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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder


From:

After Effects CS6 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder

Adobe Media Encoder is a program bundled with Adobe After Effects. And since it's a separate application, it can greatly increase your throughput by allowing your system to render in Media Encoder while you keep working in After Effects. Now you should have a pretty fast system to take advantage of that workflow and since the RAM and processor settings are shared across After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Media Encoder, you won't have to worry about setting up all those preferences again as long as you already set them up in After Effects. To get started with Media Encoder, you need to navigate to your Program or Applications folder and launch the app.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
8h 41m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the workspace, important preferences, and the cache
  • Importing footage and comps
  • Relinking missing footage
  • Creating type, shape layers, and masks
  • Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
  • Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
  • Timing animations to audio
  • Building backgrounds with effects
  • Rendering with the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
  • Animating 3D type
  • Smoothing shaky footage and retouching footage
  • Keying green screen footage
  • Working with 3D: extruding shapes, adding ray-traced lighting, and more
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder

Adobe Media Encoder is a program bundled with Adobe After Effects. And since it's a separate application, it can greatly increase your throughput by allowing your system to render in Media Encoder while you keep working in After Effects. Now you should have a pretty fast system to take advantage of that workflow and since the RAM and processor settings are shared across After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Media Encoder, you won't have to worry about setting up all those preferences again as long as you already set them up in After Effects. To get started with Media Encoder, you need to navigate to your Program or Applications folder and launch the app.

So once Media Encoder is open, you notice we have a four-panel interface. It starts in the upper-left and that's where we can add After Effects projects or QuickTime files or what have you. Now if we move the Media Encoder to the side, we could literally drag a composition straight from After Effects right into the queue. But I like to work this way where we just click the button in the upper left-hand corner. When you click on Add Source, navigate through your exercise files to Ch_07, and in Ch_07, choose the Media Encoder project. Now click Open.

Notice in the bottom-left, it's saying it's connecting via dynamic link. What's great about that, it pulls up everything that's in your Project panel that's related to something that's created within After Effects. See, if we jump back into our After Effects project, you can see we have two compositions and three folders all created within After Effects. The QuickTime file will not be referenced by Media Encoder. So let's just jump back in here. We don't want to output our Mill Pre Comp, we want to output our Output Comp, yet another reason for naming your output comps with the word output.

Now if you click OK, Media Encoder will use that composition to render any of the files that you want to create, starting with the left pulldown button here. Let's go ahead and click on that. This is where you can specify the format that you'd like to create; everything from H.264 to Blu- ray, to MPEG2 for DVD, or QuickTime. So let's choose QuickTime, and then the Preset Options to the right of that right here, let's click on that pulldown, these are subset of options that obviously will be directly related to what you chose under the format.

I like this 720p setting, but I do want to change the codec. So let's click off of this Preset pulldown and click directly on the name. Now this may launch dynamic link one more time, but that's okay. It'll open up a preview window for our Export Settings. In this interface here, notice we can see the source and then if we click on the Output tab, this is going to give us a preview as the output of the file. Now down here in the bottom, you do have a timeline, you can scrub through and it does have the current-time indicator.

It will show you exactly what it's going to render, and by default, it will render the entire composition. I remember our comp only had a small work area, so I'm going to choose Work Area. Now it's only going to render the first five seconds which is exactly what I'm looking for. Now let's go to the right side of the interface. Again, you have another option to go here and change the format or the preset. Down here under Output Name, this is where you can click to not only name the file you're going to create, but navigate to a folder where you can output that file.

So I'm going to navigate to my Footage folder and create a new folder in here called Renders. When we click Create, now we can click Save. That's where this file is going to be saved. Now down here in the bottom-right corner, I could add a filter to my video or adjust the video settings, yet again. So in here, I could make a change, let's say, I want to do Animation codec instead of H.264 and that's great, and I can get through the rest of these options by scrolling with my mouse wheel.

But as you do that, I want you to be aware, if your mouse hovers over any of these pulldowns and you scroll, you can accidentally change important information. So you want to make sure when you're scrolling that you're kind of lay off to the side when you do that. And as a matter of fact, since I'm in Animation codec, I am going to increase the quality to 100%. This will make the file size larger, but that's okay. When you like the settings that you have set up, you can go ahead and click OK and now you notice I have a Custom setup.

Now if you want to create another file, you can go to the System Presets. For example, here, let's say, I want to create something for an iPhone. Well I can browse to my Devices, go to the Apple section and scroll down, here we go, iPod and iPhone. Let's drag and drop that right into my queue. When I let go, now I have a second option, and if you look on the right-hand side of the queue panel, you can see under Output File, the file path. Notice, it's automatically chosen the same folder as the previous QuickTime.

If we click this Play button in the upper- right, that will start the rendering process. Now there's one last thing I want to talk to you about and that is Watch Folders. Watch Folders are interesting. You can create a folder on your hard drive and anytime you drop a file into that folder, Media Encoder will automatically start converting that file to whatever format you choose. Now setting this up is the same process we went through setting files up in the queue. I just want you to understand, there's one setting in Preferences that you can adjust.

So if you go into Adobe Media Encoder and Preferences in Windows, it's under Edit. We'll go into our Preferences, in here, there's an option to start the queue automatically when idle after a certain amount of time. If you enable this, anytime you launch Media Encoder and start adding files into the Output queue, it's counting down. So for example, once it gets to the two minutes here, it will automatically start encoding these files in the background. When you have this enabled, that also sets a timer for that Watch Folder.

So I don't like having to set up for auto, so I'll just deselect. If you don't set a time in here, when you drop things into the Watch Folder, Media Encoder will automatically start running immediately on that file. I'm going to click OK and tell you one last thing about Watch Folders. They support file formats. They don't support project formats. The reason being, if I drag an After Effects project into a Watch Folder, it wouldn't know which composition to open up and start rendering. So Watch Folders are great if you just want to automatically encode, let's say, a version for the iPod, the iPad, and your Android device, every time you create a full-res render.

You could set that up so Media Encoder does that separately from your After Effects renderers, but it's created from your high-res After Effects renderers. You get the idea. Now with Media Encoder, you can definitely speed up your workflow because, again, it's a separate application. Just understand when you allocate RAM and memory and all that other stuff, you should have a pretty decent system to keep things moving rapidly.

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