How to make a timeline?

  • Hello, newbie here. I'm having some serious trouble creating a timeline. I have together all the elements I want to work with, but when I try to drag any of it onto a timeline it just.. disappears. I can't get anything to stick. Help?

  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    Hi @AutopsyBlue! Welcome to Plotist!

    We are working on a tutorial video, but it will take a few weeks to have it ready. In the meantime, I'll try to give you a quick walkthrough of the timeline interface.

    The main area has two parts, in addition to the drawer where your elements are, on the left is where the keys will be and on the right is where the tracks will be. Think of the keys as who or what you are creating the timeline for and the track is the timeline itself. A track has blocks and events. In the original release of Plotist, the keys were characters and the blocks were the location where these characters were at some moment in time. In the new version, anything can be a key or a block, so you can use anything that makes sense to you. The key can be an object, for example, and the blocks can be who owns that object at that time.

    Events are the things that are happening in your story, and they are a special type of element in your story. They cannot be keys or blocks, only events, and while blocks can expand many time units, events can only be at one point in time.

    Using our original idea for the timeline (characters as keys and locations as blocks), you have information about where a character was at some point in your story, and what was happening to him/her/it using an event. By having multiple tracks, you can see what was going on with other characters and where they were. Or if you use objects as keys and characters as blocks, you can see who owned those objects and what happened to them.

    Our Robert's Rebellion timeline, from Game of Thrones (not really spoilers as it's part of the historical background to the series), is a good example of a character-driven timeline:

    When you create a new timeline, it will be completely empty. The first thing you need to do is create at least one key on the left side. Drag a character, object or location (events are not allowed) to the left-most part of the screen. Once a key is in place, you can start adding blocks to the track on the right of the key. Blocks can be resized and dragged around as much as you like. Once you have blocks in place, you can add events on those blocks. Events have to be dragged to the line on the center of the block at the point you want to add it, but you can add multiple events in one place.

    And that's all there is. Drag elements to the left to create keys, drag elements to the track next to a key to add a new block, and drag events on those blocks.

    Hope it is clear, please let me know if you have any other questions.

    One last thing. Although it is now outdated (the interface is very different) the old video tutorial for the timeline explains many of the same principles I just explained above (skip to 3:23)

    Good luck and happy plotting!

  • Ohhh geez thank you I just I wasn't dragging the character over to the left hand side. It's working now, thanks so much! This'll be useful.

  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    Glad I could help!

    Let us know anything else you need :)

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