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Problem with File: Range Override, Still image

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Hey all,

Any compositing wizards in the house? We were curious if any of you have a possible work around for the following problem that does not involve using the take system.
(or leaving all nodes unlocked)

Currently trying to updating some of our pipeline in compositing, but I seem to be running in all kinds of issues regarding Houdini's "Hardcoded-ness" in regards to $F
Our file structure follows a 2d structure (filename_X_Y) rather than linear (filename_$F) and I get the feeling Houdini really dislikes that. (at least in the compositing context)

So on the top level (from the SOP context) we have some logic to remap a linear number into this 2d structure (see tiles image), which works fine when this iteration number is set by hand.
For reference, this 2d structure can be placed anywhere in our tile space, and can be a sparse set of tiles.
But replacing this iteration number by "$F" seems to break a lot of stuff, as if Houdini suddenly engages all kinds of safety mechanisms that are in to way relevant to what we are trying to do.

One of the things that breaks are all the switch nodes (they check if the input files exist and load a backup image if not, see image below) so to work around this I need to match all resolutions, file formats and file ranges apparently.
But setting the file as a still image also doesn't work when the filename is indirectly built using $F.

And manually setting the frame ranges also doesn't seem to work as we are not inputting a "true sequence" of files, again because of the 2d structure we are using.
So it will report most things as empty frames, or it loads the wrong files altogether.


Did any of you try anything similar? Did you run into the same problems and if so was there any work around you could use?

Thanks a lot!




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