RenderingRendering is the process of turning your After Effects composition into a finished quicktime movie. As with everything in AE, there are a lot of details to learn about rendering, but to get started we only need to do a couple of things:
- From the main menu, select Composition>Add To Render Que. You can also use the keyboard shortcut "Apple-Shift-/".
- This opens up the Render Queue dialogue box:: In the lower half of the box you can see the 'Render Queue', essentially a list of compositions which you have set up to be rendered. At this point we are only rendering one comp, so that is the only item in the list.
- The first thing we need to do is tell AE where to save the finished movie. Next to "Output To:" should be the name of your comp - click on the name to open a standard Save dialogue. Give the movie an appropriate name, select a lovation on your drive to save it to, and click "Save".
There are two additional settings we need to change, and for our current purposes we can use the AE's presets. The first setting is called Render Settings and if you click on the small arrow next to it a menu will drop down with several choices. Select "Best Settings" - this renders your comp at full resolution with 'anti-aliasing, which smoothes out pixels or rough edges in the comp.
The second setting is Output Module and the arrow next to it gives you a lot of options. Unfortunately there isn't a preset that works for us, so you'll need to select "Custom..."This brings up the output module settings window. Under the section titled "Video Output" click on "Format Options". This brings up the standard quicktime compression settings dialogue. From the drop down menu at the very top (probably labeled 'Animation') choose "h.264" (this is quicktime's highest quality codec). Set the Quality slider to "High" or "Medium". Click "Ok" to close the compression settings window, then click "OK to close the Output Module Settings window.
- Once you've set these two settings, click the render button on the right side of the Render Que window. A progress bar will appear and AE will give you various statistics about what is being rendered and how fast it is rendering: When the render finishes, you will hear a chime and the progress bar will disappear. Now, go find the new quicktime movie on your hard drive, double-click it, and take a look at your work!