Animatable Odometer

  • July 31, 2017
  • Blender 2.7x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: marcdraco
  • License: CC-BY
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A short animation of this "device" running (way, way faster than it was intended to) here:

This is a simple model of the old clockwork odometers found in cars until the advent of digital displays. It's also found in aircraft, utility meters and other instruments where a reliable counter may be required.

The case has fun little "brushed" metal face texture which some people might find useful, changing this is easy of course.

To make things easier on animators, I've set this up so you only need to enter (and animate) the starting value which is available as shown in the screenshots on the CASE object marked as Initread (initial reading). This can be animated using normal F-curves although it drives the X rotation of the drums using a tiny piece of python (in the driver code) so you may need to enable python to get this to work. One of the attached images demonstrates where this is.

There are two lights hidden just inside the case with adjustable brightness - this is to allow you to simulate broken bulbs, for example just for an added bit of realism.


  • fridge profile picture

    Hi Marc, I'm a producer (so not a 3D animator), however I have purchased and loaded your odometer model into the latest version of Blender (April 2021 - I cannot find the version number!). I would like to animate this model in Qt, which accepts 3D models in some form. However, I'm trying to see if this model can be adapted to 4 & 5 digits, without the case, and lights. With the aim of recreating an exact odometer style of a real device. I would also like to change the font if possible. First of all: a) does this model allow me to reduce the number of numberical tumblers and still operate (ie link to each other, and reset)? b) can the font style of the number be easily changed and also not be raised? Thanks in advance for your assistance. Regards, David.

    Written April 26, 2021
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