Using the Sequence Replicator Behavior

The Sequence Replicator behavior allows you to animate the individual elements of a replicator in sequence over time. This is the only way to animate the elements individually—keyframing the cell parameters or applying other behaviors affects all elements in the pattern uniformly.

The Sequence Replicator behavior is very similar to the Sequence Text behavior, which allows you to animate text parameters in sequence through the characters of a text layer. With the Sequence Replicator behavior, you can select and apply replicator cell parameters such as Position, Color, Scale, Rotation, or Opacity, then animate those parameters in a cascading sequence that passes through each element in a replicator pattern.

Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequence Replicator behavior applied.

The starting point for the sequence animation is based on the replicator’s origin or build style. For example, if a spiral replicator’s Origin parameter is set to Center, the sequence animation begins at the center of the spiral and moves outward; if the Origin of a rectangle replicator with a tile fill is set to Upper Left, and the Build Style is set to Across, the sequence begins with the elements in the upper-left corner of the pattern, then moves toward the lower-right corner.

The Sequence Replicator behavior can be applied to the replicator object itself, or to the cells of the replicator. When applied to the different cells of a replicator with multiple cells, different animations can be created for each cell.

Like most other layers in Motion, once you have created a Sequence Replicator behavior, you can save the behavior to the Library.

To apply the Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator
Do one of the following:
  • In the Layers tab or Timeline layers list, select the replicator to which you want to apply the Sequence behavior. In the Toolbar, click the Add Behavior icon and choose Replicator > Sequence Replicator.

  • In the Library, select the Behaviors category, and then the Replicator subcategory. Drag the Sequence Replicator behavior from the stack to the replicator in the Layers tab, Canvas, or Timeline layers list.

The Sequence Replicator controls appear in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector, and the Sequence Replicator HUD becomes active.

At the top of the Sequence Replicator controls in the Inspector are the Parameter pop-up menus, which are used to add parameters to the behavior, or to remove them once they’ve been added. The added parameters determine which properties are animated.

Underneath the Parameter pop-up menus are the Sequence Control parameters, which determine how the added parameters affect the onscreen elements. These controls include options for setting the direction of the animation, whether the animation is applied per element or to the whole pattern, the number of times the animation cycles through the pattern, and so on.

Figure. Inpsector showing Sequence Replicator behavior parameters.

Important: Before any sequencing animation can occur, you must explicitly add at least one parameter to the behavior from within the Inspector or HUD and then set a value for that parameter. Until a parameter is added, adjustments in the HUD have no effect.

Adding Parameters to the Sequence Replicator Behavior

In the following example, the Rotation, Opacity, and Scale parameters are added to the Sequence Replicator behavior. The behavior is applied to a replicator with its Shape set to Burst, and its Origin set to Center. This example uses the source object from Example: Creating an Animated Replicator.

Figure. Canvas window showing replicator prior to applying Sequence Replicator behavior.
To add and animate parameters in the Sequence Replicator behavior
  1. With the Sequence Replicator behavior selected in the Layers tab, display the Behaviors tab in the Inspector.

  2. In the Parameter row, do the following:

    1. Choose Rotation from the Add Parameter pop-up menu.

    2. Choose Opacity from the Add Parameter pop-up menu.

    3. Choose Scale from the Add Parameter pop-up menu.

      The added parameters appear above the Add and Remove pop-up menus. No animation occurs until you set a value for the parameters.

      Play the project (press the Space bar) to see the effects of the sequencing adjustments as they begin to take effect in the next steps.

  3. Set Rotation to the largest (or smallest) value you want the cells to spin in the animation.

    In this example, Rotation is set to 160 degrees.

    Each element rotates from 0 degrees to 160 degrees over the pattern for the duration of the Sequence Replicator behavior.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequence Replicator behavior applied.

    Note: If the elements are already rotated (in the Cell Controls), the elements are rotated 160 degrees from their original rotation value.

    Each element rotates and pops into place before the next element begins its animation. To soften this effect, increase the Spread value.

  4. Increase the Spread value.

    In this example, Spread is set to 12.

    In addition to creating a more graceful animation, changing the Spread value can also dramatically change the appearance of the pattern.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with increased Spread value.
  5. Set Opacity to the lowest value you want the elements to become in the animation.

    In this example, Opacity is set to 0.

    Each element fades from 100% opacity to 0% opacity over the pattern for the duration of the Sequence Replicator behavior.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Opacity animating over the duration of the behavior.

    Note: If the elements already contain some transparency, they fade from their original opacity value to 0%.

  6. Increase the Scale value. In this example, Scale is set to 190%.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Scale value set to 190%.

    The animation begins at the original value for any added parameter, then transforms to the value you specify in the Sequence Replicator parameters. The animation begins at the origin of the pattern (set in the Origin or Build Style parameter of the Replicator tab or HUD) and moves through to the end of the pattern.

Adjusting the Sequence Control Parameters

Once you have created a sequence animation, you can use the Sequence Control parameters to change the manner in which the sequence moves through the replicator pattern. The following section continues with the project used in the previous examples.

To change the way the sequence moves through the pattern
  1. With the Sequence Replicator behavior selected, display the Behaviors tab in the Inspector.

  2. Play the project (press the Space bar) to see the effects of the sequencing.

    By default, Sequencing is set to “To,” which specifies that the animation begins at the original value of the cells and moves to the value set in the Sequence Replicator behavior for that parameter. The starting point for the sequence animation is based on the build or “origin” of the pattern (as defined in the Origin or Build Style parameters in the Replicator tab). In the example project, the elements begin completely opaque, at 100% scale, and with 0 degrees of rotation at the origin of the pattern. As the sequence moves toward the end of the pattern, the elements become completely transparent, are scaled to 190%, and are rotated 160 degrees.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequencing set to "To."
  3. In the Sequencing pop-up menu, choose From.

