Can I - link material IPO to lamp energy?

Well, that was a horrible title, but I couldn’t think of anything better. I don’t even know if this truly belongs in the animation forum, but that seemed the closest.

Two questions, somewhat related. Maybe I can get a two-fer here!

#1. I have a lamp and a plane (and a couple of other primitive meshes in the scene, but they aren’t important). Over the course of 10 frames, the lamp’s energy is halved; and then the next 10 frames return it to the start energy of 1. In those same 20 frames, the plane starts with a 1 emit value, decreases by half, then returns to 1. In other words, a lightbulb-ish flickering simulation (okay, not quite, not with 20 frames, but you get the picture).

Instead of manually keyframing or setting IPO curves for each object, is it possible to link one to the other? In other words, can the energy level of the lamp be linked to the emit value of the material (or visa-versa) so I only have to play with one thing at a time?

#2. Going in this same vein, maybe, could material or lamp values be linked to an empty. I know that as of yet, one cannot make a functional NLA strip out of anything but objects. Or at least that is what I seem to find when I mess about. However, if values could be linked to some attribute of an empty which is NLA-able (like scale); and then the scale played around with as a proxy, maybe there is a workaround.

Or am I just wishing for the moon and he stars and perfect chocolate pudding? Oh, I wish I could find perfect chocolate pudding…:eyebrowlift2:

<editorial addition> Okay…here’s an example of the file I’m playing with. Somewhat low quality, but it is only a test. For little things like this, doing things manually is fine. I’m just looking ahead to lessen headaches if applied to longer and/or more complex things than a couple of meshes and 20 frames.

For #2, you can set up an IPO driver so the position of the Empty drives the material or lamp value. See and for examples of how to set this up.

Perfect! I guess I get my chocolate pudding after all! :slight_smile:

That is just what I needed. In the IPO window I had been staring at that “driver” button, wondering if it might be what I wanted. Turns out it is. I’ve now linked both material and light energy to the empty and successfully reproduced my initial keyframed test using the empty. Then I temporally displaced the empty’s NLA to convince myself it worked. A bit more in-depth messing around should get the effect(s) I was looking for, with the timing convenience of the NLA editor.