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TIPS to avoid crashes, freezes, failure to render or erratic behavior (2015)

Disclaimer: The following tips include solutions from previous threads combined with my personal recommendations which allow me to work without any problems in videoscribe. Here is a link to the official INSTANT ANSWER related to this topic : crashing-and-freezing-videoscribe-free-pro-and-edu

QUESTION: How can I fix or PREVENT crashing, freezing, slowdowns,  problems opening, saving, or rendering scribes, or problems exporting or uploading video in VideoScribe? (Also: how can I avoid memory related problems like problems with the timeline?)

ANSWERS AND TIPS:  (updated version focusing on videoscribe version 2)  Most freezes, slowdowns and crashes probably result from excessive memory usage and can be avoided by using properly optimized images and moderate camera zoom settings, but here is a more detailed list of tips, suggestions, guidelines and workarounds:

1) Save a new copy of your scribe with a new name, and restart videoscribe. 

Save a copy of the scribe (your work file) with a new name and then restart videoscribe, and open the new scribe. This process MAY provide a TEMPORARY workaround and allow you to render a scribe or continue editing your work even if there are still other problems (listed below) that should probably be addressed. I only listed this tip first because it may be the easiest thing to try. Rebooting may also free up some memory and allow problematic scribes to render successfully.

NOTE: Videoscribe V1/V2 has a memory cap of about 1.7GB even if your computer has more memory than that: Link to thread mentioning memory limit

2) Possible workaround for a scribe that won't open:
Other problems mentioned below may result in one or more corrupt or faulty element while working or saving. If you have one or more problematic elements in your scribe, they can cause a crash or prevent the scribe from rendering or saving properly. If a scribe or element actually becomes corrupt, and you cannot open or render a scribe, you may be able to identify and remove the damaged element(s) by exporting and then importing the scribe.

Link: how to import-and-export using Version 2

If the scribe is saved online instead of locally, you can download the scribe from your account page  and then import it into videoscribe. (NOTE: This process does not "FIX" everything wrong with a scribe, but it sometimes removes damaged elements, so that you can continue working on it.

3) IMPORTANT!!! Videoscribe works best if you optimize ALL of your images for good quality and small file sizes. If you don't know anything about optimizing images, a search on youtube or google may help bring you up to speed.

Properly prepared JPG and PNG images can usually be in the 1-250 KB range. If you are using images that are more than 1 MB then they are probably larger than necessary and may be causing out-of-memory problems. (the file sizes I provided are only a rough guideline.) For JPG and PNG images: the dimensions of the image probably do not need to be larger than the dimensions of the finished video. GIMP (free at and photoshop and other programs offer methods for saving images with smaller file sizes without noticeable reduction in image quality.

Here is a link to a scribe using an oversized JPG image and a smaller, better optimized version of the same jpg image. In this example the original image is so sharp and high contrast that it actually looks grainy in the scribe. Adding a little bit of blur and reducing the image size and the file size results in a better looking image that traces better, looks cleaner, and is less likely to contribute to memory problems:

video link: image optimization

The SVGs that work best in videoscribe can usually be less than 100KB and contain only stroked paths and/or filled paths. Larger SVGs may contain excessive numbers of anchor points or problematic data like masking or clipping paths, which can contribute to freezes or crashes.  Delete hidden layers from your SVGs. (hidden layers increase file size. larger file sizes require more memory to process.) Also there are are some youtube tutorials that mention leaving embedded JPGs or PNGs or other images in your SVG files, but you should probably optimize such images first if you are going to embed them. Larger files may cause excessive memory use resulting in slowdowns, freezes or crashes.

Recommended SVG save settings for illustrator:

NOTE: select  "embed" instead of "link" if you are embedding an image in your SVG (optimize the image before adding it to your SVG!) 

