6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2011 10:28 AM by s.leupold

Incrementing Numbers

I am working on a project and I need a number to go from 0 to 108,100 in 2 seconds and it needs to appear to be increasing by 1.

I worked with a few simple expressions and the numbers effect, but could not achieve the look I wanted.

Does anyone know how to achieve this?

• 1. Re: Incrementing Numbers
0 to 108,100 in 2 seconds and it needs to appear to be increasing by 1.

Ahem, how many discrete images per second (aka frames) can the human eye see? Sorry, what you are asking is impossible due to the underlying physics. Jumping from zero to over hundred thousand in such a short time will never give the impression of things increasing by 1. Simple math: 2 seconds at 30fps is a maximum of 60 discretely visible values and 108100 divided by 60 is ~1800, so give or take a bit of fluctuating values and rounding you will at most see multiples of that value counting up the thousands.... And even assuming you meant 108.1 the math sticks - inbetween value increments would be 1.8 and you'd never see "clean" multiples of 1. You could of course fake it by adding additional rounding operations, using irregular intervals based on that and manualyl assembling the string, but this may in fact look just as weird...

Mylenium

• 2. Re: Incrementing Numbers

As Mylenium says, you need to do a little arithmetic.

I need a number to go from 0 to 108,100 in 2 seconds and it needs to appear to be increasing by 1.

Let's say incrementing the number by one on each frame is a hard-and-fast rule:

If you are working at 23.976 frames/sec, you can only get to 47 frames in 2 seconds; 0 is the first frame.

If you are working at 25 fps, you can get to 49 frames.

If you are working at 29.97 fps, you can get to 59 frames.

If you are working at 50 fps, you can get to 99.

If you are working at 59.94 fps, you can get to 119 frames.

It's time for Plan B.  Let's hope you think the new plan through a little better.

• 3. Re: Incrementing Numbers

It needs to appear to be increasing by 1. Obviously it would go too fast for anyone to tell, but that was the point. I understand what you are saying, and my intention was never to have the auidence be able to clearly see each individual number.

Similar to when you are getting gas and the hundreths of gallons are increasing faster than you can possibly see.

I found an expression that gets me close to the effect that I want, but not exactly. Maybe I'll add a little blur or something.

• 4. Re: Incrementing Numbers

I think you're too bent on "seeing" anything. You could put a pulsating blob of random noise with heavy blur in place of the ones and tens and nobody would notice any difference.... At these speeds, it's really just a flicker and unless you build a genuine odometer there wouldn't even be motionblur. The best you can probably get is to use multiple numbers in the same place, each instance with a slight temporal offset and low opacity. This may give some good fake "ghosting"...

Mylenium

• 5. Re: Incrementing Numbers

As I see it you have two options. An odometer effect and a counter effect. With either approach you'll get the best results if you use a separate expression to drive each digit and include a ramp down to bring the counter to a stop. I'd probably go for an odometer effect with directional blur applied. My approach would be to create a long thin layer with evenly spaced digits from 0 to 1, wrap that around a cylinder, then spin each digit using keyframes for the smaller digits, say the 1's to the 1000's columns, then use an expression that snapped the remaining digits into position every 36º. Maybe the 1's digits would rotate 20 times, the 10's 12, the 100's 8, the thousands 5 times. Then I'd animate the appropriate amount of directional blur for each digit and monkey with the settings until I had something that looked real. Once you had the odometer effect working I'd drop it in another comp and use a mask or a track matte to reveal only the center row of digits. You'd end up with something like this:

Here's a CS5 project to get you started. It's up to you to set some keyframes.

• 6. Re: Incrementing Numbers

Thank you, that is precisely what I was looking for.