Animate 2: How can I reduce file size & export to .mov without crashing

In Photoshop and other apps, once you are done with a file, you can flatten it as a psd file, compress it down to a jpg, or otherwise drastically reduce the final file size. Is there a way to do this in Animate 2?

I have a short animation I did for Children’s Hospital using drawings that some of the patients did for a group called KidzBKidz. I did it using ToonBoom Animate 2, and teaching myself as I went. The final is 3.5 mins long (5040 frames) and has a TON of layers.

Here is a link to the last revision (with a scratch narration) to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

When I try to export to an .mov file, it crashes. I did it successfully for a comp the other day, but the file is way too big… like 2.8G.

Here are my questions:
1. Can anyone suggest ways to streamline this without redoing the entire thing from scratch?
2. I need to upload a comp of this to YouTube for the client to edit. In earlier versions, I was able to do it with a file of 1.8 G, but now it is bigger, and I’m crashing. Can you suggest export settings for YouTube? Do you reduce the size of the whole thing or flatten it in some way for comps?
3. Would upgrading to Animate Pro help? (are files transferable from Animate 2 to Animate Pro?)
4. Can anyone point me to a comprehensive site that covers Animate troubleshooting issues?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I admit I am a total novice at this, but I consider myself an expert in other programs like PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator, Painter… etc… so if you need to use them to help explain, that might help. THANKS!

Try this:Export your project in parts as image sequence…Meaning: render frame 1 to 500, then 501 to 1000… etc.Then, either assemble those image sequences with QuickTime 7 pro or else…Or, import them directly into your favorite Video-Editor…RegardsNolan

I’ll give that a try. I have an audio track w/narration, and someone is adding music to this as well. Would you suggest I add the audio (music & narration) in the video editor?What kind of file do you usually export to for TV? I know they require a .mov file on YouTube, but I think the Children’s Hospital might want to use this for TV too. Do you have to render things differently for that?

For TV you’re going to have to ask them what they want. It’s probably going to be HDTV, 1920x1080 but they might use a lower resolution. It used to be in NTSC or Pal format and resolutions but now all is changed. If you try to do an output in HDTV as a .mov it’s going to be huge and you will probably crash if the scene is long as mentioned above unless you put a lot of compression with the codec. However compression means some loss of quality. It might be ok for youtube but for broadcast it would be better to make a sequence of images at full resolution as mentioned above again and then combine it an editing suite.Also creating a .mov with sound will have some sound compression so again maybe not the best quality.

For what it’s worth, I export my scenes as MOV files without sound. I then put them together with the sound, sound effects, and music in Sony Vegas. The MOV files take less of a toll on your CPU which is why I use them for the rough editing. Once I have it the way I like it, I replace the MOV files with PNG image sequences which gives you the best quality. Lastly, I do the final render using the h.264 codec.

OK…So for the COMP, you:• export 1000 frame segments as MOV files• bring them into Sony Vegas (or some other video editing software)• bring in the music and narration• and export as… what, a MOV file for the customer to approve?THEN, once they OK the thing… For the FINAL, you:• go back to Animate and export IMAGES as PNG files (rather than a Movie)• import the PNG images into Sony Vegas, replacing the MOV files• Render using h.264 codec… (NOT Animation codec?)Or am I missing something here. Do you do the rending from Animate, and THEN export the PNG files?Sorry for the novice questions. This really is new to me. Also, the only video editing software I have is iMovie (which came with my iMac). Is Sony Vegas the video editing software of choice for people doing animation on a mac, or are there others that are preferred. If I have to buy something, I might as well go for whatever the industry standard is. I’m used to using the Adobe Creative Suite for Design… is the CS5.5 Production Premium the thing to go with? (Premiere Pro, After Effects… etc).By the way, you guys are the coolest! Thanks for all this valuable input. I work alone in a home studio, and have just begun delving into digital animation from my regular graphic design/illustration background. I’m generally self taught, and find that just diving into a project is usually the best way to learn. There is a little bit of a steeper learning curve to Animate than I’m used to… and since I got sort of a choice gig right away, I don’t want to make any costly rookie mistakes.As a side note: I have Animate 2. Is the upgrade to Animate Pro worth it? Do any of you folks use Storyboard Pro? Is that worth it if I’m working alone?

