Animation COMP

From TouchDesigner 099 Wiki


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.

PythonIcon.png animationCOMP_Class


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 1 and stops when 0. 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 Point /cuepoint - Set any index in the animation as a point to jump to. Only available when Play Mode is Sequential.

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.

Cyclic Range - 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 - Checks the right extend condition of each channel (Assumes type cycle and mirror are cyclic lookups).
  • Yes - Cycles the output when index is outside the animation range.
  • 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 - Determines how the range for channels in the Animation COMP is set.

  • Timeline - This uses the timeline specified in the Time Reference parameter on the Animation page of parameters.
  • Custom - This uses custom range settings set in the parameters below.

Start / End /start /end - Start and end of the time range, expressed in Units (seconds, frames or samples).

Trim Left / Trim Right /tleft /tright - The left and right trim conditions for the CHOP output (before/after range).

Trim Default /tdefault - The default value used when one of the Trim parameters is set to Default Value.

Parameters - Common Page

The Common parameter page sets the component's node viewer, clone relationships, Parent Shortcut, and Global OP Shortcut.

Parent Shortcut parentshortcut - Specifies a name you can use anywhere inside the component as the path to that component. See Parent Shortcut.

Global OP Shortcut opshortcut - Specifies a name you can use anywhere at all as the path to that component. See Global OP Shortcut.

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.)

  • Default Viewer - Displays the default viewer for the component type, a 3D Viewer for Object COMPS and a Control Panel Viewer for Panel COMPs.
  • Operator Viewer - 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.

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

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.

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.

The Animation Component Network


The Animation Component's network consists of a small CHOP network and a number of Table DATs.

The keyframe system is DAT-based, making it fully open and flexible. Keyframes are contained in DAT tables. The new Keyframe CHOP uses these DATs to interpolate keyframes and generate channels of samples. Being exposed means you can also generate keyframes procedurally or load keyframes from other software. So the Keyframe CHOP is now a converter from a DAT table of keyframes to a CHOP of multi-sample channels.



clock - a Constant CHOP named clock drives the animated channels forward when the Animation Editor is closed. clock plays back in sync with the current frame on TouchDesigner's Timeline. When the Animation Editor is open, the timeline in the dialog drives the playback.

in - an In CHOP named in gives the Animation Component a CHOP input which can be used to override playback. If no input is connected, playback is driven by the frame number on TouchDesigner's Timeline through the clock CHOP preceding in.

keyframe - a Keyframe CHOP named keyframe interprets the data stored in the Animation Component's Table DATs and converts it into time-sliced CHOP channels. The Input Units used to overide playback when using the input are set in this CHOP's parameters.

out1 - the Out CHOP named out1 provides a CHOP output for the component allowing easy access to the channels in other networks.



channels - this Table DAT holds the information that defines the animated channels. The list below describes each column:

  • name - the name of the channel
  • id - the channel id is used to look up the key data in the keys table.
  • left - the extend left conditions of the channel.
  • right - the extend right condition of the channel.
  • default -
  • keys - the name of the table holding the key data for the channel.
  • liner lineg lineb - the RGB colors used to display the channel in the Animation Editor.
  • picked - indicates if the channel is selected in the Animation Editor.
  • display - indicates if the channel is displayed in the Animation Editor.
  • template - indicates if the channel is in template mode in the Animation Editor.

keys - this DAT holds information about specific keys that have been set on the channels. The columns are described below:

  • id - this id associates the key with a particular channel. Look in the channels table for the id to see the channel's name.
  • x - position of the key on the x-axis (time by default).
  • y - position of the key on the y-axis (value by default)
  • inslope - the slope of the incoming tangent. Can be set separately from outslope if tangent is untied.
  • outslope - the slope of the outgoing tangent. Can be set separately from inslope if tangent is untied.
  • inaccel - the acceleration (weight) of the incoming tangent. Can be set separately from outaccel if tangent is untied.
  • outaccel - the acceleration (weight) of the outgoing tangent. Can be set separately from inaccel if tangent is untied.
  • expression - the function used to interpolate the curve segment following the key.

graph - this DAT holds information used by the Graph COMP which the Animation Editor is build around. These settings specify how the channels and keys are displayed. Each row is described below:

  • pickmode - sets the Pick Mode parameter of the Graph COMP.
  • hlength - sets Handle Length parameter which set how long the tangent handles are on the keys.
  • grid - sets the Grid parameter menu to display a small, medium, or large grid.
  • segments - toggles the display of curve segments.
  • slopes - toggles the display of tangents.
  • timemarks - not used
  • raw - not used
  • values - not used

attributes - this DAT holds information that the rest of the Animation Editor UI uses to set its timeline units and range.

See Also

Animation Editor

Keyframe CHOP