The tyBitmap texmap is a modified version of a default Bitmap texmap. The only difference is in the “Playback” settings of the “Timing” rollout, which contains new controls to sync bitmap sequences to user-defined particle UVW values. This allows you to control the start frame offset and playback rate on individual particles, when using animated bitmaps in your particle material.
The new “Playback” controls in a tyBitmap will work with any UVWs on any surface, not just the particles of a tyFlow object. So you can bake particles to a 3rd party geometry format of your choice, and as long as the UVW coordinates are saved, the tyBitmap animation synchronization will still work the same.
When syncing tyFlow particle data to a tyBitmap, don’t forget to set relevant operators to continuous timing mode, so they update over time properly. You can also use a Display Data operator to verify the UVW data in case you are not getting expected results.
Start Frame: the starting offset frame of the sequence.
Playback Rate: the rate at which frames will sequentially advance over time.
Sync Frames to UVW.x value: controls whether frame time is synchronized to the current time of the timeline, or the UVW.x value of the sampled point on the geometry’s surface.
A UVW.x value of 0 will tell the shader to sample from frame 0 of the sequence at that particular point on the surface. A UVW.x value of 15 (if channel units is set to frames) will tell the shader to sample from frame 15 of the sequence at that particular point on the surface. Thus, by saving each particle’s age to its local UVW map override within tyFlow, you can precisely control animation playback on each particle using this texmap.
Depending on the resolution and length of your bitmap sequence, enabling synchronization in the view can be very slow.
Make sure you choose a UVW channel that doesn’t contain normal geometry UVWs (used to display diffuse/bump/etc maps) when baking timing information into your particles within tyFlow. The UVW channel used to synchronize timing with tyBitmaps won’t contain proper UVWs required to actually sample the resulting images properly. For example, in most situations you would want to keep your unwrapped UVWs in channel 1, and your particle timing UVWs in channel 2.