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How to Render/Export in Adobe After Effects CC (2017)

Learn how to Render in Adobe After Effects CC.
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Rendering out your creation shouldn’t be the hardest part of After Effects, but often it can feel that way. In this tutorial, I will be going over a few ways to render out your footage in Adobe After Effects to reach the quality, and the speed that you want to.

It’s important to understand that rendering out your footage is an extremely CPU and RAM intensive process. This means while the footage is rendering out, a lot of times your computer may stop responding until the job is done. The final versions can also take up ridiculous amounts of space.  (Which means you may want to compress the footage as you will see later on). It’s a tricky process that will take some trial and error to get right, but one that is necessary to ensure the quality that you deserve.

How Render/Export in Adobe After Effects CC (2017)

Inside Adobe After Effects (Loseless)

This will render the footage out without losing any quality whatsoever. This is great to move the footage from one computer, or one process of the movie making process to the next. This also means that render times can take hours, and the file sizes will be anywhere from 500mb/min to 2gb/min. Storing these on an external hard drive Is probably a good idea.

  1. Make sure you have selected the composition you want to render. (Go down to the timeline and click in any blank space)
  2. Go up to Composition->Add to Render Queue (Ctrl+M)
  3. This will open up the render queue and show you the compositions that are ready to be rendered out.
  4. Go to the “Output To” section and change the location to a location you want the final file to be saved
  5. In Render Settings, click on the “Best Settings” portion. This will allow you to edit details like quality and resolution.
  6. Click on the Output Module “Loseless” to change up the codec that is being rendered out. From After Effects itself, there will only be “loseless” type codecs. Codecs such as H.264 and other streaming codecs will not be here.
  7. If you install QuickTime, more codecs will be available for you to choose from.

In Adobe Media Encoder (Compressed)

This is for rendering out a final viewable video. It will compress the footage, saving render time, and reducing the space by 10x or more. Of course the disadvantage to this is some quality will be lost. If the rendered footage is the last stop for the footage, then you are good to go. However, if you are transferring the file to another stage of the process where another render is going to happen, some major quality can be lost.

  1. Make sure you have selected the composition you want to render. (Go down to the timeline and click in any blank space)
  2. Go up to Composition->Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue (Ctrl+Alt+M)
  3. Adobe Media Encoder will open and import the composition in to the queue.
  4. Under presets you can click on the blue link to choose a preset.
  5. You can also choose to change the format. Beneath the file name will be a codec type like AVI or H.264. You can click on this to bring up a dialogue box that will look very similar to Premiere Pro’s Render Area.
  6. You can adjust the formats and multiple other render settings in here. If you install QuickTime, more codecs will be available to you.
  7. When you are done adjusting, click on the little green play button in the top corner to begin the render process. You can click on the output file link to change the render destination.
  8. The video will render to the output file in the codec you have chosen.

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