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Announcing Timeline animations in Construct 3

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Ashley's avatar
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Construct Team Founder

We've been working hard on a major new Construct 3 feature for some time: Timeline animations! You may have seen us mention it previously, or even tried it out - but we never previously announced it until now. It's been quietly improving over the past releases, and now we think it's ready for prime time! Better yet this is all available right now in the latest Construct 3 release.

What are timelines?

In Construct a timeline is a sequence of changes over time. It could be as simple as moving an object across the screen, or a fully orchestrated cut-scene. Often timelines control object positions to move them around in pre-defined ways, but timelines can control pretty much any kind of parameter, including size, angle, Z elevation, instance variables, behavior properties and effect properties.

Timelines are edited using the new Timeline Bar. It can also plot out position timelines in the Layout View, providing both a visual editor and a convenient place to preview timelines.

Open up the Timeline basic playback example to see it in action and try it out.

Playback in your project

To play a timeline in your running project, add the new Timeline plugin to your project. This provides full playback control, including playing, pausing and resuming, changing the playback time and speed, and more.

You can also play the timeline with a different object to the one it was designed with using the Set instance action. Open up the Timeline instances example to see it in action.

Custom eases

Construct has a range of built-in ease functions, determining how objects get from A to B, such as In Out Elastic. However you can even design your own ease curves in the Ease Editor to get your animation just how you want it.

More timeline features

Cubic beziers

Position timelines can be set to use cubic bezier curves, providing beautifully smooth movements. Open up the Timeline drawing example for a demonstration.

Designing paths

You can use a timeline to design a path for an object to follow, such as for an enemy patrol across a level. The new Move To behavior can then follow the path with a natural movement using a maximum speed with acceleration, deceleration and turns, rather than the pre-defined timings. Open the Move along path example to see how it works.

Tagged keyframes

You can give tags to keyframes and use the On keyframe reached trigger in the Timeline plugin to run events when certain points of the timeline are reached. This is useful for adding things like sound effects, spawning objects, or adding other interactivity to your timelines. You could even run snippets of JavaScript code in timeline keyframes!

Free edition

You can try out the new timelines feature of the Free edition of Construct 3! You can add one timeline up to 5 seconds long to get to grips with how it works, so there's no need to wait to try it. Purchase a plan to remove the limits and unlock all the other many features of Construct.

Learn more

To learn the basics of using timelines, try out the tutorial Getting started with Timelines. There's also a video version of the tutorial available.

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The feature is also already fully documented in the manual. Check out the sections on the Timeline Bar, Timelines and the Timeline plugin.

We can't wait to see what you can do with this feature so give it a spin and let us know what you create with it!

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