Custom Motion Path

May 24, 2011

Articulate is new to me, and I cant get a custom motion path to work in presenter, it works fine in PPT 2007 but when I publish/preview it in Articulate the motion path does not happen.

14 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Hi Marie, and welcome to Heroes!  Motion paths should work for you when you publish... what is the "Start" behavior you've assigned to it in the PowerPoint animation pane? If it's set to start "On Click" and you haven't otherwise sync'd it via Articulate Presenter, the animation may be delayed by a default number of seconds (usually 5 seconds, unless you've changed it via Articulate > Presentation Options > Publish > "On mouse click animations without set timings display after __ seconds.")

What happens if you change the Start behavior to "With previous"?

Any chance you could attach your PPT file here so we could take a look?

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Marie, thanks for posting the file.

Is it the down arrow movement that you're having trouble with in the first slide? When I preview that slide, I'm seeing the green arrow move downward and then slide to the right, and then the red arrow fades in and moves to the table. If the timing isn't what you expect, one cause of that might be that the motion paths' effect options currently have Smooth Start and Smooth End timings assigned to them, and these are not preserved when the animations publish to Flash. I'd suggest removing the Smoothing from the effect options and see if the timing is closer to what you want.

The other thing I noticed is that you've got quite a few animations to manage in the PowerPoint timeline on that first slide. Are you wanting to sync the animations to some audio that you are recording or importing in Presenter? If so, what you might find much easier is to sync the animations in Presenter instead. That approach is a little bit different than tweaking all the timings in PowerPoint... instead of controlling the animation timings via the PowerPoint timeline, you just use a Start setting of "On Click" for each animation you want to sync, and then use the Sync Animation tool to tell Presenter when you want each animation to occur.

What kind of behavior are you wanting for the motion path in the second slide? That one also has a Smooth End timing associated with it, which might be messing up the timings when you preview/publish. Also, since the motion path is set to start On Click, Presenter is probably applying a delay when you preview or publish. The length of the delay comes from the setting in  Articulate > Presentation Options > Publish > "On mouse click animations without set timings display after __ seconds."

Marie Romani


Thanks for your answer.

Actually, the problem I have is that the motion paths of the green and red arrow do not happen at all when I preview or publish the pages in presenter. It works exactly the way I want in the PPT slide show, but the arrows do not move at all when previewed/published.

The same thing for page 2, the picture does not slide in at all, not even after 5 sec.

I will try the synch in presenter function, however when looking at the tutorial it seemed a little bit difficult to get the timing right when having many animations happening at the same time. I dont think it will solve my problem with the motion path but  will certainly give it a go later on though.

Dwayne Schamp

i downloaded and published your pptx file and the animations did occur as they are scripted to. 19.3 - green arrow show and move down then right. red arrow showed and moved up to table on right after green arrow is removed.

I, like you, use the animation window to synch my audio and animations as I have always had issues with the SynchAnimation tool crashing out more often than not, which causes the file to become corrupt. Also allows me to combine animations to achieve some rather cool effects.

Have you tried to create the arrow animations on a new slide as standalone objects, then copy and paste them onto the slide you need them on?

Curtis Kynerd

I don't know whether I should let this be a new forum or not.  My motion path issue is that on some slides the motion path does not move as I set it up.  For example, on one slide I have two motion paths where I use a faded zoom in conjunction with a motion path to cause a section of the object to momentarily zoom out larger and move (via motion path) to the center of the slide,  then later zoom back to the original size and position (with another faded zoom and motion path).  I do this on two separate objects on the slide.  The first object zooms out and back, and moves back and forth correctly.  However, the second one moves all the way to the edge of the slide (rather than stopping in the center).  I submitted a case on this and have had some feedback.  initially, I was told to copy/paste the motion path to a new presentation and see if it works there.  I did that and it did successfully work.  So, I copy/pasted it back to the existing presentation, but it failed to work there.  The second recommendation was to follow the instructions below:

The advice suggests that there is a know issue if multiple animations are applied to the same object if the following is true:

  • the animations are configured to occur simultaneously (With previous) or immediately after one another (After previous)
  • one of the animations is a motion path. 

The work around suggested was to create a .1 second delay on the second animation. 

This has not solved the problem either.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  Has anyone else faced a similar problem and successfully solved the issue?  I hope the situation is described clearly enough to understand.  Thanks for any help available. 

Brian Batt

Hi Curtis,

I apologize for the issues that you're having.  I would suggest you submit a case by following the steps below.

Please create an Articulate Presenter package, then upload the zip file to our server. You can review how to do this here: 

Send to Articulate Presenter Package – Articulate Presenter ’09 Help

Upload the resulting zip file from your computer to our server using this upload form: 

Articulate Support - Upload Your Files for Review 

Please be sure to include a description of your issue, your version of PowerPoint, version of Windows and version of Presenter '09 which you can find in Help and Support -> About Articulate Presenter. Please also include the URL for this thread so we can follow up with you in the forums.

Curtis Kynerd

Thanks, I did get that one resolved.  I have a new issue now.  I suspect that it might be related to motion paths but I am not sure.  Here is my issue.  On slide 1 I have some motion paths assigned along with some other animations.  I have copied this slide and then removed the animations and motion paths that were assigned to the objects from slide 1.  On this copied slide (slide 2) I have added other objects and created animations for them.  In previewing the two slides, I noticed that some of the objects copied from slide 1 do not reside in the same location as they did on slide 1.  However, when viewing the slides individually, the objects show as located in the same position.  What causes this? 

Second question:  Is there a way to determine the end position of a motion path without trial and error guessing.  I want to use the ending position of a motion path as the starting position on slide 2.  How can I do that more efficiently?

Jeanette Brooks

Hey Curtis - not sure what's causing your objects to shift, but sometimes this happens accidentally when moving other objects around... also sometimes it does seem like PowerPoint's paste option doesn't paste stuff in exactly the same spot when you're copying objects from one slide to another. In any case, when you select an object in PowerPoint, you can see (and edit) its exact size and position by right-clicking, choose Size and Position, and then click the Position option on the left edge of the window. That way you can make sure that the slide 1 & slide 2 objects have the same positions.

Regarding the motion path question. Have you seen this blog post from Tom? It contains a link to a free tool you can use to make sure that the end point of one motion path lines up with the start point of another.

Jeanette Brooks

Hey John, are you using Articulate Presenter? If so, yes, Presenter does support custom motion paths that you apply in PowerPoint. Here's a quick example of a custom motion path being added in PowerPoint & previewed in Preseneter: 

If you're instead using Articulate Storyline, right now motion paths that you apply in PowerPoint aren't supported in Storyline. Feature requests are welcome though. In the meantime, you could perhaps use this approach

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