There are ways to automated the number progressions but here's how we did it in the olden days (this is not quite as easy as I'm making it sound, there are lots of subtle things that can trip you up):
Create a vertical comp. Place 10 text items, one for each digit, on top of each other.
Bring this comp into another and use two simple position keyframes to move the strip of numbers from top to bottom. Caution: to create a seamless loop, the last frame of the movies must be set one frame back from the last keyframe in the timeline. You can also use the Offset parameter if you know how to do that.
Render the movie without motion blur (a drawback to using this method).
Import the movie, set it to loop, and place it as many times as you need significant digits.Or you can create a different movie for each digit in the main number.
That's about it.
Of course, you need to be able to finesse the movement of the digits, slow them down on command (you can use expression sliders to control the movie loops), make the numbers move at different speeds, maybe some move backwards, add masks and build a frame graphic, add shadows or reflections--the list of enhancements is long.
You can also do the whole thing with expressions and there must be a script someplace (I do not understand scripting in AE, no clue, sorry can't help you there).
Just kidding. That was how we did it in the Really Olden Days.
Then came 3D. Or, at least, the simulations available in the early Boris FX and Final Effects plugins for AE. You can wrap a strip of numerals around the cylinder. If the cylinder is too tight, you can use two strips to create a shape with a larger diameter.
Try to have fun with this challenge.
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Well, wouldn't you know... I stumbled across this baby just today. How very opportune:
Be sure to thank the Good Mr. Walter Soyka, a very talented gent.
Create a text layer with the letters 0 through 9 with one on each line paragraph centered. Rotate the text layer 90º, Add a solid below the text layer big enough to cover the line of numbers. Resize this comp so it matches the size of the solid and the text layers. Start a new comp (HD if that is your final delivery format) add the wide short 0 thru 9 comp to the new comp and add the CC Cylinder Effect. Rotate cylinder to line it up and animate rotation to spin the numbers.
You can use expressions to drive additional copies of the first spinning cylinder so that you get 36º rotation for every 10 rotations of the first digit.
Or you can follow the Advanced Odometer tutorial on CCow.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! You helped me get the ball rolling and I made deadline with my project, plus it looked cool!
My apologies for taking TWO months to respond! Yikes! It's a busy time of year for me.
I hope I can offer all of you some help in the future!