Overall question for going from a Flash file to MP4

Apr 06, 2011

Hey everyone.  I just have a generic question, especially for Flash users.  How would you advise someone who is using CS4 to get their video file to an MP4?  I've tried Adobe Encoder and iMovie and the MP4s are still bigger than the original swfs.  I had been exporting my Flash files to .mov files and then taking those .mov files and making them into MP4s.  I'm wondering if the .movs are so big that I can't make the MP4s smaller than the swfs, but I can't compress the .mov files or the video looks horrible.

So, maybe my whole process is wrong.  Starting from the beginning, how would you users recommend making a Flash file into a MP4?  Any help, suggestions, and person experiences would be GREATLY appreciated.  Thank you so much!!

26 Replies
Meg Bertapelle

I typically use Adobe Media encoder, but there are LOTS of settings to play with that will ultimately affect file size.  I've just started converting flash files to mp4 for playback on iPhone or iPad, so I haven't really explored everything, but here's my 2 cents

typically choose "H.264" as the output format, this saves to a "filename.mp4" file:

before the queue starts, click the "Settings..." button:

and check the options available under the "Video" tab - shown are my typical selections for my files to play on the iPhone/iPad:

hope that helps, and good luck!


Tammy Smith

It's interactive.  I'm creative my videos in Flash.  I was converting them to .mov files and then making those into MP4's.  But I didn't know if there was a better way to do that.  Do you think you'd be able to ask your video production guys how they'd get a Flash video (made in CS4) over to an MP4?  I mean, would they make it into a FLV somehow?  I don't know how to make it an f4v, either.  Thank you again for your replies and continued help, Meg.  You're really helping me out here!!  If you and I can figure this out, then my biggest problem with all of this video stuff will be solved!!!

Meg Bertapelle

ok, so interactive from Flash, publised to a .swf?  You'll obviously lose all the interactivity, and I'm not sure how that will work converting to a movie, because without the interaction, will you see all of your "movie"?  I work-around might be to do a screen capture in Jing (or Captivate, or whatever else, Jing is free from Techsmith) WHILE you use the interaction, and that publishes to a .swf, but just a movie.  Save that to your computer & then use the Adobe Media Encoder as described above. 

let me know if that works!

Tammy Smith

Oh duh.  Interaction.  I'm sorry.  I was thinking of from the designer's perspective if it was interactive.  Like, having video, still shots, and audio in it.  Not from the user's perspective.  I'm sorry.  In that case, it's not interactive.  Users will not have to click on anything in the actual video.  So I could make it into a normal movie and it will be fine.  The only actionscript I have in my videos is the Stop action in the last frame.  So, without it being interactive for the user, how do I get my Flash file to FLV or F4V?  Do your developers know about that?  I mean, you said that they're your video crew, so do they use Flash to make some of those movies?  If so, how do they go from Flash to FLV or F4V?

Tammy Smith

I don't have the option to publish from Flash to .flv.  Maybe CS5 has that option, but CS4 doesn't...  CS4 is really limited in what you can export your movie as.  And I'm currently doing Quicktime movies, but I was just wondering if there was a better way to do it with a smaller file size or just a better way to do it in general.  I still have looked and nowhere do I see the option to save as .flv.  Is your video team running Flash CS4 or CS5?

Tammy Smith

I know these questions probably are meant for the Adobe forums, but they hardly ever respond, and this community is so great and helpful here.  I've asked the question on Adobe and no response in three days.  Over three days, I think.  So I really appreciate you helping me so much with this, Meg.  You are really sweet!  If your video team ever gets back to you about how they have made their Flash files (Flash, not swf) into FLVs or how they make their Flash videos into MP4's, I'd love to hear it!!   Your answers have been great and very helpful so far.

Meg Bertapelle

you're very welcome!  glad I could help!

are you on Twitter?  'cause those guys are SUPER responsive.  you can search the #AdobeCaptivate hashtag for tips on captivate, but I really don't know the hashtags for other ones.  @AdobeELearning is a good guy (Allen) to follow.  Also @Liliybiri - she's awesome :)

hope you can figure out what you need! :)


Tammy Smith

I'll have to check that out!  I tried Twitter years ago, but I didn't like it so I stopped. lol.  If it would help with this, though, I'll definitely have to try it again.  Thanks for the tip, Meg!

Did your video team ever respond to how they get their video files into flv format?  Definitely not an option on my CS4.  I'm really curious as to how they'd do it.  If they wouldn't mind telling you and if you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd really be appreciative!  I think it'd be really interesting for others on here to know, too.  Of course, that's only if you guys have a free minute to do that. :)

Sorry it took me a little while to respond.  Wasn't at work on Friday because some coworkers and I went out to shoot more video for the presentation.  Hopefully it will be ready soon!  And I don't like to do work stuff on the weekend, so I didn't come on here over the weekend.

Meg Bertapelle

Hi Tammy,

not yet - but I'll follow up again   (and I TOTALLY understand about keeping weekends to yourself - I try)

Twitter is all about who you follow - and participating!  try #lrnchat on Thursdays - there's a morning & evening session every Thursday, to try and catch everyone who wants to participate world-wide. 

#lrnchat is an online chat over the social messaging service Twitter that now happens twice every Thursday: first at 11:30-1pm ET (from 14-27 March this is  3:30-6pm GMT/4:30-7pm CET) and then again at 8:30-10pm ET/5:30-7pm PT.

