How to animate text?


I need to apologize in advance if I sound a little ticked off but, at this point in time, I’m more than just a little frustrated. I want to make a keyframe animated frame counter to test something. It needs to be keyframed so that I can know with 100% certainty that everything happens on the frame it is supposed to. This turns out to be a laborious task of epic proportions in Blender 2.75, since the text box isn’t an animatable property. I searched online for solutions but all I can find, is some rediculous way of mapping a text bitmap to a plane and animating the UV or something along those lines. Another way I found, involves showing and hiding different digits. However, this would leave me with at least 30 objects in my scene, since my animation is 200 odd frames long and with animations on each of those 30 objects.

Can someone please tell me how to do this in a time efficiant way that won’t involve 5 million steps or that ends up with a lot of objects in my scene with each its own animation?

I truly hope I’m just ignorant about some feature of the text object because something so insignificant can surely not be this complicated.

If the look of the frame counter doesn’t matter, why not just switch on Stamp Output (Render Panel --> Metadata)?
Lets you include all sorts of things like date, frame, time, …

If the look is an issue:
Create a text object with all the consecutive numbers in one row (or column, as you like).
Then animate the text (e.g. 1 unit per frame, if the spacing is one unit) in the appropriate direction so each frame shows a different number.

Thank you very much for both your replies. The first suggestion looks fantastic and would make the situation extremely easy. However, as soon as I started to try it, I realized I had forgotten to mention that I needed to have the counter work in the BGE and it doesn’t look like those options are available in the BGE.

It does sound like you’ve got a good idea on the second suggestion though - Thank you for that. Although, it’s much more work than should be required for something so simple, it’s at least much less work than the other methods I mentiond in my first post. Also, it won’t leave me with many objects with each their own animation.

You may want to post something under the BGE category to get more looks from people who work more with the Game Engine.

In case someone else wanders over here in hopes of creating a counter, you can use the jaw-dropping Animation Nodes add-on:

This simple setup animates the Text object to show the current frame number.

Thank you very, very much for this. I keyframed the counter and it works well but unfortunately it does not appear that the action is able to be triggered from within the BGE.

I had thought about posting in the BGE forum but I posted here because I thought it’s a function that has to be setup outside the BGE. Only the results must show in the BGE.