7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2009 12:04 PM by LWeedop

    How to batch convert with After Effects CS3

    LWeedop

      I sure hope this isn't a super silly question!

       

      I have never used After Effects as it came with my Adobe Master Suite and it's quite duanting to learn all of those programs at once. I'm trying to figure out how to convert several MPEG files to AVI using a batch convert process. It would seem to me that would be a pretty simple process and I've read in several locations that it can't be done with Premiere Pro any more. They also say it can be done in After Effects but they don't explain how.

       

      I'm pretty new to video editing so layman's terms would be much appreciated. I'm running After Effects CS3 on Windows XP.

        • 1. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Personally, I would suggest that there are many better tools than AE for batch converting MPEG files.  Have you tried using the standalone Adobe Media Encoder bundled with your Master Suite?

          • 2. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
            Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

            It can be done, but After Effects is far from being a specialized encoding application. A bit like using a ten ton truck to commute

            In CS4, threre is such an specialized app. It's called Adobe Media Encoder, and it can be used in standalone mode or invoked from within Premiere Pro or AE.

            Remember, After Effects is a content creation tool that offers multiple ways to render the content you create. But it's not an utility to convert or encode video formats.

             

            If you really want to do this in AE, this could be a way:

            Import all your MPEG files in the Project Panel.

            Select them all (drag with your mouse or make Project panel active, then Control+A on Win or Command+A on Mac).

            Drag them all to the New Comp button at the bottom of the project panel.

             

            You will get a dialog which offers to place all these files in a single After Effects Composition, or create a separate Composition for each. Select the latter.

             

            In the Project panel, select the resulting compositions and go to Composition > Add to Render Queue. Set each item to AVI format with your codec of choice.

             

            Of course, there are a million variables that couldn't be discussed in a single post or thread.

             

            As you can see, you are performing a lot of steps because After Effects is designed to render video once you have created content in the form of After Effects Compositions. In that context, these steps would not be "a lot" - you arrive there quite naturally.

             

            I suggest you take a look at the After Effects Help chapter on Rendering and exporting

            • 3. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
              LWeedop Level 1

              Thank you for your speedy responses!

               

              I'm running CS3 so I don't have the Media Encoder. I was hoping to keep most of my workflow within Adobe products so I don't have to keep track of a ton of programs that only perform one thing for me. You both seem to think that AE is overkill; is there a program or process you would recommend?

               

              Adolfo, thank you for your explanation. I just had some major hardware issues today so when I get back up and running I'm going to give that a shot and see how I like it.

              • 4. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                A tip to add to Adolfo's suggestions:

                 

                "To create a new composition from a footage item and immediately add that composition to the render queue, drag the footage item from the Project panel to the Render Queue panel. This is a convenient way to convert a footage item from one format to another."

                 

                (from "Render and export a movie using the render queue")

                • 5. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  Well, MPEG Streamclip is an example of a free application which will convert MPEG files to AVI and many other formats.

                  It won't give you batch encoding, though. You'll have to convert them one at a time.

                  • 6. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
                    Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee
                    "To create a new composition from a footage item and immediately add that composition to the render queue, drag the footage item from the Project panel to the Render Queue panel. This is a convenient way to convert a footage item from one format to another."

                     

                    Todd:

                    Today I was thinking about how I, as someone who has used After Effects for over 12 years, keep learning new things all the time.

                    I immediately started making a list of things I learned in the last 2-3 months.

                    This is one of them.

                    I intend to post that list soon

                    • 7. Re: How to batch convert with After Effects CS3
                      LWeedop Level 1

                      Great tip! You all have been most helpful.