The Character Library in iSpring Suite 7 features 10 default characters with many different poses. If you want to add your own character, it can be easily done with a freeware tool called iSpring Character Wizard. A character added with this tool will be listed in your Characters Library and will be available for insertion into any course.
To create a character you will need a set of photos of the specific person in different poses. Cutout photos will work best. The following image files will be used for creating a character in this tutorial:
You may use any common image format: jpg, png, bmp, tif, gif.
Tip: It’s recommended to use PNG images because it’s a lossless format which provides the best quality and also can contain a transparency mask. Such a mask will preserve a character’s silhouette and naturally show the background behind the character.
Add a new character
Follow these simple steps to add a character to the iSpring Character Library:
Run the iSpring Character Wizard, proceed with the Create a New Character option and then click Next.
Enter the character’s name and add some keywords. They will be used to locate the character later. Click Next.
Add images by clicking the Add button making a short description of each pose. Descriptions are necessary for a better search experience. Proceed to the Next step.
At this step you may keep the original size and quality of the images or optimize them. If you use the option Fit into dimensions e.g. 1000 X 1600, larger images will be scaled down to this size (proportions constrained). Smaller images will not be enlarged to this size.
JPEG Quality will determine the compression of the poses’ images in the collection. Recommended quality value is 75-95%. Click Next when you’ve made your selection.
Enter the Name of the Package and choose the Destination Folder. Go Next.
That’s it. The Character file has been created. Click Finish.
The iSpring Character Wizard creates a file with an .ischaracter extension that contains all necessary information to deploy a character. Go to the destination folder and double-click the file.
After the character is added, it will be available in the Characters Library. Open iSpring Suite and click the Character button to check this out.
Download the Andrew character that we created using this template library and add it to your collection for free.
Go to the characters store to obtain more characters.
How to remove a character
If you want to remove your character, go to the folder C:\ProgramData\iSpring Solutions\Characters. This folder is hidden by default, so you may want to copy and paste this path in the address bar of your Windows Explorer window.
This folder contains a list of characters. Default characters’ folders have normal names while folders of characters that you have added have weird code names. Check what’s inside these folders and delete the folder of the specific character you’ve added before. Thus, the corresponding character will be removed from the library.
Edit a character package
If you want to change a description or add new poses to your character, you can easily do that. This procedure involves the same steps as adding a new character.
Use the option Edit existing character package after launching the iSpring Character Wizard.
Choose the .ischaracter package you want to edit.
Modify description, add/remove images and optimize image quality if needed.
Replace this file or save it as a new version of the character file.
Double click on the file to import it to iSpring Character Wizard.
If the modified character has the same name, the iSpring Character installer will ask if you want to replace it. Click Yes.
Add a character using description file
This is a geeky way of adding a character. Used well, it will make character creation faster and may be useful if you need to automate this process. Nevertheless, it follows the same basic principles as adding it via the Wizard. First, let’s figure out what’s inside the character package file.
An iSpring character package file with the extension .ischaracter is a regular zip archive that may be unpacked with any archiver, e.g. 7-Zip. After you unpack it, you will see the folder that contains a description text file and images.
In this example description.txt contains the following text:
Keywords=male, white shirt, afro hair, curly, brown
Andrew 1.png=Thumbs up
Andrew 3.png=Pointing with one hand
Andrew 4.png=Sitting on a chair and talking
It defines the character’s name, keywords, and avatar, and has a list of poses with their descriptions. The file names in this document match the names of the respective images that are located in the same folder.
Now you can modify the description.txt file, pick up different photos and import a character after arranging everything in text format.
Where do I get photos?
Any image can be used for creating a character. However, you will get the best result with professional cutout photos of actors in different poses. You can get access to an extensive set of cutout photos by purchasing a subscription to the Templates Library, kindly provided by our partners, the eLearning Brothers.
It features not only hundreds of well-arranged cutout photos of people and cartoons, but also unlimited access to PowerPoint templates, conversation scenarios, special audio effects and stock images.
Also, you can create a character using photos of yourself or your friend. It can be very effective for presenting your own courses! Take images on a digital camera in a photo studio and deploy them to a character package using the instructions above.
Would you like to design your content so it will stick in the course viewer’s memory? Use characters and extend the character library with even more faces.