Export an animation

Once you've created an animation, you can export it to a video or folder of frames using draft, preset, or custom settings. The draft option exports an animation to an AVI movie for previewing and sharing before you create a final version. The preset options configure your export to commonly requested formats including YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Instagram, HD720, HD1080, and GIF. At any time, you can manually set the format, resolution, frames per second, and quality of the video export and, optionally, save it as a custom preset in your project.

How to export an animation

To export an animation, follow these steps:

  1. On the Animation tab, in the Export group, click Export Movie Export Movie.

    The Export Movie pane appears.

  2. Choose a preset option from the Media Export Presets group by clicking the thumbnail.
  3. Set the location and file name for your media product.
  4. Optionally, expand File Export Settings to review the output format.
  5. Optionally, expand Advanced Media Export Settings to review the output resolution and quality.

    Note that the project's display options, such as antialiasing and rendering quality, control the quality at which the map features draw and export.

  6. Click Export at the bottom of the Export Movie pane.

    You can click Stop to cancel the process. Existing frames are not deleted.

  7. Browse to the output location to view your new media.

Media export preset options

In the Media Export Presets group, in the Export Movie pane, there are thumbnails that represent the available presets. These presets represent common video export configurations to help you create well-configured output. The Draft preset exports a low-resolution movie that does not wait for each frame to fully render. This is intended as a preview of the animation's timing and camera movements so you can review and share with others for comments.

The other presets available in this group are configured for YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Instagram, HD720, HD1080, and GIF. Although these video hosting sites can accept a variety of configurations, the presets will ensure a video meets their preferred settings. All nondraft movie exports will wait for each frame in the video to finish drawing before moving to the next one, which increases the total export time but ensures all content is displayed.

You can also define custom export settings including the format, resolution, and quality of the output. To save a custom setting as a preset, click the Save Preset button, and a new item appears in the Media Export Presets group. To rename or remove a custom preset, right-click its thumbnail and choose Rename or Delete, respectively.

File export settings

In the File Export Settings group, you can specify your animation's media export format. The supported formats are as follows:

  • AVI movie (.avi)
  • MPEG4 movie (.mp4)
  • GIF movie (.gif)
  • JPEG image seq (.jpg)
  • TIFF image seq (.tif)
  • PNG image seq (.png)
  • BMP image seq (.bmp)

Video formats are useful for sharing content immediately, while the per-frame image formats are useful for post production work with other video editing packages.


If Windows Media Player or another common video player is unable to play an exported movie from ArcGIS Pro, most likely you are missing the necessary codec file. The codec is a form of compression used to keep the video file size low. With the codecs installed, Windows Media Player will be able to play the supported movie formats:

Movie typeCodec

AVI movie (.avi)

Motion JPEG

MPEG4 movie (.mp4)


Advanced media export settings

In the Advanced Media Export Settings group, you can configure the resolution and quality of an animation. The export resolution indicates how many pixels will be captured in each output frame; often the playback viewer—a web page, a phone, or a television monitor—will dictate these values. The slider bar under Quality adjusts the level of image compression applied and equates to smaller or larger file sizes. Moving the slider toward Large file reduces the possibility of pixelation but can take a longer amount of time to finish.


The maximum resolution for exporting an animation varies based on your hardware and the output format. As a general rule, videos will reliably export (with a standard aspect ratio of 16:9, 4:3, or 5:4) at resolutions of 1920x1440 or below, and individual image frames will export (with any aspect ratio) at resolutions of 4000x4000 or below. Your hardware may support much higher resolutions.

Exporting more than one movie at a time

Exporting multiple movies (batch export) in one session from a project is beneficial so you can continue working while the export is processing. You can make a duplicate copy of a map to continue editing and monitor or cancel the media exporting. You can also export to a variety of output formats at one time.

Export duration time

Many things impact the time it takes for a movie to finish exporting, including the following:

  • The capability of your computer (processor, graphics card, and so on) will directly influence how much you can animate and how quickly an animation will export.
  • The complexity of the project. Numerous elements being saved with keyframes, such as labels, layer transparency, and so on, will slow down the export process.
  • The length of the animation. A longer animation will take more time to export.
  • The size of the resolution will impact how long it takes to generate each frame.

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