4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2017 11:29 AM by Scott Ellery

    import image sequence to decal

    Chris Bowman

      Guys I need to show a number sequence on a display.

      This sequence must change over time.

      So for a 10 second animation it must read

      000 f  on power up.

      flash on off.

      Then count up to 300 f.

      This will need to happen with camera movement.


      I really thought that I would be able to keyframe the visibility on and off and I

      would just show and hide stacked decals to simulate the display changes.

      However I am sad to find that I cannot keyframe the hide checkbox on a decal.


      With other programs I would be able to import an image sequence with alpha to a texture file.

      attach that texture file to an appearance node, then keyframe the time slider for the image sequence to the number I need.

      select batch render and render the animation.

      Or I could just toggle the visibility on and off with keyframes.


      The only way I have been able to get this to work with Visualize 2017 pro is to set up my camera and model animations.

      Then bring in 10 decals. stack them all on top of each other. Hide them all except the first decal.

      Manually render frame by frame and when I get to the frame where I need the number to change I click Hide on the top decal and

      uncheck hide on the underneath decal.


      Is there a way that I can keyframe decals or textures?

      I know I could build the text in Solidworks or any modelling package and then that would import as a part and I would have the transparency

      keyframe available but I'm trying to avoid any new geometry.


      Am I stuck not moving the camera and doing this in post?


      Any insight would be much appreciated.

        • Re: import image sequence to decal
          Brian Hillner

          Hi Chris,


          It seems like you have a good handle on Visualize, since those are the workflows I would have suggested to achieve the results you need:

          1. Not moving the camera and doing it all in post.
          2. Modeling the geometry for the texture you need to animate, to take advantage of the 'Opacity' slider.


          At this time, Visualize does not support keyframing decals nor animated textures. Both are on the product roadmap, and the more times I hear the same feature request, the higher it moves up in priority.

            • Re: import image sequence to decal
              Chris Bowman

              Thanks Brian for the quick response.


              The ability to import a .png sequence into a decal or texture with keyframing would be awesome.

              In the past I've needed to render some pretty complex animations for automation.

              This often involved belt motion, cable stress, stretch pass/fail criteria.

              Keyframing textures or decals often resulted in 1 to 5 day better efficiency than setting up

              complex rigging for Geometry.


              On a side note.

              A look through light or the ability to parent a light with a camera.

              would be awesome as well.

              If you could look through a light like a camera view it would save a heap

              of setup time to position multiple light setups.

                • Re: import image sequence to decal
                  Brian Hillner

                  Hi Chris,


                  The ability to create a "look through light" already exists, however involves a couple minutes of manual set up. But once the set up is done, it works perfectly.


                  This can only be accomplished with Visualize Pro, since that's where our Light features lives.


                  Create a new Spot Light and manually position this light to line up exactly with the desired camera. To see where the camera is pointing to help with the manual line up, click on the desired camera in the Cameras Tab and scroll down towards the bottom of the Palette, expand 'Camera Positioning' and enable 'Show in Viewport.' I found it easiest to have the 'look at' point of the camera sitting exactly on the ground (helps to align the 'target' for the spot light). This can be done by setting the camera 'Focal Height' to zero.


                  As you alight the Spot light to the camera, right mouse-clicking on the arrows of the Move widget will move both the target and actual Spot light at the same time. You have to align both the camera and Spot light positions, as well as the target they are both aiming at. Make sure to align both, otherwise this trick won't work.


                  Once both are aligned, make sure to move the Spot light just behind the camera (if you don't do this step, then you won't be able to see anything in Preview mode (see image below):


                  Once the Spot light and camera are both aligned, then simple go to the ScenesTab in the Palette, click on the Spot light, and find the 'Follow' section. Under the first dropdown, select the name of the desired camera to follow...then click the 'Follow' button. Under the second dropdown, select same camera name and then click the 'Aim' button. Now your light is following your camera as you move it freely around the scene, and it's also aiming at the same spot as your camera.


                  Hope this helps!