LED style animation with MAXScript

7 votes
Date Updated: 
Panayot Karabakalov (Anubis)

Just illustration of an example approach which can be done and without writing code but there also a few points where using MAXScript can save alot of time.

Ok, this I start just as idea for quick reply into the forum but as I remember LED style animation is popular task in animators colleges and as am not sure if there is a similar tutorial, I made this.

The idea is to use "helper"-object(s) (any geometry) which to serve as a Brush, and with all the freedom of how you like/need to animate them, including not just there movement but also their size and shape, and according to the "intersection" between them and the "dots" (spheres in this video), animate the material ID's of this "dot"-objects.

No audio recorded but you can see what I typing into the Listener and what it produce in real time. I hope this video is useful anyway as is.

The code I typed is attached as well.
Have fun!

Application Version: 
any 3ds Max version
Video URL: 
led_style_animation.ms1.34 KB


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Anubis's picture


Yeah, i wrote a lot of scripts and share just some of them that might been interesting to the public. Also often do "session scripting", like in the tutorial, i.e. no ui-design, nor yet complete tool development, as this staffs required time :)

Not sure if voxel-kind tutorials out there, if you find some sort of tutorial may post a link here.

The idea in voxels is a quite simple, i think. Each "dot" (a box or sphere, ...) represent a pixel from bitmap. In my script i animate the color and height, but for led-style animation you need just the color part, and nothing special or secret about this - scaning the bitmaps with getPixels().

Ah, and the VoxelBoard is ready for use tool, so if you have animated bitmap sequence, no needs any additional coding.

voxelboard.png 23.32 KB

my recent MAXScripts RSS (archive here)

jos's picture


I found your VoxelBoard script on your website, but nothing more. Is there a tutorial or documentation? can't figure out how it works..
and dude, you've have written a lot of scripts, respect :)

Anubis's picture

yeah, that illustrate the idea

you can improve the "brush print" algorithm, and if i share more in that direction it will become an "idiot guide" for all whos just follow instructions w/o understanding, but this is out of my goal ;-)

Ok, that approach will work for expressions but their is another one i know that is more easy for that purpose and i call it "voxel"-method. Shortly, its based on bitmap sequence. There is some example about on my web site, take a look if you like. All you'll need for this method is an application like Flash or similar, where can easy animate your expressions.


my recent MAXScripts RSS (archive here)

jos's picture

thank you for sharing this

that's nice. but quite limited i think. blink,wink or expressions..

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