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In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.
So, now we've reached the point in the training series were it's time to talk about outputting our stuff from After Effects into a format that other people can use, either a video or an audio format or a still image. Either way, we need to get this stuff out of After Effects and we do that through a process called rendering. Now here is an interesting project. I have several compositions here that we have been making throughout this training series. We have the Hansel & Petal ads, Dragon Fire, the Subway, the podcast, and they're all separate distinct compositions.
So, if I'm going to render this, how am I going to render it? The thing is, I need to render that composition and what we do is we add a composition to what is called the Render Queue. So, what I'm going to do is select a composition here in the Timeline panel or in the Project panel, either/or, and go to Composition > Add to Render Queue. And that will open up the Render Queue panel and you could that we now have a job for the Render Queue. And the Render Queue gets it's named because we can actually go through, and let's say we want to render the Subway composition.
I could go to Composition > Add to Render Queue. I can go to the Dragon Fire FINAL. And actually, instead of going up with the Composition menu, I'm going to use the very handy keyboard shortcut, Command+Shift+Forward Slash, or that would be Ctrl+Shift+Forward Slash on the PC. And by the way, the Forward Slash often confuses a lot of people. It's the one with the question mark on it. And that will add this composition to the Render Queue. But you can see that it's not going to rendered out as one movie. These are going to be three separate movies that are being output here. So, the workflow then is that we get all the stuff in the Render Queue that we want.
We get our settings set up, which we'll talk about in the next movie, and then once we've got all that done, then we click Render and all of the tasks that have a checkmark next to them in this Render column here will be rendered sequentially one after another. So, that is the way that we output video or any other format from After Effects. We add compositions specifically to the Render Queue. Now I should also point out that for special file formats we would go to File > Export and then export to these few file formats.
So, only if we're to exporting to Flash basically and that's using a XFL file or a SWF file or to a Premiere Pro Project, would we use Export, but almost everything that we need to export to can be found right here in the Render Queue as we'll see in the rest of this chapter.
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