Video quality

Hi community

I have a question regarding video quality. I am working on a case where I have been filming several scenarios with actors. The recording equipment involved is a panasonic ag-hpx250j P2 camera which is very good. I have been taking these shots in full HD 1080i

After editing them in Avid composer they have been exported in full HD to Quicktmie. Then compressed with Sorenson Squeese with the 1080 youtube HD setting.

The films look very nice when I watch them with VLC. When I insert them into my project in  Articulate Storyline and publish them, they dont looks so good anymore.

All the publish settings for video and sound are maxed out in Storyline. Take a look here

Medical Ethics e-learning project

How can I get better looking videos in Storyline?

55 Replies
Scott Hewitt

Hi Morten,

I think the video quality looked really good. I was viewing on a Mac. I'm not sure what level you are looking for e.g. broadcast, high quality so I'll share - there is a little bit of pixelation on the filmed videos should around the characters. I'm only sharing as you noted that you were not happy with the video.

I thought that the quality was great, we'd be happy with this quality - especially with the frame rate and size.

Nice job!

Bruce Graham

Hi,

I have a similar issue that is being looked at by Articulate.

I have videos produced in iPad "Retina" standard, which when compiled look terrible!

At the moment I have had to "downgrade" to a lower resolution that looks OK on a PC as per support suggestions, but no longer excellent on IPad.

Bruce

Mark Pickart

Have you tried resizing the physical story space under design to be larger. I would test it out and see if this is storyline encoding and compressing the video. You could always get around that by introducing it as a webobject from youtube and the quality loss is minimal as long as the viewer has a good connection.

Steve Flowers

I find that at the maximum settings of an SL export, quite a bit of artifacting still appears in the final output. The trade-off is the video filesize is extremely small. There are a couple of ways to minimize artifacts.

MP4 (h.264) uses a 16 pixel macroblock for compression. All this means is that for the most efficient output, you should ensure that the dimensions of your video are multiples of 16. Dimensions that don't match this could experience more artifacts in the output.

If you're not happy with the maximum compression settings in the SL export, you could hand replace the MP4's with custom compressed outputs by copying your custom processed MP4's into the exported file structure and renaming the new videos. This is a pain but for some stuff it could be worth it.

Jerson  Campos

I also noticed some pixelation. It may have something to do with how storyline compresses it to package it in the course. This may make it more manageable as some those HD videos could be quite big. But at the same time, if the client ends up not liking it then it becomes a big problem. One option is to create an additional webpage (included in the storyline files) that will play the video at the quality you desire and then embed it into the storyline course. You may lose some some of the ability to sync up any captions you place in storyline, so you might want to think about including it in the original video.

Rich Johnstun

You will encounter a lot of quality issues if you are inserting your videos at 1080 resolution and then scaling them to the window. By scaling them, you are forcing the application to display them in their non-native resolution which results in a lot of video artifacts and distortions. When putting videos into either Storyline or Studio, I always run them through Squeeze and output them at either 720x540(4:3) or 720x405(16:9). Regardless of what resolution the videos are in, the resolutions I listed are what they will be in the final product out of the Articulate products (using the detail Storyline settings at least). The bit rate you use will vary depending on your distribution format. If you are streaming, you'll want to find out what kind of video bitrate your network infrastructure is capable of handling. Also, depending on what version of Squeeze you are using, you may have problems streaming an .mp4 (it has to do with how the older versions encode an .mp4 and where they place the start sentinel in the file). 

And honestly, after looking at your linked example, those videos look pretty good for streaming inside of a Storyline module. Realize that Storyline itself is going to do some re-compression of the video to optimize if for delivery. I know, it always kills me to take these high resolution videos and  compress them down to get them to stream in a module, but I haven't found any way around it. 

Bruce Graham

Here's the thing, from someone who - unfortunately...has no clue what the last 3 posts mean, (we cannot all be experts).

I have my video guy produce BRILLIANT top-quality, top-notch videos for a client who (frankly) is used to Global adverts, videos etc.

I put them into a course.

Surely it's not too much (even at highest HD custom settings), to expect that they look as GREAT on iPad, and just plain old-wonderful on a PC?

To get them to look good('ish) on both, I have to get SD production - and they now look "average" on both platforms.

I would love an option that just said "Sod it - keep the file as the one I had built, it will be a big file, but hey, you're the customer".

I do not get it.

I remember a lot being made about "compression ratios" in the beta - but that's pointless if that ultimately means "...looks a bit iffy". Surely?

Just saying.....

