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A common effect I'd like to understand is how to achieve moving, glowing lines. An example is on Robert Hodgin's "Taxi, Taxi!". (I don't know what he uses, but have an idea it might be Houdini). Another is Cristóbal Vila's beautiful animations (e.g. Nature by Numbers - Mobo).

I have coded a Python script that lays out geocoded spline curves on DEM terrain together with Open Street Map building data (see here), but the material for the moving assets is stumping me. I'd like to replicate Robert Hodgin's animation - can anyone explain in outline how this effect might be achieved in Blender?

Many thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi. From the tag, you're specifically looking to do this with Python? $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2020 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hello Ray - the location will be dynamic and taken from a database of realtime bus movements so I imagine it will have to be coded. $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Jun 30, 2020 at 20:59

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You can use curves, give them some extrusion and an emissive material. Then animate the bevel start and end factors, like in these links:

How to create light streaks

How to make an object appear/visible along a path

The main problem you will face is that you need to separate the curves created by OpenStreetMap or create new ones. OSM creates multiple segments on a single curve object and that would not work for animating Bevels.

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    $\begingroup$ That's helpful, thanks - I can see how that works. I've created the curves so all I have to do is create new ones for each of the moving objects. Best wishes $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Jun 30, 2020 at 21:01

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