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Introducing effects in Captivate.

“A picture is worth a 1000 words. An animation is worth a 1000 pictures.”

Adobe Captivate 5 introduces a powerful new feature called Effects. This is a really cool feature and something that will allow you as a developer to create more visually appealing and interactive courses.
With effects not only will you be able to move objects in or out, but you can also apply certain filters to objects such as Drop Shadow, Blur, Glow and more.
You can use effects to emphasize an important element on a slide or to explain a complex workflow through an animation, or just to jazz up the course with some cool effects.

You can apply effects on an object

  1. With respect to time (timing effects).
    For example: if you want an image to glow from its first second to third second, we can use timing effects. You can add the effect and configure the timing accordingly.
  2. On click of an button(triggered effects)
    For example: if you want the image to shrink or grow on click of a button you can select the button success action as “Apply effect”. You can configure the timing of the effect on the trigger similar to the timing animation.

  3. Using advanced actions.
    Apply effect action can be used in conjunction with other built in actions using advanced actions. Say if you want to hide “Image1” and rotate “Image2” on click of a button then you will be using advanced action.

First lets focus on timing effects.You can do all the effects related operation in one place – the effects panel.Right click the object you want to apply the effect and say> Animate Object. The effect panel appears.


You can add as many effects as you need and configure the properties of the effects. The properties you can modify are

  1. Effect display duration and effect appear after duration.
  2. Effect parameters.
  3. Effect sequence for the multiple effects.

      Live preview:
      Live preview helps you configure the parameters of the effects easily without having to preview the movie to see your changes. You can keep modifying the effect properties within the live preview mode until you are satisfied with the results. This is really cool as you can see all the other active objects interact with you animation just as it would in your final movie.

      Next in this series, we will explore in detail effects palette options, triggered animations and effects integration workflows with Adobe Flash professional.

11 Responses

  1. Thanks a lot for this posting about one of the great new features of CP5, Krishna.Perhaps it is a coincidence, but just published a small tutorial about Advanced actions where I did use the action ‘Apply Effects’ several times. It was published on:'m looking for a possibility to change timing and sequence of effects, when used in Advanced actions, just like you can time as described in your posting. Any suggestions?

  2. Lieve, there is a way no direct way to modify the timing of the effects through advanced actions as its not possible to time a effect sequence from that dialog.There is a workaround,1.Add an effect or an effect sequence on a sample object.2. Time the effect exactly as you want.(i,e set the appear after and display durations of the effects as needed).3.You can also change the effect parameters if needed.4.Save the effect sequence to a file using the save button in the effects palette. Give it a uniqueName say”MyNewEffect”.5.Add this “MyNewEffect” to a different object in the project. This will add the “MyNewEffect” to your “custom” category.6.Now the new effect is accessible from the advanced actions.-Krishna

  3. Krishna -I realize this may not be the best place for this question, but I am in a bind and need to ask.Were the variable names to control the Captivate movies changed?I am attempting to set the variable “rdcmndPause” to “1” from an external HTML button (I am importing SWF’s into Lectora and need to control them with a play pause button).It is not working, and I am getting back the following message “Invalid Flash Variable name”.

  4. Krishna, tried out your workaround. Sequencing works all right. Timing will be adapted to the timing of the new object, I mean the object you apply the effect on. If you create a sequence of effects that takes 7sec, and the object you apply it too only is timed for 3 sec all the effect will be done much more quickly. But trying to apply this customized effect using advanced actions doesn’t work at all, sorry. Created a sequence with an FadedZoomIn, TintFromTo, FadedZoomOut for a Text Caption. Used an Advanced action to apply this effect to another Text Caption (same file), to be triggered by a button. Only have a short fading in effect, no Zoom in, no change of Tint, nothing as exit effect. What could I have missed?

  5. Sorry, Krishna, but editing a previous comment is not possible. Have been trying again to apply customized effects using advanced actions. It seems that this works (with the restriction of timing as explained in previous comment) for ‘static’ effects: p.e. alpha change, glow, filters. Dynamic effects like a movement or zoom (Entrance, Exit and a lot of Emphasis category) will not be executed when triggered by and Advanced action. I couldn’t get the TintFromTo to work neither. Is this a known limitation?

  6. I am creating a quiz in Cap5.
    Whilst constructing the slides in the question pool I switch to effects tab to apply a drop shadow to a jpg image but the Live Preview button remains grayed out in the effects panel.

    Even if object selected and effect applied.

    Are there any parameters that need to be set before live preview becomes active



  7. It seems my Captivate 5 doesnt wanna work properly! Every objetc I apply the efects 1. Can’t see the live Preview and 2. It doesn’t show the effects when I play the slide. what can I do???

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