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Descrambling random changing numbers/letters to make words

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Ben Mettler
Descrambling random changing numbers/letters to make words
on Feb 13, 2013 at 6:50:59 pm

I'm trying to figure out how create a flash animation where you have a bunch of random numbers/letters constantly changing and then have words spelled out of the random numbers and letters. I've seen similar things done before in ad banners but I have no idea how to do it or to even search for that. Does anyone know of any tutorials that shows how to do this or how I could even google it?

Here's some rough examples to help show what I'm trying to do.

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demetri tashie
Re: Descrambling random changing numbers/letters to make words
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:59:55 pm

your sample can only leave us guessing.

i'd say that yes, this is done in either Flash, or more likely AE ( After Effects).

the letters, or lines of letters are manipulated/animated seperately.

normallay, these types of animations are worked backwrds. start with what you want, and then have the lines and letters move away. then the sequence AE) or timeline(flash) is reversed, and it seems to magically come together.

why not look at Tony Ross's tutorials:
Simple Text Animatiaon in Flash: and
Creating Self Writing in Flash:

to get started. I would also suggest investigating a good tweening engine such as Greensock's TweenLite
to make a snap of the tweening animations.

if you go with AE, any text or titling animation tutorials could be helpful, just do a search here to find some( there are many)

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Sam Mattern
Re: Descrambling random changing numbers/letters to make words
on Feb 14, 2013 at 2:00:33 pm

Animating it like Demetri said would be the easiest. Programming it all from scratch is another, and would take some tweaking to get right. Assuming the top example, you have capital letters A-Z and numbers 0-9. Using a serif font or some other font that has an equal width (not necessary, but might ease the placement of things), you could create an image symbol to represent each character you wish to show.

Then I would probably store all of those symbols in an array, where A is characterArray[0], Z is characterArray[25], 0 is characterArray[26] and 9 is characterArray[36]. The reason I would do it that way is you could then easily generate a random number between 0 and 36 to return a random character.

I'd probably then create a characterHolder movieclip. I'd add it to the stage programmatically, in a loop, since in the SECURE example above you'd have almost 200 characters at one time. In that loop, you can then set a timer for the characterHolder movieclip to generate and insert a new random character.

You have the choice here of setting a range of times for each characterHolder to update, though once set, that characterHolder would always update at the same interval unless you built a method to change it. For instance you could generate a random number between 200 and 500, and use that in the timer as milliseconds, where one characterHolder would generate a new character two times a second and another five.

Of course, you could build all of this and it might not look right at all. I'd try to study one that you like to see how often and how many characters are updating. They may only be updating one or two characters at a time, with a total of 50 changes in a 30 second window. That said, make sure you plan accordingly by breaking up the tasks into small, reusable pieces (generate random character, for instance) so that you don't end up having to recode the entire thing if it doesn't end up looking "right" at first.


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