Automatically Apply Image Sequences Based on Hierarchical Variables

Good day, programmers!

I animate virtual choir projects and expect to execute a project coming up that will make use of millions of images from hundreds of image sequences. (Most recent Blender project from my channel: “Somewhere” - The Yale Spizzwinks(?) Virtual Choir) I’m looking for a way to automate file selection for image sequence shader nodes so that I only have to set up UV’s once, not 500 times. I want to be able to make one shader node tree that applies to all respective objects, automatically generating a unique [relative] file path dependent on each object’s location in a collection tree. Consider this a ‘dynamic shader’ based on object-hierarchical variables.

Here’s an example collection tree with expected file names:

  • Master
    • Stage
      • Screens
        • Choir A
          • Row 1
            • A1 (…\Screens\Choir A\Row 1\A1\****.jpg)
            • A2 (…\Screens\Choir A\Row 1\A2\****.jpg)

An acceptable method would be to reference the series of the object’s parents with a node containing a numerical value selector starting at “0” (root folder), the value determining how many hierarchical levels to go up before stopping and spelling out a file path.

For example, if the value was “1”, the location would be (…\A1\****.jpg).

If the value was “3”, it would be (…\Choir A\Row 1\A1\****.jpg). The folder names in the file path would change depending on the object and its parents in the tree.

==========

For part II of the custom node, here is another example of the above but with two levels in the hierarchy that require skipping.

  • Master
    • Stage
      • Screens
        • Choir A
          • Row 1
            • Frame Assembly
              • Display Panel
                • A2 (…\Screens\Choir A\Row 1\A2\****.jpg)

To accomplish this, the node would generate a series of checkboxes the user can check for skipping. So to accomplish the file path above, you would set the ‘hierarchy levels’ value to 6. Six checkboxes would appear, and you would select skip on levels 2 and 3 to exclude ‘Display Panel’ and ‘Frame Assembly’ from the generated file path.

The ability to bake in file paths permanently before exporting for render could be a plus, as scripts may not be allowed on a render farm, but not required at this time. However, if it can be done, I’d like to know if it’s an option.

I prefer this to be an easy-to-use node, not a script I have to modify. I’d like to see this complete by early- to mid-March at the latest.

I figure a good programmer familiar with Blender could work this out in about a day or so, so I’m offering up to $250 at the moment, but feel free to prove me wrong or make a case and I’ll happily increase the payout. This amount is negotiable and I can pay immediately. Additionally, I’ll be happy to put you into any credits in my projects as a software engineer (or another preferred title of your choice), in addition to payment. If I like your work, future paid jobs may be requested of you, first priority. US residence (or similar time zones) are a plus, but not required. It’d just be nice to call on you if needed during business hours.

I’m more than happy to further discuss through zoom, skype, etc.


Happy coding!
Scott Haines, 3D Animator and Sound Engineer

2 Likes