Rendering out of AE uncompressed is a good idea, you might consider using Quicktime with the PNG codec for smaller file sizes, but still lossless format. Then use a separate program such as Adobe Media Encoder. There are some great compression options there for broadcasting on the web such as Quicktime with H.264 compression or MPEG-4 compression.
While you COULD do the compression straight out of After Effects, Dave LaRonde explains why you shouldn't:
Dave's Stock Answer #3:
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. I recommend asking a few questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum.
- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')
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