Bruce

Dave Murphy

I am currently using both products and trying to compare the screencast features. While storyline is great in the way that you can insert screen casts directly into a slide very easily, the quality of the screencasts doesn't seem to be very good by comparison with Camtasia's options for high quality. I might be missing some Storyline technique which will allow me to optimise the quality of the screencats - if so any advice would be appreciated

Jerson  Campos

I don't think there is any Storyline technique. It's just the way it records the video. It could be the codec and the way it compresses the video. Storyline's ability to record video is great, but I don't think it was meant for cinema quality video. Camtasia on the other hand was made to record video and does it well from what I've seen. 

Eric Nalian

Bruce Graham said:

Here's the thing, from someone who - unfortunately...has no clue what the last 3 posts mean, (we cannot all be experts).

I have my video guy produce BRILLIANT top-quality, top-notch videos for a client who (frankly) is used to Global adverts, videos etc.

I put them into a course.

Surely it's not too much (even at highest HD custom settings), to expect that they look as GREAT on iPad, and just plain old-wonderful on a PC?

To get them to look good('ish) on both, I have to get SD production - and they now look "average" on both platforms.

I would love an option that just said "Sod it - keep the file as the one I had built, it will be a big file, but hey, you're the customer".

I do not get it.

I remember a lot being made about "compression ratios" in the beta - but that's pointless if that ultimately means "...looks a bit iffy". Surely?

Just saying.....

Bruce

@Bruce - I do not know if you tried this...I have not tried this either, mainly because I have not had the opportunity to use too many videos and the ones I have, the quality was acceptable - couldn't you swap out the published (compressed) video with the uncompressed original video?  As long as the video ends up in the same folder with the same file name wouldn't it still work?

-Eric

Terra Buckley

Hi everyone.  Thanks for all your comments - they have been helpful.  I am trying to pull HD video files that are .mov and 720x540 into a course.  They look beautiful when I am building it but pixalated once I publish.  I am also finding it takes forever for me to save and publish the course, probably due to the files size.  I have already maxed out the optimization settings.  I am going to try again after importing them as MP4.  I am curious about the comment above about SD over HD.  Has anyone had any better success going with the SD version instead?  Also, there seems to be conflicting advice about the resolution of the videos to start with.  Some say to choose the best and let it compress, so maybe as high as 1080.  But others say if you start with 1080 and compress too much you get artifact.  Any advice on this point?  I'm just planning to keep the player at the basic size.

Judy Nollet

I also have .mp4 videos that look great in Preview, but terrible after publishing. I tested a number of alternative sizes, but they images still looked a bit pixelated when published -- NOT something anyone wants to see happen to their face!

Then I remembered that I never had this problem in PPT/Presenter courses with videos inserted as Engage media-tour interactions. So I created an .intr for each video and imported those into my Storyline course. The published version looks as good as the original.

Thus, there is a workaround. But it sure makes me wonder: How come Presenter-with-Engage can maintain the quality of published videos but Storyline can't?  Really?  You'd think the newer program wouldn't be worse than its predecessor...

Mike Enders

Hey folks, just coming back round to this.  One solution:

Starting with a high quality MP4 source file that you've dropped into Storyline.

1. Publish your project

2. Identify the compressed/published MP4 in the Story_Content folder

3. Drop your high quality source .mp4 into the Story_Content folder

4. Rename your high quality source the same as compressed/published MP4

5. Delete compressed/published MP4

https://player.vimeo.com/video/149072573

Mike

Alicia Miller

Mike, I tried your solution today and it worked beautifully! It took just a minute to replace the published, compressed video file with the original and the quality was fantastic. I didn't see any distortion or pixelation in my published course. This community is truly awesome!
I couldn't do my job without all of you.

Many thanks and much appreciation.

Alicia

Leslie Shapiro

Mike Enders said:

Hey folks, just coming back round to this.  One solution:



Starting with a high quality MP4 source file that you've dropped into Storyline.



1. Publish your project


2. Identify the compressed/published MP4 in the Story_Content folder


3. Drop your high quality source .mp4 into the Story_Content folder


4. Rename your high quality source the same as compressed/published MP4


5. Delete compressed/published MP4



https://player.vimeo.com/video/149072573



Mike




This solution is perfect! Except...when dealing with lots of videos it's really hard to tell which source video matches with which compressed one. The storyline outputs are always names like  video_5f21fZoy5fX_30_48_720x406.mp4

Is there any way to look up which video goes with which slide, or some other way to identify them so I can make a matrix and replace the compressed with the uncompressed?  Thanks!