It can get a little like drinking from a fire hose, but the group is AWESOME, and some really great discussions.  http://lrnchat.wordpress.com  They post the transcripts (which I find kinda hard to get through), and also David Kelly posts his summaries/reflections on his blog: http://www.misadventuresinlearning.blogspot.com/

hopefully I'll "see" you there this week :)

Tammy Smith

I'll definitely try to be there this Thursday, Meg!!  I hope to see you, too.   I have another question for you, though.  I've converted my .mov file over to mp4 h.264 in Adobe Media Encoder.  When I bring it into Presenter, though, I get these weird black strips on the left and right edges, almost like it's not big enough even though I've stretched the video to the edges.  Do you have this problem, too?  Things just can't go right with this. lol.  But you're helping a lot!

Mike, thanks for the info. :)  I've tried Format Factory, but they don't allow a H.264 option.

Tammy Smith

Ooops... Nvm.  The black bars aren't there anymore.  It must have been from an MP4 created from a different format program I had in the past.  Ugh... I have so many versions of the same video.  But do you have to resize the MP4 you create, Meg, so that it fits the slide when you bring it in?  Mine's smaller and I have to make it bigger to fit in the slide, but my aspect ratio is something like 740x560 or something.  I know the first number is 740.  So, it's bigger than the size you have in your settings, but I still have to make it bigger when I bring it into Presenter.  When I make it bigger in Presenter, it looks pixelated.  It looks great if I don't make it bigger, but it's not at its original size when I bring it in...

Meg Bertapelle

hahahah  - I SERIOUSLY understand!

so, if you increase the size after you place in your file/slide, then yes, it will be pixellated. I have noticed though that sometimes in PPT, if you place a Flash movie, it comes in small, and does not pay attention to the size you specified - if you're using PPT/Articulate, then maybe that's the issue, and the pixellation is just coming from the conversion settings.  You can play with the settings when you convert it until you get the right mix for your project - mine are in no way right for everything, just worked for what we were doing in that moment :)

glad you got rid of the black bars though

Meg Bertapelle

oh - and here's the response from our video team:

Normal 0 false false false oNotPromoteQF /> EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ontGrowAutofit /> MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

We make our FLVs using one of two routes:


  1. Our high-powered Digital Rapids encoding station from whatever our video source file is.
  2. Adobe Media Encoder, also from whatever source we have to use.


There are presets in Adobe Media Encoder, but we use customizedprofiles. I know what works for our use here at Intuitive but can’t speakauthoritatively on all things FLV.


If your friend needs more info, they can feel free to contact me,or they can visit Adobe.com I would imagine.


Sorenson Squeeze will also allow you to make FLVs (http://www.sorensonmedia.com ).

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Kind Regards,

Michael Banks

Video Production Specialist


hope that helps!

Tammy Smith

Meg, THANK YOU!!!  *hugs hugs hugs!!*  You and your team are so nice!  I can't believe they would take the time to type all that up for a stranger.  That is so cool.   I think what I'm understanding is that on option 2 (which is what I'd have to go on since I don't have Digital Rapids ), they'd still have to convert their Flash file to something else to get it into Adobe Media Encoder, right?  I can't import direct flash files into Adobe Media Encoder without saving the flash files as .mov files first.  I'm guessing that's what he means, right?  Would you prefer I email him and ask if that what he means or do you already know?

And as for the pixelation, I did notice that in Adobe Media Encoder, the default settings for High Quality H.264 was 720x480.  Right width but not height.  I had to take off the linking button that keeps the dimensions proportionate so I could get the right dimensions.  Was it your video team that thought up all those other settings that you did a screen capture of up above?  I had to change quite a few things to match your settings, but they all work great.  Did the team do that or did you just experiment with different settings?  Your settings actually make my video a lot smaller without a reduction in quality!!

Meg Bertapelle

you're welcome! (we do have good peeps around here if I do say so myself!)

I'm so glad you got it to work! :)

I have actually converted .flv files myself to .mp4 using AME - so I know you can do that.  Usually Mike will give us an .flv, and later we'll be ready to use it on the mobile devices, so we'll convert to .mp4 ourselves.  I don't know that Mike ever goes from his native video files straight to .mp4, but he might - please feel free to contact him directly if you want more info on that.  Since I'm not a Flash guru by any stretch of the imagination, I can't speak to the output there very well.  I'm pretty sure you can publish as some sort of movie file, which you could then use AME to convert to either .flv or .mp4.

Does that make sense?


Tammy Smith

I'm really glad, too!   lol!  It's all thanks to you and your team!  And yeah, my only question left is how he gets the native Flash file into FLV format.  I know how to get it into mp4 format now correctly (thanks to you!), but I just don't know if he saves his Flash file as a .mov file or what.  I'll email and ask him.  Thank you thank you, Meg!  I hope to see you on Thursday, too, and hopefully we can keep talking off and on. :D

Meg Bertapelle

Hi Tammy,

Mike doesn't actually use Flash - they create videos with cameras and all their fancy video equipment, so he may not know the answer to publishing a Flash video to .flv -- one of the guys here said it could be done, but wasn't looking at the software when he said that, and I couldn't find a way when I was looking in the software.  I would check Adobe 'cause now my coworker is out of the office :P

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