Animation COMP

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The Animation Component is a special component used for creating keyframe animation channels. The component contains a pre-defined network utilizing a Keyframe CHOP and a number of Table DATs to define the animated CHOP channels.

The Animation Editor is the user interface for creating and editing the animation of the Animation Component.

The Animation Component has both in and out CHOP connectors.

Animation Component Inputs

With no input connected, the Animation Component's index loops over the time range of the channels. The CHOP input can be used to manually control the index of the animated channels. For example, if the channels are keyed from frame 1 to 600, you can connect an input to the component and manually drive the animation output by feeding it a number between 1 and 600 (indexes outside the range will use the channel extend conditions).

Using the Keyframe CHOP's Index Units menu, you can drive the animation with numbers expressed in seconds, samples, or a fraction where 0 is the start and 1 is the end.

Animation Component Outputs The CHOP output gives access to the animation channel's current value. CHOPs can be directly connected or a Null CHOP may be appended for exporting the channels to parameters. The current channel values can also be viewed by turning on the Animation Component's node viewer.



Using the Animation Component

Keyframing any parameter, attribute, or data in TouchDesigner begins with an Animation Component. You can create an Animation COMP from;

  • The OP Create Dialog
  • Right-click on any parameter of an OP. RMB -> Keyframe Parameter in... -> New Animation to create a new Animation COMP

To open the Animation Editor, right-click on an Animation COMP and select Edit Animation... to open that animation in the editor. You can also change any pane to Animation Editor type and the Editor will open whilst pointing to the last Animation COMP that was scoped.

Then you can create and keyframe animation channels. Refer to the Animation Editor for instructions on keyframing.


Parameters - Animation Page

Time Reference timeref - The location the Animation COMP looks to for its time information. This is used for default channel range and rate when the Type parameter on the Range page is set to Timeline.  

Play Mode playmode - - Specifies the method used to playback the animation or allows the output the entire animation curve.

  • Locked to Timeline locked - This mode locks the animation position to the timeline. Scrubbing or jumping in the timeline will change the animation position accordingly. The parameters Play, Speed, Cue, and Cue Point are disabled in this mode since the timeline is directly controlling the animation's position.
  • Use Input Index input - This mode allows the user to specify a particular position in the animation using the index input on the Animation COMP (the CHOP input to the Animation COMP). The Input Index Unit parameter can be used to change the units of the input channel. Use this mode for random access to any location in the animation for maximum flexibility.
  • Sequential sequential - This mode continually plays regardless of the timeline position (the Index parameter is disabled). Reset and Speed parameters below are enabled to allow some control.
  • Output Full Range outputrange - This option outputs the entire animation channel range. This is useful for using the Animation COMP to create custom lookup curves/channels.

Play play - Animation plays when On and stops when Off. This animation playback control is only available when Play Mode is Sequential.  

Speed speed - This is a speed multiplier which only works when Play Mode is Sequential. A value of 1 is the default playback speed. A value of 2 is double speed, 0.5 is half speed and so on. Negative values will play the animation backwards.  

Cue cue - Jumps to Cue Point when set to 1. Only available when Play Mode is Sequential.  

Cue Pulse cuepulse -  

Cue Point cuepoint - Set any index in the animation as a point to jump to. Only available when Play Mode is Sequential.  

Cue Point Unit cuepointunit -  

Input Index Unit inputindexunit - - When Play Mode is set to Use Input Index use this menu to choose the units for the index input channel. For example, choose between setting the index with frames or seconds. The Units X option sets the index to use the key information directly from the key DAT table inside the Animation COMP, disregarding any custom settings found in the attributes DAT table.

  • Samples samples -
  • Frames frames -
  • Seconds seconds -
  • Fraction fraction -
  • X Units xunits -

Cyclic Range cyclic - - Adapts the range of the animation for cyclic or non-cyclic input indices. When using a cyclic input index the lookup value for index 0.0 and 1.0 result in the same value. To avoid this, set Cyclic Range to Yes and the lookup will cycle smoothly.

