If you’re like us, you love adding motion paths to your courses. We can use motion paths to create visual engagement for learners, which keeps them interested in the content. But there may be times when you want to “tweak” your motion paths to make them behave differently than they do by default. That’s when Path Options come into play! Since there are multiple options to choose from, read on as we answer the “as heard in training” question: “What are the different motion path options?“
Path Options Menu
First things first. After adding a motion path to an object, you can locate Path Options in the Animations tab. When you expand it, you’ll find that there are four sections:
Let’s explore these one at a time, starting with Direction.
Path Option 1: Direction
After adding a motion path, you may notice that most of them initially move downward. The options in the Direction section allow you to easily change that.
For instance, if you have a motion path that needs to move from the bottom of your slide to the top, you can change the default direction to “Up.” From there, you can simply adjust the end point to exactly where you want the motion path to end. You’ll notice there are similar options for moving your object to the “Left” or to the “Right.”
Path Option 2: Origin
Next, is the Origin section, which includes “Locked” and “Unlocked” options. These may win the prize for the options we change the least because motion paths are unlocked by default. This means they move with the object to which they’re applied. You’ll most likely want this behavior, since if you move an object on your slide, you usually want its motion path to change to reflect that new location.
On the other hand, if you lock a motion path, it becomes “locked in place” on the slide and doesn’t move when you move the object. You can still drag the motion path to a different location, but it will move independently of the object to which it’s applied.
Path Option 3: Easing
While we may not use the Origin options very often, we do frequently adjust the Easing options. By default, your objects slowly start moving along their motion paths, and also slowly come to a stop at the end of their path. You can think of “easing” like an airplane taking off, eventually reaching cruising altitude, and then descending to land. Or, how a car accelerates when a stop light turns green, reaches the speed limit, and then slows down again at a red light.
This is referred to as “In & Out” within the Easing | Direction section. You can, however, change this option so that your objects do not start or end their motion path slowly, or you can even turn off the easing entirely if you prefer.
The Easing | Speed option adjusts how quickly the easing happens, and even has a fun “Bounce” option if you want your object to bounce a few times before finally coming to a rest at the end of the path.
Path Option 4: Path
Last, we have the Path section which has three options:
- Reverse Direction
- Relative Start Point
- Orient Shape to Path
The Path | Reverse Path Direction option can be used to reverse a motion path’s direction. We often find ourselves using this option when we want an object to return to its starting point.
As you might expect, the Path | Relative Start Point option means that a second motion path begins where the first one ended. So, if you have an object that moves multiple times, and you want it to resume where it left off, a relative starting point does the trick.
Finally, the Path | Orient Shape to Path option helps ensure that an object turns with and follows the motion path. Consider if a rocket is taking off – you wouldn’t want it to fly sideways, right? Using this option ensures that the rocket rotates along the motion path.
Tip: Make sure to preview your slide as you make adjustments to any of the Path Options. This is critical for ensuring that the changes you make are having the desired effect.
Want More on This Topic?
I hope this post has helped to shed some light on the various options available when working with motion paths! Let us know if you’ve tried these options or if you have any questions!
If you want to learn more about creating and working with motion paths in Storyline 360, check out the posts below from Articulate and The Articulate Trainer blog.
Until next time, happy Storyline building!