Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video What's the best format for exporting from After Effects?, part of Adobe After Effects CS5: Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequent asked question about After Effects CS 5. What's the best format for exporting from After Effects? There is no one best format. The right format for exporting from After Effects and the right encoding and compression settings really depend on how you'll be using the movie that you create from After Effects. Or how your client will be using the movie. Or how your audience will be viewing it using the movie. These are things that you need to think about before you even begin your work. The affect such things as initial project settings, and composition settings.
Let's look at a few output types, and how they can be used. To add this composition to the render queue. And then click, the output module name to open the output module setting dialog box. A common format to use is QuickTime, with the video codex set to p and g. If the quality is set to the highest this is a lossless format. Meaning that even though there is some compression none of the image data is lost during compression. All of the image data can be recovered.
Losslessly encoded formats are good for when you are either archiving the movie or for when the movie is going out for further post-production work. You do not want to use a loselessly encoded movie. So just QuickTime with PNG codec, or QuickTime with animation codec. If the purpose of your movie is to be played back in a media player, or to be streamed and delivered over the web. If you're streaming your movie over the web, consider something such as .f4v or .flv or H.264.
if your movie is intended for a DVD you'll use mpeg2 DVD, or you'll send the movie to Encore for encoding and encore. Similarly if you're creating a Blu-ray disc you'll choose mpeg2 Blu-ray or send the movie to Encore for Encore to do the encoding. If your sending a movie out to be written to film you'll use DPX or Cineon sequence, or one of the other image sequence types, such as TIFF sequence. So, as you can see there's no one correct or one best format type for export.
The outer format you choose depends on what you do with the movie, or what someone else is doing with the movie. To learn more about planning your work and choosing output types, search for planning your work in the search field at the upper right of the application window. Press enter and choose, planning your work. This page contains much information about how to plan ahead and choose your output type. Specifically, you should read this article by Aharon Rabinowitz which talks about choosing your output type based on what your client intends.
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