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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 library.
- Animating to music
- Arranging layers in 3D space
- Performing time stretches
- Working with 3D camera tracking
- Typesetting and animating text
- Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
- Creating and animating shape layers
- Building and delivering a broadcast package
Skill Level Intermediate
Next is actually rendering a proof for the client, but first, let's just take a quick look at all those changes we put in and make sure we do not introduce some unexpected problems. I'll maximize my screen and RAM Preview. (music playing) Let's say we deem that to be acceptable for our proofs to send the client.
To render this comp, we go to Composition>Add to Render Queue. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+M on Windows and it used to be Cmd+M on Mac but recent versions have made it Cmd+Ctrl+M on Mac. This extra key was added, so it would not conflict with the standard Apple OS command to minimize a frame. I've already added this to the Render Queue for you, but I want to show you some of the steps I would go through to set this up. First off for Render Settings, I'm going to go into there. I'm going to change the Color Depth to 16-bits per channel.
I have been working at 8-bits per channel just to speed things up while I'm previewing, but these days when you deliver High Def video, you really should consider rendering at a higher depth like 16-bit, it will be a cleaner image, less banding, etcetera. If the client wants me to deliver this to 23.976, under no condition do I want to field render. The film like rates of 23.976 or 24 do not have fields. On the other hand, if the client insists that this must be delivered at 29.97, even though they like the filmic motion of 23.976, you need to add Pull Down during the Render.
You do indeed Enable Field Rendering. All High Definition is Upper Field First and then you pick a Pull Down phase. This is what effectively converts 24 frames a second to 30, or 23.976 to 29.97. Now you see that it's sampling the comp at 23.976, but actually creating a file at 29.97. On the other hand if you're delivering for the web or mobile device, you absolutely do not field render, and we'll use the Comp Frame Rates for my final delivery. Okay, now let's choose an Output Module.
The default of Lossless uses the old Apple Animation codec. However, you should ask your client what codec they require. One downfall of the Animation codec is it does not support 16-bit per channel color. I'm going to render 16-bit per channel regardless, just for the processing side of finer resolution, but I may not be able to deliver it. Your client may want delivery in an Apple ProRes format, such 422 (HQ) and that will indeed let me choose trillions of colors, which means I can deliver my high fidelity color.
Be careful if they ask you for a codec such as Sony's HDV. Let's say we built this comp 1920x1080, that's a fine size to deliver, say in H264, etcetera, but the HDV codec is actually anamorphic, it does not use square pixels. So you would need to do some modifications to do an HDV delivery. In the case of HDV, the pixels are squeezed by a ratio of 1.33333, so you would need to squish your comp horizontally by that ratio for a proper HDV delivery.
Now I'm working half resolution here, but the real HDV size is 1440, twice that number by 1080. So again, start with your client's delivery requirements and work backwards. It's much better than having them have to re-render your work, or for to not import properly into their editing system.