As much fun as we have in After Effects, maybe the most fun is when we finish our composition, create our video and publish it. The web is a likely destination for your video but After Effects is used by an array of artists for an array of applications. There’s a new kid in town too and we will be hearing a lot about ‘cloud computing’ and all its different flavors.When you are ready to output your composition to a movie file you have a couple of options. You use After Effects ‘Make Movie’ option under the ‘Composition’ pull down movie. If this option isn’t highlighted, make sure you have a composition selected. This is a good time to add that, throughout all your After Effects adventures, when you seek an option and it isn’t highlighted, isn’t available, make sure the prerequisite choice has been made and that you have it selected.When you click on ‘Make Movie’ you are adding your composition to the ‘render queue’. The render queue has its own panel, all the compositions that have been ‘queued up’ can be viewed here, and each entry has a set of selections you will make for the kind of output, format, and codec you want to create. The queue concept is worth noting because after all your hard work completing your composition(s) it may take a while for them to render. You may have compositions that will become part of other ‘parent compositions’. You can queue several compositions, ‘kick start’ it, then shift your focus to other things while the queue runs through your list. explanation
There are three groups with settings that you can modify before submitting your composition to be rendered: ‘Best Settings’, ‘Lossless’, and ‘Output To’.I think of ‘Best Settings’ as an editor set of options. It will let you choose draft quality, half resolution, render with only the effects you have switched on, or only render the layers you have ‘soloed’. There are many applications for these choices but one might be an effect intensive composition that would take quite long to render. With that effect switched ‘off’, you could render your composition with everything ‘but’ that particular effect. You might want to focus on two particular layers, with their solo switch set, render your composition and see the output movie with only these two layers.’Lossless’ presents your format options such as Flash ‘flv’ file or Apple Quicktime. Under video output you can crop, resize, or adjust color depth. Windows ‘avi’ and Apple Quicktime present a variety of codecs. There is an ‘audio’ check box you need to click if your video has sound.The ‘Output’ to setting option is just that. Most often you will be entering a name and filepath for your video but you can output your video to a composition that will utilize it or to another After Effects project.