I find that Articulate Storyline 360's animation features give me a lot of flexibility for adding movement and interactivity to my projects, but one of my favorite animation effects uses a feature that tends to get overlooked: Zoom Region.

Using a zoom region gives your learners a close-up view of a specific area of your slide at any point on the timeline. Using the zoom region feature is a quick and easy way to draw attention to key content—characters, text, or images—and, when they're stacked together, a fun way to add some cinematic flair to otherwise static slides.

Adding a zoom region is super simple.

Insert a Zoom RegionOn the Insert menu, select Zoom Region.

Insert Zoom

Then, drag your mouse over the area of your slide you want to emphasize.

Once you’ve added all of the zoom regions you need, it’s time to introduce some drama. Here are four cool effects you can achieve just by manipulating the length and placement of zoom regions on the timeline.

Zoom In

Want to focus on a specific element on your slide?

Zoom InInsert a zoom region and drag it to the point on your timeline that you want the zoom effect to appear.

This can be a great way to emphasize key information in time with audio narration.

Zoom Out

One of the coolest movie effects you can create with Zoom Region is a close-up shot that pulls back to reveal the bigger setting or context for the object in the frame. This effect is a great way to communicate scale. For example, science fiction films open a scene by showing you a close-up of one spaceship and then pulling back the camera so you can see the entire fleet of spaceships.

Zoom OutTo achieve this effect, place a Zoom Region at the beginning of the timeline so the opening shot is a close-up that zooms out to reveal the bigger picture.

Pro Tip: You can adjust the length of time the zoom effect occurs just by extending or shortening the zoom region on the timeline. 

Pan and Zoom

Want to emphasize multiple objects with the fluid effect of a camera panning across the slide?

Pan and ZoomInsert zoom regions next to each other on the timeline. This creates a panning effect that seamlessly shifts from one area of focus to the next.

Pan and Zoom with Captions

Want to mimic a conversation between characters but all you have is a set of static stock photos? Let zoom regions do the heavy lifting for you! Here’s how…

Pan and Zoom with CalloutsInsert the number of zoom regions you need and position them on the timeline. Then, add captions with text to your slide and align them to the zoom regions on the timeline. Voilà! An engaging cinematic effect using static images.

Want to see these effects in action? Here’s a quick example I put together that will help you visualize how these movie-inspired effects work in practice. 

What are your favorite tips or tricks for applying special effects to your Storyline projects? Tell me about them by leaving a comment below.

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