I can't get a handle on state changes

I'm a long time Studio user, but new to Storyline, so nothing is yet intuitive. I want to do something I assume MUST be possible, but cannot figure out how.

I have a character on a timeline with a narration.
I want the character's state to change several times during that narration without any input from the user.
I assumed that I could just trigger a state change by putting a "mark" on the timeline, but can't. The only timeline triggers seem to be "Timeline Starts" and "Timeline Stops". I thought adding "Cue Points" might do the trick, but I can't find a way to make that work.
When - Variable Changes seems as if it might have possibilities, but so far all the ways I can see to change a variable require user input.

I figure this must be so simple and obvious that I can't see it.

Help will be appreciated.

JP

6 Replies
Steve Flowers

Hi Jeff,

The only way I've found to do this is by using offstage "dummy objects" with triggers for timeline start and/or timeline end.  I create a series of small squares or circles (sometimes with labels) and space these to sync with the start times of my state changes. I've even used both the start and end of the timeline to make an object glow for a short period of time.

Steve Flowers

If I don't have a ton of different graphics and there aren't repeat behaviors, I'd just use graphics on the stage instead of states. If I have objects that are repeating state change, I'd use states. Depends on a few factors / preference.

In the example described above, I had a couple of characters that were highlighted as they were speaking. Using an off-stage object that turned on the glow at timeline start and turned it off at timeline end was handy. I just needed to copy this one object to turn the glow on / off for a shape. 

Jeff ("JP") Redman

OK.
Thanks to all of you who responded.
The net result here is that the function I assumed must exist does not, which means I can stop trying to figure out where it is and how to make it work. That is a big step forward for me.

Thank you, Rebecca, for the tutorial. Having a concrete example of how offstage shapes are used to trigger events will be great.

I appreciate all your efforts and will now apply myself to becoming as conversant with Storyline as I can.

Thanks, JP