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TOPIC: Keyframe-able Numbers

Keyframe-able Numbers 2 months ago #224283

  • ahrneely
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I've seen some threads on the forum about using the timecode for displaying an elapsed time. I've also seen some mention of a couple of effects plug-ins or scripts to create a countdown timer. I am not interested in these.

I have several different video files that require me to track a moving number over the course of time. For example, distance and speed (in miles or kilometers) as a vehicle travels or depth in feet or meters as a SCUBA diver descends or ascends. Obviously, as far as speed and depth are concerned, these are going go fluctuate, whereas distance will only ever increase.

I'm no longer in a position where I have the time to fiddle with a lot of script writing. I just need to get the project done. Is there an easy way to throw superimpose some kind of rolling digit animation onto a video and keyframe it so it changes accurately per readings from my external meter?

Thanks!

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 2 months ago #224286

  • hugly
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Hello,

ahrneely wrote:
I'm no longer in a position where I have the time to fiddle with a lot of script writing.
Lightworks doesn't support any kind of scripting to do such things, so I assume that you've watch videos referring to other software?
I just need to get the project done. Is there an easy way to throw superimpose some kind of rolling digit animation onto a video and keyframe it so it changes accurately per readings from my external meter?
I would think with build in effects the answer is clearly no. I cannot say if user effects exist to get it done in a simple way, but could be.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 2 months ago by hugly.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 2 months ago #224290

  • jwrl
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hugly wrote:
I would think with build in effects the answer is clearly no. I cannot say if user effects exist to get it done in a simple way, but could be.

It would be quite a challenge, but it could be doable. It wouldn't be a simple process though, because I haven't been able to find a library to handle OTF files that will work in Cg. Trust me - I've looked! There are external library files that will do it, but they rely on being able to access those library files as an inclusion, which we can't do.

Without that ability it would be necessary to build some form of internal image of the numbers from 0 - 9, possibly in a dot pattern format or similar. Given the data limitations in effects, the font would probably not be the most glamorous in the world. For that, read "the numbers would look ugly".

I can also think of a way that could be made to work that involves the user typing ten successive lines each containing a number from 0 - 9 and using an overlay effect to access those numbers, reformat them, and apply them over the background video. It would be extremely fiddly to set up, and be reliant on using monospace fonts of a known size and spacing.

If someone would like to try to implement that last idea in a user-friendly way, feel free.


[EDIT: I have deleted your duplicate thread: a victim of the dreaded timeout error, I guess... ]
Last Edit: 2 months ago by jwrl.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 2 months ago #224299

  • schrauber
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jwrl wrote:
.. I can also think of a way that could be made to work that involves the user typing ten successive lines each containing a number from 0 - 9 and using an overlay effect to access those numbers, reformat them, and apply them over the background video. It would be extremely fiddly to set up, and be reliant on using monospace fonts of a known size and spacing..

If I got it right, you mean something like the way I built the timers out of text effects.

ahrneely wrote:
.. I've also seen some mention of a couple of effects plug-ins [..] to create a countdown timer. I am not interested in these.

Theoretically, these timers could be adapted for other purposes, so as not to look like a timer and change the keyframing for different speeds and backwards.
But the more digits are used, the more complicated the keyframing becomes. Also, changing the font or font size within the text effect is not so easy, because then the keyframing would have to be adjusted as well. Scaling with DVE effects is possible within certain limits.

jwrl wrote:
..build some form of internal image of the numbers from 0 - 9, possibly in a dot pattern format or similar ..

Or import the digits into the effect as PNG image. For example, arrange all digits in a defined matrix and the effect code will cut them out, position and combine them automatically depending on keyframing, or other parameters. In 2018 I wanted to experiment with a PNG image in UHD dimensions. But I never finished an effect that uses this.

The easiest way to display the values would probably be as variable bars (bargraph). The scale could be created in another program as a transparent PNG image, and placed over the bar created by an effect. But this is not what you asked for.
Mainly automatically translated
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Last Edit: 2 months ago by schrauber.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 2 months ago #224319

  • jwrl
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jwrl wrote:
.. I can also think of a way that could be made to work that involves the user typing ten successive lines each containing a number from 0 - 9 and using an overlay effect to access those numbers, reformat them, and apply them over the background video. It would be extremely fiddly to set up, and be reliant on using monospace fonts of a known size and spacing..

schrauber wrote:
If I got it right, you mean something like the way I built the timers out of text effects.

Something along those lines, but assembling each number field from the characters in the underlying title effect.

jwrl wrote:
..build some form of internal image of the numbers from 0 - 9, possibly in a dot pattern format or similar ..

schrauber wrote:
Or import the digits into the effect as PNG image. For example, arrange all digits in a defined matrix and the effect code will cut them out, position and combine them automatically depending on keyframing, or other parameters.

That's basically using an external file instead of the title tool to generate the numerals and delimiters for the approach that I suggested above.

My idea was that as long as the numerals could be positioned in a fixed relationship with each other, you could use either _Length or _LengthFrames together with _Progress to do the count. It would then be a matter of setting up whether a count up or a count down was needed, and what your start time would be. You would also need to take into account scaling, the number of fields required and what those fields would represent. That would perhaps best be handled with presets - say one for timecode, another for odometer, one for HH:MM:SS, an HH:MM DD/MM/YY one and whatever else would be likely to be needed.

As I said, do-able, but fiddly.
Last Edit: 2 months ago by jwrl.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 1 month, 3 weeks ago #224543

  • jwrl
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jwrl wrote:
As I said, do-able, but fiddly.

OK, here's an example of what can be done using a file of digits, delimiters and mask shapes. It counts down in tenths of a second from 11 hours, 17 minutes, 43.6 seconds, all of which have been set inside the effect. I left the rate scaling at 1x, but that can be varied from 10% to 1000%. That range can be changed but it will always be symmetrical - if the minimum scale factor is changed to 5%, the maximum will become 2000%.

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I have not been able to come up with a technique for custom defining fields, so for each variation a separate effect would need to be written - not a very attractive solution, and one I'm not keen to pursue.

Also, since the file is accessed at its native resolution, for best image quality it's necessary to scale the reference artwork to match the scaling in the effect. This example was set to 20% size in a 720p project, so the actual size artwork was 384x216 pixels. Each digit was inside a zone of 38.4x54 pixels, and the actual size artwork looked like this.

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Because the actual artwork is over a transparent background I've put a mid grey behind it to show it more clearly.

The bottom line is that I don't believe that approach is worth pursuing. Yes, it can be done, yes you can make it count up or down from a predefined start, yes you can change the rate at which it counts. BUT YOU CANNOT GENERALISE THE EFFECT!!! It requires too much customising of the number and type of fields required and the size of the reference file (which must also be matched inside the effect). I'm not the least bit interested in tackling it.
Last Edit: 1 month, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 1 month, 3 weeks ago #224548

  • ahrneely
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Thanks for all the help, gang. Seems like what I'm trying to do is a bit beyond a simple task.

Here's what I did instead:

I discovered that the Android device being used to track speed and distance now natively comes with a screen recording app. I recorded the speed and distance and simply overlaid it. Much easier ... especially for a long video.

Re: Keyframe-able Numbers 1 month, 3 weeks ago #224549

  • jwrl
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Good solution!
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