Which Render Settings?

With all of the many render settings, I get asked what is the best way to render in After Effects. Well there are many things to consider. Is the video being rendered over a network? If so each computer must pick one frame to render at a time and thus you cannot use a single file format like AVI or MOV. Instead image sequences like PNG or TIFF are ideal because of the uncompressed image data. For the average Joe F. Ex, the single file rendering is a great solution.

The render option I recommend is a QuickTime Movie. When you setup your output module, choose Quicktime for the format and then for the codec, here are the three I recommend. I rendered a minute of video with the 3 formats.

1. PhotoJPG (at 95% quality)

  • Smaller file size
  • Fast compression
  • Withstands several generations before losing apparent quality
  • 239 MBs for 1 minute video @ 864×480 29.97fps
  • 1 Minute render took 1:18

2. PNG

  • Medium-large file size
  • Very slow compression!
  • Uncompressed format, no re-render generation loss
  • 952 MBs for 1 minute video @ 864×480 29.97fps
  • 1 Minute render took 8:44

3. Animation

  • Huge file size
  • Fast compression (writing to disc can slow down the render)
  • Uncompressed format, no re-render generation loss
  • 1.9 GBs for 1 minute video @ 864×480 29.97fps
  • 1 Minute render took 1:35

So as you can see the Animation is great if you have the disc space but the JPG has great quality with very small file sizes, whereas the PNG has uncompressed quality with very slow compression.

For most things, PhotoJPG is a great choice, for those high quality clients, there is animation.


  • Use delivery formats to render work files (such as H.264, sorenson, or any MPEGs)
  • Jump off of a moving train
  • Time travel without a good plan first

Delivery formats are for just that, DELIVERY. For example when the video is all done and you want to put it online, sorenson 3 is a great choice as is H.264. When you want to put the video on DVD there is MPEG2.

PS: Thanks for making this such a great blog. I am very proud to part of your VFX world.

Christopher Carlsson
June 20th, 2007 @ 9:53 am
Very nice =) good to know!

// Christopher, Sweden
June 20th, 2007 @ 9:57 am
Hei that a cool post , I was everytime asking myself , good explanation thx Andrew
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:10 am
Great blog, Andrew! Thanks to you and your tutorials I've learned AE. At least a bit. Gonna order thesound fx dvd as soon as I have money (just graduated from high school, I'm unemployed and out of cash). Thx again!
Rama Dolman
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:12 am
Thanks Andrew, you the man again and a good inspiration.

Gday from Australia, Perth.
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:14 am

If you need an alpha channel, you have to use the PNG because the Photojpeg to not integrate this channel... I don't about Animation Codec and alpha...

June 20th, 2007 @ 10:36 am
Thanks THanks!!!:D
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:51 am
thank you! now, that really helped me out! or... as christopher said, good to know!

michael, Austria
June 20th, 2007 @ 11:11 am
Sweet tutorial!
Just one question: Why do you tell me not to jump off a moving train?

// Lucas, Detroit (actually i'm from Germany, but it's sweet to be an exchange student)
June 20th, 2007 @ 11:22 am
Lol Andrew must feel like a saint now, he's getting so much respect here haha! I feel a great community boiling here!
June 20th, 2007 @ 11:31 am
For those that want to know how to test codecs and more about them, I want to share a website that I found and have been usefull for me to determine codec quality parameters.


Thanks for the free tutorials, they are so cool! and I like the way you explain them as a friend to friend.

June 20th, 2007 @ 12:05 pm
Thanks for these very helpfull informations :)

Paris, France
June 20th, 2007 @ 12:09 pm
i jumped off a moving train this morning n almost got myself killed! i'm going to listen to your advice form now on...
Mat S.
June 20th, 2007 @ 12:09 pm
What format is best if you are importing it in premiere pro 2.0??
June 20th, 2007 @ 12:54 pm
Great info,

Its awesome how you just lay down the facts in both your workflow and tutorials. No bullship :) Thanks, I keep learning new things every day I check back here. Love it!

Bwe, Australia.
June 20th, 2007 @ 1:06 pm
Excellent tip. I would also imagine the hardware you have plays into the render times as well. I'm running after effects on a machine that probably shouldn't be running after effects so i'm gonna guess my render times are going to be slightly longer. But i will definitely give these a shot.
June 20th, 2007 @ 1:11 pm
I check here every day, if not twice... Anyways very helpful information whats the next tutorial on?
Iliès S.
June 20th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm
Nice, just what i needed, i'm compositing a short animation and found out that h.264 is really great.
Glad to see it confirmed by you.
45s at 720x440 does about 17Mo, with excellent quality at the end.

Great work and amazing tutorials Andrew.

CGI student, Belgium
June 20th, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

Thanx 4 the great INFO.
U r my IDOL 4 Vfx. I have learnt everything from you.

I really cannot count how many times I check your Website in a Day.

Anyways, keep up the gud wrk.

Sebastian de la Nuez
June 20th, 2007 @ 1:50 pm
Great info, great tutorials, great blog, great humour... GREAT! You have no idea how many people you're helping. Good job.
June 20th, 2007 @ 2:49 pm
Hee. andrew. ain't it a good idea to add some sort of forum? I think most people would love it, at least I would. Then you would get even more fans and we ("the fans, viewers, film fanatics.) could learn from you and from each others experience.

gr. tesssam
June 20th, 2007 @ 3:35 pm
Great site andrew, love it. now im wondering if i am rendering correctly. i do most of my work dv ntsc for use in final cut pro. i render quicktime DV ntsc to match my project in final cut. is this the best way or am i doing this incorrectly? or is there a better way? animation? photojpeg? png? will these give me a better result. appreciate any input.

