A python add-on for Blender that provides tools for animating text and object data.
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README.md
Randomiser_addon.py
__init__.py

README.md

Randomiser

For more about the add on, visit: http://bensimonds.com/2014/04/02/randomiser-add-on/

Installation

To intall the add-on, download a zip of this repository from GitHub. You can then install the add-on simply by using the "Install from File" option in Blender's User Preferences > Add-On's menu. Alternatively, you can just create your own folder within Blender's add-ons folder, and place the init.py and Randomiser_addon.py python files inside.

Usage

Visit the following link for a video about how to use the script (slightly out of date now but basically correct): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys7Rh76jUN8

Mesh Objects:

  • Select object and enable randomise from the Object tab of the properties editor.
  • Specify a Group to sample object data from.
  • Update Method can either be set to Frequency, which updates the object data every set number of frames, or manual, which updates every time the “Time” property changes. The manual method is probably the more natural way for blender users, where you simply add keys to drive the change. The Frequency option is just there due to my hatred of adding keyframes where I could specify a couple of offset/speed parameters instead.

Text Objects

  • Select Text Object and enable randomise from the Object Data tab of the properties editor (text properties).
  • The Update Method options work the same as before.
  • Specify a Generate Method, you can choose from the following:
    • Counting: Generates a number.
    • Clock: Generates a time readout, either as hh:mm:ss or hh:mm.
    • Scrolling Text: Generates a ticker-tape readout based on a text datablock.
    • Typwriter: Generates text progressively, like a typewriter, based on a text datablock.
    • Pick Random: Picks a random character or line from various kinds of text sources.
    • Pick Ordered: Cycles through characters or lines from various kinds of text sources.
  • Based on the Generate method you choose you will be presented with some further options. Some methods require you specify a source for the text to be generated from, which may be either a text datablock or a pre-defined set of characters (binary/decimal digits, letters).

Adding Noise to Text

  • Specify a Noise Method: Mask or Random.
  • For Mask, provide a comma delimited list of indices (positions) in the string to replace with noise.
  • For Random, specify a threshold for the proportion of indices to be replaced with noise.
  • Specify a source for the noise. This can be either a text block or one of the pre-set options as before.
  • Other options let you specify how the noise positions are selected and how they are updated. - The Ignore Whitespace option prevents indices being replaced if the character is a space or new line. You can add custom characters to ignore when generating noise by adding them to the Ignore Custom property.

Tips

  • If Randomiser can’t find the text source it’s looking for it will display an error message (or characters from it) as the text output. This is a cue to check the console for more information about the error and to check your settings.
  • The Typewriter and Ticker effects (and others) use a Text Datablock as the source for the text to display. This means a text block in the Text Editor, not another Text Object in the 3D Viewport.
  • When using noise consider using a monospace font – this keeps the characters the same width when replaced and stops the text “jiggling” too much.