Sony Vegas is just what I happen to have and use. I’m not familiar with video editing software for Macs but I’m sure somebody here knows what’s best to use and invest in.Seems like you’ve got the right workflow. In my work once I finish the final Vegas file I send everything to my client who does any additional editing that he wants to do. But he has the original audio and PNG image sequences to work from. If it’s just up to you, you can render it in whatever format is best for your situation. I do the h.264 which is MP4. Here is what a friend of mine recommended for final rendering.Final render H.264 (mp4) highest setting, 10,000 bps, 1920x1080, 24fps. Audio setting at 192kbps minimum.I also work alone at home so I know what it’s like. I use Storyboard Pro 1.5 for all my storyboarding. I really like it. Sometimes I get by with just thumbnail stickfigure stuff for my own work but usually I find it’s best to board it all out to make sure everything flows and I have a good idea of how it’s going to go. If it ain’t working in the storyboard it ain’t gonna work after animating it. The storyboard is your blueprint to do the final production and often you can find ways to improve your work at that stage.All the best!

Export your project from Animate 2 as PNG or PSD image sequence/s,in any segment size your system can handle…Using the same resolution as your Scene Settings, presumably HD 1920 x 1080…?If you like, assemble those image sequences with QuickTime 7 Pro…(you might have already on your system…?)Best would be, save all those media-files to a dedicated internal or external Hard-drive…(at least FireWire 800, would be highly recommended)Working in HD with huge file-sizes, this will improve transfer speed and performance…You might even consider RAID or a Disk Array for significantly increased access time…Going with the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, seems to be the “best of the breed” professional tool set one could imagine… Everything at your fingertips…Otherwise check out Final Cut X / Motion 5 / Compressor 4… Video-Editor you might use, apply the same HD settings to your projects… Import those media-files: (sequences, movies, sound files etc.) into your chosen editor.When you have finished editing, export to any resolution or codec you prefer…(this should be the only time a compression should be applied)Regarding your “side-note” upgrading to Animate 2 Pro, or Storyboard Pro…this depends entirely at your needs and aspirations…If you need those tool-sets today, upgrade…If it helps, check out the comparison charts:

OK I just got Adobe Production Suit… I’ll crack it open and try what you guys suggested. I’ll let you know how it goes! Still waiting for the music, but I guess now I can go ahead and get everything into Premiere Pro while I wait.I don’t think I’m getting any more edits from the client. It is supposed to look like kids did it, so it is a PERFECT first gig in that regard. Any little rough spot can be “intentional” ;). Ha. Thanks so much for your help.What Toon Boom lacks in official help it makes up for in spades with these robust forums. ¡Bueno!

You might also want to consider the Xvid codec for rendering with minimal quality loss and best render speed. A quick disclaimer: I’m not sure how Xvid fares on a Mac.I use it to compress Fraps recorded HD video which comes out to 4GB every 2minutes & 10 seconds, and the re-render of 4 GB took no more than 5-7 minutes.I’ve used the Xvid codec through Adobe After Effects and it’s the choice codec for Sony Vegas. I can’t recall the numbers I got at home but I did manage to compress an edit of 320GBs into 1.2GB with great picture quality overnight. It didn’t stay HD sharp but it sounds like what you want.I tried H.264 but I found the render times long and the quality lacking for youtube uploads compared to Xvid.

When it comes to rendering Quicktime movies, what happens is that it has to process all the images and sound at the same time, and at some point your compute will run out of memory. This is why we usually recommend to limit the scene length to 1000 frames or less as a good frame of reference. I know of people that have gone as long as 6000 frames in length.

The solution at this point is either to render your quicktime movie in a couple of pieces, and then use a video editor to bring them together. You could also as Nolan suggested export an image sequence (this is the most robust way).

If you do manage to export it all as one chunk, then to reduce the file size, you’ll need to play around with the codecs that are used for compression. Most people use the H.264 compression codec, which compresses with a minimal loss of quality in the images. To access these codecs, go to File > Export > Movie, then click on Movie Options, and Video Options, and you can select the codec from the dropdown list at the top.

Hope this helps!


It used to be that most professional studios were using Final Cut IX, but now with Final Cut X, a lot of studios have switched to Avid. If you’re an individual user, though, you can use anything from Premiere to Quicktime Pro to Final Cut to Vegas, anything will do the trick really.