Why is H264 (MP4) missing in After Effects?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018

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Hi, yes this has been asked before. It's the kind of thing you only notice at 3am when you're doing the most boring predictable work in existence. Oh that fundamental, basic, most boring feature of being able to export your video in a standard high quality, low file size format?

 

No, you can't do that anymore. You need a separate program. You need a separate piece of software to export a movie from a program whose sole purpose is to create and export movies.

 

Please, for the love of god, let us export h264 again from After Effects. You clearly have no concept of how buggy and bloaty media encoder is, and how overkill it is just to export a h264 movie file. At LEAST support this file format - the most popular format in existence today.

 

It worries me that I am even writing this. Did someone accidentally format the repo?

 

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018
There are about 15 threads on this subject already, since the change happened with the version that came out this spring.Apple deprecated some specific flavors of Quicktime (a few years ago). The h264 you'd been making straight from AE relied on one of these. The existing solutions are:Use Media Encoder.Use an older version.Buy AfterCodecs, which allows you to create h264 directly from AE (as well as many other formats). https://aescripts.com/aftercodecs/ Or, if you want the AE team to spend th...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018

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There are about 15 threads on this subject already, since the change happened with the version that came out this spring.

Apple deprecated some specific flavors of Quicktime (a few years ago). The h264 you'd been making straight from AE relied on one of these.

The existing solutions are:

Use Media Encoder.

Use an older version.

Buy AfterCodecs, which allows you to create h264 directly from AE (as well as many other formats).
https://aescripts.com/aftercodecs/
Or, if you want the AE team to spend their time re-writing their own way to do this instead of working on other things, you could make a request (or vote on an existing one) on the UserVoice site: Adobe video & audio apps

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018

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If you really want to save time buy RenderGarden | by Mekajiki

Hou can render your production master and create an h.264 proof for your client or you to review two or three times faster than it takes to use AME or an older version of AE. You can take full advantage of the Render Cue's more efficient handling of GPU accelerated effects and alternative rendering engines, and keep working in AE all the time you are rendering. No sleep is lost, no productivity loss, and you will not ever again waste time waiting for renders, or heaven forbid, taking the time render the comp again to make a production master or DI when the first render is approved. If you are paid for your time then RG will pay for its self the first time you render anything that would have taken an hour to render.

You also won't be stuck using QuickTime to render h.264 files because that has not been supported for years and never worked very well anyway.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018

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Thanks Rick, you're a champion.

I would suggest that Adobe buy out and integrate After Codecs. Management should seriously consider this. It would be like if Maya didn't let you render... or if a great restaurant didn't supply cutlery.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 05, 2018 Nov 05, 2018

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paraplex  wrote

Thanks Rick, you're a champion.

I would suggest that Adobe buy out and integrate After Codecs. Management should seriously consider this. It would be like if Maya didn't let you render... or if a great restaurant didn't supply cutlery.

AfterCodecs and RenderGarden are just wrappers for ffmpeg. They simply tell AE to render a frame sequence (you can run that as a set of parallel jobs, hence the lauded speed improvements), then they pass the folder of images to ffmpeg's command-line encoder. You can do the same thing yourself for free, you're paying for a user interface that manages the workflow automatically.

So in terms of H.264 encoding (or any other codec) there is nothing of value to 'buy out', and since ffmpeg is GPL-licensed code Adobe cannot integrate it into their products without a Pandora's Box of legal issues - not least the fact that ffmpeg violates Apple's trademarks by encoding ProRes. We've already seen what happens when trademark lawyers get in touch with Adobe.

I agree that AME can be a dog's dinner depending on which options and hardware you are using (e.g. the hardware acceleration shuts down if you pick the wrong flavor of bit-rate, and XMP hasn't seen any attention since the last century) but now Adobe doesn't have to waste time with AE's legacy output libraries they can concentrate more effort into making it work properly.

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Participant ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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I would say this is kind of a vicious cycle. Those problems are all around After-Effects.
You can't export h.264, you can't copy-paste keyframes over multiple layers, there are tons of legacy issues that exist and would take precious time and effort to solve and are in deep need of a fix for years now. The problem is that this adds up, and while Adobe is a collective of human beings and we should not expect them to magically solve all our lives problems there are still 2 questions that arise:


1. If adobe, the multi-billion dollar company and major monopoly of the creative software industry who's being paid monthly by millions of users can't put its time and effort into solving those key issues in their software, who can?
Now again this is not to disrespect the people at Adobe, but is there really no viable solution for these problems? Exporting h.264 which is one of the most popular codecs in the world right now does not exist in After Effects, but does exist in Media Encoder, both owned by Adobe. It's not like Media Encoder is some magical piece of software that runs seamlessly and is nice to work with, many people will agree it is problematic, buggy, and slow to render through.


2. How many of those things would've been solved already if Adobe had more competition?

Even though those questions are hard to answer and may raise conflict, they are important for a user base as big as us.
I can imagine how hard of a work it is to maintain and develop such a big software as After-Effects, but the criticism is still valid and there is no need to dismiss it. At the end of the day, we all just want to be able to work faster in better software with as few barriers as possible between us and what we make. Fighting Adobe Media Encoder just to render a video through After Effects, a software that makes videos, is a big barrier and it makes sense for users to speak up about it.

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Participant ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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This wasn't meant to be a specific reply to you @Dave Merchant 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 04, 2018 Nov 04, 2018

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Can you tell me a little about alternative rendering engines?

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2019 Feb 14, 2019

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Spot on! Come on Adobe, be a pal!

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2020 Jul 12, 2020

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For anyone that might come to this thread and found the douch*** answer given by (you could figure it out) the simple solution it's just to go to apple and download Quicktime for Windows or IOS depending what you have (even easier just search it "apple Quicktime" on google) once download restart AE and you there you have it.

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New Here ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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As much as i hoped this would work this did not do the trick for me. Installed Quicktime 7.7.9 for Windows with all features selected, still no H.264 in After Effects 2019 1.6.1.1 (Build 4)

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Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

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Hello Adobe and everyone who can hear me,

I got completed project in AE, waiting to be exported as H 264.

Aftereffects doesn't have h 264 export option and Media Encoder does't comunicate with Aftereffects. Plese let me know how can I export h264 format by using yor state of the art software ?

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