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What To Do When Flash CS3 QuickTime Export Freezes

One of the features I am most excited about in Flash CS3 is the full support for exporting to a QuickTime movie. Timelines no longer need to be built specifically for QuickTime export, and you can animate through code, use ActionScript 'til your heart is content, and it all outputs cleanly to a QuickTime MOV file.

Well, in theory, at least. Over the past few days I have been trying to export a project to QuickTime, specifically the "Did You Know" video we are working on at XPLANE, and the progress bar always stalls at the very end. We tried letting it sit for an hour, a few hours, and even overnight -- all to no avail. We still haven't figured out what could be causing the issue, but I did manage to get it to work by setting the QuickTime export preferences to record for a length of time, rather than "When last frame is reached":

Flash CS3 QuickTime Export Preferences

So if the progress bar freezes while exporting, try changing the setting to "After time elapsed". You can easily get the correct length in seconds by taking the total number of frames and dividing by the frame rate. It may be helpful to note that Flash CS3 itself never froze -- we could always hit the cancel button and it would stop the process immediately. In fact, every system we tested it on had the exact same issue and showed no signs of any processor or memory spiking problems.

Hope this helps others who may encounter the same issue!

Brian said,

June 15, 2007 @ 11:02 am

I am having the same issue, as you’ve already noted. If you have any updates please let me know! I have a client that wants what I’ve done in flash put into a Powerpoint presentation and being that I’m working with CS3, Powerpoint will not recognize the swf. I have been trying to use SnapZ to capture the swf as a quicktime movie, but the end result is choppy.

I’m glad I’m not alone here.

jonnymac said,

June 15, 2007 @ 11:09 am

Brian — I would just try using the “After time elapsed” setting and then editing the video to remove any extra length. This can be done really quickly in QuickTime Pro. It is an annoyance, but it works.

el said,

July 3, 2007 @ 4:39 am

I just had the same problem, you rescued my day!

Ph!l said,

July 13, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

The weird thing is that the very first time I used the export, it worked without making that change. I suppose there will be an update coming at some point….

Ph!l said,

July 13, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

The interesting thing is that the very first time I tried exporting, it worked without making the change to specific time. I guess we’ll be seeing an update soon….

Susan said,

August 10, 2007 @ 1:33 pm


For Powerpoint, export as an AVI

To insert a movie file in a PowerPoint presentation, Click the Insert button and select “Movies and Sounds”. Next, select “Movie from File” and browse to your saved AVI file. If you do not want the file to play automatically, so select “no” when PowerPoint asks if you want the file to play automatically

Josh said,

August 23, 2007 @ 5:26 am

You are my favorite person right now. Thanks so much for writing this down as I kept hitting this error with no idea as how to solve it. I can’t seem to find a solution anywhere else as well…

So far this issue pretty much describes my overall enjoyment of CS3. Overpromised, overpriced, and time consuming as all get out.

Thanks again!

neil said,

August 30, 2007 @ 7:59 am

Nice one! i’d never thought of trying that…

Suzero said,

September 1, 2007 @ 6:33 am

Thanks for the tip. It exports and looks fine in Quicktime player but for some reason Final Cut Pro keeps seeing it as a 10fps movie instead of the 25 fps I specified. Strange.

Patrick said,

September 11, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

“When last frame is reached” will only work if the last frame is actually reached.

So make sure you don’t have a stop() action in your main time line that prevents the play head from getting there. I always have a stop action or two in there to prevent the movie from looping, and that was my problem.

enriquepr said,

September 12, 2007 @ 8:14 am

Indeed, Patrick speaks the truth. I posted it on Kirupa as well. This is a problem no one should have to run into again…

Marc Rapp said,

October 21, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

Using the “Quicktime Settings….” tab and switching to Sorenson, with a specific type of screen setting will solve this problem as well. As mentioned above, a stop(), will inhibit the export. Playing with Quicktime’s compression settings has solved this issue for me.

I’ve exported to broadcast quality without a problem.

