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Flatten video layers?

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Alex LevenkoFlatten video layers?
by on May 14, 2010 at 11:22:24 pm

Hello, Im a new user with adobe after effects. My question is, how do you flatten video layers? I'm cutting and pasting video clips together, but each time I cut and paste I make a new layer which uses the whole 250mb of my video. So, after I do that multiple times and am done, I press make movie and make a avi, it comes out to like 3gb for a 1 minute clip... If I burn that to dvd, it stutters. In a last ditch effort I had to carry my computer to do my presentation. There has to be an easier way lol

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Todd KoprivaRe: Flatten video layers?
by on May 15, 2010 at 4:16:23 am

I think that you're misunderstanding why your output video is large. It's (likely) large because you're using the default settings, and the default settings are for an uncompressed movie in an AVI container. If you want a smaller movie, you need to choose a codec (specifically an encoder) that will compress your movie more. AVI files can contain video compressed with all sorts of different codecs.

For more information about compression, start here:
"Encoding and compression otions for movies"

Since you are new to After Effects, I very strongly recommend that you begin from the beginning---that being here:
"Getting started with After Effects

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.

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Jack HowardRe: Flatten video layers?
by on May 17, 2010 at 10:13:27 am

Hi Alex,

Because After Effects is just a compositing program, you can't "flatten" layers like you can in Photoshop (unless there's a way unbeknownst to me). You can group the layers together by Pre-composing them, however that won't make the file size smaller.

If you want your file to be smaller, you will need to render it out, not as .avi, but as something that compresses the video. I recommend rendering it as a .mov (Quicktime Format). It will make the file size a lot smaller, while still retaining a good amount of quality.

However, I suggest that you experiment with the different types of formats to render to. Either way, you will need to stop rendering it out to .avi if it is the final render, unless of course if it is going into an editing program like Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, etc.

Hope this helps,

Jack Howard

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Greg RobbinsRe: Flatten video layers?
by on May 18, 2010 at 6:11:54 am

Actually weather its a .avi or .mov file does not determine how big the file is or the quality. Its the compression and codec. The .mov extension just is the container. Your .avi files you render out are so large because they are uncompressed. You'd experience the same if you rendered out a .mov uncompressed. You need to choose a good codec like H.264 in a .mov for example.

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