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13.2 How to Export Video From After Effects

In this lesson you'll learn how to export After Effects projects. We'll go through a few different ways to export from After Effects including H.264, MP4, ProRes, CineForm, and more.

Learn how to export After Effects as mp4 and get the best results!

Related Links

1 lesson, 00:49


2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

What Is After Effects?

Main Panels


After Effects Tools

More AE Tools

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

After Effects Composition


After Effects Layer Properties

3 lessons, 25:21

After Effects Keyframe Basics

After Effects Keyframe Easing

Spatial Interpolation

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
5 lessons, 45:36

Learn How to Mask in After Effects

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2

Text in After Effects

Text Animation and More

2 lessons, 13:42

What Is 2.5D?

More 2.5D

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

More Motion Tracking

Camera Tracking in After Effects

3D Text in After Effects

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
4 lessons, 43:43




Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects

9.Build a Lower Third
2 lessons, 21:35

How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

Final Touches on the Lower Third

1 lesson, 09:11

Exporting From After Effects

1 lesson, 01:16


12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

How to Make an After Effects Text Animation

How to Use After Effects Intro Templates

How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects

How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

FAQ Introduction

How to Export Video From After Effects

How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering

How to Mask in After Effects

How to Animate Text in After Effects

How to Make a GIF in After Effects

How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects

FAQ Conclusion

13.2 How to Export Video From After Effects

[MUSIC] In this lesson, you're going to learn a few ways to export your projects from After Effects, including H.264, ProRes, CineForm, and more. [MUSIC] Now, in the first After Effects for beginners course there was a lesson on exporting. And before we jump into some more advanced exporting ideas, I wanna do a quick recap of that lesson. So you're in After Effects, you've created a project and you want to export it. Something I didn't mention in the previous lesson is you don't have to render your entire project. By default, what gets sent to the renderer is whatever is in your work area. And right now your work area spans the entire span of our composition. So our composition is ten seconds long, and the work area goes all the way to the end. But let's say we only wanted the first five seconds of this, because for whatever reason you know you're not gonna need the entire ten second clip, that'll save time, that'll save hard drive space. So what I can do is put the CTI right at 4 seconds and 23 frames because I'm in 24P, and then I'll hit N, and that will set the end of the work area 2 to 5 seconds. You have to set the CTI 1 frame before you want the work area to end, that's just the way it works. Now, I can trim my comp to the work area and little trim my comp to the work area but I actually don't need to do that. Because when I send this to the render queue, Ctrl+M on the keyboard. And I look under the render settings right here, you see that the time span by default is set to work area only. And when I send this to queue in Adobe Media Encoder, by default if I click on the preset here, that's gonna open up so we can tweak all of the settings. The one thing that I wanted to point out is that the source range for this render is the work area. So by default, whatever is in the work area is the thing that gets rendered. So you'll wanna make sure you have your work area set correctly. If you don't do anything, your work area is probably going to be your entire comp. But like I said before, you don't always wanna render your entire comp. So most of the time you wanna throw things over to Adobe Media Encoder because they will render faster. One thing to note whatever settings you have in the render queue, if you send it to the render queue first and then send it over to Adobe Media Encoder. These settings, so the output module here it says CineForm 10-bit, that is the codec that's being used. You can see that the format over here is H.264. So unlike Premiere Pro, when you throw things over to Adobe Media Encoder, it does not maintain the same file extension and codec and all of that. So you wanna make sure that your format, your presets, and your output destination is set correctly before you hit the encode or start cue button right here. Otherwise, you're gonna have to do it again, and that's no fun. Now, you can send things directly to Adobe Media Encoder. If you're in your computer, you can go to Composition and to Adobe Media Encoder Queue or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctr+Alt+M. For whatever reason on my system with my keystroke viewer here Ctrl+Alt+M is not working, which is sort of annoying. But I'm pretty sure it's gonna work on your system. But you can also use the menu here, or send it to the render queue. Now, I've purposely left this render item, which has already been completed in the render queue so that you could see this time right here. Now, I did a render test to demonstrate the difference, the time difference in rendering this comp right here, which is really pretty simple. I have two photos, an after effects camera. So this is a 2.5 D scene and I have an adjustment layer here with some grain. Those elements there, mostly the grain really make the rendering in the After Effects Render Queue take forever, it takes a really, really long time. This is only a 10 second clip [LAUGH] and it took almost 15 minutes. Now, when I sent this to Adobe Media Encoder, and I rendered out the same exact codec. So I went down here and I selected QuickTime and then, CineForm 10 bit, it took 45 seconds, which is significantly faster. So most of the time you wanna push things over to Adobe Media Encoder because it will be faster. It's not always faster, but most of the time, it will be. And if you are rendering for final delivery or exporting for final delivery, you're gonna wanna make sure you have this on H.264. And you pick an appropriate preset, either Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube. Or maybe you have some custom settings that you need for a client and you need to come in here and adjust the exact bit rates for the video and for the audio over here. And you can do that