AE cant render as Mp4 -there is no option to

Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2017

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well, what am i supposed to say. Why won't this work now. With quick time selected it won't give me the option to render as a 0.264 😕

I just recently reset my whole computer, wether there is some reason connected with that i don't know.

I'm really struggling to render my project right now. Eeverything else will only give me a black screen

here is a picture for the option i am given. Unbenannt.PNG

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Aug 08, 2017
Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional , Aug 08, 2017
First, Apple stopped supporting and developing H.264 in a QuickTime container. You don't want to do that. Second, the output module in the Render Cue is not capable of multi pass rendering and all MPEG encoding benefits from MP rendering. Third, the ability to render a very clean mp4 using H.264 compression is included in the Adobe Media Encoder along with some really good presets for common delivery standards.All of this information in available in the Help files and is posted all over this for...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2017

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First, Apple stopped supporting and developing H.264 in a QuickTime container. You don't want to do that. Second, the output module in the Render Cue is not capable of multi pass rendering and all MPEG encoding benefits from MP rendering. Third, the ability to render a very clean mp4 using H.264 compression is included in the Adobe Media Encoder along with some really good presets for common delivery standards.

All of this information in available in the Help files and is posted all over this forum and the net in general.

If the Adobe Media Encoder does not solve your problem then get back to us. If every rendering option gives you a black screen then you have other problems with your comp and we need workflow details.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2017

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alright, media encoder seems to have solved my problem!

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2017

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MyHelp files freeze up and when I google, one of the first links is to come here.

"All of this information in available in the Help files and is posted all over this forum and the net in general."

Why not add some actual help or just say nothing. Makes it look like you'ld rather not help.

What is a forum supposed to be for anyway, to scorn people who come come for help. Maybe they have beenlooking but been unlucky... land here and get told this...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 30, 2017

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here's the Adobe help file about rendering: Basics of rendering and exporting in After Effects CC

if you want to have an option to render H.264 under Quicktime, you need to have Quicktime installed. but be aware that this specific codec under quicktime is giving poor results in quality and size. you are better off rendering your composition thorough Adobe Media Encoder by adding the composition to the render queue and click "Queue in AME" (in CC2017 and later) or Composition->Add to AME (all versions - but this is the second best choice).

if you insist on having a decent mp4 option right in After Effects, you should consider this plugin: AfterCodecs - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

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Explorer ,
Jul 08, 2019

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This sucks. I have clients insisting on being sent h264 encoded files, and today Media Encoder decided it was going to freeze every time I try to use it to encode things from AE. I can't believe I'm paying for this BS.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2019

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Gibson: What steps have you taken so far in trying to troubleshoot your issue?  Or, are you looking for suggestions on where to start?

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2019

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we shouldn't have to constantly 'troubleshoot' your crap software. You remove MP4 support internally, and force us to use Media Encoder. Now it is just hanging during render, oh and great, I can't go back to the old way either. Your devs need a serious kick up the ass.

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2018

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Hi

I may be being extremely stupid, but I need someone to explain to me in words of one syllable 🙂

I'm on a Mac, with the latest versions of everything on Creative Cloud, other than Media Encoder. A client has specifically asked for MP4 versions of the animation, and I'm not sure where to find it in ME. There doesn't seem to be an option any more. I downgraded ME because some codecs disappeared, and I have now got back H.264, but I don't know if this gets me any closer to my destination. I understand (a little) that QuickTime is a container, so if a client wants MP4 (I assume they want  a file which actually ends in .mp4) how do I do this in the new versions of CC?

Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2018

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If you are in After Effects all you have to do is add a composition to the Adobe Media encoder using the Composition Menu.

Inside AME you pick H.264 and you will be offered a bunch of standard presets. Just match the frame size and everything will be properly adjusted. The file will be an H.264 MP4.

If you are using Premiere Pro the Adobe Media Encoder is the only thing that can be used for rendering. It is all automatic. The same advice applies, just pick the h.264 format and the appropriate preset.

All of this info is readily available in the help files.

