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In this Thinking Penguin YouTube tutorial, we are shown the workflow for triggering the actions of a mesh matrix instances. The essential steps of this workflow are:

  1. Animate some mesh object, Orginal.Mesh.Object
  2. Export Orginal.Mesh.Object as .mdd
  3. Duplicate Orginal.Mesh.Object, creating Duplicate.Mesh.Object
  4. Apply Mesh Cache modifier to Duplicate.Mesh.Object, set file path to the .mdd you just exported
  5. Set Mesh Cache modifier Time Mapping from Scene to Custom
  6. Set start/end keyframes for Mesh Cache Evaluation Frame
  7. Use some kind of AN setup to instance Duplicate.Mesh.Object and control the actions of the instances (basic example pictured below)

Is there any way to automate some or all of these processes via a custom script? It's a very powerful node workflow but setting it up is tedious. enter image description here

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Your animations are already described parametrically so you needn't bake anything. Simply define a function that takes the time as input and outputs the required mesh. Then loop over your instances transformations and evaluate the function you created. A simple example would be as follows:

Node Tree

Which results:

Result

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