One simple way to give your e-learning course both a nice visual touch and a personal feel is to include a background photo. The problem with background photos is that they can be loud and distracting, and it can be difficult to read on-screen text when it’s over top of photos. For these reasons, you might be hesitant to use background photos in your own project designs.

In this post, I’m going to be share with you how you can easily create three different background looks by doing simple edits to a photo directly in Storyline.

Fade Your Background Photo

The first technique is one of my favorite techniques, and it is super simple to do. All you need to do is fade your background photo, so that it remains lightly visible, but not overpowering and not impeding learner ability to read onscreen text. To do that, you’ll just right-click on the photo, select “Format Picture” and increase the Transparency. I will usually increase to at least 80%. You want it to be very lightly visible, but only if they really look for it. It shouldn’t stand out. Now you can easily put text and other images over top of this, and they will stand out nicely.

Darken The Image To Make White Text Pop

A second trick is, instead of fading out the photo, is to darken the image to give it a more even and opaque feel, which makes it easier to read overlaid text. Here is how you can do this: right-click on the image and select “Format Picture” then under Blend I choose a color of dark gray, then select Mode to be “Soft Light”. Now, I can overlay white text, or put a title on this slide, and it will stand out nicely against this background photo.

Add a Nice Black and White Effect

And finally my third trick is a two-step process. The first thing you’ll do is right click the picture, select “Format Picture” and under Re-color, you’ll select the Black and White Preset. You’ll also set the transparency to 50%. The second thing you’ll do is create a rectangle that almost covers the whole slide, but leaves a margin all the way around, for effect. You’ll set the transparency of your rectangle to 25%. Then you get this cool black and white effect with overlay.

Those are three super-simple background looks that you can easily create yourself in a few steps by editing your photos in Storyline. Got any tips or tricks of your own for editing background photos? Share them in the comments. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for more e-learning tips, tricks, and advice every day.

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Bhavya Khatri