Animation Definitions

Animations can have an enormous impact on the application's user experience and are an important part of any modern user interface. Used well, they can make a relatively dull user interface appear modern and intriguing. Used poorly, they can waste a user's time and ruin what might have been a highly useful application.

An animation in Storyboard manipulates variables exposed by the application model. These variables may be the user-defined variables or they may be the internal variables associated with model element properties. When the variables are numeric there are a variety of easing functions that can be applied to transition from one value to another. Many variable changes can be orchestrated to occur at points relative to one another and edited on a timeline within the design environment and ultimately saved into a named animation block that accompanies the exported model.

A specific animation can be created that relies on the fully qualified paths to specific variables or a generic animation can be created that relies on variables that use the context relative naming convention. In both situations, the definition of an animation is independent from its use.

In order to use or trigger an animation, the definition has to be referenced by an action, which in turn is associated with an event. The Animation Action is specifically intended for the purpose of launching user-defined animations designed in Storyboard Designer.

When the visual content of an application is dynamically created, it may not be practical to create animations within Designer in advance. In these situations it is possible to create rich animations programmatically using the Lua Script Action.