How to Render in After Effects

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to render in After Effects, so you can export a video project and have the effects blend seamlessly into your movie. 

What is Rendering?
Throughout the editing process, layers, filters, and other processing are added to the original video clips, in order to create a polished product. When you're happy with the final edit and feel ready to export a sequence, After Effects (or Premiere) combines all of the visual information into a 2D composite image, and then creates a new video file from that data. This process is called rendering. 

The term can also refer to any previews found in the Composition, Layer, and Footage panels, because they show a "rendered" visual as well. 

The Render Queue Panel
In most situations, you'll be using the Render Queue panel to export After Effects projects. When you drag a video into the panel, it's added to the queue, and if you click the "Render" button in the top-right corner, it will be rendered and exported automatically. With the Render Queue, you can drag multiple clips or sequences into the panel, and After Effects will render them in order.  

How to Render in After Effects
1. First, choose the video composition that you'd like to render in After Effects. You can drag the composition directly onto the Render Queue panel, or select "Composition" > "Add to Render Queue".   

2. Next, go to the Render Queue and click the drop-down arrow next to the "Output To" section. Here, you can enter a name for your rendered file and select an export location. 

3. In the same panel, click the arrow next to "Render Settings" to choose a predefined template or custom render settings. This adjusts render quality, resolution, frame rate, motion blur, and more. In most cases, the "Best Settings" template will produce the ideal results for your composition.  

4. Next, go to the "Log" section and decide what kind of log file to generate if After Effects encounters errors while rendering ("Errors Only"), or if you'd like to see information about render settings and individual frames ("Per Frame Info"). 

5. Finally, go to the Output Module and click the drop-down arrow to choose a template or custom settings for the finished product. This includes the exported file format, output channels, metadata, audio quality, and more. When you're satisfied with your settings, go back to the Render Queue panel and click "Render".  

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