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- Setting up a multi-pass render
- Batch rendering in CINEMA 4D
- Importing 3D elements into After Effects
- Creating and using precomps for compositing control
- Compositing 3D text in a dynamic 3D environment
- Creating a glow effect using Trapcode Starglow
- Using 3D layers to create masking effects
- Adding a flash bulb effect with CC Light Rays
- Adding glows and glints to type
- Creating a 2D camera shake effect using pre-comps
- Adding depth of field with the Lens Blur effect
Skill Level Intermediate
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your final render from After Effects. This is how the world will finally get to see all that hard work. So here in the project, I've got my final render folder in my MMM-001-RSMB-render composition and this is the composition that I want to actually render for output. And so what I am going to do is go to the Composition menu and tell it to Add to Render Queue. When I do that, the Render Queue is going to pop to the foreground and you can see down at the bottom I am going to raise this up, so it's closer to the middle of the frame.
And here in this window, I've got an actual item listed in the Render Queue. Now, in the Render Queue, there is really no limit to how many items you can stack up here and they will all be listed numerically. There are three components to this item. First up are the Render Settings and they tell you the quality of the render. The next step is the Output Module it tells you what kind of format and what size frame we are going to be rendering. And then the Output To settings, that tells you where the render is going to go. I am going to start off by checking where my render is going to go. Normally, After Effects remembers the last place you rendered to, so I am going to click on this and I'm going to go to the Exercise Files and I am going to make a new subfolder in the Exercise Files and call it final render.
When I hit Create, that makes a new subfolder and I'm going to just leave the name as it is and hit Save. I have told it where to go. I just want to confirm these settings. The Best Settings and Lossless are the default settings for rendering out of After Effects. And what that means? If I click on the Best Settings option, this is a summary of all of the settings that are there in the Best Settings option. The most important one is the Quality and the Resolution. I have got it set for Best and Full and that shows me the actual final resolution, 960x540. Everything else I am going to leave it to defaults.
I am just going to hit Cancel because I don't really want to change any of this information. And then the Output Module shows us what format is it going to and if I click on that, you can see that it's going to be rendering to a QuickTime movie and the format for the QuickTime movie is going to be Animation codec, and that's what Lossless means. It means lossless quality, no compression added, and that's exactly what we want. It's a common mistake that I see a lot of junior After Effects artists make is they try to render H264 right out of After Effects and there are two things wrong with that. First of all, the render settings for H264 in After Effects are really confusing and that's just an issue with the interface that they have.
But more importantly, it makes your renders take a lot longer because not only does After Effects have to render the image, it then has to compress it. And then what happens if you don't like the compression? You can't undo it because you have to go all the way back to the render process. So the correct way work is to render to an uncompressed format and then compress your render using a third- party utility like QuickTime Pro or Compressor or some other utility. So I am not going to change any of these options either and I don't need audio. This is where you'd add audio in if you had it in your video.
And there is audio in the snowboard video, but it's really not that important, so I am just going to leave it out for now. So I will hit Cancel because I don't want to change any of these settings and I'm just about ready to render. The last step in the process before you render is to close all of the open windows. After Effects when it starts to render will redraw the frames of the open composition that you are trying to render. And you don't want to do that. That gives it one more thing to think about. So what I'm going to do is click on one of these tabs that's behind the Render Queue and then go up to the File menu and do a Close and I will just close each of these windows, there we go.
Now that I have got no compositions open, if I go back to the Render Queue, I'm almost ready to render. The very last thing I should do before I render is save and you should never start to render without saving first. I am going to save this file as a new name. File > Save As. I'm going to call it 06-05-working. And now I am ready to render, I've got my files queued up, I have saved my project, I have closed all the open windows, and now I am going to hit the Render button. Now, how long this render takes is entirely dependent on your computer system.
We are going to fast-forward through the render process and come back when the render is done. (Ding!) So that sound you just heard means your render is done and it is the sound that every After Effects artist lives for. A happy render time is a happy render artist. So now let's go out to the Finder and take a look at what we did. So in the Exercise Files in the final render folder is our MMM-001-render movie. So I am going to double-click on that to open it up in QuickTime. And here I am in QuickTime Player and I'm going to hit Play.
Before I do that, I am going to let it loop, so I am going to go to the View menu and tell it to loop. And we will just let that playback a couple of times and enjoy the animation that we worked so hard on. All that hard work really paid off with a pretty cool animation. The render process is really the final culmination of all the hard work that you have done and you need to pay special care to the render settings to make sure that you get what you expected out of After Effects.
And as you can see from our final render, all of that hard work we did with the camera shake, the motion blur, the subtle glows and effects, adds a tone of style and dynamic energy to what was really a pretty boring animation.