Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
So let's go ahead and talk about adding this to the render queue. We talked about how the render queue is where we want to go to output everything. Now we have some options for outputting and we'll talk about those in just a minute, but everything kinda goes through the render queue in AfterEffects. Now, I'm gonna show the project panel. By the way, if you ever have a bunch of panels showing, like this, and you have this little chevron, this right facing chevron, that means that there's other panels grouped with this panel and I can click that and choose "Project". So I have the effect controls and I can also choose "Projects" to get back to my project panel. So in order to render something, we need to select a composition. We can select a composition to render, cuz that's what we're gonna render, those are the things we actually send to the render queue, the compositions. We can select the composition here in the timeline panel. We can also select the composition here in the project p...
anel. So once you have one of those selected, I actually like to do it in a project panel honestly, because a lot of times you could actually have multiple compositions open at once, you see me go through these kind of tabs, these tabbed compositions that were open. Sometimes, you might be looking at this one, but another one is selected, or whatever, or a different panel selected, it could be a mess, but if I click on the project panel, I can see it clearly, this is how I prefer to do it. So, it's selected, and I'm gonna go to "Composition." Add to render queue. You can also add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue, but we're gonna talk about that in just a second, cuz you can get there from here as well. So I'm gonna add to the render queue. This is a little bit more complicated, those of you that are coming from a Premier background, the render queue is a little bit more complex than Premier's export options because of animation, and all of the bells and whistles with AfterEffects and all that jazz. So, we actually have 3 things that we need to choose here, in the render queue, 3 options, 3 little hot text, 3 little blue things screaming at you to change them. First one is the easiest, let's talk about "output to". I can click on "output to" and this is basically you give it a name and tell it where to save it. That's ll that's going on down there. That's all this is. Name it, where to save it, and unless you have that, and actually so I'm gonna actually click save just so you can do that. Until you have a place to save it and a name these buttons are all grayed out, you can't render anything. We have render settings and the output module. So let's start with the render settings, and we'll go ahead and click on "Best Settings." Quality and resolution, sometimes they can be not the best in full, and if you're doing like a real animation, you're gonna want this best in full. If you're actually rendering this to go somewhere, you wanna make sure quality and resolution are best and full, respectively. All these other options are really hardcore for power users, like "effects." If you wanted to, you could turn all the effects off or all the effects on. So if you want to just do, like, an animation test, and you have like a lot of like roughen edges and fractal noise, turbulent displaced, and all these different things on there that were really bogging the system down, you just wanted to see how the ball was bouncing or whatever, you just turn all the effects off from this, this dialogue right here. And there's a few other things, but I just want to point your attention to this, this is the thing that I change the most often, it's the timespan. By default, it sets to work area only, so if you were using a work area and you wanted to render the whole entire thing, just be aware that that's the default, it's work area only. So I might want to change this to the length of the composition and click okay. Now, here's where the rubber meets the road, the output module. This is, we're gonna talk a little bit about video compression, so just brace yourselves. No one's gonna be running to this discussion of video compression, this is not thrilling stuff, but it's important, necessary stuff in order to get all the beautiful effects and wizardry that you made in AFterEffects to the rest of the world, we gotta figure out how to do this. So, I'm clicking on the word "Lossless" to open up the output module. And here we have the output module. This is where the rubber meets the road, these are the things that really count. This is where you're gonna choose a file format that you're gonna export to. And then the options for that format. So the 2 critical spots here are the format dropdown, and then the format options dropdown. This is what's gonna determine how big your file is, the quality of it, all that stuff is determined by the format and the format options. Now I like demo-ing QuickTime because QuickTime doesn't really mean anything. QuickTime file format is just what we call a wrapper, not like Eminem rapper, like it's a wrap, like Christmas, like wrapper. And so it's just kind of like a label and it doesn't really necessarily mean anything. So I can click on "Format Options," and then we get the video codek. And this is really again where the rubber meets the road, is the video codek, this is the thing that really makes the difference when you're rendering your videos. So codek is an interesting word, it's short for compressor decompressor. It's basically the algorithm used to compress your video, all video is compressed, it has to be compressed or else nobody's gonna be able to watch it. It has to be compressed in some way. Even "uncompressed" video almost always is compressed in some way. So, we need to choose a compression algorithm in order to determine how our video should be compressed, and as you can see, there's lot of different ways to do that, and this is just for the QuickTime file format. So there's a lot of options here. One of the most common is H264, or H.264, I don't know anybody who's ever like (unintelligible mumbling) It's not like I've said, like, H264 and people are gonna be like "What I don't even know what you're talking about," "Oh H.264 oh I totally know." So, H.264, H264, whatever. Really popular, makes an MP4 file. H264 is kind of like the latest darling of the video compression world. It's the file format for YouTube, Facebook, and also for like, blu-ray can have H264 files and iTunes and devices, everybody loves H264. The benefit of H264 is that it's, the video file is pretty good quality, and also really really really low file sizes, so it's very ubiquitous for that reason. But you never want to use H264, if you could