Artists and animators rejoice! Here’s a new guide on how to create NeoPixel animation on Circuit Playground by using a bitmap image as input, instead of code. From the guide:
Lighting up NeoPixels on the Circuit Playground is fun and easy. But creating animation patterns with specific color, timing, and position can be difficult. Not any more! Using this technique and a small Python script, you can use a tiny bitmap image as a powerful control for making complex NeoPixel animations on your Circuit Playground.
Developed by our own Phil Burgess, this method has a lot in common with traditional hand-drawn animation timing charts and exposure sheets (also called dope sheets) in that a set of rows and columns are used to indicate an object’s attributes over time.
This workflow will be familiar if you’ve ever used an animation dope sheet, such as this one in Maya:
I’m excited about this method, as it opens up a whole new world of tools for the creation of NeoPixel animation. Anything from hand placing bitmaps pixels in MS Paint, to snazzy gradients in Photoshop, to full blown CG animation and capture from video is possible. Here’s a quick peek of one approach I’m developing using animated rotating texture projections in Maya to map the pixels and then render the bitmap to use as input: