Tip #1059: Animate a Line

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1059: Animate a Line

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Write on animates borders attached to lines, paths and paint strokes.

The Draw and Erase setting applied to a path using the Write On behavior.

Topic $TipTopic

This is a fun and fast way to animate any path, line or paint brush in Motion using the Write On behavior. Even better, you can animate a line to draw, erase, or draw then erase itself. Here’s how this works:

  • Using the Pen or Paint Brush tool, draw a path in Motion.
  • With the path selected, choose a border from the HUD (Option + Cmd + L) or Inspector > Object. The border needs a width greater than 0.

NOTE: Personally, I prefer applying Shape Styles, but these, too, need a wider border value.

  • With the path element still selected in the Layers panel, choose Behaviors > Shape > Write On. This animates the border starting at the beginning of the path.
  • Adjust the Offset value to change where drawing the border starts.

This technique is great at creating animated travel lines for a map, or calling attention to a moving object.


  • Change the duration of the Write on behavior to change it’s speed.
  • Select the Write on behavior, then, in Inspector > Behaviors, change the menu from Draw to Erase. This animates the removal of the border, Or Draw and Erase, which draws it on, then draws it off.

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