It has been widely recommended in the Output Module to set the format to Quick Time and select H.264 in format options.
wildly recommended by who?these settings are wrong for anybody and gives poor results with over-sized files. you should not use it.
Animation is a lossless codec and the quality bar was removed in 2015.3. if you want to render H.264, you should use AME.
render settings are explained here: Basics of rendering and exporting in After Effects CC
you should probably read here too:
as to render time. it depends. what are you rendering?
The current version of media encoder is much slower than previous versions. Ive been rendering with the same exact settings for years & in the last two versions AME the render times have doubled. I didn't say anything because it seemed like an appropriate change based on Adobes current direction. I assumed the poor performance was intentional. I mean intentional in the sense that AME is behaving in the exact way that it's been programmed to behave, not that the dev team set out to make it slower. What I do believe is "setting out" to achieve something require a crystal clear vision of what it is you're setting out to achieve. A deviation of a micro degree will eventually land you thousands of miles off course.
Thanks very much for your guidance. Several videos on YouTube make the recommendation. Thought I had resolved the issue by using media encoder, but it is now taking a long time too. I'm rendering a simple AE Template I added several photos, 1 minute video mp4, audio .wav file and a couple of titles. Not that complex.
Thanks for confirming my experience. At first, it seem to help using the encoder and lately, not so much.
I have not noticed a slowdown in AME. We neef information about your project and system. what effects? Resolution? are you using 3d with raytrace 3d renderer? what are your render settings? Show some screenshots and provide specific information about your System, Ae version etc.
Did you ever solve your export issue? Please let us know.