LINK Topics - 1) Timeline

1) Timeline

What we’ve mostly understood by now is that different use-cases have different timeline or cueing needs. Can we identify recurring scenarios and work towards a modular set of nodes to build custom timelines quickly?

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I have been messing around with timelines and sequencers for quite some time now and have tried to bend what is currently available to my needs, so far without good success.

My use cases are:

  1. to record performances, so I can later offline render in higher quality than at the performance
  2. use the timeline as a composition tool, where I tweak the recorded curves, essentially just like controllers in Ableton live or the timeline in afterFX
  3. edit recorded performances.

this means that the requirements are:

A recorder
A time line editor, that can edit the time line
ideally, I could trigger a recording while editing. Meaning that I can drag keyframes around one moment, then enable record in the middle of that and record the tricky 10 seconds in the middle with a tactile controller and then continue editing both the freshly recorded part and also the following non-played part.
it also needs to be able to play back correctly in increment mode
Ideally it would work with audio as well.

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Parameter Matrix/patch bay

When I have a complex setup, I always find myself adding what feels like too much mess with some custom modules, that I think shouldn’t be necessary.

I think an easier way to assign parameters would be cool.

I am thinking a bit like Kontrolleur, but different.

Imagine that in the inspector for an IObox you could assign it to “the Matrix” and in the “Matrix editor” it would show up as a source or a destination depending on whether it was an input or an output.
(a cool feature would be a little “jump to subpatch” funktion, so from within the matrix, you can jump to where the parameter is going to or coming from)

When you have multiple of these sources and destinations, you could tick of how you wanted it to be routed, a bit like the Dante controller does it with audio streams.

This way you would have a simple way with a minimum of patching where you could expose and route parameters.

And making an OSC module that spits the selected parameters out over eg. OSC would be pretty simple to make from there.

This way you would not need to make any nodes to expose parameters, perhaps they could get a different color, like the inspector that made the IOboxes green as far as I recall.

It is a bit like @velcromes vvvv-message, but simpler to use, I find it too complex and I feel that this kind of functionality should be built in for the easiest use.

Stepsequencers should also be possible, but that shouldn’t be too complicated to do.

Time line events, start stop pause etc.
This way you can easier do more theatrical stuff.

Nested timelines

In the olden days I used dataton trax and you could trigger other timelines from within the the timeline

Cue Lists

I have made my own cue systems a couple of times, but having the option of having a list of cues, with next commands and such would be super nice.

One day I’ll finish my timeline GUI. It doesnt solve all your points, it records presets that you can sequence, and record into a timeline rather than parameters and curves, which is lighter weight than a chanbnel for every exposed parameter. I have patches with several hundered exposed parameters soan afx timeline, would be quite a lot of effort!

@catweasel nested folder channels would make the problem with hundreds of parameters smaller.

This is how the presets work per subpatch, but you can not snapshot all the channels for example but just 1 or 2, fade times being per parameter, with tween shape, rather than in the timeline, so you can recall them as cues and have the fade. Its more lighting desk like than timeline per se, but cues structure in a timeline. I have had nested timelines, and cueable timelines in there too, but they’re out until I’ve restructured the main thing. I’ve been saying I’ll release it in a month or 2 for the past couple of years unfortunatly, and then VL… Which has slowed down progress again, despite much help from Joreg

Kairos will be at LINK with all its problematics and solutions.


First session at LINK on Thursday (09.08.2018)

  • Discussing the different approaches and needs to timelines
    • lasal sharing his timeline experience in the form of VL CUE_Timeliner
      • Collaborative Editing in Timeline
      • Theater Cue System → Morphing between Snapshots/Presets for sets of paramters
      • Integrating MIDI
    • Natan broke his Kairos software, so no showcasing for today.
      • i.e. Kinect parameters driving interpolation
      • Dynamic Keyframes as shown on node
      • Defining interpolation per keyframe
      • Kairos Matrix: defining states for each show first
      • Terminology
        • Item being the main entity
        • Different ways of organizing items
          • Sampler1D (Track) for a single parameter, let’s say Gravity. “Sampler” being a view on Keyframes for Items with a position. Closest to classical timeline
            • Keyframe
              • Position (Time Position)
              • Item
                • Value
                • HasSource
                • Source ID
          • Switcher (Ableton Live Matrix)
            • Columns are Tracks
            • Cells are possible predefined states per Track
              • Index
              • Interpolation Duration
              • Item
          • Sequencer
          • Automata
    • People trying to agree on common terminology and data model, so we’re able to use the same wording for the future. To my understanding there’s no final agreement happening (Cues vs Presets vs Keyframes) …
    • “What features are you missing?” - a few people pointing out that we haven’t been talking about the most basic use cases like animating simple scenes in regular exhibits. What’s been discussed so far is rather a performative timeliner for driving live shows, allowing for flexibility and improvisation
      • We’ll collect use cases the next day and validate whether it’s possible to address all needs with the same solution (modular timeline patching nodeset that allows to extend your timeline environment to your liking) or if this will slow down future development. Joint forces vs. individual solutions.
    • Favorite metaphysical quotes:
      • gregsn: “What is time?”
      • Natan: “Time is just another dimension”
      • Natan: “I want to get rid of time”

Day 2

General concept

  • dottore : a timeline is only one of the many ways to interact with a data structure. We could also interact with the same data in a matrix view for instance. The model (data) and the timeline are two different things : the model exists on its own and the timeline “looks at it” and creates a Track for each of the model’s parameters.
  • tonfilm : It helps to think about where you want your data to go : start from a Split node and think about each output pin being a track. For each parameter there is a track.


- Name
    - Spread<Track>
        - Name
        - Spread<Keyframe>
            - Keyframe
                - Position
                - Interpolation_M
                    - Type (Function)
                    - In Handler
                    - Out Handler
                - Item
  • For each of the parameter in the model, a track is created
  • A track then contains keyframes, which would hold the value of its parameter at any given point and interpolation data (see above)
  • We can create presets containing (see preset structure) :
    • A snapshot of a precise moment in time
    • A portion of the whole timeline


- Name
- Spread<Parameter>
    - Parameter
        - Id
        - Spread<Clip>
            - Clip
                - Name
                - Spread<Keyframe>
                    - Keyframe
                        - Position
                        - Interpolation model
                        - Item
  • Clip : a clip would be a portion of a track, whether it’s a snapshot or a portion of time. A preset would then be a collection of all those clips (which in turn would contain keyframes)

Metaphysical quotes 2

Reality is not a timeline” - dottore
A keyframe is a portal to another dimension” - dottore


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