Knowing how to render in after effects is probably one of the most important part of a project, you can have a awesome kick ass animation if the rendering is done incorrectly it can lead poor quality video, glitches and bunch of trouble down the road if it is deliver for broadcast or other media, luckily I have learn throughout the year it is now time for me to share.

So in this motion graphic blog I’ll show you how to render and export in After Effects for different media, obviously there is a lot of ways to render so I am going to keep me straight forward and show you the render settings and  tips and what I used them for.

Below are the different render options I will go over, if you are an super advanced motion graphic designer and see inaccurate information feel free to step in and add your comments I’ll be happy to updates and give you credits!

First for the newbie below a quick animated screenshot of  how I send  my finished composition to the render queue window.
FYI: Don’t hit render right away read more below to see which render options work best for you.

Keyboard shortcut below to send composition to the render queue window.
MAC: shift + command + /
PC: shift + ctrl + /

Render in After Effects High Resolution

Done with your AE animation and you want to send it to the video editor or broadcast company in the US without losing the quality? Those are the render settings I use.

after-effect-default-render-settings output-module-settings

Now maybe your After Effects animation need to have a transparent background, an Alpha Channel? Just change the output module settings below and hit the render button.

Expect the file size the be really big!

If you still need a good quality and smaller file size change the format option to Photo-Jpeg
(Photo-JPEG do not include the Alpha Channel)

Render in After Effects for Client Review

I usually use the H.264 format to render for a simple client review, it keep a decent video quality and the file size is usually ok, that way the animation run smooth on their computer
without using tons of memory, just make sure they have quicktime installed on their computer 🙂

Cons of H.264 codec format: I noticed the colors are usually is a bit washed out because of the compression.

Below the H.264 Render output module settings

H.264 video can also be good to upload on the web.

Render in After Effects Series of images/frames

Some video editors and companies like to have your animation in a series of images or all the frames, TIFF usually is the format that keep a good quality and can have the Alpha Channel.

Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive tiff images are usually heavy!

Render in After Effects for YouTube

There is a lots of ways to render for YouTube in After Effects, I pick the easiest one below

Render with Adobe Media Encoder

– Select your composition in the Project window
– Click on File >  Export > Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue…
– Select the option you need (screenshot below)
– Drag YouTube 1080p HD to the left.
– Click the play button to render.


Also Youtube provide some video format specs here

Render in After Effects for Instagram

– First create a new composition of 640×640 pixel
– Drag your 1920×1080 animation composition into the 640×640 composition
– Reduce the scale of your animation to fit 640×640 pixel
– Render the 640×640 Composition in H.264
– Upload your mov file on Dropbox
– Save the animation on your phone from the Dropbox app
– Done!