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Exporting H.264 from the After Effects Render Queue

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Use the Output Module Settings to encode H.264 directly from the After Effects Render Queue.

Learn to export an H.264 (.mp4) file directly from After Effects.

Native H.264 Encoding allows you to use the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) UI along with AME’s backend encoding system, all without leaving After Effects. 

If you need more control, you can customize the H.264 settings, such as resolution, frame rate, and color management. If you need more in-depth control or specific settings, you can still use Adobe Media Encoder via Dynamic Link or transcode an existing video file.

H.264 export also supports both hardware and software encoding modes.

Select the H.264 exporter and related settings

  1. Select File > Export > Add to Render Queue to add your composition to the Render Queue.

  2. In the Render Queue panel, select the Output Module option to launch the Output Module Settings dialog. 

  3. Choose H.264 from the Format drop-down menu.

  4.  Select Format Options from the Video Output section to adjust the Video, Audio, and Multiplexer settings.

  5. Select OK when done.

Troubleshoot Settings Mismatch warnings

After Effects displays a warning dialog if there is a mismatch between After Effects Render/Output settings and what H.264 specifications support.

The warning dialog contains the issue and the adjustment that will take place. Select OK to accept the changes or return to the H.264 Options dialog to make further adjustments.

Note:

A settings warning will also be visible in the Output Module Setting dialog when there is a configuration mismatch in the settings. You can select the settings mismatch icon to get more information.

H.264 Output Module Presets

After Effects includes three preset output modules that you can pick from based on your desired target bit rate. These will automatically set the Profile and Level based on the output resolution of the composition. Choose the appropriate bit rate preset from 5, 15, or 40 Mbps, depending upon your resolution or the render quality required.

H.264 Output Module Presets
H.264 Output Module Presets in After Effects Render Queue

Note:

If you install a fresh copy of After Effects or clear your output module preferences, the H.264 – Match Render Settings – 15 Mbps preset will be configured as the Movie and Save Current Preview Default output module templates. The next time you add a composition to the render queue, it will automatically be configured for H.264 output. You can adjust the defaults in the Output Module Templates editor by selecting Edit > Templates > Output Module.

Use AME directly for H.264 rendering

Learn to use Adobe Media Encoder (AME) directly for H.264 rendering.

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