Every component can 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.
/signature1 /signature2 - 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.
/bpm - 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 - Common Page
Node View - 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.)
- Geometry Viewer - Shows a 3D geometry viewer displaying the geometry inside the component. This option is only available for Object components.
- Control Panel - Displays the Control Panel, only available for Panel Components.
- Operator Viewer - 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 is set to Operator Viewer.
/clone - Path to a component used as the Master Clone. If the component specified as Master exists, then this component becomes a clone.
/pathvar - Specifies a variable name you can use anywhere inside the component as the path to that component. See Path Variable.
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 content upon start of a
.toe. This allows for components to contain networks that can be updated independently of the
.toe file. Paths used to locate
.tox files should not contain expressions or root variables. Built-in and Environment variables (like
$HOME) are accepted. If the
.tox file can not be found, whatever the
.toe file was saved with will be loaded.
Use Backup Copy if External .tox is Missing
/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.