Publishing to iPad with Screen Captures

I am developing a training module for a web-based software application.  One of the requirements for this module is that it be viewable on an iPad.  I have been doing some screen capture tesing in Storyline for this project, and I have hit a few roadblocks.  Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Question 1:

What are the best settings to use when capturing screens in Storyline? 

I am referring mostly to screen resolution and capture size.  I have tried several combinations.  The best setting so far has been a screen resolution of 1152 x 864 and doing a full screen capture.  I have found that the step-by-step images look pretty good in the desktop browser environment; however, not so good in the iPad environment (I viewed both the HTML5 and Articulate Mobile Player versions on the iPad).  I have also found that the quality of the video on a single slide is not very good in my opinion.  Keep in mind, when I have published it, I have done it at the highest possible quality settings.  Which leads me to ...

Question 2:

What are the best settings to use when publishing a module that includes both video on a single slide and step-by-step slides of a screen capture done in Storyline?

Thank you.

10 Replies
Justin Wilcox

Hi Blake.

The default recording size of 720 x 540 is ideal if you are using the default dimensions when you create your Storyline file since those dimensions fit the iPad perfectly.

You would also want to lock the player to its optimal size. That will give you the best results because the video is not being resized.

Blake Griffin

Justin,

Thanks for the response.  Unfortunately, the default size is too small for the application I am recording.  If I size the browser to 720 x 540, there is a lot of scolling in the application from left to right and from up to down.  Any other ideas?

Any ideas on how to improve the video version of the screen capture?  The step-by-step version looks pretty good (on the desktop), but the video is too blurry to use effectively in the module. 

Thank you,

Blake

Justin Wilcox

Hi Blake.

Are you able to reduce your monitors dimensions so you could get it to fit? Typically the reason you would lose quality is if you are viewing a movie in a different dimension than what its original dimensions. So if your screencast is too big for the standard player, you are likely going to have issues on an iPad since the resolution of an iPad is 1024x768 (non-retina) . If you are locking the player to its optimal size and the screencast can fit within that. If you are targeting only the newer iPad with retina display, you could certainly change the story size to accommodate the larger dimensions. So a 4:3 ratio would  be around 1200x900 in Design -> Story Size. You would also need to lock the player size so that you aren't scaling your screencast which is what is going to reduce the quality.

James Brandwood

Hi Justin,

I have it in my head from somewhere that when publishing for iPad it is best to use a 4:3 ratio - is this correct?

My next project is on software that is 1270x970. Not quite 4:3 (4:3 is a ratio of 1.33 recuring, and this software is 1.309)

If I recorded this at 1270x970 and played it on an iPad would it give me about 87 pixels off screen that would have to be scrolled to or would it squish it ever so slightly to fit on the screen?

By the way I am going to be using a sidebar for the menu.

Thanks

Jerson  Campos

What version of Ipad are you viewing this on? The newer Ipads have the retina screen that would require screen captures of  2048 x 1536. And for the best quality you would want to do a 1:1 ratio for the screen capture. So you would have to set your monitor settings at 2048 x 1536. Another thing you might want to look at is the video recording setting. I've never used the recording setting, but it might also be the codec or how the video is compressed. If you can't increase the size of the recording, you might have to use another method to capture video of your screen with a software that can produce a higher quality. Something that can produce HD quality. Of course this will greatly increase the size, but here is where you'll have to figure out the give-and-take options.

James Brandwood

@ Jerson - HD isn't any sort of consideration for the training I am creating - technically HD starts at 1280x720 so it wouldn't be that hard to achieve anyway  and would depend more on the colour saturation, contrast and true-ness of colour... it trueness is a word. As for codec, Storyline publishes in HTML5 for iPad. I would think creating a course at 2048x1536 would make a file size way too large and would limit the training delivery on PC.

@Justin - The company has iPad 2s and the not really iPad 3 because apple wants to use that number for their 3d version's. They don't have many 2's and going forward will purchase 3's which is why I was considering the 1200x900 resolution you mentioned above.

However the native size of the software is 1270x970 (in-house software) and ideally I would like to show it as the user would see it - i just wasn't sure if the iPad would scale it down to 1200x900 when played or if the user would have to scroll to see the extra parts. Similarly would the iPad 2 scale the size down or require scrolling to view all content?

Thanks 

Jerson  Campos

I'm talking about the video codec. I haven't tried to record anything so I don't know if you can adjust the settings for how storyline records video, but the video codec (compression/decompression) is one of the major determining factors of how video appears after you record it. Depending on the codec it could look nice and crispt (but usually larger file size) or it could look fuzzy (usually smaller file size) It also depends on the format. The new h.264 format can retain very fine detail while still be small.

If video quality is something important to this project, then you might start taking a look at what format you are recording in and try a few different tests.

Justin Grenier

Good Morning, James.

I re-sized Google Chrome to 1270 x 970 and recorded a ten-second video of the browser.  I then published the Story with a minimal Player, first for the Articulate Mobile Player and second for HTML5.  You can view my findings within this Screencast, as viewed on an iPad 2:

As you can see, the iPad 2 scales the video in both cases and does not require scrolling.  I would expect to see similar behavior on an iPad 3.

Please let us know if you need anything else.  Thanks!