June 20th, 2007 @ 3:50 pm
you are a real inspiration to me, have baught all your dvds and they ROCK ! simply some of the best tutorials and advice on VFX period.

great stuff, cant wait for the next tute, also whens Riot Gear 2 coming out - I know its in the pipeline :) :)

Jasper Wiese
June 20th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm
great stuff, needed this.
June 20th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm
Actually for serious work you probably don't want to use h.264 until the very end when you publish it online or CD. Perceptually it does look nice but the color gets shifted and there are bad artifacts deep within.

As for using DV footage, I recommend doing Visual Effects and motion graphic using one of 3 options above. You simply re-import the graphic or vfx shot and place it on top of your edit in FCP or video editor. Then when you render to DVD the footage is compressed to MPEG2 from the high quality Quicktime. Otherwise, you capture in DV which is good, then add FX then render to DV which is not good. The color bleeding and artifacts will be very apparent, then when you compress again to DVD... well it's just not worth it.

    July 18th, 2012 @ 4:01 pm
    I have a problem Andrew and I could really use your advice:

    I have a feature film edited with apple pro res files in Fcp 7. As I wanted moving text I opted to use after effects... I rendered the titles and text out using 8 bit, square pixels exported as rgb-plus alpha at straight unmatted as animation files. When bringing them over the video the animations looked choppy, but when exported they looked great, the problem is when I burned to DVD using mpeg 2 in compressor then writing the disk in DVD studio pro the animation files came out blocky again as in final cut. I tried throwing a deinterlacing filter using blur to fix the problem. Was wondering if I need to change the animations to animorphic in final cut? Or am I completely missing something? Thanks so much I am a huge fan of your work!
    July 20th, 2013 @ 11:18 am
    Hey Andrew,
    Got some problem here
    I created a short 2 min 2d animation in flash.I want to use cc rain for rain effects,so i drag swf file in after effects.
    Everything is fine but the problem is that when i export my video it lags like hell.Any suggestions.
    video resolution is 1080p resoltion.
Alex Foster
June 20th, 2007 @ 6:25 pm
awesome - i was just thinking yesterday - i wish andy did a QnA so i coud ask about inter adobe rendering (such a pain:()
Justin Productions
June 20th, 2007 @ 6:36 pm
Thanks a lot Andrew, very informative. Gotta love the fact that you post everyday on your blog :)

Keep up the good work.
June 20th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm
Hey Jiggly, we like you being here but please do not use that homepage here. This is a friendly site and must remain PG-13. Lets keep this clean and fun.
Jay Gray
June 20th, 2007 @ 6:50 pm
Most of the time, when I make an animation in after effects, I render out to AVI. I am working on my demo reel right now and am editing it in premier pro, and then will author it in encore dvd.

I have never really paid much attention to compression, I just thought what I have been doing looks fine... thanks for the info!

So... if I am understanding right, it would be better for me to render my animations in after effects out in one of these formats, then import the rendered file into premier, then render THAT final project to an MPEG2 file, then burn it in Encore?
PoIZoN Productions
June 20th, 2007 @ 7:11 pm
Thanks Andrew...i was wondering that because my last 15 second intro was 6 gigs...i was blown away
June 20th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm
Thanks for posting the goods and bads with the different formats for rendering.
Also what you posted just a few posts above about DV footage is also very important as I'm working on a DVD/film with my friends using VFX. Thank you.
June 20th, 2007 @ 8:39 pm
Good Tips. Does Divx count as a delivery codec? I find it great for web stuff, especially with their new stage6 website, just look at the quality of 1080p with divx: http://stage6.divx.com/Animation-newbies/video/1019918/Elephants-Dream---1080p-MP3-surround
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:32 pm
Divx is a great quality delivery format with one obvious downfall. Not everyone has the codec to watch it. And if your client is not too tech saavy, they'll proabably cooling there computer down with a martini.

As for importing back to premiere. If you are editing a large video and you have various VFX shots and many edits that do not require after effects. Bringing the quicktime renders in the video editor before compressing for DVD IS a great way. Now if you have a short video and you can bring it all into AE or the whole video is AE, then exporting to your delivery format from AE is a great way. That way you don't even need to go to this intermediate codec you have not generation loss.
Alexey Pekarin
June 21st, 2007 @ 2:16 am
Andrew you are da man!

Hey guys,
Just to add some info if the speed and level of quality is important to you and few spair backs are not an issue:

1) In my 5 year experience the best codec is Sheer Video from BitJazz is VERY quick and LOSSLESS. Good for any resolutions and with or without alpha

2) NucleoPro from GridIron will allow you to render while you working on project or almost double speed during normal rendering. The only thing is - you need to have Dual Core CPU. AE CS3 is going to utilize Dual Core CPU's but only for normal rendering not for prerender while working. The other good dude Aaron Rabinovich explains about that on Creative Cow.

Matthew M
June 21st, 2007 @ 2:21 am
thanks Andrew, you are a great giant of the AE world
Raza F
June 20th, 2007 @ 8:05 pm
I export it out uncompressed and then export it out again with SUPER!, it's a free program that does stuff that programs that you can buy won't do. I use Xvid for export.
Dustin James
June 20th, 2007 @ 8:56 pm
great... (you answered that one in an email for me)

I just want to know who the babe is...
Dustin James
June 20th, 2007 @ 8:59 pm
HEY... is there a way to change the time zones for everyone on your blog... cause its set to pacific I think...
June 20th, 2007 @ 9:09 pm
As for the time standard, I live in pacific standard, so I'm not sure how it will translate. I just updated it so that it is correct for my time, maybe it will be for you guys too. Also the "babe" is an old client of mine. I'll be using the footage in an upcoming tutorial.

