it just came into my mind (see this if you wanna know how:
when using a particle emitter or any object using dupliverts, it would be fine to add random speed/time offset to the dupliverted objects.
example: a flock of birds. just make one bird, animate one wing-flap-cycle. parent it to a particle emitter. in the particle settings press some buttons to activate the random offset and the maximum ange of the offset - voila. this could be extended for random rotation/scale etc.. a whole new effects-world.
now, with regular particles (and probably dupliverted particles) you can use the 8th texture channel of the emitter to modify the path the particles take in interesting ways
maybe I'll put out a simple .blend soon, but until then look for the snow tutorial on the old blender site...
i know, @ndy told me (that's how he faked secondary motion of the hairs in his cool snowman-ani). but this is not what i mean.
what i mean is, if the child object of the emitter/duplivert-object has an animation, be it RVK's ,any type of transform or bone/lattice deformation, we should have an option to add random time/speed offsets for that animation. this would especially be useful for swarms of objects (asteroids, birds, bees etc.) to make them look "natural".
right now, we need multiple emitters at the same place, where each has a child with a slight timing offset. (there's a bird-flock demo somewhere).
O yes please.... that would be great! I've been waiting for that for ages.
Agree, this would really be useful. It would be useful also for random scaling and rotating the dupliverted objects.
What would also be very useful, along the same lines, is if the dupliverting cycled
children objects rather than placing a copy of each at every vert. (Could happen randomly, in sequence etc)