Relationship between timeline length and animation duration?

Mar 25, 2019

I'm having trouble understanding the relationship between an animation (entrance) duration and the length of the timeline. For example, my time line is 10 seconds long, and I want to animate (fly in) 4 bulleted text paragraphs one by one (by paragraph). If I use the default animation duration of 0.75 secs, the bullets fly in rapidly. But if want to slow down the pace of entrance, it doesn't seem to matter if I choose 2 secs or 20 secs duration; the bullets fly in at the same slow pace, ending later than I want them to. Is the duration constrained or overridden by the timeline length? If so, what is the logic? How do I get my bullets to stop flying in at a specific point on the timeline? (I want other layers to fly in after the bullets stop.)

6 Replies
Mark Swanson


Thanks, that's a good tip that I discovered in the last few minutes, and I think I've been making a mistake by trying to adjust duration in the animation pane. I'm now keeping the animation entrance duration at 0.75 secs but using the trick you showed above to control pacing. But I'm still wondering...

1. Why is 2 seconds duration no faster than say, 6, 10 or 20 seconds duration? Is animation duration essentially ignored for speeds over 2 sec when animating text "by paragraph"? 

2. If I want the bullets to remain on the screen until the end of the timeline, how do I make sure the last bullet stops animating before a new layer appears (in a separate animation)?

(I think I might have answered my own question: if I keep the entrance duration short enough (0.75 sec) the final bullet will stop its entrance well before the new layer flies in.)

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Mark. We have an issue where the animation duration is not being respected when an object is animated by paragraph rather than as one object. I'm sorry this bug is tripping up your timing.

I'm adding this discussion to our report so we can notify you of any changes. Since the workaround is to set the animation as one object, you could consider making each bullet its own text box. I'm not sure if that's more work than it's worth for you, but I wanted to offer!

Crystal Horn

Hi again, Mark. I tested this in our latest version of Storyline 360, and the animation duration worked properly in a bulleted text box. It looks like you are also on update 26; with your permission, I'd like to take a look at your .story file to investigate what's happening. You can share it publicly here, or send it to me privately by uploading it here. I'll delete it when I'm done troubleshooting.

Thanks again!

Mark Swanson

Hi Crystal. For my purposes, I've concluded that for bulleted text it's a best practice to use the default 0.75 sec animation entrance  duration and individually adjust bullet timing using the trick in Alyssa's video. No need to monkey with longer entrance durations since (I realize now) it's bad usability to have text float in too slowly. And with the quick bullet entrances, getting my other layers to come at the right time is no longer a worry.

When using longer entrance durations (2, 6, 10, 20 secs), I suspect that that the timeline length exerts some sort of dominance/takes precedence over the animation entrance duration, so I'd still be curious to understand the logic and get confirmation on that. But for my purposes, I don't foresee a need for such long entrance durations, so there's no need to send a file for troubleshooting.

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