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In Captivate 5 Essential Training, author James Lockman demonstrates the core features of Captivate 5, the popular tool for authoring e-learning content such as interactive presentations, click-through simulations, and customized assessments. He shows how to import and sync PowerPoint presentations, add interactivity, and incorporate audio, video, and voiceovers. The course also includes tutorials on assessment reporting and integrating with SCORM-compliant learning management systems. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this lesson, we are going to see how we can take advantage of effects inside of Captivate. Effects are a way for us to stylize how our objects appear above and beyond what we might see inside of our Properties panel. We will be using the Chapter 5_c file that we created earlier in this chapter. If you don't have it open, please open it now and then go to slide number 2 by clicking on it in the Filmstrip. I would first like to add a drop shadow to some elements on this page. I would like to add a drop shadow to this rectangle that goes outside of our caption.
We do this using effects. To access the Effects panel, select the rectangle and then right-click, and at the bottom of the list, you should see Apply Effect. The Effects panel will appear next to the Timeline. The two panels are related because effects often have a time component to them. When you're editing an effect, however, you are focusing specifically on that one object, and you can apply one or more effects that happen over time. To add an effect to this rectangle, we will click on the fx button in the lower left-hand corner of the panel.
There are a number of effects that are available to us, and we'll take a look at some of them now. In the Basic area, you will see Rotation, Scaling, and Skewing. We have a number of color effects that we can apply, but these aren't limited just to color. They can affect the transparency, the brightness, whether or not it's blurred, if it's glowing. We can also tint objects here inside of the Color effects. There are many Emphasis effects that can be applied. Many of these involve additional elements that will appear when we apply the effect.
I'll leave it to you to explore the Emphasis effects that are available here. If you're familiar with PowerPoint, many of those Emphasis effects, as well as these Entrance and Exit effects, will be very similar. You can see a long list of Entrance and Exit effects, and we'll see those momentarily. I would like to stop at Filters because here is where we'll find DropShadow. I will apply the drop shadow in the Effects panel. Now take a look at the timing. Currently, the drop shadow persists for only two seconds.
I would like it to last for as long as the object is on the stage. So I will need to extend the time over which the drop shadow operates. I do that by hovering over the right-hand side of the effect, which is called DropShadow. When I see those two arrows up here, I will click and drag to the right, until it snaps at five seconds. Now the drop shadow will appear for the entirety of the 5 seconds. I don't have a preview of what the drop shadow is going to look like, but I do have the ability to create a live preview on the stage.
I can do that by clicking the Live Preview button here. Captivate builds that same preview that we see when we use the Preview menu, except that it puts that preview directly on the stage. I can then see what my elements are going to look like immediately. We will watch it one more time, and I'll pause it here. I want you to take a look at that drop shadow that we've built. The drop shadow is a transparency effect. This means that it interacts with other transparent content.
The interior of that rectangle is in fact transparent, so if you look here, you can see that the shadow is seen through the transparent part of that object. When you're using some of these transparency effects, it's a good idea to check your results to make sure that you like the way that they look. I think I would like this drop shadow to blur a little bit more, so I am going to increase the Blur from 5 pixels to 10 pixels. I can use my Tab key to go through all of the values.
I'm happy with my results. So I am going to exit the Effects view and go back to my normal editing. If I click Sync to Playhead, then what will happen is that wherever my playhead happens to be in the Effects panel, will then go back to my Timeline, and I'll be at that moment in the Timeline. Let's add another effect now. I would like to add an Entrance effect on slide number 1. Select this text caption here. I'm going to change its timing first, and then I'll add an effect.
I would like this to appear after a one-second delay. If I select the object on the Timeline, I can slide it out so that it begins to appear at 1 second, and then I would like it to persist for the remainder of the slide. If I right click and scroll down, I can choose Show for the rest of the slide. Now, let's add our effect. Right click again and choose Apply Effect. This time, I want to apply an Entrance effect.
Under fx, choose Entrance and Fly In > From Bottom. In this case, I don't want it to take a long period of time. I can adjust how long it takes for the effect to occur by adjusting its timing on this self-contained Timeline. I will shorten this to 1.5 seconds by dragging from here and pulling it back. Now let's preview. And there it is.
You can apply multiple effects on this Timeline. If I would like that image to fly in and then fly out, I can do that as well. Let's make that happen. From the Effects panel, add Exit > Fly Out > To Top. We will shorten this to 1.5 seconds and then move it to the end of its appearance. Now click Play to preview.
Let's go back to slide number 2 and add a path animation. In addition to some of the pre- programmed animations, you also have some control over paths. Select the tree. We will have this appear from the left, but I want to control exactly how it happens. Choose fx, and this time choose Motion Path. I want it to move from left to right with an ease. It doesn't look like much has happened yet, so we need to control the motion. As I move up onto the stage, you'll see a little number 1 that has appeared in the lower right-hand corner of the tree.
Click it and that will show us the motion path. At the moment, the tree is starting here, and then it's ending up long off the stage. That isn't quite the way we want it to happen, however. I can grab this end of the path and drag it to the left off the stage, and then grab this end of the path and drag it back to where I want the tree to stop. This is going to happen over 2 seconds, so we will shrink that up to 1.5 seconds, and the Ease allows us to control how that motion appears.
A positive Ease means that it's going to be slowing down, and a negative Ease means that it's going to be speeding up. Let's create a positive ease of 50. Now, we will preview. And there it goes. Let's save this as chapter 5_d.
There are many effects that can be applied to objects in Captivate. These effects can be subtle and profound. Take advantage of effects to spice up the appearance of your objects in your projects today.
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