Creating an Interactive Timeline

Creating an Interactive Timeline

In this lesson, we’ll review one of the many ways you can create an interactive timeline in Ceros.

In this lesson, we’ll review one of the many ways you can create an interactive timeline in Ceros. As you can see in the final example, we have a simple timeline with a few different points we can interact with. When you click on any of the years beneath the timeline, the current popup is hidden and a new one shown for each year. This is a great way to show a large amount of information in a much more digestible format. To follow along with this lesson, download the build along experience to your Ceros account. 

As you can see, in the build-along experience, we’ve already added the base for the timeline, we have 4 points on our timeline labeled in years as 1960, 1980, 2000, and 2020–and we’ve created four popup folders consisting of text and an image for each year. In this build along experience we’re using images of televisions for each year but you can easily swap your own images for these placeholders using the Replace Image tool.

To ensure our interactions are going to work as planned, we will need to place all of the popup folders into a single parent folder in our layers panel which we will target with our interaction. So let’s select each of the 4 popups folders and click on the folder button in the bottom left hand corner of the layers panel to place them in one large folder. Don’t forget to name this folder Popups”. 

The reason we are adding each of these popups to one large folder is so that our interaction can make sure only one popup from that folder is showing at any point in time while simultaneously hiding the others. Let’s turn on the visibility of our 1960 popup, and turn the others off by clicking the eyeball icon next to those layers.

Now that our experience is set up, we can go in and add our interactions and animations. To make our lives a bit easier, we’re going to create one interaction to start and then simply duplicate it for all of the other popups. Select the hotspot tool, and draw a new hotspot over the 1960 spot on the timeline. We’ll name this hotspot Show Popup 1960. On the interact tab, let’s apply a click trigger, with a Show Target and Hide Others action, and then select 1960 popup in the popups folder.

To save a bit of time, let’s duplicate this hotspot 3 times for each of the other years on our timelines, and rename those accordingly. So we can rename those Show Popup 1980, Show Popup 2000, and Show Popup 2020 respectively.

Since we’ve already set up the interaction in a previous step, all we need to do is adjust each one to target the appropriate popup. So on each hotspot, navigate to the interact tab and edit the interaction to target the appropriate popup folder. Also, make sure you deselect the Popup 1960” folder in these interactions as well so you’re not targeting multiple popup folders at once. So on our second popup hotspot, lets navigate to the interact tab and edit the interaction to target Popup 1980, and deselect Popup 1960. On the 3rd popup hotspot let’s edit it to target Popup 2000, and on the 4th popup, let’s edit the interaction to target popup 2020. 

In the second video lesson, we’ll add some subtle animations to our popups to polish off the experience. Let’s open up each popup folder in our layers panel so we can see all of our layers. Now, let’s select the television image in the 1960 popup and navigate to the animate tab. Here, we’ll add an On View- Rock In animation with the default settings and timing, as well as an On Hide- Rock Out animation with the same settings. 

Now, right click on that image and select Copy Animations, and we’re going to right click and Paste Animations onto each other Television image in our layers panel, so we are pasting it onto the 3 other TV layers inside the other popup folders.

Let’s also select each textbox in all of our popups by holding down Command or Control on our keyboard and selecting those layers in our layers panel. We can apply a standard Fade In and Fade Out Animation to these.

Feel free to add in any more animations to make this experience your own. When you’re finished, go ahead and load up the preview window to see how our timeline works now. You can experiment with different effects and your own assets to customize the timeline for your own content.  

Creating an Interactive Timeline

In this lesson, we’ll review one of the many ways you can create an interactive timeline in Ceros.