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Huge After Effects Render Sizes

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Joshua Rodrigues
Huge After Effects Render Sizes
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:11:08 am


I'll cut to the chase:
When I render out a sequence within AE (via the Pre-render option) the resulting file sizes are HUGE!

I usually get files 3 - 6 GB big!!! (Bare in mind the specs that I will now tell you):
I generally have a 30fps sequence, 1280x720 (720p HD), usually 1-3 mins long.

Now i'm sure that I should get a file like 700mb??? Correct me if i'm wrong please.
Any help would be much appreciated... :)


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Huge After Effects Render Sizes
on Oct 5, 2010 at 6:10:59 am

When you render and export a movie, the default ouptut settings are for files that are not intended for playback. The default on Mac OS is for a QuickTime movie with lossless Animation compression. The default on Windows is for an AVI movie with no compression. An uncompressed or losslessly compressed movie is huge and is not intended for playback; it's intended as an intermediate file for further post-production work. These huge files can't be read from disk fast enough to be played in real time by some computers. For smooth playback on your computer, you need to compress the file. See this page: "Encoding and compression options for movies"

Movies are compressed differently depending on how they are to be used. When they are intended as intermediate files (i.e., as input into another piece of post-production software), they are compressed very little. That is the default from After Effects because After Effects is primarily meant as a compositing, motion graphics, and visual effects tool, and it feeds into other tools, like non-linear editors. If, on the other hand, the movie is intended to be played back from a DVD or distributed over the Web, then the movie is compressed a lot---and in one of many, many specific ways.

The upshot is that you really need to begin by knowing what it is that you want to do with the movie. And then you need to learn about what output options are best for that purpose.

There's a good article from Aharon Rabinowitz linked to from this page that talks about how you need to be thinking about the details of output from the very beginning of a project.

Since you're new to After Effects, I strongly recommend that you start here:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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