Ideas to build courses faster with characters

Jan 18, 2017

Hi all,

First off, I love this discussion forum. It's always my "go-to" location for tips. So thank you everyone for your participation.

I love using characters in my eLearning. With the characters, I can make example scenarios that relate to the topic. However, there are only so many expressions with the characters. With the realistic images,  finding shots that show them interacting (i.e. facing sideways) can be difficult. Also, does anyone ever use the image without cropping? I feel like I can't get it to look natural. 


In addition, I find myself always struggling with how I should utilize animation when I have two characters interacting.  When I do add animation, it feels like overkill. 


My biggest concern with using the realistic characters is the amount of time it takes. There's no easy way to locate the expression you want. I find myself spending 10 minutes just to find the right pose and expression. On top of all that, adding the animation takes a significant amount of time. It concerns me that its taking me an hour to complete one slide, when I have many more to create.


I realize I am covering a multitude of topics but I am hoping we can create a list of best practices when using these characters. I would love to hear what people have learned in using these features.


Any thoughts? Ideas? Resources?

1 Reply
David Anderson

Hi Ian -

There are a couple things I've done in the past to speed up my production process when using characters.

Create Pre-Built Character Packs Using Custom States

I don't create real courses much anymore, but I build a lot of demos and templates so I have similar needs to find the right character and expression that works with my slides.

Since I often use the same 5-10 poses for each character, I often re-use my characters w/ custom states and save as a template. Here's an older thread that includes a video and source file to demonstrate the process:

Add Your Favorite Characters to a Slide Template

A similar approach is to take your favorite character and poses and add them to a slide w/ captions for each. Create a slide for each character and save as a .storytemplate. This adds the slides, categorized by character, to your built-in templates library. It makes grabbing a specific character really easy.

Hope that helps a little!

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