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When it comes time to render your graphics you'll want to make sure to deliver the highest quality possible. And there are some definite options that you should choose when you're trying to create files that are cross-platform compatible. So in this video we're going to create three different files. These are kind of the most common asked deliverables. One is a full resolution animated graphic over a background. The second is going to be an animated graphic transparency, so you can import that into any other editing platform and throw whatever footage you wanted into the background.
The next option is going to be create a still file for our logo. The still file will be rendered with an alpha channel, just so it could easily be added overtop of anything. Now to get started, let's scrub through our composition. I'm going to click on the current time indicator, and just scrub through. And as you can see, we have this animated H+ graphic. And there it goes. So let's go ahead and render this as a QuickTime file. So let's and add this to the render que. Making sure you have the Timeline selected let's go up under Composition and choose Add To Render Queue.
When I add it to the Render Queue my Render Queue is located here behind the Composition panel. Yours may very well be down here in the Timeline. I generally like to move my Render Queue up to the top of the Composition panel. By clicking and holding on these little grippy things, I can go in and click and drag up to the top of my comp panel. The reason I like to have it back here is just so I can more clearly see exactly what's going on. Let's start by looking at the render settings. I generally recommend leaving the default settings set to Best, especially when you're creating graphics.
But if we click on those words, we can explore some of the different settings. First, obviously you want to make sure the quality is set to best. Resolution, you can go ahead and leave it at Full. I just want you to understand, if you click on the Full pulldown, and change it to Half, it's going to render half the pixels, but it's also going to resize it to half the size. So even though it's half the resolution, it's half the size, so it's still going to be full quality. I'll go ahead and just change that back to full. Now, one of the other things that you want to check is the frame rate.
Make sure use comps frame rate is selected. Changing the frame rate on render sometimes can introduce some strange happenings with your graphics. So again, just try and leave the comps frame rate as the setting. If you had an interlaced format, this is where you would check whether or not you have the upper field or lower field first. Set up to render. As a general rule, if you're rendering for HD, and it's interlaced like 5994, you want to go ahead and choose an upper field for the field render. I'll leave everything else set up the same, and just click OK. Now, even though we didn't really change any of the settings, it said custom and that's fine.
Under the output module, We'll leave this set to lossless. But just so you understand what's happening, if you click on the word Lossless here, since I'm on a Mac, it's chosen Quicktime as the format. For Windows, it may have chosen Windows Media Player. As a lossless codec for Quicktime, Animation is the default format. Any time you use a lossless setting, what it's saying is that codec may compress the file. But it's not going to do so at the expense of degrading the image quality. So you'll have a smaller file size but still a beautifully sharp image. We can leave our animation settings set up the way they are currently. Most of the time you just want to make sure that your channels are set up to RGB unless you have an alfa channel.
Now we'll cover alpha settings in a moment. Let's go to the bottom. By default the output audio settings are auto. So that basically means if there's audio it'll go in output it. If there isn't it won't. So we don't have any audio settings for this option, I'm just going to go ahead and click OK. The last thing you should look at is the output two option. If you click on the pull down here, you can have it specify the comp name,or you can have the project and the comp name, or you could create a custom naming convention.
Most of the time I never click on this pull down, I'll just click on the name itself. Now here this is where I can specify where I'd like this file to render. So I'm going to go to my exercise files folder, and I'll just create a new folder here, and just call this graphics output. Obviously, you can choose whatever you like on your computer to create your output folder. I'll just go ahead and save this as H plus, and change encoder to save full. Res, and click save. Now, let's create our render with an alpha channel.
To do that, let's select our h plus encoder comp in the project panel. Just click once. Then go up under edit, and choose duplicate. Now, with a duplicate comp, I'm going to click on it one more time in the project panel, just to make sure it's selected. Then I can press Return on my keyboard. This one, I'm going to go ahead, and change. The last part of the name as w for width and then alpha, with alpha. Go ahead and press Return to set that name. Now let's double click the comp settings.
