There are pros and cons to using the standalone Adobe Media Encoder. See this page for an overview of the ways of rendering and exporting from After Effects, including using AME.
One pro to using the standalone Adobe Media Encoder is that it can do two-pass encoding. So, if you're creating movies for final distribution and want to make them especially small, then you can use the standalone Adobe Media Encoder.
One con to using the standalone Adobe Media Encoder is that it doesn't have the ability to set multiple output modules for one render item. Within After Effects, you can set multiple outputs for each render item, which means that the actual rendering operation only happens once, but the encoding/compression/writing output files can happen for multiple output types from one internally held set of rendered frames. Adobe Media Encoder can't do that; if you have five output types, then the compsotion will get rendered again for each.
My workflow for creating F4V and FLV files is to render and export a losslessly encoded movie from After Effects, and have the destination for that output file be a watch folder. AME picks the item out of that watch folder and then compresses and encodes the FLV and F4V files according to the presets that I've set.
Thanks as usual Todd for a quick response. What codecs do you prefer that are lossless? I am guessing you do not do image sequences in this watch folder technique because how do you add the audio track?
why do you think i see my processors all humming in unison using AME more than when i use AE to render?
there is no out of the box way (other than getting a third party solution) to have an AE background render, is there?
> What codecs do you prefer that are lossless?
I use the PNG codec in a QuickTime .mov wrapper.
> there is no out of the box way (other than getting a third party solution) to have an AE background render, is there?
AME, BG Renderer, and Nucleo Pro are all good ways to render and export in the background while continuing to use After Effects in the foreground.