2D Character Animation with After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

2D Character Animation with After Effects

with Angie Taylor

Video: Making movies via the render queue

Okay so, the time has come for me to render out this movie. And maybe I want to render out some test movies for a client, so that they can have a look at it before I finish it off. Or maybe I want to archive some of it or output it for an iPod or to have on my website. Well, the render queue is usually powerful cause it allows you to output for multiple purposes. So, all I need to do is go to Make Movie and that adds it to the Render Queue. Now for the render settings, I'm going to choose best settings. I do advise setting up various templates but there are lots of templates already in here that I can use and best settings is fine for me for now. But when it comes to our output module settings, it's more important that you start to build up your own custom settings in here, and it's so easy to do that.

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Watch the Online Video Course 2D Character Animation with After Effects
2h 35m Intermediate Feb 14, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In her career as an animator, Angie Taylor has developed some powerful techniques for creating quick but compelling 2D animation, and in this workshop she shares those secrets with you. Learn how to import layered files and paths from Adobe Illustrator into After Effects and how to animate flat vector artwork in both 2D and 3D space, and explore options for outputting your animations. The videos are short, focused, and solution-oriented, and all the project files are included so you can follow along as you go.

Topics include:
  • Best practices for importing source files
  • Sorting and interpreting footage
  • Animating using traditional layer-style animation
  • Creating a grouping structure for body parts
  • Animating with the Puppet tool
  • Creating stop-frame-style animation
  • Setting up control layers
  • Animating using time remapping
  • Exporting files for Flash
  • Making movies via the Render Queue
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video video2brain
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Angie Taylor

Making movies via the render queue

Okay so, the time has come for me to render out this movie. And maybe I want to render out some test movies for a client, so that they can have a look at it before I finish it off. Or maybe I want to archive some of it or output it for an iPod or to have on my website. Well, the render queue is usually powerful cause it allows you to output for multiple purposes. So, all I need to do is go to Make Movie and that adds it to the Render Queue. Now for the render settings, I'm going to choose best settings. I do advise setting up various templates but there are lots of templates already in here that I can use and best settings is fine for me for now. But when it comes to our output module settings, it's more important that you start to build up your own custom settings in here, and it's so easy to do that.

So, what we're going to do is create a preset for PNG with alpha, so that I could output this as a PNG sequence with a supported alpha channel. So, we'll go to our Output Module and we'll say Make Template and we'll call it PNG Alpha. Okay? So, go to Edit. And in this dialog box, first of all, we want to choose the format. So, I'm going to choose PNG Sequence. And here, I'm going to choose to output RGB and Alpha. So, that's going to support the Alpha channel as well.

Now, you have PNG options. So, if you want to, you can interlace compression, add into using the PNG. I'm going to leave compression switched off and I'm going to click OK. So that's now my PNG preset. I could also add a new preset. So, let's add another one which is a QuickTime, but let's not add a Quicktime. Let's add an iPod setting cuz it doesn't want it in there. So, H264 is what we need for iPod. And we go to Format options and in the Multiplex settings, we're going to choose iPod.

I'm going to click OK and then I'm going to say OK again. I'm going to put audio with this one as well. And now I'm going to type in iPod and that's going to be my new setting. Once I click okay, if I come out here, you'll see that now PNG with Alpha and iPod both appear in this list. So, I'm going to output one PNG and I can also choose to name it by Comp and Output Module, which we'll put that in the title. Best if I create a folder, if I'm going to be creating a sequence.

So, let's call it, JLB sequence, and save it in there. And then, if I want to add another one, I don't need to create another movie, all I need to do is just go to Composition > Add Output Module. And instead of creating another movie item in the render queue, that's just going to render it twice. So, it's just basically rendering the pixels once and formatting it twice rather. So, the pixels are only rendered once, but the movie is formatted twice. And this, time I'm going to choose iPod for that one. Again, I'll change my Output Module to reflect the Comp and the Output Module name.

And all I need to do now is click Render and it's going to render one copy with the alpha channel, which I can then composite on other footage, and the other copy will be for the iPod. You'll see that it renders very, very quickly and then formats twice. Now, you'll notice it doesn't go through the whole render process twice. It renders once and then it just doesSOUND two formats and we have the joyous sound of After Effects finishing rendering. Now, I'm just going to open up the finished movies to show you these. So, here we have my final JLB movie and what I am going to do rather than show you an After Effects is just say Reveal in Finder, which is going to allow me to open it up in the QuickTime player and just play that for you.

(sound playing) Okay. And you can watch that movie yourself. It's on the disk in the Movies folder. I have also got another one here, the dancers that we worked on earlier. Again I am going to say reveal in finder. Double-click it to open it up in QuickTime. Okay. So, there we have our dancers dancing away in a lovely disco scene. So, I hope you've had lots of tips and tricks that will help you with your animation. Your animation may be completely different style from my animation, but I hope that there's some tips and tricks in there that will really help you make the most of your working with After Effects. And all that's left for me to say is goodbye and happy keyframing.

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