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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.
When you're finished with a project that usually means it's time to render. And with modern technology, you'll probably want to render in multiple formats, for example, your full resolution file and then maybe an H.264 version for your web site. Now guess what? You can create both while only rendering once. Yeah, let me repeat that. You can create two files while only rendering one composition. This is really kind of a cool thing and it's controlled by the Render Queue. If you're more familiar with the process of exporting your files when you're finished working with them, you can add comps to your Render Queue using that command.
So if we go up under File, we can go to Export > Add to Render Queue. When I chose that, it automatically added the AA_Output_Comp file, because if we open the AA_Output_Comp file, that was what was selected in the timeline. Now just while we're working, I'm going to click these little grippies here on the left-hand side of the Render Queue tab and move it up to the top of my Comp Viewer. That way we can have a little more clear view as to what settings we're adjusting.
Like I said, render once create two files. So if we go to our Output Module and click on the word Lossless, you can see okay, Animation RGB. This is perfect. Under the Output To area, this is where you can specify where you'd like to save your file. So if you click on the pulldown, notice you can create custom names for your file, like the Project And the Comp Name or just the Comp And Output Module Name. So let's just leave it for Comp Name and click on the actual name itself and navigate in our exercise files to our Footage folder.
Here I could create a new folder, just call it renders, and click Create. Now when we click Save, that's where this file will be saved to. Just so After Effects doesn't have to render this twice, if you look at this Plus button right here in the middle of your Render Queue, go ahead and click it. Notice I still have the same Render settings but I have a different Output Module. Now if you click on the pulldown next to Lossless, we can choose H.264. Now when we choose that preset, it will load up and now I want you to click on that preset, H.264.
In here, we could adjust the H.264 settings, also determine whether we want to render an Alpha channel or just the RGB, or more importantly, we could just resize. So let's select Resize and make sure Lock Aspect Ratio is set up. Now we could just choose an arbitrary smaller number, let's say, 640. I'm going to press Tab and notice, it automatically will scale that down to 50% of the size. Now when we resize, it's important to choose High Quality, especially if you're sending it to the web for approval.
Now since there's no audio, we can deselect the audio and click OK. So to recap, in the Render Queue, we have our best settings set to Full and it's going to render full size, 24 frames a second, and it will render the time span of the work area, okay. Now if we click OK, you can see we have two different output modules. You can also open this triangle here to see the direct path as to where you're rendering these files.
So when we click Render, it's going to take a second to render, but I want you to notice when it's finished it will ring once and when we go to check out our files, you'll notice there are two files. So now let's jump into the Finder and look at our actual files. If I navigate in the exercise files to the Footage folder, under renders, here you can see I have two files created, an MPEG-4 that's only 1.9 MB and my full resolution QuickTime animation which is 83.4. Now let's jump back to After Effects, and the last thing I want to leave you with is this.
When you are working with your project and you render versions of things out, don't go back into your Render Queue and select Previous Renders and press Delete, because if you work in a work group and somebody else wants to find out where your files went, they could always open your project, go to the Render Queue and in the Output Module, the file path is still listed. So they'll know where to look, and better yet, if you're a little bit like me when you work, it's a great way to keep tabs on yourself as well.
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