Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior

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

Using 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.

Canvas 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.

You can apply the Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator or to its cells. Either application creates the same animation.

After you create a Sequence Replicator behavior, you can save it to the Library as a custom behavior.

Apply the Sequence Replicator behavior

Do one of the following:

  • In the Layers list or Timeline, select a replicator or replicator cell, click the Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar, then choose Replicator > Sequence Replicator.

    Add Behavior pop-up menu in the toolbar
  • In the Library, select the Behaviors category, select the Replicator subcategory, then drag the Sequence Replicator from the stack to a replicator or replicator cell in the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas.

The Sequence Replicator controls appear in the Behaviors Inspector. For the behavior to have any effect on the replicator, you must add parameters using the Parameter pop-up menu at the top of the Sequence Replicator controls. For details, see the next task.

 Inpsector showing Sequence Replicator behavior parameters

Add and animate parameters in the Behaviors Inspector

After you apply the Sequence Replicator behavior to a replicator, you must assign one or more parameters for the behavior to modify. In the following example, the Rotation, Opacity, and Scale parameters are assigned to the Sequence Replicator behavior in the Behaviors Inspector.

  1. In the Layers list or Timeline, select the Sequence Replicator behavior.

  2. In the Parameter row of the Behaviors Inspector, do the following:

    1. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Rotation.

    2. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Opacity.

    3. Click the Add pop-up menu, then choose Scale.

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

  3. Ensure that keyframe recording is turned off (the Record button in the transport controls under the Canvas is not highlighted).

  4. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Rotation dial to set a spin value.

    In this example, Rotation is set to 160 degrees, so that each element rotates from 0 degrees to 160 degrees over the pattern for the duration of the Sequence Replicator behavior.

    Canvas 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.

    Play your project (press the Space bar). Each element rotates 160 degrees in sequence, popping into place before the next element begins rotating.

  5. To ease the transition between each element’s animation, drag the Spread value slider to the right.

    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.

    Canvas showing replicator with increased Spread value
  6. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Opacity slider to the lowest value you want the elements to fade to during the animation.

    In this example, Opacity is set to 0. Each element fades from 100% opacity to 0% opacity over the duration of the Sequence Replicator behavior.

    Canvas 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%.

  7. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Scale slider to the right to increase the size of each element over time.

    In this example, Scale is set to 190%.

    Canvas showing replicator with Scale value set to 190%

Play your project. 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 Inspector or HUD) and moves to through the elements to the end of the pattern.

Change the way the sequence moves through the pattern

After you apply parameters to the Sequence Replicator behavior, you can use Sequence Controls parameters to change the way the sequence moves through the replicator pattern. The following task continues with the project used in the previous example.

  1. With the Sequence Replicator behavior selected, play the project (press the Space bar) to see the effects of the sequencing.

    By default, the Sequencing parameter (in the Behaviors Inspector) 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 Inspector). In the current example, 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.

    Canvas showing replicator with Sequencing set to "To"
  2. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Sequencing pop-up menu, then choose From.

    Play your project. The animation now 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.

    Canvas showing replicator with Sequencing set to From
  3. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Sequencing pop-up menu, then choose Through.

    Play your project. 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.

    Canvas showing replicator with Sequencing set to Through
  4. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Unit Size pop-up menu, then choose All.

    Play your project. The sequence animation affects all replicator elements simultaneously. The default Unit Size setting is Object, which applies the sequence animation to the elements of the replicator based on the origin of the pattern.

    Canvas showing replicator with Sequencing set to All
  5. In the Behaviors Inspector, drag the Loops slider to the right to set a value of 3.

    Play your project. The sequence now loops three times. The value of the Loops parameter defines the number of times the animation repeats over the duration of the replicator object.

  6. In the Behaviors Inspector, click the End Condition pop-up menu, then choose Ping Pong.

    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.