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Testing animations

Animation in a Microsoft® Expression Blend™ project can be tested in a variety of ways, either within the authoring environment, or at run time when the application is compiled (click Test Project on the Project menu, or press F5). While within the authoring environment, you can use the playback controls located under Objects and Timeline in the Interaction panel:

Playback controls under Objects and Timeline

Scrubbing the timeline

Scrubbing the timeline is a useful technique for precisely controlling the speed and position of the animation you want to preview or test. Scrubbing is accomplished by dragging the playhead. As you drag the playhead, you will see the animation on the artboard. Frames can be scrubbed normally or in reverse. The speed at which the animation plays depends on the speed at which you drag the playhead.

Time snapping

The Objects and Timeline category in the Interaction panel contains controls that allow you to control animation playback and navigate through time in discrete units (frames per second) determined by the snap resolution. Time snapping is used when you navigate through time using the playback controls. When you click the next and previous frame buttons, the playhead is sent forward or backward by the amount of frames per second that you designated. This amount of time is determined by the snap resolution.

Timeline snapping options

Snap Resolution dialog

Tip Timeline snapping does not apply to the frame rate or to the speed of your animation when your application runs. For more information, see Frame rates.

Time display

The current time display shows, in MM:SS:xxx (minutes, seconds, milliseconds), the currently selected point in time. To quickly jump to a specific point in time, you can enter a numeric value in this field to jump directly there.

Playhead Position text box, reading 1.450 seconds

Playhead Position text box, reading 1.450 seconds