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2018

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Thank you Rick. I have looked at the help files, and I do know how to add files to AME, but I think my question is more about trying to understand MP4. Is it a wrapper, or a codec? And when a client asks for it, what is the best advice? In the end I gave them an M4V file and they are happy, but I am still frustrated that I can't get my head around this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2018

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MP4 is just a container or wrapper. The most common codec is H.264. There are several other codecs that will work just fine in an MP4 container.

H.264 is an interframe MPEG format that does a very good job predicting the in-between frames and preserving luminance information with equals detail. H.264 does not take a huge amount of processor power to decode the frames and put the information in a usable form. Unless there are specific codec requirements and published instructions from a client you should always deliver an H.264 MP4 to a client. As of today, it is the universal format and will playback on almost every modern device and with most media players. There are several white papers you can read on h.264. Quicktime will occasionally have problems with an H.264 movie in a QuickTime container and the decoding through Quicktime is not nearly as reliable as other players so you should never use Quicktime to render h.264 files. If a client demands h.264 Quicktime for some reason you need to find a different solution than the Output Module or the AME. Quicktime will playback an H.264 file if you just change the extension, but other apps will report the file as damaged. 

H.264 will quickly degrade if you re-compress. It is not as bad as some but it still degrades. Color artifacts and color banding show up very quickly because the codec is only 8 bits per channel and it only supports Red Green and Blue. No Alpha Channel is available for transparency.

I hope this makes sense. As soon as you wrap your head around h.264 and MP4 the world will probably adopt a new "Standard Format" that everybody will want to use. H.265 is on the way to being that new standard but there are other formats being developed.

I hope this clears it up a bit.

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2018

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Thanks very much for taking the time to do this, Rick. I'm starting to get my head around it now, even though I'm feeling slightly shameful, as I'm a very experienced designer, but always took the easy path of just exporting the highest quality file without really understanding what I was doing..

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New Here ,
Jun 05, 2018

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In AE version a few months ago, I made a video using a bunch of iPhone video.

I saw a post ridiculing designers for doing this, but what the heck. it worked.

Now I converted and wanted to put mastered audio on there and am getting green frames and stopped footage.

Yes each clip is in a different frame rate.

I tried to reinterpret it, not working. Couldn't access "more options".

Is this what I should do?:

open each footage in AME and change to a MP4? and then try it?

I am also getting error for "damaged output module"

I am on MacBook Pro Retina,

2.7 Ghz Intel Core i7,

16 Gig 1600 MHz DDR3

OS 10.13.4

using a firewire for assets

graphics: NVIDIA eForce 650M 1024MB

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 19, 2018

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The inability to output H264 in an MP4 container directly in AE, is a major pain point for our group.  Having to send comps to Media Encoder adds minutes while the dynamic link brings the project info in.  If it's in Media Encoder, why can't After Effects have the same functionality?  Seems like an oversight to me, with an easy fix.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 19, 2018

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digwrkflws  wrote

Having to send comps to Media Encoder adds minutes while the dynamic link brings the project info in.

Think about it this way,  Yes, establishing the link between in ME could take a few minutes & few minutes equals a few dollars, right?

And over time those dollars add up, right.   But if you were able to do it directly in AE and save those few minutes then After Effects would be tied up for entire length of time it takes to render the video.  When media encoder is rendering the video you can start your next project in After Effects.  So, in a proper workflow the three minutes it takes to set up rendering Media Encoder actually creates literally hours of addition time in After Effects.   So Using ME actually increases productivity or at the very least creates the possibility to increase productivity.  Ultimately it all depends on the employees, right?

~Gutterfish

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 19, 2018

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You have to understand that using Dynamic Link does not save time in rendering. In fact, it usually takes longer to render, and can take much longer to render than using AE's output module to render and replace with a suitable production format.

Why? Because AE will be running in the background doing the render when using Dynamic link on top of Premiere Pro running in the background rendering the rest of the PPro sequence. Premiere Pro's Dynamic Link is really only a time saver for extremely simple composites, graphics or similar tasks you can't do right inside PPro. If AE can't render a full frame preview faster than 3 or 4 frames per second render it. If you invest in Render Garden you won't lose any more time than it takes to cue up the render.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 19, 2018

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Putting Render Garden aside for a moment

When you say After Effects is running in the background you mean AE's  render engine will

running in the background but not AE Effects itself, right? 

