I've been battling the particle system for over a week now without any success. A little context to what my issue is:
I'm using an instantiated collection(!) with 4 meshes in it as particles, each of them with shapekey animations. The problem is that all of them play at the same time. I'd like each particle to start it's own animation when it's emitted, and not based on the timeline.
Example: Let's say I modeled a piece of popcorn and have base shapekey as just the corn seed, and another shapekey as the actual popcorn itself. Now when I make a popcorn machine, I want each emitted popcorn to start as a seed when it's "emitted", and turn into an actual popcorn after however many frames after it's born. With the default particle system, all popcorn would pop at the exact same time, meaning some would be emitted already popped, which makes no sense.
So I obviously looked everywhere I could, looked at all the (frankly small number of) topics on this matter, like here, here, here, here, and even found a video tutorial which covers the exact same issue, but is unfortunately for an older version for both blender and AN, some nodes from AN are absent in the latest version, and doesn't work at all with collections as instantiated particles.
So I'm pretty much at a point of giving up, but if anyone miraculously somehow knows some solution to this issue, please by all means let me know your genius, as it seems like nobody knows a definite solution to this. Thanks!