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Phil Eagles Create looping animations in Articulate Storyline for eLearning

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.

Step 1

Open up the Manage project variables area and create a True/False variable.

Looping Animations - Storyline

Step 2

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.

Looping Animations - Storyline

Step 3

Now create a new layer and, within that layer, insert the light on image directly over the top of the previous image.

Looping Animations - Storyline


Step 4

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.

Looping Animations - Storyline

Step 5

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.


Looping Animations - Storyline

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

Looping Animations - Storyline

-          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!

Looping Animations - StorylineLooping Animations - Storyline

Final thoughts

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.

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Phil Eagles

Phil Eagles, Senior eLearning Developer, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs I’ll talk about the components of eLearning design and development.

Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning

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