Recently I was hired by a design firm to teach flash to their Art Directors and help them troubleshoot some production problems they were encountering. They had a project that needed to be exported as a .mov file, but when they used the Export tool in Flash their tweens seemed to skip a few frames here and there producing a cringe on everyone who saw it.
First thing to consider: Why use a .mov file at all? The .swf file played FINE. It was in sync and the frame rate was smooth (30fps). Why would someone convert from a perfectly usable file type to a format that has KNOWN conversion issues?
Sadly, the answer was that the client requested it be a .mov and even they didn’t know why. Aside from obscure handhelds there really isn’t any good reason I can think of why you want to convert to a mov file from swf. All you have to do is install a flash player. New toys need new tools. If the client had been educated about the advantages of the swf file they would have made an informed decision. You have to be assertive if you know a better solution exists.
Supposing that you don’t have the above option and you “just have to get it done” then here is what you do to avoid the problem of skipping frames or clipping transitions in mov files created with Flash CS5. This may work for previous versions of flash, but not before CS3, as that’s when the Export to mov feature was added. I should say that there are a host of other problems with this as well which Ill look at in other tutorials, but for now lets move on to the clipping thing which is actually really easy to fix.
When you’re exporting the file, after selecting the file name you have the option to click the QuickTime Settings… button in the bottom left. Doing that will open the Movie Settings Box and you can click on the Setting button to open the Compression Settings.
In the Compression Setting change the Key Frames to All. That’s it. That’s the fix. For best play back you should also set the Frame Rate to Current and it will just use what you’re using on the main timeline. I use 30 because it’s pretty smooth and the math pretty easy.
What this is doing: When you’re saving movies, not every frame contains the whole image. This is done to save space as movies are very very big. So there are Key Frames which work kind of like in flash in that they tell the other frames the complete picture. The frames you see getting clipped in your movies are the frames that are not being saved as a result of the missing frames. Saving every frame as a keyframe makes the file size a bit bigger (in some cases a lot bigger), but that’s not a problem for you because you’re decided you’re making a mov file, which are huge files by any measure. If you want to play it on the web… do it as a flv or swf a mov file is too big.
Thankfully the client here is looking to play it in tradeshows and so forth with people who may or may not have the technical ability to figure out installing flash in the event their laptop is the 3% of people without some sort of flash already installed on their system, but they do have quicktime so thats what they wanted. If you’re looking this up and still with me – you’re clients are probably much the same. Good luck.
Let me hear how this works for you.