Changing a characters expression on a timeline

Here's my situation: I have a slide with a character and I want to synch the characters expressions to a narration. What's the best way to synch the characters pose/expression/perspective on a single slide/timeline? Do I need to use multiple slides to do this? Do I use mutiple "instances" of the character on the timeline synched to cue points?

Thanks in advance for suggestions

Lou

23 Replies
Katie Venit

what's the advantage to doing it this way, vs simply inserting the poses as separate images and then simply having them come in and out of the slide based on the timing of the narration? (meaning, set the end point of the first pose to be at the same time as the start point for the second pose, and so on)

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Excellent, Joyce!

Kathie, that's a fair question. One of the things I like is that you don't have to worry about the character's position. When you copy/paste it, Storyline, like PowerPoint offsets it a bit, presumably so you can see that the paste took and so you can grab the pasted object easier. Then you need to go into the size/position settings of the initial object, note the position down, click on the pasted object(s), and modify their positions.

But I wonder if there are other advantages. I hope others weigh in.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Welcome to the community, John.

Just an FYI  for you and others that if you're using Storyline 2, you don't need offstage shapes. Articulate have added functionality so you can link state changes to the timeline. See the screenshot:

  • Change the state of an object when the timeline reaches a specific time - or -
  • Change the state of an object when the timeline reaches a cue point you've set on the timeline

Guess maybe I should add an instructional video for SL2, eh? Remind me

And tx again for posting.

Gerry Wasiluk

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro said:

Excellent, Joyce!

Kathie, that's a fair question. One of the things I like is that you don't have to worry about the character's position. When you copy/paste it, Storyline, like PowerPoint offsets it a bit, presumably so you can see that the paste took and so you can grab the pasted object easier. Then you need to go into the size/position settings of the initial object, note the position down, click on the pasted object(s), and modify their positions.

But I wonder if there are other advantages. I hope others weigh in.


Hi, Rebecca! 

Unfortunately, depending on what pose you pick, and what effect you want, you sometimes have to worry about the characters position in a state when you add new states to suggest movement.  Most of the time you are fine but you still should always check things. 

Occasionally for a character state, especially when I want them in roughly the same position, or the movement to be somewhat more natural, or a pose may be somewhat larger or smaller than others, I've had to nudge things or even expand/contract the image for the state to be sure things look somewhat natural.

Also, if you have too many characters and states on a slide or layer, the slide or layer can really slow down and become almost unresponsive.  I've got a layer in a course with six characters on it, each with two states each.  If I click on a character, it takes 4-8 seconds before the object gets focus.  Not good.

I do think using states is the usually way to go.  Katie's method also works but is harder to line up sometimes as you mentioned, but you have the advantage of being able to do more animation effects.  And sometimes, in Storyline 2, when using multiple motion paths for a character, it's often better to use multiple characters, though lining things up is even a bigger pain.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Gerry, tx for answering. Did you realize that Kathie originally asked, and I replied to, that question TWO years ago? October 2012!

Absolutely valid points regarding the character pose impacting the fluidity of the animation. I've run into the same issues and am so glad to have you corroborate here (I'm always running the "I must be doing something wrong" mantra in my head ;().

Tx, too, for letting us know how the number of states and characters can have an effect on SL's responsiveness.

And motion paths are a great addition to the "world of movement" for Storyline 2.

Tx for posting!

Coniqua  Abdul-Malik

Awesome thanks. So glad I scrolled I'm using SL2 and I'm happy that I don't have to go through the adding shapes off stage process. I did try changing states set to the timeline, but maybe it goes off the timeline for the object, and not the "slides timeline"? I'm not sure since the object started at the beginning of the slide. I'll have to play with it. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Coniqua, 

Rebecca doesn't seem to make it back into the forums as often, and this thread is a bit older, so I'd be curious if you could share a bit more information on what you've set up? The objects automatically begin at the slide's timeline, but you can adjust their timeline just by dragging the objects to the left or right within the timeline. 

Adam Korth

Hi All,

I'm having an issue with character states changing along the timeline in Storyline 360. For the first half of the project I am working on, the characters behaved just fine on the timeline, but in the second half of the project, they aren't changing at all. Any thoughts on what might be happening?

Anna Barsk Holmbom

I know it has been a few years since you wrote that answer but I can´t find a newer one so I add my question here. I try to use what you describe but it doesn´t show when I play the scene. I have chosen illustraded characters. I show them on the timeline to the end. And then I try to change state of the character when the timeline reaches a certain cuepoint. Is there anything I miss?