Blurry images in Storyline 360 November 2021

Nov 23, 2021

Support says it's a bug. But I don't understand why isn't everyone complaining about blurry images here? I can't believe hundreds of users are suffering in silence, so am I the only one?

94 Replies
Diarmaid Collins

Hi John. Pretentious neanderthal here with airs above my station. Chiselling hard. Like chalk. Zug zug!

I had a very long neanderthal-man-splain written about the differences in file formats and the pros and cons but a power outage wiped it before I could hit send. Which I'm kind of glad. I probably went way overboard.

Short version: There are 2 main image types; Raster images (also known as bitmaps) and Vector files.

Bitmaps are images compiled of pixels. The more pixels in an image (generally) the more detail the image will contain. The more pixels crammed into an inch (known as dots per inch or DPI for short) the sharper the image will appear. The downside with more pixels is the file size gets bigger.

JPEGS are predominantly used online because it is a 'lossy' compression file type that allows one to scrunch down the pixels to create smaller file sizes. This used to be important back in the early days of the Intertubes (but also again now with mobile data charges). The downside is the more the image is compressed the more pixellated it looks with things called 'artefacts' appearing around the edges of details. The trade-off is getting the happy medium between image quality and file size.

GIFs were/are predominantly used for flat graphic images, such as logos, illustrations, etc, due to its file capabilities of eliminating unnecessary pixel information (basically colour - the 'flatter' the colour (no gradients, shadows, etc) the less colour used, the smaller the file size. Ideal for icons. Also, the file format allowed for transparency and animations making it the de-facto choice for spicing up static pages/slides.

PNGs are the cool kids on the block cos they can (theoretically) do anything, but their primary use is that they are way better at handling transparency than GIFs. File sizes, in general, are slightly larger than equivalent JPEGs (much more so if transparency is included). Use only if transparency is needed.

The downside to all these formats is that if the bitmaps are enlarged or scaled upwards, they lose their sharpness and become blurry or 'soft'. The bigger the scale upwards the worse the effect.

Vectors use mathematical magic to display the information. Vectors are points (uh, in space) and vector lines um... join together creating shapes. The more vector points, the more shapes, the more 'complicated' the image. Sort of... There are many different Vector formats out there, such as WMF, EMF, EPS, the KLF, and SVG each with their own 'best use' advantages and disadvantages. I have never gotten an EMF to work for me. Ever. I don't know why it exists.

SVGs are known as Scalable Vector Graphics, and are the super cool new thing (they have been around for decades) and offer uh, scalable... vector... graphics to be used in your site/slide/artwork. The trouble is, Storyline is really behind the curveball (is that a phrase?) on this and its implementation is a bit below par. It should allow us the import of SVGs as images but then offer the flexibility of being treated as 'shapes' within Storyline to allow tweaking or editing of strokes, fills, transparencies, etc. It kind of worked with the Powerpoint workaround but Articulate have broken that official 'hack'.

SVGs should replace any instance of a static GIF used in the past. Any logos that were transparent GIFs or PNGs probably should be upgraded to SVGs (unless it's a mad logo with rainbow gradients and drop shadows everywhere). That's the short answer, really.

Here's a link to a demo I mocked up attempting to show the difference in image quality of the various file formats. But for some reason, my Photoshop seems to be creating 300dpi images that look the exact same as 72dpi images and I don't know why.

You should be clearly able to see the relevant image degradation of the GIF format compared to the others and also how SVGs scale beautifully.

Uh, ok, that still wasn't short. Apologies to everyone. I really should be doing something else but I don't want to.

John Fanely

Dear Pretentious Neanderthal Man,

That was flippin hilarious!  And in a case like this not at all too verbose. The explanations are great and I can now tell my 23 year old son and 25 year old daughter that a smart man implied I was a "cool kid on the block" cuz I use PNGs (My son gets ticked when I call them pings. I do it just to annoy him).

At any rate, thanks a bunch for the info and I promise to use it responsibly! 

Peggy Kunz

Nope...I am constantly here and asking for help with this issue!!  This is HUGE!  

I am now over a week late in completing a project and have spent almost this entire week trying to get storyline images NOT look blurry.  I finally switched to PhotoShop to do the image saving in...and same issue.  

The issue is NOT that we aren't using the same size image...or that we are saving it as a jpg and losing quality..i have been thru EVERY POSSIBLE ISSUE and even saved the screenshots in MS Word where they look just fine.  The issue is a STORYLINE one.  

Can someone please answer our question and try to help us? I now have to work the entire weekend because I just spent a week trying to get images to show up clear! 



Peggy Kunz

I am so frustrated and hate to be the loud one - I am always pretty content working with what I have to work with....but this is just unacceptable.  I have to meet with my boss on Monday and try to explain why this is okay.  I even just tried the screenshot feature within Storyline and even those images are blurry.  

I am ready to get a 30-day subscription to Captivate and just crank it out there at this point.  

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, everyone.

I want to reiterate what Michael mentioned a few days ago: this is not the expected behavior, and we are actively investigating the issue.

Based on the support cases received through this thread, there are multiple scenarios discussed here (SVGs, screenshots from third-party apps, images created in Photoshop, etc.), which might require different fixes. 

If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to submit a sample project where you’re experiencing the loss of quality in images to our support team, so it can help us in our investigation. 

We’ll keep everyone posted as we know more.

Diarmaid Collins

Based on the support cases received through this thread, there are multiple scenarios discussed here (SVGs, screenshots from third-party apps, images created in Photoshop, etc.), which might require different fixes.

Another thing is you might want to consider is what we had for breakfast, what star sign we were born under and whether or not our monitors are calibrated to an exact specification when we created the image files.

Sarah Tucker

So "fine" may be relative.  I noticed things were SUPER blurry after the update.  I rolled back to the Dec 14 version (3.59.26702.0) and they were back to their normal state.  I have tried images that contain text and they're back to their normal level of "not as great quality as the original but not super horrible blurry"  So, I don't think rolling back fixes your issue, but it fixed the obvious sudden difference for me.

Mark Kirby

Love your diplomatic "not super horribly blurry"....thanks Sarah!

Articulate support have prioritized fixing the blurry issue, so keep the faith. I'm hoping we are now no more than a few updates away from seeing this sorted. (I was firmly told at my previous company that "hope is not a strategy"....)

Note that this thread IS being actively watched by Articulate support....

Jamie Shaw

I'm really hoping this issue is fixed soon... thanks all on this thread for keeping the pressure on Articulate.  

I'm now at the point where I am manually overwriting the published images, which I'm not even sure classifies as a workaround (maybe a worka-worka-workaround).

It's crazy that even at 100% image quality in the publishing settings, the images are still being compressed.

How about a simple 'Use original images' tickbox in the publishing settings?  I mean seriously, how hard would that be?

Mark Kirby

Hi Jamie

I think uncompressed is one of the options Storyline are looking at.

I'm not sure if the problem/barrier is

  • upload time (we would gladly wait longer for projects to upload if they remained beautiful?!) or
  • download time (if it was, then how come the rest of the internet works with good quality images?)
  • something else
  • all of the above


Mark Kirby

Hi there my blurry and bleary-eyed heroes,

Can someone tell me what determines whether my video when inserted will have the compression control selectable (to None) vs grayed out to Automatic? The automatic setting makes the video blurry. I cannot figure out why some video seems to be controllable and some is not. 

Mark Kirby

I typically screen capture using Camtasia, and export using its built in highest res (1080 I think) MP4 output. Generally this works (lets me select None in compression after adding the video), but sometimes it doesn't and it comes in with grayed out Automatic in compression.  Needless to say, this is driving me potty.