Gradient over Replicator
I can do this, but I don't understand what's happening.
Andy Neil provided the final clue I needed to create a 5-bar digital VU meter effect (seen at http://www.newsvideo.com/vu.mov), however, in trying to recreate what I had done I realized that I didn't understand what I did in the beginning. I just kept clicking around until I got the first stack of bars that had a gradient applied across the stack.
How did I create the stack of bars with a gradient in the first place? I started out with a single bar and applied the Replicator and told the Replicator I wanted a single column with 26 bars. No problem so far. Since the original block was green, I now had a stack of green bars. But, what I needed was for the lowest stack of bars to be green, then four bars that were yellow, then four bars of orange, and finally four bars of red.
Before you leap ahead, no, I did not want separate groups of bars because I wanted all bars to be manipulated as one object, which I did with my first effort and it was OK, but not technically accurate.
I thought that I could simply apply a gradient to the Replicator in the Inspector but what I got was a stack of green bars of various opacities no matter how many color tags I put into its gradient.
After much investigation I discovered that I had to go back to the original bar (the one now un-checked because its the source of the replication) and set the fill mode for that bar from 'Color' to 'Gradient'. Even then, the gradient over the replication stack of bars was of various opacities. I found that I could choose built-in gradients on the original bar and it would only change the opacities of the stack of bars in the replicator. I wound up creating a custom gradient of all White (white color tags at both ends) and called it 'White (for Replicator)'. That gave me full brilliance of color on the stack of bars in the Replicator. Now, in the Inspector for the Replicator, I could design my gradient with four color tags and the Interpolation set to 'Constant' and, by sliding the color tags, I got my green bars on the bottom, topped by four yellow bars topped by four orange bars, and by sliding the last color tag back to the left, four red bars at the top.
In the final accounting, I discovered that the source object for the Replicator must have an all white gradient applied for the gradient over the Replicator to work, but i don't understand why. Or, am I doing this the hard way? You can look at the movie referenced above to see the stack (duplicated five times) and see the final result.
That's a big nevermind. I realized I had to start with a white object if I want to replicate it and then apply a Color Mode of 'Over Pattern' if I want my stack of bars to change color over height. Still, interesting about what I found about how the luminance of the color of the original object affects the color rage of that object when replicated. I'm sure that could be used somewhere for a special effect.
I put a tutorial on creating my 5-bar digital VU meter on the Web at: