Timing of GIF animations

Jan 22, 2015


In SL2 I want to mimic leds which flash randomly. I made a gif animation (should be html5 comp) of 10 seconds of a led. It really looks like flashing random ;-)

After importing in SL (and SL2) the led doesn't flash random any more. In Photoshop I compared the original gif animation with the one exported by SL and I noticed SL changes the timing of the gif (see attached pic: the lower timeline is the original; the upper timeline is the SL exported version).

I could replace the exported gifs with the original; I tried replacing one and there my random flashing led was again, but that is tedious.

How can I prevent SL from retime my animated gif?

11 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Barend,

When you said the "exported" gif, do you mean how it appears in the publish file? I see an issue reported to our QA team that Storyline 2 is not respecting the GIF frame rate, and then the GIF does not play the same at the same rate as when the GIF is viewed stand-alone. If that's what you're referring to, I'll include this thread as a part of the report filed with our QA team so that I can offer any additional information here. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Barend,

Thanks for sharing here. I took a look and wanted to confirm when you're seeing the change in the GIF timing - is it during preview,publish or both? I'm not sure I'm seeing the difference when I publish - so I wanted to share with you here. 

Here is a video (screen recording) or the original Gif compared with the item while previewing SL2 (note, since it's a screen recording it'll stop flashing when the timeline ends) And here is a link to the GIF just in a published Storyline file. Can you take a look at them and let me know what you see? I think if I watch longer I may have a stroke. ;-) 

Barend Maaskant

Hi Ashley,

In the first link the led looks a lot like the original, however the second link not, there the effect of a random flashing led has changed to a more 'normal' flashing led. It seems the frame rate of the screen recording has some influence, too, in these examples.

I still see a big difference between the original and both the led in the preview and the led after publishing. I just downloaded a screen recorder and set it to fll frame rate to show the difference between the previewed version and in a small irfanview-window the original. I'll enclose it. You see the difference between the very random like original and the previewed version.

I just made a small example in SL2. I added a random flashing led to the stage and also added a copy of the led (made the copy before adding it to SL2, not ín SL2). After publising in the html5 version I replaced the left led by the original gif animation; the right one is the gif animation SL2 produced from my original. I enclose the html5 version in a zip.

Hope you can see the difference without getting a stroke ;-)

Anne England

Hi Ashley

Is there any progress on this issue? I had a discussion with you on another thread a few months back and I got round the problem in the interim by getting a colleague to convert animated GIFs to MP4s. However, I'm now working on another project for another client in which we're using animated GIFs to simulate a photo 'morphing' into a line drawing.

Storyline is, as before, ignoring the stop loop command and the GIFs are continously looping instead of playing just once, as they're supposed to do. My workaround for now is to animate a still image for the final frame over the top, and to animate out the GIF after this.

Now there's an additional problem - when I first brought the GIFs into the slide, the speed was fine. I animated in the still image about 0.25-0.5 second before the end of the GIF loop and all looked well. Then, because I didn't want the GIF to appear right away, I moved it and the still image along the timeline. When I went to preview, suddenly the GIF and the still image were out of sync. I had to animate in the still image MUCH sooner (maybe a couple of seconds sooner). It appears that SL2  actually speeded up the frame rate after I moved the images along the timeline! 

Just in case I was imagining things, I re-inserted the GIFs. Same problem. I tried it with different GIFs on a new slide. Same problem, AFTER I'd moved the images on the timeline.

BUT, on comparing the two slides in the example story I've uploaded here, it seems that what Storyline is doing is speeding up the start of the GIF animation once I've moved it. The frame rates on the following loops seem to be unchanged.

What's happening? Is it something I've done?

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