How to Render in After Effects

Rendering in After Effects is the final step in the post-production process, where your composition is processed and output into a final video file. This step is essential to ensure that your final product meets the desired quality and format standards.

Rendering can take some time depending on the complexity of your composition and the performance of your computer. Properly setting up and initiating a render in After Effects is a must-have skill. By understanding the rendering process, you can ensure that your final product is ready for distribution and viewing.

2 Methods To Render in After Effects

You have completed your project in After Effects. Now it’s time to render the project. There are two ways to export or render in After Effects. The first one is the After Effects internal software encoding, and the second one is the Adobe media encoder.

Method 1:

Exporting With After Effects software Encoding

Step 1:

Go to Composition and click Add To Render Queue, or use the short key WIn [ Ctrl + M ] or Mac [ Cmd + M ]

Add To Render Queue in After Effects

Now you will see a new window open on the timeline panel. Here you can change the render settings. Here you can set the output file destination and Output Module.

After Effects Output Module

Click on Output Module to open the render settings. Now click on the file format to Quicktime, Then click ok.

After Effects Quicktime

Now click on Output to and set the output destination of your project. Then click Save.

Saved Rendered After Effects Video

After doing all settings then, click on Render. And your project will be rendered in your output file destination. It will take some time to render. It depends on your project.

You can also check out our in-depth article on how to cut in After Effects.

Render Project in After Effects

Method 2:

Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder

This method works only with the media encoder. If you don’t have Adobe Media Encoder, then first install it. Go to Composition and click Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue, or use the short key WIn [ Ctrl + Alt + M ] or Mac [ Cmd + Option + M ]

Add To Adobe Media in After Effects

You will see the media encoder software will open, and your project will automatically go to the media encoder to render. 

After Effects Media Encoder Software

Now click on your project in the media encoder, set the file format Quicktime and set the output destination, and then click ok, and your project will render. It will take some time, depending on your project.

You can also render multiple projects in the media encoder. Just use this method, and all your projects will go to the media encoder, and each project will render one by one.

We recommend that you see our information packed guide on how to loop in After Effects.

Creating Multiple Renders

Follow the steps below to create multiple renders. 

Step 1 

Start by selecting the composition to output in the Project panel. 

Step 2 

Go to the main menu and choose Composition > Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue. This will then launch Adobe Media Encoder. The composition will usually appear in the queue in the upper right quadrant of the Adobe Media Encoder interface. The queue should display the list of files that are set for output. Keep in mind that the queue panel is also where you will choose the file’s name, format, and location of the file when it is rendered. 

Step 3 

The third step involves you working from left to right in the queue panel. Now use the downward-facing arrows in the first two columns to specify the compression preset and the file format.  Under the output file, click the blue type to rename your file and choose its storage location. 

Step 4

Next, at the top of the queue, choose the name of the composition and set it to render in the queue. 

Step 5

Now click the add output button. In case you are wondering where the add output button is located, it is the second button from the left under the queue tab. When you click the add output button, it will add another output. You need to repeat the same process to specify the file format, filename, preset, composition, destination, etc. 

Rendering: What is It? 

For the sake of those new to video editing, I will explain what rendering means. You see, rendering is the creation of the frames of a movie from a composition. When a frame is rendered, a two-dimensional image is created from all the layers and settings that make up the model for that image. Also, the rendering of a movie is the rendering of each frame of the movie in a step-by-step format. 

Rendering is frequently used to refer exclusively to the output in its final form. However, rendering also refers to the procedures used to produce the preview of the Footage, Layer, and Composition panels.  When a composition is rendered for final output, it is then processed by one or more output files. The process of encoding rendered frames into files for output is one of the types of exporting. 

How To Manage Your Render Settings 

Using your render queue panel, you can manage several render items at the same time. Each of the render items will have its render settings and output module settings. The render settings determine the output frame rate, duration, resolution, and layer quality. On the other hand, output format, compression options, cropping, and link embedding in output files are all determined by output module settings. 

With only one click of the Render button, you can render the same composition using the Render Queue window to other formats. For example, you can produce a series of still images, such as a Cineon sequence, which you may then project on film in a theater.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you will also like our in-depth guide on how to export video using After Effects.


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