import video with alpha background

Aug 02, 2016

I have shot our learning host on green screen, keyed out the background in adobe premier cc and rendered a Quicktime file that imports into all my other apps with the alpha or transparent background fine but when I bring the same file into storyboard it comes in with the black background. Any clues or tips when it comes to importing video with transparent backgrounds? You can see this in the attached screen capture.



31 Replies
Mark Pinkston

Hello Ashley, I have read the forums and that is what I understand however it also doesn't seem like that is 100%. We have updated cloud apps so they no longer offer FLV from Media Encoder or Premier Pro, seems like Quicktime with Animation Codec @32bit is the popular and most stable format when exporting media with alpha channels. Hopefully you guys can add support for that moving forward since Flash and FLV are dying. Trust me not a fan 15 years as Flash AS designer.

I have an older version of media encoder at home I will try exporting to FLV. I will post my results.

FYI Quicktime sorta works about 30% of the data is affected as you can see in the screen grab in my earlier post.

Thank you

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Mark,

Currently we natively support FLV, SWF and MP4 video types, and a number of other types will be converted to MP4 as mentioned here. 

I'm not incredibly familiar with the Adobe cloud apps or the types you've mentioned but I'll certainly pass it along to our team in terms of future support for different formats. You can also send along specific ideas and feature requests here by contacting our Product developers. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Stacey, 

MP4 videos don't support transparency in the same way that an FLV video does with alpha channel. Another video format that does support transparency is the .webm video format, but we don't support it in Storyline or Studio since IE, Safari and Mobile Safari also don't support it. 

Hope that helps clarify.

Ryan Nieman

This is silly... We go from problems with transparent videos showing up in Storyline 2, to having the same issue in Storyline 3, and now we are moving into 360 with no known fixes just workarounds! What is the deal guys? E-learning is very important and the tools are only going to get better and better as we go but it feels like Articulate is being left behind because of issues like this alongside flash problems, and the list goes on. I was so close in moving over to 360 but now our team has to start looking at other tools because of unresolved issues that just stay in place from one version to the next. Very sorry to hear that you team is not listening to it's customers...

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Ryan, 

I'm sorry you feel that we're not listening, as that's not ever something we want you to think! Our team is focused on fixing bugs as soon as possible,  listening to ideas and feedback about enhancements, all with the goal of providing the best tools we can. You shared a few things that I hope I can clear up here! 

  • There was an issue with FLV alpha transparent videos in Storyline 2, where they'd show up without the transparent background. We fixed that in Update 5 of SL2 (we're now on Update 12).
  • We support FLV files with alpha transparency in our Flash output and the Articulate Mobile player (all Storyline versions). The nature of those files doesn't allow for transparency to carry over to our HTML5 output.  To make sure your courses will still play if you've included them we'll reencode those files during publish for HTML5 output to an MP4.

Some users have asked about other file types with transparency:

  • The MP4/H.264 file type does not support alpha channel (not specific to Articulate tools)
  • The .webm video format is an option for transparency, but we don't support that based on their lack of browser support.  Essentially if you were using that file it wouldn't work in IE, Safari(mobile or desktop) and have less than awesome results in Firefox. 

If there is another file type or feature we're missing, I'd love to know more about it. 

We see lots of requests and ideas here in the forums and also through our feature request form. Feel free to use the option that works best for you! Also, here's a look inside how we manage all  of the feature ideas we see! 

Let me know if I can help with anything else. 🙂

Tony Konig

I've reported several issues to Articulate over my time using Storyline. Occasionally, someone will mention that I should go to the "feature request form".  I have never done it.  You need to rethink your processes. When people complain about issues on a forum, an employee of your development team needs to pay attention and stop trying to redirect people to re-type their problems in a separate form.  You are missing plenty of good enhancement requests because people like me are not willing to type them twice for you. For instance, this comment should be escalated and some smart manager should react to it.  Pay attention, or just ignore it at your company's peril. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Tony,

I can promise you, we are paying attention. 

We are also working to better our feature request process. If the request is clear, we do submit them on the users behalf for the exact reason you mentioned - I would not want to share the same information twice either.

If the request is not clear or we are unsure of the use-case, we will still request that the user submit the request. We want to be sure that the need is clear when shared with the development team.

In addition, because we are watching and working to better advocate, we are pulling similar requests together to push them forward - which is why we encourage users to share their thoughts and/or feature requests.

I took a look at your profile to see where we may have dropped the ball with you, but I only see 2 posts. Do you have another profile perhaps?

We do appreciate your feedback Tony and I do apologize if you felt we were not listening.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Jeff!

I'm happy to clarify! FLV videos with alpha channel transparency are supported in Storyline 3 Flash and Articulate Mobile Player output but not HTML5 output. With browsers blocking Flash, the videos will not playback as expected. 

In short, these specific interactions were designed to depend on Flash. We'll update this discussion if we hear of any workarounds! We hope our community members will share how they are going to continue using transparent videos in HTML.

Robbie Christian

I'd love to loop back around to this.  I'm trying to import a character from Adobe Character Animator for my first time ever.  For a number of different reasons, it would be far easier to import with alpha (transparent background) than it would be to capture all the different background images and put them behind my video before exporting.  Has this been solved?  Am I able to import a video with a transparent background?

Bryan Mendelson

I'd have to agree with Robbie. Putting Flash aside, the ability to remove a simple green or blue screen would help greatly improve our final products with Storyline. We already push the limits.  I can't imagine all the possibilities with this feature. It all comes down to whether the tools we use have the features or not. Executive management is always looking for the next best thing. That's where our budget goes. I really love Storyline, but I don't make the final purchase decision. Would love to see this and many other features. Storyline needs to thrive!

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Michael.

MP4 videos are natively supported in Storyline 360, while other video file formats get converted to MP4 (you can see the list here).

Since MP4 doesn't accept alpha channels, this is not currently a feature supported in Storyline. We are tracking a feature request and will update this discussion when we have any news to share!