Looped Video Behind Notation in Proclaim Software

Two of the most popular choices for presentational software in churches are Proclaim and ProPresenter. Both packages offer expansive options in the way content in presented and I would highly suggest either one. For churches who wish to present notation on screen (sheet music), your options for aesthetically pleasing images pretty much go out the door. Unless, that is, you know how to format things correctly and make the software do things it wasn’t necessarily intended to do.

This article will focus on how to allow a looped video to play behind your notation on screen in Proclaim.

Getting a moving background to play behind on-screen notation in Proclaim is not a simple action. Maybe I have not discovered the “easy” way to do it in Proclaim, but I have found one way. I imagine there are other options. 

Obviously, the first step is to create your notation with a transparent background.  I have covered this in a previous blog post found here:


With the process above, you would simply stop before you added a static background and then export the slides as a PNG.

A simpler option is to use notation from PowerPoint slides that has been left in layers, such as those from Keith Lancaster’s Praise & Harmony. In this case, you would just erase every layer but the notation and, again, export as PNG. Either way you do it, you need to end up with notation slides on a transparent background in PNG.

Once you have your full song in slides on PNG files, you’re ready to go to Proclaim. There are several ways to create songs in Proclaim – import Powerpoint or Keynote, create a Song slide linked to CCLI, or create an Image Slideshow and add JPG files (that’s what I usually do). For this, you want to click Add Item and then Content.

Now that you have your new Content slide, you want to import a background.

It’s important when you import your chosen background video that you click on the “Loop video” on the Add files screen.

To create multiple slides on this Content, simply enter a page break command into the text area. To do that, click into the text area on the left and type 2 dashes then hit enter. That will create a new slide. Do that as many times as you need to create the amount of slides required for your song. In the example below, I have entered 4 page breaks, giving me 5 slides.

This is where it gets a touch tricky. Now that you have your background set and your correct number of slides, you need to copy your PNG files into each slide. I tried dragging and dropping, as you would in ProPresenter. That didn’t work for me. Open up a browser, click on the first PNG file and copy it (command-c or right click and copy). Then you must right-click into the first slide and choose”Paste as Foreground.”

This action will drop your notation PNG into the slide. I HIGHLY suggest creating your notation slides in the native size that Proclaim is using. 

The best size for imported images depends on the aspect ratio of the screen you’re projecting on.

  • For an aspect ratio of 16:9, resize your image to 1920×1080 px.
  • For an aspect ratio of 4:3, resize to 1024×768 px.

Depending on how big your notation slide actually is, you may want to grab the corners of the notation PNG and pull it up and down to expand it to the size of the slide. The trouble with this is that it is somewhat hard to get each successive slide correct so that there is no discernible shift from slide to slide. 

Anyway, that’s about it. This process allows your background video to continue playing and not start over with each slide change. Whether you choose to only show one line or two lines is up to you. It is also extremely important to choose the right video for background. The video in this example is perfect for a 1-line slide. A second line would not work, since it would be in the moving clouds below.

You also have the option of inverting colors on your PNG giving you a totally white slide of notation. In that case, you would want a much darker video than this one uses.

It’s a process, but it works. And once you have it, you have it for good.


Post Your Thoughts... Tell Me If I'm Out in Left Field.