Screencasts and Videos are Black when Previewing

Dec 28, 2017

Hi - Wondering if anyone else has experienced seeing only a black screen when Previewing a screencast or a video file that was inserted into a Storyline 360 story.  The audio plays fine but the video is all black.  Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks in advance!


21 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Sylvia - Looks like that discussion must have been deleted by the user. I cannot see it either, so we aren't hiding anything from you :)

When inserting a video or a Flash (SWF) file into Articulate Storyline, you may find that the placeholder image for the video or Flash file appears as a white, black, or transparent rectangle. Although the content will work as expected when you publish, this can make it difficult to see the placeholder while you're developing your course in Storyline.

To make it easier to see, right-click the placeholder and select Set Poster Frame, then browse to an image file to use as your placeholder image.

Tip: If you configure the video or Flash file to start when clicked or triggered, learners will see the poster frame image in your published course.

Are you not hosting the content somewhere to share with your stakeholders? Not all items work as expected when previewing.

Sylvia Harrell

Hi Leslie - Thanks for your reply!  I have done the things you suggested, but I do still need to be able to preview an unpublished version with my stakeholders.  In this case, the Storyline is still be developed (not published) and I'm trying to get buy-in on the video placement/concept.  Does that make sense? 

Is that something that is being worked on?  I don't recall the issue in Storyline 1 or 2.  Thx!

Sylvia Harrell

Hi Alyssa,   Happy New Year!

The files are MP4s.  And I've found is that the behavior is intermittent. 

This weekend, I was working from home and not docked to my larger monitors in the office.  Surprisingly, the videos played.  In the office (this morning) while docked again, the videos were black, but the audio played.   I tried undocked in the office again, but the videos were still black. 

Any thoughts?  Other experiences like this?  I will be reaching out to my IT Team as well!

Alyssa Gomez

Hi there Sylvia,

No, I haven't seen this happen before with MP4 video files. And since it previewed correctly when you were not docked to your external monitors, it sounds like it could have something to do with your set-up. 

If you're still running into this problem, could you share your file with our team by clicking here? We can test it in a variety of environments and let you know what we find. Thanks!

Katie Riggio

Welcome, Johanne ..and yikes!

I'm so sorry you're seeing that when trying to preview all your hard work. We're here to help!

First, let's see if a simple Storyline 360 repair helps. If those steps don't help fix the issue, let's give the How to Fix Unexpected or Erratic Behavior ones a go.

Keep me posted, as I'm happy to keep digging!

Johanne Moohan

[Doosan Babcock Classification - DOOSAN-GREEN]

Hi Katie,

Thank you for your message.

I've followed the instructions and I'm getting the same problem.

I've rebooted and uninstalled. I'm can see it is freezing on one specific slide.

I think I will delete the slide and rebuild it, it has 6 layers and audio so it might be a corrupt slide.

I'll keep you updated.

Kind regards

Johanne Moohan

Thanks Alyssa.

I've now deleted the slide and recreated it I've followed the troubleshooting instructions.

I'm still having the same problem.

I can view the scene and play it but I can't preview the whole project including the quiz.  I've tried publishing in multiple ways and again it's the same result.  

I would really appreciate any advice.  I've contacted my IT team and they have investigated.  They believe the problem is in the application.  I've deleted the slide, uninstalled the program and reinstalled.  



Katie Riggio

Appreciate you letting us know what you've tried so far, Johanne! So sorry this problem is still lurking in the shadows.

Hm, I wonder if importing the slides into a new file might do the trick. Here's how!

If that still doesn't help, could you send us your .story file? Feel free to either add the project as a comment by using the Add Attachment button in your reply or send it privately via this link. We'll dive into the slides with our flashlights and let you know what we find!

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