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Time offset

Time Offset is a type of Time that can be be defined manually by entering a frame number or timecode, or by moving the layer block in the dope sheet.

To move a layer block defined by visibility keys, just click and drag it, which will change the value in the Retiming section of the layer:

In the dope sheet, the time offset value is displayed in frames, just next to the playhead when you click or move a block.

Connection to other parameters

It’s not possible to animate this parameter, but you can connect and share it. Therefore you can add a generator to it, even if some of them can produce results that cannot be fully controlled. When you play an animation, Autograph does a lot of optimizing based on each layer’s timing to speed up the calculation. If you add a Random generator on this Time offset, by setting its Varying parameter to Time, the layer offset will change randomly at each frame, heavily disrupting the engine.

At best, the layer will correctly be offset, but the block representing it in the dope sheet will not necessarily be updated, creating a mismatch between the timeline and the reality of the project visible in the viewer. The same is true for connections or shares aimed at parameters that evolve over time.

Despite these warnings, giving access to these generators allows you to connect the offset to a table, control it by a composition parameter, and many other possibilities. That’s why the Autograph team did not want to limit access to them.