Strange things happening with animated GIFs

Dec 01, 2016

I recently upgraded to Storyline 360 (YAY!), but I am starting to see some weird happenings with GIF animations I am trying to use in a game activity.

Using Crazytalk Animator 3, I am creating an animated GIF with transparency - it is the head of a cartoon character that pops up in the "Correct" layer for a question - after it appears, it zooms large (whole screen) and fades away.  Then a on timeline end trigger, it automatically jumps to the next question.

The GIF looks great playing in a preview, but as soon as I bring it into Storyline, weird things begin to happen:

  1. Animation plays very slowly. I keep making faster and faster animations just to try and get the one in Storyline to play at a speed closer to what I want.
  2. Transparency glitches:
    1. As animation nears the end when it is filling up the screen, the eyes and mouth of the character suddenly become transparent.
    2. In my most recent GIF test file, Storyline cropped it to a square at the end, with a black box where the transparency should be.  

I'm including a couple of my GIF versions where I've been playing with the settings and time.  

Thanks for any help you can give!

18 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Wanda,

Thank you for sharing a copy of a couple Gifs that are giving you trouble. I do know that we had an issue reported to our QA team in regards to the animated GIF Frame rate not being respected in Storyline 2, and it seems that same issue has carried over to Storyline 360 so I'll get it reported to our team.

What is more interesting is the transparency that you described was not visible in Storyline 2, but is something I can clearly see in Storyline 360 - and makes that face extra creepy! I'll get another bug filed with our team to investigate it and once I've got an update I'll come back around to you here. I don't have a timeline to offer in regards to either of the issues but I did want to share that another user who had experienced the issue in Storyline 2 suggested the workaround in this discussion that may prove useful to you at least in terms of the frame rate.  The creepy empty face is something I don't have a workaround for, unfortunately. :( 

Hopefully someone in the community with a lot more expertise with Gifs will be able to help with other ideas for that one! 

Wanda Blackett

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for the update - glad the frame rate issue is something that the QA team is looking into.  

You mentioned someone had a workaround that I may be able to use - but the link you provided just circles back to this discussion.  Could you try posting it again?  I love workarounds - and I'm hoping this one can do the trick!  


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Wanda, 

Just a quick note to let you know this issue where animated GIFs wouldn't always play at the correct speed in Storyline, and they could be distorted or discolored is fixed in Storyline 360. That fix will then also be available in the next update for Storyline 3, date TBD. 

Let me know if I can help with anything else! 

Katie Riggio

So sorry you've encountered that, John!

The nature of the black box on a GIF behavior has been a tough one for us to identify. Would you be willing to share a sample slide with our Engineers so we can best advise?

You can upload the .story file privately by using this link. We'll give it a test and let you know what we find!

Katie Riggio

Thanks for the extra clues, John. I really appreciate it!

It looks like the attachment of the sample didn't make its way. Could you click this link to open our conversation and use the Add Attachment button to include the file in your reply?

In the meantime, I'm having trouble recreating the problem in a new Storyline 3, Update 9, file. What version are you using? Also, is this happening to any GIF created in Photoshop or a particular one?

Katie Riggio

Appreciate those samples, John!

They're very helpful and I can now see the problem first-hand. Like you shared, a black box covers the GIF when shrinking it. I also haven't seen reports of only the last frame appearing.

Let me consult with our Support team regarding both behaviors so that we can try to determine the cause. Thanks for bringing these head-scratchers up, and I'm sorry for the trouble!

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