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in after effects you don´t "export", you "render".
add your comps to the render queue and take a look at the formats in the output module.
depending on your version of Ae and Operating system your output formats may vary.
maybe Flash Video (FLV) would be an option for you.
Correct you render... I am trying to create this video for web... What format do recommend for this type of animation?
The flash video option is a good one to choose if you wish to be non
platform specific. Your 3 Min file choosing for example the 512K
template for render, would give you a file that should somewhere in the
See the "Rendering and exporting for Flash Professional and Flash Player" section of After Effects Help for an overview of the kinds of output that you can use when creating material in After Effects for eventual playback in Flash Player.
Regarding 'render' versus 'export': Rendering is the creation of the image frames from the composition. Exporting is everything that happens after that, including compression, encoding, and writing to a file.
A related piece of confusion is that many people reach for the File > Export menu command when they should be using the Render Queue panel.
See the "About rendering and exporting" section of After Effects Help on the Web for details.
Unless there was no other option I'd never go directly from AE's renderer to maximum compression. I know, I know, it seems like it would save some time, but you can't get really good compression without multi pass rendering.
My normal workflow for any web work is to render lossless from AE to something like QuickTime Animation at best quality, then drop that file in as good a multi pass renderer as you can afford.
Adobe's Flash Encoder works fairly well. Even Quicktime Pro (for going to H264) works quite well. The best option, and the one that you should work for as soon as your clients can pay for it, is an app like Sorensen Squeze. You'll get significantly better quality and smaller file sizes even using the default settings.
There's one other thing that you might consider. Lots of flash movies have long periods where there's no action in the video. IOW, something happens, then the action stops for a while so the viewer can absorb the message, then there's more animation, and so on. For projects like this, say an animated web banner with 3 or 4 different text messages, you should set up your projects so that there's only 1 frame of no movement between each bit of action. Then you render that file out using a workflow like the one that I recommended, then you use Action Script in Flash to control the timing of the movie. This can turn a 9000 frame move into a 900 frame movie.
I hope these suggestions help.
but before you´re going to buy Encoding Software, please compare different software first by downloading a demo. Episode is worth a try but also expensive.
common formats you need for web (h264/mpeg4, mov, etc.) can be solved with quicktime pro,etc., if you need hi-res flash video, i recommend ON2 Flix encoder.
Seems the OP was expecting a conventionally sized, eensy weensy Flash file. He won't get a small file from rendering a bitmapped image regardless of the compression.