Jay Gray
June 20th, 2007 @ 9:32 pm
Thanks! I am not really able to create the whole reel in AE, so it is good to know what is best for using a middle man.
June 20th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm
So, I just got my DSFX DVD in the mail today. I'm watching the introduction tutorial and it starts out the way most of Andrew's tutorials start, except we get a rare glimpse into a folder on his machine. The folder lists the different DVDs that have been released under Video Copilot except for one little extra one. I'm not going to reveal the secret but for those of you who have the DVD or have downloaded DSFX, take a look on Disk A> Extras> Tutorials> and watch 01. Introduction. Listen/look very carefully at around 38 seconds into the piece. Very interesting and exciting eh? I'm looking forward to it Andrew!
June 21st, 2007 @ 5:34 am
HEY DREW... I WAS using your light saber presets on my sample clip...
the problems is.. it takes a really long time to render... is there a faster way to render... btw...i'm using a laptop 1.5g ram to render tho. i want to render the clip with full resolution.. how can i render fast? thx
June 21st, 2007 @ 10:18 am
JASON, I saw it too, he's not very discreet about it. I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as tricks up this guys sleeve. I'm waiting patiently too.
Dustin James
June 21st, 2007 @ 5:12 pm
The only reason I say that about the timezone is cause my comment was central time posted but was in the middle of the blog comments... at 8:30 something.... when really it was 10:30 something...
Dustin James
June 21st, 2007 @ 6:03 pm
is something to do with AE2? or Riot Gear 2?
June 21st, 2007 @ 7:19 pm
Nice post Andrew. I love how you are available to give us some cool tips and pointers on small stuff like this. Keep it up. The blog is looking great.

As for the delivery codec, I like to use Quicktime for my web delivery options. Family or clients, I like it that way. Quicktime plays nicely, and looks great, and if the person doesnt have that on their comp, I tell them to install it. Its cost free, crap free, and everyone should have it on their comp. PC and MAC.

Thanks again. Keep it up bro.
June 21st, 2007 @ 11:30 pm
thanks for taking the time to write all this
it's really really useful
June 22nd, 2007 @ 9:26 am
Thanks for posting this info Andrew. I have been using cinipak, and all my files look very poor, but I needed some compression. These settings will help me greatly, and improve the quality of my vids.

thanks again,
J- Michigan
June 24th, 2007 @ 9:36 am
Hi Andrew :)
thanks for your time and your greate information.
can you take us to the best way to make a DVD .... just play it in DVD player i mean without any kind of chapters or menus.
just how to render to DVD and of course full quality like any DVD movie.

June 26th, 2007 @ 12:07 pm
hey andrew.great site. fantastico.
i have a question about exporting to flash video from after effects. i have an original quicktime and i wana put it up on a website with no loss of qaulity but low file size.any ideas what settigns i should use.
what do you use for your tutes
July 2nd, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
I use a lot of Avid an AE... for me the best workflow using omf avid files (a copy of the file to be safe) work it out in AE then exporting a new OMF then importing them back to Avid...

great job to everybody this blog is a good vibe wisdom blog....Andrew you have the lead voice...
July 9th, 2007 @ 5:05 am
Hi andrew, Great blog by the way. My wife gets upset some times because she claims I love video Copilot more than her. It's not true I love her just as much. Only joking....

Anyway I'm planning on buying the Designer sound effects from you. Good quality sound Effects are hard to come by and the free ones downloadable from the net don't sound too good and never fit the bill.

I was wondering have you considered making an action sound pack to go with action movie essentials because finding good guns shots and stuff is hard. most the stuff on the net sound like WW2 weapons being fired. did they have Glocks in WW2 i think not, anyway sound categories could include:

. gun fire
. rifle fire
. Machine gun
. sniper rifle
. loading sound effects
. weapon handling sound effects

.blood splat sound effect
.blood hitting a wall
.head shot sound effect.
.explostion sound effects.
.dirt and debris sound effects.

Anyway you get the idea. it's just a thought but it would be great to have these things so we have the sounds to go with the action.

by the way really looking forward to riot gear 2.

July 11th, 2007 @ 11:31 pm
Huge info collection --

July 19th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm
What if i want to render in AVI format?
which options do a pick from to get the best quality?
July 30th, 2007 @ 5:04 am
my footage is 720:576 (16:9) when i import it into AE. The interpretation is D1/DV PAL Widescreen (1,42) which is also what i want. when i work with it I hit the toggle pixel aspect ratio correction, and it shows up as I want it to. but when i render it, suddenly the final product is in a 4:3 format.

my render settings are 720:576, quicktime animation. any clue what migjht cause this??
Kareem Obied
September 28th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm
Dear i think H.264 Is the best HD Video render with small size
October 21st, 2007 @ 2:36 pm
ı say first thanks.ı ask you andrew.ı cant use adobe after effect.can you help me it? bye
October 31st, 2007 @ 1:16 pm
Hey there.

I've been frequenting the site lately the past few days, and it is a marvelous resource! Kudos for all the hard working people that made this site's team, and the creator of such great tutorials!

I was wondering one thing though, the videos I see in the tutorials, how are those rendered out and what settings are used? The thing is I have a 1.7 GB video I want to render out, but I want it to be like max a 90MB video (without reducing quality so much). I see these tutorials and they look great in quality, but load really fast so I conclude that they must be low in size.

Any help please? THANK YOU!
November 8th, 2007 @ 3:14 am
Hi Andrew,

I know I’m not supose to write you questions to your email,... and I apologize for that. I just found this blog for those king of questions so I post them here:

1) What setings do you use with recording in Camtasia?
2) You probably take that recording to AE and do a bit of post there?
3) Do you export flash from AE? What setings do you use to export flash??

A tutorial with how to create such a good looking video tutorials, would be a great touch. Compresion, frame size wise,... not what you do in them of course!


