Please help! Frame rate issue...

Hi Everyone,

I am working on an animated music video that’s about three minutes long. Everything works fine in the Animate program, but when I export it to .mov, somehow, the frames become a little “off” time from the music. They become ahead of the audio track. I set the frame rate to 18 fps and made sure it was 18 fps when exporting, but the problem continues. In the beginning of the .mov, everything seems fine, but slowly becomes “off”. Does anyone know what’s going on?!


Not sure what’s wrong, Matt, but here are some ideas. Are you using an MP3 or WAV file for the audio? A WAV is lossless whereas an MP3 is not so perhaps that would help.

Another thing you might try is rendering at a higher frame rate to compensate for the difference.

In general, I think 18 fps is not a standard frame rate for animation. I always use 24 fps myself but there are some standard rates like 24, 25, 30, that are more common.

Did you change the frame rate after importing the sound? I can’t remember if Animate (I’m on Harmony now) did this but if you imported a sound that was 24 fps in a scene that is set to 24 fps and then changed the fps to 18 the sound was not readjusted to the new length. Mind you, you wouldn’t have the right speed in Animate either??! Hum!

Anyway if you did do a fps change you might want to think about this.

Thank you so much for the input. Here’s one thing I noticed and should mention:

At the top of the Toon Boom screen, right next to where the FPS is displayed, I get these fluctuating numbers that appear only when I play the scene. For example, my FPS is 18. When the animation is stopped, the numbers are not there, but once I press play, the numbers 18.0, 18.1, 17.9 appear in black right next to the 18 FPS display. I have no idea why, but they appear to be slightly slowing down and speeding up the FPS, which would explain my main problem. Does anyone know why these numbers are appearing, or how to get rid of them?

Thank you,

Never heard of that happening before. Perhaps you should write to support.

have you checked all the export/codec settings match the scene settings?


1) What was the answer to Zeb’s question about the file format of the sound. What you describe would probably happen with an *.mp3 source since mp3 generates losses.
2) I believe the figure you see to the right of the FPS indicator at playback time is the actual fps at which the movie is running on your machine. Within flash, for example, the fps of the file is treated as a target telling the machine at what time to start generating each page.


Yes, the fluctuating frame rate is normal. It shows the actual frame rate of the playback. It can vary a bit like you notice.

Good point Roberto, mp3 might have an impact.

Also we are talking of QT .mov file right? Not swf. Because the playback of swf can vary depending on the speed of machine and the heavyness of the images in the movie.

It’s actually a .wav audio file, and I’m exporting as a Quicktime .mov. I’ve now tried at least 10 different export settings, and none seem to fix the latency problem.

The scene settings are:
18 fps

The export settings are:
Animation Compressor
"Current" frame rate
Keyframes every “24” frames
"High Quality"

The sound settings are:
No compressor
22.050 kHz
16 bit

If anyone could think of anything, I will be eternally grateful.


You didn’t answer if you had changed the scene’s frame rate after you had imported the soundtrack.

It used to be that it would break up your sound in 24 parts at the import if you had set the scene a 24 fps and even if you changed the scene’s setting to 18 after the import it would not change the sound breakdown to 18 parts per sec. So it might be related.

Hi Matt

It’s an interesting problem.

1) On your exporting settings, you are using “current”, why not 18 fps?
2) Not sure about the key frames parameter.
3) The export sound settings seem ok.
4) You’re sourcing from *.wav so it may not be a compression problem.
5) I think I would make a 3 minute .wav with a drum or metronome at 60 bpm (one beat per second), make a new animation at 18 fps with a redscreen every 18 frames, export it and see if it stays in sync.

Hope this is of some help.


I’m sure you’ve probably already tried this, but I just want to make sure that you’ve actually changed the FPS in the Scene Settings dialog. There is also an FPS settting in the Playback toolbar, but this affects only what happens when you hit the Play button in the software, and what renders when you do a Render and Play. When you do an actual final render, it looks to whatever parameters are in your Scene Settings dialog.