How do I render this file?
The best way to render this file is in two steps.
1. Make sure you have the comp you want to render open in the timeline. Also make sure the time markers are set to the full length of the comp. In the toolbar, go to ‘Composition’, ‘Add to render queue’. The ideal settings (which can be set by clicking on the ‘output module’ link of the queued file within the render queue) are as follows. Quicktime movie, Animation (or Apple Prores if you have it) codec. Do not stretch or compress the file in anyway. Audio, 48000 stereo (make sure you select audio by checking the tick box, the standard ae output module does not put audio on by default). You may have to set the destination for your file, this can be done by clicking on the ‘Output to…’ link in the render queue. Hit render.
2. You will have a fairly large file after this but it will be full HD and ready for compression (if you want to upload it somewhere like Youtube, Vimeo, or to host it yourself). When I compress a video for Vimeo or Youtube I open the file in Quicktime Pro and export a H264 quicktime movie set to best settings and I do not compress the audio at all. It is also possible to set the dimensions for your new video in Quicktime Pro export settings in case you only want an SD or smaller web version. For other formats such as flv I would recommend Adobe Media Encoder.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL … do not try to compress the file in After Effects. It is not compression software and will do a very poor job of it.
Please understand that in order to provide compression settings for every single purchase use I would be typing for the remaining years of my life so you may have to have a play around with compression software to obtain the perfect results for your individual needs.
If you are looking for further advice on rendering and compression then the best I can suggest is Google and Youtube. There are some amazing compression guides out there and you can find them easily enough if you type in exactly what you are trying to do.
I hope this proves useful to you all.
Kind regards James