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Gif Problems in Captivate

Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2017

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I've been trying to get gifs from Photoshop to Captivate, and I've been getting the error message "'File name': The GIF file contains errors" seemingly at random. I've tried exporting from Photoshop with dither and with no dither, 128 colors and 256 colors, big file size and small file size, with a .3 second delay and with a .1 second delay. The error message seems to come up at random. Sometimes I'll even redo the Save for Web (Legacy) with the same settings and it will work on the second time.

I am not the person building the Captivate file, I'm just the video editor. Is there a best practice for creating GIFs for Captivate? Is there a setting I'm missing that is making the difference? Help?!

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Gif Problems in Captivate

Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2017

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I've been trying to get gifs from Photoshop to Captivate, and I've been getting the error message "'File name': The GIF file contains errors" seemingly at random. I've tried exporting from Photoshop with dither and with no dither, 128 colors and 256 colors, big file size and small file size, with a .3 second delay and with a .1 second delay. The error message seems to come up at random. Sometimes I'll even redo the Save for Web (Legacy) with the same settings and it will work on the second time.

I am not the person building the Captivate file, I'm just the video editor. Is there a best practice for creating GIFs for Captivate? Is there a setting I'm missing that is making the difference? Help?!

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Apr 19, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Are you talking about static or animated GIF's? Since you talk about 'delay' I think those are animated GIF's.

Well, I had several problems lately as well with animated GIF's that did play nicely in previous versions of Captivate. I learned to create them mostly layer-based, never to use masks anymore which I was used to. Keep them as simple as possible. Whenever possible I try now to use OAM instead of animated GIF's.

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Apr 19, 2017 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Animated GIFs. They always start as .mp4s that come out of Media Encoder. I create them in either After Effects or Premiere.

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Apr 19, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Sorry, in your original questions you talked about Photoshop, not about Premiere nor After Effects. I cannot help you with that.

Why not use the mp4 and insert that?

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Apr 19, 2017 0
Engaged ,
Jan 11, 2018

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I'm finding the same issue happening to me all the time. I usually make my animations in After Effects then export to .mp4 via media encoder, render out as a .gif in photoshop - the times it works and times it doesn't work are completely random.

I've found that I have more luck dragging and dropping the file into Captivate. When I try to import through the menu I always receive the 'this file contains errors' pop-up. The issue I come across with the drag and drop method is that sometimes it will import it as a GIF and sometimes it will import it as a static image.

Would be really nice if Captivate could work on this so we can consistently work with and import GIFs without fear of receiving an error.

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Jan 11, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2018

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I recommend you log this as a bug using the Bug/Enhancement reporting form linked to the Captivate Community page.

Mentioning it here in the forums doesn't actually get anywhere as far as getting the issue fixed.

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Jan 11, 2018 1
Explorer ,
Apr 23, 2018

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I recommend you fix the issue.  This is a major blocker. 

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Apr 23, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 23, 2018

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Rod is a user like you, please log a bug report, don't insult Rod who is spending a lot of time for free trying to help others. He is NOT working for Adobe.

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Apr 23, 2018 0
Guide ,
Apr 24, 2018

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Captivate has always been quirky with animated gifs. Creating them via Photoshop seems to be a pretty reliable process for me - I just made a few recently for a CP 2017 project that worked just fine.

I always insert them via Media button > Animation. That seems reliable.

Hope that helps

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Apr 24, 2018 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 24, 2018

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Erik, which workflows do you use in Photoshop? I found that GIF's I created several versions ago allowed a lot more use of workflows in PS than in the present version of Captivate. Only GIF's based on layers seem to be functional, cannot use masks anymore to create animation.

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Apr 24, 2018 0
Guide ,
Apr 24, 2018

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Yes, I found the same issue with Masks.

The recent needs, I've started with video (just because I've needed to get small clips of longer videos into a project and have it smoothly cycle).

File > Import > Video Frames to Layers

then

File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)

(or just File > Save for Web - in earlier versions of PS)

and make any palette/preferences adjustments, then Save...

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Apr 24, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2018

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@Erik Photoshop limits the size of the GIF so it doesn't work for me. If PS had unlimited length, it would be a viable option.  Is there a setting I'm missing that makes it unlimited length?

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Apr 24, 2018 0
Guide ,
Apr 24, 2018

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Limits the length in what sense? I've never experienced that issue...

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Apr 24, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2018

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Yes, It can't be more than 500 frames.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 10.29.41 AM.png

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Guide ,
Apr 25, 2018

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Hmmm, I've not encountered that.

If the video is VERY long then perhaps no recourse.

