The design of track-node hybrid sound editing interface for computer animators

The increasing popularity of computer animation and the affordable price of both software and hardware have drawn lots of independent animators to design their own small productions. However, in these animators’ productions, consideration given to visual content quality usually overrides audio quality, despite the fact that they are both equally important. As a result, such humble soundtrack discredits the animation even if it has high-quality imagery. The problem is due to two reasons – first, existing sound-editing tools are mainly designed for sound professionals and not for these animators; and second, these animators working in their deprived production environment are not aware of sound design issues, as well as possess no appropriate audio tool. In this thesis, our objectives include (1) suggest a “Sound-On-Editing” approach to guide independent animators to create animation sounds and (2) propose a theoretical interface design of which animators can edit sound. Our proposed interface design is based on the track and node-based scheme with which animators are already familiar with in other animation software and so such an interface can at the same time reduce the technical complexity of audio software as well as simulate an animation interface environment which they can easily recognized…


1 Introduction
1.1 Sound Editing Issues in Computer Animation from
Individual Animators
1.2 Guidelines for Animators in Creating Animation Soundtracks (“Sound-on-editing” Approach)
(I) – 3D Object
(II) – Singular Event
(III) – Main Content
(IV) – Function
(V) – Referential Sound
(VI) – Object Visibility
(VI.A) Primary/Emphatic/Kinematic
(VI.B) Secondary
(VI.C) In-the-wing
(VI.D) Internal (referential)
(VI.E) Ambience
(VI.F) Offscreen (active, passive)
(VII) – Emotional Sound and (VIII) – Form
(IX) – Sources within the Scene (Ambience, Emotional Internal and Territory)
(X) – Sources outside the Scene (Ambient SFX and music)
(XI) – Overall Theme
(XII) – Direct Storytelling
(XIII) – Subliminal Sound and (XIV) – Aural Character
(XV) – Grammatical Sound (Consistency, Continuity and Change)
(XVI) – Consistency
(XVII) – Continuity
XVIII) – Change
Conclusion on the Sound-On-Editing Approach
Chapter 2 Interface Basis
2.1 Interface Elements from an Overall Level
2.1.1 – Hierarchical Structure
2.1.2 – Relationship between a 3D World and Audio
2.1.3 – Track-node Hybrid
Track-based and Node-based Editing Approach
Track-based Characteristics
Node-based Characteristics
2.2 Interface Elements from a Detailed Level
Interface’s Right Side
(I) – Timeline
(II) – Scene Root
(III) – Scene Connection Lines
(IV) – 3D Object Tracks
(V) – Sound Sources
(VI) – Editing Track
(VII) – Node Network
(VIII) – Global Effects Track
Interface’s Left Side
(IX) – Block / Layered Block View
(X) – Global Effects View
(XI) – Effect Link
2.3 Types of Editing in our Interface
(1) Time-based Editing
(2) Node-based Editing
(3) Property-based Editing
Chapter 3 Interface Examples
Distant Sound – First Example
Distant Sound – Second Example
Conceptual Flow and User Control
Layered Sound
Global Effects and Non-Physical Simulation Usage
Chapter 4 Conclusion
5 Bibliography
6 List of Author’s Publications

Author: Tong, Kam Pang

Source: City University of Hong Kong

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