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). Some terms or phrasing used in this thread may be slightly different among various versions of inkscape or illustrator.
TIP 0) If you want the simplest method for making SVG images for VideoScribe, here it is:
- Use inkscape or Illustrator. If you use other programs you will probably have unexpected results.
- Use the pen tool or the pencil tool to create BASIC stroked paths with no styles, no masks, no paintbrush tool, no calligraphy pen, no effects of any kind.
- If you use the pen tool, please click&drag when you create each point (instead of just clicking) so that the control handles for each point will be extended and the paths will draw more smoothly.
- Delete any extra layers or other parts that will not be drawn (instead of just hiding them) before you save your SVG for videoscribe.
- If you use a version of inkscape or Illustrator created after 2012, see TIP 7 later in this thread for information about the best save settings to prevent glitches.
- Use "SAVE AS... SVG". Don't "Export for web".
That's all you really need to know if you want to keep it simple!
(Continue reading for more complex techniques)
8) FIX OR AVOID LINE THICKENING (sometimes called the "pop" effect) that occurs the moment when the drawing is finished.
This is a popular topic and I don't think we have a identified a simple solution that seems to work for everyone in all cases, but there has been a bit of a breakthrough (thanks to Nicholas Wright and anyone else who mentioned it in previous threads).
If you have an SVG that just really pops at the end... this might fix it.
If your SVG is just stroked paths with no fills, it seems like checking the "responsive" option in Illustrator CC (regular "save-as...") settings will remove a bit of code that affects the pop at the end. I do not have illustrator CC but I manually edited an SVG in a text editor and you can see the before and after versions in the video below:
The code I edited in that SVG is shown below (I removed the width and height tags and I edited the viewbox and enable-background values):
It is possible that less editing or different editing would also have the desired effect. I'm not sure, so I just posted what I have found so far. I think the 0,0 coordinates, in the code screenshot above, indicate the placement of the upper left corner of the image and the 1600 x 900 is probably the document size. While I was experimenting with various SVGs, there were some cases in which I did not have to edit the viewbox and enable-background tags to get good results in videoscribe. It might be important that those tags be populated with whole numbers instead of decimals. I'm not sure.
I believe I ran into glitches when I used this method on images with color fills. I have to go back and do further testing at some point to confirm that and identify a solution.
ADDITIONAL NOTES TO CONSIDER:
I think a default image quality setting in Videoscribe of about 800 or 1000 should be sufficient. The minimum is 400 I think, and the maximum is 4000 which will almost certainly result in memory related problems.
if your SVG contains embedded images or if the "pop" you are seeing is a color fill appearing after the strokes have been drawn, then your problem may not be the one being discussed in this tip.
Just an update on section 8)
Quote from Barry Radford in a previous thread:
Here are some suggestions from other threads although I have not found any of them to work consistently:
A) In illustrator, set your document units to points instead of pixels
B) use whole number stroke sizes like 2,3,6 instead of decimals like 1.5, .5, .3
C) thicker stroke sizes may make the thickening less noticeable
D) make your document size a 16:9 ratio (such as 1600x900, 1920x1080, or 800x450) and scale your vector art to fit that size.
(to be continued)
-Mike (videoscribe user)
Mike - this is excellent, thanks!
I am just about to try drawing stick figures, using Inkscape.
Do you draw with a mouse, or is there a better, more simple way to do it using a stylus of some type. If so, as I'm not really a PC person, where does one get a stylus for PCs and does it need extra software and so on?
Hopefully you or someone else can help me out here!
Just FYI, the way this works (the way images are sized when added to the canvas) was changed in VideoScribe version 2.3.0. So the way it works now is the same as it has been since v2.3.0.
I am a new user to VideoScribe. I need to make video scribe for my maths and science for my students. Please guide how to make these happen.
I can buy any software or hardware (if necessary).
TIP 9) Options for using raster images in videoscribe (png, jpg etc) listed in order of difficulty and from worst to best "draw quality":
I'd recommend that you test these options with a simple raster image like a smiley face or stick man until you understand how they all work.
Option1: IMPORT. just import your png or jpg image directly into videoscribe and choose from videoscribe's default options for drawing the image in videoscribe. This is the easiest option and it will work well enough in some cases. if you do not like the results then you can test some of the other options. Related guide: http://help.videoscribe.co/support/solutions/articles/1000033711-import-images
Option2: AUTOTRACE. Import the image (jpg, png, bmp, tiff or other file types) into inkscape or illustrator (or other programs). Select the imported image and use whatever autotrace options are available in your version of the program. You can google or youtube search the program name along with the word "autotrace" for instructions or tutorials if you need them. You may be offered options to produce strokes and/or fills. Keep in mind videoscribe will "draw" the stroked paths but the fills will just appear unless you follow some extra steps to cover the filled areas with transparent stroked paths (more on that later). Option2 (Auto tracing) may produce better results than option1 in some cases but for better results you will need to look at the following options. Related youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM79noMdB5k
Option3: REVEAL STROKES. Manually trace your raster image with transparent stroked paths.
If you want to control the way an imported image works (like a png or a jpg), you can embed it in an SVG. To make it draw well, you will need to trace it with the pen (bezier) or pencil tool . Make basic stroked paths wide enough to cover the lines of your embedded image. The stroked paths can be 100% opaque or a lower percentage so you can see the raster image underneath. (You have to create these stroked paths because later, after you save the SVG and import it into videoscribe, the videoscribe hand will follow the paths that you are creating, and any parts of the image covered by your stroked paths will be revealed.) When you have drawn all of your stroked paths and covered your raster image, change the stroke opacity of all of your paths to 0% (or alpha=0% if you are using inkscape). When you save your SVG, follow the save options mentioned in TIP "7) SAVING" and be sure to select "embed", because you will need to embed your raster image in the SVG for this option3 to work correctly. Note: embedded images increase file size and if your embedded image is blurry or pixelated, it will look blurry or pixelated in videoscribe.
Option4: COMBINATION of AUTOTRACE AND REVEAL STROKES: use a combination of option2 and option3. to convert your image to filled paths then draw reveal strokes over the filled paths. This works well if your raster image contains few colors and no gradients or shading (like a drawing of a smiley face made with a black marker on white paper for example). The benefit is that your entire file is vector art and scalable. The resulting file may be a smaller file size and better quality than just using option 3 in some cases.
Option5: Manual REDRAW. Manually redraw the whole image as vector paths. Similar to option3, but your stroked paths will remain at 100% opacity and they will be shown when videoscribe draws them. After you have redrawn your whole image as stroked paths (and filled color areas if you want to use color fills), you can delete the raster image and save your SVG using the setting recommended in Tip "7) SAVING"
Related youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcQpkaQCFCA
I'll mention again that it is useful to practice with a simple image before tackling a complex image that might take a lot of time to prepare.
Hope that helps,
Mike (videoscribe user)
We've released a couple of new image creation blogs which I thought I would share here:
- Adobe Illustrator - http://blog.videoscribe.co/convert-images-for-videoscribe-with-adobe-illustrator/