Related link: How can I make SVGs that draw well in videoscribe

NOTE: SVGs made with illustrator creative cloud may appear solid black (or exhibit other odd symptoms in videoscribe as a result of some newer formatting that videoscribe does not recognize. Here is a solution in:  a related thread

4) Avoid very large very fast camera movements or extreme zoom in/zoom out between elements. If you are experiencing a freeze and you have at least one huge camera movement,  try reducing the camera's travel distance by moving the elements closer together and/or scaling the elements to similar sizes, or slightly increasing the transition time for that camera move. If your images are very spread out then the final zoom-out-at-end may be so extreme that it causes a problem. Grouping elements closer together into a roundish blob may be better than spreading them out in a long line.

5) Things will probably run more smoothly if you  keep your camera zoom approximately in the 15%-500%  range for EVERY element.  After you add any element, immediately click "set camera" then scale or move the element as desired. You can set the camera again if needed. Do this for every element you add in order to avoid accidental zooming which may become worse with each element. (when you zoom in and out, you should see a little blue tab in the lower left corner of the canvas showing your current zoom level.) You MAY be able to zoom in to 1000% or more before seeing problems, but I wouldn't recommend it. (percentages mentioned here are only estimated).   LINK to camera setting tips

6) Some previous threads have suggested that very large blocks of text may cause problems. If you have paragraphs of text, then breaking the text element into 2 or 3 smaller elements may help.

7) ASK SUPPORT for specific feedback: If you are not able to resolve the problem and you have already checked the INSTANT ANSWERS page for known bugs or solutions to common problems, you can save the scribe online, and Raise a Ticket to contact customer support providing the name of your saved scribe. Describe the symptom you are experiencing and ask customer support to take a look at it.

8) in all versions, if you have insufficient hard drive space, your video may fail to save. I believe even videos being saved directly to youtube, must first save a copy on your hard drive.

9) Some users have reported problems rendering WMV files, or uploading directly to facebook, youtube or powerpoint, but not other file formats. Try rendering  to MOV or FLV instead (requires a pro membership)

10) If you have imported many fonts, try deleting the ones you aren't using. More imported fonts take up more memory. Some fonts may use more memory than others.There may be cases where fonts with unsupported special characters cause problems.

11) If your video rendering repeatedly freezes at the same part, and you've already tried restarting videoscribe and optimizing your images and making your camera settings moderate, I'd suggest deleting that image and maybe the image after it, and then importing them back in.

12) I believe that higher image import quality settings require more processsing power and memory. The maximum setting is 4000. I'd suggest 1000 or less.

13) Sometimes a corrupt image may cause the timeline to appear blank. 

To solve this:

1. Select all the items on the canvas - CTRL+A

2. Copy all the items - CTRL+C

3. Close the scribe and open a new, blank scribe

4. Paste all the items into the new scribe - CTRL+V


All the items should re-appear along with all the items in the timeline. You may find that there is a particular image that appears blank in the timeline or is really small on the canvas. You should delete this item.
If the problem persists, you could also try deleting the last few items that were added.

14) If you are making scribes that are more than 10-15 minutes long, you will need to be even more careful to follow the tips above. If you run into problems, it may be advisable to divide longer scribes in to smaller scribes of less than 10 minutes each and then splice the finished videos together afterwards.

-Mike (videoscribe user)

Mike...I follow the above information religiously. You have really been a help in solving most issues. I must admit though, I scratch my head wondering why Sparkol can't do something about the memory limitations. I have created over 1000 scribes now for clients and clients get more and more demanding in their requests. Sparkol's competition is growing and client's see something done on a whiteboard on youtube and they want the same.  I rely heavily on Illustrator and photoshop to help me get around some of those requests (i.e. drawing an image behind another image).

Recently I did a musical video and all went smooth. Things slowed down at the end and each time I did a save I held my breath. Got it done and the client requested I change the hands I used. I must of tried every trick in the book but now when I change the hand, it will not let me save it. If I don't change, I can save, but as soon as I change hands, hit save, it crashes. I did the export and import thing but all imported with no problem. 

I practically have begged the Sparkol folks to do something about the memory situation. It really can kill creativity when you constantly have to worry if the next change or addition is going to crash VS -- especially when getting close to the end and things start to slow down. Lets pray Sparkol finds a better solution for memory -- I'd take that over any fancy new features, any day of the week.



