animate tex along path

Is there a quick and relatively painless way of animating a texture like in the video below?

I tried creating a path with curvecircle lofted on it, and setting tex mapping to UV, but UV space isn’t accessible(??) and is based off the Path Resolution setting. Collapsing to a mesh and UV unwrapping would be a nightmare for something like this, not to mention the resolution of texture to make it look good at 720p. (this is done in 3ds Max)

mods - this might be better in the animation sub section…??

no ideas on this??

you mean exactly like in video
a sort of color growing along the path ?

but that’s not really text (characters - letters ) animation !
but it is a sort of texture proc animation of some sort

but if you mean to make text follow a curve
why not UV it to a plane and make the plane follow a curve deforme modifier
and animate the curve of the plane ?

hope it helps

I don’t know if it’s the best method, but I would create a NURBs Surface
tube using the Dupliframes method as described in the “Application 2b”
section (just above the summary) at:

The button that you’re probably looking for is the “UV Orco” button
located in the “Curve and Surface” panel.

Anyways, here’s a quick test (using the dots2 texture plugin; you
would just substitute an arrow image texture ):

(quick test with arrow image texture):

and the blend file:

How about a Animated Procedural texture?

textmesh seems to begin doing some text animation

i tried the seond example tube + spring example

but don’t get the final total transaprecy as show in video

id anybody tried this example and teted it

wold be interesting to make it work normally

any help appreciated


instead of adding an IPO curve to the spring texture using the Ofx

it would be possible to add an empty in the map input panel to the texture and then add an IPO to this empty and move it along X
this would allow to control location but also the scale of texture!

i mean this could be used also to do this animation i think this would work as well!


Ricky - the word “text” never appeared until you did :wink: my title up above is “tex”, being short for texture. I want to replicate exactly the effect of the video linked to in the OP.

Gimble - The NURBS option might be the best, though I don’t know if overlapping geometry to represent the fade/transition is ideal. Must be a way to do that with texture nodes or something.

Ricky - the empty-IPO-Driver option might very well be the best way to animate the texture’s movement.

nicktechyguy - procedurals would be nice if there were procedural arrows.

if you do a test for this example in texmesh with helix curve

  • animated text

let me know i tested as shown in tut but not getting 100 % transparent text

if i have time i’l try with an empty and see what happen!

intersting way to make textuere move around and grow as shown in tut
userfull to show like a burning rope burning mesh for explosive ect…
nice effect !

happy blendering

Here is a concept.

A gradient controlled time driven texture node system.

At frame 1 press render.
At frame 250 press render.

It blends two textures based upon where the animation is at in time. Move your camera long the object and you can track the change.


gradient_controlled_orco_time_mix_texture.blend (231 KB)

Atom - that’s an awesome node setup… I don’t have a lot of time to play around with all these options together, hopefully next week.

Here’s how it’s setup in Max:
(almost everything in Max is animatable, so maybe 2.5 will be better suited for this project).
In Max, when you load an image texture, you can specify a crop rectangle around the image. That cropping rectangle is animated. It’s a b&w image, black half on left, white on left half, with a very tight/narrow gradient fade between in the middle. The cropping rectangle is animated from one side to the other. This b&w image with animated location of gradient is what controls the blend/visibility of one material to the other. (think mask)

All objects that are parametrically built in Max (IE the teapot) have implicit mapping, which is very handy for procedural and other textures. The Pipe, in the example on youtube, is simply a spline (bezier curve) set as renderable, with a thickness. Then the implicit mapping is as if it was a straight piece of pipe. So far, basically similar to the UV Orco button pointed out. Then the blend material setup is applied to the pipe, and animated as needed over time.

So basically with all of these examples you guys have given, we’ve got the framework to repeat the system. Now, if only 3D curves (aka paths) didn’t have that twist problem - an obvious thing once a texture is applied. For doing tight 90deg bends like in pipe, it definitely presents a common problem.

Like I said, this will be expanded upon next week.

Thanks all!!!

Interesting video and effect. I could not help giving a go at it. I’m sure there are many different ways of accomplishing this effect… what I did was to use curve follow for a cylnder and put the texture on the curve itself. The cylinder acts as a sleeve and moves to show the texture. The first one does not have particles, the second one does…

Good fun!


@ Animwanab

would you be able to load up a sample file to see it work!


wowsers… yes, sample file, or better description/screenies please!

Sure… no problem. Here’s a link to download the blend:

Just move the mesh object along the x axis to see what’s happening.

Another thought was to have the mesh on top to have a texture and it moves and covers the “pipe” on the bottom. Same effect but you then can UV map a texture to the mesh on top and have it moving on that mesh while it’s covering the curve on the bottom. Limitless effects…


this is fine and dandy, and maybe I’ll combine the ideas. I need something without moving geometry - it’s gotta be texture animation only. Maybe Empties to drive the anim. Again, more time next week.
Thanks a million!

Why not map the texture to an object (Empty) and then animate the empty?

it’s more of a mapping question, as it is an animation question. Tomorrow I’ll be playing more with it.

It appears that the Z-twist issue has been addressed by ideasman. See:

for more details.

It appears the fix isn’t in the official 2.49b release, so you need a later release of 2.49 (preferably 2.50; though not all the features from 2.49 have been transferred over yet. Also the results appear better in 2.50; might have been because I was using an earlier version).
In 2.49, the fix appears as a small “auto” icon next to the [3D] button in the “curves and Surfaces” panel. For 2.50, it’s in the curve panel as “Twist Method”, and I found that the “Minimal” setting worked best.

Anyways, I would recommend the Sep. 25 2.49 optimized build by Zebulon at graphicall (or whichever one matches your setup):

Also, another simple technique would be to use 3 textures, a base texture, clouds for instance set to green, then a blend texture set to stencil and using an offset material/texture ipo, and finally your arrow texture, with a material/texture ipo if you want it to move.

It should show transparent. Maybe check your mapping settings, textures, etc to make sure that they’re set right; or post a blend file and I can take a look at it for you.

Gimble - thanks a million! This is exactly what I was after.

Now All I need to do is figure out how to either clean up the geometry after this method (which I still don’t fully understand how it was created), or get a better way to create the geometry. 58K polys is a little high for a piece of pipe. Especially if there are hundreds of pieces of pipe in the scene. (and maintain the mapping)

Thanks guys!

Love the BA community.