Sliders in Storyline 2 are a simple and engaging way to add interactivity to your e-learning in new and exciting ways. At Ashorne Hill we had great fun, and the odd head-scratching moment, developing a technique that uses a slider to explore an interactive 3D environment. Hopefully this post and the accompanying video will shed some light on the process!
We wanted to create an interactive workshop scene. Key parts of the scene deliver feedback but are not all visible from a single viewpoint. We opted to create an immersive 3D environment in which the learner could move around to discover the clickable objects.
Creating the Graphics
Using graphics software we created a 3D model based on reference photos. We set up a virtual camera to point at the middle of the scene and animated to move around it from side to side. Scrubbing backward and forward through the frames of this animation creates the impression of moving around the scene and investigating it from different angles.
We wanted the motion around the scene to appear smooth and, after some testing, decided that 40 frames provided the right balance between the quality of the motion and time to render and set up.
For each frame in the animation, we rendered out several different images, the main color image of the scene, and transparent PNGs, which are used as hover states for the clickable objects.
Storyline 2 Setup
With the graphics created, we moved into Storyline 2. On the base layer, we set up the main color image with a state for each of the 40 animated frames (this was actually 41 states including 0, so the slider that controls them could have a center point (at position 20) – we used one of the frames twice!). We set the image in each state to the corresponding animation frame.
The hover states of the clickable objects were then set up in exactly the same way, with each clickable object having its own separate layer.
Next, we created a slider starting at 0, ending at 40, initial position 20, steps of 1 and set to update variable when dragged.
Then we moved on to triggers, creating one for each image to change its state based upon the slider moving (e.g. Change state of image to 1, when the slider moves, If SliderVariable is equal to 1.00) so that the image state with its animation frame and the slider variable match. This means that when the slider moves, it updates the image state and effectively scrubs through the frames of the animation.
With the main image and matching hover states set up and triggered by the slider, we needed a way to make the hover states appear when the learner moves his or her mouse over the relevant part of the scene. To do this, we created a layer with ‘tracking shapes’, one for each of the clickable objects, which also have a state for every frame in the animation and are controlled by the slider using triggers. For each frame of the animation, the tracking shapes were manually resized and repositioned to be over the top of the appropriate object in the scene.
The tracking shapes themselves are set to be 100% transparent and their layer is set to show when the timeline starts. A trigger on the tracking shape shows the corresponding hover state layer when the learner hovers their mouse over. The result is a hover state for every frame in the animation.
Finally, the hover state images were given triggers to show a feedback layer when they’re clicked.
As you can see, this technique centers on the use of states, which contain or relate to the frames of an animation and are controlled and synced together by one of the built-in slider objects in Storyline 2. Once you’ve got the concept, it’s really just a case of repetition.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below! Happy sliding!