Storyline 2 - Problem with FLV files with alpha channels

Hi there Articulate. First of all congratulations with a new solid product. Looking forward to spending alot of time with it in the future. Now to my problem.

I record alot of material on green screen and use the video material in Articulate. But there is a problem with these FLV files in Storyline 2. Take a look at the following movies.

FLV movie with alpha in Storyline 1

In Storyline 1 this flv file is perfect. No problems at all.

FLV movie with alpha in Storyline 2

when I use the exactly same file in Storyline 2, the alpha channel doesent work. Here are my render settings in After Effects.

Please help me. I really want to use Storyline 2 for my projects.

Best regards

Morten Skoglund

82 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi all,

This is documented here, and you'll see that our team has shared the following:

FLV alpha channel transparency isn't currently working in Articulate Storyline 2 content. It'll be fixed in the next software update for Storyline. Enable the Check for updates at startup feature to be notified when the new update is available.

George Moureau

Don't know if this helps due to the size of the imported video but I've found that SWF files retain the alpha channel, at least in edit mode. I haven't tried to publish yet. I "rendered" using After Effects, meaning exporting rather than rendering the animation as an Adobe SWF, I then "Inserted" swf file into an SL2 slide and it retained the alpha channel's transparency.  Only drawback is file size. I'm streaming our finished products so file size matters. The SL1 work around may be still be the best way to deal with this.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi George,

What error message are you seeing when entering in your serial number? It may be easier to troubleshoot that with our support team here if you'd like.

Also, just as an FYI when you reply via email your signature is included here in the forums. You're welcome to update and edit the post if you'd like to remove that information. 

George Moureau

HI Ashley,
When trying to activate I get the message that the activation process cannot connect to the activation servers and asks that I complete the activation manually. I send in the activation code request via email, get the reply and use the sent code to activate. It fails with the simple message "Activation failed".
I've turned of all firewalls, don't know what to do next. I can activate the product using serial number, no problem, having uninstalled and reinstalled several times with Storyline 1 and 2. But cannot activate the updates. This will be an issue when your team finally does fix the alpha channel issue.

George Moureau
Tech Support
PICC Excellence, Inc.
706 377 3360

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi George,

I found your case, so I've also escalated this within our next level of support so that they can reach out to you.

As a reminder, the activation code will only be necessary when you're unable to connect to our activation servers, otherwise you'd be able to activate with the serial number as normal. 

Quentin Steele

Now that this is working in Storyline 2, Morten or George, can you point me to the workflow you use to create the FLV movie with alpha? Did you use Final Cut Pro or ??? to create that file, and how?

I've got a sample MP4 File shot against green screen. I brought it into iMovie, and could easily replace the background with another background, but couldn't figure out how to leave it transparent and export it as FLV with Alpha. So I'm trying to figure out if I should use Final Cut Pro or some other app.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Quentin,

This thread is a bit older and as such I'm not certain that Morten or George are still subscribed so you may want to message them using the 'contact me' button on their profile to see if they're able to share any specifics with you on what they set up and how they were able to edit the movie outside of Storyline to keep the transparency. 

George Moureau

I have upgraded my mac and am using Final Cut Pro, sometimes AfterEffects (Cloud Version) and have found that it’s virtually impossible to export, save or otherwise produce flv files with an intact alpha channel any longer. Apple has decided that Flash must go, so apparently it’s being phased out. I finally resolved to doing the slides I needed an alpha channel for in FinalCut and simply inserting the completed video clip into the slide it needed. I am using CrazyTalk2 Pipeline edition to create better avatars than those provided by SL2, that’s why I was using flv’s with an alpha channel. When I send it to the compressor from Final Cut, I use Wi-Fi High compression under Prepare for HTTP Live Streaming. This compresses the files I’m creating (They average to under 2 minutes in duration, each) to a very nice manageable size, which I them import into SL2. Sometimes I get artifacts in the resulting slide. I’ll have to go back to compressor and increase Anti-aliasing and Detail levels to mid-range in the compressor. This usually cleans up artifacts and I get a clean run when previewing the slide in SL2.

Hope this helps,

George Moureau

Quentin Steele

I downloaded an FLV with Alpha test files from Adobe from this link and when I import it into SL 2 I get a black background on the video while I'm in editing mode, but in preview mode the transparency works fine . I'm on SL Update 5.1505.515. Is there a way to eliminate the black background in editing mode?

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Quentin!

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.