XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Animated LED light board?

07-29-2009, 10:44 PM
Hey everyone!

I need to create an animated NBA "shot clock" in 3D next week in Maya, and I wanted to check in here to see if I could find some opinions or techniques. Here are a couple of examples of what I need to reproduce:



I figure this would be an animated texture in After Effects, but I'm a little perplexed on how to integrate it into a model. One of the subtleties in it are how the non-lit lights still appear, and just the general look of the LED bulbs. I need to create this as photo-realistic as possible, and wanted to hear all of your opinions on how I should be setting up my shaders and lighting in Maya, and also how I can approach the animation of the clock counting down.

Thank you!!! :D

07-30-2009, 01:01 AM
I'm trying to think if there is some way to tie the incandescence (or whatever) of a bulb to an animated texture so that each bulb looks into an image to see whether it should be on or off, but I'm a little rusty with Maya lately, so I just throw it out as a partially formed idea...

...another half-baked idea is to render the board twice and make a tracked, animated countdown be a matte for combining the on and off renders in post.


I feel like a saw an animated Christmas Tree light solution that was a good one, but I can't quite recall it.

07-30-2009, 01:05 AM
I'm trying to think if there is some way to tie the incandescence (or whatever) of a bulb to an animated texture so that each bulb looks into an image to see whether it should be on or off

Now that I think about it -

Can you planar project an animated countdown onto the bulb array and let the color of an incandescent disc be the color of the map, red or black?

Then let each disc sit under a refractive glass dome and you may get a decent LED effect, which you could enhance in post.

07-30-2009, 11:59 AM
There are several ways I can think of doing it:

The first is to have it all as a texture and use the LED pattern as a mask for your texture. If you need to see some relief use displacement mapping.

Or tile the LED image in it's on state, and one in the off state, and use a low resolution mask to mix between them.

Or make each LED have a small square in uv space eg 0->0.1, 0.1->0.2, and use a very pixelised countdown image so that each pixel covers an entire LED. This is probably the easiest.

Otherwise you can have a shader for each LED which only looks at one uv position from your map. In Maya you would do this by breaking the uv connection in the file node. For each shader then set the u and v lookup as the centre of each grid position eg (0, 0.1) (0, 0.2) (0, 0.3) etc. This is probably the most fiddly.

There are lots of ways to do this. Quite fun too.


08-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks for your suggestions! I figured I'd have to do it with texture maps, and I'll have to put it to use. Does anyone know if there would be a way to "program" point lights by any chance? Thanks again!

08-04-2009, 06:18 AM
Why would you need to do it by point lights? You'd need geometry somewhere considering you can't have a "visible" point light, unless you convert to area or put a light effect on it. One way I would tackle is the colorAtPoint, but you'd still need a texture map.

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08-04-2009, 06:18 AM
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