  • Automatic auto - Checks the right extend condition of each channel (Assumes type cycle and mirror are cyclic lookups).
  • Yes yes - Cycles the output when index is outside the animation range.
  • No no - Does not cycle the output when index is outside the animation range.

Specify Edit Attributes specifyedit - Turn this on to enable the edit attributes parameter below.  

Edit Origin editorigin - Changes the origin of the animation channel edits. This does not change the data stored in the key DAT table, but it does effect the channels display in the graph and playback of the animation.  

Edit Rate editrate - Changes the rate of the animation channel edits. This does not change the data stored in the key DAT table, but it does effect the channels display in the graph and playback of the animation.  

Edit Animation... editanimation - Clicking this button will open this Animation COMP in the Animation Editor.  

Parameters - Range Page

Type rangetype - -

  • Timeline timeline -
  • Custom custom -

Start start -  

Start Unit startunit -  

End end -  

End Unit endunit -  

Trim Left tleft - -

  • Hold hold -
  • Slope slope -
  • Cycle cycle -
  • Mirror mirror -
  • Default Value default -

Trim Right tright - -

  • Hold hold -
  • Slope slope -
  • Cycle cycle -
  • Mirror mirror -
  • Default Value default -

Trim Default tdefault -  

Parameters - Extensions Page

The Extensions parameter page sets the component's python extensions. Please see extensions for more information.

Re-Init Extensions reinitextensions - Recompile all extension objects. Normally extension objects are compiled only when they are referenced and their definitions have changed.  

Extension Object 1 extension1 - A number of class instances that can be attached to the component.  

Extension Name 1 extname1 - Optional name to search by, instead of the instance class name.  

Promote Extension 1 promoteextension1 - Controls whether or not the extensions are visible directly at the component level, or must be accessed through the .ext member. Example: n.Somefunction vs n.ext.Somefunction  

Parameters - Common Page

The Common parameter page sets the component's node viewer and clone relationships.

Node View nodeview - - Determines what is displayed in the node viewer, also known as the Node Viewer. Some options will not be available depending on the Component type (Object Component, Panel Component, Misc.)

  • Default Viewer default - Displays the default viewer for the component type, a 3D Viewer for Object COMPS and a Control Panel Viewer for Panel COMPs.
  • Operator Viewer opviewer - Displays the node viewer from any operator specified in the Operator Viewer parameter below.

Operator Viewer opviewer - Select which operator's node viewer to use when the Node View parameter above is set to Operator Viewer.  

Keep in Memory keepmemory -  

Enable Cloning enablecloning - Control if the OP should be actively cloned. The Pulse button can be used to instantaneously clone the contents.  

Enable Cloning Pulse enablecloningpulse -  

Clone Master clone - Path to a component used as the Master Clone.  

Load on Demand loadondemand - Loads the component into memory only when required. Good to use for components that are not always used in the project.  

External .tox externaltox - Path to a .tox file on disk which will source the component's contents upon start of a .toe. This allows for components to contain networks that can be updated independently. If the .tox file can not be found, whatever the .toe file was saved with will be loaded.  

Reload .tox on Start reloadtoxonstart - When on (default), the external .tox file will be loaded when the .toe starts and the contents of the COMP will match that of the external .tox. This can be turned off to avoid loading from the referenced external .tox on startup if desired (the contents of the COMP are instead loaded from the .toe file). Useful if you wish to have a COMP reference an external .tox but not always load from it unless you specifically push the Re-Init Network parameter button.  

Reload Custom Parameters reloadcustom - When this checkbox is enabled, the values of the component's Custom Parameters are reloaded when the .tox is reloaded.  

Reload Built-In Parameters reloadbuiltin - When this checkbox is enabled, the values of the component's built-in parameters are reloaded when the .tox is reloaded.  

Save Backup of External savebackup - When this checkbox is enabled, a backup copy of the component specified by the External .tox parameter is saved in the .toe file. This backup copy will be used if the External .tox can not be found. This may happen if the .tox was renamed, deleted, or the .toe file is running on another computer that is missing component media.  

