Beginner Blender: Syncing Animation to Sound with Keyframes in the Timeline

Jared Nielsen
4 min readApr 6, 2018

In this chapter, you will learn how to keyframe a Blender animation by adding an audio file to your project and syncing your robot’s movements to the sound.

If you’re just joining us, you will want to start with Part 1, Beginner Blender Tutorial: How to Model & Animate a Robot.

If you haven’t yet, download the audio file here: https://github.com/nielsenjared/blender-robot

In Properties under Render, set the Frame Rate to 29.97

In the Timeline panel, select Video Sequence Editor

From the Video Sequence Editor menu, click Add and select Sound. This will prompt you to open a sound file. Select ‘hello_world.wav’. (You can download it, and all of the .blend files on our Gumroad page).

Position the cursor at the end of the sound clip.

Switch back to timeline

Change the length of the animation to match the position of the cursor (66)

Shift + L Arrow to move cursor to beginning of timeline

In Timeline, select Playback

Check Audio Scrubbing and AV Sync

ALT + A to play.

Hello World!

RMB to select robot

In Properties panel, select Object Data

Press R Arrow until first bite of audio (11)

Back one frame (10)

Under Shape Keys, select mouth

Hover mouse over Value slider.

Press I to insert keyframe

R Arrow to find end of first syllable (‘hell’, 17)

Hover mouse in Value field and press I

back to find ‘peak’ of ‘hell’ (13)

Set Value slider to 1

I to insert keyframe

Press UP to jump to the last keyframe

RIGHT to find end of ‘hello’ (39)

I

LEFT to find ‘peak’ of ‘o’ (30)

Set Value to 1

I

UP

RIGHT to end of ‘World’ (52)

I

LEFT to ‘peak’ of ‘World!’ (45)

Set Value to 1

I

Shift + LEFT

ALT + A to play

ALT + A to pause

CTRL + ALT + Q

SHIFT + LEFT

RMB HandIK.L

G and position

I > Location

Alternatively, you can hover the mouse of the Location in the […] panel, and press I

RMB HandIK.R

G and position

I > Location

Move Timeline to 30

G

I > Location

RMB HandIK.L

I > Location

Timeline 50

G

I > Location

SHIFT + LEFT

ALT + A

Hello World!

In the next and final tutorial we will add lights, a camera, and render our animation to video.

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