Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using multiple output modules, part of After Effects Guru: Faster Previews and Rendering.
One thing I see happen all the time is people need to deliver multiple files to satisfy the demands of a job. And what most people do is they simply render the file multiple times. Well, I'm going to tell you to stop because that is a huge, huge waste of time. What you need to realize is that the bulk of rendering that happens in the render queue is the actual rendering, the render settings. What's the quality? The frame blending? How do things get blended all together? What's the bit depth? The color space? The interlacing? That takes a lot of time.
What doesn't take much time is actually outputting to a file. Now sure it's gotta take that base uncompressed frame and apply a codec. A compressor decompressor to the frame itself. And when you do that, it basically modifies the file slightly. Maybe it makes it smaller or it stores it in a proprietary format that your editing system or camera manufacturer platform is going to need. But the good news is, is that it's not time consuming and in fact you can have multiple outputs for the same project.
You can do them simultaneously. Let's open up a new comp here and in this case I have a web ad that's been built. Let's just view this real quick. And this is a piece of content that I want to export a couple of different ways. Now, we're going to spit it out as a flash video file, but I also want to make an animated gif. And I need some still images to use as static jpegs on a webpage. To start, I'll add that to the render queue. Composition, Add To Render Queue.
Let's maximize that window. I'll put the cursor over the window and press the tilde or grout key to maximize it. And we'll just delete that first one. Here's our initial output module. And what I'm going to do in this case is do a F4V flash video file but I also know that they want another flash video file so I'll just add another output module. With that selected there I could just click the plus button and put another one in there. And this one we're going to make as an FLV file.
And while we're at it I'm going to write out a series of image sequences so let's do a PhotoShop document that then can get handed off and we'll add another one. I'm going to make a simple h.264 file And in this case, we'll just edit this. And let's specify, let's do a QuickTime file and under Format Options here, I'll do H.264, click OK, and I'll choose OK.
Got that in there, and for safety we'll do one more. In this case, I will do a uncompressed file just to have it as a backup. Alright, all of these need a name, so it's a good idea to target a destination. Now, I'm going to go out to my desktop. Let's make a new folder called Renders. Yep, we'll save that in there. Now there is a certain advantage, you'll notice once you've set that, it gets a bit easier to continuously target that. And in fact, if I were to add another file here, now it wants another name here so it's not the exact same file name.
So let's call that Uncompressed. It won't let you write two movie files to the same folder because it would have overlapping file names. But if I add one more output module, you'll note that it carries the file path with it. So, typically I would set that first, but it's no big deal to change it any time. In this case, let's render out a straight Lossless as an AVI file in case we need to hand it off to a Windows user. Alright, everything is in there. I've got multiple files setup, ready to go. And when I click Render here, you'll notice it goes very fast.
It only had to render the project once, and all of the outputs were made at the same time.
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- Creating render settings templates
- Using multiple output modules
- Setting processor usage
- Rendering multiple frames simultaneously
- Purging RAM
- Controlling your disk and media cache
- Creating and saving previews
- Controlling composition settings