Can the seekbar be used to scrub in videos on separate layers?

Apr 27, 2015

I'm doing some testing with closed captioning. I have my main video playing on my base layer. I have a CC button that shows my CC layer, which contains a video of my closed captioning text.

Normally, the seekbar seems to control only the video on the base layer. If I set "Allow seeking" to "Yes" on my CC layer, the seekbar seems to control only the CC video.

Is there a way to make the seekbar control both videos/layers simultaneously? Thanks!


19 Replies
Mike B.

Thanks for that link, I'm going to read through some others to get more familiar with the workings of Storyline.

Is there any way to lock media together, so that they can be played, paused, and scrubbed together? If the only way to do this currently is to have them both reside on the base layer, I'll brainstorm on that for a while. Thanks!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Mike,

The media elements would have to be on the same slide and layer to be "locked" together - but even then if you were applying triggers to them or similar, that would disrupt the overall set up. 

I would look at using them both on the base slide, or if you could insert the video and the CC video on the layer together, you could treat it as a separate element in terms of the seekbar. Just make sure to hide all the items on the base layer. 

Mike B.

Good to know about the triggers, thanks. So the best way to accomplish this is to make sure both media elements are on the same layer, no matter which layer that might be? This complicates things a bit, as the best I can probably do is to have the CC display by default, below my video, and hide it with another layer if CC is off. I'll keep brainstorming on this. Thanks for your help!

Mike B.

Well, I have to say that I am VERY pleased with my result so far. I'm going to try to sanitize a video clip to demo this, but here are the basics of what I did:

1. Used Camtasia to create a video file that contains only my transcript text, timed to my talking head video.

2. Inserted that video below my talking head video, both on the base layer. (The CC video is very small in file size btw, 800x104 resolution, and 1.2MB for 3 minutes of video, could easily be made smaller than this.)

3. Created a "CC" layer which contains a blank white square, but could contain a banner ad or other info. The square covers the area where my CC video is located and the CC layer is shown by default.

4. My CC button toggles variable CC to either "on" or "off", "off" is the default. (The only problem I've seen so far is that clicking the button does NOT toggle off in FF HTML5, for whatever reason??? Works great in IE11.)

5. When the timeline starts, both the talking head and CC videos start playing together, and remain locked to the seekbar, however the CC video is initially covered by the CC layer.

I took this approach because my videos/courses are so long that it just doesn't seem practical to me to manually add the CC to the timeline using the javascript method.

I'll try to rip out all copyrighted info and post a .story file, and maybe someone can tell me why I'm having trouble with #4 above. Thanks!

Steve Flowers

Hey Mike -

So you recorded the playback of your video with the CC turned on and cropped the bottom as an individual component? I like this solution. Pretty clever. Camtasia's captioning setup is great and using a tool like that makes your captioning files portable. 

It's really not too tough to do captions through a trigger setup. Goes pretty quickly. Nearly as fast for me as using Camtasia's captioning. The downside, a big one, is the Storyline triggers method doesn't result in portable captions.


Mike B.

Not exactly, but very close. Now that I got it working, I'm going back through the process and documenting everything.

I do import the transcription file into Camtasia, but then just "Produce" the video file from there, pull it back into Sony Vegas to crop it down to just the transcript portion of the video. There are a few steps involved, so this may not be worthwhile if you have a lot of very short video clips. Mine are averaging 5-10 minutes each, with a couple of longer ones.

My main objective with this was to eliminate the tedious work of positioning the captions on the timeline for very long videos. My base video for this project is over 3 hours long, breaking it up into 5-10 minutes clips/slides. I can't imagine having to manually position all of those caption objects. I'm already drinking too much coffee here. :) Hopefully this way will end up being quicker. This is my second pilot course testing this technique. So far, the part that takes the longest is waiting for the transcription service to spit back the processed file to me. :)

Mike B.

I just got a little sad... Downloaded my transcript .srt file into the same folder as my video, and started playing the video back to listen and proofread the transcript.

Media Player Classic saw the .srt file in the same folder and automatically played BEAUTIFUL CC overlayed on the video. IMO it looks even better than Camtasia's. White text with completely transparent background, black outline and perfect drop shadow.

Mike B.

Matthew: The only problem I'm still having is that my CC variable trigger is not turned "off" when pressing my CC button in HTML5. I'm sure there is a way to overcome this.

Ashley: Working on that write-up now. I'm looking for a public domain talking head video I can use in a demo Storyline project to share. Can't really share any of our content at this time. Any suggestions?

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