possibly help it, you never want to actually work on H264 video. As an output format, it's great, but as a working format, it's not that great, if you can at all avoid it. Some cameras shoot H264, and you're just stuck with it, and that's just like what you get. But if you can at all help it, don't use H264 to work it. It's like working on a jpeg, like a low quality jpeg from the internet. Like, if you can help it, don't, but if that's all you have, then that's fine. There's a few other options here, the little high quality or little advanced, we're gonna skip it, but, be aware that also audio output by default is set to auto. So it's gonna, if there's audio, and you don't want it, or you definitely do, you can change it to auto. But if there's no audio, like ours, then you don't have to worry about it, it's not gonna show up. Also be aware under "Formats" there's a bunch of audio formats like AIFF and MP3. There's also still image file formats, like jpeg and png and Photoshop and TIFF and Targa. So there's a lot of different variables and as they remind you here, more formats in AME. If you have creative cloud, you will have AME, which is short for Adobe Media Encoder. And Adobe Media Encoder is something that Adobe is kind of pushing everyone to use more and more often to render their stuff, and it can create some problems sometimes, especially if you use plugins in AfterEffects, that can create some issues. Adobe Media Encoder's not known for being super stable, but it is really helpful for a reason we'll talk about in just a second So let's say I like my settings here I'm gonna go ahead and click okay. And maybe, if I'm doing this H264, but maybe I want a really high quality version too. Maybe I want it, like for a film festival or something like that, I'm gonna do a film screening. So what I can do is actually click this little plus button, and I can actually have a different output module, multiple output modules. So I can click on this "Lossless" button, and maybe I'll change the format to ProRes HQ. 422 HQ. Apple ProRes 422 HQ. Pretty common file format, that's the file format I use for archiving like my movies and whatever, fairly standard. So click okay and now I'm spitting out a high quality version and a low quality version all at once. Now if I were to click render, AfterEffects would start rendering both of those in a row, it would render the H264 and then the ProRes because that's the order in which I have it. And that's great, it'll just keep going, all the things in your render queue, you can have multiple, multiple compositions, and whatever you set in the render queue, it'll just keep going through and rendering one after another, which is really great. But, the downside of that is no AfterEffects while that's happening. When something's happening in the render queue, you can not access AfterEffects, it's just busy doing that. So you do it before you go to lunch, before you go home for the day, before you go home for the weekend, set it to start rendering and then forget it, and then when you come back hopefully, fingers crossed, it's all there and good. But, if you did it in the beginning of the day, if you need to render something, there's nothing else you can do if you have other work that you need to do in AfterEffects. So, that's why there is the Adobe Media Encoder. So if I click "Queue in AME," and what that does, we'll see in just a second hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, it's going to launch the Adobe Media Encoder. It's going to, there we go. And it's going to put those jobs in the Adobe Media Encoder. The downside of that is all the other stuff I mentioned, sometimes it's not reliable, and it's known to crash, and sometimes there's issues. But you can choose the renderer that you want, so if you want to render with Open CL or if you have Cuda Cores, and like, that's and option for you if your graphics card accepts it. Or Metal if you're on a Mac, or Playback Engine Software Only if you're having issues, hardware issues with any of these options, you could choose software only. So you could pick that, which can speed things up considerably, and you could also click on any of these buttons to, like, this is the output files if you wanted to change the name of the file and where I've saved, or if you want to choose a different preset, or get back to the options you can go ahead and click there. Once you're all ready, you can click the plus icon to start the render. And the benefit of AME is that AfterEffects remains free. You can still work in AfterEffects, you can set Adobe Media Encoder, it's gonna slow up the system a little bit cuz it's rendering, but AME can be doing it's thing while you're back in AfterEffects working on another project which is helpful.
Question here, what's the difference in adding effect on a solid versus an adjustment layer?
Oh that's a really great question, we didn't have time to talk about adjustment layers, but that's fantastic. Let me show you that, that's a really good question. I'm going to, let's see, I'm just going to make, Actually I'm just gonna make a shape layer really quick. I'm gonna make this green. Okay, so we have a bunch of layers, we have the video, we have the text, and I'm just gonna make that bigger, just so we can see it. So we have the text, and we have the shape layer. Now, if we want to add a glow or something like that to one of these layers, we can. Let's say we wanted to add the glow to all these layers. So we could just manually add a glow, or we could create something called an adjustment layer. This works the same way it does in Photoshop. So I can right click in a black area in the timeline panel, choose "New," "Adjustment Layer," and then go to effects in the presets, we'll do the glow thing. (nonsense singing) And when I apply glow to this, everything has glow applied. Everything has glow applied to it, universally. So the way adjustment layers work is that whatever you apply to the adjustment layer, affects everything beneath it. So you could apply an effect to a bunch of things at once by using an adjustment layer. So if you apply an effect directly to a layer, like a solid, it only affects that solid. If you apply it to an adjustment layer, it affects everything beneath it. Now, if you wanna look at this really quick, it's gonna be harder to see, okay, we'll do this. So if you look at this like the Peace Be With You, the text is glowing, the green thing is glowing, if I drag the adjustment layer beneath those, watch when I let go of my mouse. Boom, now the adjustment layer is below these layers, so the green circle and the text do not have glow applied to them. So as I put the adjustment layer on top of other things, they have the glow applied. Great question, great question.