Hi Dan,
I agree that increasing the memory limit to reduce crashing and freezing should be a top priority. It could potentially eliminate many of the error reports and troubleshooting threads.

For your music video situation, you could possibly try deleting all unneeded imported free up some memory.

If worse comes to worse you could delete the music file, and render the video, and then use freemake or some other program to recombine the music with the video.

Maybe customer support will comment about the memory limitation and if there are any plans for replacing or upgrading the leased software component that ( I believe) is responsible for it.

-Mike (videoscribe user)



That's what I ended up doing. Removing the audio to free up memory and doing the syncing outside of VideoScribe. Lets keep our fingers Crossed that they do something about memory.



The memory limitations are built into the software architecture that VideoScribe is developed in - Adobe Flex/AIR. We are looking to move away from this architecture, but this means a complete re-write of the VideoScribe code so it's quite a massive task.

So in VideoScribe's current form, there is nothing we can do about the memory limit. When VideoScribe is re-written in another technology, memory capabilities will be one of the main factors that will help us decide which technology to choose. 

19) if you are going to use gifs, use them sparingly.

I haven't done any testing but I would welcome any memory usage data relating to gifs that anyone wishes to provide.



I read this:

2.3.6 still contains a bug where text element with a 0 second Animate time is followed by another element that has 0 second Animate time. Any pause and transition time are ignored for the first element on the rendered video. A workaround for now is to add 0.1 seconds to the Animate time and remove the hand, of either element.

But 2.3.7 still has this bug...!? I don't want to animate text and that seems the only solution on the moment. And I can't set the animate time to 0.1 seconds because lowest number is 0.5 secs...

When will this bug be fixed? 

Yes, the fix didn't quite make it into 2.3.7 but it has been fixed now and is due to be released in 2.3.8.

And you can set the Animate time to 0.1, you just need to click on the numerical figure under Animate in the text properties and type 0.1 in the box.

This can also be done by clicking the time in the thumbnail in the timeline.

Thanks, Matthew, for the examples. I will add 0.1 secs for the time being.

Bravo Videoscribe team! At last you've made it! I thought it would never going to happen!

I've just updated to 2.3.7 release and for the first time of using Videoscribe I didn't have a single freezing and it has a rocket speed. Wonderful experience!

Before this release almost each action in editing process led to freezing or was so slow that I was losing about 2 hours in each project because of it. And it was painful even to think about editing in Videoscribe. That's why I constantly searched for replacement of Videoscribe (but I think there is no worthy replacement still). 

Now, for the first time, I really enjoyed editing process in Videoscribe because it has the speed which it should have. It's like driving a sport car.

Please Please Please keep this editing speed in next releases! I don't even need other features this badly. Just keep the posibility to make editing process without freezing. 

I'm very grateful to you for this release! Thank you very much!


I created a 3 minutes video. When exporting it I saw that things that were suppose to come one after the other came at the same time. Also, it looks like some of the items moved from where they were suppose to be. 

In the preview, everything was fine. 

Maybe it's important to mention that the video has a sound that I've made separately, not in VideoScribe.

Can you please advise why it happens?

You are probably experience a bug related to zero-second animation times. The workaround is discussed in the following thread:

-Mike (videoscribe user)

Hello, I have a problem. I have VideoScribe - version 2,3,7. I animate one peace of my video and inside of the VideoScribe look good and when I export the video that animation doesn't work. So I read the explanation that the problem could be because of the version or if I put de animation morph to 0.1 instead 0.0 could be work. So I try and the animation works but it's not fluid. How can I solve this problem?


I can't tell based on your description of the problem. And I think all of the zero-second problems have been fixed except those involving text.

You should probably save your project as a .scribe file and attach it here, and indicate which element is having a problem if you would like help from videoscribe users.
Or save your project to the cloud folder and raise a support ticket if you want customer support to help you.

-Mike(videoscribe user)


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