Cover image for After Effects BPM Beat Marker Generator
Peter Vári
Peter Vári

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After Effects BPM Beat Marker Generator

I have recently made my first After Effects Script to help you produce animations that match your desired BPM using Markers as guides!

For so many years I wanted something like this because there is no quick and easy way to make BPM-matched animations in After Effects.

What and whom is this for?
This is for VJ's who want to create BPM beat-matched animations for specific music genres. (e.g. 120 BPM House , 140 BPM Dubstep, 170 Drum & Bass, etc.)

How do I use it?
Launch After Effects and open your project.

  1. Go to "File" in the top menu and select "Scripts" and then "Run Script File...".
  2. Locate and select the script file.
  3. The script should now run and you should be able to see its window. 4.If you want to make adjustments to the script, you can open the script file in a text editor, make changes, and then re-run the script in After Effects.

After Effects Script Download

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This is something I needed for far too long but I kept fiddling with Expressions instead (rewriting the code with each new project). When I found out that the only plugin out there that does something similar to this (by Natlab) is £25 or $30 I knew I had to do something. My script is $7 but if you can't afford it and you want it for free, let me know. I'm currently unemployed, so I know what broke is like.

I first scoured the SDK/API documentation of After Effects to find out how to create markers on the timeline using scripts. During this time I learned that while you can use scripts to create Composition Markers, you can't delete them. However, you can create and delete Layer Markers.
Then I learned how to distribute the Markers according to a predefined and hard-coded BPM value. Once the script managed to do that, I spent most of my time figuring out how to name and label (color) the markers so that a skilled VJ who is a noob DJ/producer could rely on the markers to predict drum rhythms just by looking.
Once the script was doing everything right but was missing a UI, I spent a few hours watching [this guy, Nate, on YouTube]

His videos were SUPER F__KING HELPFUL.

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Discussion (1)

jasonsawtelle profile image
Jason Sawtelle

When I add the markers it freezes my composition and I can't do any work