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How to Render In (or Export From) After Effects

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A Tutorial on Saving Your After Effects Animations to Your Hard Drive

New to After Effects and not sure how to render your work to be able to use your After Effects creations in your video edit? No problem.

In this tutorial, Joey Korenman shows you how to export your animations from After Effects. Also known as rendering, this is the process through which you save your work to be used or shared elsewhere.

HOW TO RENDER IN / EXPORT FROM AFTER EFFECTS: TUTORIAL VIDEO

How to Render In / Export From After Effects: Explained

Here, we provide you with step-by-step instructions for adding compositions to the After Effects render queue, choosing your preferred file format and render settings, and selecting your download location.

ADDING YOUR ANIMATION TO THE AFTER EFFECTS RENDER QUEUE

Once you're ready to export your After Effects composition, you can use any of the following four rendering methods:

  • File > Export > Add to Render Queue
  • Composition > Add to Render Queue
  • Drag and Drop from Project Window (ideal for downloading multiple animations)
  • Keyboard Shortcut CMD+CTRL+M

FILE > EXPORT > ADD TO RENDER QUEUE

To download your work using the File menu in After Effects, navigate to File, scroll down to Export, and select Add to Render Queue.

This will automatically open the Render Queue window.

How to add a composition to the render queue using the file menu.png

COMPOSITION > ADD TO RENDER QUEUE

To send an After Effects animation to the Render Queue using the Composition menu, click Composition from the top menu, and then click Add to Render Queue.

This will automatically open the Render Queue window.

How to add a composition to the render queue using the composition menu.png

DRAG AND DROP FROM PROJECT WINDOW

Exporting multiple animation files from After Effects can be tedious. Instead of opening each composition and navigating through the File menu, simply drag and drop each composition from your Project panel directly into the Render Queue, as seen below.

Of course, to use this method, the Render Queue window must already be open.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUT CMD+CTRL+M

The most expeditious method for rendering in After Effects is to leverage the keyboard shortcut. This can be achieved for one or multiple composition(s).

To render one file, make sure your composition window is selected; for multiple files, select the compositions in the Render Queue, as seen above. Then, click keyboard shortcut Command + Control + M.

CHANGING RENDER SETTINGS IN AFTER EFFECTS

Right below your composition in the After Effects Render Queue is the Render Settings option. Click, and then, adjust the settings (e.g., quality, resolution, etc.) to the right.

CHOOSING THE CODEC FOR THE FILE YOU'RE RENDERING IN AFTER EFFECTS

Right beneath Render Settings below your composition in the After Effects Render Queue is the Output Module option. Click, and then, under Format to the right, select how (e.g., Quicktime, AIFF, etc.) you'd like to download your file.

CHOOSING WHERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FILE FROM AFTER EFFECTS

Across from the Output Module option below your composition in the After Effects Render Queue is the Output To option.

Click this to select the location for your download.

Looking to Learn More?

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