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Manage multiple animations in a map

Most maps only require a single animation. You have a specific geographic story you want to share as a video so you author a single, continuous animation to tell it. However, sometimes it is better to work with multiple animations in the same map.

A primary reason to create multiple animations is to tell multiple stories. For example, you might have a 3D city scene with several alternative construction plans, each stored in a different layer. You can create an animation with a flight path down the main street showing the layer for the first construction option. You can then copy this animation, switch the layer being shown to the second construction option, and create an animation that has an identical flight path to the first but now showcases an alternative option.

Another reason for multiple animations is to construct your video in sections. This can break up a difficult or lengthy animation authoring process into manageable pieces. For example, you have GPS tracking data for an animal and you want to generate a five-minute video where the first minute shows an overview of the species territorial extent, and the next four minutes are one-minute segments for each of the seasons. You can author each minute of video as its own animation, and combine them together when you are ready.

Once a map has an animation, you can add more at any time. The commands for working with multiple animations are available in the Manage group on the Animation tab and are listed in the following table. If a map contains one or more animations, the displayed name is always the active animation.

Tip:

If you don't see the Animation tab, the active map does not have any animations in it. On the View tab, click the Add button in the Animation group to get started adding the first animation to a map.

Manage animation itemDescription

Animation List

Display the name of the map's active animation and list the other animations created with the map.

Create Animation Create new animation

Add a new, empty animation to the map.

Duplicate Animation Duplicate animation

Make a copy of the active animation to create a new animation.

Delete Animation Delete current animation

Delete the current animation and set the next animation in the list as the active animation.

Sort By Creation Sort by creation

Sort the animation list in the order the animations were created.

Sort Ascending Sort ascending

Sort the animation list ascending by name (A - Z).

Sort Descending Sort descending

Sort the animation list descending by name (Z - A).

Add additional animations to the map

There are two ways to insert an additional animation into your map or scene—either as a new, empty animation or as a duplicate of an existing animation. If the new animation will be fundamentally different than your existing animations, create an empty animation. If it is easier to modify an existing animation, use the duplicate animation option.

Add an empty animation

  1. On the Animation tab, in the Manage group, click Create Animation.
  2. Choose to keep the provided name for the new animation in the Current Animation drop-down menu, or type a new name. By default, each additional animation is given a unique name from the previous animation until you rename it.

    Each new animations created in sequence is given a number at the end of the name to make it unique from the previous animation until you rename it. For example, Animation, Animation(1), Animation(2), and so on.

  3. Make sure the animation name displayed in the Current Animation drop-down menu is the one you want to use.
  4. Begin authoring your new animation by creating keyframes or importing items, such as bookmarks, time, and range information.

Duplicate an existing animation

  1. On the Animation tab, in the Manage group, expand the Current Animation drop-down menu and select the existing animation you want to duplicate.
  2. Click Duplicate Animation.
  3. Choose to keep the provided name for the new animation in the Current Animation drop-down menu, or type a new name. By default, each additional animation is given a unique name to make it different from the previous animation until you rename it.

    Each duplicate animation created in sequence is given an underscore and a number at the end of the name to make it unique from the previous animation until you rename it. For example, Animation, Animation_(1), Animation_(2), and so on.

  4. Make edits to the animation as necessary. For example, change the camera path by updating or inserting keyframes, update animation timing, delete keyframes, or modify animation properties in the Animation Timeline pane or the Animation Properties pane.
Note:

You can get an overview of each animation's path by enabling the Path option in the Display group on the Animation tab. Switch the active animation in the Current Animation list and choose the path type you want to display.

Change the active animation

The animations in your map are stored in the Current Animation drop-down list in the Manage group on the Animation tab. When you select an animation, its name populates the Current Animation list and becomes the active animation. Only one animation can be active at a time. When you expand the Current Animation list to set the active animation, the properties of the active animation update the settings on the Animation tab, and the keyframes display in the Animation Timeline pane.

Delete an animation from the map

The active animation can be deleted from the map by clicking the Delete Animation button Delete current animation in the Manage group on the Animation tab. After an animation is deleted, the next animation in the list is automatically selected as active. If you delete the last animation in the map, an empty animation still remains for the map. If you want to delete all animations at once from the map, click the Remove button Remove Animation in the Animation group on the View tab.

Export the active animation

To export one of your animations as a video, you must first make it the active animation as described above. Once you've set the active animation, click Export Movie Export Movie in the Export group on the Animation tab.

Learn more about how to export an animation

If you want to make a single video from multiple animations, you have two options:

  • Splice the individual exported animation video files together, as a post-production process, using a third-party application such as Adobe Premier, Camtasia, or YouTube Video Editor.
  • Merge your animations by copying and pasting keyframes from each individual animation into one centralized animation. For example, create a new blank Animation 4, and copy the keyframes you want to keep from Animation1, Animation2, and Animation 3 into it.

Both methods require you to consider the transition experience between the animations you are joining together. Once you have copied and pasted all the keyframes into a single animation, it is recommended that you use the Animation Properties pane to configure the transition keyframe between them. For example, you could use a stepped transition type of 0.1 seconds to create a fast camera-cut to the next section of the animation. Otherwise, you can keep the default experience of a 3-second smooth transition between keyframes.