Automating Adobe InDesign CC


Animation for Adobe InDesign Fixed Layout

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Interactivity

Up to this point the only interactivity that has been introduced as part of this blog series is on page click. This, as you remember, will be set as part of the properties for a timing list of the spread. Interestingly, a spread can have more than one timing list. This is where it really gets interesting. Your script can create a timing list that triggers when the page loads, and a second timing list that triggers when the page is clicked.

Individual page items can also have a timing list that sets a trigger event to start an animation when the object is clicked, released, rolled over, rolled off or as part of a multistate object. The subject of timing lists in page items will be left to a later discussion.

Follow along to see how this type of behavior can be controlled with a script.

Create Document

  • First, create an InDesign CC 2014 document for web intent 800 by 600, or 1024 by 768.
  • On Layer 1 create a polygon to be animated. Fill the polygon with a bright color.
  • Below Layer 1 create a new layer and name it “Background”. On this layer create a rectangle the size of the page and give it a nice background color.
  • Add a layer above Layer 1 and name it “Text”.

structure for document layers Structure for document layers

  • On the Text layer add a text frame to give the user instructions: “Click on the page to watch the animation.”

sample page setup Our sample page

Settings for Animation

To animate the page item, the script will use a new handler that animates the movement of an object based on time frames. The animation will be a back and forth movement to be repeated for the number of times designated by the variable numTimes. When the page loads, the object will be hidden. It will become visible and animate when the page is clicked. The values for the handler's arguments are initialized at the top of the script. Notice how the list of lists of lists for the motion path property (mPath variable) is set up. Each point within the motion path consists of a list of lists. The first item of each path point is the time frame measured in 1/24ths of a second, the second item is a list of lists describing the anchor, left direction, and right direction for the path point.

Note: Because time frames start the count at zero (0), calculate time frames by multiplying by 24 and subtracting one (1).

   (*Values for doMotionPath handler arguments*)   
   set mPath to {{0, {{0.0, 0.0}, {0.0, 0.0}, {0.0, 0.0}}}, {23, {{100.0, 0.0}, {100.0, 0.0}, {100.0, 0.0}}}, {47, {{-100.0, 0.0}, {-100.0, 0.0}, {-100.0, 0.0}}}}
   set dTime to 2 --duration
   set numTimes to 3
   set tOffsets to {0.5, 0.5} --transform offsets
   set initHidden to true --initially hidden
   set hideAfter to false --hidden after 

The doMotionPath handler applies the arguments passed to the animation settings for the object referenced by the objRef variable.

doMotionPath Handler

   (*doMotionPath handler sets animation settings for object passed. Arguments includes motion path.*)
   on doMotionPath(objRef, dTime, mPath, numTimes, tOffsets, initHidden, hideAfter)
	  tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"
		tell animation settings of objRef
			set design option to from current appearance
			set duration to dTime
			set motion path to mPath
			set plays to numTimes
			set transform offsets to tOffsets
			set plays loop to false
			set ease type to no ease
			set initially hidden to initHidden
			set hidden after to hideAfter
		end tell
	  end tell
   end doMotionPath

Animate the Background

The background will consist of a colored rectangle with a text frame which will fade in gradually when the page is loaded. To animate the elements, an opacity array is set for the animation settings for each item. This can be done in a repeat with loop.

You can test the animation for the objects using the following:

Test Animation

After setting the values for the arguments at the top of the script, add the following to your script.

   tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"
	--set variables to reference objects to be animated
	set docRef to document 1
	set spreadRef to spread 1 of docRef
	set bkgObject to rectangle 1 of layer "Background" of docRef
	set objRef to polygon 1 of layer "Layer 1" of docRef
	set textRef to text frame 1 of layer "Text" of docRef
	--set animation settings for objects
	repeat with eachItem in {bkgObject, textRef}
		tell animation settings of eachItem
			set opacity array to {{0, 0}, {23, 100}}
		end tell
	end repeat
        my doMotionPath(objRef, dTime, mPath, numTimes, tOffsets, initHidden, hideAfter)
   end tell

Make sure to add the doMotionPath handler to the bottom of the script.