Ben said,

October 22, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

Thanks so much for that tip – I was teasing my hair out wondering why the export was locking up, and this fixed the issue.

Alex said,

November 28, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

just saved me too for a class project. thanks!

Diane said,

December 6, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

I am working on a Flash CS3 presentation (screen show) that I need to export as a QuickTime movie that will be run on a DVR to be displayed on a HDTV. I’ve been trying to test out the process before I complete the whole project to make sure this will work but each time I try exporting as a .MOV then open the file in QuickTime, nothing is there, just a blank white screen. I have to use the Export method rather than Publish, because it is a Flash presentation. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Tim said,

January 8, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

Thank you random blog dude! You just saved my day! (well not actually MINE but a co-workers’… but still)… Thanks :)

Loren said,

January 18, 2008 @ 12:13 am

Genius! Thanks for posting this. It only took me 5 hours to find this solution.

macke said,

April 14, 2008 @ 5:33 am

put a empty frame after last frame, and then it stop when it goes there instead of the frame containing a clip?

Chase said,

May 21, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

Thanks! I had captured the movie using SnapzPro, and it worked but due to the 12fps of the project, Final Cut and Motion weren’t able to use the files right (either cutting off the clip before it was actually over, or converting to 29.97 fps which caused a pause every few seconds).

This is working great and now i can get rid of a whole middle step that was super time consuming…

life saver

Marisol said,

July 1, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

Thank you soooo much for writing this down and sharing with others! I have had this problem (kid you not) for over 2 flippin’ weeks!!! Thanks!!!!

Ferd from York said,

July 2, 2008 @ 5:56 am

top solution – I had the problem for about 3 minutes – decided to ask Google God and this solution was number one! Cheers Dude

Sissel said,

July 15, 2008 @ 1:11 am

Thank you! Just managed to export my Flash file into .mov after reading about the “After time elapsed” setting. But, I then met another problem. When I watched it in Quicktime Player it is “squashed” It is supposed to be 1024 x 576 px but it came out 511×386 (I think, took a screen shot and checked in Photoshop)

Anyone who knows why this is??

n_m said,

July 31, 2008 @ 7:17 am

you don’t have to resort to calculating the total time of the clip based on the number or frames. and it doesn’t matter whether you have a “stop();” action in there or not.

the solution to this problem is to make sure all layers in the timeline end on the same frame. that ‘s all you need to do.

John B said,

August 12, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

Hi and thanks for this helpful post. I have a similar problem – bu ‘m a complete newbi to Flash. I have imported a designer’s flash file and I need to get it into Premiere Pro. I’ve made my changes and it previews fine in F12 preview. But I cannot fof the life of me export to AVI or MOV.

I’ve tried all settings options and all I get is the first frame. Seems to take no time at all to convert/save the file and I can import it, but it is just the single frame. WHen I hover the mouse over the file it shows it as a video clip but the duration is 00:00:00 ANy help would b greatly Appreciated.

John B

Carrie said,

August 27, 2008 @ 9:34 am

Just wanted to echo everyone else’s thanks – you just saved me from hours of frustration.


September 6, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!! i deleted the stop actions from my flash doc and the video exported right away!!! SAVED ME SO MUCH TIME!!!
So here’s a question… if i can’t put the stop actions in how can i prevent the movie from looping? is their a setting somewhere that i can set what frame it ends at?

Jason said,

September 19, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

Found this after hours of searching…I hope the more we visit this, the more Google will bump it to the top. THANK YOU!

Kindra Goehler said,

October 12, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

Thank you! You just saved me countless hours of frustration.

Ito said,

October 27, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Flash was giving me this problem less than 12 hours before a critical campaign pitch. Your solution worked great. Thank you so much!

Ronald Rijken said,

November 12, 2008 @ 7:19 am

Many, many thanks. It works!
At first I took a larger time setting, played the movie in Quicktime. Quicktime indicates the exact time. So I exported the fla. again, now in the right time. This way I prevented looping.

Patrick said,

November 25, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

Works Great! Been trying to figure that out for a year now!

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