Skyscraper with pattern from window lights...

just like the title says this is what I need to do, the building will be placed in this photo: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-10813163-chicago-skyline-by-night.php
the effect I need is something resembling one of these:
http://thelastminute.typepad.com/blog/2005/02/play_tetris_on_.html
http://www.gizmodiva.com/other_stuff/building_light_show_by_projekt_piwo.php
http://www.orkutpix.com/scraps-greetings-cards/love-romance/
but made from a larger number of smaller lights, just like the buildings that already are in the photo, what’s worse the image will be used up to the 1920 resolution, so it will take time to get the quality and details right…
in general I know what and how to do (modeling, placing the object and camera, lights, etc) but I can not decide what will be the best approach to the pattern from the lights on the building itself:

  1. making a simple tube (the building will be round) and preparing a 100% ready texture with all the details
  2. making two textures, one with lights fully on, second witlh lights fully off, mapping both to the aligned tubes and then play with alpha for the “lights on” one to get the pattern
  3. building the building itself (it’s going to be very simple, far away… spin will do 99% of work), place the lights in the windows within Blender and then getting the pattern by adjusting their properites
  4. any brilliant ideas? :wink:

it seems like approach number 3 is the most common sense, especially when you think that it may require some modifing “after” it’s done (you know the customers) and if I get it right from the beginnig duplicating one segment of the building should give the basic object quickly

but I am not sure if my thinking is right so any advice from someone more experienced with this kind of stuff is very, very welocme …

Personally, I would UV unwrap the the building, then create an emit map in a bitmap editing program.

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