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Argh!! Render/Output Size

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Chris Walter
Argh!! Render/Output Size
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:40:19 pm

Hello folks,

I'm still struggling on with trying to understand the in's and out's of web video for a video highlighting a product for work. I decided to take a break from researching and (attempted) learning to do some actual video work.

I am working in 1920 x 1080 (at the moment anyway). I followed a tutorial on making a looping particle background which all went pretty well. I decided I'd use it for background to the logo-spot / logo-highlight at the beginning of the video.

The composition featured 2 particle world systems, a ramp, an adjustment layer and a mask to feather out the edges. My plan was to render this video (which I did) and import it to a fresh comp to add the logo and its required animations.

I rendered the video, using just the default settings so Quicktime .mov file. I was horrified to find that the bloody thing rendered out to... wait for it, wait for it... 2.37 GB!!! The video was 30 seconds long... I know .mov are notoriously big anyways but I'm not concerned that whatever I render out at is going to be way too big file size wise and will bust my employers Vimeo Pro Account (currently its a potential Vimeo Account) upload limit/allocated space/allowance wide open!!

Has anyone got any suggestions and advice when it comes to rendering video:

1. To import back into after effects to continue working on it OR on top of it should I say.

2. Best output / render options for a web video which will probably be hosted on Vimeo or Youtube or something similar that isn't going to take a day for someone with a decent connection to view???

I know I've gone over this with a few people on here already but if anyone has any web video advice and is willing to chuck it my way that would be fantastic!!



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Argh!! Render/Output Size
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:52:06 pm

Think of your fist output as your Master file. Then use Adobe Media Encoder to use the Master to encode your delivery versions, be they for a website, YouTube, whatever.

I generally size my web videos down to a multiple of the 1920 x 1080 (example: 640 x 360), depending on what the client wants, or what the bandwidth of where it's going dictates. I also output as either .flv, or .mp4, and the size of the project is reduced hugely. But with thirty seconds, you're probably talking about something in the range of 20 to 30MB after the final encode.

It's all a tradeoff of quality vs. playback efficiency.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Argh!! Render/Output Size
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:14:45 pm

See these FAQ entries:

FAQ: Why is my output file huge...?
FAQ: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects...

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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Vishesh Arora
Re: Argh!! Render/Output Size
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:59:53 am


In Adobe Media Encoder there are several presets which you can use to deliver your output for websites like YouTube and Vimeo.

This will reduce the file size and retain the quality too.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra


Demo Reel(3D):

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Walter Soyka
Re: Argh!! Render/Output Size
on Jan 18, 2013 at 2:21:43 am

[Chris Walter] "Has anyone got any suggestions and advice when it comes to rendering video: 1. To import back into after effects to continue working on it OR on top of it should I say."

Pre-rendering will not affect the final size of your output, but it can be a useful tool for reducing render times with complex common elements.

If you do this (and you can automate the process somewhat by using pre-rendering [link] or proxies [link]), make sure to render to a high-quality format (the Lossless output module would be good, as would other uncompressed formats like QuickTime with PNG compression, or lightly-compressed codecs like Avid DNxHD or Apple ProRes). Pre-rendering to a format like H.264 will lower your output quality and decrease compression efficiency.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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