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what about a local time management for each pane?

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I have a little idea since a few days about time management in CG softwares. for now, they all manage it the same way: it is global for everything in it. every node or operator depends on the same global time. And as houdini is pushing the limits, I would like to suggest a way to pushing it ever further. you will tell me if this may be a good thing to implement or not.

For now, in houdini, you can have many panes showing you different state of your scene, which is really powerful. But all those panes show your scene at the same time t defined by the playbar. what would be great would be to be able to define for those panes different times. So, if you are working on a time-dependent effect, you could adjust parameters of an operator and being able to see immediatly the effects on times t, t+1, t+2, t+n...without having to naviguate through time. So you could work faster with a more global view a your effect.

And if you are animating a character, you could have one pane with the time being played so that you could see your animation in real time, and a second pane were you could edit the pose of your character at a specific time, those changes being reflected in the first pane. This way you do not need to click play after a change in order to see your animation, as you can see it WHILE you are making these changes.

So I believe that being able to "override" the global time for any pane could allow for a more productive work, but I am really curious and need to know what you think about it

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We have been talking about this for years at Side Effects. To have a sense of multiple local times with a global time base within the package. It is possible but there are big issues in presenting this level of complexity.

How practical is this? The industry has a hard enough time coping with the existing talent. Layer on this level of complexity and I am sure animators will run screaming for the hills. It has to be presented in a very clear way. I can imagine a timeline view with clear indications as to what everything is doing. Lots of work here and I am not even getting to the houdini architecture issues.

As for senior Houdini users, this would be a blessing. Imagine being able to slow down the speed of your dynamics siimulation and increasing one character's playback rate different to other characters (or even animating this with an offset curve) and properly interacting with the dynamics solver.

CHOPs can abstract to this level but everything has to be pushed in there. All execpt for the dynamics solvers (particles, RBD, etc.).

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