Skip to main content

Time Events

One of the pain points of creating explanatory animations using code is synchronizing them with audio. Imagine that you'd like a certain animation to start right after some specific verbal cue. With a code-only solution, you're left with hard-coding how long (or until which frame) you want to wait.

In Motion Canvas, it could look somewhat like this:

yield * animationOne();
yield * waitFor(3.1415); // but how long should we wait?
yield * animationTwo();

Evidently, this approach can get really tedious. Not only do you need to somehow find the exact timestamp to wait for, but also each time you modify the voiceover, you have to go through your code and adjust these hard-coded numbers.

That's why Motion Canvas allows you to edit these delays not through code, but through the editor. With the use of waitUntil you can pause the animation without specifying the actual duration:

yield * animationOne();
yield * waitUntil('event'); // wait for an event called "event"
yield * animationTwo();

This will cause the event to appear in the editor. From there, you can drag it to adjust its timing:


The dark trail behind the event illustrates its duration. It starts at the moment waitUntil was called - this is when the animation will pause. It will resume when the playhead reaches the event pill.

By default, adjusting a time event will also adjust all events that happen after it. This is useful when you want to extend or shorten a pause in your voiceover because correcting the first time event after the pause will also fix all events after it. You can hold SHIFT when editing an event to prevent this from happening.

Controlling animation duration

Aside from specifying when something should happen, Time Events can also be used to control how long something should last. You can use the useDuration function to retrieve the duration of an event and use it in your animation:

yield * circle().scale(2, useDuration('event'));