QUESTION: What is the best way to make SVG images that draw properly in VideoScribe?
ANSWER: I believe the tips below will help you get the best results with the fewest problems (such as improperly drawn images, visual glitches, interface and timeline problems, slow downs, freezing, crashing or failure to save, load, or render). Most of these tips are for Adobe Illustrator but may work similarly in inkscape or other programs
1) USE THE PEN OR PENCIL TOOL (or the paintbrush with a trick):
The pen and pencil tools create stroked paths and that is what videoscribe "draws" by default. The paintbrush tool makes lines that videoscribe considers to be fills instead of paths, so it tends to "outline" them if it can't find any actual stroked paths in the SVG.
If you want to use the paintbrush tool for your lines, you can make videoscribe appear to draw the paintbrush lines the same as stroked paths by drawing a stroked path OVER (covering) the paintbrush line and then making the stroked path transparent. In fact, in most cases, you can just select and DUPLICATE your paintbrush path(s), convert the duplicate path to a regular basic stroked path and then set the opacity of it to zero.
The transparent stroke method is described in this (old) official video (starting at 2:00 into the video): VideoScribe tutorial -- Creating your own SVGs
Related official support post: "Create your own images" <-see "method 2" in that post
Somwhat related official support post: "Fill an image with color using the hand"
2) SIMPLER IS BETTER (if you are having any problems): The simplest, most bug-free SVGs will generally be well under 100KB and contain only stroked
paths and/or filled paths. It may be best to avoid problematic data like
embedded images, masking or clipping paths, or glows or other
effects which may contribute to freezes
or crashes. A hand drawn SVG will generally "draw" better than an jpg that
has been "auto traced" to become vector art. If you auto trace, try to
adjust the settings to provide smoother lines instead of hundred and
hundreds of nodes (also called anchor points).
3) DRAWING ORDER and color fills: In
general, videoscribe will draw lines (stroked paths) in the same order
that they were drawn when the SVG was made. If you use auto trace to
convert an image to stroked paths then the drawing order may seem
somewhat arbitrary and the drawing hand may jump all around the image
while drawing. Using groups or any type of subfolders in your adobe
illustrator SVG may affect
the drawing order. filled areas appear last by default. You can use the
trick mentioned in tip #1 to make videoscribe "draw" the filled colors.
another related link is at the bottom of this list.
4) GROUPS, SUBFOLDERS, NESTED LAYERS etc:
It may be best to just to avoid them because they may affect the
drawing order in unexpected ways (related thread: Layers Not Drawn In Order
). Drag all paths out of subfolders/sub
layers/groups into the root folder/layer. If you are a more advanced
user, you can use subfolders to do a few tricks but for beginners they
will probably just be a headache.
5) DELETE ALL HIDDEN LAYERS: from SVGs before you save them. (hidden layers increase file size. larger file sizes require more memory to process.) If you import a huge image and then trace it and hide it... just delete it before saving to reduce file size. Also there are are some youtube tutorials (not official videoscribe tutorials) that mention leaving embedded JPGs or pngs or other images in your SVG files. If you do that, be sure to optimize your images (to reduce image size and file size to appropriate levels) before importing them. Otherwise, they may contribute to freezing and crashing.
6) FIX WIDE IMAGES: if your (SVG, JPG, png or GIF) image is approximately as wide as it is high. If it is about twice as wide as it is high, it will probably import at a good size. If it is REALLY wide and not very high (like a horizontal line or a single long line of text), it will import HUGE because of the way videoscribe scales imported images. For really wide images, it can be helpful to add a transparent circle (use the ellipse tool with a zero-opacity fill and no stroke) around you wide image.
NOTE: starting in about 2013, with ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD, (and the corresponding versions of Inkscape I think,) the programs include some data in SVGs that can cause a variety of undesirable effects in videoscribe (black blobs or black fill colors, artifacts where lines intersect, SVGs that cause various bugs in the videoscribe user interface...). For inkscape, I'd probably recommend that you simply install the older version (0.48 I believe) on their downloads page. For whatever version of Illustrator you use, here are the recommended SVG save settings :
Regarding Embed or Link: If you happen to have a jpg or png or other images included in your SVG, selecting "Embed" will include them in the saved SVG, which can be a useful, simple way to incorporate a photo or shaded illustration with your own vector line art. (However, be aware that embedding images increases file size and might possibly contribute to slowdowns or freezes, so you may want to use them sparingly or at least only embed images with smaller file sizes. ) Selecting "Link" instead of "embed" will essentially kick out any inserted images and save them as separate files which will make your SVG smaller, but videoscribe will NOT display the linked images.
According to a previous thread, Presentation Attributes" can also be set to "Style Attributes"
Hope that helps,Mike (VideoScribe user)
Hi Mike, the save settings have changed – I can't select the settings as I did before (and as shown in #7).
I attach a screenshot of the new dialogue box and my SVG.
Correction! By doing a "save as" instead of "export", I can get that same dialogue box... but even when I save with your suggested settings, I'm still having the same problem (thin lines until the draw is finished). :-(
Thanks Mike. Here's another one. In VS it just shows as a black silhouette nor does it draw well. I basically told this illustrator to do what you said to do and this is what I got.
I drew my scetch in AI with no fill, just outlines. I need it to be drawn in VS with chalk, so my outlines are white.
But for some reason when I import it to VS it becomes this
Black outlines and black fill from nowhere.
Could someone help and tell what do I miss?
Thank a lot.
Thank you for attaching the screenshot.
Please refer to tip number 7, at the beginning of this thread, which discusses unwanted black blobs, black color fills and other glitches that occur will adobe illustrator if you do not use the recommended save options. The CSS attributes option is probably the one you need to change when saving your SVG.
If that does not solve your problem, please attach the SVG.
A newer version of this thread can be found here:
I hope that helps,
You're my hero! It works! and sorry I didn't pay attaention to the tip 7.
Thanks for posting your results!