Photoshopping a screen recording


I've just downloaded the trial of Storyline and am very, very impressed.

The software I create training for usually isn't finished, so I always need to edit each image; moving tabs to where they should go, replacing test options in lists for the correct ones, and so on.

One of the things I like about Adobe Captivate which I use at the moment is that the screen recordings are really just a series of static images linked by interactions, so it's easy to Photoshop each slide. But Storyline seems to do everything by video.

Is there a way to screen record as a series of static images, and then round trip the images into Photoshop for editing and then back to Storyline?

Thank you.

16 Replies
Nancy Woinoski

Hi Jon, I think what Arlyn is trying to say is that there are a number of different ways you can do screen recordings in Storyline.

After you do your recording, you have the option of creating the recording as a single video or as step-by-step slides.

The video option is similar to what you would get if you were using a tool like Camtasia to do the recording. The step-by-step options create individual slides like what you would get with Captivate. Now you can't do the round trip editing to Photoshop like you can with Captivate, but you can edit the slides directly in Storyline. 

In your case, you should probably be using the step-by-step options so that you can make the changes to test options, field names etc.

You can make the changes by applying patches using the SL symbols and text options or by using a tool like Snagit to take a capture of the change and then bringing it into SL.

Hope this helps.

Jon Chambers

Thank you both

I've done a test and found the 'Show Animation' option.

There didn't seem to be a way to remove the animation from all slides at once, though being able Next through them all in the Action Fine Tuning dialogue box at least means it shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes on a production lesson, and Storyline seemed to choose the correct frame each time.

Exporting the still frames was a bit trickier. They didn't appear as objects on the slides, so I couldn't find a way to copy them for pasting into an image editor.  As far as could see I had to right click on each one and export as a png image. Filenames defaulted to the frame number rather than slide number so it could be tricky to remember which image relates to which frame, but that's manageable.

What I haven't quite figured out is how to replace the original image with the edited one. Yes, I can paste it onto the slide and it sits nicely on top (on top of the hotspot too, but no trouble to fix that). The problem is that the original frame is exported in the story_content folder. alongside the replacement. So doubling the lesson size, and possibly exposing confidential information if the purpose of the editing is to remove stuff like that.

Is there an efficient solution to that?

So in short, I'm after ways to:

  1. Deselect 'show animation' for all slides in one go
  2. Quickly copy the still video frame of a slide onto the windows clipboard for pasting into Photoshop
  3. Merge the edited still image to replace, not sit on top of, the original frame. For those of you who know Captivate the equivalent of CTRL-M 'Merge object into background'

I hope this doesn't come over as griping; Storlyline looks brilliant so I'm looking to find reasons for choosing it. This sort of task is Captivate's great strength so if Storyline can deliver something (nearly) as good, to go with the other aspects that it clearly wins hands down at, then Adobe might start to sweat :)


Jack Anzinger

Nancy Woinoski said:

Lance, I think the problem is that you can export them but there is no obvious way to import them back in.

Yup.Plus, it's a two stage process. With Captivate, I simply Snag the updated GUI bit, copy, paste, merge. Done. The slide-by-slide granularity of Captivate does come in handy for software demos.

Nancy Woinoski

Hi Arlyn, I think the issue with SL is that it exports the original frame in the story_content folder alongside the replacement. So if one of the reasons for editing the slide was to remove sensitive or condifidential user data there might be a potentail issue with that.

Other than that I for one think the way SL does this is perfectly fine.

Jon Chambers

Hi Nancy, that's exactly right - I'd need a way to completely remove the original image from any published output.

And yes, other than that SL seems to handle this reasonably well. Pretty clunky in comparison to Captivate but fine.

For non Captivate users who want to understand the comparison, each Captivate slide has a 'background' which would be the screenshot of the appliction, plus objects on top very much like SL: captions, highlights, clickboxes and so on. Merging an image (or any other object for that matter) fixes it in place and removes the original background - so no possiblity of confidential info leaking out. The whole process takes about 3 clicks to merge an existing object or about 6 clicks to completely round trip the background through Photoshop.

Kita White

Hmm. We're considering upgrading to Storyline also. The ability to do as the OP suggested, and edit underlying slide images in a Step by Step recording is critical for our purposes.

This issue (and the lack of motion path animations) is currently looking like a deal-breaker for us moving over. (We currently use Studio and an older version of Captivate - we're looking for that elusive single product solution if we can!)

Any word on if these issues are to be addressed?