Animated texture for cylon raider eye?

I am trying to get the moving light “eye” thing to work for a Cylon Raider from the nuBSG series and thinking the best way to do this would be an animated texture.

Anyone have some tutorials on how best to do this?

Hehe, I just did this and it was fun.

First make a texture, just a black swipe with a red dot in the middle, same shape as your cylon eye. In blender, make a cyclon shaped plane and add the texture. Put it on Extend instead of repeat, and in the MapTo, press Emit once.

K, mine is flat on the default plane, so I want the eye moving back and forth along the X axis. Open up an IPO window, change it to materials. Now with your mouse in the Map Input tab, press I and select OFS.

In the IPO window, select ofs X. With your animation in the first frame, render the scene and see where the eye is at. Move the default ofs X point up, (using middle click to keep it straight), and keep rendering and moving it until the eye is at the left end of the plane. Then Left click on the grid to make another point and place it a little ways over and down into the negative, rendering and looking until the eye is to the right. Then make one more point the same distance over and the same height as the first point to make a sine wave.

Select the Point menu and make the Interpolation Mode to Linear, and the Extend Mode to Cyclic.

Now you rock.

If this isn’t explanation enough, let me know. It’s just late right now.

i would instead use a single vertex object with a halo material. put an empty in the middle of the head, parent the empty to the head, put the single vertext object into position, parent it to the empty, then using numerical input ( n key ) rotate the empty so the vertex object is off to the side of where it is to be displayed, set a keyframe for the empty, go ahead a few frames, use numerical input to rotate the empty so that the vertex object goes it’s course off to the other side, then, in the ipo window, type ‘t’ and choose ‘linear’, and go to the popup menu in the ipo window and choose ‘cyclic’ for the extend mode.

first stab using the single vertex method. I did key the it to go back and forth in 30 frames (1 sec NTSC), however it’s just repeating in one direction when I use cylical repeat. So I’m 50% of the way there…now I just need to figure out how to get it to come back…
(only 120k: Quicktime Sorenson 3 format)

Well, if you only have two keys, start and end, it’ll repeat like this

/ / / / / / /

If you have 3, start end start, it’ll repeat like


Since the motion is linear, just drop the last frame as it’s the same as the first and you’ll have a smooth repeat.


Do it with a light. :smiley: The eye is a light, it it hits the rim of the “viewport” as it scans…

Thanks, I’ll go try that here in a few minutes…


This is just a quick mock-up, obviously.

Put a square spotlight on the outside of the cockpit scanner, and scale it to a rectangular shape. Make the distance really, really short, make the beam wide enough to catch the scanner frame a bit, and make the scanner itself as hard and as specular as required to make a convincing Cylon “eye”…

Put a follow path around the cockpit in the same shape, and make sure in frame 1 it points to the curve’s center after you Alt-O (clear origin) it. Then it’ll track to the curve’s center, which should be the scanner window’s center. No rotation keys needed, and you can manipulate the scanning via the curve’s Speed IPO for any given timeline or adjustable scanning speed like at the corners.

With the proper materials and light color/reflectivity, I’m betting you can make a damn good copy of their Lightwave setup.

Victory is MINE!

It took a couple tries as I toyed with all the various settings. Blender,me, and keyframing since 2.3x hasn’t gotten along when they added all them there fancy settings and changed the default from linear…

Now all I need is the original creator’s permission to realease, and I’d call it done…