Edit animation overlays

Animation overlays are on-screen elements that can optionally be added to keyframes while authoring an animation. Overlays appear on the active map or scene that the animation is being created from. They also appear in the thumbnail images in the Keyframe Gallery in the Animation Timeline pane. These locations are used as references for creating and updating overlays as they allow you see how they will appear once the animation is exported to a video. Once an overlay is created, the selected or active overlay has several editable properties that can be managed using the Animation Properties pane, including the following:

  • Position—Change the position of the overlay to a predefined screen location or manually adjust it.
  • Scale—Control the size of the overlay.
  • Display priority—Control the draw order of the overlay. This is particularly useful when multiple overlays exist on a single keyframe or string of keyframes.
  • Update an image—Select a new image file to use for the image overlay.
  • Delete overlay—Remove the selected overlay from the animation.
  • Edit text—Change the text that appears for Title or Paragraph overlays.
  • Timing and duration—Reposition the overlay along the timeline or adjust the duration for how long it appears.
  • Duplicate—Copy an existing overlay to create an overlay.


There are two ways to move an overlay. You can use one of nine preset positions on the Animation Properties pane or manually move and resize the selected overlay in the view. To reposition an overlay in a view, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Animation Properties pane Properties and click the Overlays tab.
  2. Click the overlay to edit in the Overlays list.
  3. Expand the Position heading and choose a position preset.
  4. Optionally click Adjust Position and manually move the overlay in the view to a new location.
  5. Click the on-screen Close button Close to close editing and apply the position changes.

    When an overlay is repositioned, the anchor point may also change. The anchor point is a small, outlined square symbol visible on the overlay when it is in edit mode. It is where scaling initiates. If you enlarge an overlay, it grows outward from the anchor point, for example, from the upper right to the lower left of the view. The anchor point matches the last used preset position.


You can scale an overlay to change its size in the view. On the Animation tab, in the Overlay group, adjust the Scale percentage.

To interactively scale an overlay, follow these steps:

  1. In the Animation Properties pane, on the Overlays tab, select the overlay you want to edit to make it active.
  2. Under Appearance, change the Scale from 5 percent to 1,000 percent.

    The overlay size is updated in the view. If you increase the scale larger than the extent of the export resolution, the overlay may be clipped from the final output. To identify clipped content on the Animation tab, in the Export group, click Lock View Size Lock View Size. This setting is on by default and updates the map view to more closely represent the size it will be when exported to a video. It creates the empty panels along the sides of your map view when an animation is created. If your overlay content appears outside these boundaries, it will be clipped in the final export.

  3. In the Animation Properties pane, optionally click Adjust Position and use the interactive edit handles that appear on the overlay in the view.
  4. Click the on-screen Close button Close to close editing and apply the scale changes.

Display priority

Sometimes you have multiple overlays stacked in the view. The last generated overlay displays above others. In the Overlays list in the Animation Properties pane, the order of the overlays denotes the draw order in the view. The topmost item in the list has the highest drawing priority. You can drag any overlay to reorder it in the list, the same as you would reorder layers in the Contents pane.

Update an image

To replace an image for an existing image overlay, hover over the overlay in the list so that it highlights and reveals a list of buttons you can choose from. Hover over and click Image File Image File . The Overlay Image dialog box appears so you can browse to a different image you want to use.

Delete an overlay

To remove the selected overlay from the animation, click Delete Overlay Delete overlay from the Overlays tab in the Animation Properties pane when you hover over the overlay. You can also right-click any overlay in the Animation Properties pane overlays list and use the context menu to delete the selected overlay.

Edit text

When a text overlay is generated and added to the animation, the default text is populated with Text, Text 2, Text 3 or Paragraph, Paragraph 2, Paragraph 3, and so on, with each additional text overlay added. You can update a newly added text overlay while it is active by typing directly in the view and then clicking the Close button Close to end the in-view edit session.

You can also update a text overlay at any time from the Animation Properties pane. When you select or hover over an overlay in the Overlays list, several icons appear in line with it: Edit Text Edit text, Format Overlay Format Overlay (for text and shapes), Zoom To Zoom To, and Delete Overlay Delete overlay. Click Edit Text Edit text to update the name and click Edit Text Edit text again to save your changes.

Timing and duration

When you add an overlay to your animation, by default it adds at the current time and attaches to the duration of the camera keyframe. This form of snapping affects how you edit the timing of overlays. Snapping is on by default and is controlled in the Animation Timeline pane. If you want to add a title to the first three keyframes of your animation, you can select all three keyframes and add the Title overlay. The overlay appears from the start time of the first keyframe and disappears at the end time of the third keyframe.

To update where an overlay appears in time, reposition the overlay along the overlay timeline in the Animation Timeline pane. As long as Snap Keys is enabled, it snaps to the next available camera keyframes. You can also type a new keyframe value using the Start Key and End Key input boxes in the Animation Properties pane for the selected overlay.

To browse through the overlays that exist in the animation, use the Select Next Overlay button Next Visible Overlay in the Animation Timeline pane. Optionally use the list of overlays on the Overlays tab in the Animation Properties pane to review all of your overlays.

To change the duration of an overlay, drag to adjust either the first or the last keyframe node on the overlay. By default, Snap Keys is enabled so that overlays move together with the camera keyframes when editing an animation. For more fine-grained control, uncheck Snap Keys. An overlay that appears from keyframes 1 through 4 can then extend partway through keyframe 5.


Animation overlays do not move with the keyframe when it is copied and pasted between animations in the same project.

Duplicate an overlay

When you have an overlay already formatted the way you like, you can create a copy to reuse in the animation by duplicating it. In the list of overlays on the Overlays tab in the Animation Properties pane, right-click the overlay you want to reuse and click Duplicate. The new overlay is added to the list and appears where it was created in the animation timeline, so you may need to update the Start Key and End Key properties, or any other adjustments. For example, you may want to reuse a shape overlay for its size and coloring, but adjust its position and keyframe timing.

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