Can I Stagger the Starting Potitions for Multiple Objects on a "Single" Sqaure/Retangular Motion Path

I am trying to animate a series of dots to rotate around a square pattern to show current flow in an electrical circuit.  I am finding that I cannot stagger the starting positions for each dot.  Although in the design view they can be spaced evenly around the rectangle representing the circuit, once I preview, they of course all start form the upper left corner.  I created a rectangular motion path for each dot, but I need them to travel around the same rectangle (the simple electrical circuit).  I have even tried grouping the objects, but of course that would not look right, and they would not travel inline, one after the other.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.  I have tried a bunch of different things and just cannot get it to work.  I've included my SL360 file showing only 3 of the many dots required (used only a few for testing) along with a PowerPoint file showing all of the dots around the circuit. On the PowerPoint slide I also have a gif that I found, which shows what I am actually trying to do.  I could use the gif, but that would be no fun now...and I would have to change some other things and edit it.  I'd really like to figure out how to do this in SL360 if possible.

4 Replies
Walt Hamilton

You have 2 basic options:

1. Have each electron come out of the battery and travel around the circuit. That allows you to create 1 and duplicate it. Write a trigger for it to move on the motion path when the motion path completes. Set the original state to hidden, and have them appear at regular intervals on the timeline.

2. If you have to have all of them showing, at the beginning, and begin moving together. you are going to have to draw a free form path for each individually.  You can't reuse the path, because one starts moving down, moves a certain number of pixels, and turns. The path is defined by direction moved, and distance moved, and they all start at the origin of their path, which means they all start in the same spot, or have unique paths.

Sorry, but that's why we get paid the big bucks.

Michael Anselmo

Thank you Walt.  I was able to use your option 1.  It works great!  Strange, I clicked reply and wrote a response, but it never showed up on the post.  I did think of trying option 2 before I posted for help, but figured I wouldn't be able to reproduce the free form paths that well, although maybe the random movement is more realistic?   Thank you again!

Michael Anselmo

Thank you as well Michael.  It was helpful to see an example.  I was able to do it much more quickly that I thought with the number of "dots" and the timing to make it look even and flow nicely.  I put them in a new layer so I could trigger it separately without having to hide and unhide them.  Thanks again!