:

Cheers, Clock.

PS. I hope to have anther render of the “Clockophone” in a day or two - it is currently cooking on my server. :eyebrowlift:

A camera pan around the machine, with two audio clips. I am going to spend some time on the drums now, so will be quiet for a while… :rolleyes:

Cheers, Clock.

Man, what a gorgeous model and idea…for some reason the panel with the cables remind me of the Enigma machine (just watched The Imitation Game film)
Keep on the good work!