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How to create a blinking Las Vegas sign?

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Brian Jaggers
How to create a blinking Las Vegas sign?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 10:36:11 am

Hey Everyone, I am looking for advice on how to create a logo in After Effects. What I am looking to make is a sign that looks like an old school 1960's Las Vegas sign, like those often no found downtown, in the Neon Graveyard, or even on the cover of "The Hangover" dvd. The look is basically letters that are filled with "light bulbs" that I could hopefully activate one at a time or make them flash like a sign in Las Vegas. I know about the "Vegas filter" which can make the outline of a shape flash with light, but what about making this? Thanks!

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Michael Szalapski
Re: How to create a blinking Las Vegas sign?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:21:48 pm

I assume you mean besides just laying out a bunch of bulb layers. If you want control over exactly when a bulb turns on, you'll have to go this route.

If you don't need precise control over each bulb, there are several ways to go about doing it. Here's one:
CC Ball Action. (Bonus: it's in 3d) I've used it to fake a sports stadium jumbotron before, bu you can play with ball size and grid spacing to get it to look the way you want for a "Vegas sign".

There are several ways to get the bulbs to blink. You could create another layer using have fractal noise, mosaic (or maybe CC Ball Action) and possibly threshold, as some sort of track matte for an adjustment layer with levels, glow, etc. to make it look like bulbs are coming on.

Oh, my gosh. I almost pressed "Post", but then I found this. YOU MUST WATCH IT. I could see this easily pulling off what you want AND MORE!!! Notice how some of the balls in this tutorial go bright...oh geez, this is gonna be great for you. God bless Andrew Kramer and

- 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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Jeremy Fabiano
Re: How to create a blinking Las Vegas sign?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:24:01 pm

Was gonna suggest that myself, he just aired it a day or two ago. Should work perfectly :)


If you didn't supply enough information I will start making assumptions. I'm usually wrong when I assume.

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