PS: You here a lot of thank yous for your free tutorials,... one more from me! You realy rock! Thanks
November 9th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

Sorry to bother you but I was really hoping you could help me out. I am editing my friends wedding video and I have always had a hard time with the final result of what I edit. I always edit something that looks great on the computer in AE but when it gets rendered out it looks totally different. For example my color correction.
Now I am trying to De-interlace something I have already edited. I looked at your tutorial on de-interlacing but I have already edited an entire video. So I was wondering if it is easier just to render out my footage in AE, bring it into Premiere and render it out again using the De-interlace setting. Is this a prectical way of doing it or is there a better way, and will I lose quality rendering it twice? Please help.
Ernesto Quintero
November 15th, 2007 @ 2:51 pm
Hello Andrew......I only want to ask you why you use AE instead of Final Cut Studio
    August 10th, 2012 @ 6:06 am
    Although this comment is almost five years later, After Effects is waaaaaayyy more advanced than Final Cut Studio. That's why.
December 13th, 2007 @ 5:01 am
Thank you for the help and tutorials. I am having trouble uploading my file to the server for "Streaming" download on the client side.

In order to view the video streaming from the internet, (Similar to the teaser videos on this site) would this be achieved in After Effects settings or another program?

Thanks in advance
December 17th, 2007 @ 10:53 am
hey Andrew first of all MERRY XMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to u and all your team!!!
just wanted to say a big THANK YOU!!! you guys helped me so much in my learning process!!! hope next year is full of GOOD suprises!!!AND NEW TUTORIALS
youre a great TEACHER,
January 1st, 2008 @ 9:42 am
so u recommend quicktime with a PhotoJpg quality

Thanks this quality helped
January 29th, 2008 @ 2:15 pm
Andrew ,you are a genius making videos. I congratulate you, but to the products of "video copilot," the Internet under the ares.
Sorry, I have no money.
February 27th, 2008 @ 8:08 am
Hi Andrew! most of the time when I render an after effects video I get a choppy playback in the quicktime player and weird horizontal line cuts... (especially when I render H.264 1280px video) what is the best way to keep the best possible quality but have a smooth playback?

and what exactly causes these problems ??
February 29th, 2008 @ 7:18 pm
xponentialdesign i got the same problem :(
it renders, but the playback is chopped and screwed audio 2 when rendered in quicklime format,
any help?
March 13th, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
I am impressed and I am thankful to you. You have made my day and probably, with god's help, you will change my life. Many thanks
March 14th, 2008 @ 12:05 pm
Hi Andrew, I`m from Argentina, THANKS for your tutorials, I think that you, and your team are great, I am learning about after effects, and this page make me easy my works. Congratulations for what you and your team obtain. Thanks again.

sorry for my inglish, but I do what I can. :P
March 28th, 2008 @ 6:44 am
hallo andrew my name tomi from Indonesia thx a lot for all u'r tutorial im new with After Effects but im realy like this program....
i want to ask were u get the particular world???????????
coz i use the Ae CS 3 thats all one more thx a lot man

sorry if my English
April 2nd, 2008 @ 6:25 am
Hey Andrew,
Other than the bleeding and artifacts, which are bad nonetheless, are there any other reasons why rendering to an AVI (Microsoft DV) in AE would be bad? thats what i've been doing since forever. while i haven't really noticed any bleeding or artifacts, i guess because i haven't seen a QT render of those clips, i was wondering how file-size, compression and render time compares to the 3 choices you gave us.

i've been rendering work files as AVIs since day one and i shudder to think how much i screwed up at my job.

April 4th, 2008 @ 10:33 am
thanx a bunch. my adobe encore projects take forever what should i do i?
i use premiere export avi's
April 23rd, 2008 @ 2:43 am
when you guys edit movie or songs you edit all the full movie using AE?
AE has got goodgood color correction... but i can't correct when it comes day light to evening or inside house... its really hard to adjust it... can anyone tell me the short cut type to adjust that?
April 26th, 2008 @ 10:38 am
Hey Andrew, what kind of capture board should I use?
May 7th, 2008 @ 9:30 pm
hey..i want to ask u a question...?lots of people says that software matters....is it true?..The compositing software or editing software affect the quality of your video...
May 14th, 2008 @ 9:30 am
Thanks a lot !! I was looking for this for a long time !
There are few guys like you (and your team) who can make great things like VideoCopilot ! Thanks for everything !

P.S. : As soon as I win to the Lottery, I buy all your products ;)
May 30th, 2008 @ 2:42 am
hey andrew i was IMPRESSED by your worx since then....
thanks for this i can use this with all my projects....
i will earn some money to buy your DVDs.
and your such an inspiration to me..
i will wait for new tutorials. m looking forward


edgar P.
June 26th, 2008 @ 7:43 am
It's nice to know that there is someone in the AE world who can be a good instructor, thanks for being such an unselfish person by teaching the right way to use AE.

No offense to other AE guru... but Andrew Kramer is the Best!

By the way sir Andrew, I am currently using Adobe Premiere CS3 and AE CS3, I also tried to do your render options. I'm just wondering what about the audio?

I did render my files to jpeg seq and then put it in the flash. Is this the right way to do?

July 2nd, 2008 @ 9:16 pm
So if i make a film thats say about 10 minutes long, than it is better to use Animation?
If i make a short film that is a minute or two long than it is better to use PhotoJPG or PNG right?

Because when i exported some things in Quicktime, both Animation and PhotoJPG and they seemed to come out in the same quality.
July 9th, 2008 @ 4:07 am
Hi Andrew, I just wanted to add my thanks to the many comments posted already. You're tutorials and knowledge are outstanding. I know you're a busy man but I do have a question with regards to how you create your video tutorials. You've mentioned that you use Camtasia for capture but I notice that there is some postproduction as well (presumably in after effects ;))

Anyway, I was wondering have you any plans to do a meta-tutorial (a tutorial on how to create a tutorial). That is something that I would be willing to spend money on as it would radically improve my current productivity. If you do, let us know.

And if you don't, not to worry. You've imparted an immense amount of know-how in your tutorials so far. Thanks again.

July 19th, 2008 @ 7:43 am
Thanks for those tips A. Kramer.

