Cue points in After Effects and Flash CS5

Now that I have the full Master Collection of Creative Suite 5, I’ve been using some of the great collaborative features. One that I really liked is cue points. One of my clients had videos of someone speaking, and they wanted animated text to appear next to him. As he spoke certain phrases, the wording needed to appear.

After Effects and Flash made this a piece of cake. I brought 6 short videos into After Effects and created a separate composition for each one. I then added 4 or 5 cue points to each comp, where the speaker was saying certain phrases. I exported each comp to a Flash video (FLV) and brought those into Flash projects. A few lines of ActionScript 3 had Flash read each cue point and place the play head at a frame label that had the same name.

Here’s the code:

video_MC.speakerFLV.addEventListener(MetadataEvent.CUE_POINT, playCuePoint);
function playCuePoint(event:MetadataEvent):void {

The instance of the FLVplayer object is called speakerFLV, and that’s inside a movie clip called video_MC. The key is the last line of code: gotoAndPlay( If I created a cue point called Hello, this script will detect it, put the play head at a frame label called Hello, and play the animation (text animating in, then animating out). Since this happened 4-5 times in each video, I simply put a stop() command between each sequence. You can see it working at

Occasionally, I’d lose my place as to where each cue point was — maybe I’d forget if there were 4 or 5 or what their names were or where they were in the movie. When the FLV player was selected, the Properties panel listed them:

Cue Points

Do you notice the plus and minus signs in the panel? You can create your own cue points in the video. But where the cue points embedded in After Effects can be used in any application (even those not from Adobe), the cue points created in this panel will only be recognized by Flash. But maybe that’s all you need.



One thought on “Cue points in After Effects and Flash CS5”

  1. Thank you, that’s so helpful! I’ve been wondering how to do that, but Adobe’s documentation is very confusing. Thanks for making it simple and understandable.

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