Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Once you've finished editing your project, you're ready to render. Rendering is the process where After Effects will create another file outside of the project. Most commonly, a video file, like a Quicktime or a Windows Media file. But you can also render image sequences, still images, audio files and even flash video files. In this exercise, we're going to create a simple full resolution render. Of our little animations. One of the things I recommend you do before your final render is just preview the animation.
So let's go to the Preview panel. And just load up a RAM preview. So as you can see the video looks a little long after our runner runs out. So what I'm going to do, is actually only render a section of this video. I'll press the space bar to stop playback, and our runner disappears right around seven seconds. So let's say at about 7:10 I want this render to finish rendering. So I'm going to press n which will create an end to my work space, or the work area end. So here, I could go ahead and also just click on this yellow tab, and if I hold down Shift, as I'm dragging it, it will snap to my current time indicator.
Now, notice, in my Info panel, the work area duration has changed to seven seconds and ten frames, creating a total duration of seven seconds and 11 frames for my render. To add this to the render queue, all we need to do is go back up in our composition and choose Add to Render Queue. Once, we go to the render queue, notice it'll pop up here in the timeline. Now, I like to have my render queue a little higher in my view, so I am going to go ahead and just click on these little grips to the left of the words, render queue and drag it up to the top of my Composition panel here until I get this.
Long purple rectangle. Then when I let go, now my render queue is right here in the center of my workspace. Now there are three main settings you need to adjust for your renders. The Render Settings which control the overall size of your render, the Output Module, which allows you to control the format. And then the Output To area. Which obviously specifies where you'd like to render your file to. We'll work kind of backwards. I'll start with the Output To area. Just click on the words that say not yet specified.
Now I'm just going to go ahead and render this directly to my desktop. And if you want to rename the file, you can definitely rename it here. I'll just name mine rendering. And then click save, so let's go to the Output Module. If you click on the arrow for the Output Module, there are a number of presets that have been built. Now, since I'm teaching in a cross platform environment, where we have some people on Windows, and some people on Mac, I'm just going to recommend that you leave it in the LossLess setting. This is going to choose a LossLess compression whether you're on Windows Media or Quicktime.
Now, just to show you how we can adjust those settings, if you click on the word lossless in here, that'll open up my options for this module's settings. So here under the Format I'll leave it set to QuickTime. And under Video Output over here I could set different options for my format to render. So for example, if I click on my Format options here, I could change the video codec. Which if you remember in our terms, codec stands for compress decompress. Now Animation is the most traditional format to render a lossless codec, cause it's automatically loaded on any system that has QuickTime loaded.
So if you're not sure where your file is going to be played back, usually rendering in Animation QuickTime is good to go. If you're rendering Windows Media just leave the default settings. The Video Quality we'll leave set at 100. And I'll just click Cancel, since I didn't really want to change anything. If I did have alpha channel to my render, I could click here under my Channels and render with the RGB and the Alpha. But by default we'll just leave the default settings and if we had any audio, which it's saying we do, but there really isn't any audio to this section of the video clip.
It's going to Output Audio. Now I don't necessarily want audio for this, so actually I just click on that pull down and turn the audio output off. If we did want to change the Audio options you can click on the Format options button just like for the video settings. Then we can click OK. So if we go here to the render settings at the top, let's go and just click on those words and notice we have an option for quality, which default is set to best. Now the resolution is interesting. It's set to full resolution. Let's just click on that and change it to half resolution. Really, what it means is it's going to render half-size, 640 by 360.
But it'll be full resolution, just half size. Let's leave it back set at the default settings of Full, so it'll render a full 1280 by 720 file. If you have interlaced footage, this is where you can specify the field rendering. And then the most important setting under the Render settings. Is right here. Notice it says this frame start is frame zero. And the frame end is 7:10. By default, it's going to use the work area. And notice here on the left, I have a time span pull down that says Work Area Only.
By default, it'll choose that. If I choose Length of Comp, notice it'll go ahead and render the full ten seconds. I never use this setting. I always leave it in the work area setting. Just because when I work quickly I usually know if I'm loading up a work area that's all that I want to render. So if you want to render a custom area or duration, you could just click on the custom button and only render a specific section of your render. This is extraordinary helpful if your only trying to isolate one little area to preview when you have a really complex project that takes a long time to render.
I'll go ahead and click Cancel since I don't want to change anything. And then the frame rate here, I just want to make sure to use the comps frame rate. That way I know it's going to render properly. So when I click OK, now I can just go ahead and click render. And you'll see a progress bar that moves across the screen. At any given time, you can open up the current render settings to see what frame is rendering and then when everything is finished rendering, you'll get that wonderful chime. Okay. So once the render is finished, lets go ahead and check it out.
I am going to jump here to my desktop. And just double click my file to preview it. And let me make sure it's small enough. And there we go. There's our QuickTime file. And obviously if you are on Windows, it would be a Windows Media file. But as you can see when it comes to rendering, all you have to do is just specify the work area, that you'd like to render. And then go up under your Composition settings and add it to the render queue. Then just adjust the three main areas of your settings, and go ahead and click render.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
110 Video lessons · 55400 Viewers
93 Video lessons · 19716 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 17655 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 103331 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.