It's one of the codecs under the Quicktime container.
However, I would reccomend using a program other than AE for that. As Dave LaRonde from CreativeCOW.net says,
Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files
showing a project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.
Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in AE.
Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a science. It is NOT straightforward at all.
CreativeCOW.net even has a whole forum dedicated to compression techniques, that's how crazy-complicated it can get. But seriously you'll get higher quality and lower final file size by using a proper compressor.
Message was edited by: Szalam to fix extraneous line breaks
Szalam, thanks for the feedback. Do you know where to get the codecs?
I am new to this AE, I was using AE cs3 for like 2 weeks then my friend has cs4 on his machine I was trying to do this video for our church so I was all happy about rendering to mp4 but I don't have that option but with CS3 I do. Weird huh?
In your AE render queue under the output module, choose Quicktime as your format, then click on the Format Options... button and choose MPEG-4 video.
I'm still telling you though: you will get better-looking video if you render out a lossless video from AE and use something else like the Adobe Media Encoder to make your final file.
Szalam, great info. Out of AE whats the best format to render to get the highest quality?
You are helping me a lot thankx!
Quicktime format with the PNG codec seems to be pretty much the go-to format these days. (Not a PNG sequence, by the way.)
Szalam, cool thankx I am going to try that tonigh!
, are you using the trial version of After Effects CS4? Some formats are not available for export in the trial. I'm not sure if MPEG4 and H.264 are among them, but they probably are.
When exporting to QuickTime with MPEG4 or H.264 codecs, keep in mind that you will be getting a QuickTime file that uses those codecs. Not a nativel MPEG4 file (.mp4 or .m4v). Outside of an app that can read .mov files, the file will require the QuickTime Player.
I'd like to emphasize that the MPEG export options from After Effects are capable of high-quality export. It uses the same export libraries used in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder. Dave LaRonde is correct that AE does not feature 2-pass VBR encoding, which you may need for some purposes. The quote of his above implies that AE is incapable of compressing a file of any quality, which is wrong. AE can compress video at high or low quality, you just need to tweak the settings to suit your purpose. If you do need 2-pass VBR encoding, After Effects CS4 includes Adobe Media Encoder, or as Dave mentions there are other tools you can use (but none of them can load your AE comp directly like AME does). The bottom line: know your tools, and use the right tool for the needs of the job. I don't think Dave LaRonde would disagree with that.
Here is the base page in After Effect Help regarding export settings. This section may be useful in helping you decide what format and settings to choose:
I can confirm Tim that h264 codecs are not available in the demo version of AE as they are a third party component (such a Mocha, ColorFinesse & co). So Xeneize, if you're using the demo version it's normal behavior, if you bought the software, you may have to reinstall and/or contact Adobe support.