Efficient method for animating character on timeline

Hi all,

Looking for some guidance as I'm brand new to SL3. I'm developing a course that is pretty animation heavy with a couple of recurring illustrated characters that do things such as blink, wave, point, smile etc.

I originally thought about using Animate and importing mp4 files but thought it might be quickest/easiest to use the timeline in Storyline.

After experimenting I've come up with two methods, one being placing each character pose on it's own layer and hiding and showing the layers when necessary to imply the character is waving, smiling etc. This honestly makes a mess on the timeline once you have multiple layers.

2nd idea was to create states inside the main Character graphic and just name them Smile, Wave, Blink etc. Then place Cue Points on the timeline triggering the Character graphic to jump to specific states during the timeline.

Are either of these better options? Both bad ideas in the long run? Anyone with some experience or opinions on the subject would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Dave

5 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Dave,

Efficiency for these type of scenarios is always in the eye of the author. ūüėȬ†

Both would work - but it's about what's easiest for you to set up and keep track of. Here's another (a bit older) discussion with some ideas and a template linked that may help guide your thinking. 

David Breen

Thanks Ashley.

I did finally come up with a working solution after a couple failed attempts. In case anyone is interested here's what I encountered. 

I had to revert back to animating on the timeline because I was having huge glitching problems when I triggered the character to jump between states when I viewed the Published course. Same issue with the built in custom button states. To fix the button states from glitching I had to always have the image of the Normal State below the new image for the Down State or Hover State etc. Seems Storyline 3 has trouble hiding and showing/loading a new image smoothly.

Anyway, this worked for buttons but did not work for a character because if you left the Normal state always on bottom you could always see him behind the new State when his arms or legs moved. So I went back to animating on the timeline with layers. Same issue came up with the glitching between character positions though when the course was published.

Solution - Instead of lining the end of one layer up with the beginning of the new one, overlap them a quarter of a second on the timeline and put a Fade Exit Animation of 0.25s on each new layer.

It's not exactly ideal but it fixed my glitching issue for published courses and the animation doesn't look all that bad.

Hope this helps somebody. Cheers!

Chris Cole

Hi David -

Don't know if you have seen Richard Hill's Storyline project "HeroLand?"

 http://www.richardleehill.com/heroland/

I think somewhere is a discussion where he explained how he did some of the animations, but I don't remember where that discussion is, if it exists. But might be worth looking for?

Regards,

Chris

David Breen

Hi Ashley, with my company I'm not permitted to share the project I'm working on. I might be able to whip up a quick example of what I did though.

Thanks for the link Chris. That's pretty impressive. I'll have to take a look for some info on that. I'm curious what his process was like for animating.