    The animation moves from the value set in the Sequence Replicator behavior to the original value of the cells. This is the opposite of the To Sequencing option.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequencing set to From.
  4. In the Sequencing pop-up menu, choose Through.

    The sequence goes through a full animation cycle starting at the original value of the cells, moving to the value set in the Sequence Replicator, then returning to the original value of the cells. This is similar to combining the To and From Sequencing options.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequencing set to Through.
  5. Choose All from the Unit Size pop-up menu.

    The sequence animation affects all replicator elements simultaneously. The default is Object, which applies the sequence animation to the elements of the replicator based on the origin of the pattern.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with Sequencing set to All.
  6. Increase the Loops value to a minimum value of 3.

    By default, a sequence animation plays through one time. The value of the Loops parameter defines the number of times the animation repeats over the duration of the replicator object.

  7. Choose Ping Pong from the End Condition pop-up menu.

    By default, the End Condition parameter is set to Hold, which completes a sequence animation cycle, then starts the cycle again from the beginning. When set to Ping Pong, the animation cycles forward one time, then cycles backward, then forward, and so on.

    Note: The End Condition parameter has no effect for Loop values less than or equal to 1.

    For more information the Sequence Replicator parameters, see Sequence Replicator Controls.

Sequence Replicator Controls

Use the following parameters to modify the sequence animation. With the exception of the Add and Remove Parameter pop-up menus, all of the following parameters also appear in the Sequence Replicator HUD.

  • Start: This parameter is available when Custom is chosen from the Unit Size pop-up menu. Specifies the offset of the start of the range of elements affected by the sequence animation as it moves over the replicator pattern. In the above image, Start is set to 10%.
  • End: This parameter is available when Custom is chosen from the Unit Size pop-up menu. Specifies the end of the range of elements affected by the sequence animation as it moves over the replicator pattern. By default, End is set to 10%. In the above image, End is set to 30%.

    Note: If the Sequencing pop-up menu is set to Custom, the Custom option in the Unit Size parameter has no affect.

  • Spread: Controls the amount of falloff of the animation. To create a softer transition between each element, increase the Spread value.
  • Loops: Sets the number of times the animation sequences through the replicator pattern over its duration.

    Note: Loops is not available when the Traversal parameter is set to Custom.

Using the Sequence Replicator Custom Traversal Option

When the Traversal parameter in the Sequence Replicator behavior is set to Custom, you can create location keyframes to specify where the effect of the sequence is at any given time. This allows you to create a sequence animation that travels through a replicator pattern in a unique way. This example shows how to use the Custom Traversal option to scale the elements around a circle replicator shape by creating keyframes.

To use the Custom Traversal parameter
  1. Once the Sequence Replicator behavior is applied to the replicator, add the parameters (in the Behaviors tab) that you want to include in the sequence.

  2. Set the values for the added parameters. In this example, the Scale parameter is added and the Scale value set to 200%.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with a Sequence Replicator behavior in which Scale is set to 200%, Sequencing is set to Through, and Spread is set to 4.

    For more information on adding parameters to the Sequence Replicator behavior, see Adding Parameters to the Sequence Replicator Behavior.

  3. Choose Custom from the Traversal pop-up menu.

    The Location parameter becomes available.

    Figure. Behaviors tab showing the Location slider that appears when Traversal is set to Custom.
  4. Enable Record (press A).

  5. At the frame where you want to begin the animation, drag the Location slider (or use the adjacent value slider) to set where the sequence begins.

    As you drag the slider, the sequence moves through the pattern elements. Values displayed in the Location parameter specify where in the pattern the sequence is (in percentage points)—0 representing the origin of the pattern, and 100% representing the end of the pattern.

    In the Inspector, a keyframe is added to the Location parameter.

  6. Go to the next frame where you want to set a keyframe, and move the Location slider.

  7. Repeat step 6 until you have created all of your keyframes.

  8. Play the project (press the Space bar).

    The animation moves through the replicator pattern based on its keyframed locations. In this case, the scale moves erratically back and forth around the circle, rather than in a constant direction.

    Figure. Canvas window showing replicator with animated Location parameter.

Using Parameter Behaviors with the Sequence Replicator Behavior

Like all other layers in Motion, you can add Parameter behaviors to the Sequence Replicator parameters to create even more varied, complex effects without keyframing.

To apply a Parameter behavior to a Sequence Replicator behavior
  1. In the Layers tab or Timeline layers list, select the Sequence Replicator behavior.

  2. Control-click the parameter to which you want to add a Parameter behavior, then choose a Parameter behavior from the shortcut menu.

    Note: You can only add a parameter behavior to controls that include the Animation menu (the dash icon at the right side of the parameter row).

    The Parameter behavior is added and appears above the Sequence Replicator behavior in the Behaviors tab. A Parameter behavior icon appears in the Animation menu of the Sequence Replicator parameter.

    Figure. Behaviors tab showing Parameter behavior icon in the Animation menu for the Sequence Replicator behavior.

    Note: When the Wriggle or Randomize Parameter behavior is added to a Sequence Replicator parameter, the Affect Subobjects checkbox becomes available. Select the checkbox if you want each element in the pattern to display a different random behavior.

    For more information on using Parameter behaviors, see Parameter Behaviors.