Articulate Storyline Has an Outstanding mp4 Engine

A subject matter expert handed us some screen cam videos last week to include in e-learning. The videos were high resolution–higher than could be used in the course without down-sampling them somewhat. The videos were of an Excel plug-in being used with a spreadsheet, so lots of details and tiny text.

(Lesson learned: We needed to be in on the process early enough to help the developer create screen captures to our specs. But at least down-sampling is better than up-sampling.)

As a quick experiment, the first thing we tried was loading them into a couple of video editors, resizing, and transcoding from wmv to mp4. The quality was not great and the file sizes ballooned despite our best efforts (bit rates, frames per second, etc.; Premiere overall did better than Vegas, my preferred tool.)

We inserted the videos into Storyline, resized them, cranked the video quality slider all the way to the right and crossed our fingers. I had visions of having to go back to the SMEs or having to spend lots of time cropping the videos, but Storyline did shockingly well. The quality was as good as we got with the dedicated editors, but at a fraction of the file size.

Nice!

I’m not suggesting that a dedicated video pro couldn’t have done better, of course, but for almost no effort the native Storyline video renderer is quite impressive.

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