28 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2018 11:56 AM by Brad L. Branched to a new discussion.

    How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015

    akhilac53944127 Level 1

      Hi

       

      I want to know how to render a file as MP4 in After effects after the 2015 upgrade that happened yesterday

       

      Regards

        • 1. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You have to use the Adobe Media Encoder. It's been that way since CC 2014

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
            imeilfx Adobe Community Professional

            As Rick said - you have to use Adobe Media Encoder to export mp4 file by using Composition/Add to Adobe Media Encoder render queue... that feature (exporting mp4 from AE directly was removed in CC 2014. Here you can find more info on that: using Adobe Media Encoder to create H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV videos from After Effects | After Effects region of interes…

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
              deanh47387717 Level 1

              So in other words. The most popular video format was not worthy of their time to keep in After Effects.

              5 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                imeilfx Adobe Community Professional

                In other words AE is best in motion graphics animation and compositing - and it should do that the best wa possible. AME does rendering the best way possible so what is the point of using AE for rendering when you can send render to AME and work on next animation in AE.

                • 5. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  deanh47387717 wrote:

                   

                  So in other words. The most popular video format was not worthy of their time to keep in After Effects.

                  Yes, but it wasn't just MP4 encoding that got removed; MPEG-2 and WMV bit the dust too.

                   

                  And this was a good thing. Let me try to explain why.

                   

                  Back when AE used to do MP4's, it did a poor job of encoding them. It was buggy and it couldn't even do multipass encoding! In fact, AE was pretty crappy at ALL of its compression encoding. I never used to render to those compressed formats. The old-timers' advice was always to render an intermediate file out of AE and then bring that into the Adobe Media Encoder to create your deliverables, so that's what I did.

                   

                  So, rather than spending the time trying to fix those bugs for what would always be a sub-par feature anyway, the AE team made the decision to put their resources towards developing After Effects as a motion graphics, animation, and compositing tool and let the Adobe Media Encoder team work on encoding (and making better integration with AE). The AE team is surprisingly small and, considering how many bugs they had to deal with during the initial release of CC 2015, I'm glad they hadn't spent any more development time trying to mess with AE's crappy encoder.

                   

                  You can now send your AE comp directly to the Adobe Media Encoder to make your MP4 (or MPEG-2 or WMV or whatever). Although, I still prefer the "old" way of rendering an intermediate out of AE. It lets me experiment with different bit rate and quality settings to get the best-looking video at smaller file sizes without having to constantly re-render a complex AE composition.

                   

                  For a more full explanation on the reasons they took those features out from the actual source and some more handy workflow tips (including using watch folders so everything is automatic), see this Adobe blog post.

                  • 6. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                    deanh47387717 Level 1

                    I appreciate the thorough answers. And I understand your points of view.
                    However in complex projects I've had issues with errors and AME failing so I end up rendering as Quicktime from AE and then bringing it in to AME to convert to an MP4 after that. And this typically can happen up to 50+ times by the time I am done with a project. And I need MP4 in order to make it the most compatible for all those in my group. In my opinion if you are going to have the ability to render at all in AE, then the focus should be on MP4 and Quicktime (for the use of Alpha channels.) The rest are typically formats that are used for final output so I understand using a better render engine for those. But when you need to render as part of the workflow I think it just adds extra steps and more hassle.
                    Of course other producers likely have different workflows. But this is my opinion from my perspective.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      You would probably benefit from creating a watch folder for AME.

                       

                      You can set AME up (on a separate computer even) to watch some folders. Set your AE to render your intermediate (Cineform, DNxHD, QuickTime with PNG codec, etc.) into one of those watch folders and AME immediately creates your MP4's. Quite handy for a production environment with set specs for encoding as you describe.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                        deanh47387717 Level 1

                        Sounds like good advice. Thanks!

                        • 10. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                          If you do decide to render from Ae straight to AME, you should be aware how it handles your render settings. prior to 2015.3 is described here in this in depth tutorial: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HWzRgxRqUUs

                           

                          in 2015.3 there was a great deal of improvement on the Ae->AME workflow with the addition of "Queue in AME" feature. More about it here (from 02:54): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCSVS0s7GU

                          • 11. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                            andp94077995 Level 1

                            Hi there.. One about removing the formats.. Shouldn´t be  each one's choice I understand that adobe team is probably educating/teaching us how to use all tool  the best way but..
                            a few points:

                             

                             

                            1 - sometimes i dont need thes renderer just wanna be quick  and if you don't have  great or at least very good  machine configuration like you all probably do. it´s a hustle to close after effect open ame  go back and so on ...  and most "mortals", regular joe's like me  don't have such discipline to always be on the right worflow so editing finishing and rendering are very distinct workflow process, sometimes just wanna render really quick something and export h.264 format but . mp4 file not .mov file...

