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simulate LED signage

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Tom Masters
simulate LED signage
on Jan 19, 2012 at 9:52:57 pm

I need to simulate text moving on an LED sign, with individual bulbs.
see example:

I could create a matte with dots to simulate each bulb, but when I use that matte to display the text, some of the dots are half exposed (due to the curvature of the type) and looks fake.

The challenge is to create a comp where the bulbs only "light up" where the text is.

any ideas?

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John Cuevas
Re: simulate LED signage
on Jan 19, 2012 at 11:21:33 pm

Try CC Ball Action, play around with ball size and grid spacing.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Matthew Keane
Re: simulate LED signage
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:52:59 am


Depending on how realistic you need this to look, there are a couple of methods I can think of.

I did something similar recently using Trapcode Form, with a grid of sphere particles and a precomp driving the opacity and colour values for the particles. As this was part of the background of a fast-moving animation, I didn't worry to much about making it very realistic, but it looked pretty good.

An other method I've seen is to use a grid of lights, and then use expressions to sample the precomp with the content for the light wall to drive the colour and luminosity of the lights. It looks great, but the number of lights can slow even powerful machines to a crawl! There's a really detailed tutorial here:


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Michael Szalapski
Re: simulate LED signage
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:45:46 pm

This page [link] has links to several good tutorials.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Tom Masters
Re: simulate LED signage
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:14:40 pm

Thanks mucho!

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