But if you trim a bit from the ends (selected range), reduce the framerate (limit to every x frames)....maybe you can make it fit.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2018

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It's not that long. Maybe 30 seconds.  There is workaround within photoshop, copying and pasting frames in from a spliced video is one. This is not a very thoughtful UX and the limit they put on it seems artificial and legacy-driven.

You can also do this in AE, but the file cannot be imported into Captivate if I do it through AE.

Overall, just a crap UX and bad design, IMO.  Creating long gifs isn't an edge case, either.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 25, 2018

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I think you may find that this GIF limitation is designed to prevent less-than-reputable web advertisers from using GIF videos as a way to circumvent the efforts currently under way by browser vendors to prevent auto play videos on websites.  Many of the browsers now disable videos from automatically playing without the user clicking something to initiate playback.  This tactic by advertisers, especially directed at mobile devices, has created a lot of issues.  So since the browsers are disabling video formats from automatically playing, the advertisers have started using GIF as a video format instead, since these don't normally get flagged as videos.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2018

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RodWard

That's bad design. That's like designing a car that doesn't go over the speed limit because too many people speed. You design tools to be flexible for the user and not make broad sweeping rules within a tool that limit said features.   If there's an issue with advertisers abusing video, it's not Adobe's place to police it, IMO. Just like it's not the car manufacturers job to police the speed limit.

It's presumptuous of a software company to assume to know how I'm going to use a file, in this case, a GIF.  And as I said, there are other tools that can do longer GIF's, even within adobe's CC. So, it still doesn't solve the issue.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 25, 2018

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I think you may be misunderstanding me.  I am NOT suggesting Adobe is 'policing' anything. I was suggesting the possibility that the deeper underlying issue with long animated GIFs is that using them as if they were videos is probably going to end up being regarded as an abuse of the medium and it will get shut down for the same reason that auto play of web videos is being disabled.

Please note that I am not presuming to speak on Adobe's behalf about Photoshop (or any other application they make).  I'm just a Captivate User like yourself. If you want to know why PhotoShop is designed the way it is, you'll have to ask on the PhotoShop Forum, not here on the Adobe Captivate Forum.

The restriction I was referring to relates to measures being implemented by BROWSER vendors to combat poor performance on loading of website pages where advertising is present.  The advertisers typically load so many videos onto the page that it takes too long to load and people on mobile devices often give up on the content.  What's more the advertisers have their code set up so that the videos and ads load BEFORE the content, causing many web users to give up, but not before the advertisers get their commission on the ads being 'viewed'.

The reason this is relevant to e-learning is that the same restrictions on web video not beginning playback automatically are often seen as 'issues' reported here on the Captivate forum as being something wrong with Captivate's HTML5 output when in fact it's the browser itself which is refusing to play the embedded video without the learner explicitly clicking the Play button.

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Apr 25, 2018 1
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2018

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Perhaps, but know this too. Auto-playing videos on websites has been an issue since the inception of the web.  I remember having this same complaint in 1999, re: auto-play videos, yet here we are...

thanks for the dialogue.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 25, 2018

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Yes but the issue with auto-playing videos back then had a lot to do with the very limited bandwidth available to most users and the fact that the available video formats (and servers delivering them) were usually NOT set up for streaming.  As a result, anything other than a very small or very short video would buffer persistently.

Back then anybody seriously wanting to use anything on a website that was more complex than a simple animation with a dozen frames or so would be much better off moving over to the new Flash SWF format rather than trying to use animated GIFs.  It was way more efficient and scaled infinitely.

But now Flash is dying fast and there's no direct equivalent that can be use ubiquitously on the web to deliver the same kind of animation.  And auto-play videos are also not a viable replacement because they're being disabled too.  So until the other proposed non-Flash-based vector animation formats arrive, animated GIF is experiencing something of a rebirth.  But it's still got all the same previous issues.  It was never really fixed.

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Apr 25, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2018

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I've experienced the same issue for GIF files I customize and download using PresenterMedia.  The interesting thing is that I can consistently duplicate the problem with specific files when I add them to my stage using Media > Animations, but these same files will now load properly when dragging /dropping them onto the stage instead.   Thank you keelym for the tip.

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Oct 25, 2018 1
Participant ,
Jun 11, 2020

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Hey - I just came across this issue - my workflow - 

3.5 second animation in After Effects

Render as Avi 

Export as MP4 in Media Encoder 

Load MP4 into Photoshop 2020 and Save for Web Legacy as default GIF settings.

Works.

 

Then I played around a bit with the length - by 1 or 2 seconds and had this same error. 

Reimported the shortr clip - worked. The longer clip didn't.

So it must be length of clip or not happy the last keyframe ended on the last frame of the animation?

 

I went through my workflow and found I had left Export Audio on in Media Encoder. Unticking this resulted in the process working. 

 

Hope this helps

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Jun 11, 2020 0