                            .mov file isn't accepted by whatsapp for example so now its boring.. why can't i decide if want to use ame because its better? suggest that as a notification when you choose this output format on AE but keep it the other option as well it wouldn't hurt...
                            hat´s my point of view thank you

                             

                            t

                            • 12. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                              Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
                              it´s a hustle to close after effect open ame  go back and so on

                              just to be clear - you don't need to close Ae to open AME or Encode in AME. you can if you want (it will still work in the background).

                               

                              I understand. it's certainly not as straight forward as it used to be. you try to explain to students that use the software for the first time that they should export through AME and the gotchas that are in Add to AME Queue vs Queue in AME. and the time it takes to open AME for the first time. and the long wait for it to appear sometimes in the Queue.... NOT FUN!. having said that, once AME is open, it's a pretty fast process. you can work in Ae, send your comps to AME and with the new Queue in AME the workflow between Ae to AME has gotten a lot better. this is from a guy that kept using CC 2013 for 2 years not upgrading the software, and did not use CC2014 at all! all because of the H.264 thing and much because the blue interface. but I have gotten over it. truly. it's better now.

                               

                              you should save Ae rendering for the production codecs you need to export, and AME for the encoded ones. the reason the encoding was out of Ae is so they could focus on what it's truly for - Animation and Compositing. not Encoding. more info here:

                              using Adobe Media Encoder to create H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV videos from After Effects | Creative Cloud blog by Adobe

                              • 13. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                andp94077995 Level 1

                                leas I said I understood! But before 1 click losless  foirmat: H.264.

                                now do this.. do that... encoded...  production...  I just liked the way it

                                was and for  really clients projects and that would do not even mp4 but raw

                                or animation or some bigger  better format.. that´s all again I understood

                                but it feels like adobe wants to decide my preferences

                                 

                                thanks alot

                                 

                                just put  the subject on the table on your meetings please.

                                 

                                regards,

                                Andres

                                 

                                On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 9:04 PM, Roei Tzoref <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                                • 14. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                  marcelamaldonado Level 1

                                  You can still to convert to .mp4 extension with Adobe Media Encoder selecting the option H.264.

                                   

                                   

                                  • 16. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                    Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                                    Oy vey. definitely DO NOT do that. yes you can technically create an H.264 file in an mp4 container in After Effects CC2014 and above, But the results are crap. this is an old, buggy, and pretty useless codec. the file will be 10X larger and with poor quality in comparison to rendering through AME.

                                    • 17. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                      Edward at overend Level 1

                                      Thanks for the feed back

                                      • 20. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                        Brad L. Level 1

                                        I render to MP4 in AE all the time using the latest CC. Currently 2017.2 Release. We use it for quick disposable client or producer versions. They look great. Playback great on the crappiest of PCs and are small enough to transfer around the network quickly. Granted they are not H.264 with all the bells and whistles. In AE as Quicktime, HD MPEG-4 Video set to Quality 100 looks pretty good for general client approval. I also use AME all the time for this too but just thought I'd mention it since this thread seems to say it can't or shouldn't be done anymore. BG Renderer is another reason to use it over AME if you have dozens of renders going.

                                         

                                        Lately, when I heading out for the night and cueing up renders I set each one with two output modules one for master quality and one for MP4 for viewing. Then I sent out emails to the producers to check the mp4's (from their office over the network) in the morning to see how they look. They would never be able to check the master file until they get into the edit suite. Keeps everybody moving and happy.

                                        • 21. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Since this thread has been re-awoken, I should point out the new tool on AE scripts that just came out called After Codecs. It not only lets you render MP4s directly out of AE (at lower bit rates/higher quality than AME according to their marketing material), but also lets Windows users render ProRes files out of AE too. Info here. I haven't used it yet, so I can't give a personal endorsement, but I did just buy it, so I'll likely be using it soon.

                                          • 22. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                            johnv62820157 Level 1

                                            great points. my machine won't run them both at once and it's generally the worst workflow setup I've encountered, all smoke and mirrors to simply create a bloody file. many don't live in real world it seems...

                                            • 23. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                              Brad L. Level 1

                                              Just looking at AfterCodecs. Looks pretty sweet. It uses the latest FFMpeg libraries. h.264, h.265 (8K res) and finally an easy windows way to create ProRes (Proxy, LT, Normal, HQ and 4444). Definitely going to be getting this. Wonder if you can save Output Templates with the settings you want saved. Hope so.

                                               

                                              Thanks for the heads up Szalam.