July 22nd, 2008 @ 12:24 am
Hello, Andrew Kramer. I cannot quantify the way in which you have helped After Effects users like myself to take our creativity to the next level. You have inspired me so much that I have even gone on to publish my very own website, called http://www.henrythejedi.com
In it, I have a free video tutorials for Adobe After Effects and 3D Max to help inspire the world, in much the same way that you have inspired me.
I have a quick question to ask: Please be as technically detailed as possible
-Which software do you use to record your video tutorials?
-Which codec do you use to compress your files? (e.g. Quicktime or .Flv)
-Exactly Which settings do you use for compression? (What bitrate do you use?)
-Any other information I may need

Thank you so much, Andrew and Keep up with the good works and great Products
August 13th, 2008 @ 10:36 am
Good read. I already use QT with JPEG because I think you mentioned it in a tutorial before. Interesting info on the other choices though.

October 30th, 2008 @ 2:02 pm
one question...
i have AE cs3 and i dont have render mpeg2-dvd, dont have this option... what codec is???

please help me.....
December 2nd, 2008 @ 12:19 pm
I know that you wrote these optiones here.
Ive just made the videos "Text Blur Titles" and "Fly By Titles" and "Riot Gear" from your tutorials.
And thanks, they are really great.

I have tried to export these videos in Qucktime Movie, but i loose some quality anyway.

Can you plaese tell me, what options i have to choose for these videos, too have the best quality?

- Compression Type
- Frame Rate, Key Frames
- Compressor
- Date Rate
December 2nd, 2008 @ 12:21 pm
Or what optiones did you used?
December 13th, 2008 @ 1:03 pm
Whew, thanks! I was just about to go jump off a train!
January 18th, 2009 @ 12:44 pm
amazing post))
January 19th, 2009 @ 3:01 pm
Awesome writeup! thanks man
January 20th, 2009 @ 1:48 pm
It's hadr to understand..
January 21st, 2009 @ 2:23 am
So nice!
January 21st, 2009 @ 12:09 pm
Nice posat =)
January 22nd, 2009 @ 2:35 am
Nice! I'll do similar post in my blog
February 5th, 2009 @ 11:37 pm
why cant a 32 bit animation be exported as quicktime? The colors dont work as 32bit like they did in the comp! Please help!!!

February 26th, 2009 @ 3:25 pm
a little addition---- its better to use a dedicated compression software to publish for web or cd or dvd . for example Sorenson or Quick time Pro. As Andrew said " exporting .mov with photojpeg" is better same is for premiere. Exporting as uncompressed from premiere -> Then at the finale stage b4 delivering USE a dedicated compression software for best results.
May 9th, 2009 @ 8:18 pm
Hi andrew, i am following your tutorials, however for render i am using photo-jpg, after render myclip do i want to convert to any other format for good visual.
because after i render i convert rendered clip to .mov using xilisoft converter, then i can reduce my video quality and video is also playing smoothly compare to previous way. is this correct way???
August 13th, 2009 @ 11:46 am
Hi Andrew, you do a great work! I just stumbled over your AE Tutorials and i am watching them for the last 5 Days now (starting to become addicted ..;-)). Thanks TOM from Austria
September 4th, 2009 @ 7:23 am
Hi! i have a problem with Camtasia video. I take a 3hs video and edited it, but when the render try to star this video section the render ends! BUT is no problem in rendering any section wich IS NOT in the begginning...
sunil thapa
September 18th, 2009 @ 5:37 am
Hi Master andrew..... and blog frens
i have 2.6 core 2 due.4 gb ram and radon hd4650 1gb graphic card....when i open after effect it shows only 2gb of 4% ram using and am pretty unknow about opengl....... please can u suggest me about open gl best setting ........ it will be very helpful for me .....
many thnx from Nepal.....
October 5th, 2009 @ 7:03 am
ok i have a really really really really really really really really really RE-HEALLY stupid question .. i followed the graffiti tutorial , everything went perfect only 1 thing .. how can i save my work as a flash movie or whatever ? when i hit export > flash ..and save my work after i open it all i get is a black screen , how can i save my project ? :(
October 6th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm
Hi Andrew...thnx so much for these recommendations..it's so helpful...I'm learning a lot with all your tuts! greetz!
October 11th, 2009 @ 2:18 am
hi to all,guys please please can any one tell me that why my HD video (1 min) skipping in my pc??? i rendered in quicktime time with codec"png" in after effects cs4.
my video plays smothly before editing but when i edit in AE, it skips or choppy after rendered.
Here is my PC configration:
2.5 dual core with 2mb cache.
2 GB of Ram DDR2.
1 GB PCI express NVIDIA 9400 GT.
and ya i have 80 gb harddirve but my drive "c" has only 4 Gb left.

so0 can anyone give me solution.???? i hop someone will help me..

Thanks in advance,
October 25th, 2009 @ 7:41 pm
Before going down with the questions, I want to say thank you for this web, it's literally my homepage (for the time being, currently following tutorial # 56), and it has become my bible, because dude, you have no idea how much you've helped me out, and got me making that dough!

1. Given your tips on rendering, I did what you suggested, which is single file rendering, and I'm running on a macbook pro 2008 (early). Yet my rendering of a one minute video using the JPEG method took me twice as long, and the content does not contain many 3d objects or particle effects. So, is this the machine's fault or is it a matter of OS?

2. I don't know if you use FLASH much, but I was hoping that there will be a tutorial as to how you integrate flash with after effects (or the other way around), if it's not any trouble, would you?

