4 Replies
Douglas Spencer

State Pros

Can show visited buttons.

Customization for user is fun

Embedded animations can be fun

Can help organize information in one spot (like grouping)

State Cons

Can be finicky if you customize them.

If others open your file they may not understand how the slide words

Layer Pros

Lets you pause the timeline!

Can hide other layers/content

Can help visually segment different parts of the slide

Layer Cons

If you are using the seek bar, multiple layers can make the interaction with it messy.

Accessing content needs to be intuitive

Layers stack on trigger, not how they appear in the slide panel (Storyline 1)

Steve Flowers

In part, layers vs. states is something you'll get a feel for. Each developer's preference might be a little different. It comes down to the behaviors, mechanics, and strengths of each element. Object states package multiple visual and logical behaviors into a single bundle that can be moved where you want it. Layers have other super powers like pausing the base timeline (as Douglas pointed out), hiding other layers, controlling object visibility on the base timeline, and popping to top.

I like Douglas' list. I would add:

State Pros

  • Can have groups for activation of objects (make them behave like radio buttons)
  • Can use the object's state as a condition for a trigger
  • Can use multiple object states to fire a trigger
  • Can use object's themselves to carry groups of triggers. If you're familiar with functional programming, you can fake functions with hidden objects. Stack a bunch of triggers on the object and that fire on show. Make the last trigger hide the object again and you can trigger this group as many times as you want. Also makes it easy to copy a group of triggers.
  • Objects can be shown and hidden using states. This is tricky but really not too bad once you understand that an object that isn't spanned across the timeline is still on the stage, it's just hidden. So creating an object, giving it a duration of .25 seconds with an entry and exit animation but default to hidden - you'll be able to trigger the entry and exit of this object whenever you want, multiple times.

Layer Pros

  • Can add feedback masters to provide "templated" layer visuals and logic. For example, you can use a layer / feedback master to carry a trigger into each layer or simply use it to provide a common graphic treatment.
  • New layers will always "pop to the top". This is in Douglas' cons list. It's a behavior that you can use to your advantage. For example, you can use a layer on the master slide to float navigation above other layers and content on the base slide. Tricky but totally doable

I'm sure we've missed a whole bunch of features here. But you get the idea. Figure out how each behaves and you'll be in good shape to use these behaviors to solve your problems:)