A great question surfaced in a training class a couple of weeks ago – “How can I create a spotlight on a slide to highlight some information?”
Storyline has some great ways for you to highlight information: Zoom Region, Zoom Picture, creative animations, markers, and state changes; just to name a few. There is a cool spotlight annotation in Studio 360, but there is not a built-in spotlight widget in Storyline. So, let’s show you one way you may accomplish this in Storyline.
Find or create a slide that has something on it that you would like to highlight.
Draw a shape around the part that you would like to spotlight (I used an oval) and remove the border (keep the fill – the default color is fine – you are going to remove it later).
Now draw a large rectangle that covers the entire slide (I recommend drawing this larger than the margins of the slide) to create the dark portion of the spotlight. In our example, I am using a black fill at about 30 percent transparency (right-click | Format Shape | drag the transparency slider).
Use the timeline to bring this larger shape behind the spotlight shape you created in Step 2. (You can also use right-click, send backwards.)
Multi-select the two shapes you created (holding down Shift or Ctrl while selecting them).
Right-click this selection to save as a picture (right-click | Export Shape as Picture | PNG). Be sure to save as a PNG.
Use the visibility icon in the timeline to hide your shapes (poke them in the eye). I do not delete these, since I may want to use this again and do not really want to repeat the first five steps.
Insert the picture you previously saved.
Under the Picture Format tab, select Recolor| Set Transparent Color and then select the colored shape in your picture to remove this color.
Resize and reposition as needed.
That’s it! Now animate this with a fade and sync with your narration and you have your self a spotlight effect, quicker than the average confirmation hearing. Download your own copy of the source file at this link.
What other ways can you think of? We would love to hear your best practices.
“That’s Storyline and I am sticking to it!”
Update: Since this blog was released, right-click | Save as Picture in one of our images above has become right-click | Export Shape as Picture.