The Time Component allows each component to have its own timeline (clock). The Time Component contains a network of operators that can drive a Timeline, drive animations in Animation COMPs, or be used to drive any custom time-based system. The Time Component's parameters define the speed, range, various options for the time system.
The Time Component is often used in TouchDesigner to allow a component to have its own timeline / clock, this is called Component Time. It is useful for holding some parts of your system stationary while others are allowed to play forward. A Time Component's location must be in the
/local network of a Component for the Time Component to create a Component Time.
To add Component Time to a component, right-click on the component and select Add Component Time... from the popup menu, this will add the following Time Component
The Time Component's predefined network is Cloned from Master Component
/sys/local/time. The Time Component's network can be modified if the path in the Clone parameter is removed.
Parameters - Time Page
play - Controls the playback of the Time Component. 0 = stop, 1 = play.
rate - Sets the frame per second for the Time Component.
start - Sets the start frame for the Time Component. The Start and End parameters determine the overall length of the Time Component.
end - Sets the end frame for the Time Component. The Start and End parameters determine the overall length of the Time Component.
rangelimit - ⊞ - This menu controls how the playback loops:
loop- The timeline will loop when it reaches Range End frame.
hold- The timeline will stop (hold) when it reaches Range End frame.
rangestart - Sets the start frame of the working range. The working range is a subset of the start/end range which can be used to focus work on a smaller section of time. The playhead will only playback the frames/beats that are inside this working range.
rangeend - Sets the end frame of the working range. The working range is a subset of the start/end range which can be used to focus work on a smaller section of time. The playhead will only playback the frames/beats that are inside this working range.
signature - ⊞ - Specifies the time signature. The first number is the number of beats per measure and the second number indicates the type of note that constitutes one beat. See Time Signature - Wikipedia for additional information.
tempo - Sets the bpm for the Time Component.
independent - When checked on, this Time COMP's time will not be dependant on parent Time Components found in the network hierarchy. For example, starting/pausing other Time COMP's higher in the hierarchy will not start/pause a Time COMP whose Run Independently parameter is on.
Parameters - Extensions Page
The Extensions parameter page sets the component's python extensions. Please see extensions for more information.
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:
Parameters - Common Page
parentshortcut - Specifies a name you can use anywhere inside the component as the path to that component. See Parent Shortcut.
opshortcut - Specifies a name you can use anywhere at all as the path to that component. See Global OP Shortcut.
Internal OP Shortcut 1
iopshortcut1 - Specifies a name you can use anywhere inside the component as a path to "Internal OP" below. See Internal Operators.
iop1 - The path to the Internal OP inside this component. See Internal Operators.
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.
opviewer - Select which operator's node viewer to use when the Node View parameter above is set to Operator Viewer.
Keep in Memory
keepmemory - Used only for Panel Components this keeps the panel in memory to it doesn't reload every time it is displayed.
enablecloning - Control if the OP should be actively cloned.
Enable Cloning Pulse
enablecloningpulse - Instantaneously clone the contents.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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The term "Frame" is used (1) in the Timeline, (2) as a time-unit in CHOPs, (3) as a time-unit in TOPs, and (4) with movies images which are read and created with TOPs.
Any component can be extended with its own Python classes which contain python functions and data.
A Parent Shortcut is a parameter on a component that contains a name that you can use anywhere inside the component to refer to that component using the syntax
parent.Name, for example
parent.Effect.width to obtain panel width.
There are four types of shortcuts: Application Shortcuts that are built-in to TouchDesigner's authoring interface, Panel Shortcuts that you create for any custom built panels, Parent Shortcuts for accessing a component from within that component, and Global OP Shortcuts that access a unique component from anywhere in TouchDesigner.
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 custom interactive control panel built within TouchDesigner. Panels are created using Panel Components whose look is created entirely with TOPs.
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.
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.