all right here in these panels and tabs for audio and video. For more detail, make sure to check out the original lesson in the after effects for beginners course. So let's talk about when you might not want to use Adobe Media Encoder. And that is when Adobe software is behaving badly. This year, I was working on a project where I had a bunch of really simple graphics. So essentially, I had a project that looks something like this where I had a photo and then some graphics. It wasn't exactly this but it was something like this and I had a bunch of outputs. And by a bunch I mean over a thousand, so over a thousand different photos and a thousand different graphics. This is something that could have been done in the essential graphics panel inside of Adobe Premiere Pro? However, I tried that with about 200 of these and all of the titling got messed up completely. And so I had to do them all in After Effects, which wasn't a big deal at all. It would have been easier if it worked in Premiere, but, that's just the way it goes. It's good to have a few different ways to do the same thing in your back pocket, so that if a problem arises like that, when the essential graphics panel was not behaving properly, you can do it another way. So I made all the graphics inside of After Effects. They were all super simple, very short, probably five or six seconds each. I sent many hundreds of them to the Adobe Media Encoder. And when I hit that Encode button, all of the file names and folder names on my entire system disappeared, including every dialog box and every menu for everything in the entire operating system. And as hilarious as that sounds, it was kind of a bummer. Now, to fix it, all I had to do was reboot. But you can imagine, I couldn't really do anything on my system while it was encoding those 200 videos that I sent. And this was not a problem that was unique to my system, the current workstation that I was working on because I tried it on a couple of my other workstations and it did the exact same thing. And this happened over a bunch of different projects every once in a while would come up, I was never able to pin it down. So for that particular project I had to render all of those inside of After Effects using the Render Queue. And thankfully for that particular project there was not a big time hit. So it's good to know that most of the time Adobe Media Encoder works just fine. But if it's doing something weird or it's not outputting the right way or you need to do it another way, just use the built in render queue inside of After Effects. Now, let's look at something else, cuz I wanna show you another way to render. So what you're looking at here is an After Effects template that I downloaded from Envato Elements. And I use this as a render test to see how fast it would be to render just a very small section. You can see the work area here is just set to a couple of seconds, it goes from 28 seconds to 38 seconds. So we're talking about, five seconds here, not a lot of time. And in my render test using the After Effects Renderer, it took 7 minutes and 16 seconds. Sending this over to Adobe Media Encoder, it took 8 minutes and 51 seconds. And again, this was only on a five second render. And the interesting thing about the render times is, that if you look at what your computer is actually doing, by opening up something like Task Manager and you look at either Adobe Media Encoder or you look at the After Effects processor usage, when that's running. In both of those examples, it was very, very low, we're talking under 15% for both of those. The solution that I'm gonna show you involves using a third party tool, which does cost money, but I wanna show you how it works. Because sometimes you may have projects that are just really, really long to render. Last year, I was working on a project it was in 4k. It used a bunch of high resolution imagery in many, many, many, many, many, many, many layers and a bunch of effects. And when I hit the Render button in Adobe Media Encoder, it was going to take something like I don't know 30 hours. And that is a major bummer when you are on a tight deadline. So what I did to make it go faster is I used a tool called BG Renderer. Now, you're looking at the newer version, which is called BG Renderer Max. And what this does is it works with the After Effects Renderer and it can open multiple instances of the After Effects Renderer in the background to utilize all of your computer's horsepower. So you can see right here there's a little number 31 that represents how many CPU cores background render is going to use when I send this render item to background renderer. And that's significant because this system is a 16 core system but it actually shows up as 32 logical CPU cores. And with background render, you can use all of them. So I ran the same test again using Background Renderer Max, and it took 2 minutes and 50 seconds. That is a major, major speed increase. Now, the only caveat is Background Renderer works by rendering to an image sequence, meaning that every single frame is rendered and saved as a single image. In this case, I set it up as a JPEG sequence, meaning that every frame is rendered as a JPEG image. I also made sure that in the render settings here Skip Existing Files was on because this allows multiple instances of After Effects to check and see is this frame done, if it's not, I'll get to work on it. And then all of the other processors when they're done working on their current image, they just look for the next available frame and it goes really, really quickly. And normally, rendering to an image sequence would be kind of a hassle because what you have to do after your project is rendered, as you have to take all of those images and then recompile them into a video and that's an extra step. Which is not a big deal, you can do it right in Adobe Media Encoder but Background Renderer Max compiles the video for you and there's a bunch of different outputs here. So you can use ProRes 422HQ, which is very high quality or you can just do an H.264 and it's all seamless. And even compiling the video it still came in at 2 minutes and 49 seconds. So it was a major, major speed increase. Now, like I said before, this is a third party extension, and it does cost money, it is $70 but depending on your workflow, depending on how many big projects that you're working on, or really how much time you want to save, this can be a time saver. And you can find this Background Renderer Max on That about does it for this lesson. Make sure to check out the next lesson where we're going to continue talking about exporting and explore the idea of pre-rendering. [MUSIC]

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