If you're rendering and exporting an intermediate video file to go from After Effects to any other piece of post-production software (such as Premiere Pro), you want to make sure that you're not losing any quality.
Most compression methods, which make movies smaller, also lose some of the image data---i.e., quality. There are a few compression methods that don't lose any image data; these are "lossless" codecs. These lossless codecs do decrease the size of a video file, but they're nowhere near as effective at decreasing size as the lossy codecs are. But file size isn't important when you're doing post-production work. Big files are a fact of life in post-production.
Examples of lossless codecs include the PNG codec and the Animation codec at the highest quality settings, both of which can be used in a QuickTime (.mov) container. I prefer the PNG codec; it's more efficient for photorealistic images, whereas Animation is more efficient for things like cartoons. There are lots of other lossless and nearly lossless codecs. A lot of people that do video editing like the Lagarith codec, but that is something that you'd have to go and get; it's not part of a standard CS5 or QuickTime installation.
See these FAQ entries for information about compression and why file sizes are big for losslessly encoded files:
By the way, keep in mind that you don't always need to render and export an intermediate movie to go from After Effects to Premiere Pro. There are other ways to move data back and forth between these applications, including Dynamic Link. Which is best depends on the specific circumstance. See "Working with Premiere Pro and After Effects".
Thank you Todd for the tips, although i have read FAQ's in Adobe forums like a 100 times, its kinda hard for me to find the best settings.
I dont use any compression when i render but the file is so big that it hardly plays in Pr.Pro! (+ i dont have the best system to work on... i.e laptop!!!)
If you're having trouble playing things in your Premiere Pro timeline, then check out offline editing. In offline editing, you work with a lower-quality version of an asset during the edit and then replace it with a high-quality version when you're ready for output.
Hey Todd, thank you very much for the help. I understood alot!
Can you, please, give an example of which codecs and compression you use (and basicly which compression is good that matches a 'normal' file size and a good quality) in A.Media Encoder for a final output (HD).
For example i want to make a video in HD, and upload it to Vimeo. I see that Vimeo's HD videos are very small size files and yet good quality! How do they perform that??
> basicly which compression is good that matches a 'normal' file size and a good quality
There is no one "normal" set of settings because there are so very many different output scenarios.
However, there are export settings presets that give a good starting point. If you want to see what is considered a "normal" set of output settings, choose one of these presets and then examine the settings.
To see examples of the export presets that I'm talking about, do this: Start the standalone Adobe Media Encoder application. Add something to its queue. Choose H.264 as the output format. Now look at the presets that are available, including Apple TV, Vimeo, YouTube, TiVo...
In general, if you're making a movie, the person who you're delivering it to (or the device orservice that you'll be playing it on) specifies the output that they want. Start from those specific and work you way back. Vimeo, for example, posts information about the best settings for their upload service.