Pipeline Flow Animation

Jan 30, 2019

I have been trying different methods to show animated pipeline flow for a fluid system.  the best method I found was to use the "wipe" animation on a line.  I attached a demo of my attempt at showing flow through the pipes.  Are there better methods to animate this flow in Storyline?

Thanks, Vic

6 Replies
Gai Tuz

Hi Victor,

I looked at the file and I must say what you did looks like the most practical and best way to animate fluid flow with the media/graphic assets available on your slide. If you are intending to work on a heavier animation which would include many individual objects to demonstrate movement or motion, but with more control on which goes to where, you can use "Add Motion Path" and choose to draw either a curve, scribble, or freeform line of path instead. Cheers!

Steve Flowers

The wipe animation is good for signal and fluid flows. I used to do electronic flows in PPT using this method back in the 90's. Worked really really well. Did so much of it that I setup macros to make it easier to build the animations. You might be able to do something similar for your setup. Off to the side of your diagram, off the stage, you could setup vertical and horizontal lines with the animations setup on those lines. Wipe up, wipe down, wipe left, wipe right. 

This would give you some targets from which you could choose for the animation painter. Picking those items, then the animation painter (could even add the animation painter button to the quick access toolbar to make it easier to get to), then painting the animation on to the line you want to add it to could go pretty quickly. 

Steve Flowers

You might get along pretty well with Animatron Studio as well. Generating a video and inserting into Storyline would produce some nice results. Masked animation gives you a lot of control over how things appear. 

One method I've used with tools like Animatron Studio (back in my Flash days) is to build a "pipe system" with the pipes transparent inside and solid everywhere else. This let me animate the flows underneath in the transparent areas. Looks super-clean if done well. This also let me use radial corners rather than square corners. You could do something similar in Storyline as well but I think the method your using works nicely. 

Here's a really quick set of screenshots from 2 minutes worth of work in Powerpoint. Created an elbow and straight piece. Then duplicated it, placed and used the merge shapes tool to combine the pipes and punch them out. By moving a set of solids behind a punched out graphic, it makes a nice flow effect. In a final output, I'd frame an overlay to hide all of the "flow shapes". 


Lots of ways to skin the cat. No best way. Only faster ways:) Your current approach is fastest.



Victor Madison

Steve, your transparent pipe method would be great for simple pipelines but, as you can see, my diagrams are somewhat complex.  Thanks for the reply.

The Animatron Studio appears to be a good tool for general animation projects.  Most of the animations shown on their web site are basic shape/photo movement and fading which can be produced with Storyline.  I have seen very few examples of "technical" animations that do not require advanced animation tools like Adobe Flash which is very labor intensive.

For now, I will just improve my techniques for the animation available in Storyline.


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