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After Effects no longer encodes directly into H.264 (it didn't do a great job of it in the past). You can either render to an intermediate codec from AE or send your AE comp directly to the Adobe Media Encoder.
I almost always render directly from AE. This is because AE CC 2014 has multiprocessing. So, I will work in CC 2015 to enjoy the snappier interface and then open that project file in CC 2014 to render it with multiprocessing (since my system can utilize that feature really well in most projects).
Here's the Adobe Blog post about the removal: using Adobe Media Encoder to create H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV videos from After Effects
If you talk to a lot of the old-timers around here, they'll tell you that AE's h.264 encoder was buggy and didn't do a good job. They call its removal "good riddance". The AE team is pretty tiny, so putting their resources towards making AE work better at VFX, compositing, and motion graphics, and letting the Adobe Media Encoder team work on encoding things makes sense to me.
why didnt the h.264 codec do well? it was a great feature
Highly-compressed codecs like H.264 benefit from multipass encoding. AE can't do that.
This is a PC problem, which is not seen in the previous questions and answers.
I teach graphic design and motion graphics at Södertörn University in Stockholm.
We use h.264, latest AE 2015 and OS X on mac and I can't see any quality issues with files rendered with this codec. By far better than MP4. No need for the Media encoder, h.264 it´s there in the Codec settings. But to make it work on PC´s, we have to use the Media encoder.