3. I live in Indonesia and I wish to buy your sound pro-score product, and is there anyway that it could be delivered all the way here? I'm having trouble with the shipping method, and my local mail is a bust, they always end up missing when they get here (it's a silly question)

thank you mr. Kramer, you're the man!
February 23rd, 2010 @ 11:26 am
dear andrew

when i importing ae file into premiere why it is little blurry how to get sharp edges

quick vic
March 3rd, 2010 @ 10:35 am
dv capture has a terrible flicker where the image has a computer generated background. all other is good. please help. desperate in a bad way.
May 4th, 2010 @ 3:59 am
andrew , im a beginner , how can i render a video without taking 5 or 6 GB and in a good quality
May 4th, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

When I am trying to render a composition to Mov. file
I get this error message:

"After Effects error: creating movie - bad parameter (-50) (44::36)"

Any help will do great, thanks
George Drepanos
May 13th, 2010 @ 4:53 am
I have the same problem as Igor

When I am trying to render a composition to Mov. file
I get this error message:

“After Effects error: creating movie – bad parameter (-50) (44::36)”

Any help will do great, thanks..is very urgent

Thanks, George
June 7th, 2010 @ 9:22 am
I've been working from sometime in AFX, been using TGA 32bit sequences when i need alpha (rle compresion)and TGA 24bit when final output, do you recommend i switch on MOV file ???
June 17th, 2010 @ 4:09 pm
Im actually not using AE to work with, because I am using Maya and it has a built in compositing program called Toxik (composite). I have read what Andrew posted about outputting to DVD but still a bit confused. He mentions in the DO NOT part, use H.264 or or MPEGS, but then a couple sentences later he says to put on DVD use MPEG.?

I just want to know the best format to render my files, and then a recommended software to use to convert it into a DVD. Perhaps also a software to burn with, instead of using something like Nero. I dont know if something like Final Cut is the solution to any of the above situations.

Any input or recommendations would be great. Thanks
June 23rd, 2010 @ 11:12 am
Thank you very much I was looking for this long ago and now I was impressed with the results.

Just a little question if I am allow, I have this last part of the job (when putting all the parts together, all rendered, and I want to put them on a DVD but mpg2 codec saves it with a rare file format. is it ok?
July 2nd, 2010 @ 10:00 pm
Hello Andrew,

After rendering with the settings that you suggested, I see the quality is quite satisfactory, but it still deteriorates when it is re-rendered after editing in Adobe Premiere. Please advise what would be the best render settings in Adobe Premiere so that the quality can be preserved or at least, have similarities.

Alexy Papazian
July 16th, 2010 @ 9:15 am
Well.. i'm using a codec called: MPEG-4 Video.
Maybe for 5 minutes, 720/480, the file size is about 70~100 mb!
July 26th, 2010 @ 4:30 pm
How do you go about getting FLV. not F4V. to be as clean and crips as quicktime mov. I have taken your Riot Gear Promo movie into Adobe Media Encoder as the mov file it is and passed it though to a FLV with no loss.
July 26th, 2010 @ 4:32 pm
I can't seen to get my Cinema 4D mov. to pass though Adobe Media Encoder without it looking all blocky and pixilated.
Gaurav Sharma
August 6th, 2010 @ 11:00 pm
Hello Andrew

This is gaurav,india i have a question when i make a text scroll in after effect & import it in Final cut pro it is going to be jitter. where am i legging behind ? i am rendering my video with quick time with animation please let me know what is the best option to render HD quality video as well as text scroll which i need to import in final cut pro....
Thanks & Regards
Gaurav Sharma
August 12th, 2010 @ 8:04 am
I found this fast losses code called cam studio loseless codec (http://camstudio.org/) avi would that be better than using a png or jpg because it is a real codec instead of some .mov image sequence.
August 28th, 2010 @ 7:12 am
Hi Andrew.

I tried lot of ways to get good output. But sometimes its very big or very small (quality lost). Recently I create new video clip.its only 1 mint and 10sec. If I put uncompressed mode that file size is 1.10GB. How do I get good output quality with low file size? Please tell me how to do that.
Gaurav Sharma
September 7th, 2010 @ 9:29 pm
Hi Andrew,

It's always pleasure to follow your tutorials & trikes for making suck a great vfx. but i like to know if i need to get output of my VFX from After effect to FCP for broadcasting which is the great preset we must use ? Actually right now i am using Quick time with animation codes as well as uncompressed also but when i import my vfx in fcp & watch it on television quality make me feel bad text starting to jitter & my job not up to the mark as it should be. please fix my problem i need to help you.

Thanks & Regards
Gaurav Sharma
September 15th, 2010 @ 6:24 am
Thanks Andrew. Wish I'd read this a while ago! Would have saved me from having HUGE unnecessary files and the opposite - those nasty compressed h264/mpeg formats.
September 28th, 2010 @ 1:09 am
I noticed that FLV and F4V render with reasonable quality and output to less than 20MB for 2 min video (usually 198kb for each second of footage), though SOMETIMES the widescreen is squeezed into a 4:3 box with black bars so full screen doesn't come out well then.
October 9th, 2010 @ 12:18 pm
This was a great help to me back in the day. I still use your JPEG setting on some renders.
October 13th, 2010 @ 3:47 am
Hello Andrew.

I love your work. You're awesome. I have one question. I shot with a sony Z1. When i work on after effects and i render the file with QuickTime Movie in PNG the video is a litle more contrasted and colorful without color correction than the original vidéo. Why ?

