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Understanding how to render

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Understanding how to render

Once you've finished editing your project, you're ready to render. So as you can see the video looks a little long after our runner runs out.

Understanding how to render

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.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 55079 viewers

Ian Robinson

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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