Modifying characters

Aug 17, 2012

Hello Heros!

I have a client that wants to use an illustrated character in our storyline module to represent her.  The only problem is that she is white with long black hair.  There is no character like this in the character pack.   Can I somehow access the source files for the characters?  I could do a quick skin tone change to get what we need.


62 Replies
Daria Do


I am just strating to work with articulate. I have to concieve a course of "law and construction". I have to use many different characters (lawyers, judges, workers etc.) To help the learner identify them i am thinking of adding an object (hat, helmet etc.) to each character.

I have used the technique described above. It is quite time-consuming but it works.

However i have a few questions and comments:

- I tried to delete that image at the just leaves a white mark

- Eventhough it is not possible to add the expressions to the new image, can we not insert all our new images in the bank of illustrated characters? So that we can use them more easily all along the slides? I can't find the file containing all the characters.

-Does anyone know of any other bank of illustrated characters (for free or to buy) that contains more elements?

- Since i can see that many people are creating their own, could we think of a common space to share them? I am ready to share mine once i have created them!

Thanks for your answers and comments back.

Estelle (and please excuse my english, i am french... )

Phil Simons

I appreciate the method involved here, but I think it misses the point.

If you loose the ability to change the character's pose and expression while editing the character, then you loose the power of the character.

What we would like to be able to do is create our own characters, with the ability to change their pose and expression, and be able to re-use those characters across multiple storyline files.  Basically, we want to be able to create characters and add them to the storyline library.

Is this possible?

Thanks, Phil

Michael Eckenfels

Wow, this is a great thing. Never would I have thought of using PPT as a graphic editing tool; I'm too anchored to Photoshop and Illustrator to have thought of this.

I stumbled across this when I was looking for ways to edit the illustrated characters (from this post) and was wondering how the user(s) created spacesuits, etc. - seemed to me the best way to do it is in Illustrator. If you have that program, you can ungroup following the instructions above, then select everything, copy, and then paste it in a new window in Illustrator, and all of the 'pieces' of the character will be clickable like in PPT, but also editable there as well. Perhaps this is an option for those inclined to use Illustrator in order to keep the vector graphic (i.e., sharp/well-defined) images intact. 

Then again, if you want to do something like a spacesuit or a different outfit, you can just create a layer above the character and draw whatever it is you want to create (or import and edit) over the character, sort of like those old-time paper dolls where you could fold their costume tabs over their body. Just match the pose and it should be pretty easy.

Then again Illustrator has a steep learning curve (at least for me; I've worked with it for years and it still frightens me), and I'm pretty impressed with what I've seen in this thread from just using PPT (Brenda's edits, in particular). Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it needs to be. 

Simon Perkins

Re anyone who is having problems with either the white mark around the next and/or losing clarity when converting to another format ... use SnagIt to capture the shot you want then edit elsewhere.  This is the most reliable method I've found so far of retaining quality and sizing etc.

If you don't want to pay for SnagIt (which is an excellent tool in itself) then Jing does the basics for free.

John Wagner

Hi I'm still new to Articulate Storyline, but am really enjoying the power and creativity it gives me in creating courses.

Some have asked in this thread about other characters. I suggest checking out They have tons of characters in hundreds of poses both front and back. It isn't free, but I think the price is reasonable for the amount of material that is available.

They also have a good selection of pre-built backgrounds

Bj Wilson

For anyone interested in creating their own characters or modifying existing wmf characters check out this free addon for powerpoint 2010/2013 at Amongst other things it has a shapes library which means you can import a wmf file, ungroup it and change colours or save sets of expressions etc within powerpoint and then re-add those saved shapes of eyes, nose mouth etc to other characters in another presentation. It does amazing things with animations and highlights, captions and audio etc and is a real asset for those working with both powerpoint and articulate storyline and/or studio products. 

I've pasted just a small sample of a character I have changed using the shapes library from pptlabs. I did these very quickly but you can see the idea. This way you can make your own character sets and import them as images into storyline and use the change states options to change expressions and poses. I hope this helps someone.

Nathaniel Wildstone

Ok, so for all you GD's or Illustrator users out there, you can take that EMS file into Illustrator too! What I did was ungrouped once or twice, NOT three times...too many tiny pieces! Just ungroup once or twice, bring a couple characters into Illustrator from PowerPoint with CTRL C and CTRL V. You may have to ungroup again once in Illustrator because it automatically regroups the Illustration. But Illustrator is a much more powerful tool than PowerPoint for this kind of thing. Once you are in there, you have maximum control for altering the illustration. Do whatever you want. You can take the shirt off of one character and slide it onto the other one. Just keep the character sizes  the same and line them up so it's easy to swap things out. Happy editing!