Because I can open and use After Effects while Media Encoder is rendering.

So from a "money in/money out" context the amount of money earned from the additional

work you can get done in After Effects outweighs the time you would save using After Effects to render.

So while rendering through Media Encoder may take longer than rendering directly from After Effects that

doesn't mean you're losing money if you continue to work in After Effects while that render is taking place.

~Gutterfish

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2018

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Our projects are for broadcast, usually between 3-15sec comps.  The render could be done in AE before the dynamic link sets the project up in ME.  Why would this option not be left up to the consumer?  By your logic, why should AE be able to export anything directly - everything should just be done in ME...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2018

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digwrkflws  wrote

Our projects are for broadcast, usually between 3-15sec comps.  The render could be done in AE before the dynamic link sets the project up in ME.  Why would this option not be left up to the consumer?  By your logic, why should AE be able to export anything directly - everything should just be done in ME...

You're wasting your time.  It is what it is.  Follow the path of least resistance.  Things that would not be a waste of time would be: submitting a feature request or asking how instead of why questions.  Instead of asking: Why isn't the user given the choice? Ask: What's the most efficient way to achieve our goals?  When faced with an unsatisfactory mouse trap there are three ways to respond:

~Gutterfish

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2018

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Heya digwkflws:

Add a Watch Folder in Adobe Media Encoder with the desired H264 preset and Output Folder location (where you'd like you're MP4 files to wind up).  You could even name the Watch Folder something creative like "Why The Fudge Is This Necessary" (but a better name might be "Why The Fudge Do Inter-frame Video Formats Exist").

Then back in After Effects use the Watch Folder as your Output To location.  Render to Best Settings/Lossless in AE and you'll have the MP4s almost as fast as if you'd rendered directly to H264 in AE.  You're on Windows, right?  You might consider rendering to Animation compressed QuickTime at best instead of "Lossless" to save some disk space; however, any lossless CODEC will do (a flavor of DNxHD, GoPro Cineform, etc.).

You'll probably want to delete the files in the "Source" folder that results from this process at regular intervals.

Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 2.57.58 PM.png

-Warren

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 19, 2018

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Since speed came up:

  • The CPU Hardware Acceleration for H264/HEVC encoding via QuickSync is an impressive speed gain.  It's well worth it to upgrade your software, OS and/or hardware to take advantage of it.
  • Have sufficient RAM.
  • Invest in fast processors and fast storage media.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2019

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After Effects is the worse software when it comes to 'speed'. An example; you add an audio file that has nothing to do with visuals, and the dumb code from the dumb devs will render the visuals again anyway. Another example; you have an invisible layer. Yup, they will render it anyway for RAM preview. Grossly inefficient. I would sack the whole team. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 09, 2020

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Really wish there was an answer to this, for the current production pipeline based on scripting and the end product needs to be a MP4 container. There isn't currently a way (according to Adobe's documentation) to send jobs to AME and specify output preferences with a script. Current workflow is to do a lossless after effects render and then set up a watchfolder in ame to rerender as MP4...then as this has to be in one folder, we have to use another script to output this file back into the right project folder on the nas. Would save a lot of hassle to be able to render straight from after effects to the project folder in the right format for delivery

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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I agree with this as well. I have come across this problem from a development standpoint and would love to not have to round trip to ME for mp4 renders. Some people in the comments have suggested that we "follow the path of least resistance", but for my purposes I have found that not having the option has created bigger problems. 

 

For my application, I am currently faced with two options niether of which are great. First, I could do what SimonTaylorVFX mentioned above or at least something similar using other 3rd party engines. This would force the user to launch software in the background which may or may not be installed on thier systems. The other option I found is to write a custom plugin that adds the codecs back in the AE render queue. This second option would be very time consuming which is why I am here.

 

Looking at the dates posted here in this forum (2017-2020) I'm noticing that this is a re-occuring and persistent issue. Unless, Adobe wants to force it's users to use ME I can't see any reason why it's not an option at this point. Is there a REALLY GOOD technical reason for why there is no option for rendering mp4's natively from AE? 

 

This seems like a reasonalble request from the community and something that could easily be solved by the Adobe dev team. Especially considering the price we pay!

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