Adobe After Effects is a powerful software used by professionals and enthusiasts alike to create stunning motion graphics and visual effects. Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, the next step is to export it in a format that can be easily shared and viewed. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through three methods of exporting your After Effects composition as an MP4 video: using the internal render queue, Adobe Media Encoder, and the aerender.exe command-line tool.
Method 1: Export mp4 video using the Internal Render Queue
Step 1: Prepare your Composition
Before exporting, ensure that your composition is set up correctly. Check the resolution, frame rate, and duration to match your desired output settings.
Step 2: Access the Render Queue
In After Effects, navigate to the top menu and select “Composition” > “Add to Render Queue” or use the shortcut “Ctrl + M” (Windows) or “Cmd + M” (Mac).
Step 3: Adjust Settings
In the Render Queue panel, click on “Best Settings” to open the Output Module settings. Choose “H.264” as the format, and then select “Format Options.”
Step 4: Video Settings
In the Format Options window, you can adjust video settings like codec, quality, and bitrate. For MP4, the H.264 codec is recommended for its broad compatibility and efficient compression.
Step 5: Audio Settings
If your composition contains audio, configure the audio settings under the “Audio Output” section.
Step 6: Choose Output Path
Select the destination folder for your exported MP4 video by clicking on the “Output To” option.
Step 7: Render the Video
Once you’re satisfied with the settings, click “OK” to return to the Render Queue panel. Finally, click “Render” to start exporting your After Effects composition as an MP4 video. The video will render, but you will not be able to use After Effects efficiently while it is rendering. If you need to use After Effects while you export the video as mp4, use the following method with Adobe Media Encoder.
Method 2: Export MP4 videos using the Adobe Media Encoder
Adobe Media Encoder is a software by Adobe that allows to render and convert video files in different formats. It can therefore very easily render an MP4 movie from After Effects.
Step 1: Prepare your Composition
Follow the same steps as Method 1 to prepare your composition for export.
Step 2: Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue
Instead of using the internal render queue, you can send your composition directly to Adobe Media Encoder. Go to “Composition” > “Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue.”.
Adobe media Encoder, or AME, might take some time to open, even some minutes.
Step 3: Choose Format
In Adobe Media Encoder, select the “H.264” format for MP4 video under the Format column.
Step 4: Configure Settings
Click on the “Preset” dropdown menu to select a preset that matches your requirements or customize the settings manually.
Step 5: Output Path
Choose the output path by clicking on the “Output File” option at the bottom.
Step 6: Start Encoding
Once you’ve configured the settings and output path, click the green play button to start encoding your After Effects composition into an MP4 video.
Method 3: Rendering Using aerender.exe
Step 1: Locate aerender.exe
The aerender.exe command-line tool is usually located in the “Support Files” folder within the After Effects installation directory.
Step 2: Open Command Prompt or Terminal
Launch Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac).
Step 3: Navigate to aerender.exe
Use the “cd” command to navigate to the folder containing aerender.exe.
Step 4: Execute the Render Script
Enter the following command to execute the script and start rendering:
aerender -project path/to/your/project.aep -comp "Your Composition Name" -output path/to/output/folder -OMtemplate "H.264" -close DO_NOT_SAVE_CHANGES
Replace “path/to/your/project.aep” with the full path to your After Effects project, “Your Composition Name” with the name of your composition, and “path/to/output/folder” with the desired output path.
You can find detailed instructions here about Automated rendering and network rendering.
Exporting your After Effects composition as an MP4 video is crucial to showcase your creative work. In this blog post, we explored three different methods: using the internal render queue, Adobe Media Encoder, and the aerender.exe command-line tool. Each method has its advantages, so choose the one that best suits your workflow and needs. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, these methods will enable you to share your After Effects creations with the world. Happy exporting!