HELP NEEDED! Adding Narrations w/a picture slideshow and layering multiple audio files.

I'm in need of your help. I'm doing pro-bono work for an historian, creating online lessons on the US Civil War in Storyline 2, but I'm not sure if I'm going about it the right way.

What I'm looking to accomplish is:

User clicks on soldier's name and either:

     lightbox opens with slideshow of pictures to go with a narration on his history. or...

     jump to another slide, where same slideshow displays in layers with narration.

I'd also like to have multiple audio files playing, so I can have my narration along with gunshot sounds and cannon fire, etc. (this I think I can figure out on my own)

In addition to these issues, I have NO idea how to create a picture slideshow in Storyline 2.

Any advice, guidance. or templates (if anyone has done something similar to this) would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance

Rick M

3 Replies
Trina Rimmer

Hi Rick. What an interesting project! If you don't need a lot of control over the appearance of the pop-up screens the learner sees when clicking on the soldier's name, you could just create an entire scene that's light boxed with the Next button allowing you to advance from soldier to soldier. This would result in a manual-advance slideshow. 

If you're looking for a slideshow that's more automated, this discussion thread has some ideas (and a .story file) for creating that effect using the timeline and layers.

As for the audio tracks, you can simply insert the various narration and sound effects tracks in your project and then adjust their placement on the timeline to get the right amount of overlap, or you could mix the sound effects and narration down to one audio track using a free tool like Audacity. There are tons of free tutorials on YouTube which walk through mixing tracks, but probably the faster, easier option is to just layer the individual tracks in your project.

Hope this helps you out! I'm sure the community would love to see your project when it's all finished.

Kevin Thorn

Hi Richard,

Either of your approaches can be accomplished. The slideshow slide you're referring to would still be built regardless if you assign it as a lightbox slide or not. It's still a slide. 

Another approach is to build the slideshow on the same slide as the soldier, but that would depend on how many clickable events you may have on that slide.

Question to you is if you want the slideshow to auto advance images via animation or by user interaction with a set of left and right arrows to navigate the slideshow images.

You can design it visually anyway you choose whether horizontal or vertical. The mechanics lie in  leveraging the layers. Essentially you want images to loop through a stack of layers.


  • Place your image on Layer 1 and set the timeline to a length you want the image to appear - typically 2-3 seconds.
  • Set the image to animate to your liking, such as Fly In from the Reft and Fly Out to the Right.
  • Duplicate that layer and swap out Layer 2 for a different image. All the animation effects will remain.
  • Repeat until you have all the images you want


  • On the base slide add a trigger to the Soldier's name to Show Layer 1 when the User clicks.
  • On Layer 1, add a trigger to Show Layer 2 when the Timeline Ends.
  • On Layer 2, add a trigger to Show Layer 3 when the Timeline Ends.
  • Repeat on each Layer you have an image. On the last image/Layer, add a trigger to Show Layer 1 when the Timeline ends. 
  • The above will auto advance through that stack of layers as long as that slide is active.

The above SETUP and TRIGGERS are if the layers are on the same slide as the Soldier. You can build the same on a different slide. Simply change the trigger when clicking on the Soldier's name to Jump To that slide rather than showing Layer 1. The ONLY addition would be to add a new trigger to the stand alone slideshow slide to Show Layer 1 when the Timeline Starts.

Attached is an example in both SL1 and SL2. While the visual layout is different that probably what you're looking for, the mechanics outlined above are the same.

Hope that helps!

Richard Maloney

Hi Trina,
YES! That was very helpful! I'll take a look at the discussion thread &
.story file when I get home tonight, but it sounds like it's just what I
As for the audio files, what you suggest is what I've done in the past and
was planning on doing this time: layering the files on the timeline. It's
time-consuming; getting the placement just right, but it's also the easiest.
Thank you so much for your assistance! It's greatly appreciated!
... and I agree: it's a VERY interesting topic!