Thanks & Regards

November 1st, 2010 @ 8:40 am
hi Mr ANdrew ..
i'm a huge fan of your amazing and wonderful website, your work, what you're doing...everything is just so great ,andrew. i'm learning a lot from your tutorials...
but i wa
November 1st, 2010 @ 9:17 am
hi Mr ANdrew ..
i'm a huge fan of your amazing and wonderful website, your work, what you're doing...everything is just so great ,andrew. i'm learning a lot from your tutorials...
but i want to know more about rendering a video without loosing quality and with a very small size ( i mean the video samples you upload everytime with a new tutorial...)
example: the video sample of magic tracking or the wa
November 1st, 2010 @ 9:51 am
hi Mr ANdrew ..
i'm a huge fan of your amazing and wonderful website, your work, what you're doing...everything is just so great ,andrew. i'm learning a lot from your tutorials...
but i want to know more about rendering a video without loosing quality and with a very small size ( i mean the video samples you upload everytime with a new tutorial...)
example: the video sample of "magic tracking" or "the wave blast" or "the advanced time freeze" : all of them are rendered with an amazing quality with a small size ( 5, 6, 10, 20MB. i've tried as you recommended quick time movie. the quality is great but with a huge size (6 s video : 90 MB)...

so anderw please i would like to know the best settings you recommend when you render especially to upload it on the web...

thanks Mr Andrew.....i'm waiting for your response ...
November 10th, 2010 @ 9:39 am
Hi Andrew,
Is the Rendering Speed of Videos in After Effects depends upon RAM or GRAPHIC CARD or PROCESSOR SPEED..???
    July 10th, 2012 @ 9:56 pm
    it will rely heavily on the Processor Speed
January 13th, 2011 @ 9:34 am
Thanks for keeping it concise! This was EXACTLY what I was looking for.
February 23rd, 2011 @ 1:23 pm
Hey Andrew,
I have a file size of 30 GB and it is a .mov file. Rendered from After Effects (CS4) I want to put it on a dvd, and it will be played through a computer through a projector and on the screen. Whats the best way to compress the file or can I use iDVD on the mac, and will that program compress the file on its own.

Thanks again for you help.
Travis Snow
February 24th, 2011 @ 9:14 pm
I work in a corporate video environment and we occasionally get asked to provide B-roll for News stations and other broadcast channels. However we always have a hard time getting specs on what codec to use. Do you have a safe "universally supported codec" that can be used Mac or PC, FCP and Avid, etc.? We get a lot of people saying just give us a QuickTime and that tells us nothing as there are hundreds of combinations of codecs and setting within .mov. I appreciate all of your hard work and knowledge, you have taught me so much!
    Travis Snow
    February 24th, 2011 @ 9:16 pm
    I forgot to mention HD has been the toughest universal solution to find. But an SD and HD option would be appreciated.
March 10th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm
I need help. Whenever I render a video, if it is a longer video, it only renders part of it. Is there a way to make it render the whole thing?
April 25th, 2011 @ 9:59 am
hey if i want to use hd 720p resolution what render setting should i choose ? thx
July 2nd, 2011 @ 5:04 am
hi Andrew, I tried Using Quicktime Format and PHOTO JPG codec at 90%. Still my image after rendering looks dull and the Contrast is LOW. PLEASE help!
July 8th, 2011 @ 5:16 pm
Awww damn, but I love to jump off trains! I guess I won't be doing that anymore. At least it explains why my renders are such bad quality. Maybe I could time travel back and not jump off all those trains. I better start writing up my plans...
Haha, thanks for the info Andrew! :)
September 8th, 2011 @ 9:59 pm
Hello, I read over your tutorial and found it very helpful, but I still have a question. I would greatly appreciate it if you had the time to help me with this issue concerning rendering (obviously). My issue is the quality of my video after uploading it to youtube. I render my files first in Vegas, using the same frame rate as the source and at 1280x720, I then render it out in Adobe Media Encoder using the H.264 codec with the frame rate the same as the source (25fps in this case) and the my resolution at 1280x720 once again. The level is at 3.1,CBR one pass with the Mbps at 14. Somehow the end quality is great on my computer, but as soon as I upload it, the quality seems to be more than halved. I don't understand how others using the same codec can achieve such great results even after upload.

Thank-you, sorry for such a long question.
September 10th, 2011 @ 10:42 am
Helpful Post.
I was trying to find and other good render settings and i found these for 10 seconds video:

1. 2:58 minutes.
Size: 101 MB


2. 3:47 minutes
62,4 MB

Format: Quicktime
Video Codec H.264
Quality 95
October 2nd, 2011 @ 11:14 am
Shooting with Canon 7D in 1920x1080. Editing with Final Cut Express. Importing video files without any changes requires rendering in FC after each effect. I was told to use StreamClip and compress the file. What are the specs to use? I am doing something wrong because the video quality decreases and looks interlaced.
January 24th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm
Thanks ... this is a lifesaver.. i have to publish 10 mins of 720p video and havent got more than 20gb ... a quick calculation showed that uncompressed avi ( default on AE )could take 500 gigs :O
February 10th, 2012 @ 7:38 pm
Hey Andrew I've read your instructions along with a million others on the net but I still have a few questions that I can't seem to find the answer to:

1. I've exported a 640x360 showreel as MOV with the PNG codec. It looks beautiful and it's small enough to be burnt onto a CD so I can hand it to people along with my portfolio. But is PNG a popular enough codec that anyone with a mac or PC would be able to view in quicktime and VLC? I know it doesn't work on Windows Media Player but I think most people use either VLC or Quicktime anyway.

2. I've also exported it as Photo Jpeg but for some reason certain bright colours come out pixelated, at both 640x360 and 1280x720 resolution. Any idea why that might be?

I think that's it really. If you could help me out that would be great :). Thanks a lot.

PS: I love your tutorials!!! You taught me After Effects so much better than my tutors! Keep it up :)
February 28th, 2012 @ 2:44 am
Hey Andrew
thanks for taking the time to write all this
March 7th, 2012 @ 4:30 am
hey andrew.
i need to ask something. i followed the 3 you mentioned about quicktime (i tried jpeg and animation), i finished rendering but the output has a problem..

