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Timelines

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Construct Team Founder
Published 10 May, 2019
616 words
~2-4 mins

There are several different elements that make up a timeline. When any of them are selected in the Timeline Bar, their properties will be shown in the Properties Bar. Some of the properties only affect the timeline element that owns them, but there are others that also affect other elements below them in the heirarchy.

The hierarchy is as follows:

It is useful to remember that structure when making changes to the following properties of a timeline element:

  • Animation mode
  • Result mode
  • Ease
  • Path mode
  • Enabled
  • Visible
  • Locked

Making a change to any of the properties above will trigger changes down the element's hierarchy.

The effect of each of those properties is slightly different depending on which timeline element they are found in. Look into each element's section for specific details.

Common Timeline Element Properties

  • Animation mode: used by property tracks and refers to the method used to interpolate between property keyframes. It can have the following values.
    • Default: use the default animation mode depending on the property type. Numeric and color values default to using Continuous mode, while text and boolean types default to using Keyframe mode.
    • Continuous: a smooth transition between values using an easing function. Only numeric and color properties can use this mode.
    • Keyframe: This mode will not do a smooth transition - instead it will change the properties of the instances as the play head of the timeline reaches each property keyframe.
    • Step: a smooth transition, but it only shows values that fall in the step defined by the Step property of the timeline.
  • Result mode: how the values in each property keyframe in a property track are interpreted when playing. Numeric values default to Relative mode, while text, boolean and color values default to using Absolute mode.
    • Default: This mode will use the default result mode for each type of property. Numeric values default to Relative mode, while text, boolean and color values default to using Absolute mode.
    • Relative: the timeline assigns values relative to the initial values each instance had, before the timeline started playing.
    • Absolute: the timeline assigns absolute values, and will not be affected by the initial state before the timeline started playing.
  • Ease: the function used to transition between each pair of property keyframes in a property track. There are several built in functions to choose from.
  • Path mode: only relevant for the X and Y properties. Sets how to transition between property keyframe pairs.
    • Line: interpolate between the starting and ending position of each property keyframe pair to form a straight line.
    • Cubic Bezier: This mode will enable a few additional controls in the Layout View to allow for transitions following a curved path.
  • Visible: used by tracks to toggle the visibility of the corresponding instance. This setting only takes effect while Edit Mode is turned on. It is only relevant for the editor and will not affect the timeline at runtime.
  • Enabled: used by property keyframes. A disabled property keyframe is not taken into consideration when playing a timeline.
  • Locked: A locked timeline element and its children cannot be modified through the Timeline Bar or Properties Bar. It is only relevant for the editor and will not affect the timeline at runtime.