Importing & exporting transparent video in Storyline?

Hi All,

Anybody worked out how to get a transparent video into Storyline, then published with the transparency intact??

I have a video rendered from After Effects (as an AVI & FLV) which has a transparent background. Once imported, Storyline doesnt seem to recognise the video's transparency layer and appears as a solid black or white coloured background.

Storyline says it handles FLVs with an alpha transparency. Has anyone cracked it?


35 Replies
Brett Rockwood

Mike, that's an interesting question. But layers don't have a transparency option and neither do videos so I don't think that's going to work. I think we'll just have to wait for the next update.

Ashley, did you give something away here by saying FLV alpha channel transparency will be in the next update?   :-)

Fingers crossed.


Mike B.

Thanks Ashley, will do.

Brett and Ashley: Yes, I was hoping there might be a layer transparency option since I can't make my video transparent. My video consists of closed captioned text, saved as a video, that would play along the timeline with the video on my base layer. I don't have room in this particular project to display my CC under my base layer video, so I was going to try to overlay it. I didn't want to completely obscure the bottom of my base layer video though. A transparent flv might work for this. Just trying different things to get CC into my project. This particular course contains about 2 hours of video, so manually adding the CC is not practical IMO. Thanks!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Mike,

If I'm understanding correctly - anything you place on the slide layer will lay over top the base layer. You could modify elements on the layer to be transparent - say if it's a shape or something that you want to show parts of what is behind it you can edit/format the shape's fill/line color in terms of transparency. You'll just want to set up the triggers to show the layer based on what you need in terms of the user clicking a button or show it automatically based on the start of the slide's timeline. 

Brett Rockwood

Hi Mike,

That's a really interesting idea for CC. Would the text be scrolling in the video? I could picture that working really well if you can work out the timing.

Have you tried compositing an alpha channel of text only? Assuming SL will be able to do alpha transparency soon enough, would the text come through clearly, sharply enough as the only only non-transparent part of a video? Might be interesting to try it in Premiere or something just to see how it knocks out.


Mike B.

Ashley: Yes, it appears most shapes can be given a level of transparency, but I was unable to find that anywhere in the properties for a video on the layer. That's why I was hoping there was a general transparency setting for the layer itself.

Brett: The text doesn't really scroll, just changes as the video proceeds. Yes, the timing could be an issue, but if it's off by less than 2 seconds, I'll be satisfied. Still testing that part.

My idea is to have the user choose to turn CC on or off at the beginning of the course, or at least on the previous slide, that way when my slide loads, the base layer video and the CC layer video will begin playing simultaneously. If they want to turn on CC for the current slide, then I could trigger the slide to start over at the beginning. Timing could become an issue with long videos, already thinking of workarounds for that.

I had no success using a trigger on the base layer to play media on a different layer when the timeline starts, that's why I'm doing it this way.

I'm authoring my videos in Sony Vegas Pro 9, so I can't currently create any flv's with alpha channels yet. I just started looking around for a solution I can use to create them. My text is currently white on a black background. Keeping the text opaque and making the background mostly transparent would work best, I think.

Thanks for your input. If this works out, I will post my workflow and setup to make it work.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dara,

I haven't heard discussion of other video transparency set ups in the E-Learning Heroes community forum, but we do support a number of other video types as detailed here. The issue with the FLV transparency is documented here as well. 

I know that there was this older thread about transparency in HTML5. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Derek and welcome to E-Learning Heroes :)

Ashley's last response still holds true. I'm not sure what version of Storyline you are utilizing, but even the newer version does not support this functionality in HTML5 as you can see here.

What format are you hoping to use? You are also welcome to share your thoughts here.

Katie Riggio

No sorry necessary, Neil! ☺️ 

While we support FLV files with alpha transparency in the Flash output and the Articulate Mobile player in all Storyline versions – the transparency does not carry over to the HTML5 output. To make sure your courses will still play, Storyline will encode those FLV files as MP4 videos.

Some users have asked about other file types with transparency in which:

  • 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 do not support that due to their lack of browser support. This format would not work in IE, Safari (mobile or desktop), and show poor results in Firefox.

I hope this helps, and let us know if you have any more questions! We're happy to help!