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Present It! Animation

Applying Effects in SWiSHmax

There are more than 300 effects you can apply to objects in your movie. Some of these are quite simple – zooms and fades – and others are fun, pre-designed effects you’ll enjoy applying. Effects that are already created for you are divided into several categories:

  • Appear in position. This effect is used to make the object move or appear in a particular spot.
  • Disappear from position. This effect is used to remove the object from the stage or fade it out.
  • Loop continuously. These effects can be played repeatedly with a seamless transition between the first frame and the last.
  • One off. Single animations that can be applied anywhere in the timeline.
  • Return to start. The last frame is identical in position and appearance to the first frame.

Here’s how to place an effect on the timeline:

  1. Make sure you have an object on the stage. Click the frame in the Timeline when you want the effect to appear.
  2. Click the Add Effect button Image of Add Effect button and select Disappear From Position. From that menu, select an effect that you want to appear. In this example, Disappear From Position > Vortex Down was selected. SWiSHmax places the Effect on the Timeline.
  3. You can make the effect longer or shorter by clicking and dragging the final frame of the effect on the Timeline to an earlier or later frame (Image of changing the duration of a Timeline effect). Or, you can right-click any frame of the effect, select Properties from the menu that appears, and make the desired changes to the Duration field.

    Image of Effect Properties window

  4. Click the play button (Image of Play button) in the icon menu across the top of the application to watch your animation.
  5. You can set the effect to cause other changes to occur during the animation. Right click on the Effect frames in the Timeline and choose Properties from the resulting menu. Available properties will differ according to the effect you selected, but you can almost always:
    • Change the length of the duration by increasing the number of frames in the Duration field.
    • Set the X and Y position of the final frame exactly by using pixel measurements in the X position and Y position fields.  A 0 setting for X and Y is the top left corner of the stage.
    • Cause the object to scale up or down by setting a percentage in the X scale field.
    • Cause the object to rotate by setting an angle in the X angle field (this effect won’t be visible if you apply it to a circular object).
    • Fade the visibility/transparency of the object using the Alpha button.
    • Transform the object’s color by using the Color button.

J-Learning is an initiative of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism. J-LabTM is an incubator for innovative, participatory news experiments and is a center of American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
J-Learning was funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Knight Foundation

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