And since I only want to render the logo with alpha, I'm going to go ahead and click on layer 3 and hold down Shift and click on layer 6. That way I'll have 3 through 6 selected and we can go ahead and solo those layers. If we scrub through just to make sure everything is moving the way we expect. Notice it's rendering with itself with the channel and it's going to look great. If you want to double check that the alpha channel is actually there you can click this little checkerboard box. That'll toggle on the transparency grid.
You could also click on the little RGB pull down. And make sure to look at the alpha channel. I typically like to look at the alpha channel when I know there's a blur, that way I can see exactly how the blur is being interpreted. Let's go ahead and change that back to rgb. There really isn't going to be much of a difference because we're dealing with a white graphic. Now we can go ahead and add this to the render queue. Go to composition and choose add to render queue. Now for Alpha settings, click on Alpha Module pull down, and just choose Loss less with Alpha. All the same rules apply that we went over with our previous settings.
Only difference is, it's going to create an Alpha channel. So let's click on Lossless with Alpha, and here notice the channels have been set to RGB plus alpha. Also, under the depth we could choose millions of colors plus. That's letting me know that it has that alpha channel. Typically when I'm rendering a graphic with alpha channel. One of the things I like to do is change the color setting for pre-multiplied to straight. Especially when I'm generating a graphic that has one solid color. What this does is overfills that area of the fill, so for example, if I go to render this out now with straight, It's going to add extra white around the edges of my graphic, so when the alpha channel adds the blur back in we won't get any strange dark halo around the outside edge. Now again we can leave the output audio settings to auto and click OK. Now notice if we click on the output 2 options it's going to default to that same graphics output folder that we just created. Anything else we add is automatically going to go to that folder. Even if we create a new composition After Effects will remember the last folder that you rendered the file to and set that as the default. Let's create our one last file which is our still file. Let's go back to our H plus with alpha comp. And move our current time indicator to a place where we have the file as large as possible, without any blur, which is frame 19. Now let's go to composition.
And instead of choosing add to render queue, we can choose save frame as. And this time, I'll choose file. Notice is automatically added to the render queue, and under the render settings I'm going to click on the pull down and make sure it set to best settings. Now under the output module, if you click on Photoshop here, notice it will render RGB alpha, millions of colors plus. And whether or not you choose to render straight or pre-multiplied is up to you. I'm going to leave mine as pre-multiplied. Now, when I click OK, this is only rendering frame 19.
See how it's numbered there? I can also double check that setting by clicking on best settings. Under best settings here, let's go down to this area here in the lower right corner. Notice how the start and end are set to frame 19. That creates a duration of one, and that'll just render the one frame. When I click OK, now I'm ready to go ahead and render. Click the render button and as it's rendering, we have current render options that we could expand. Now, mine was open my default, because I had had it set up that way before.
But yours is probably closed. When it's expanded, you can see exactly what layer is rendering, and what stage it is in the rendering process. So having this open actually slows down the render a little bit, but since this was such a simple graphic, it didn't take long to render at all. Let's go ahead and close our current render settings. Now I'm going to go ahead and jump into my finder just so we can look at the files that we created. Let's go to our exercise files folder. And under the graphics output here you can see we have a QuickTime file.
62 megs. We have our Photoshop file which looks like absolutely nothing but if we open it in Photoshop When we click on the alpha settings, you can see that the alpha channel is there. This means if I imported this into any other graphic editing application, I could have transparency and easily cut out this black background. Let's go ahead and click Photoshop here. And the last option is h+ with alpha. Let me double-click this. As I scrub through, notice how sharp and jagged the edges look. As we position on the blurring frames, notice the sharp edges that have been created.
Even though these are nice and sharp, when I go to import these back into an Aftereffects project The alpha channel is going to make sure we have those nice smooth edges to the blur. So remember, whenever you're rendering your graphics files, if you have a setting setup to lossless you'll create a graphic file that's compressed but it won't do so at the cost of losing resolution.
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