How to Animate a BPMN Business Process Diagram?

By animating a business process diagram, you can see the flow of tasks within a process, from the beginning until the end. This does not only help to understand a process but also trace the bottleneck and look for improvements.

Creating an animation

  1. Select Modeling > Animation from the toolbar.
  2. Click Create New Animation at the top left of the Animation Panel.
    Create an animation
    Create an animation
  3. Give a meaningful name to the animation based on the flow you want to animate. Press Enter to confirm.
    Named animation
    Named animation
  4. When you add an animation for a process that involves gateway, you need to select the outgoing flows for gateway(s) in order to complete the path. To resolve an exclusive gateway requires the selection of the outgoing path. To resolve an inclusive gateway requires the selection of zero to multiple outgoint paths. Make your selection and click the green arrow button to confirm.
    Select the outgoing path for an exclusive gateway
    Select the outgoing path for an exclusive gateway

    The path of the animation is determined automatically by evaluating the flow modeled in the diagram. Shapes that form the path are shown in the Animation Panel as icons. If you click on any of them, it will jump right to the corresponding model element in the diagram.
    Select a shape in Animation Panel
    Select a shape in Animation Panel

Overview of Animation Panel

This Animation Panel is where you can control the animation.

The Animation Panel
The Animation Panel
No. Name Description
1 Expand/Collapse Expand or collapse Animation Panel
2 Name The name of the current flow.
3 Backward Move one shape backward in the flow.
4 Play Play or continue to play the animation with Animation minimized.
5 Stop Terminate the animation.
6 Forward Advance to the next shape in the flow.
7 Slider It is used for controlling the flow of animation.
8 Add Animation Create a new animation.
9 Refresh It is used for re-identifying the flow of animations base on the diagram content.
10 Options Click to configure Animation.
11 Export Export animation to HTML5.
12 Settings Click to rename or delete the flow.
13 Close Click to close the Animation Panel.
14
Flow of shapes
It displays all shapes of the current animation. Pressing on a shape here will highlight the corresponding shape in diagram.
15
Shape name
The name of the selected or animating shape. A question mark indicates that the shape is a decision shape. You can click on the question mark to re-select its outgoing flow.
16 Parallel flow
Parallel flow is presented as a branch.
Description of Animation Panel

Animation Options - General

Animation Options - General
Animation Options - General
Name Description
Dim other path
It dims the components that are not a part of the selected path.
Show start node when switch path
Jump to the first node of the selected path, or keep staying at the current viewing field.
Flow All Flow: Re-evaluate added animations to accept all available paths.
Sequence Flow: Re-evaluate added animations to accept only paths that are joined by sequence flows.
Message Flow: Re-evaluate added animations to accept only paths that are joined by message flows.
Show description It shows description of shape when playing the animation in exported HTML.
Play voice Voice can be recorded as description of model element. Check this if you want to play recorded voice when playing the animation in exported HTML.
The description of Animation Options (General) window

Animation Options - Advanced

Animation Options - Advanced
Animation Options - Advanced
Name Description
Color set Select a color set to controls the line and fill color of visited shape.
Line color The line color of visited shapes.
Fill color The fill color of visited shapes.
Line weight
The thickness of rectangle that surround the visited shapes'.
Ball color The color of ball that goes through a path during animation for indicating the progress of flow.
Speed The pace of animation.
Export progress bar background - Color 1
The background color for the top of progress bar in exported HTML.
Export progress bar background - Color 2 The background color for the bottom of progress bar in exported HTML.
The description of Animation Options (General) window

Exporting animation

You can export the animation to Web contents so that you can play it externally in another computer just by playing in a Web browser. To export animation, click on Export on the right of the Animation Panel. Then, fill in the file path and click OK in the Export Animation. You can add paths to be exported by clicking the plus button.

Export animation
Export animation

Related Resources

The following resources may help you to learn more about the topic discussed in this page.

 
1. What is animation? Table of Contents 3. Animating sequence diagram
 

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