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After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Rendering the final movie


From:

After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Rendering the final movie

Now, it's time to render my animation to disk. Before I render, I'll make sure to save the project. And with the Comp panel active, I will select Composition > Make Movie. The shortcut is Command+M on Mac, Ctrl+M on Windows. When you make a movie, the Render Queue will open, and it will add this composition to the Render Queue. You can also add a composition to the Render Queue by dragging it directly from the Project panel. Notice the Render Queue opens in the same frame as the Timeline.

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After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
2h 19m Beginner Jan 25, 2011 Updated Nov 09, 2012

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Trish Meyer leads beginners through a gentle introduction to Adobe After Effects: from creating a new project and importing sources, through arranging and animating layers, applying effects, and creating variations, to rendering the final movie. However, this is no paint-by-numbers exercise. Trish demonstrates how she makes creative decisions and saves time through the use of keyboard shortcuts and smart working practices. Additional movies explain further details about how After Effects works under the hood. Her measured pace helps even those completely new to After Effects understand the program so that they can use it effectively on their own projects. Exercise files are included with the course.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Starting a project from scratch
  • Building a composition
  • Arranging and transforming layers interactively and numerically
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Applying and re-using effects
  • Creating variations and rendering the final movie
  • Importing layered Photoshop files
  • Understanding alpha channels
  • Avoiding common mistakes
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Rendering the final movie

Now, it's time to render my animation to disk. Before I render, I'll make sure to save the project. And with the Comp panel active, I will select Composition > Make Movie. The shortcut is Command+M on Mac, Ctrl+M on Windows. When you make a movie, the Render Queue will open, and it will add this composition to the Render Queue. You can also add a composition to the Render Queue by dragging it directly from the Project panel. Notice the Render Queue opens in the same frame as the Timeline.

Now in the Pre-Roll lesson, we covered the Render settings in the Output module. So just to recap, Best Settings means it will render at quality and full resolution, meaning every pixel will be rendered. The only setting I'd like the change is Time Span. The default is to use the work area only. I want to make sure my time span is set to the full length of the comp. You might be able to want to update the Render Setting template itself. In the Output Module, I will click on Lossless to open the Output Module Setting.

I can see that it's going to render a QuickTime movie using the animation codec, and it's going to save the RGB channels only. The audio is also turned off. In our case, this is okay since I don't have an alpha and I don't need to render audio. And the last thing I need to check is where it will be rendered on my disk. In Output To, the name of the comp is used for the name of the movie its about to render. If I click the name, it will tell me where I am going to save it. Adding it to the Finished Movie folder is just fine.

For the name, I might want to add some version number, or date, so I can tell which version this is. In this case, I'm rendering version 7; perhaps I will add v7 to the end of my file name. I might also have prf1. This tells me this is the first proof that I've shown someone else. We will save this as a movie, and all we have to do now is click the Render button. As it renders, each frame is shown in the Comp panel. It tells you how much time has elapsed.

It will also tell you how much time is remaining. And the estimated time is based on the frames it's already rendered. Once the render is finished, I can twirl down Output Module, and it shows me the path of where the movie was saved to. A nice tip is that if you click this path, it will open the folder in the finder. Now I can just double-click the movie to open it in QuickTime player. Let me hide everything else. When I click Play, I can see my masterpiece. And this is a good first proof.

In the next movie, I will offer some ideas on how you might improve this animation, perhaps by adjusting some of the timing or even animating some more elements.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation.


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Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We added new movies on using the exercise files that come with this course, and working with the Global Performance Cache in After Effects CS6. We have also added exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
 
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