Selecting Motion Paths

Jan 15, 2015

Hi all - 

I'm working on a slide that has an object coming in along Motion Path 1, and then retreating along Motion Path 2, back the direction it came.

I wanted to change some timing on the animation, and I'm having trouble selecting one of the Motion Paths, or even telling which one I have selected.  Since they overlap, i'm only able to select one.

Is there a way to select which motion path i'm editing without actually clicking on the path?  Or a quick way to get to that other path?

26 Replies
Thorsten H.

As I couldn´t use the trigger to show the correct path I have the following  solution.

I have many pathes and inversed ones laying exactly on top of the original ones.

I name the pathes clearly (i.e. "xxx path" and the other "xxx path inverse" then to swith with the tabkey (or SHIFT + Tabkey) between them. Then I click  exactly on the selection frame of the current selected path with the right mouse button to ensure it is the correct name of the path I want to edit.

Eric Benson

There has got to be a better way to select different paths including selecting the beginning and end points. I've got several line motion paths on a single object all in line with each other and overlapping. I'm getting carpal tunnel trying to select the endpoints of the right path. It's driving me crazy!!!!

Ken Showler

I 2nd the frustrations here: motion path selection, value editing, and visualization are all quite frustrating to use.  A selection list with point editing would be great, but even better  (or in addition to) when doing static animation I suggest visual keyframes on the timeline!  (AE style...I know you probably here "make it like AE" a lot...they've really perfected a lot of these conventions so hard to not!)

Next and related frustration:  zoom and fade keyframing for all object types!

On the positive side, the actual animations (with the start/end speed easing) that Storyline produces once you get through fussing with the paths..  looks really quite good!

Jay Cooper

I'd like to throw my voice into the mix as to the need for a better way to edit motion paths besides selecting them.  I'm using motion paths to move a group of three objects; two paths to move the objects "up" and two to move them "down".  All of the paths overlap and lining them up is getting frustrating. 

A panel that lets me select from a list of paths, and set precise start and end points would be great!

Another idea...the ability to tell an object to move along a path "From end A to end B, or from end B to end A"...that way you'd only need one path to move an object back and forth.

Jay Cooper

Katie...thank you very much for the response.  I'd appreciate some insight, if you can provide it, on what Articulate is working on regarding making motion paths easier to manipulate.  This thread is 6-years old, and I've seen other posts expressing some of the same frustrations.  If Articulate is working on something I'd be curious to know what it is.


Emily Marble

I'm also stuck with overlapping motion paths.  It's so frustrating.. and literally delaying my deadline.  I don't understand why when you click the trigger object it isn't highlighted or why it doesn't show the different motion paths in the timeline.  I even named all my paths and tried to sort it that way with triggers, now only some of them work and not all, when before my path was just skipping one.  

Lea L

Has the above been looked into at all since the OP 6 years ago?? I agree with everyone else that this is extremely frustrating and seems like a pretty basic feature that should already have been incorporated into Storyline-- there needs to be a way to easily select individual motion paths that does NOT require having to move other overlapping paths out of the way to select one underneath... surely you could just add a drop-down or something to the tool bar allowing you to select the path you want to edit? 

Bertrand Roux

The fastest way is to clic on the Animation tab, then press Tab to navigate throught the all the objects AND animation paths. When a path is selected, you can esealy read its name in the animation tab "name" field and modify options, and as the path is already selected you can easily clic and move Start and End points if needed.

The things that can be improve are :
- the TAB navigate through all the object and paths in a list by "time of creation". So if you create 2 paths, then 3 buttons then 2 other paths...  the TAB will navigate through the items in that order : path 1, path 2, button 1, etc.... And you can't reorder this list. I think it should be easier if all path of a same object were grouped in the list.
- Second, at the end of the list the TAB do not go back at start. You have to clic anywhere to reset the TAB list.
- Last, the Animation "name" field should be bigger for long path names

Joseph Francis

Why are we creating segments of paths and overlapping paths in the first place? Because what we are trying to achieve is what was available to eLearning developers using Macromedia Authorware 25+ years ago: the ability to start and stop an object at any point on a pre-determined path.

What this meant was that I could, for example, SMOOTHLY move a image of a box moving along an assembly line using a slider control, from one end to the other and back (or stop anywhere along the way). I could SMOOTHLY pan a panoramic image of the Manhattan Island skyline using a slider control, again from left to right and back or anywhere in between. Based on a user-entered number, the box or the panorama could instantly "jump" to that position on the path, whether it was the start point, end point, or somewhere in between, And it wasn't just straight paths. It was paths with an infinite number of segments (straight or curved), or paths that were completely free-form. Paths that shared the same start and end point, so that I could essentially have an object that looked like it was running rings around another object.

I could ALSO have the learner click on the box, and move it along the SAME path, from end to end or anywhere in between. Based on where the learner "let go," I could have the course respond based on the location on the path where the box was dropped, and launch a new exercise, provide additional information, and so on.

Oh, and did I mention it wasn't just static images that could be moved along a predetermined path? It was animations (GIF or SWF, for example) inserted into the same Display Icon.

Sean May

Since a link to the feature request associated with this thread was never posted (and a better way of selecting motion paths still doesn't seem to be available EIGHT years later), I'll throw in my "upvote" for this as well. This is so unintuitive and a huge waste of time. If you've produced a product that's primarily there to allow for full customization within your platform, the selection of all those various objects that go into said customization should be easily selectable by the author. This is basic functionality on practically every other content creation product I've used. You can't even get creative by sorting overlapping animation paths into different layers because each layer has no idea what exists on the other layers. Ugh.


This is driving me nuts !!! Doing animations in SL is so much harder because of some simple detail like this...

This would have been made so much easier if the relative startpoint option was true, so one could separate the motion paths and apply them with triggers a bit like vectors.

But no, in relative mode the starting point is still the green dot, so you have to put it in the right starting place.... Thus overlapping motion paths ... What a mess :((((