                                              • 24. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                                Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                                                You can save output templates with

                                                aftercodecs same as any other codec

                                                • 25. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                                  jcaymoses Level 1

                                                  Can you tell me how to set audio in AME when rendering from AE.....this is my first project and the video turned out great but no audio and I'm sure it's user error :-}

                                                  • 26. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    If you used one of the Vimeo or YouTube presets that matches your frame size and did not customize anything the error lies in your composition. Make sure you have production quality audio, not MP3's in the timeline and make sure the appropriate audio layers are turned on.

                                                     

                                                    If you create custom settings you have to really know what you are doing. Just poking around is almost always going to result in render problems.

                                                    • 27. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                                      alexs71686224 Level 1

                                                      imeilfx  wrote

                                                       

                                                      In other words AE is best in motion graphics animation and compositing - and it should do that the best wa possible. AME does rendering the best way possible so what is the point of using AE for rendering when you can send render to AME and work on next animation in AE.

                                                       

                                                      "AME does rendering the best way possible"

                                                       

                                                      "encoding", you have meant, while "Ae" does the "rendering", correct?

                                                       

                                                      OK, let us see.

                                                       

                                                      Mind you, some simple fact based math for a 0:48:14:09 movie [rendered in Ae, 1920x1080, 29.97 fps, AAC 320 kbps 48 kHz, Stereo]:

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Adobe MOV: 253.3 GB [Ae render time 5 hours @ 8 CPUs, 8GB RAM] - amount/quality of RAM / CPU / GPU makes no difference for the output speed of the Adobe products, field tested;

                                                       

                                                      Adobe MP4: 17GB estimated (50.00 Mbps target/max H.264 conversion with AME) [conversion time 1 hour 35 minutes or 95 minutes on top of the 5 hours above];

                                                       

                                                      ffmpeg MP4: 1.7GB (automated mov -> mp4 conversion at original quality / kb/s:4665.00 without any manual clicks whatsoever - just sh ffmpeg -i input.mov -qscale 0 output.mp4 with a simple event listener for *.mov files) [conversion time 33 minutes];

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      That basically means I have to spend 1 (one) and a half hours more and use 1488% more space (253/17*100) with the same Adobe suite to complete the same task due to the "upgrade", which you have no choice to avoid and/or revert.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      ffmpeg is 10 times more efficient and 33/95100=34.73% faster or AME is 95/33100=287% or almost three times slower than ffmpeg;

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      i.e. it took just 1/3 of the time the AME or Adobe Media Encoder did for the same job;

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      "in other words", I can encode 3 (three) same files with ffmpeg one-after-another without multi-tasking while AME encodes just one and save 10 times of space. Save. Ten. Times. Of space. In one third of the time. One. Third. Of the time.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      BOTTOM LINE?

                                                       

                                                      after 95 minutes of waiting while AME finishes its conversion task, guess what I got in result?

                                                      a 24 BYTES mp4 file and this record in the log file:

                                                      +++

                                                      Log File Created: 04/19/2018 09:26:05 AM


                                                      04/19/2018 09:26:05 AM : Queue Started

                                                      • Source File: F:\00000\1.mov
                                                      • Output File: F:\00000\1.mp4
                                                      • Preset Used: Custom
                                                      • Video: 1920x1080 (1.0), 29.97 fps, Progressive, 00;48;14;09
                                                      • Audio: AAC, 320 kbps, 48 kHz, Stereo
                                                      • Bitrate: VBR, 1 pass, Target 50.00 Mbps, Max 50.00 Mbps
                                                      • Encoding Time: 01:33:38
                                                        04/19/2018 10:59:43 AM : File Encoded with warning

                                                      File importer detected an inconsistency in the file structure of 1.mp4. Reading and writing this file's metadata (XMP) has been disabled.

                                                      Adobe Media Encoder
                                                      Could not write XMP data in output file.


                                                      04/19/2018 10:59:43 AM : Queue Stopped

                                                      +++

                                                       

                                                      And THAT is almost 2 years after your comment. So, for TWO consecutive years the situation has gotten worse.

                                                      Thank you, Adobe, for waking me up and opening my eyes wide open.

                                                      Thank you so very much.

                                                      • 28. Re: How to render a file as MP4 in AE CC 2015
                                                        Brad L. Level 1

                                                        Given that bleak scenario... you basically bypass AE and AME's renderers with the recently updated AfterCodecs. It seems to be really quite the tool and now available across the board for Adobe products. I just updated and there are a bunch of new features and of course, it is blazing fast. Wish Adobe would integrate it at some point. I don't work for them I'm just a happy customer.

                                                        1 person found this helpful