Given my interest in doing hand-drawn animation, I’m finally getting to grips with exposure sheets (AKA X-Sheets or dope sheets). Yesterday I watched a great set of Eric Goldberg videos on YouTube showing him explain a bit about his work process. One such video showed a Disney X-sheet which had the audio waveform printed on it. I thought this was an excellent idea and pondered how to achieve it myself. I scouted around on the internet to try to find some software for making X-sheets with such a waveform display, but could come up with one – a program called Magpie Pro. However it’s not cheap, and I felt it to be too expensive for what it is.
So I set about trying to find my own solution. And I found one, so I thought it might be a good idea to share it here in case anyone else wants to do the same thing.
First of all I downloaded an X-sheet template from Animation Meat. Secondly I opened up a piece of audio in an audio editing program (any that will display a waveform will do). I then made marks for the exact frames where the audio starts and ends. I took a screenshot of the waveform and then opened up the X-sheet template in Photoshop, pasting the screenshot onto a new layer. After rotating the waveform to be vertical, I used the marks I had made to scale it to match the corresponding frames on the X-sheet. I then simply scaled the waveform horizontally to fit within one of the columns.
Hey Presto, an X-sheet with waveform!
My plan is to simply scrub through the audio in the audio software to locate the words so I can write them on the appropriate frame of the X-sheet.