Character Animation Question

Hi everyone.

We're searching for character animation capabilities for our customer in Storyline 2. 

We've firstly tried using videos. But since we can't make the background transparent it is a dead end. (See the attached file)

Did anyone try and accomplish such a case? Any tips and tricks are welcomed.

Best of luck.

Mustafa

17 Replies
Brian Allen

Hello Mustafa - 

For transparent background in video you need to be using a video format that gives you the ability to set a transparent alpha channel.

We generally use FLV for video like this.

For character animation we have used Code Baby before, which outputs character animation with transparent background and has worked great in Articulate products we've used it in (both Studio and Storyline)...

Brian Allen

Mustafa, definitely not disagreeing that mobile access is something we should care about, we absolutely should, but what I would prefer to see for mobile is more along the lines of a "responsive" design approach.  I would like to see the ability to show mobile users an alternative media source for my video (like a static graphic, etc.) rather than the video my desktop users will be seeing...

Brent deMoville

I have found the products from Reallusion, like Crazytalk and Crazytalk Animator Pipeline to be be very useful for this type of work.  The Pipeline product is designed to create the type of video you are describing and the final result can be output in MP4 format for compatibility across platforms.

Mustafa Yucelgen

Brent deMoville said:

I have found the products from Reallusion, like Crazytalk and Crazytalk Animator Pipeline to be be very useful for this type of work.  The Pipeline product is designed to create the type of video you are describing and the final result can be output in MP4 format for compatibility across platforms.


Thanx Brent. We'll give it a try.

Mustafa Yucelgen

Brian Allen said:

Mustafa, definitely not disagreeing that mobile access is something we should care about, we absolutely should, but what I would prefer to see for mobile is more along the lines of a "responsive" design approach.  I would like to see the ability to show mobile users an alternative media source for my video (like a static graphic, etc.) rather than the video my desktop users will be seeing...


I agree with you but unfortunayely our customers want it all! o)

Bruce Graham

Mustafa Yucelgen said:

Thanx Brian. Since mobile players are another issue we should care about, we need to find another solution alternative to using videos.


OK - being dumb here...but why can't you use videos with mobile players?

I am viewing a short video embedded into Storyline 2 Android player at the moment, and no issues at all.

Jerson  Campos

There are several different options available for full character animation. There is Anime Studio and Toon Boom.  Both applications are full animation applications. Anime Studio has a learning curve but I find it is easier to animate characters in. Toon Boom is much more sophisticated and I believe does frame by frame animation (You have to draw the characters each frame).  You also have Adobe Flash. You can create your animation in flash output the SWF file and convert that SWF file to an HD video using a small application called Swivel (free). 

Since you need to output to mobile, you are limited to some options. I don't know if Articulate solved the issues with animated GIFs where it would consistently loop (sometimes out of place) when embedded in a course. My recommendation, just animate the entire scene with characters and background. You can always pause the video in certain points with storyline to add text or other bits of information and display it over the video.

Jerson  Campos

@Nick

But if you go back to the animated gif, it sometimes starts playing in the middle of its timeline. This is what happened to me. I placed some animated GIFs on different layers. When i showed those layers through triggers, the animation would start at different times in it's timeline. SL also ignored any programming in the GIF to play only once.

Brian Allen

Yeah, I thought that mp4 video may support a transparent alpha channel, but it doesn't appear to be the case.

However, for mobile, it does appear as though FLV with transparency is supported on mobile if you use the Articulate Media Player (AMP).  Check out this knowledge base article and scroll down to the "Media" section - http://www.articulate.com/support/storyline-2/comparing-flash-html5-and-articulate-mobile-player-output-for-articulate-storyline-2