Flash CS3 Quicktime export bug

21 Feb08

How can the same timeline export to two different lengths? This is for sure a bug in the Quicktime export in Flash CS3. A little background - I’m working on a project where we’ll let the user rotate a huge 3D model left or right by clicking some arrows. If you have ever tried to play Flash video backwards, you’ve noticed that this won’t play smoothly since Flash have to calculate any missing keyframes. The best solution is to use two FLVs embedded in each their movieclip and do some smart toggeling of the two movieclips so you only play one video at a time, but always in the forward direction.

For this to work, you’ll need two videos. One containing the normal sequence and one containing the reverse. These videos have to have exactly the same length, or you won’t be able to jump between them. Ive done this a bunch of times in former versions of Flash, but in CS3 this is totally broken. Have a look at the timeline below (click for full size version). it has three layers. The first layer (right) contains a series of PNG images showing the rotation of the model towards right. The second layer (left) contains the same images in reversed order.

I export the “rotateRight” quicktime movie and then turn the “right” layer into a guide and export the “left” rotation. The resulting Quicktime movies will now be of different lengths!?!? Not only that - if I re-export the lengths change at random??? Seriously - somebody did not do their homework here! This also reminds me of a problem Andre Michelle is experiencing where the sound object is now less precise than if was before.

Come on - time is only relative in movies. In real life a frame is a frame and a second is a second! I’ve now spent way too many hours researching this. I’ll now dig up my old PC version of Flash 8 and fix this.

UPDATED: Using Flash 8 worked like a charm. This is definitely a CS3 bug…


Click to view large image

Just to make it worse - the last update for CS3 that I whined about has broken Photoshop. It crashes every time I try to open an image using the Open File dialogue or try to Save. Just brilliant when you want to make pictures illustrating another bug in Adobe software… And - this is not my machine acting up either. My wife has the exact same behavior on her video editing Mac at work and the export issue has also been confirmed by others. It’s the same. 100% repeatable randomness.

21 February 2008 at 7:57 pm

3 Responses to Flash CS3 Quicktime export bug

  1. avatar photo
    Ben 21 February 2008 at 11:19 pm #

    I’ve also found what I can only think of as a memory leak when I was exporting a movie to QuickTime using the new exporter in Flash CS3.  I had a slide show app that loaded images from the hard drive and it would crash because the system ran out of memory. If i changed the movie so it ran without loading any of the images it was fine.  I think it had something to do with Flash not removing the images from memory which I was doing in my ActionScript.

  2. avatar photo
    Masanori Oba 07 March 2008 at 1:56 am #

    We changed the QT export in CS3, so it can export post Flash 5 contents including animations in movie clips and ones generated by ActionScript.

    However the video exported might have dropped frames depending on the sytem’s performance and the size of the video.

    In case of your project,
    1. I would export the PNG image sequence as Export Movie..> PNG Sequence first.
    2. Import the PNG Sequence to a video editor, and create a reverse version.
    3. Export both as .flv.
    4. Import the .flv files to Flash as embeded video.

    Due to the way we grab the frames and the player capabilites, this is the best we can do now, but we are aware of the issue and trying to resolve it in the future.

    Thank you.

  3. avatar photo
    jensa 17 March 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    @Masanori That’s interesting. You’re actually recommending me to NOT use Flash, but rather a video editor?

    Well, I don’t have a Premiere license and it’s really much, much easier for me to take the train from my downtown Oslo office, back home to my house and do the export from my gaming PC using Flash 8. I need to do this to a lot of videos and the process outlined above really isn’t very smooth?

    Thanks for confirming the bug though. Too bad it had to happen because of added functionality that really wasn’t required? After all - anyone that needed movieclips to play back during export could just throw the SWF into Adobe Director or one of the $25 third party tools that already existed for this very purpose?