"Exit Animations" triggered by timeline

Is there a way to prevent a layer from hiding at the end of it's own timeline when using "Exit Animations"? When a user clicks on a button, a layer animates on. I want the layer to hide when the user clicks another button. But if I use exit animations, the layer will hide at the end of the 5 second timeline.

This is a design flaw. The slide should not hide based on the timeline unless the builder wanted it to happen that way!

Anyone know of a workaround to this other than just not using exit animations?

40 Replies
Phil Mayor

I am a little confused layers don't have exit animation only objects. If you ant to hide an object by pressing a button you cannot add an exit animation to it or it will exit at the end of its timeline, this is by design.

Alayer can set to either hide when its timeline ends or when you open another layer or via trigger

Meryem M


Let me see if I understand what you are trying to do.

  • You have a layer that appears with some animations. Those animations may be on the objects or through the slide/layer transitions.
  • You would also like some animation when the layer hides. But when you apply exit animations to the objects, you are left with a blank layer before the user clicks to close the layer.
  • And Storyline does not have a built-in exit layer transition. Layer's simply Hide with the built-in functionality.

Am I understanding you correctly?

If so, take a look at this story file. As usual there are many ways to accomplish something in Storyline.

I have a base layer with a button to show a layer. The objects on the layer have entrance animations. I did not apply a layer transition though I could have.

Now, here is the trick: To get an exit animation on the layer, I accomplished that by duplicating the layer and removing the entrance animations on the objects on the duplicate layer.. The duplicate layer has a timeline of less than a second. Every object on the duplicate layer has an exit animation that occurs before that second elapses. The duplicate layer hides when the timeline ends.

What the user sees:

  1. Click on the button to show the layer.
  2. Layer animates on.
  3. Click the button to hide the layer.
  4. Layer animates off.

What actually happens:

  1. Click the button to show the layer.
  2. Layer 1 animates on.
  3. Click the button to hide the layer.
  4. Layer 1-Copy shows; Layer 1 hides.
  5. Layer 1-Copy immediately has all objects animate off.
  6. Layer 1-Copy hides.
Greg Faust

I've encountered this problem, too. It's a problem with object animations and the end of a layer timeline-- but it doesn't matter whether it's the base layer or another layer.

Here's how it SHOULD be:

  • Setting an object entrance animation indicates that if the object ever goes from a Hidden state to a non-Hidden state, then it appears via the indicated animation.
  • Setting an object exit animation indicates that if the object ever goes from a non-Hidden state to a Hidden state, then it disappears via the indicated animation.

How it ACTUALLY works is similar to the above, PLUS:

  • having an entrance animation overrides "Show Always"
  • having an exit animation overrides "Show Always" and "Show Until End"

("Show Always" and "Show Until End" can be found by right-clicking an object's timeline).

I believe Phil when he says this is by design; I suspected the override was put there deliberately. I'd be curious to know why it was put there. It saves someone a step if they wanted stuff to fade out at the end of the timeline, but it dramatically increases the number of steps required when anyone wants to bypass the override.

Mark Avellino

Thanks for all your help so far. Meryem seems to understand what I want. I had a coworker tell me about this same solution. Unfortunately, I'm not willing to do that, because between all my slides and the multiple layers I have, I'd have to duplicate at least 50 layers. In the end, it wouldn't be worth the effort.

I've attached a concept for other people to see. You click on one button to show the objects in a layer, and when the user is done, they click a second button to hide the objects on the layer. (Sorry Phil, I misspoke earlier about animating a "layer"). I can get the objects on the layer to animate on, but I can't get them to animate off (triggered from a user interaction).

Hope it makes sense this time.


Greg Faust

Kevin Richard said:


I tried switching all the objects on one of my layers to "Always Show", but with an exit animation set, it still animates the objects off at the end of the timeline, not when the user click them. :( Thanks for the idea though.

Yes. That's my point-- exit animations cause Storyline to ignore "Show Until End" and "Show Always". In my own experience, this feature does more harm than good.

James Spell

I am having issues where exit animations on objects are triggered by the timeline ending, not when the user clicks the next button.  The objects are set to "show until end," but this usually means the items exit before the button is pressed.  

Work-arounds can be created with layers, but that is a cumbersome solution to something that probably has a simple answer.  Am I just missing something?

This is in Articulate 1 and 2.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi James, 

There is not a way to cause the exit animation to be triggered - it's based on when the object is exiting the slide. So for example, if you had the object set to "show until end" and had an exit animation applied - but you clicked the next button before the slide's timeline ended, you wouldn't see the animation. 

If you want to use exit animations, they'll either need to have the objects leave before they click next or allow the slides to advance automatically based on the timeline ending instead of the user clicking next. 

James Spell

Hiding at the end of the timeline is the problem.

The work-around I found for this is putting the object on one layer and duplicating it to a second layer, which is only 1sec long.  This second object is what gets the exit animation, and this layer is only shown when the user clicks the next button; the slide advances after that layer's timeline ends.

It's not hard to do, but it is cumbersome, and having to duplicate all of the objects makes it very bloated for file size.

Andrea Seaton

Hi there, does anyone know if there is an "On Slide Exit" trigger? I am trying to play a chime when the user jumps to another slide using the next button or some other button. I dont want the chime to play "when timeline begins" just when they jump to another slide.

The trigger "timeline ends" doesnt work for me or I cant seem to figure out how to get it to work.



Andrea Seaton

Hi James, thanks for the suggestion. It worked okay as a workaround.

What i really wanted to do was to put the chime in the "Correct" layer and have it chime when the user clicks "Continue" but for some reason when I do it that way in the "correct" layer, it will not work at all.

I just realized something that Ashley wrote below that i need to ensure that the trigger appears before the trigger that will advance off the slide. I had no idea that it mattered where the triggers appear in the "Triggers" pane. I will have to pay more attention.

Thanks James

Wendy Farmer

Hi Andrea

it's the order within each category (object, slide, player) depending on what you need to do that is important.  SL will put the triggers for each category in alphabetical order of the object name you are attaching it to.  I think it goes Slide, Object then Player (if you are using default player) if using custom buttons you'll won't normally have player triggers.