while i play the file it becomes choppy in many points and the vid cant keep up with my music. i need help with this. T__T
March 8th, 2012 @ 8:26 am
andrew...my pc has a i7 2600k and 8gb of ram with a 570 gtx vcard...you think is well like this or should i put a quadro card there too?
March 10th, 2012 @ 7:50 pm
I think that Avid DNxHD is the better codec on windows because is compression is the same as Losseless, but with a twice less space on disk. Of course, we need Avid Media Composer to read and drop the video on the Timeline without additional compression. Avid DNxHD has compression like JPEG and has been approved by SMPTE Standards for the 220X version, witch has less compression with a good fps. For Mac this is Apple Prores 422 or 444.(444 is huge, and use only for Broadcast) Check out this link: http://www.avid.com/US/industries/workflow/DNxHD-Codec
March 31st, 2012 @ 3:17 pm
heloo andrew . please i want your help in render . my system windows 7 64 bit . and my system information (motherboard gigabyte X58 . ram 24 giga ddr3 . cpu cor i7 . graphic card nividia 2giga . hard 1 tb ) please ... please help me i want best setting to fast render ... :(
April 13th, 2012 @ 7:25 am
PEOPLE, you do realize this was posted in 2007 right? There are probably better ways to render now. This blog post is probably best if you are stuck with CS3 right?
May 19th, 2012 @ 4:27 pm
Is that a picture of your wife? After hours of reading about how complicated compression settings can get I got the info here. Thanks.
May 24th, 2012 @ 7:08 am
I've just finished a kinetic typographic animation with 3,37 minutes long. It's rendering now...
It's 1280x720 px. Now I have to send it to a friend and after he will upload it to youtube. Which render settings are the best? Format: quicktime and codec: H.264 (since it's the final work and it will be uploaded immediatly to youtube) ?

Thank you and greetings from Portugal. :)
May 25th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm
Thanks for the help Andrew. I was talking to someone the other day about movie credit sequences and that someone mentioned how stunning the Star Trek credits were. I was like, "That was Andrew Kramer, my AE mentor." haha
May 25th, 2012 @ 7:05 pm
Thanks so much 4 U Andrew..
June 7th, 2012 @ 3:28 am
Heeey man really i love u cuz u ARE numper 1 in the world .. Pleas Andrew i need you help ,, gust i need best setting to save and render my short movie thene i want abloud in YouTube ... what the setting do to Fast render and Small sizee but Hige Qullty ? pleas Andrew Hellp me rellay i need u help .. cuz my movie it alraddy size more 329 MB ,,, What can i do to rended and small size i needd what i do
July 23rd, 2012 @ 1:14 am
hey thanks andrew , ask ya more if get any probs later.
Vibhu M Bajpai
October 27th, 2012 @ 5:47 am
Hi Andrew,
I read your blog but I'm still having some troubles in rendering. I'm exporting a movie in After effects 11 min long loaded with VFX from the Magic Bullet Suite. My source is one large m4v file (which is actually an export from Premiere Pro as I combined several small .MTS clips into one). I want to keep the resolution high 1080p or 720p and use it for youtube. But when I did it your way- PhotoJPG it says it will take 24hrs+.....what to do? Its taking huge times for any decent file format....
December 28th, 2012 @ 4:26 pm
I did jump off of a moving train... Okay okay I deny. I used a broomstick.
January 12th, 2013 @ 8:14 am
Hi Andrew,
kudos for an awesome work here.
i am a newbie with AE. Today is my day2 with it.

have to render a 30 sec long video which i edited over a template.

the avi and flv formats are needing 5 hrs time for the same.

quick time format is missing on my side.

what do you suggest as a remedy for FASTER RNDERING ?

Kindly help

thanks )
February 4th, 2013 @ 1:16 am
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the great tuts, and for always sharing your knowledge. I have a question about the renders. I am rendering a project (1920x1080) which is made up of a lot of animated JPG's, many nested sequences, and 3D camera and lights. I'm using an IMAC OSx, 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, with 4GB. Now, to render out my 25 second sequence, it says it will take 34 hours! THIRTY FOUR! That's madness. (Okay I see after 15 minutes it ha dropped to 29 hours - still crazy). I used photo-JPG, quality 80, and I didn't resize or anything. (This export is just for me to check everything is ok before I send it out) Now I am going to have to render it out as a final product animation, 100% - and I am so scared - will it take a year? What am i doing wrong?!? Thank you
February 5th, 2013 @ 4:19 am
Hi andrew.. you are truly my hero
everything works since i use jpg as you mention above. I was sick of being unable to render my footage using the other quicktime type format.
Thanks for being one of the most valued person in my life :d
February 22nd, 2013 @ 3:06 am
My Animation render is 35 seconds long and is still rendering after two days, with 10 seconds left to render.

Why is this so extreme?
March 22nd, 2013 @ 12:20 am
hi i am sai i have renderd blueray disk file in ae of size(20gb) in photojpeg formet q-time but i am geting 145 gb out put why plz help me
May 17th, 2013 @ 5:10 am
When I render a file the file size gets HUUUGE! I render a 8 second movie and the file got 1,36 gib and there is no sound in the file and it's slow to play. Why?! I'm working in HD
June 2nd, 2013 @ 11:30 am
hello excellent,perfect,very excitement
August 27th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
This post is dead, apparently Andrew just got "too busy" to help everyone. I was going to ask a question, but it looks pretty pointless to do it here. I'll try the Adobe forums I guess.
September 16th, 2013 @ 11:35 pm
Thanks so much Andrew.. :)
Wahed Nur
November 12th, 2013 @ 2:27 pm
I am interested to learn AE, max, maya. I don't know what type of pc are suitable for 3d animation and vfx. Please any one help me to give me proper solution, Thanks...
January 30th, 2014 @ 6:19 am
Dear Andrew, Why in CS6 the output files (almost) never play smoothly, but lag and sometimes simply refuse to play? Also, there is no audio on it? I used Quicktime-Animation or PhotoJPG. Thx
February 19th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm
This article is quite old now and still holds up! For real high end play back I would like to add ProRes 422 HQ as a codec that will playback on virtually any machine that has quicktime installed. Supports 4k, great looking and decent file sizes. I produced a 4k 4 minute animation at 8 GIG. Not bad for 3840x1080. Played back well also. Haven't really tried H.265 yet properly, but quick results I've seen are good but large file sizes and a little washed out.
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