Sub-Component to Load subcompname - When loading from an External .tox file, this option allows you to reach into the .tox and pull out a COMP and make that the top-level COMP, ignoring everything else in the file (except for the contents of that COMP). For example if a .tox file named project1.tox contains project1/geo1, putting geo1 as the Sub-Component to Load, will result in geo1 being loaded in place of the current COMP. If this parameter is blank, it just loads the .tox file normally using the top level COMP in the file.  

Re-Init Network reinitnet - This button will re-load from the external .tox file (if present), followed by re-initializing itself from its master, if it's a clone.  

Operator Inputs

  • Input 0 -

TouchDesigner Build:

Actor • Ambient Light • Animation • Base • Blend • Bone • Bullet Solver • Button • Camera Blend • Camera • Component • Constraint • Container • Engine • Environment Light • FBX • Field • Force • Geometry • Handle • Impulse Force • Light • List • Null • Nvidia Flex Solver • Nvidia Flow Emitter • OP Viewer • Parameter • Replicator • Select • Shared Mem In • Shared Mem Out • Slider • Table • Time • USD • Widget • Window

An Operator Family that contains its own Network inside. There are twelve 3D Object Component and eight 2D Panel Component types. See also Network Path.

An Operator Family which operate on Channels (a series of numbers) which are used for animation, audio, mathematics, simulation, logic, UI construction, and many other applications.

A frame within the Animation component which holds a channel value, slope, acceleration and interpolation type, used to determine the values of the channel which are not keyframes.

An Operator Family that contains its own Network inside. There are twelve 3D Object Component and eight 2D Panel Component types. See also Network Path.

Any of the procedural data operators. OPs do all the work in TouchDesigner. They "cook" and output data to other OPs, which ultimately result in new images, data and audio being generated. See Node.

A Link.

The panel at the bottom of TouchDesigner, it controls the current Time of the full system or just one component.

Each SOP has a list of Points. Each point has an XYZ 3D position value plus other optional attributes. Each polygon Primitive is defined by a vertex list, which is list of point numbers.

To pulse a parameter is to send it a signal from a CHOP or python or a mouse click that causes a new action to occur immediately. A pulse via python is via the .pulse() function on a pulse-type parameter, such as Reset in a Speed CHOP. A pulse from a CHOP is typically a 0 to 1 to 0 signal in a channel.

An Operator Family that manipulates text strings: multi-line text or tables. Multi-line text is often a command Script, but can be any multi-line text. Tables are rows and columns of cells, each containing a text string.

Information associated with SOP geometry. Points and primitives (polygons, NURBS, etc.) can have any number of attributes - position (P) is standard, and optional are normals (N), texture coordinates (uv), color (Cd), etc.

Any component can be extended with its own Python classes which contain python functions and data.

The component types that are used to render 3D scenes: Geometry Component contain the 3D shapes to render, plus Camera, Light, Ambient Light, Null, Bone, Handle and other component types.

The viewer of a node can be (1) the interior of a node (the Node Viewer), (2) a floating window (RMB->View... on node), or (3) a Pane that graphically shows the results of an operator.

A custom interactive control panel built within TouchDesigner. Panels are created using Panel Components whose look is created entirely with TOPs.

Cloning can make multiple components match the contents of a master component. A Component whose Clone parameter is set will be forced to contain the same nodes, wiring and parameters as its master component. Cloning does not create new components as does the Replicator COMP.

The location of an operator within the TouchDesigner environment, for example, /geo1/torus1, a node called torus1 in a component called geo1. The path / is called Root. To refer instead to a filesystem folder, directory, disk file or http: address, see Folder.

TouchDesigner Component file, the file type used to save a Component from TouchDesigner.

TOuch Environment file, the file type used by TouchDesigner to save your project.

Every component contains a network of operators that create and modify data. The operators are connected by wires that define where data is routed after the operator cooks its inputs and generates an output.