Question: How can I synchronize text with audio narration?

Adapted from a forum post by TheeOldeSeaDubb.

If you want to trigger the display of text based on the current point in a sound file, there are a couple of methods you can use.

Method 1: Align animation with the audio waveform.

In this approach, you import the audio file into the Flash Timeline. Then, you use the waveform display in the Timeline to find where each word begins and ends. You then perform your animation (to reveal text, for example) in the frames that correspond to the appropriate word in the audio. One drawback is that for long audio files, locating the beginning of each word or sentence can be tedious.

  1. Import the audio file into the Flash Library. (File > Import > Import to Library)
  2. In the Timeline, select the layer you want to add the sound to and then drag the sound from the Library to the Stage. The sound waveform appears in the Timeline in the layer you selected. Make sure to add frames to the timeline to accommodate the entire length of the sound. (The number of frames is the Frames-per-Second setting times the number of seconds of the sound.)
  3. Increase the height of your sound layer in the Timeline to provide a better view of the waveform. Right-click the layer name in the Timeline and select Properties. Then select 300% from the Layer Height menu.

Here's what the Timeline layer looks like (the layer name can differ):

  1. With a sound file containing speech, you can find each word simply by looking for the "lumps" in the waveform. The example image above contains two words.
  2. Now in other layers, line up your animations or whatever you like to display the appropriate text at the appropriate word in the sound file. For example, you can present the written text by first covering each word or phrase of it with an opaque rectangle. Make sure that the rectangle's color matches the background color. Then, you smoothly change its opacity from 100% to 0% at the appropriate time. 

For example, here is a screenshot showing the Timeline where two sentences are displayed:


 These two screenshots show the display of a 12-word sentence, smoothly presented:



Additional information

 These resources provide more information about working with sound and timing in Flash Pro.

Keywords: cpsid_92167

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