Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
To create animations in InDesign, you use the controls in the Animation panel. So let's take a tour of those controls and see how they work. We will start by opening the Animation panel. I have it here in my workspace, but if I wanted to open it and I didn't have it in that workspace, I could also go to Window > Interactive > Animation, and I will select this text frame on the left and I can see by the icon in the bottom right corner that some animation has been applied to it. In the panel I can see that the animation has been given a name, Artists, and it uses the Preset, Fade In. I see a preview of any selected animation at the top of the panel with the butterfly logo.
So when I mouse over it, it fades in. If I look in the Preset menu, I can see all animation presets that come with InDesign, and there are two sublists. One at the top is simpler animations and then there are more complex ones below. There is also a choice None at the top to remove an animation, or I could also click on the trashcan in the bottom right corner of the panel. Next we have the Events to trigger an animation. This one is set to On Roll Over (Self). If I click on it, I can see the different choices, On Page Load, On Page Click, On Click (Self), and On Roll Over (Self), and there is another one that's grayed out currently On Button Event.
If I create a button to control this animation, I can select this choice. With this icon on the right, I can create a button trigger for an animation. So let's see how that works. Below the author's name I have just a regular InDesign frame over here and I'd like to make this into a button that will trigger the animation to play. So I can click on the trigger and then click on the frame. This is converted into a button and it's going to play the Animation (Artist). And if I look in the Options menu, it can do other things too. It can Stop the animation, Pause it, Resume it, Reverse it, or Stop all animations.
I could've also clicked on an existing button and InDesign would add an additional action to play this animation. And one more thing, if you use the Create button trigger then be sure you don't forget to give the button a descriptive name. The name button 448 isn't very descriptive. Another important thing to remember about the Events menu is that you can have more than one event trigger an animation. So if I select the Animation again, I can see now there are two events that will trigger this animation, On Roll Over (Self) and On Release of that button.
Adding another event doesn't remove any previously selected events. To do that, I would have to select them again from this menu. So if I wanted to remove On Roll Over (Self), I have to come here and deselect it. Now the only event for this animation is On Release. Now let's look at the other controls in the Animation panel. Duration is how long the animation takes to complete, so in this case it will take one second for the artist name to go from invisible to fully visible. I can also control the number of times and animation plays or I can set it to loop to play endlessly.
Speed is a little deceptive. It's not really how fast the animation plays. That's controlled by the duration. Speed is really the change in speed, or easing, as it's called. Many of the presets contain easing built into them or you can turn that off by choosing None here. You can have an animation Ease In which means go slow at the start, Ease Out which means slow down at the end or both. The Properties section can be shown and hidden by this little triangle here. And the first property is Animate and the choices are From Current Appearance, To Current Appearance, To Current Location.
From Current Appearance means use the object's current appearance as the starting point for the animation. To Current Appearance means use the object's current appearance as the endpoint of the animation, in other words, the animation would be reverse of From Current Appearance. And To Current Location tells InDesign to use the objects current appearance as the starting point and its current location as the endpoint of the animation. To illustrate let's go to the next page of this document where I have some simple objects. There are identical black squares and they have all been set to animate. So they are all going to use this preset Move Left and Grow, but the property is different for each one.
So the first choice here I have From Current Appearance. I can see the motion path with the arrow pointing left, so the arrow head on the left over here. Now I will select the second object, and this one is set to, To Current Appearance. So I have that same exact motion path, the same length but now the arrowhead is pointing towards the center of the object. So it's going to end up here. The third one has a motion path on the right starting out over here and ending up at the center of the square, and this one uses To Current Location.
Let's preview those animations. I will open the SWF Preview panel and click, let's see that one more time, From Current Appearance, To Current Appearance, and To Current Location. I can also help illustrate these by showing the animation proxy. So I will select the first one, open the Animation panel and down here there's a button to show the animation proxy. So this is a little ghosted preview of what the other end of the animation looks like.
So this is where it's going to end up, large into the left. This is where this one is going to start out, large and to the left and end up here. And the third one can't show you the size that it ends up at, but it can show you where it's going to start out in terms of position. If you can understand those options, the rest of the controls are pretty straightforward. Back in the panel I can apply a Rotation to an object. I can set a Reference point for where the transformations will take place. I can scale objects in either width or height and I can constrain that or unconstrain it.
I can control changes in Opacity, I can Fade In or Fade Out. Unfortunately, the change in Opacity is an all or nothing thing. I can't fade in or out to anything less than 100% or 0%. So I can't fade to save 50% opacity, and lastly we have Visibility controls. So I can have an object be hidden until the animation starts, or I can have it disappear after the animation ends. I also have a button down here for opening the Timing panel and a button for converting a regular path to a motion path down here, and we'll get into that in another video, and I can click the trashcan to remove an animation.
Let's look in the Panel menu. I have commands for saving a new preset, so if I tweak all the settings just the way that I want them, I don't have to redo that work all over and over again. I can save a preset and then pick it from the Preset menu. I can manage presets to add and delete presets and I can also preview a selection, the entire spread, or again, if I had a organically had a path selected I could convert it to a motion path. So there you have it, the Animation panel. It might be the most fun panel to use in InDesign because it allows you to bring the objects on the page to life.
You can have a lot of fun experimenting with the settings and being creative and I encourage you to do so.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 47433 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 34415 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 80289 Viewers
116 Video lessons · 70209 Viewers