What happens when you test the animation in InDesign's EPUB Interactivity Preview panel (control+shift+return) depends on the settings currently in force for the spread’s timing lists.

You can verify the timing lists for the spread using the following test script.

   tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"
	set docRef to document 1
	set spreadRef to spread 1 of docRef
	tell timing settings of spreadRef
		set testIt to timing lists
	end tell
   end tell

To see the properties for a timing list, change the code inside the timing settings tell block in the above to read as follows:

   set testIt to timing lists
   if length of testIt > 0 then
      get properties of timing list 1
   end if

Set up Timing Settings

As you may remember, the first thing you do before adding timing lists is to remove the existing ones.

Next, you create the timing lists you need. For the purpose of this sample script, two timing lists will be set up: one to trigger when the page is loaded; the second to trigger when the page is clicked.

After creating the timing lists, you then create timing groups to act as containers for the page items to be animated when the timing list is triggered.

Add the following just before the last end tell statement in the Test Animation script above.

   --set timing lists for timing settings of the spread
   tell timing settings of spreadRef
	delete timing lists
	set pageLoadTimingList to make timing list with properties {trigger event:on page load}
	set pageClickTimingList to make timing list with properties {trigger event:on page click}
   end tell
   --set dynamic targets to act when event is triggered
   tell pageLoadTimingList
	set pageLoadGroup to make timing group with properties {dynamic target:bkgObject, delay seconds:0}
   end tell
   tell pageClickTimingList
	set pageClickGroup to make timing group with properties {dynamic target:objRef, delay seconds:0}
   end tell
   --add text as dynamic target to page load group
   tell pageLoadGroup
	make timing target with properties {dynamic target:textRef, delay seconds:0.5}
   end tell

Run your script and preview the animation. Make sure you click on the page after the background appears.

Adding More Animation

For each point within the motion path, your script can assign other animations to the object. For instance, when the object moves right (at time frame 23) you could have the object rotate 45 degrees. Then at frame 47, have it rotate back to zero (0).

   set rArray to {(0, 0}, {23, 90}, {47,0}}

You could also have the object scale up or down using scale y array and/or scale x array properties

   set scaleX to {{0,100}, {23, 150.0}, {47,100}}
   set scaleX to {{0,100}, {23, 150.0}, {47,100}}

To add these animations to the script, another handler can be used: doPointAnimation

This handler will take five arguments:

  • The object reference (objRef)
  • Rotation array (rArray)
  • Scale x array (scaleX)
  • Scale y array (scaleY)
  • Opacity array (oArray)
  • Plays (numTimes)

Add the handler to the bottom of your script:

   (*Performs one or more animations at points within an object's timeline*)
   on doPointAnimation(objRef, rArray, scaleX, scaleY, oArray, numTimes)
      tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"
	 tell animation settings of objRef
	    set plays to numTimes
	    set rotation array to rArray
	    set scale x array to scaleX
	    set scale y array to scaleY
	    set opacity array to oArray
	 end tell
      end tell
   end doPointAnimation

Add values for the handler's arguments at the top of your script:

   set rArray to {{0, 0}, {23, 90}, {47, 0}}
   set scaleX to {{0, 0}, {23, 150}, {47, 100}}
   set scaleY to {{0, 0}, {23, 150}, {47, 100}}
   set oArray to {{0, 100}, {23, 100}, {47, 100}}

In the top portion of the script, add a call to the doPointAnimation handler just after calling doMotionPath:

   my doPointAnimation(objRef, rArray, scaleX, scaleY, oArray, numTimes) 

Test your script.

On Your Own

At this point you should be quite comfortable working with simple animations. Stretch your comfort zone a little by experimenting with this script. Change the values for the mPath list to have the object move around the page. Add more animation at the various time frames (0, 23 and 47). Experiment by adding more page items to the page. Change values for the delay seconds parameter for one or two items in a timing group. Return to other animation scripts you have written to add on page load and/or on page click triggers to the animation. The more you work with this, the easier it gets.

Challenge

Create a new document with a page item group to look like the pendulum on a clock. Have the pendulum swing back and forth using some of the code from the script above. Hint: The main movement will be a rotation with the transform offsets for the element set for center top {0.5, 0.0}.

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