I'd like to use a row of random digits as a background for a counter, but I haven't figured out a way to create that effectively in AE. The numbers filter is somewhat limited in that it will only create 8 or 9 digits, and it's not very stable as far as uniform spacing of the numbers. Any suggestions?
Create a text layer with as many zeroes as you want digits. Under the Text property group add a Character Offset animator and a Wiggly Selector. On the Wiggly Selector, set the following property values:
Max Amount: 100%
Min Amount: 0%
Based On: Characters
Wiggles/Second: whatever suits your purposes (0 if you don't want the numbers to change)
Character Offset: 10
The spacing of the numbers is solely dependent on the font or the character range you choose. This is regardless whether you use native text layers or effects. You will have to use a fully monospaced font or a font that provides alternative table numbers (which are also monospaced), which any good commercial fonts do. The latter may require adding a second animator before the wiggly one to define a base offset.