Ever wanted to make an animation loop without having to resort to animated GIFs? Well, I have found a way of achieving this within Storyline via the use of variable toggles, and am sharing it here.
You can see the example project I created here.
What are variable toggles?
Within Storyline you are able to create three different types of variables (Text, True/False & Number); each has their own use depending on the situation.
Each variable is monitored depending on their value. A trigger is called up when the value of the variable is equal to a specified value; however, with variable toggles the value is switched when a condition is met.
For example if you applied a variable toggle to a True/False variable by applying the NOT equal assignment, each time the condition is met the variable is toggled between True or False. As this variable has a value that toggles between two values, you can now create a loop.
Read on to find out more about creating the triggers to control the loop.
In this example am going to create a simple flashing light.
Open up the Manage project variables area and create a True/False variable.
I am working with two images, one showing the light off and the other with it on. Insert the light off image onto the base layer.
Now create a new layer and, within that layer, insert the light on image directly over the top of the previous image.
I want the lightbulb to fade in and then out. This is simple to do by applying a fading entrance animation and then doing the same for the exit animation.
Now it’s time to create some triggers. Click back on base layer and add a trigger to show the layer ‘Loop’ when the timeline starts on the base layer.
At this stage I previewed it to make sure it’s working. If it’s working correctly it should shine once and then fade out.
Step 6 – Creating the loop
In order to create the loop you need to add 2 triggers onto the Loop layer and one more on the base layer.
Select the Loop layer and create the first trigger: Hide Layer -> this layer -> When the timeline ends on Loop layer.
- After the timeline of the Loop layer ends the Loop layer is then hidden.
Create the second trigger: Adjust variable Animation -> NOT Assignment -> When the timeline ends on Loop layer.
- This trigger waits for the timeline to end on the Loop layer and when it does, it toggles the value of the Animation variable.
Step 7 – Final trigger
The final part of this example is to add the last trigger to the base layer.
Select the Base layer: Show layer Loop -> When Variable changes -> Animation
- This trigger monitors when the value of the Animation variable changes and when it does, it will show the Loop layer thus completing the animation loop.
Step 8 – Before testing
Before testing the output I animated the background colour to make the light stand out more and tweaked the timing to get the desired effect. I also added another animation loop for a buzzing fly which flies on screen and then off.
Go ahead and test and be amazed at what you have achieved!
This effect can be used anywhere in a project and you can also add multiple animation loops to a single page. Once the variables and triggers have been created it’s simple to swap the image out to something else. Looping animations really do add another realm to Articulate Storyline.
Phil Eagles, Senior eLearning Developer, Bray Leino Learning
In my series of blogs I’ll talk about the components of eLearning design and development.
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