Whats it for? – Time input node.
The time input node is one of Blenders least known nodes, seriously, other than the brief description in the Blender manual a Google search brings up nothing about this node! which is a bit odd because it is an incredibly powerful tool, so whats it for?
Whats it for??- Time input node.
As we can see by the grey connector, This node is a value node and it allows for generating a change in values over a period of time. the node consists of a curve input and an adjustable frame range. and thats it! so lets break it down.
The Curve represents your action over time. From the bottom to the top is the change in value, the Value is ranged from zero to one, and from left to right is the progress of the change over time which is measured in frames.
As you can see from the above curve for the first quarter of the animation the value increases, then stays constant for half the animation, then finally proceeds to finish in the last quarter of the animation.
The X-Y values.
These values simply represent the point on the grid for each curve point. you wont use this so often, but it is useful if you need to make small adjustments to the position of the curve.
The final values are the start and end values, this is the frame range on your timeline that you want the effect to take place. you will need to consider your projects frame rate when deciding on your animation leantgh. If you wanted a 2 second animation you would you would multiply the framerate by the number of seconds so if you had a 24fps animation, 2 seconds would be 48 frames
like wise 30fps would be 60 frames.
so, to run your animation, lets say fro example you wanted to transition between two videos, our transition is going to be 3 seconds at 29fps. also we want our transition to be a flickering effect, rapidly changing between the two clips until the end of the transition. so with the curve we create the flicker, setting the curve to rapidly switch between clips and from the start of the transition, we add 87 frames (3 x 29fps=87 frames) for the end point. and then just render it.
as you can see, this is a simple way of creating animated changes in your clips, without having to get messy keyframes all over your nodes. of course you will still need keyframes, the time node doesnt cover every situation, but you can reduce your work load by using the time node where possible and saving keyframes for the rest of your project!