Is there an Equivalent to Tlme Ipo in Blender 2.6 (F-Curves or other method) ?

Is there an Equivalent to Tlme Ipo in Blender 2.6 (F-Curves or other method) ?

Hi, I am making self animated characters with shapekeys.

Charaters are simple objects with shapekeys and Delta LocX animation.

I would like to adjust the speed of all parameters of the animation simultaneously by a single curve or slider, like the Time Ipo Curve applied to the character object like in Blender 2.49, but I don’t know how it is done in 2.6x. In 2.49, all available Ipo channels were displayed in the Ipo window, but in 2.6x, there is nothing in the F-curve pannel until you create a curve… but where do I find the time parameter to be keyframed ?

I tried the NLA, but it seems to be destructive : once converted into Action strips, the F-curves and Shape keyframes seem to no longer exist. Iam searching a way to act on the time of all F-curves inside and object, or better, a group of objects.

I don’t think there is the equivalent of the Time Ipo in 2.6. Have you tried the dope sheet; you can scale and move all or selected key frames on all or selected objects.

@AlanK : Yes, selecting all keyframes and rescaling in the Dope Sheet is the current method that I use for my system, but as my collection of characters for crowd animation is intended to be released under CC license, I am looking for the simplest way of doing things for the final user. I would like to use a simple slider or moving a simple dot of a F-Curve. This would also avoid the user breaking the animation because he would have forgotten to select a key somewhere.

Added to that, an Time F-Curve would allow to modulate the speed of characters all along their trajectory !

One more great advantage of a Time F-Curve would be that using a Driver and a noise modifier or similar method, would allow all duplicated characters to have automaticaly a different walk pace.

This useful feature seems to be missing…

Actually, the solution is the NLA. Once you’ve got a strip in the NLA, you can animate the times at which it gets evaluated by animating the strip time. From the NLA Editor Properties Region (with a strip selected)

  1. find the “Evaluation” panel
  2. enable the “Animated Time” checkbox
  3. start inserting keyframes on the “Strip Time” property to control how that strip gets played back

In your case, it’s fortunately possible to get things bundled up so that both the Delta Loc and Shapekey animation can be bundled into a single action. With a bit of work (via scripts), it’s possible to set up F-Curves belonging on the Object level (i.e. where delta loc lives) which also cover the shapekeys (i.e. for all the shapekey F-Curves, you’d need to add “data.shape_keys.” to the start of each F-Curve used at the Object level). Hopefully this gives you enough hints to start poking around to find a solution here.

Now, since you’re making this as part of an easy-to-use kit, you might also consider scripting up some accessory tools to set up these relevant NLA parts which expose up the relevant time parameter from the NLA strip somewhere easy to access. Unfortunately, drivers are not possible here given various evaluation order things.

@Aligorith : I will try again with NLA.

About the NLA, I had left it for two reasons (I may be wrong though) : One is that once NLA is created, it appears that you can’t go backward if required : F-Curves are no more present.

The second reason is that NLA is made to built a chronological animation, and infinitely cycling animations can’t be possible. Except by making a fake infinite animation by typing a high number in the EndFrame of the Action Extents field.

Scripting is not my cup of tea : I’m totallly hopeless at coding.
I have set two separate systems :

The simple one : The character can walk in straight line on flat terrain : The Delta Loc and the shape keys are on the same object.

The more complicated one : The character is paranted to reference object that follows a curve. The character has shape keys, and the Delta Loc is on the reference object.

It is the most interesting feature, but I don’t think that one single parameter can drive the values belonging to two different objects.

If you want to edit the original keyframes, you must explicitly open the relevant strip’s action for editing (“tweaking”) by pressing TAB in the NLA Editor (pressing TAB again exits tweakmode, for normal editing). This lets you edit the keyframes for that action only. (Note that this will temporarily disable the time editing in this case, since only NLA Tracks below the track containing the strip being edited will be played back while in tweak-mode, to support animation layering workflows).

Even using TweakMode, Shape keys no longer appear in the ShapeKey editor. So except if I still miss something, the NLA seems to be destructive in some areas.